Saturday, January 24, 2009

01/22/09 - 01/24/09

01/22/09 Totals:
Calories: 1,960
Fat: 101
Carbs: 137
Protein: 137.0

Advanced Corrective Routine


01/23/09 Totals:
Calories: 2,320
Fat: 116
Carbs: 151
Protein: 139.0
Alcohol: 15g

Legs - Hypertrophy


01/24/09 Totals:
Calories: 1,969
Fat: 113
Carbs: 94.5
Protein: 156

Upper Body - Strength

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rick's 96 Day Routine

I started this program on 01/08/09

1. Advanced Corrective Routine (Yoga if you don't have it)
2. Legs - Strength
3. Upper Body - Strength

4. Yoga
5. Total Body – Anaerobic HIIT (Bodyweight)

7. Yoga
8. Legs – Power OR Hypertrophy
9. Upper Body – Power OR Hypertrophy

10. X Stretch
11. Total Body – Anaerobic HIIT (Weights)
12. REST

Repeat 8 times for a total of 96 days

Although the routine is complete in and of itself, all of the exercise routines (detailed below) can merely serve as a blueprint. Modify the exercises should you feel the need. A TON of additional exercises will be added for tremendous variety!!!

ALL Strength Training Sessions are about High Intensity, and Maximum Effort, and they are to be kept to 30 min or less – not counting warm-up & cool down. Corrective/Yoga/Stretching Routines should be 45-50 minutes.

Legs - Strength (Heavier Weights):
Squats (Back), Deadlifts - 4-5 sets each in the 4-6 rep Range

Legs - Hypertrophy (Moderate Weight):
Deep Squats (front, back, db, or overhead), Lunges, Step-Ups - 8-10 Rep Range

Legs - Power (Light-Mod Weight):
P90X Legs, Plyo Legs, Sprinting, Resistance Sprinting, or classic exercises as above performed explosively in the 8-10 Rep Range


Upper Body
Upper Body - Strength: (Heavier Weight) - 4-6 Rep Range
• Bench Press, Pull-ups, Push Press, and Seated Rows - 4-5 Rounds
• Arms: Curls, and Tricep pushdowns – 2-3 supersets

For POWER, explosively perform the same exercises with lighter weight - 8-10 Rep Range

Upper Body – Hypertrophy I: (Moderate Weights) - 8-10 Rep Range
60 sec/exercise, no rest between exercises. 1-minute break between circuits
• Circuit I: Double Dip Will Do Ya, Dead Leg Switch Pull-up, Frog Push-ups, L Chin-ups
• Circuit II: Combat Pushups, 7 Point Pull-up, Spiderman Pushup, Clean to Negative Pull-ups, Iso-Climber Push-ups
• Circuit III: Lunge Curls, Hammer Kickback, Lean Back Curls, Side Hammer Kick
• Circuit IV: Bicep Everything, One Legged Bridge Dips

Upper Body Hypertrophy II: (Moderate Weight) - 8-10 Rep Range
60 sec/exercise, no rest between exercises. 1-minute break between circuits
• Circuit I: Dips, Wide Front Pull-Up, Military Push-Up, Reverse Grip Chin-Up
• Circuit II: One Arm Pushup, Close Grip Pull-Up, Decline Push-Up, Chin-Up
• Circuit III: Pike Press, Switch Grip Pull-Up, Side Tri-Rise, Towel Pull-Up
• Circuit IV: Y-Press, Upright Rows

Upper Body - Hypertrophy III: (Moderate Weight) - 8-10 Rep Range
6 Pull-ups (Vary as you see fit)
12 Military Sit-ups
1. Stacked Foot Staggered Hand Pushup (9 each side)
2. Prison Cell Pushups (6 Complete reps)
3. Reach High & Under Pushups (5 per side)
4. Renegade Rows (9 per side WITH pushup)
5. Sphinx Pushups (15 total)
6. Burpees (9 Total)
Perform 1 Cycle of 6 Rounds for time. Round 1: use pushup #1; Round 2: use pushup #2, etc


ALL Total Body Routines are Anaerobic HIIT – some with weights, and some with just bodyweight for intense conditioning - use the Crossfit Warm-up.
Here are 2 examples:
*Total Body V: Total Body Plus (Shortened) OR Kettlebells & Pull-ups
*Total Body VI: Cleans, Clean & Jerk, Snatches

MANY more examples are posted in ROUTINES


*The Advanced Corrective Routine is a corrective exercise program like no other. The magic however is in the sequencing of the specific exercises, but that is well beyond the scope of this post. For now, let's just say it is a fusion of yoga, Pilates, stretching, and physical therapy exercises. It is a tremendous core strengthening routine, so this is where my abdominal work will be done. – Of course abs are ready crushed by doing Olympic lifts and the functional routines. I “may”, on occasion, alternate ARX, ACP, and TMT abs into the mix in conjunction with Advanced Corrective Routine.


Yoga can be Yoga X, the first half of Yoga X, Tony's Fountain of Youth Yoga Routine, Rodney Yee, or whatever floats your boat


This is an upgrade over the previous version of this plan released, which was unleashed in 2008. This is why I think it is better:

A) More recovery time between the Strength Training Sessions. Benefits: reduced chance of injury or overtraining.

B) The Cardio component was eliminated. I feel this will mean bigger and faster gains in hypertrophy (increased muscle mass). Added enjoyment - I hate doing cardio, and I only did it 1/3 of the time last around anyway, so I added things I'd actually do. NOTE: Aerobic fitness is still improved by doing HIIT Anaerobically (in fact it is vastly superior to traditional cardio!!!), and the type cardiovascular fitness gained is perfectly suited toward the physiology of the human animal anyway, so no worries.

C) The many benefits of Yoga. I'll use an excerpt from a post by Mike French to elaborate:
1) Stress and tension reduction
2) Mental clarity and focus
3) A greater sense of purpose, peace/harmony.
4) Increased fitness and muscle tone
5) Improved strength, balance and flexibility
6) Improved posture, alignment and grace
7) Increased lung capacity, breathing quality
8) Improved digestion and circulation
9) Better quality of sleep
10) Improved Spine Health
And increased athletic performance

D) For those using the Advance Corrective Routine, some of the benefits of Yoga are even more dramatic! Such as:
1) Posture and alignment - affecting all of the load bearing joints of the body!
2) Spinal Health

Resulting in:
1) Reduced joint pain
2) Increased lung capacity, breathing quality
3) Improved digestion and circulation
4) Reduced pain from headaches and migraines
5) Better quality of sleep


The “300” Workout
25 Pull-ups
50 Deadlifts – 135lbs
50 Push-ups
50 Box Jumps – 24” box
50 Floor Wipers
50 Single-arm Clean & Press – 35lb KB (25 each arm)
25 Pull-ups

There is no rest between exercises (if possible) – yes, this is an advanced routine!

Big Dawgs: As Above
Porch: 240 Reps (20,40,40,40,40,40,20)
Pack: 205 Reps (15,35,35,35,35,35,15)
Puppies: 150 Reps (13,25,25,25,25,25,12)
Buttercups: So Below

The Bodyweight Version
15 Hanging Rows
25 Squats
15 Push-ups
50 Jumping Jacks
20 Mountain Climbers
10 Close Grip Pushups
15 Hanging Rows


Kettlebell Routine
21 Kettlebell Swings, 53#
21 Pull-Ups
21 Kettlebell Swings, 53#
21 Burpees
21 Kettlebell Swings, 53#
21 Tuck Jumps
21 Kettlebell Swings, 53#
21 Front Squats, 75#
21 Kettlebell Swings, 53#
21 Sumo-Deadlift High-Pulls, 75#


Craig Ballantyne Barbell Complex:
I believe these are 6 reps per exercise, continuing on with no rest until the end, rest one minute, then repeat several times:

Squat, bar behind head
Military press
Front squat
Wide grip upright row (high pull)
Romanian deadlifts
Standard deadlifts


Here's 3 Ferruggia Barbell complexes. Each exercise is done for 6 reps, then immediately move on to the next exercise. No rest until the end of each round. No discussion of load.

Complex #1:
Hang Snatch
Overhead Squat
Snatch Grip High Pull
Romanian Deadlift
Bent over Row
Rest 60 seconds, then repeat 6 times.

Complex #2:
Front Raise
Reverse Curl
Hang Snatch
Hang Clean
Front Squat
Military Press
Good Morning
Back Squat
Rest 90 seconds, then repeat 5 times.

Complex #3:
Overhead Triceps Extension
Back Squat
Good Morning
Push Press
Front Squat
Hang Clean
Romanian Deadlift
Bent over Row
Overhead Squat
Rest 90 to 120 seconds, and repeat 4 or 5 times.

He's also got a few bodyweight conditioning circuits that he says are harder than they look:

Circuit #1:
Prisoner squats - 50 reps
Hindu push ups - 25 reps (that actually looks as hard as it probably is)
Mountain climbers - 60 seconds
Reverse Push ups (bridge) 60 seconds hold
Side outs - 60 seconds

Do 5-7 rounds

Circuit #1:
Squat thrusts - 15 reps
Reverse push-ups (bridge) hold as long as possible
Slalom jumps - 60 seconds
Bear walks - 50 yards
Bootstrappers - 25 reps
Shuffle Jacks - 60 seconds (like regular jumping jack, but arms swing front to back rather than in a sideways motion)

Do 5-7 rounds.

The above 2 circuits are just examples. He has a whole list of exercises that are meant to be put together as follows: a lower body exercise, an upper body exercise, a jumping exercise, a bridging exercise, and a jumping exercise.


GSP (UFC Champ) Conditioning Routine:
20 air squats
20 lunges per leg
20 jump squats
20 split jumps per leg
6 burpees.

Presumably you'd repeat 3+ times. Not sure why there isn't a tad more upper body moves sprinkled in here. But it looks like it would gas you.


Tabata style Bodyweight Circuit: (20 seconds ALL-OUT work, 10 seconds rest):
Spider man push ups
Pistol Squat left leg
Inverted pull up
Pistol squat right leg
Hand stand push ups
Jump squat
Pull ups
Alternating split squat jump


Mike Geary Anaerobic HIIT Workout
a. 1-arm DB swings (alternate arms every 5 reps) - 3 minutes straight as many reps as possible.
rest 1 min
b. 1-arm DB snatches (alt arms every 5 reps) - 3 minutes straight as many reps as possible.
rest 1 min
c. DB renegade rows (alt arms after each rep) - 10 reps each arm.
rest 30 seconds
d. Floor mountain climbers - 30 seconds max reps.
rest 30 seconds
e. Floor mountain jumpers - 30 seconds max reps.



Kettlebell 300 Workout I -
For Time
25 V-Ups
50 KB Snatches (25/hand)
25 Push-ups
50 KB Swings
50 Squat Thrusts
50 KB Clean & Press (25/hand)
50 Mountain Climbers


Kettlebell 300 Workout II -
For Time
25 V-Ups
50 KB Snatches (25/hand)
25 Push-ups
50 KB Swings
50 Lateral Squats (25/side, alternating)
50 KB Clean & Press (25/hand)
50 Mountain Climbers


Kettlebell 300 Workout III -
For Time
25 V-Ups
50 KB Snatches (25/hand)
25 Push-ups
50 KB Swings
25 Burpees
50 KB Clean & Press (25/hand)
50 Mountain Climbers


Kettlebell 300 Workout IV -
For Time (This is the toughest one)
25 V-Ups
50 KB Snatches (25/hand)
25 Push-ups
50 KB Swings
25 Roll-up Squat to Burpee
50 KB Clean & Press (25/hand)
50 Mountain Climbers


Back To My Fitness Roots

This pretty much sums up it up:

Fitness is not about losing weight, bodyfat, pant sizes, or the things most people focus on. It is about achieving Total Fitness! When you focus on Fitness First, everything else just falls into place.

Total Fitness:
Competency in all 10 recognized fitness domains, which are:
Cardiovascular & Respiratory endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance, and Accuracy

You are only as fit as you are competent in the all of the above!

Cross Training:
Training exceeding the normal parameters of the regular demands of your sport or training. The program recognizes functional, metabolic, and modal cross training. That is I regularly train past the normal motions, metabolic pathways, and modes or sports common to the athlete’s sport or exercise regimen. The end result: Total Fitness

Metabolic Pathways:
There are three metabolic pathways that provide the energy for all human action. These “metabolic engines” are known as the phosphagen pathway, the glycolytic pathway, and the oxidative pathway. The first, the phosphagen, dominates the highest-powered activities, those that last less than about ten seconds. The second pathway, the glycolytic, dominates moderate-powered activities, those that last up to several minutes. The third pathway, the oxidative, dominates low-powered activities, those that last in excess of several minutes.

Total fitness, requires competency and training in each of these three pathways or engines. Balancing the effects of these three pathways largely determines the how and why of the metabolic conditioning or “cardio” that we do.

Favoring one or two to the exclusion of the others, and not recognizing the impact of excessive training in the oxidative pathway are arguably the two most common faults in fitness training.

The Olympic Lifts:
There are two Olympic lifts, the Clean & Jerk, and the Snatch. Mastery of these lifts develops the squat, deadlift, powerclean, and split jerk while integrating them into a single movement of unequaled value in all of strength and conditioning. The Olympic lifters are without a doubt the world’s strongest athletes.

These lifts train athletes to effectively activate more muscle fibers more rapidly than through any other modality of training. The explosiveness that results from this training is of vital necessity to every sport.

Practicing the Olympic lifts teaches one to apply force to muscle groups in proper sequence, i.e., from the center of the body to its extremities (core to extremity). Learning this vital technical lesson benefits all athletes who need to impart force to another person or object as is commonly required in nearly all sports.

In addition to learning to impart explosive forces, the Clean & Jerk, and Snatch condition the body to receive such forces from another moving body both safely and effectively.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the Olympic lifts unique capacity to develop strength, muscle, power, speed, coordination, vertical leap, muscular endurance, bone strength, and the physical capacity to withstand stress. It is also worth mentioning that the Olympic lifts are the only lifts shown to increase maximum oxygen uptake, the most important marker for cardiovascular fitness.

The extraordinary value of gymnastics as a training modality lies in its reliance on the body’s own weight as the sole source of resistance. This places a unique premium on the improvement of strength to weight ratio. Unlike other strength training modalities gymnastics and calisthenics allow for increases in strength only while increasing strength to weight ratio!

Gymnastics develops pull-ups, squats, lunges, jumping, push-ups, and numerous presses to handstand, scales, and holds. These skills are unrivaled in their benefit to the physique as evident in any competitive gymnast.

As important as the capacity of this modality is for strength development it is without a doubt the ultimate approach to improving coordination, balance, agility, accuracy, and flexibility. Through the use of numerous presses, handstands, scales, and other floor work the gymnast’s training greatly enhances kinesthetic sense.

For a combination of strength, flexibility, well-developed physique, coordination, balance, accuracy, and agility the gymnast has no equal in the sports world. The inclusion of this training modality is absurdly absent from nearly all training programs.

Power is defined as the “time rate of doing work.” It has often been said that in sport speed is king. “Power” is the undisputed king of performance. Power is in simplest terms, “hard and fast.” Jumping, punching, throwing, and sprinting are all measures of power. Increasing your ability to produce power is necessary and nearly sufficient to elite athleticism. Additionally, power is the definition of intensity, which in turn has been linked to nearly every positive aspect of fitness. Increases in strength, performance, muscle mass, and bone density all arise in proportion to the intensity of exercise. And again, intensity is defined as power.

Functional Movements:
There are movements that mimic motor recruitment patterns that are found in everyday life. Others are somewhat unique to the gym. Squatting is standing from a seated position; deadlifting is picking any object off the ground. They are both functional movements. Leg extension and leg curl both have no equivalent in nature and are in turn non-functional movements. The bulk of isolation movements are non-functional movements. By contrast the compound or multi-joint movements are functional. Natural movement typically involves the movement of multiple joints for every activity.

The importance of functional movements is primarily two-fold. First of all the functional movements are mechanically sound and therefore safe, and secondly they are the movements that elicit a high neuroendocrine response.

Many elite athletes have dramatically enhanced their performance exclusively with functional movements. The superiority of training with functional movements is clearly apparent with any athlete within weeks of their incorporation. The soundness and efficacy of functional movement is so profound that exercising without them is by comparison a colossal waste of time!

Neuroendocrine Adaptation:
“Neuroendocrine adaptation” is a change in the body that affects you either neurologically or hormonally. Most important adaptations to exercise are in part or completely a result of a hormonal or neurological shift. Current research, much of it done by Dr. William Kraemer, Penn State University, has shown which exercise protocols maximize neuroendocrine responses. Earlier we faulted isolation movements as being ineffectual. Now we can tell you that one of the critical elements missing from these movements is that they invoke essentially no neuroendocrine response.

Among the hormonal responses vital to athletic development are substantial increases in testosterone, insulin-like growth factor, and human growth hormone. Exercising with protocols known to elevate these hormones eerily mimics the hormonal changes sought in exogenous hormonal therapy (steroid use) with none of the deleterious effect. Exercise regimens that induce a high neuroendocrine response produce champions! Increased muscle mass and bone density are just two of many adaptative responses to exercises capable of producing a significant neuroendocrine response.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of the neuroendocrine response to exercise protocols. Heavy load weight training, short rest between sets, high heart rates, high intensity training, and short rest intervals, though not entirely distinct components, are all associated with a high neuroendocrine response.

In plain language, my diet is based on garden vegetables, especially greens, lean meats, nuts and seeds, little starch, and no sugar. That’s about as simple as I can make it.

Many have observed that keeping your grocery cart to the perimeter of the grocery store while avoiding the aisles is a great way to protect your health. Food is perishable. The stuff with long shelf life is all circumspect. If you follow these simple guidelines you will benefit from nearly all that can be achieved through nutrition.

The Caveman or Paleolithic Model for Nutrition:
Modern diets are ill suited for our genetic composition. Evolution has not kept pace with advances in agriculture and food processing resulting in a plague of health problems for modern man. Coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, obesity and psychological dysfunction have all been scientifically linked to a diet too high in refined or processed carbohydrate.


Contains excerpts and paraphrases from the CF "Foundations" and "Trial" Issues.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Primal Blueprint SUMMARY

I have never been a fan of the conventional, especially when I consider how the powers-that-be can influence/determine conventional thought. I've previously made my points about big agribusiness, pharmaceutical companies, etc, so some of you may know what I am referring to.

Anyway, unconventional thinking and concepts, although intriguing, are not enough to draw me in - there are a lot of kooks and pretenders out there - so the ideas must have some sort of scientific backing and they must actually make sense when you really look deeply into them.

Here is one of those rare gems! The following is from Mark Sisson's site. He has a ton of interesting information on his blog! Here are 2 of his posts with additional links that I feel lay the foundation for the plan. ENJOY!


The Context of Calories

200 Calories is 200 Calories. Right?

“What’s that in the road ahead?”
“What’s that in the road!? A head!?”

Context is important.

Many people think weight loss is simply about cutting calories. But context counts here, too. Calories do have context and that’s what I want to explore today. Is a calorie from fat the same as a calorie from protein or carbohydrate? Depends on the context. Does day-to-day calorie monitoring make any difference if your week-to-week weight and energy expenditure are dialed in? Maybe not.
Most people (even many scientists) believe that the body composition challenge is a relatively simple equation: to lose weight you must reduce calories (either eat less or burn more), to gain weight you must add calories, and to maintain weight you keep calories constant. Calories in over calories out.

The truth is, it’s more like a complex equation where you have to factor in many other very important variables:

Do I want to lose weight or just body fat? Do I want to gain weight or just muscle? How much muscle do I want to put on and how fast? What is my personal genetic “range” or limit for body fat or muscle? These are all different contexts. And these are further affected by supply (types and quantity of foods as well as frequency of meals) and metabolic demand (your relative immediate need for either energy, repair, or building). In the short-term, they are rate-limited by hormones (insulin, glucagon, epinephrine, nor-epinephrine, cortisol etc). And in the long-term the range (or limits) of possible outcomes is determined by gene expression (5’8” ectomorphs simply can’t become 275-lb body-builders, but they can be well-proportioned 165-lb men or 135-lb women.). The context can also change day-to-day. That’s where you come in as the director.

Fat burning, glucose burning, ketone burning, glycogen storage, fat storage, gluconeogenesis, and protein turnover. All of these energy-related processes are going on simultaneously in each of us at all times. But the rate at which each of these processes happens is different in each of us and they can increase or decrease (sometimes dramatically) depending on the context of our present circumstances and our long term goals. All of these contexts utilize the same gene-based principles of energy metabolism – the biochemical machinery that we all share - but because they all involve different starting points as well as different goals or possible outcomes, they often require different action plans.  

We can alter the rate at which each of these metabolic processes happens simply by changing what and when we eat. We can change the context.
The RD’s will tell you that protein has four calories per gram, so when you figure your daily intake, budget calories accordingly. But protein is used by the body mostly for maintaining structure and function. Yes, it can be burned as fuel, but really only as a secondary source, and even then, it must be converted to glucose to be utilized. So, depending on the need within the body, the first 10, 20 or 30 grams of protein might go towards repair and growth – not energy. Do we therefore discount those first 30 grams when we “count calories?” Depends on the context. If you don’t exercise much and eat frequently and copiously all the time, maybe most of the protein you eat will count more towards your calorie budget (since your structural protein turnover is relatively less). On the other hand, if you run yourself ragged, are under a great deal of stress (lots of catabolic hormones) and generally don’t get much protein, maybe most of that one high-protein meal goes toward repair and won’t be called upon as fuel for days or weeks. Or maybe you’re coming off an IF day. Does it really count as calories today if it isn’t burned or stored as fat? If those protein calories today go to adding lean mass (muscle) that is retained for years, do those calories count today? Then again, as muscle it does offer a potential long-term stored source of energy when gluconeogenesis is increased. See what I mean? Depends on the context.

Fats aren’t just for fuel either. They can be integral parts of all cell membranes and hormones and can serve as critical protective cushioning for delicate organs. At what point do the fats we consume stop becoming structural and start becoming calorically dense fuel? Depends again on the context. If there’s a ton of carbohydrates accompanying the fat on a daily basis, it’s pretty certain that that fat will be stored as adipose tissue sooner rather than later. That’s nine calories per gram in the tank for future use (if ever). And that’s what adds up over time when you weigh yourself. OTOH, if you’ve withheld carbs for a few days and your insulin remains low, the fats from this meal might be used quickly to provide fuel for normal resting metabolic processes.

Keep your carbs low enough long enough and you get into ketosis, a fat-burning state that creates what many now refer to as the “metabolic advantage.”

In this context, fats are fueling most of the body’s energy demands either directly as fatty acids or as the fat-metabolism byproducts called ketones. To the delight of those looking to burn off unwanted fat, it gets better. The body balances the acidic effect of any excess ketones by either excreting them in the urine (in today’s $5 a gallon economy, isn’t that wasting fuel?) and by using ketones and fatty acids to create a bit more glucose for the brain via gluconeogenesis in a fairly “energy inefficient” process.

Finally, let’s look at the lowly carbohydrate and its four calories per gram. All carbs are broken down into simple sugars, and eventually (and almost always) into glucose. The primary use of glucose from all carbohydrate food is as fuel, whether burned immediately as it passes by different organs and muscles or whether stored for later use. The brain, red blood cells, and nerve cells prefer glucose as primary fuel (but don’t absolutely require it – they can use ketones). Muscles that are working hard will prefer glucose if it is available, but don’t absolutely require it unless they are working very hard for very long. If it is not burned immediately as fuel, excess glucose will be first stored as glycogen in muscle and liver cells and then, if or when these glycogen storage depots are full, it will be converted to fatty acids and stored in fat cells as fat.

The things to remember about carbs and to put into context: Carbs are not used as structural components in the body – they are used only as a form of fuel; glucose in the bloodstream is toxic to humans UNLESS it is being burned immediately as fuel. (For reference, “normal” blood sugar represents only about one teaspoon of glucose dissolved in the entire blood pool in your body). That’s why insulin is so critical to taking it out of the bloodstream and putting it somewhere FAST, like muscle cells or fat cells. Moreover, humans can exist quite easily without ever eating carbs, since the body has several mechanisms for generating glucose from the fat and proteins consumed, as well as from proteins stripped from muscle tissue. For all these reasons, in the PB-style of eating, carbs are lowest priority. Unless your context includes lots of endurance activities (or storing fat) there’s little reason to overdo the carbs (USDA and RDs’ recommendations notwithstanding).

So what’s the take home message from all this? 

 To be honest, I thought maybe you could tell me! Maybe it’s that by understanding how these metabolic processes work, and knowing that we can control the rates at which each one happens through our diet (and exercise) we needn’t agonize over the day-to-day calorie counting. As long as we are generally eating a PB-style plan and providing the right context, our bodies will ease into a healthy, fit, long-lived comfort zone rather effortlessly.

The Definitive Guide to the Primal Eating Plan

In my recent Context of Calories post, I explained how the different macronutrients we eat at each meal (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates) have different effects in the body. I suggested that, despite their raw calorie values, it’s far more important to get a lasting intuitive sense of how much of each macronutrient you need and when you need it (or not).

But how do you do that? How do you figure out the proper number of calories - and breakdown of fats, protein and carbs - to accomplish your fitness and health goals? To lose weight? Lose fat? Gain muscle? Maintain status quo? Run marathons?

In fact, most popular daily diets look at overall calories as the main factor in weight loss and weight gain. The age-old conservation of energy Conventional Wisdom says that “a calorie is a calorie.” From there most diet gurus generally prescribe some formulaic one-size-fits-all breakdown of fats, protein and carbs. A classically trained Registered Dietician will tell you that protein should be around 10-15% of calories, carbs should be 60% (and mostly from whole grains) and fat under 30%. This macronutrient breakdown stays the same regardless of how much weight you need to lose or what other goals you might have. Barry Sears has his 40/30/30 “Zone” diet. The USDA bases everything on a choice of between 2,000 and 2,500 calories a day. But, as I said earlier, it’s not that simple. Calories do have context.

The human body uses these macronutrients for a variety of different functions, some of which are structural and some of which are simply to provide energy - immediately or well into the future. Moreover, with regards to energy conservation or expenditure, the body acts as both an efficient fuel storage depot (and as a toxic “waist” site) as well as a potent generator of energy, depending largely on the hormonal signals it gets. It will store glycogen and/or fat and it will build muscle - or it will just as easily tear them all down and use them for fuel - based on input from you: what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat, what you’re doing before or after you eat - even what you’re thinking when you eat. Yet because your body always seeks to achieve homeostasis over time, the notion of you trying to zero in on a precise day-to-day or meal-to-meal eating plan is generally fruitless (yes, Charlotte, some fruit is allowed). The good news in all this is that falling off the wagon once or twice this week won’t have the immediate disastrous effect that you might imagine - as long as you can keep your average intake under control and understand how the various macronutrients function over time.

Which brings me to the crux of today’s discussion. Not only is it nearly impossible to accurately gauge your exact meal-to-meal calorie and macronutrient requirements, doing so will drive you crazy. In fact, to accurately figure your true structural and functional fuel needs (and hence to achieve your goals) it’s far more effective to look at a much larger span of time, like a few weeks, and aim for an “average” consumption. Then you can review that average daily intake over weeks or months and adjust accordingly. Below, I’ll give you a way to figure a “jumping off” point to start with, but remember, our genes are accustomed to the way our ancestors ate: intermittently, sporadically, sometimes in large quantities, and sometimes not at all for days. Their bodies figured out a way to maintain homeostasis and preserve lean tissue and good health through all this and so can we.  

Our genes want us to be lean and fit. It’s actually quite easy as long as we eat from the long list of Primal Blueprint healthy foods and try to avoid that other list of grain-laden, sugary, processed and otherwise unhealthy foods. Realistically, we also want to allow for the occasional party-splurge, a pre-planned (or accidental) intermittent fast, an over-the-top workout or even a week of laziness. Where most people get into trouble is in miscalculating their energy needs over extended periods of time - not day-to-day. They don’t see the average amount of carbs creeping upwards, or they figure they need x amount of calories, but don’t have a clue as to what kind of food those should be coming from.

I start with these four basic principles to guide my Primal Blueprint eating style:
1) 80% of your body composition will be determined by your diet. Yes, exercise is also important to health and to speed up fat-burning and muscle-building, but most of your results will come from how you eat. I’ll write more on this later, so just trust me on this one for now. Suffice to say, people who weigh a ton and exercise a ton, but eat a ton, still tend to weigh a ton. I think I’ll have that made into a t-shirt…

2) Lean Body Mass (LBM) is the key to life. I’ve said it many times on this site: lean mass (muscle and all the rest of you that is not fat) is directly correlated with longevity and excellent health. Rather than strive to “lose weight”, most people would be better off striving to lose only fat and to build or maintain muscle. Since other organs tend to function at a level that correlates to muscle mass, the more muscle you maintain throughout life, the more “organ reserve” you’ll have (i.e. the better the rest of you will work). Refer back to rule #1 and eat to build or maintain muscle.

3) Excess body fat is bad. Most human studies show that being significantly overweight increases your risk of nearly every disease (except osteoporosis - because ironically it responds to weight-bearing activities). Fat just doesn’t look that great either. See rule #1 and eat to keep body fat relatively low.

4) Excess insulin is bad. We’ve written about it here a lot. Chronic excess insulin may be even worse than excess sugar (and we know how bad that is). All animals produce insulin, but within any species, those that produce less insulin live longer than those who produce a lot. Eat to keep insulin low.

Here is how I use these principles to guide my individual macronutrient intake:


Protein takes priority. If there is ample glycogen (stored glucose) and the body is getting the rest of its energy efficiently from fats, protein will always go first towards repair or building cells or enzymes. In that context, it hardly seems fair to assign it a “burn rate” of 4 calories per gram. It’s like saying the 2×4 studs that support the walls of your house can burn nicely if you run out of firewood. They will, but I prefer to burn other fuel first. At a minimum you need .5 grams of protein per pound of lean mass/per day on average to maintain your “structure”. If you are moderately active you need .7 or .8, and if you are an active athlete you need as much as 1 gram of protein per pound of lean mass. That’s at a minimum, but it’s on a daily average. So a 155 lb moderately active woman who has 25% body fat (and thus) has 116 lb of lean body mass needs 93 grams of protein on average per day (116 x .8). If she gets 60 or 80 some days and 110 on others, she’ll still be in a healthy average range. And even if she exceeds the 110, it’s no problem if she’s eating low carb because the excess protein will convert to glucose, which will reduce her effective carbohydrate needs (see below). At 4 calories per gram, that’s between 320 and 440 calories per day in protein. It’s not that much.


If you’ve forgotten everything you ever learned in biology, just remember this and “own” it: Carbohydrate drives insulin drives fat (Cahill 1965, and Taubes 2007). The idea in the PB is to limit your carbs to only those you need to provide glucose for the brain and for some reasonable amount (certainly less than an hour) of occasional anaerobic exercise. And the truth is, you don’t even need glucose to fuel the brain. Ketones from a very-low carb diet work extremely efficiently at that task. Either way, ideally, we would like most of our daily energy to come from dietary or stored fats. Typically, (if you are at an ideal body composition now) I use a rule of thumb that 100-150 grams of carbohydrate per day is plenty to keep you out of ketosis (and ketosis is NOT a bad thing) but away from storing the excess as fat if you are the least bit active. Don’t forget that your body can make up to 200 grams of glycogen from fats and protein every day, too. On the other hand, if you are looking to lose body fat, keeping carbs to under 80 grams per day will help immensely in lowering insulin and taking fat out of storage. On the other other hand, if you are insistent on training hard for long periods of time, you would add more carbs (say, 100 per day extra for every extra hour you train hard). It becomes a matter of doing the math and experimenting with the results.

Ironically, it’s tough to exceed 100 grams of carbs even if you eat tons of colorful vegetables - as long as you eat like our ancestors and consume no grains, no sugars and few starchy vegetables (potatoes, yams, beets, legumes, etc). Even if you eat a ton of vegetables AND a fair amount of fruit, you’ll be hard pressed to exceed 150 grams of carbs on average per day. Our remote ancestors couldn’t average 150 grams of carbs a day if they tried, yet they had plenty of energy and maintained their lean mass. At 4 calories per gram that’s only between 400 and 600 calories per day. Add that in to the protein above and our sample girl is barely at 1,000 calories on the high end. So where does the rest of the fuel come from?


Learn to love them. They are the fuel of choice and should become the balance of your Primal Blueprint diet. Fats have little or no impact on insulin and, as a result, promote the burning of both dietary and stored (adipose) fat as fuel. Think about this: if protein and carbs stay fairly constant (and carbs stay under 150), you can use fat as the major energy variable in your diet. Feeling like you need more fuel (and you’ve already covered your bases with protein and carbs)? Reach for something with fat. Nuts, avocados, coconut, eggs, butter, olive oil, fish, chicken, lamb, beef, the list is a long one. 100 grams of fats per day would only add 900 calories to our girl’s daily average, putting her at between 1620 and 1940 calories a day. Even if she averages somewhere between 1400 and 2200 calories per day over a few weeks, as long as she pays attention to protein and carbs, her body composition will shift to lower body fat and more desirable lean mass. If she decides to do some walking, a few brief intense weight sessions and a sprint day here and there, that process would accelerate greatly. If she gets to a point where she’s content with her body fat, she can even add in a little more fat to provide energy that she previously got from her stored fat.

The main thing I’ve figured out from eating this way for years is that I don’t need nearly as many calories to maintain health, mass, and body fat as I once thought I did - or as the Conventional Wisdom says I do. I eat 600-1000 calories per day less than when I ate a carbohydrate-based diet, yet I maintain slightly lower body fat and slightly higher muscle mass on even less training. Remember: 80% of body composition is determined by diet. The best part is that I don’t ever feel hungry because I base my eating on exactly what my 10,000-year-old genes want me to eat.

Further Reading:

The Primal Blueprint

The Primal Blueprint Carbohydrate Curve

The Definitive Guide to Grains

The Definitive Guide to Fats

The Definitive Guide to Cholesterol

The Definitive Guide to Insulin, Blood Sugar and Type 2 Diabetes

The Definitive Guide to Stress, Cortisol and the Adrenals


I highly recommend checking out these links and the rest his blog for that matter - Excellent reading material!

Today I Went Primal

I went PRIMAL on Jan 22, 2009. By that I mean that I started following "The Primal Blueprint" created by Mark Sisson.

This blog will be used to record my daily activities, diet choices, new recipes, and my body's transformation.

As of 1/22/09, I was at 200lbs - down 5 lbs from Dec 27, 2008, when I finally recovered from the numerous non-work related injuries I sustained throughout the year, and started exercising again. During my injury-induced inactivity period, I put on a quite a bit of bodyfat, and lost a lot of hard-earned muscle mass. I am disgusted with the way I look and feel, especially when you consider my profession as a trainer. I know it was injury related, but try explaining that to prospective clients! I'm was so disgusted, that I could not even bring myself to take a "before" picture. Let's just say, I had a huge disgusting beer gut measuring 44"

Anyway, I found The Primal Blueprint accidentally, and my original intent was to look at it, rip it to shreds, and move on. What I found, blew me away. After reading everything I could about it (and the similar Paleo Diet) over the course of 3 weeks, I decided to give it a try.

Balance - In Your Fitness & Life

Attaining and maintaining balance in Life is the biggest challenge facing many people today. Balance is maintaining a healthy, consistent lifestyle on a daily basis in mind, and body, regardless of your situation or circumstance.

Keep your Mind Balanced

A balanced mind means that you are aware of your thoughts and the things that you choose to think about. Many folks allow their mind to wander throughout the day. The goal is to enjoy each day as if it were your last. In order to cultivate this thought process, your thoughts have to be focused on the present moment.

Yesterday is in the past. There is nothing we can do to go back and change what has already happened. Learn from your mistakes. When you dwell on failure you can trigger depressive feelings such as regret. Work through these feelings and let them go. If we let what happened in the past impact today in negative ways, we remain locked to the past. ALWAYS move forward!

Another place that we allow our thoughts to wander is when we think of the future. These thoughts will cause feelings of anxiety, fear of the unknown and unnecessary pressure. Thoughts of the future, beyond planning and goal setting, can also take away from your focus on the moment and keep you off balance. The reality is that we can only take forward steps toward our goals in the hours that we are awake. Take each day, one at a time. Each day is an opportunity and a gift, which is why they call it the present, an old saying that makes a heck of a lot of sense! To attain and maintain balance in your mind, keep your thoughts focused on the present.

Keep Your Body Balanced

A balanced body involves exercise, proper nutrition, enough sleep and an overall healthy lifestyle. Workout hard 6 days a week and you will do your strength, cardiovascular Fitness, and flexibility a world of good! Exercise releases natural endorphins that help your body to relax and feel good. Don't focus too heavily on any one discipline. Strength without an efficient cardiovascular system is not good and if you neglect your flexibility you are doing your body and Fitness a HUGE disservice. The overall physical goal that we should be striving for is to be ready for any physical activity at any time. Swimming, running a long distance or sprinting, climbing,
P90X®, lifting weights, Yoga, hiking, etc. Be ready for all of it, at any time!

Monitoring your daily food intake and becoming aware of the types of food that your body needs and best responds to also helps you attain and maintain your balance. Focus on eating nutritious, healthy foods that you enjoy. Proper nutrition doesn't need to be complicated. This will allow you to stay disciplined over the long haul. This is essential in being healthy for a lifetime!

Another essential element in maintaining balance is getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Most people do not get enough sleep. When you get your rest, you recover from your workout more efficiently, your mood improves, and you are more mentally alert. Get a good nights rest and feel the difference!

Limit your intake of alcohol, drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, don't smoke, take nutritional supplements that help you push towards your Fitness goals.

When you try and keep a balance in your life, good things happen....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Take Your Fitness Personally

There is a mindset that moves you closer to your Fitness goals. It's a positive, aggressive mindset and we need to try and cultivate this mindset every day in regards to making progress towards our Fitness goals.

NEVER use the word CAN'T. If you think you will never achieve six pack abs or do 10 pull-ups, guess what? You never will! Focus and visualize your goals until you SEE them happening in your mind. Concentrate so hard on succeeding that you can actually FEEL what it will be like to achieve them. Then GO OUT AND MAKE IT HAPPEN!

You know who determines your Fitness success? You do! No one else! Not your Wife/Husband, children, Family, NO ONE BUT YOU!! Don't blame anyone but yourself if you eat something that sets you back. YOU control your Fitness destiny!

One of the greatest motivators in the world is proving someone wrong that doubts you. It happens everyday. "You will never have a six pack." "You can't eat like that for the rest of your life." EVERYONE has someone like this in their life. It might be a co-worker, a best friend or the person that is most important to you in the world. Internalize that doubt and turn it into FIRE !

Use that negative energy as fuel for your workouts, nutrition, and supplementation.

Who cares if you get funny looks or comments because you brought your supplements and a protein bar to a Family gathering. When the Office is having a pizza party and you are drinking extra water and eating chicken breast and brown rice, look at them and smile. They are taking time off their lives, and you are adding to yours!

Take the attitude that NO MATTER WHAT, you will not quit on yourself. U.S. Navy Seals cultivate this attitude. It doesn't matter how difficult the task, they are going to accomplish it.

We need to do the same. How difficult is eating clean all day? How difficult is working out HARD for 50 minutes? IT IS ONLY AS DIFFICULT AS YOU MAKE IT IN YOUR OWN MIND!

Would you rather eat clean all day and reap the Fitness benefits or weakly eat a "Little something" that ruins your entire days nutrition in less than 2 minutes?

Am I saying NEVER eat treats? Of course not!

The difference is in the choice. If we choose to have a treat because we EARNED one from a TON of hard work, that is fine because we made that choice. When you give in to eating a slice of cake or "just a couple of cookies" on impulse just before bed time, that is where you have an issue.

Get "ANGRY" folks. There is nothing wrong with using properly channeled anger to push your Fitness forward. The anger needs to be controlled and focused. When you can let it loose in your training in a focused manner, you have an energy that can be described! It's like you drank a Keg of espresso! Its an amazing feeling and near magical things can happen when you let it loose!

P90X® Plyo [or insert your most dreaded routine] on the schedule for your workout? Get ANGRY! Think to yourself "Ok PLYO, it's you and me today! I'm not backing down from you! Give me your best shot because you are going to get mine!" Conquer your workout! Don't be apprehensive or think, "Wow, this is going to hurt." Attack your workout! Tell yourself "Is this the toughest workout you could come up with? I OWN this workout and I'm going to use it as a tool to MAKE ME BETTER....TODAY!"

Have a confident swagger in regards to your Fitness and nutrition. I know people that look at meals as an athletic event. It's inspiring to see. They makes proper choices and then eats A LOT of the foods that push his Fitness forward. Same with their workouts. They aggressively push as hard as they can. They fight self doubt, insecurity, and fear with every rep. Do the same!

It's all a choice Team. You can use some positive, motivating ANGER and push your Fitness forward or you can be someone on their "6th Round of the X" that looks like they still need to complete their first. Which is it going to be?

Fitness For A Lifetime

Our Society is obsessed with Fitness and Nutrition. There are new workout programs and nutrition “miracles” being produced everyday. Some people have decided that Fitness just “isn’t for them”.

Our Society has grown to accept that is “ok” to be sluggish and overweight. Eating whatever people want and wondering why they feel and look worse, month after month.

People find every excuse to eat something they shouldn’t or to skip a workout. “When I get home from work, I just don’t have the energy to workout.” “Its too expensive to eat healthy.”

My personal favorite is “I just don’t have the time to workout.” LOL! I have the same 24 hours that that person does and I manage to work a full and part time job, give my wife and son the attention they deserve, and workout EVERYDAY!

People are constantly looking for the “Secret” or something that will give them that extra edge. Doesn’t matter if it’s a diet, workout or supplement. “THE ONLY THING YOU NEED TO ACHIEVE FITNESS IS YOUR BODY, A MINDSET OF REFUSING TO QUIT, AND WHOLE HEALTHY FOODS THAT YOU PUT INTO YOUR BODY.”

Don’t fall into the trap of trying to use science as a crutch to make up for lack of workout effort and nutritional discipline. An example of this is someone that uses a “Fat Burner” and their Nutrition isn’t spot on. It's like eating a combination pizza and a “Diet” soda…What’s the point?

There is a saying that I absolutely love:


What does this mean? You can't burn enough calories in a day to make up for poor nutritional choices. The calories it takes you an hour to burn can be ingested in 30 seconds! Not really fair, but it's the hand we have been given!

Want me to make it simple?


Do both of those things every day, for the rest of your life. Stop making excuses and start taking responsibility for your own Fitness!!!

The Key to real Health and Fitness is consistency. Most people lack the commitment to get in shape and really make a difference in their lives.

We live in a world of fast food results. We want our food NOW! (Why do fast food restaurants serve more people daily than any other type of restaurant? Why do people continue to eat there, even though they KNOW for a fact that there is nothing that could be worse for them and their health?) We want results NOW! When it doesn't happen we get frustrated and start looking for other ways to do it.

We want the quick fix. Six Pack Abs in 6 weeks! Get ripped for summer with the latest routine and diet in Muscle & Fitness magazine. Magazines LOADED with the latest supplements to add muscle, get rid of fat quicker than the next guy. Are they concerned with our health or making money? Clearly it is the ladder.

That is why Beachbody Products are such a blessing for all of us. Fitness first. REAL programs and supplements that WORK! We need to think beyond 90 days from now. Think 5, 10, 20 years from now!

All that really matters is how long we live and how healthy we are during that lifespan. Our health is precious and we need to take care of it.

Do everything TODAY to give yourself the best chance to live a long and productive life. Then replicate it tomorrow!

Fitness success comes from relentless hard work. Once you have it, you need to work to keep it. If you don’t it leaves allot quicker than it took to achieve it. Train hard. Be proud of your Fitness and don't apologize for it!

Get in shape and then NEVER put yourself in a position where you have to “Get back in shape.”

Train to be ready for ANYTHING that might come your way. Running, swimming, and obstacle course, a pick up football game at a Family Reunion.

I hope it never happens to any of us but what are we going to do if we have to swim out into the ocean to save a loved one, or your Family is involved in a car accident and you are forced to “run” to get assistance? Will you be ready? That is not the time to wish you had paid your dues with your workouts and nutrition.

Granted, those are worst case scenarios but if you prepare for the worst, you will be prepared for anything.

Build strong, flexible, muscles, improve your cardiovascular Fitness, and burn calories.

LEAN AND MEAN rules the day.

CHALLENGE your heart and lungs everyday! True “MASS APPEAL” is a lean, trim, physique with long flexible muscles. It contributes to our overall health and longevity and makes us look and feel better!


Don't let your GOALS become your limits. It's easy to “relax” once you have achieved a goal. Don't waste time and let what you have achieved slip away slowly. Set new goals and then set out to accomplish them! Move forward and really see what you are made of and what you can accomplish!

One of my favorite quotes:


It's not how much weight you lift, it's how hard you work when you lift it. Remember, we are not just training for today but for many years down the road. Pay particular attention to your ABS and lower back. Your CORE is the key to your future health and fitness.

What you do today affects the rest of your life. We want to look and feel good right now, but we also want to look and feel good when we are eighty. Our lives are the sum total of our daily activities.

Are your activities going to be positive and healthy, or negative and unhealthy? The choice is ours.

What should be EVERYONE’S goal?


Strive for daily improvement. Vow to get better every day. Forget about the past and don’t worry about the future. Concentrate on the present, what you can control RIGHT NOW.

If you improve your Fitness today, the future will take care of itself...

Even the best exercise plan can be destroyed by eating too much or eating the wrong types of foods. Eating a dessert can add more calories than you could hope to burn in an intense hour long workout.

Scary as it is, you could ruin your entire day of nutrition and hard work in your workouts in less than 5 minutes by eating junk food.

Exercise: Body Weight
130 lbs. 155 190
Calories Burned in 1 hour
Calisthenics (such as Total Body PLUS, a
P90X®Plus routine), vigorous effort 472 593 690

(1) 100 gram Kit Kat Candy bar has the following “Nutritional Value”
a. 520 calories
b. 32 grams of fat
c. 46 grams of sugar

Depending on your body weight by eating ONE candy bar you have exceeded or almost exceeded ONE hour of a Butt Kicking workout like
P90X® Total Body Plus.

It doesn’t need to be a candy bar. It could be a forkful of our kids macaroni and cheese followed by a “small” chocolate and “Only one soda”. It all adds up and before you know it you have taken in hundreds of extra calories that you don’t need.

Believe me, I know because I did the same thing. I had to fight each day to reclaim my “Abs” and conditioning. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

No more excuses. No more , “Well it was only something small, it won’t hurt me.” You better believe it will. Make no mistake about that. Once you get into the habit of having “something small” every once in while, it quickly becomes every day.

Am I saying NEVER eat cake or candy again? Of course not. Make it a special treat, like at a Birthday Party or Holiday, not something you do because you are bored.

No More Excuses, make a difference in your future...TODAY!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Set up your DB's under a chin up bar (I do it so I have to jump up to the bar). I used 30 lb DB's when I did it.
  1.   Place the DB's on the ground. Stand between them, squat down, deadlift them.
  2.   Drop down and do 1 full Manmaker all the way back up to the thruster.
  3.   Set the DB's back on the ground and jump up to the pull up bar. Do 5 pull-ups (You can do jumping pull-ups if need be) immediately followed by 5 knee to elbows (stay on the bar if possible).
That entire sequence equals 1 rep. Do the entire sequence 9 more times for a total of 10 reps of: deadlift, manmaker, pull up, KTE.

Once you have reached rep 10, pick up a 45 Lb plate and do 10 overhead plate lunges.

Now go back and do 10 more reps of the sequence, this time incorporating 3 pull ups followed by 3 KTE's. Once you hit 10, grab the plate again and do the OH lunges.

Go back for a third time and do the 10 rep sequence again, this time with only 1 pull up/1 KTE incorporated. Finish up and grab the plate for the 10 OH lunges and you're done.

10* (deadlift, manmaker, 5 pull-ups, 5kte)
10 OH lunges
10* (deadlift, manmaker, 3 pull-ups, 3kte)
10 OH lunges
10* (deadlift, manmaker, 1 pull-up, 1kte)
10 OH lunges

That's 30 deadlifts, 30 manmakers, 90 pull-ups, 90 kte and 30 lunges when it's all said and done!

It takes about 30 minutes to complete, and it WILL suck the life out of you!!!

Fight Gone Bad

In this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute. This is a five-minute round from which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. The stations are:

THREE Rounds of:

  1. Wall-ball: 20 pound ball, 10 ft target. (Reps) - 45lb Barbell Thrusters, or 20 lb DB Thrusters can be substituted
  2. Sumo Deadlift High Pulls: 75 pounds (Reps)
  3. Box Jump: 20" box (Reps)
  4. Push Press: 75 pounds (Reps)
  5. Row: calories (Calories)
The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. On call of "rotate," the athlete/s must move to next station immediately for good score. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower where each calorie is one point.

Filthy Fifties

- For time:
  • 50 Box jump, 24-inch box
  • 50 Jumping pull-ups
  • 50 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood
  • Walking Lunge, 50 steps
  • 50 Knees to elbows OR 50 Ab-Mat Sit-ups
  • 50 Push press, 45 pounds
  • 50 Back extensions
  • 50 Wall ball shots, 20-pound ball
  • 50 Burpees
  • 50 Double-unders

Burpee Bedlam

- For time:
Pick your own weight for DB’s, and have at it. Loads of Fun!

30 burpees
30 db deadlifts

30 burpees
30 db cleans

30 burpees
30 db presses

30 burpees
30 db push presses

30 burpees
30 db jerks

30 burpees
30 db swings

30 burpees
30 db sumo deadlift high pulls

30 burpees
30 db snatches left/hand

30 burpee
30 db snatches right/hand

30 burpees
30 manmakers


  1. Start in the push-up position with hands on db's, complete a push up.
  2. Row one of the db's after you're in the up position of the push-up, then place db back on the ground and do another push-up.
  3. Repeat 2) but with your other arm performing the row at up portion of push-up
  4. Jump your feet near your hands (just like a squat thrust).
  5. Clean and Press the db's.
  6. After the press bring db's to waist height and squat down until you can rest db's on deck slightly in front of your body.
  7. Jump back into push up position and repeat.

Bodyweight Conditioning Routine

20 seconds on, 20 seconds rest until you've completed the circuit. Repeat Three Times.

First round will seem easy. Third round will seem hard. This can be as easy or as hard as you want to make it!!!

  1.   Push ups
  2.   Mountain climbers
  3.   Burpees
  4.   Running in place - with high knees. No dogging it.
  5.   Bodyweight squats - Optional: hold a medicine ball or 20 lb DB.
  6.   Chin ups or Pull-ups
  7.   Dips or Bench dips
  8.   Inverted rows
  9.   Plyo Lunges (Mary Catherine’s). - Optional: hold a medicine ball or 20 lb DB.
  10.   Single leg hip extension (lying on your back, one foot on the ground with knee bent, lift other leg at a 45 degree angle, lift glutes off the ground, then lower back down to ground. Keep lifting and lowering for the 20 seconds, then switch legs and do another 20 seconds
  11.   Reverse (step back) lunge
  12.   Plank position with alternating single leg raise (raise one leg up behind you at 45 degree angle, or as high as you can go, replace, raise other leg, keep alternating legs for 20 seconds). Alternate legs quickly.
  13.   Side plank position with single leg raise. Hold for 20 seconds - switch sides/legs

30 minute Bodyweight Challenge

Do the following circuit, with no rest or as little rest as possible between exercises. When you complete the circuit, repeat it until 30 minutes as elapsed. Count the total reps performed during the 30 minute time period. Try to increase the number of reps each time you perform the challenge.
  • Pull-ups – 5 reps
  • Jumps – 10 reps
  • Close grip push-ups – 15 reps
  • Walking lunges – 10 reps (both legs = 1 rep)
  • Chin-ups (5 reps)
  • Mountain Climbers – 10 reps (both sides = 1 rep)
  • Inverted row -10 reps
  • 1-leg deadlift -10 reps per leg
  • Bicycle crunch -25 reps (both sides = 1 rep)
  • Step-ups – 15 reps
  • Decline push-ups – 10 reps

10x10 DB Circuit

Pick a dumbbell that is 30% of the weight that you would use for DB chest presses at 10 reps. So if you chest press with 100lb DB's, then you’d pick 30 lb DB's for this circuit. Perform all exercises back to back with no/little rest. Tempo: 1-0-1. Do 10 reps of each exercise (10 reps per side for unilateral exercises). Rest 2 minutes after the first circuit, then repeat up to 3 more times.
  1.   DB Bulgarian split squat
  2.   DB shoulder press (unilateral)
  3.   DB step up
  4.   DB chest press
  5.   DB row (bent over row, both arms at the same time)
  6.   DB lunge
  7.   DB swing
  8.   DB shrug
  9.   DB incline press
  10.   DB squat
Be conscious of grip issues, particularly at the end of #8, since #5, 6 and 8 are clustered together and challenge the grip. CB did this circuit with 30 lb DB's and he found that weight to be challenging for him.

Another one would be our old buddy Plyo X, modified to trim it down to 30 minutes. I’m thinking in particular of all the squat variations in that routine. Granted, there isn’t any upper body in there, but its still a kick ass workout.