Paleo Challenge 2011

Happy New Year!

Be sure to tune in next week for my eating and workout adventures while traveling! Have a safe and happy holiday!

MMA and Functional Martial Arts

MMA has become insanely popular. I would say that it has surpassed boxing in it’s fan base. It’s an incredible sport. It’s competitors are some of the fittest athletes on the planet. If you’ve ever wrestled,  grappled or boxed, you know how much wind it takes to do it. Add in getting pounded by Thai kicks, knees and punches with a minimal glove and you’ve got to be one tough customer to participate in this sport!

That being said, let’s not loose sight that it’s a sport, with rules and referees. The goal of MMA and combatives are both to win but the method and definition of winning are very different. In combatives one has no rules. You are not trying to get someone to tap out, you simply break that appendage and go on to cause more damage. The fight will not last several rounds, it will last several seconds. The prize is not a trophy or belt, it’s your life!

So if you’re training, keep in mind what your goal is. Sport fighting is great and has great attributes but if you want to defend your self and your family, you need to spend time training for it. You need to consider that it will be training for a short burst confrontation( I’ll cover some drills for this in future posts), it could involve not only empty hand but edged, flexible or impact weapons. It may also involve fire arms. Train like you will fight!

Sandbag Training

Combatives Training In The Philipines

Make A New Year’s Evolution – Part 3, Diet and Nutrition

So you’ve got your mind set, you have a fitness plan, now what do you eat? It’s no secret that I recommend the paleo diet. Not a partial version, not zone but paleo. I want you to take the way you think of diet and change it. Diet is not a temporary thing. This is about lifestyle change.

Here is my method of paleo in a nutshell-

Eat pastured, grass fed meats (non grain fed)

Eat local, organic veggies

Eat some organic fruit

Eat some nuts and seeds (not peanuts)


Grains (any kind!)


Dairy(May be phased back in after the first 30 days depending on your tolerance)


No alcohol for 30 days (Then certain types in moderation thereafter. I’ll cover this in a future post)

Depending upon your goals structure your carb intake according to Mark Sisson’s Carb Curve.

I’m going to recommend three sources to learn about paleo nutrition

Robb is the author of The Paleo Solution and the undisputed boy genius of the paleo nutrition movement. If you want to know about the science behind it, read his book, subscribe to his podcast and follow his blog!

Dallas and Melissa over at Whole9 take paleo nutrition and put it into layman’s terms.

They offer the Whole30 program for free online! They also have an ebook that I recently read. It’s a great companion to the whole30 program. In addition they have a vibrant online community and great recipes to keep it interesting !

Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites

Diane at balanced bites offers paleo education and some great recipes on her site. Diane offers seminars, personal coaching and has just released an new ebook called The Practical Paleo Nutrition Guide.

Check out her site for some great paleo guidance!

Finally, if you need some support, Joe Petrusky over at Crossfit Love will be putting on the World’s Biggest Paleo Challenge beginning Jan. 3rd. Check out his web site or follow him on twitter for more information!

Joe Petrusky

Make A New Year’s Evolution – Part 2, Exercise

So if you’re back today then you’ve got your mindset right, now let’s take a look at your physical fitness. Let’s begin by looking at what not to do.

What Not To Do.

1) Stop the “Chronic Cardio” as Mark Sisson calls it. No more hour long treadmill, stairmaster or spin class workouts! They will only work against your goal. This is NOT the way to get your self in better shape NOR to lose weight! If your are a runner or triathlete and are doing distance everyday, stop and take a look at some of the top triathletes and how they train. Many in fact are not killing themselves with long distance everyday. In fact that is a small part of their training.

2) Stop killing yourself everyday! Many subscribe to a 3 on 1 off policy but I think that you should listen to your body. You know when you need a day off because you are too sore to do a work out effectively or if you have no energy. You don’t have to limit yourself but you really can get into good shape working out 3 days per week but you don’t have to limit yourself to this.

3) Stop static stretching! You’re aging your joints, tendons and ligaments!

What To Do.

1) Get out and walk! This puts you at the right heart rate to burn fat and will do wonders for loosening up your muscles and opening up your hips. You can use a heart rate monitor that will tell you if you are in a fitness or fat burning zone or you can simply walk fast. Do it outside and not on a treadmill. You’ll be surprised at how good this makes you feel.

2) Work on your elasticity. Look into flow yoga (check out or for more advanced stuff, check out Ido Portal and some of his students.

3) Pick one or more of the following-


Combines Olympic lifting, gymnastics and functional feats in a varied and challenging environment. For example you might do this one day –   

3 Rounds for time of

500 meter row

12 body weight deadlifts

21 box jumps

and the next day

Squat Max

1-1-1-1-1 reps

Check out a crossfit box near you or if unavailable you can get the work outs on line for free. It’s designed to be done with minimal equipment. Tip: You can save a bunch of money by using a sandbag instead of weights. Just a note that if you have access to a crossfit box, I’d go there. They have certified trainers that will help you with your form and the environment there will push you!


Erwan Le Corre’s method of natural functional movement can be done anywhere and you need no equipment. I mix this in to my training with MovNat inspired workouts. They work great for travel too! You can check out Erwan in this months issue of Outside Magazine or in this video below.

There are also MovNat inspired gyms like StrengthBox below –

Tac Fit

Scott Sonnon has built a system that focuses on core functional strength movements. If you do his yoga then you will already have many of the movements down to do this system. I implement both the his yoga and pieces of tac fit into my training as well as my students training.

Scott Sonnon in action!

You can’t go wrong with any of the above. Start with one and eventually you may find yourself crossing over into all of them like me.Follow this advice and you’ll see big changes this year and you’ll be more likely to stick with it because you’ll be having fun!

Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 3 , Diet and Nutrition!

Make A New Year’s Evolution- Part 1, Change Your Mind, Change Your Life

New Year’s resolutions often to into revolutions. A sad cyclical event when one starts out right and takes over there life only to be overthrown again by fat and bad health. Why can’t so many maintain there healthy lifestyle? They are often misled by all of the confusing health and fitness marketing out there, influenced by society and eventually loose motivation. On top of this you could look at statistics that tell you about how many people fail at their resolutions…it’s pretty depressing. Here’s the good news. None of that has to apply to you. Whether you want to loose 100 lbs, 5 lbs or just want to improve your overall fitness it is all very achievable. Make a New Year’s Evolution and evolve into the best that you can be!

Know Who You Are and Who You Want To Be

What is it you want to accomplish? Why? Do you want to do a triathlon? Do you want to fight in the UFC? Do you want to be able to hike a certain trail? You need to decide what sort of fitness that you require and train that way. Training like a triathlete makes no sense if you aspire to be a fighter and you will not find it mentally rewarding either.  Functional fitness will reward you and make your life better. Don’t have something that you aspire to do? Find something! This is about lifestyle change my friend!

Stop Making Excuses – Tough Love

I often see people saying – “I’ll just skip this workout because…. or I’ll just eat this because….”. That’s not OK…period! Let me save you some time here, If you are going to do that then, close this window and get out and grab a donut, crapacino or some ice cream because you don’t yet have the desire to change. You have the ability but not the desire. Check back in when you’re serious.

For those of you that are still with me, you want to make a change. Stick with that and don’t let anything get in your way! Remember that life happens, you can always adapt. Left your lunch at home? No excuse to go grab fast food. Meeting ran late? You can still get in your work out or even do it another time. We’ll cover these topics later this week. Tune in all week for new installments that will help you become the best you ever!

Paleo Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
Everyone was paleo….even the mouse
Buffalo jerky was stacked in a plate with care
In hope the St. Nicholas would enjoy some paleo fare

Grok waited in the tree with a spear
In hopes of bagging one of Santa’s Reindeer
Robb Wolf with his NORCAL margarita
Sat reading hate mail from PETA

When out of the yard arose such a clatter
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter
Over to the window, I moved very quick
Just in time to see a spear fly past St. Nick

He pulled a sled loaded with toys and two 45’s
He moved quickly with vigor in his eyes
Santa was slimmer than I remember
Apparently, he joined crossfit last December

A modified muscle up got him up on the roof
A second later he was down the chimney with a poof
He filled each stocking with a jump rope and some deer
He went to the fridge and threw out the beer

A sandbag for Helen
A kettlebell for Fran
And some vitamin D in case they were in need of a tan

He scaled up the chimney and hitched up to his sled
He gave a wink to Grok who had expected reindeer instead
I leaned out the window and started to whistle
Just then Santa shot off like a missile

I heard him say as he went out of sight
Merry Christmas to all and the paleo people are right!

12 Days of Christmas Work Out

12 Turkish Get Ups
11 Paralette Shoot Throughs
10 Romanian Deadlifts
9 One Arm Snatches
8 Kettlebell Lunges
7 Knees to Elbows
6 Handstand Push Ups
5 Kettlebell Swings!
4 Sit Ups
3 Air Squats
2 Burpees
and a Muscle up from the gym rings!