Thursday’s Food; The Glory of Oil

PRE-RUN: creatine, Jack3d, and BCAAs

Breakfast, ca. 8:30 am (after 14 hour fast): 1 slice orange; 1 banana; 1 grapefruit; black coffee; 2 cups green kale; 4 egg whites (poached); 2 eggs (poached); 4 oz. uncured ham; post-breakfast: D3, L-Carnitine, Probiotics, Cal-Mag Citrate 55.00 p 16.00 f 72.00 c

Lunch, ca. 1:30 pm: 1/2 oz. raisins; 1 oz. almonds; 8 oz. meatballs w/ lusty monk mustard; 1 med/small apple 53.00 p 34.00 f 45.00 c

Late snack: pumpkin custard (2 tbsp, i.e. 28g); 2 oz. Eye of Round roast; 14.00 p 9.00 f 12.00 c

Dinner (finished before 6:00 pm): 7 oz. eye of round roast; 1 cup broccoli; 5 oz. sweet potatoes; 3 tsp. butter 49.00 p 15.50 f 47.50 c

Dessert (finished before 6:30 pm): 1/4 cup of pumpkin custard 5.00 p 10.00 f 15.00 c

*Note* Pumpkin custard is: evaporated milk (16 oz); egg yolks (6); can of pumkin (16 oz); sugar (1/2 cup) — NOT PALEO! — this is an unavoidable seasonal cheat

End of Day Total 176.00g pro 84.50g fat 191.50g cho; 2231 cals 32% pro (25 blocks) 34% fat (28 blocks) 34% cho (21 blocks)

Eating in this way feels weird; i.e. it feels like it has a full belly, and I find myself backed up. Definitely negative bodily reaction. I am used to eating less carbs than this, and more fat. And way more calories.

A Few Thoughts About Fat

Here’s the truth: fat is the most efficient fuel for humans to consume.

It is way easier to eat fat as a means of fueling your body and activities; fat has the same calories as carbs in less than half the weight; portable, tasty, stable; fat takes less time and work; there’s less risk of gas and bloating; there’s less risk (than there is with carbs) of stimulating higher insulin levels. Fats are necessary for life: all your nerves and tissues have fatty acids in them. Fats are useful: all your muscles can burn fatty acids for fuel. What’s not to love about fat? There’s no reason why, if you eat an isocaloric or a hypocaloric diet, and if you are lean, you should not eat a glorious high fat diet.

I think that the glory of fat is an ancient trope in Western civilization. Oil is used for cleansing and finishing and anointing and lighting and cooking. A great market has, for millennia, driven trade in oil. The glory of fat must be the real reason why the Greeks burned the “bones of the ox wrapped in glistening white fat” for Zeus. Fat, melted, is oil — the fuel of the gods. They sacrificed the part of the animal with the greatest amount of stored energy. For the ancient early urban peoples of the northern Mediterranean basin such fat was the costliest gift they could bestow from among the sacrificial beast’s parts.

What… you didn’t think they burned the meat for the gods did you? Nobles get to keep the yummy cuts of meat like the the back-strap of course, and the rest is distributed to the guests as a means of showing rank.

Mile Run, Back Squat, Screwing Around

Early AM loaded up and went outside into the cold. I briefly limbered up (pose drills, bear crawl, lunges) and then set out on my 1.1 mile run. The familiar route gets shorter and shorter!

Result: 7:19.45 (6:39.48 min/mile pace).

Pretty awesome. I intended to do 80-85% RPE, and ended up with a time only 4 seconds off of my PR. What does that tell you?

Then I headed out to CFA and the Stay Active Clinic to see Corey.

There I did back squats.

Back Squat, Dynamic Effort 12 x 2.

Result: 12 x 2 x 115 lbs (63.8% of 5 RM) @ 30s intervals. Volume: 2,760. These felt pretty awesome.

Then I messed around. Did push ups (20); dead hang pull-ups (5); incline push-ups (10); practiced handstand push-ups (getting there!) and free standing handstands (elusive!). Then had manual therapy with Corey. That seems to be going well.

Wednesday’s Food

Pre-WOD: BCAAs, Creatine, JACK3D; Post-WOD: coffee w/ 1 tsp. sweetened condensed milk and 1 tsp. cocoa powder; water; carnitine; chromium; cal-mag citrate; D3; probiotics 5.00 cho

Breakfast, after 15 hour fast (9:15 am): 1/2 cup broccoli; 2 eggs; 4 egg whites; 1 tsp. butter; 4 oz. ham; boiled potato and plantain, 8 blocks worth (about 8 oz. of potato and 2 oz. plantain 53.00 pro 20.50 fat 63.00 cho

Lunch, in two parts, from 12:45 to 1:30: 8 oz. chicken; 1 oz. almonds; 1 apple; 1/2 cup broccoli; 1 can coconut water; 1 banana 61.00pro 27.00 fat 84.00 cho

post work snack (4:30 pm): 1 date; 1/2 oz. almonds; 2 oz. meatball 14.50 pro 12.00 fat 22.50 cho

dinner (5:45 pm): 15 shrimp (7.5 oz); 1 cup cauliflower; 1 cup cooked red kale; 3/4 cup white rice; butter and olive oil w shrimp; then post dinner, before 6:30: 1 tbsp. fish oil 52.50 pro 27.75 fat 57.00 cho

End of Day Total 181.00 pro (26 blocks), 87.25 fat (29 blocks), 231.50 cho (26 blocks), 2435 calories
30% pro 32% fat 38% cho

Overshot macronutrient totals today (too much good meat around the house I guess) but still ended up with a good low cal day (for me) and Zone ratios. Today was much more like 1g protein per pound of total body mass… which is not CRAZY but it’s more than I need. I am going to be be very curious as to how this little experiment plays out.

Push Jerk plus five rounds of KB swings and box jumps

Warm Up: agility plus mobility; then calisthenics: push-ups (20); pull-ups (10, red band); squats (10); GHD sit-ups (10). Handstand practice.

Push Jerk new 5 RM PR 145 … the same as my Push Press. Which tells you I need to work more on the jerk. But all in due time. My left shoulder was bugging out unhappy about the last two reps of my 5 rep max effort set.

Results: warm up reps then – 5 x 80 / 3 x 95 / 3 x 105 / 1 x 135 / 5 x 145 (PR but pressed out last two) / 3 x 135 / 3 x 135. Volume: 2,670.

My jerk is lagging because of two factors: my recent shoulder problems and the fact that I hadn’t made a new 5 rep PR attempt since June 2009. (Lol. Record keeping definitely cuts in every direction. If I wasn’t constantly recording what I do, this gap in my training would not show as well.)

WOD: 5 rounds of: 12 KB swings (1.5 pood Rx’d); 12 Box Jumps (24″); 200 meter run; rest 1 min. Report total time minus total rest (4 min): 53 lbs; 24″ box; vibrams; 9:57.

I think I was the slowest guy in my class today but… I’m fighting my own fight here.

Additional handstand practice after class.

Additional volume: after work — push-ups (4 x 20); pull-ups (4 x 5 dead hang).

Tuesday’s Food

PRE-SPRINTS: 10g BCAAs; POST-SPRINTS: 7g BCAAs 4.5g L-Glutamine; chromium; L-Carnitine; B vitamin; probiotics; cal-mag citrate; D3

After 16 hour “fast” (10:30 am): 8 oz. gold potatoes (peeled, boiled); 1 cup (an entire bunch) cooked arugula; 7 oz. ground beef and steak leftovers; 3 egg whites; 1 egg; 1 tsp. butter; 1 orange; 3/5 a banana, 66.10 p, 29.50 f, 88.20 c

About 12:30 pm: Can of Sardines packed in olive oil; 1/2 apple; 3/5 banana; 10 raisins, 24.00 p, 14.00 f, 37.50 c

About 5:00 pm: 1 3 oz. meatball (beef, lamb, pork, garlic); 1 oz. chicken, 24.00 p, 10.00 f,

About 5:45 pm: 7 oz. chicken; 1/2 cup white rice; 2 cups broccoli; later: 3 bites of strawberry ice cream, 48.50 p, 19.50 f, 63.00 c

End of Day Total, 162.60 pro (23 blocks) , 73.00 fat (24 blocks), 188.70 cho (21 blocks); Total: 2062 calories.

A little but short on all three macronutrients, and very short in calories. But close enough to the “Zone” (32%, 36%, 32%, with a 0.86 protein / cho ratio) to count as canonical Zone.

5k Walk/Sprint Work 60/30

Dragged myself out of bed for a 6:00 am session on the road. It was tough to motivate but worth it.

Route: the same old “Montford Crawl 5k” I’ve been working on since the Half in September. Protocol: 60 seconds walking/recovery, 30 seconds sprint (this is a 2/3 walking 1/3 running protocol, aka a 33% sprinting protocol).

Result: 20 full rounds and 42 seconds of walking, i.e. 30:42; that’s a 12 second PR.

Not a bad time! 3.1 miles in 10 minutes of sprinting and 20:42 of walking… 9:54 pace.

Additional volume: I took it pretty easy on Tuesday afternoon. 1 set of push ups (20); 1 set of dead hang pull-ups (5). I do intend to get in some practice every day, but maximizing additional volume every day is not in my plan or consistent with my goals… right now.

Fran … Please!

I hate Fran but at least today went better (i.e. heavier and faster) than my last glimpse of her went. But circumstances are against me. I have yet to do a prescribed Fran; either novicity, or weakness, or injury has always prevented me when Fran comes around. One day I’ll be ready for Fran, but not today; today, kipping pull-ups were out, dead hangs were too slow, so I went with a red band.


Agility ladder. Mobility. GHD Sit-Ups (10); Sotts press (10); Squats (10); Push-Ups (20); Pull-Ups (15 x blue band).

Strength: Front Squat

Dynamic effort 60% of 5 RM x 12 x 2 @ 60s; I actually went with 67%; 105 lbs x 12 x 2 @ 60s.

Volume: 2,520.

WOD: Fran

Fran needs no introduction: 21-15-9, 95 lb Thrusters and Pull-Ups, for time.

Two weeks ago I did Franzilla, which is supposed to be heavier than Fran, but isn’t all Thrusters; I used 85 lbs (shoulder pain was worse then, I now remember) and the red band. My time was 10:15.

Back in March when I was recovering from surgery I did a shoulder press Fran w/ 60 lbs dumbells, in 7:25.

The closest I have come to doing an as Rx’d Fran was “Our Lady” about ten months ago. But in that 11 minute workout I fell short of the reps in Fran by 16.

Just over a year ago I did Fran with scaled weight (85) and no bands in 9:50.

This year, I did Fran with 95 lbs and red band in 9:57. I tried the first rep unassisted, and then did two more singles, trying to test whether I could kip, but I had to switch to a red band. That only cost me a few seconds.

This go around was stronger in terms of Thrusters; it was like 450 more pounds of Thruster volume with only 7 extra seconds of time; but I probably lost at least that many pounds off the assisted pull-ups. This isn’t a wash; it all around looks weaker to me, but honestly I just don’t know.

HTFU: Additional Volume

Push-Ups: besides x 20 in warm-up / 4 x 20 after work

Pull-Ups: besides warm-up blue band and Fran 6 sets of 4 dead hang pull-ups after work.

Food Update

I know yesterday I was all, like, I’m going to eat in the Zone for a week. Today I am not 100% behind the plan. But we’ll see.

I tried one day today and it was weird. For one thing, I don’t know if I can so easily make the switch from a fat-dominant diet to the more balanced “Zone” proportions.

Anyway, I’m still game, but like I said I get to have more fruit than usual and I’m using starches (potatoes, and tonight I had white rice).

On today’s meals I overshot carbs by a block or two and I overshot the fat by 7 blocks or so (i.e. I went 1.33x).

AM: BCAAs and JACK3D; L-Carnitine; POST-WOD: BCAAs, L-Glutamine; Chromium, D3, Cal-Mag, B-complex; probiotics

Breakfast (8:30 am): 2 whole eggs; 4 egg whites; touch of butter; 1 cup cooked dandilion greens; 1 tsp. butter; touch of cider vinegar; 1.5 orange (12 slices); 4 oz. white potato; 1 scoop whey powder; 1/2 cup hemp milk; 2/5 banana (47.00 pro 19.50 fat 65.00 cho)

Snack: 10:00 am: 8 almonds (2/5 oz); 3 oz. chicken; 1 apple med/large (23.00 pro 8.25 fat 29.00 cho)

Lunch: 12:00 pm: 12 almonds (3/5 oz); 7 oz. chicken; 1 banana; 1 coconut water; 1 pecan date roll (49.50 pro 17.25 fat 61.00 cho)

Dinner: 5:30 pm: 8 oz. grass fed ground beef fried with 1/2 tomato, 1/4 onion, garlic; added chicken fat (1.5 tsp); 1 cup white rice; 1 date; 1 tbsp. fish oil; 1 tsp. drippings from the pan. (49.00 pro 47.00 fat 80.00 cho)

Totals: 168.5 g pro (met target); 92g fat (17g over target, mostly from the fish oil and scraping the pan); 235g cho (this is basically on-target; 19g over): 2442 calories.

I would have been fine today without the date or the coconut water, apparently. Good to know. At this level of caloric intake I might lose a pound of fat or more this week. We’ll see.

One thing I will say about the canonical Zone diet, you feel like you’re getting plenty of protein to safeguard your muscles, and there’s no doubt that it supplies TONS of carbs for muscle recovery and brain fuel, so there’s very little risk of gluconeogenesis robbing your lean mass if you’re hypocaloric.

But it feels wrong to me. Going even one day “in the Zone” as I did today, is enough to remind me how much I love the Robb Wolf Rule: you can sub fat for carbs. And I’d rather. But for one week I’m going to try to shoot for these numbers.

By the way. I am aware that lots of CrossFitters use much lower protein prescriptions for their Zone diets; typical CrossFit men are eating just 16-18 blocks a day. I don’t like those numbers: 16 blocks is only 112g protein, and unless you move to 1.5x fat or 2x fat or higher, your totals come out to well under 2000 calories.

In my eating, I have found that I like to set my protein levels high, and carbs much lower. I really seem to thrive on about 24 blocks of protein / 65 blocks of fat / and 15 blocks of carbs. Or thereabouts.


Weighed in today, first time in two weeks. Obviously, the additional carbs in my diet, combined with seriously out of control cheating sessions every weekend for the past three weekends, has resulted in some unintended weight gain. I am about 5 pounds above where I want to be, although most of the gains would appear to be lean mass.

Body Measurements
Weight Observed

Suprailliac Skinfold

Body Fat %

Fat Mass

Lean Mass
188.0 lbs

6 mm +


21.6 lbs

166.4 lbs

I should not worry… continuing evidence of progress in the gym and on the street means that I am getting stronger and faster not fatter. Still, I am going to batten down the dietary hatches for the next 4 weeks, and get my weight down below 185 again, where it belongs.

I think it is fascinating that I weighed in at 8.5 lbs more than 3 weeks ago, and that my calipers suggest that the weight is mostly lean. That’s a pretty rapid gain of five pounds of muscle! If that’s what it is.

Cautiously optimistic, I’ll not be upset about these numbers. I’ll simply make sure that I remain as focused as I can.

I’m in training here, for the Carolina Fitness Challenge. 27 days to go. I’d like to be right around 182-183 lbs for the competition, but I would not want to sacrifice even an ounce of lean mass in getting down those 5-6 pounds.

I am going to take the following steps. You read it here first.

  1. Eliminate Cheating. No excuses. (Except for Thanksgiving, folks!) That means: no more sugar! At all. That includes chocolate. No more gluten (beer included). And no more marginal foods (e.g. corn and beans).

  2. Fast 14 hours daily. Returning here to my strict practice of recent weeks. This includes Fridays and Saturdays.
  3. I am going to try one whole week of strict “Zone” dieting, Nov. 15 to 21. That’s super strict “Zone” dieting, BTW, with only 1x fat. The goal is to see how much weight strips off when I reduce calories to classic Zone Rx. I am using 24 blocks as my Rx (that’s 1g protein per lb of lean mass). So, 168g protein per day, 72g of fat, 240g of carbs. This will be consumed in 4-5 meals, but consumed between 8 am and 6 pm. The meals will have to be pretty big, 5-6 block affairs. I will BLOG my food daily to keep this pledge. It’ll be an interesting test of my capacity to limit myself. I will use fruit and starches to reach the carb totals. I am not worried about not being in ketosis because I’m fasting daily and working my tail off in the gym.
  4. After Nov. 21st, one big cheat on Thanksgiving. But otherwise, return to my normal ketogenic, cyclic low carb, 95% paleo, ad libitum diet.
  5. STRICT “never on a school night” living here, except for Thanksgiving day (which is not a school night, BTW). But also! Another rule! No alcohol on the weekend of Dec. 3-4 or on Friday, Dec. 10th. That’ll be tough but my body will thank me come Dec. 11th. (It will also thank me at the Jingle Bell 5k on Dec. 4th).

Raking the Leaves

It’s official, I have taken more than a week off of sprinting and running training. Slept in today (until 7:00 am! Woo hoo! ) and skipped the WOD at CFA too. Glad for it. I did not need to work on a new Push Press PR today, or to pound myself with more than 100 burpees and 30 power cleans for time.

What I did need to do was rake some leaves. I made a big ass pile of leaves. I also got some additional volume in pull-ups and push-ups. Today: sets of 3 deadhang pull ups (9 of em! That’s 27 dead hang pull-ups today). And sets of 15 push-ups (6 of em), i.e. 90 push-ups. These sets were spread throughout the day. They were performed for total volume of stress, not for intensity (power). These are for harm reduction (through tissue hardening, through increasing my capacity for total amount of work per day) and for building strength through the range of motion.

Pull-Ups: 3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3-3.

Push-Ups: 15-15-15-15-15-15.

I need a weighted vest.

Snatch and Push-Ups w/ Box Hurdles

Friday 6:00 am at CFA:


Various and sundry plus dislocates and mobility. Calisthenics: Push-Ups (15); Overhead Squats (10); Sotts Press w/ PVC (10); GHD Extensions (10). No pull-ups. knew I’d get some in later.

Strength: Snatch

Rx’d: 4 x 3 from just below the knee with a light weight, then 8 minutes to work a heavy 1 rep full snatch.

Result: 4 x 3 x 65 lbs / 1 x 95 / 1 x 100 / 1 x 105 / 1 x 110 / 1 x 115 / 1 x 120 (but … pressed out) / 1 x 115. Volume: 1,540.

WOD: Push Ups and Box Hurdles

Complete 5 Rounds of:
30 seconds of max rep box hurdles
30 seconds of max rep push-ups
1 minute rest
Post total reps to comments.

20″ box. Results: 158 reps. Details: 16 + 17 // 16 + 17 // 16 + 16 // 17 + 13 // 19 + 11. I believe these numbers are right.

Additional Volume

Dead Hang Pull-Ups. 9 sets of 2 (18 total). Spread out through the late afternoon and evening.