A Day With Robb Wolf

I attended the Robb Wolf Paleo Solution workshop at CrossFit Houston West today. For those of you unfamiliar with Robb, he is the boy genius of the paleo world. This guy knows his stuff. Robb is perhaps one of the smarter people that I’ve met. He has nutrition and training figured out. If you have not yet read his book, The Paleo Solution, pick up a copy. If you get the opportunity to attend his workshop GO!

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Sandbag Review – Our Two Favorites


I recently added sandbag training to my school repertoire for several reasons –

1. The shifting weight is perfect for martial arts training.

2. You can strike them (ever hit a  barbell? Ouch!).

3. You can toss them from person to person.

During the process of purchasing sandbags, I had the opportunity to do some research. Who makes the best? The prices vary so much. I was able to put my hands on some that acquaintances had and purchased a few. Then we put them through the ringer! My group slammed them into concrete, grass and mats. We tugged and pulled and their straps and subjected them to multiple punches, elbows and knees.

The Bargain Bag –

Muscle Driver USA makes the Sandbag Trainer for $65.00. It’s well made for the price and withstood our abuse.  It comes with three filler bags and holds up to 80 lbs. I recommend partially filling the filler bags and then putting some rubber mulch around them as a filler. It has two top strap handles and two side tab handles. This limits some of the uses but if you are on a budget, you can’t go wrong for the price.

The Top of the Line-

Thy Beast from Alpha Strong

At $149.95, it’s not the most expensive bag on the market, but we feel it’s the best! Unlike some other brands, owner Kathy Hankins challenges you to slam her bags. I spoke with Kathy about the development of her bags and she took me through the design process and the details that make Alpha Strong sandbags stand out. These include -Six (yes six!) ergonomically designed, padded, reinforced handles with triple stitch bar tack stitching on all stress points; rugged high thread count outer shell and large single no leak liner that hold up to 80 lbs. If you want to buy a bag that you’ll have for life and get more versatility training with, buy an Alpha Strong!

CQC Unlimited Chief Instructor, Matthew Lesko puts Thy Beast through it’s paces.

My Visit to The Cooper Clinic

During my struggle to get back in shape, I scheduled a full exam at The Cooper Clinic. I wanted to get everything tested to see why I was not dropping fat. For those of you not familiar with The Cooper Clinic, it’s considered one of the top medical/fitness facilities in the country by conventional wisdom. They are credited with starting the whole aerobics movement (not very popular among paleo circles) You spend an entire day there with a doctor, lab techs, a nutritionist, a personal trainer, etc. Ironically, two weeks before my appointment, I began a paleo lifestyle. I had lost 16 lbs by the day of my exam but I was still eager to go through with it for several reasons –

1) I wanted to have all of my levels checked to see where I was.
2) I wanted to know the state of my general health (Did I have any blockage? Did I have cancer?)
3) I wanted to see what they had to say about paleo.

After getting my blood drawn, blowing into a tube, getting weighed and measured, I went in to see the nutritionist. I hindsight, I wish that I had taken a picture of her desk. On it she had a display of grain treats such as granola bars, cereals and all of the usual suspects. Mmmmmmm, can you say insulin spike? Thanks but no thanks! In addition to all of the grains the nutritionist tried to convince me to add some fake butter in a tub to my diet as well as sell me on their brand of vitamins. Telling me that I could not purchase any other vitamin with 2,000 IU of D3 (Really? The one that I was taking had it and I was also supplementing with NOW 5,000 IU to get the actual total that I needed – closer to 7,000 IU). After, we debated over the omega 3 content of grass fed meats vs. grain fed meats, I realized that I was not going to reach her….the food pyramid was just too far “inGRAINed” in her.

Next on to visit the trainer for the treadmill test….it went well. good news, my blood pressure and heart were just fine. Then on to the doctor, some uncomfortable probing and back off to the trainer for an assessment of my exercise program, and my mobility and elasticity. I have to say that I was very impressed by my trainer. He was knowledgeable, cutting edge knowledgable. He applauded my use of Nike Frees and barefoot training. He approved of my program of walking, martial arts, yoga and crossfit. Cooper, it seemed, was no longer advocating “chronic cardio” workouts.

My summary meeting with the doctor went well. He initially encouraged me to change my diet because he felt that I need more carbs in order to produce glucose for my muscles. I had gone into this armed and when I asked about the studies on grass fed meats and omega 3’s he agreed. When I asked about how we obtained energy pre – agriculture, he agreed that the body had used fat. When I discussed the insulin problems caused by a high carb diet, he agreed. Perhaps the paleo world was on to something!

All in all my visit was great. The people there are nice, the diagnostics are comprehensive (although I would like to see them add high and low density LDL levels to their blood work) and as a whole they are extremely knowledgeable. There are some nutrition kinks that need to be worked out in my opinion but that seems to be the same wherever you go. You can’t blame that on the Cooper Clinic. Most importantly, I was healthy…. No cancer, no heart disease and losing weight.

A SICFIT Production: The Erwan Le Corre Interviews, Final Part

A SICFIT Production: The Erwan Le Corre Interviews, Final Part.

ReEvolving

My introduction to the paleo lifestyle began on a Monday…August 30th to be exact. I had been doing crossfit for a month and had done insanity prior to that in addition to my martial arts training. I was logging every calorie that went into my mouth and I had figured out how many calories per day I was using. I was NOT losing weight…..the math did not add up. What had happened to me? Was something wrong with me?

A good friend of mine in Miami, who trains at CrossFit Gables, was about to undergo a 30 day paleo challenge. He suggested that I try it. I journeyed to Barnes and Noble and picked up all of the paleo books that they had on hand –The Primal Blueprint, The Paleo Diet and The Primal Blueprint Cookbook. I devoured The Primal Blueprint that evening, staying up all night and finishing it. What I read scared me into starting right then and there. I began Mark Sisson’s annual Primal Blueprint Challenge a week early.

After the first week, the weight had begun falling off and by then I had finished reading The Paleo Diet. My fiance, my friend in Miami, and another couple were doing the challenge as well. The results were hard to argue with. The fat was coming off and I was gaining muscle. We all were.

I had become really enthusiastic, listening to Robb Wolf’s podcasts and reading every book related to paleo that I could get my hands on. I was reading and posting on MarksDailyapple.com as well as on Whole9life.com. My friends that were involved in this had started coming to me for information, then one of them suggested that I start a blog….and folks here we are!