Tuesday, April 26, 2011

04/23/11 - 04/26/11

Due to lack of time, I have not been blogging here lately.  I have still been working out like a Primal Animal, but I have not had time to post or mess with fitday.

Sunday was the beginning of Week 6, and I have stuck to the plan!

I "may" begin a new Round of INSANITY starting next week. If not, I will start it on Week 10

Friday, April 22, 2011


Today's Workout: Kettlebell Swings, Box Jumps & Sprints
  • KB Swings - 5x10 (50 lb KB)
  • Box Jumps - 5x10 (24" box)
  • Power Rowing - 5 sets ALL OUT (496, 500, 508 High, 481 Low, 486)
30 seconds rest between sets for KB Swings and Box Jumps, 45-60 seconds rest between Power Rowing sets 

Legs SMOKED, energy TAPPED!

    Thursday, April 21, 2011


    Today's Workout: Upper Body
    • Weighted Pull-ups - 5x5 (+50 lb Kettlebell)
    • One Arm Push-ups - 5x10 per side (WN)
    • High Rows - 1x10
    • High Rows - 1x10
    • Weighted Dips - 1x5 (+20 lb Kettlebell)
    • High Rows - 1x10
    • High Rows - 1x10
    • Weighted Dips - 1x5 (+35 lb Kettlebell)
    • Rest
    • Repeat sequence 4 TIMES
    Also did P90X® "Ab Ripper X" - 25 reps/exercise

    Perfect Primal Diet Day!

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011


    Today is a scheduled REST Day

    Perfect Primal Diet Day!

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011


    Today's Workout: Squats: 5x5, plus 3x10
    • Warm up: BWx10 , 45x10 , 95x5, 135x5
    • 185x5
    • 200x5 - 4 sets
    • 165x10 - 3 sets
    Primal Diet was excellent. I ate more than usual though.

      INSANITY: THE ASYLUM™ Has Arrived!


      Monday, April 18, 2011


      Today's Workout: Upper Body
      • Weighted Pull-ups - 1x5 (+50 lb) 
      • Weighted Pull-ups - 4x5 (+55 lb) 
      • Weighted Pull-ups - 2x8 (+25 lb)
      • Bench Press - 3x5
      • Incline Bench Press - 3x5 
      • Dips 3x10 (BW) --- need to do Weighted Dips next time
      • Hammer Strength Iso High Row - 3x10 (75/side)
      • Hammer Strength Iso Row - 1x8 --- it aggravated my left arm
      • Seated Row 2x10 --- this also aggravated my left arm. 
      • Hammer Strength Shoulder Press 2x10 (45/side)
      I need to find a solution to the Seated Row exercise.  I may have to do it one arm at a time to get the right angle.  If not, I will have to double up on the Iso High Rows.

      Back to being Perfect with Primal eating!

      Sunday, April 17, 2011


      Today's Workout: One On One "Fountain of Youth YOGA"

      Suz and I got back from our trip from Harrisburg, Hershey, and Downingtown PA later than expected, so we decided to do Yoga together. GREAT workout!

      I was supposed to do Upper Body (PULL) today, and Upper Body (PUSH) tomorrow, but instead, I will do a complete upper body routine. I'm not sure what just yet...I'll figure that out in the morning.

      Although it seemed like we may have overindulged in good food and drink all weekend,  it was not nearly as bad as I thought; only 133 grams of Carbs on Sat (120 net), and only 90 grams today (82 net). Sure alcohol was present, but I only had 3 drinks Sat and only one today. That will be it for me until next Saturday. I plan on eating extra clean this week!

      Saturday, April 16, 2011


      Today is a scheduled REST Day
      Suz and I are heading to Harrisburg PA for the weekend. Lots of eating, drinking and playing will take place - Heehee!!!

      I'll either workout Sunday morning with Suz, or I'll do so when I return Sunday afternoon.

      Friday, April 15, 2011


      Today's Workout: Squats, Box Jumps & Sprints
      • Pause Squats (3 second hold at bottom, then explode up) - 5x5 (135lbs)
      • Box Jumps - 5x10 (24" box)
      • Power Rowing - 5 sets ALL OUT (480, 498 High, 478, 471 Low, 486)
      Good Primal Diet Day, but I did have 8 wings and 2 beers in the evening. I still stayed below 90 grams of carbs...86.4 to be exact, 71.4 NET (fiber taken out), so again, I'll take it. I was in vacation mode in my head...I'm not used to having 2 days off, like I am this Saturday and Sunday, so I started early. Plus, I was hanging with my son, and he appreciates QCB as well.

        Thursday, April 14, 2011


        Today's Workout: Upper Body 5x5's
        • Weighted Pull-ups - 5x5 (+50 lb Kettlebell)
        • One Arm Push-ups - 5x5 per side
        • 2 minute rest between supersets
        • Weighted Pull-ups - 1x8  (+25 lb Kettlebell) - done very slowly (negatives)
          The following supersets will have 45 seconds rest between each pairing:
          • High Rows - 1x10
          • Amazing Spiderman Push-ups (12/side)
          • High Rows - 1x10
          • Iso Climber Push-ups (18)
          • High Rows - 1x10
          • Dive Bomb Push-ups (14)
          Take an extra 1 minute water break here
          • Low Rows - 1x10
          • One Arm Balance Push-ups (10/side)
          • Low Rows - 1x10
          • Diamond Push-ups (20)
          • Low Rows - 1x10
          • Pike Press (18)
          • Y-Press 2x8
          Also P90X® Abs Core PLUS

          DEFINITELY, my most demanding routine of the week! PUMPED!!!

          Good Primal Diet Day, but I did have 10 wings and 2 beers in the evening. I still stayed below 100 grams of carbs...91 to be exact, 78.1 NET (fiber taken out), so I'll take it. Beside, it was a special occasion.

          Wednesday, April 13, 2011


          Today is a scheduled REST Day

          As usual (lately), my diet was perfect - woohoo!

          Tuesday, April 12, 2011


          • ½ lb Prawns or Shrimp
          • 4 Slices of Hickory or Applewood Smoked Bacon
          • 1 Clove of Garlic, finely chopped
          • Cajun Seasoning
          Clean, de-vein, and remove tails from the Prawns. Cut prawns into bite-sized pieces (If using large shrimp – cut in half). Apply an even coating of Cajun Seasoning. Set aside.

          Cut Bacon into ¾ inch pieces. In a skillet cook bacon over medium heat until half way done (about 5 Min.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add shrimp and sauté until shrimp is pink all the way through (about 5 minutes).  Serve over "Cauliflower Rice" or as is.

          Makes 2 servings


          Today's Workout: Squats: 5x5, plus 3x10
          • Warm up: BWx10 , 45x10 , 95x5, 135x5
          • 185x5
          • 195x5 - 4 sets
          • 155x10 - 3 sets
          Yet another PERFECT Primal Diet Day!

            Monday, April 11, 2011


            Today's Workout: Upper Body (PUSH)
            • One Arm Push-ups – 5x5/side
            • Amazing Spiderman Push-ups – 12/side
            • One Arm Balance Push-ups – 10/side
            • Iso Climber Push-ups – 16
            • Side Tri Rises – 15/side
            • Pike Press – 15
            • Diamond Push-ups – 20
            • Y-Press – 2 sets – 15, 15
            Also did P90X® "Ab Ripper X" - 25 reps/exercise- kept up with Tony and the gang today

            PERFECT Primal Diet Day!

              Sunday, April 10, 2011

              Parsnip Fries

              Parsnips, coconut oil, almond butter, and shredded coconut - DEELISH


              Today's Workout: Upper Body (PULL)
              • Pull-ups (BW) 1x10
              • Weighted Pull-ups (+20lb Kettlebell) 1x5
              • Weighted Pull-ups (+30lb Kettlebell) 1x5
              • Weighted Pull-ups (+40lb Kettlebell) 1x5
              • Weighted Pull-ups (+50lb Kettlebell) 5x5
              • Weighted Pull-ups (+25lb Kettlebell) 2x10
              • High Rows (with bands) 4x10
              • Seated Rows (with bands) 4x10

              Perfect Primal Day as far as diet was concerned as well

              Saturday, April 9, 2011

              04/09/11 Weekly Update

              Click to Enlarge


              Today was an unscheduled, but much needed REST Day

              Saturday's are just NOT a good workout day for me. As long as I am working from 9am-3pm, I am gonna just take the rest.

              I DO get in between 15-20 miles of walking (and stair climbing) throughout the week, in addition to 5 grueling worksout6s, so my body can use it anyway.

              Diet was perfect all day, but I decided to split 3 really good beers with Suz (1.5 each). We made the Parsnip Fries from the PB User Created Coconut Cookbook to go along with the chicken, and they were deelish!!

              Friday, April 8, 2011


              Today's Workout: Sprints - Concept II Rower
              10 Rounds of Power Rowing --- 15-20 seconds ALL OUT --- goal was Maximum "Watts" --- 40-45 second rest between sprints
              • 424
              • 403 - Low score
              • 433
              • 447
              • 434
              • 446
              • 449
              • 431
              • 460
              • 471 - Highest score on final round
              My highest score ever was 557...a couple years back.

              Primal Diet was dead spot on yet again!

              Thursday, April 7, 2011


              Today's Workout: Upper Body 5x5's
              • Weighted-ups - 5x5 (+40 lb Kettlebell
              • One Arm Push-ups - 5x5 per side
              • 2 minute rest between supersets
              The following supersets will have 45 seconds rest between each pairing:
              • High Rows - 1x10
              • Amazing Spiderman Push-ups (20)
              • High Rows - 1x10
              • Iso Climber Push-ups (15)
              • High Rows - 1x10
              • Dive Bomb Push-ups (12)
              Take an extra 1 minute water break here
              • Low Rows - 1x10
              • One Arm Balance Push-ups (9/side)
              • Low Rows - 1x10
              • Combat Push-ups (65 seconds)
              • Low Rows - 1x10
              • Pike Press (13)
              • Y-Press (15)
              Also P90X® Abs Core PLUS

              Diet was perfect! Today, I ate the most food I have in quite some time. I find it VERY difficult to eat this much, since the foods I eat are very satisfying to begin with. Click on the pic below to enlarge

              Wednesday, April 6, 2011


              Today is a scheduled, and much needed REST Day

              Diet was perfect all day, but I decided to have ONE really good beer.

              Tuesday, April 5, 2011


              Today's Workout: Squats: 5x5, plus 3x10
              • Warm up: BWx15 , 45x10 , 135x5
              • 190x5 - 5 sets
              • 145x10 - 3sets
              • 500 meter cool down on the Concept II Rower
              Diet was perfect again today! It was extremely difficult to fight off the strong urges I had ALL day to consume a tasty craft beer, but I resisted.

              Monday, April 4, 2011


              Today's Workout: Upper Body (PUSH)
              • Standard Push-ups - 25
              • Wide Fly Push-ups - 20
              • One Arm Push-ups - 10/side ---> extra 1-minute break
              • One Arm Balance Push-ups - 10/side
              • Amazing Spiderman Push-ups - 9/side
              • Frog Push-ups- 18 ---> extra 1-minute break
              • Combat Push-ups - 9
              • O Crunch Push-ups - 10
              • Iso Climber Push-ups -12 ---> extra 1-minute break
              • Dive Bomb Push-ups- 12
              • Diamond Push-ups - 12
              • Military Push-ups- 15 ---> extra 1-minute break
              • 2 Twitch Speed Push-ups - 3/4, 3/4
              • Double Double Dip Will Do Ya - 5/5
              • Pike Press - 10
              • Y Press - 10
              I derived/created this new workout from 3 different P90X® routines. The goal here was two-fold:
              1. I wanted to BLAST the Chest, Shoulders and Triceps
              2. I wanted to perform the exercises in a specific order for better results
              For example, the One Arm Push-ups appear at the END of the P90X® "Chest Shoulders and Triceps" routine, but by the time I get to that exercise, my triceps are already smoked, so I can only do them with my knees on the floor. By performing this exercise early in the routine, I can get a lot more out of it. The same can be said for some of the other more challenging exercises.

              Diet was Perfect!

              Full List of Routines

              I will continue to update this post (and bring it to the top) as routines are added

              12 Week Program for 2011 
              A Great Warm-up
              Bodyweight  Conditioning Routine
              Burpee Bedlam 
              Concept II Rower Routines
              Crossfit Routines
              DB Bear Complexes and The Bear
              Full Timed Intervals
              Fight Gone Bad
              Filthy Fifties
              Mass/Strength Routine
              Mass/Strength Routine II
              Mass/Strength Routine III
              Max Effort Black Box (MEBB)
              Metabolic Pairings
              Primal Blueprint Fitness
              Squats, Box Jumps & Sprints
              Upper Body 5x5's
              Upper Body (PUSH) Blaster
              10x10 DB Circuit
              30 Minute Bodyweight Challenge
              96 Day Routine
              100 Day Routine

              Sunday, April 3, 2011

              Primal Coconut Dinner

              Coconut Pecan Crusted Chicken Strips with a Creamy Coconut Sauce, and oven roasted Asparagus, PLUS Homemade Coconut Milk Ice Cream with Roasted Pecans


              Today's Workout: Upper Body (PULL)
              • Pull-ups (BW) 1x10
              • Weighted Pull-ups (+10lb Kettlebell) 1x5
              • Weighted Pull-ups (+15lb Kettlebell) 1x5
              • Weighted Pull-ups (+20lb Kettlebell) 1x5
              • Weighted Pull-ups (+25lb Kettlebell) 4x5
              • Weighted Pull-ups (+35lb Kettlebell) 2x5
              • Pull-ups (BW) 1x10
              • High Rows (with bands) 3x10
              • Seated Rows (with bands) 3x10
              Stepped it up BIG TIME compared to last week!

              Also did P90X® "Ab Ripper X" - 20 reps/exercise

              Great Primal Day! For dinner Suz and I made Coconut Pecan Crusted Chicken Strips with a Creamy Coconut Sauce, oven roasted Asparagus, and some homemade Coconut Milk Ice Cream with Roasted Pecans for dessert. Very low carb and deelish!

              Total Carbs: 77.6 grams
              Net Carbs: 62 grams

              12 Week Program for 2011

              Week 1-6
              • Sunday: *Upper Body (PULL) & P90X® Ab Ripper X
              • Monday: *Upper Body (PUSH)
              • Tuesday: SQUATS
              • Wednesday: Rest, or P90X® Stretch
              • Thursday: P90X® Upper Body PLUS & Abs Core PLUS
              • Friday: SPRINTS - Concept II Rower
              • Saturday: P90X® Yoga
              Week 7 & 8
              • Sunday: *Upper Body (PULL) & P90X® Ab Ripper X
              • Monday: P90X® Chest
              • Tuesday: SQUATS and P90X® Abs Core PLUS
              • Wednesday: Rest, or P90X® Stretch
              • Thursday: P90X® Total Body PLUS
              • Friday: SPRINTS - Concept II Rower
              • Saturday: One on One Fountain of Youth Yoga
              Week 9
              • Sunday: *Upper Body (PULL) & P90X® Ab Ripper X
              • Monday: P90X® Chest, Shoulders & Triceps
              • Tuesday: SQUATS and P90X® Abs Core PLUS
              • Wednesday: Rest, or P90X® Stretch
              • Thursday: P90X® Total Body PLUS
              • Friday: SPRINTS - Concept II Rower
              • Saturday: One on One Fountain of Youth Yoga
              Week 10 - 12
              • Sunday: *Total Body (STRENGTH)
              • Monday: Rest, or P90X® Stretch
              • Tuesday: *Total Body (CONDITIONING)
              • Wednesday: Rest, or P90X® Stretch
              • Thursday: *Total Body (STRENGTH)
              • Friday: Rest, or P90X® Stretch
              • Saturday: *Total Body (CONDITIONING)
              * Can be any combination of Free Weights, Body Weight Conditioning Exercises, P90X® Routines, Crossfit, etc - varies EVERY week

              AFTER 12 weeks, I will switch it up with my Mass/Strength Routine II

              Concept II Rower Workouts


              Interval Sprints
              Sprinting, in one form or another, should be done once per week.

              Warm Up
              • 250 Meters, at a slow pace
              • Stretch
              • Another 250 Meters, at a slow pace
              • 15 second sprint, followed by 45 seconds of Rest. Repeat every minute on the minute for 6 rounds, progressing to 9 or 10 rounds, and or adjust the interval to 20/40
              • Use either the "Watts" or "500/M" settings to gauge you intensity level
              • 30 second sprint, followed by 30 seconds of Rest. Repeat every minute on the minute for 9 or 10 rounds
              • Use either the "Watts" or "500/M" settings to gauge you intensity level
              Tabata Sprints (Advanced)
              • 20 Seconds of ALL-OUT Effort, followed by 10 seconds of Rest. Repeat 8 x for a total of 4 minutes
              • It does not matter which setting you use. If you are truly going ALL OUT, you will not be looking at it anyway. You will be going into survival mode!!!
              Power Rowing (My personal favorite)
              • Using the "Watts" setting, row as hard and powerfully as you can for 15- 20 seconds. Try to get the highest wattage number you can. Do this for 10 rounds
              • Take your highest and lowest score, and discard the the others. Your goal is to beat that the next time
              250 Meters Sprints
              • Using the 500/m setting do 5-7 Rounds as fast as you can, with 1 minute breaks between sets
              • Take your best and worst time, and discard the the others. Your goal is to beat that the next time
              500 Meter Psuedo Sprints
              • Using the 500/m setting do 5-7 Rounds as fast as you can, with 1 minute breaks between sets
              • Take your best and worst time, and discard the the others. Your goal is to beat that the next time
              5000 Meters
              • For time
              Cool Down
              • 500 Meters, at a slow pace
              • Stretch

              Saturday, April 2, 2011

              04/02/11 Weekly Update

              For the last 2 weeks:

              Click to Enlarge

              I am starting to see visible results. There has been a dramatic reduction of body fat. My weight has only dropped slightly. My muscles look fuller and more defined! And it's ONLY 2 week in!!!

              EDIT: 0n 04/06/11, I discovered that I had forgotten to add the Animal Pack Vitamins, and the Fish Oil Pills I've been taking for more than half of the days represented. Therefore ALL of calories and nutritional info is is higher than shown here, which is a good thing.

              How to Gain Weight and Build Muscle

              - From Mark's Daily Apple

              So you wanna put on some lean muscle mass. And you want to do it within the context of the Primal Blueprint, but aren’t sure where to start. It’s a common question and it’s about time I addressed it head on.

              As I’ve made pretty clear, our ultimate goal is to achieve positive gene expression, functional strength, optimum health, and extended longevity. In other words: To make the most out of the particular gene set you inherited. These are my end goals, and I’ve modeled the PB Laws with them in mind. But that doesn’t mean packing on extra muscle can’t happen with additional input. After I retired from a life of chronic cardio and started living Primally, I added 15 pounds of muscle, while keeping low body fat levels without really trying, so it’s absolutely possible for a hardgainer to gain some. The question is how much and at what expense?

              I’d be the first to tell you that lean body mass is healthier than adipose tissue. Generally, the more lean mass a person has, the longer and better they live. But to increase mass at the expense of agility, strength, or speed is, in my opinion, counterproductive. What would Grok do – go for enormous biceps or the ability to haul a carcass back to camp? Unless you’re a bodybuilder (nothing wrong with that, mind you; it’s just not my focus), I can’t advise simply packing on size without a proportional increase in actual strength. Those bulging biceps might look good on the beach, but then again, so does the body that comes with keeping up with the younger guys, knocking out twenty pull-ups in a row, and lifting twice your bodyweight. Form is best paired with a healthy serving of function. The two are quite delicious together, and, luckily, following the PB allows us to get both without sacrificing either.

              Of course, we’re all built a little differently. The basic building blocks are the same in everyone, but sexual reproduction (as opposed to asexual reproduction) has the funny habit of producing unique genetics and small variations that affect the way we respond to our environments. It’s why some people are short and some are tall, or why some of us respond better to carbohydrates than others. Even though we all pretty much operate the same way, there IS a range of possible outcomes that is proscribed by your direct ancestors. By that same token, some people just naturally have more muscle mass. They’re usually innately more muscular than the average person, and putting more on through resistance training is often an easy task. Then there are those who can’t seem to gain a pound: the hardgainers. They might be increasing strength, but it doesn’t seem to translate into visible muscle mass. Now, my initial advice for a hardgainer is this – don’t worry too much about it! As long as you’re getting stronger, you’re doing it right.

              Let’s face it, though. You’ve probably heard that enough already. It’s fun being the lanky guy at the gym who can lift more than most, but you’re dead set on bulking up (who doesn’t like a bit more muscle to go along with that strength?), and you want to do it in a Primal context. Besides, continuing to increase strength will eventually require increasing size. To do so, you have to target the very same anabolic hormones that others use to get big, only with even more enthusiasm and drive. Like I said, we all have similar engines, but some require more fuel and more efficient driving (sorry for the corny analogy). Activating these hormones will work for anyone, provided they work hard and eat enough food.

              The main hormones that contribute to muscle anabolism are testosterone, growth hormone (GH), and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). A little more about each and how to utilize them:


              Crazy bodybuilders don’t inject themselves with anabolic steroid hormones that are based on testosterone for nothing. Among other roles, testosterone is an important muscle-building growth factor that favorably affects protein synthesis in addition to working with other hormones (like GH and IGF-1) to improve their function (more on this later). If you want to increase strength and build muscle, testosterone is absolutely required (don’t worry, though: no injections necessary!).

              Growth Hormone

              It’s right there in the name, isn’t it? Growth hormone. It helps muscle grow and, perhaps more importantly, it burns body fat. After all, leaning out is a big part of building muscle (or else you’ll just look puffy) and GH will help you do it.

              Insulin-like Growth Factor 1

              IGF-1 is extremely similar in effect to GH, as it should be – GH stimulates IGF-1 production in the liver. In fact, it’s suspected that IGF-1 is actually responsible for most of the “growth-promoting effects of circulating GH.”

              Anabolic hormones all work together. In fact, to maximize their muscle-building potential, you must have all three present. Testosterone increases IGF-1, but only in the presence of GH. GH promotes skeletal muscle cell fusion independent of IGF-1, but the two are most effective in concert. Luckily for you, the types of exercises that stimulate the secretion of one will generally stimulate the secretion of the others. Funny how that works out, huh?

              Enter The Central Nervous System

              In order for your body to start pumping out these delicious anabolic hormones, you must first give it a reason to do so. I might even say you should give your genes a reason to express themselves. The most effective way to do this is by notifying the central nervous system. Now, the CNS can be a stubborn bastard, but he’s all you got when it comes to interpreting stimuli and relaying messages to the rest of the body. He’s not easily perturbed, and he won’t bother if you aren’t serious. If you insist on doing nothing but light aerobics or tiny isolation exercises, your CNS will barely notice. If you want to get your CNS’ attention, pick up the intensity. Run some sprints or do some heavy lifting. When you do an exercise like the squat with a heavy weight, all hands are on deck. Your CNS realizes that some serious exercising is going down and notifies the hypothalamus, which in turn talks to your pituitary gland. This tiny – but vital – member of the endocrine system is the gland that dispatches luteinizing hormones to tell the testicles to secrete testosterone. It’s also the gland that synthesizes and secretes GH. IGF-1 is mostly produced by the liver, but its production is facilitated by the presence of GH, so we can see that it all comes down to CNS stimulation. Chronic cardio doesn’t affect your CNS in any meaningful way, so that’s why we tend to avoid it; vigorous sprints, hard and heavy lifting, and anaerobic output will get its attention, so do plenty of these to maximize muscle growth.

              Cortisol: A Hormone to Avoid

              Promoting muscle and strength growth also requires avoiding excess amounts of catabolic (muscle wasting) hormones like cortisol. Cortisol is the major stress hormone, and it exists for a very legitimate reason (dealing with “flight or fight” incidents, inadequate sleep, anxiety), but in large amounts cortisol increases serum amino acids by breaking down muscle, inhibiting protein synthesis and reducing amino acid uptake by the muscles – all awful things for muscle growth. Compounding the problem even further, the broken-down muscle is converted into blood glucose, which then raises insulin secretion and increases insulin resistance while promoting fat storage. And we all know how great those muscles look with a nice layer of adipose tissue covering them up! On a serious note, most people following the PB already minimize cortisol by getting plenty of sleep and reducing stress, but if you’re preoccupied with building muscle mass and engaging in extended workout sessions to achieve it, avoiding excess cortisol can get tricky: excessive exercise without enough recovery time actually increases cortisol. It makes sense (think of it like your body’s telling you it needs a day or two off), but the desire for more muscle mass drives many to work out to the point of counter-productivity. Just be careful, and give yourself at least a day of rest after a particularly grueling session.

              Lift Really Heavy Things

              If you haven’t figured it out already, you’re going to be doing some heavy lifting in order to put on lean mass. The foundation of your routine should be the big compound lifts: squats, deadlifts, presses (bench and overhead), pull-ups, rows, dips, snatches, power cleans, clean and jerks. These engage multiple muscles while triggering your hormonal response systems. Bodyweight stuff, while valuable, simply isn’t going to get you the strength and mass increases you’re looking for. Testosterone, while useful, only gets really anabolic when you start lifting. You need to get under some decent weight, enough so that your CNS and endocrine system are blasted, but not so much that you can’t maintain proper form.

              A popular routine is the 5×5 method. Popularized by programs like StrongLifts and Starting Strength, doing compound lifts for five sets of five reps allows you to strike a balance between strength building and superficial muscle hypertrophy. Done this way, your hypertrophy won’t be purely sarcoplasmic, which results in fluid-filled muscles that look big but don’t see a corresponding increase in actual strength. Instead, the 5×5 method promotes myofibrillar hypertrophy: hard, dense muscle fibers that increase strength and size (with no puffiness). That’s real muscle that would make Grok proud.

              If you’re lifting heavy and lifting hard, keep your workouts spaced at least a day apart and don’t lift more than 3x/week. Three exercises per session should be perfect. That may not sound like much, but it’ll be plenty if you do it right. Remember, you’re doing big compound movements that will really shock your system, with an emphasis on intensity and power. You don’t want to overwork yourself, release a bunch of cortisol, and set yourself back a few weeks.

              Squats and deadlifts are absolutely required. No excuses. They engage the most muscles and produce the biggest hormonal response. They will be the bedrock of your mass building campaign. Most programs recommend doing squats every session, and I tend to agree. You can handle it. Deadlifts are a bit more taxing and so should be relegated to every other workout. So, one week you’ll deadlift once, the next week twice. You can also sub in power cleans for the occasional deadlifts (or do them in addition) if you’re comfortable with such a complex movement. Presses are paramount, both overhead and bench. I’d alternate both types of presses every session. Pull-ups are great, but weighted pull-ups are even better. Same goes for dips. Just try to get one pulling, one pushing, and one squatting exercise in each session.

              An example for beginners, with sets coming first in the sequence:

              Squat 5×5
              Pull-ups 5xFailure (add weight if “Failure” is becoming more than 12 reps)
              Overhead Press 5×5

              Squat 5×5
              Deadlift 1/2/3×5 (your choice; deadlifts can be incredibly taxing, and with exhaustion comes poor form, so be careful; sometimes it’s better to do a really heavy load for a single set)
              Bench Press 5×5

              Squat 5×5
              Pull-ups 5xFailure
              Overhead Press 5×5

              Do this sequence every week (maybe Monday, Wednesday, Friday) and steadily increase the weight each session. Once you’re making progress, feel free to add in other exercises like dips or more Olympic lifts. For more mass, more lactic “burn” (and more GH secretion), reduce your rest periods between sets or even superset them. If you feel like doing some cardio, stick to sprints once weekly, or even a Crossfit-style metcon (metabolic conditioning) workout, maybe some Tabata burpees. The key is conserving strength and giving your body time to rest and recover for the next round of squats, deadlifts, and presses.

              This “program” can be tweaked and altered. Just make sure you’re doing big movements while maintaining extreme intensity and great form. Oh, and always make sure to squat and deadlift. Always. They produce the most testosterone, GH, and IGF-1.

              Eat Lots (I Mean Lots) of Plants and Animals

              No one would ever call the Primal Blueprint a protein-sparing plan, but you’re going to have to eat even more than before. Stuff yourself. I always say that body composition is 80% diet, and that goes for putting on mass as well as losing fat. You need to provide plenty of protein for all those hormones to synthesize, after all.
              • Never let your protein intake go lower than 1g/lb of body weight when you are aiming to add long-term muscle. It’s the building block of muscle, and your body is going to be starving for it.
              • Eat plenty of saturated and monounsaturated fat. Fat blunts insulin secretion while increasing testosterone production. Insulin may be useful for stuffing your muscles full of glycogen, but that’s not what you’re going for… right?
              • Dietary fat, in conjunction with all the GH you’ll be producing, also spares muscle wasting.
              • You may have heard of the popular GOMAD method – Gallon of Milk a Day for easy mass-building. It undoubtedly works, but a gallon of milk isn’t exactly Primal and I can’t recommend it. Instead of milk, why not a dozen eggs a day? ADEAD? If you can manage it, eating them on top of your regularly scheduled meals is a great source of affordable protein, fat, and vitamins (Vitamin A in particular may have pro-anabolic effects).
              • Eat often. If you’re going for pure size and strength, fasted workouts and skipped PWO meals may not be the ticket. You’ll burn more fat with the extra GH secretion and existing muscle will be spared, but you may be missing the chance at prime protein synthesis when you fast. A PWO meal of protein and fat will still blunt the insulin secretion and provide fuel for your muscles.
              • Increase caloric intake. You’re going to be expending so much energy on the lifts (and you’ll continue to burn through it even on rest days) while eating clean, Primal foods (and keeping insulin low as ever) that fat accumulation shouldn’t be an issue at all. Eat!
              • On those days when you do expend a ton of energy – maybe on your metcon or sprint day – having a Primal-friendly starch, like squash or sweet potato, is a decent way to replenish depleted glycogen stores.
              • Eat a big piece of fatty meat every single day. Steak, whole chicken, lamb leg, organs, whatever. Just eat a solid piece of animal flesh for a powerful protein infusion on a daily basis.
              • A hardgainer is often someone who doesn’t eat enough. Sure, genes play a role, but you can ultimately have a significant say in how those genes rebuild you. To a point. Eat more and lift harder to grab the reins.

              I’m a firm believer in the body’s natural ability to achieve proper homeostasis, provided we supply the right environment and the right foods. For some of you, that might mean lower body mass, lower than you’d like. In my opinion, that amount of muscle is probably “right” for you and I wouldn’t recommend going above and beyond to achieve more of it… but I also wouldn’t condemn it, especially if it’s pursued in accordance with the Primal Laws. As for me, I am comfortable where I’m at and tend not to seek added mass (I’m also at a point where lifting heavy increases my risk of injury, and I HATE downtime). But if you are a hard-gainer looking to add a few, as long as it’s not just show muscle and you can actually lift some decent weight and at the very least manipulate your own body weight comfortably, eat those dozen eggs and gain that weight.


              My scheduled workout was P90X® Yoga, but my work day, the mishaps, and the planned activities for the evening completely killed that idea.

              I went to dinner with Suzanne to a friends house. We had a few drinks, and awesome salad, and a great big steak. As to not be rude, we also had a small amount of corn and mashed potatoes...and a small slice of strawberry shortcake for desert - heehee!!! Despite all of that, my carb intake wasn't TOO bad: 161 grams, 150 net - after factoring out the fiber.

              Friday, April 1, 2011


              Today's Workout: Sprints - Concept II Rower
              • 500 Meters in 1:58 - 1 minute rest
              • 250 Meters in 1:57 - 1 minute rest
              • 250 Meters in 1:59 - 90 second rest
              • 250 Meters in 2:05 - 90 second rest
              • 250 Meters in 2:03
              I started out thinking I would do 5-7 rounds of 500 meter psuedo-sprints with a one minute break in between sets. It quickly became apparent that I am not ready for that, as my conditioning is not what it once was, AND more specifically, my legs were SCREAMING!!

              When I was in the best shape of my life, my times were 500 Meters in 1:42 on the 1st round, and my 7th round was still 500 Meters in under 1:59, but as I said, I'm not there right now.

              I LOVE High-Intensity ALL-OUT Sprinting, and 500 Meters is too long to be considered sprinting in my opinion, so going forward I will focus on 250 Meters....as well as doing Tabata Sprints, and other Intervals to switch things up.

              Primal Diet was PERFECT today.
              • Carbs: 73.7
              • Fiber: 15.5
              • Net Carbs: 58.2
              Alcohol Consumption: ZERO

              P90X vs P90X+

              How P90X differs From P90X+ and how they compliment one another - taken from my P90X+X Hardgainers Thread

              P90X® is slightly superior to P90X+ in terms of it's ability to build muscle, P90X+ also includes a very important and essential element in determining actual muscle strength - ISOMETRICS.

              Isometric strength is the most "accurate" in terms of defining your true muscular strength. While you may not be getting all "ripped" from lifting those heavier weights like
              P90X®, the isometric exercises Tony focuses on in the P90X+ will harden those bulging biceps into "nuggets of steel." Any of the movements where Tony has us "stop and hold," the hanging ab/core exercise, or 360 - chattarunga, combat push-ups, etc. are all isometric focused, and while P90X might make us ripped, the X+ turns us into "steel." And I'll take a steel-hardened (maybe less-defined) muscle any day over a bulging "ripped" muscle.

              Isometrics will give your muscles "staying power" for the long haul. If you are an endurance athlete this is the kind of muscle development you want. Your muscles become like a coiled cobra, quick, springy, and full of force.

              Yes, I can't wait to do my next round of
              P90X®, because I know the "hidden" gains I've received from the P90X+ will reveal themselves in definition as I gain from doing the next round of the X.

              I do agree that if you're looking for "ripped" then P90X is the "gold-standard" but if you're looking for a "total body standard" of actual muscle strength then the additional component of P90X+ is the TITANIUM STANDARD (keeping with my steel metaphor).

              Both the X and the X+ are integral in a total body fitness synergy. I am truly excited to see how these two workouts combined over the course of the next two years defines, strengthens my body back into a lean-mean fighting machine.

              If you're looking at the results of size and definition as the components of success or standards for the P90X+ in comparison to the
              P90X® I do think you will wind up disappointed. But if you'll look at the process of the isometric conditioning as giving you TRUE muscular strength, then both P90X and P90X+ are the standard which all other exercise programs on the market will be measured against. And in my opinion there is nothing out there that even begins to touch these two without hiring your own private trainer - which we have in Tony (and a lot cheaper might I add).

              Further elucidation…

              The isometric function of the P90X+ routine is working in the "deeper layers" of our muscles, results that cannot necessarily be seen but they are there. For example, my transverse abdominus muscles (the deepest of the abs/core muscles) after the abs/core + workout, I can literally "feel" those muscles getting more developed and toned, like a flak jacket wrapping around my mid-section - I never had that feeling doing Ab Ripper X which seems to work my hip flexor/ab muscles more and my erector spinae (lower-back muscles). So abs/core+ is the perfect compliment to Ab Ripper X in my opinion.

              And I know and I can feel that those high intensity lower-weight upper body exercises, while I may not get "Swarzeneggerized" with X+, these isometrics are strengthening me "deeply & internally" laying a foundation that when I go back to
              P90X® those superficial muscles that are the ones we equate to being "ripped" will start really bulging and getting defined, with tensiled steel strength! I'm into power not necessarily pretty. Then I will cycle back and forth between the X and X+ and soon 1-on-1 workouts, which I am really excited about.

              We've got to have faith that Tony and the Beachbody Team know what he/they are doing. We've got to put out of our minds that the X is something more than the X+, or that X+ is something less than.

              In the same measure I would encourage those who feel that the X+ is not giving them the same kind of intensity/results workout to increase your intensity. Increase your weights, go deeper in your Spiderman push-ups, bring your knees higher on knee raises, do 1 extra pull-up, kick higher & harder, etc. PUSH YOURSELF! Push yourself beyond what you think you can do - you did it with
              P90X®, now do it with P90X+! What this is saying is that your body has reached a certain level of fitness as a result of P90X and in order to take it to the next level you've got to work harder and more intense - BRING IT!

              When you can stop comparing results you become freed from those results and 100% committed to the process of becoming truly totally fit and strong.

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