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My Results From The MI40 Transformation Contest

How Ripped Can You Get In 40 Days?

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I have not written for a while.  This is for a couple reasons, first life has been busy but more importantly second, I have been hitting the gym hard for the MI40 Transformation Contest.  Here are the pics, I will add my comments after.

MI40 Transformation Results Front

MI40 Transformation Challenge Results Front

MI40 Transformation Challenge Results Front
MI40 Transformation Challenge Results Front
Side

Side

Back

Back

 

This was a huge transformation, that I really can’t believe.  I didn’t think I was that bad to start with and it was going to be tough.  I don’t think I will win, there are probably some pretty high level bodybuilders that follow Ben’s program.  There were a couple things that prevented me from doing better.

First was a 10 day vacation at Disney world with my family.  Our hotel had an awesome gym but I only got 2 workouts in.  And trying to eat good when eating out every meal for 10 days is tough.  That on top of a couple nights of deserts.

Second thing was as much as I made this a priority, I still have a family and job and other things in life that are a much higher priority.  My sleep was good most of the time but could have been better.   My diet was almost perfect when we were home, mostly thanks to my awesome wife.

Last thing was the 2 gyms that I go to, neither of them have all the equipment that Ben puts in his program.  Most notably is a hack squat machine.  I usually replaced them with some sort of front squat usually in a smith machine, but you can’t over load the legs the same way.

My weight only went down about 2-3 pounds, which is good.  I will be adding in some more carbs the next while to add some more mass.

One thing to note is I did this all without counting any calories or macronutrient ratios.  I did keep carbs really low at certain times but never counted.  I followed my normal paleo with leangains style intermittent fasting.  If you want my specific eating routine and workout schedule sign up to my email list I will be sending it out sometime soon.

As for the blog, I am going to keep writing, hopefully writing some more.  I am not going to be as detail and do as much research, it will probably be more opinion based stuff, or maybe just some copy/paste of posts I make on reddit and 4hbtalk.com.  If there is anything specific you want me to write about let me know in the comments.

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The Ignorance of Meat Eating Ethics

First an update.  I am almost finished the 40 day MI40 program.  I will be posting an update when done.  I am probably the biggest and strongest that I have ever been, all while I’ve lowered my body fat.  It is a very effective program.  Now on to the “meat” of the post.

The blogosphere has been talking a lot about meat lately. Since the New York Times posted this article[1] about an absurd pseudoscience study claiming meat consumption increases morbidity risk, and the amount of reaction to it from more logical people[2][3][4][5][6][7]. Then the New York Times posted this contest[8] asking people to submit in 600 words or less why it is ethical to eat meat, but your not allowed to talk about how the meat is raises and processed … really? That got a couple good responses from Mark Sission[9] and Richard Nikoley[10].

This talk about ethics made me recall a video I saw recently on youtube or some video site. It is a hidden camera show where the store makes fresh sausage. How fresh? Live pigs fresh, see below. This is suppose to be funny, but to me I was disturbed. Not at the fact that they are pretending to kill a live pig for food, the fact that the people were OK with buying and eating sausage UNTIL they see the process used to make it.

We have become so disconnected with our food source and are so ignorant to where it comes from that we are disturbed when we actually see it. I think this is unethical.


It also makes me recall the iCaveman episode where Robb takes down an elk with an Atlatl below (25 minute mark).  They NEEDED to kill the elk for food to survive, but the emotional element of killing the animal was not lost.  This is a fact of life, and has been for millions of years.

I actually think that Mark Zuckerberg gets it.  Last year he stated “The only meat I’m eating is from animals I’ve killed myself,” and shortly after “I just killed a pig and a goat.”  But the best quote of his is

Every year I have a yearly personal challenge. It’s a good way to explore different things I wouldn’t normally do and challenge myself. Towards the end of last year I reflected a bunch of how thankful I was that we were building so many good things and things have gone well so far and I decided to make this year’s challenge around being more thankful for what I have. I struggled for a while about how to implement this, but eventually decided that forcing myself to get personally involved and thank the animals whose lives I take in order to eat them was the best day-to-day way to remind myself to be thankful. So every day when I can’t eat meat I am reminded of why not and how lucky I am, and when I do get the chance to eat meat it’s especially good. This challenge also has the benefit of making me generally healthier, and I’m also learning a lot about sustainable living.

Would you be OK with killing your own food?  If not why are you OK sitting on your ass while someone else does it for you in a factory?

 

  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/health/research/red-meat-linked-to-cancer-and-heart-disease.html
  2. http://robbwolf.com/2012/03/14/red-meat-part-healthy-diet/
  3. http://www.cavemandoctor.com/2012/03/13/red-meat-consumption-and-mortality/
  4. http://freetheanimal.com/2012/03/new-study-driving-watching-red-meat-can-kill-you.html
  5. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/will-eating-red-meat-kill-you/
  6. http://www.charlespoliquin.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/839/The_Red_Meat_Study_Scare_What_Do_We_Make_Of_It.aspx
  7. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2012/04/05/chocolate-red-meat-can-be-bad-for-your-science-why-many-nutrition-studies-are-all-wrong/
  8. http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/19/is-it-ethical-to-eat-meat/
  9. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/is-eating-meat-ethical/

Occam’s Protocol VS Mi40 by Ben Pakulski

I have never been a fan of Occam’s Protocol workouts. I personally have never followed it because my goals always have a component of athleticism for the sports that I play and coach, and Occam’s would not help me with that goal. I did experiment with Joe Defranco’s a”Westside for Skinny Bastards” program for a month, I had some small gains but felt that my cardio suffered so I went back to the Crossfit Football WODs (Workout Of the Day).

I previously reviewed Mike Geary’s Truth About Six Pack Abs e-book.  I did like it and thought it might be useful for some people that want a more detailed guide to follow than what is in the 4 Hour Body.  In the e-book Mike refers to a program called “No Nonsense Muscle Building” by a guy named Vince Delmonte.  I did not buy that program (yet) but I did sign up for his newsletters because he has some great info for free.  A while ago Vince helped his coach Ben Pakulski create a program as well.  I some how was able to view a video on vimeo of Ben giving a talk at a conference that Vince put on last year.  This was a really good presentation.  Any bodybuilder will have a good grasp bio-mechanics and nutrition, but I was thoroughly impressed with Ben’s.  When someone says things like “humans were really only meant to consume meat and vegetables”  and “bicep full range of motion requires the triceps to be contracted at the bottom” I immediately take them a bit more seriously.  Ben also has a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario, a pretty good Canadian University.  His is also one of the top IFBB bodybuilders in the world.  He recently came in second at the 2012 Flex Pro, and just the other day came 4th in the Arnolds.  I have never been a huge fan of bodybuilding, but I have paid attention to it a little bit.   Ben has previously competed in the Mr. Olympia but this year qualifying is more difficult[1] and placing 4th in the Arnold’s left him one spot out of qualifying for this years Mr. Olympia.

I usually would not recommend following an elite level body builders program.  In my opinion this program is different that a workout that you would find in your latest issue of Muscular Development or something like that.

  1. Ben actually trains regular drug free clients as well.  He has experience as a trainer and trainee.
  2. I think Ben understand physiology very well and I really like this quote from his sales page “maximizing recovery, controlling inflammation and balancing hormones”
  3. Ben is not a genetic freak like other high level bodybuilders like Arnold or Dorian Yates or Jay Cutler.  This seems to be the consensus on what others say in the bodybuilding community as well.  Ben just works smarter and harder than the rest.

I bought the package and skimmed through it a few months ago.  I just recently took another serious look at it, specifically the nutrition section.  Now there are some really interesting explanations of endocrinology for building muscle while minimizing fat gain.  Specifically carbohydrate timing, which is one of the things I frequently criticize the 4 Hour Body for missing.  There is a catch 22 problem when timing carbs for muscle gains and fat loss.  Dietary carbs cause insulin release which is anti-catabolic for muscle, something I have talked about before.  But keeping carbs low pre workout will increase growth hormone release[2]  so how do we optimize growth hormone without being in a catabolic state which causes muscle mass?  Ben has a really good plan for carbohydrate timing specific for this outlined in his nutrition manual of the Mi40 package.

Ben, like Tim, talks about time under tension a lot, he likes to call it ‘intensions’.  He uses a common 4-0-1-0 tempo that is common in bodybuilding programs, but a bit different than the 5-0-5-0 tempo that Tim suggests.  I like how Ben explains tension and how to optimize it.  I really like this quote “Muscles do not know how much weight you are using.  They only know how much tension is actually going through them at any one moment.”  Never thought of it like that, and in a quest to get stronger have always lifted more than I probably should have.

There is also an extra that Ben adds on to his sets that he calls NOS which is short for Neurological Overload Sets.  This is pretty much a specifically calculated drop set that you do on your 5th set.  I have always been a huge fan of drop sets, they have always worked well for me and know there is some explanation as to why.  Ben has some video’s explaining NOS that I will embed below.

And he wears vibram five fingers, got my respect from that alone.

Here are some links to so free info you can get from Ben.

Just to be thorough in my review, here are some of the things I don’t like about the program. First the info is a bit scattered, because there are 8 different PDFs it is hard to quickly skim through and get the necessary info. Also the writing in the program still feels like I am trying to be sold something, I am not sure why but a lot of it feels like filler. I would rather it be shorter and more concise. The upsells I did not buy so I am not sure how good or bad they are. Also the price is a bit high, there is a sale on right now because of the Arnold’s but it will be over in a few hours.

So I do recommend this to ANYONE that lifts weights, not just those trying to bulk up. Why? Because the nutrition info included is for optimizing muscle gain and fat loss, what most people are trying to do. I would NOT recommend this program for someone that has a lot of fat to lose, that is a slightly different physiological approach in my opinion and The Dark Side of Fat Loss would be my recommendation. Ben’s scientific approach makes sense to me and is backed up by all the other reading that I have done, add in his practical guide to follow and you’re set. I am going to put in some serious effort into this and report back after I complete the 40 days. Check out some video’s below.

Ben Explaning Intentions

Ben Explaning NOS (Neurologica Overload Set)

  1. http://www.musculardevelopment.com/news/breaking-news/3629-new-olympia-qualifying-rules-for-mens-bodybuilding.html
  2. http://anthonycolpo.com/?p=244

Paleo Summit

paleo summit

I apologize for being 7 days late posting this.  Things have been a bit busy for me lately and I haven’t even started watching these talks yet myself.

What is the Paleo Summit?  It is a 8 day event with 23 presentations put on by Sean Croxton of Undergroundwellness.com (one of my favourite podcasts).

Who is presenting at the Paleo Summit?  The list has all of  the experts in the nutrition and Paleo community:

  • Mark Sisson
  • Dr. Jack Kruse MD
  • Sarah Fragoso
  • Erwan Le Corre
  • Paul Jaminet, Ph.D.
  • Dr. Thomas O’Bryan
  • Matt Stone
  • Nora Gedgaudas
  • Mat Lalonde, Ph.D.
  • Amy Kubal, RD
  • Denise Minger
  • Chris Kresser
  • Reed Davis
  • Paul Chek
  • Dallas & Melissa Hartwig
  • Dr. Allison Siebecker
  • Dr. Catherine Shanahan MD
  • Keith Norris
  • Dr. Daniel Chong
  • Jimmy Moore
  • Stephanie Greunke, RD
  • Dean Dwyer

When is it?  The talks are free for 24 hours the day they run from last week, February 26th to tomorrow March 4th.  The good news is that you will be able to upgrade and get all of the talks plus a ton of bonuses for $67.  No I did not wait until now to tell you because of the affiliate link for the upgrade, I even have to pay the $67 myself 😦

But the bonuses are real bonuses, not just normal ebook marketing upsells.  You get the Whole9 Success Guide which is usually $39 at Whole9life.com.  The Last 4 Doctors You’ll Ever Need by Paul Check, usually $24.95.  The Underground Cookbook which is an upsell of the Dark Side of Fat Loss which cost $39.  The Practical Paleo Guide by Diane from Balancedbites.com.  And a few other upsell bonuses that are pretty useful.  A bonus video interview with Dr. Cate Shanahan, transcripts, and access to the audio and video files.

Is it worth it?  Well I am buying it so I think it is.  I wanted to buy some of these bonuses already any way so to me it is a really good deal.  I still have not bought the Dark Side of Fat Loss, which I will soon and review for everyone.  I have a feeling that it will be one of the best resources that has theory and practical information.

 

Slow Carb Diet Friendly: Personal Paleo Code

The Slow Carb Diet is a great template for fat loss and the Paleo diet is a great template for health.
Sometimes it can get confusing navigating through what and when to eat, or you can follow it perfectly but your results are less than expected.
After dealing with thousands of clients Chris Kresser has recently released his program called “The Personal Paleo Code …  not a diet for everyone… a diet for YOU.”
Here’s what he has done with the Personal Paleo Code…

I’ve combined over 10 years of education and thousands of hours of research with my experience working with hundreds of patients in my clinic – patients with problems and goals just like yours – and I’ve turned it all into a practical, easy-to-follow system that allows you to personalize your diet, create custom meal plans, and get all the support you’ll need to make it work for you.  And I’ve done this with a level of passion and commitment that only someone who has had their own personal success story can do.

What is the result of all this work?

The Personal Paleo Code will help you move from confusion and uncertainty about nutrition to clarity and confidence. You’ll find that I’ve been able to simplify the process of starting the diet and transitioning into it with tools like menus, food lists, recipes, charts, cheat sheets, reference guides, and more.

Who is Chris? What does he know? And why should you listen to him?

Chris Kresser, Author, Personal Paleo Code

I first heard of Chris when he was a guest on Robb Wolf’s podcast, he was promoting his product “The Healthy Baby Code” that he created out of many presentations that he gave about nutrition for conception and growth of a baby.  I have a young son so I was very interested in this topic and from that interview I learned a lot.  I also started to read more of what Chris was writing and listening to his podcasts, and can not believe the amount of knowledge that he has on nutrition and health.  Here is what he says about him self.

I’m Chris Kresser, a practitioner of integrative medicine, creator of the popular online health resource, ChrisKresser.com, and creator of the former Healthy Skeptic blog.

In my early 20s, after completing my undergraduate work at UC Berkley, I took off to see the world.  While traveling in Indonesia, I got very sick with a tropical illness. After seeing numerous doctors with no results, I realized I would have to take matters into my own hands. This initiated a multi-year quest to heal myself by studying integrative medicine and diving deeply into scientific research. I later graduated from the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College in Berkeley, CA and now have a private practice there. I also consult with patients nationally and internationally via telephone and Skype.

In my practice, I focus on helping patients who are motivated to play an active role in their own healing process and who are willing to make the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes to support health and well-being. I then use nutritional therapy, herbal medicine, supplements, stress management, and lifestyle changes to restore proper function.  I practice Functional Medicine, which is investigative, holistic, preventative and evidence-based.

If you’re like most of my patients, you’ve tried a lot of diets over the years to try to feel better or lose weight, to boost your energy or improve your health.  

Some of them failed, some did nothing at all, and some even worked – at least for a little while.  Or maybe they solved some problems (being overweight) but caused others (low energy, hair loss, cold hands and feet).  

The biggest success stories with patients in my clinic share these common factors:

  • The dietary recommendations are personalized for each individual patient.
  • Nutrition always plays a key role in recovery and success.
  • Having support and guidance along the way makes a huge difference.

Here are what some other people in the community are saying:

“Chris Kresser knows his stuff, whether it’s the basic science of paleo/ancestral eating or the clinical medicine side of helping people optimize their health. I have referred many people to Chris in the past, you can rest assured I will continue to do so in the future.”
Robb Wolf, author of NY Time bestseller, The Paleo Solution

“I can honestly think of no other health practitioner who has the science of diet as wired as Chris Kresser does.”
Kurt Harris, M.D.

“After years of several mis-diagnoses, incorrect treatments and my health continuing to rapidly decline, I fired my prior doctor “experts” and sought out a new approach. One that would address the core of my autoimmune disease, not just the symptoms. The changes in only 6 months from working with Chris Kresser are amazing! Ditching the “healthy whole grains” has been pivotal in my continued health and healing process. Rather than feeding me a stock formula, Chris has helped me identify what specifically works for my body and my particular situation.  I feel like I have gotten years worth of youth and energy back and am now optimistic about my future health!”
Toréa Rodriguez, Sunnyvale, CA

“Doctors at Kaiser told me I was in perfect health except I’d never been so sick in all my life.  Six emergency room visits and thousands of dollars later, at my wits end, I found Chris Kresser. Sometimes the road to health involves finding a golden key and having enough information and support to unlock the door.  Chris is that golden key.  He figured out what was wrong when no one else could and helped me find my way back to health through the very sound principles of nutrition, stress-management and loving, integrative support.  I got my life back.  Thank you, Chris!”
Gabby Glancy, Oakland, CA
The Personal Paleo Code is a 3-step program similar to the GAPS diet
Step 1: Reset

This is like hitting the reset button on your body.  You return to the basic human genetic template by removing the foods we’re not adapted to eat and/or those that most commonly cause problems.

Step 2: Reintroduce

Once you’ve given your body a chance to restore itself, you reintroduce some of the foods you removed in Step 1 to see if they work for you.

Step 3: Refine

In this step you fine-tune and personalize your diet right down to the macronutrient ratios, meal frequency, and tweaks for weight loss, thyroid and blood sugar problems, autoimmune disease and more.

What you will end up with is a diet that is personalized exactly for you – a diet that is comprised of foods and guidelines based on your own experience and your own experimentation. You’ll have the solid foundation of a time tested, genetically sound, and scientifically proven philosophy, but with the added personalization that really makes it fit your body, your goals and your life.

But you’ll get more than that…

Changing habits, changing the way you shop, cook and eat can be challenging and time consuming.  So, this program also includes tools and support to help make that transition as smooth as possible for you.  We focus not only on personalizing the diet, but on helping you fit that diet into your lifestyle. Personalized Recipes, meal plans, cheat sheets, guides, worksheets, and shopping lists, and more, make it easy to stick to your personal plan.

Based on my experience in the clinic and thousands of hours of research, I’ve designed a program just for you.

You get lifetime access to a full online arsenal of information, resources, support, tracking tools, and more for a single payment.

As you move through the program, content will be released sequentially to keep you focused and on track. From the very beginning you’ll track your progress with the…

Personal Paleo Code Online Progress Tracker

Track changes to weight, energy, mood, pain and more with the click of a mouse in just a couple minutes per day. It’s not just about weight, but overall wellness.

Seeing your progress over time not only helps you stick with the program, but is key to making the changes that truly personalize the program for you.

PLUS…

The Personal Paleo Code MEAL PLAN GENERATOR

For a limited time, everyone who signs up for the Personal Paleo Code program from this webpage, will also get a 30-day free trial of the Personal Paleo Code Meal Plan Generator.

Meal Plan Generator

Not only does it automatically create highly personalized meal plans, but it can also:

  • Search over 425 recipes – with more added every week..
  • Save your favorite recipes for easy access.
  • Generate meal plans based on common approaches, like low-carb, strict Paleo, GAPS, and more.
  • List recipes for special categories of foods like ferments, sauces, condiments, dressings.

It is more than a just meal plan generator – it’s an interactive Paleo cookbook on steroids.

Use the Selection page to indicate which foods you are currently including or avoiding.

Simply click the button to generate your custom meal plans and personalized recipes.

Or, generate a quick meal-plan based on pre-configured criteria like ‘very low-carb’ or ‘strict paleo’ – get a full week, custom meal plan, recipes and a shopping list with one click – so easy and still customized to your needs.

 


Learn more about the Personal Paleo Code


Recipe: Liver Stuffed Chicken

Just a quick post about a meal I cooked up a while ago from the Paleo Recipe Book.  I combined and altered a couple recipes, the liver and bacon on page 266 and the coconut breaded chicken on page 85.

Prep

Coconut Breaded Chicken

Finished Product

Why CrossFit Gets a Bad Rep

I recently ran across a tweet that Martin Berkhan made with a link to the video below.  Try to watch the video without getting upset, it will be hard.

So and explanation of what this is.  This is not a standard clean and jerk, this is called a continental clean and jerk with an axel, not a standard barbell.  This is commonly used in strongman competition.  The real question is WHY ARE YOU TEACHING THIS TO BEGINNERS?  Sorry for the caps had to get that out of my system.

Here is what a continental clean actually does look like

Now I am a big advocate of learning advanced lifts like the clean and jerk, (hang clean, power clean etc) but these are very complicated lifts and need to be learned in stages and at least one session with a decent coach.

Do you do any olympic lifts in your routine? or are you still using machines?

Good article by Vince Delmonte on how to Screw Up in the Gym