Thursday, July 22, 2010

Overhead Squats / Nutrition

Yesterday brought on a full day of overhead squatting.  I was excited for two reasons: one, I haven't worked on this one in a while and was very curious as to where I stood with it.  And two, my cousin Derrick came to town for 7 days to hang out, work out, and explore.  He's going to have a blast working out with me and the guys, going to the baseball games, checking out DC and Great Falls and so much more, really happy to have him in town for a while.

So, with the squat, I ran through all the points with all my guys, and most of them struggled through what I call (and a lot of you readers probably know) probably the most uncomfortable of all lifts. Some of them clicked with it, others had to fight through a few sets before it began to sink in how to hold their bodies so they could get it.  I was able to get 175# for 5 for my final set, and while i was shaking like crazy, I felt very good with it all around.  Happy with that for now.

So yeah, nutrition.  I may have mentioned a while back that I would be trying out this whole Paleo thing for a month.  And I am about 3 days out from completing that month with a whole slew of thoughts on this one.  First, as many of you may know, I am not actually a firm believer in the science of the Paleo diet.  The main points being that certain foods (grains really) have carcinogens in them that, if we were to not break them down through cooking or physical grinding, we would not be able to consume.  And because of this, they are not healthy for us to eat.  While this makes perfect sense on the whole, Paleo then proceeds to go into eating massive amounts of meat.  Now I challenge any of you to go out, kill yourself a large cow, skin that thing, and go to town.  Pretty sure you will get insanely sick, and potentially get a lot worse than that.  My point being, the breaking down of foods is needed with the fast majority of them (unless you go straight raw and only eat veggies, fruits and nuts).  Now, I know I, and many others could argue this on and on, and that is fine, I would be happy to.  But for the sake of this post, let's just say that Paleo is controversial in terms of overall health at the least.  In terms of fitness gains, well, I personally know a good deal of people who have had great success with fat loss and performance gains while sticking to a pretty strict Paleo diet.  Cool I say.  If it actually works for a fitness nut, then why not give it a try?  I really don't care too much (I DO care mind you, just not too much) about the science of something if it truly works.

One month of no dairy (easy enough, I don't consume dairy anyway), no grains of any kind, no refined sugar, little to no added sugar, lots of meats (read: animal products), veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds.  During this time I had two moments where I strayed:  My buddies wedding, I had a few extra drinks, my trip down to North Carolina where I had a couple cookies and goldfish crackers in the car.  Besides that, I have been pretty strict.  My personal critic of my plan thus far is that I could get still more veggies in, I could probably cut back on my nuts and olive intake (I am assuming my increase in consumption of those has a lot to do with my decrease/complete neglect of any grains), and I could probably afford to actually make more of my own food.  This last point is something I will be focusing on a lot more as I continue.

What I have come to in terms of me (I need to really strongly state that this is for me, and me alone, others will of course come to different conclusions) is that I need stronger carbohydrates in my diet.  Perhaps I can continue with this plan and really work on getting more veggies mixed in, perhaps I need to work on timing my fruit and protein intake a little better.  I will of course attempt this before I begin to incorporate grains back into my plan.  But, from past experience, when I tried gluten free for a little over three months, I returned to gluten and my performance just sky rocketed like crazy.  I think my body truly responds well to grains in some way shape or form.  My mind says to go ahead and bring in oats, some bread here and there, and some brown rice every now and again.  I will put money on my energy levels going up pretty high, and my numbers increasing like crazy.  I will know for sure in the next month as I continue!

I also consulted with a great nutritionist who gave me some great stuff to work with.  I will save a detailed post on this for next week sometime.

Now, it's off to the woods for a very fun workout with the football guys!

Never Stop, GET FIT.

Josh Courage

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