Grizzly Way 130403 (The Paleo Fallacy)
Okay so maybe fallacy isn’t the best word but I’m going to attempt to make an educated point here. Crossfit is the sport of functional movement, meaning optimal human movement, full range of motion etc. Paleo is the diet of optimal health, reduced inflammation and efficient nutrient absorption. Naturally they’re meant for one another right – how could someone who cares about being as unilaterally strong and functional as a Crossfitter not also want to be as comprehensive on the inside. There is a problem with this train of logic however, it seems to be the best competitive exerciser you can be, there are certain steps that exist outside the strict Paleo realm. It’s this conundrum on which the Barbell Shrugged crew pontificate this week.
The take home points are pretty simple. If you’re training at high volume, which is pretty much anything beyond Crossfit.com style WOD’s – multiple strength or weightlifting movements in addition to metcons and some skills work – you’re probably not eating enough. Even if you are eating enough, in the right quantities at the right time, it still might be enough. This is the crossroads I’ve recently found myself. The volume of strict paleo food I could consume could not match the demands I was placing on my body. The first solution was adding raw goat milk, the liquid calories were dense enough to fill some gaps and let met break passed the low 200’s. The second stage was maltodextrin derived from corn. Alas, I’ve stalled out again, struggling to break this 212/213 barrier I’m currently sitting at and actually struggling to maintain my strength in the face of new higher volume training cycles. My most recent solution is the addition of short grain white rice. Now before you strict paleo folks get out your pitch forks and torches – hear me out.
First read this article by Chris Kresser which outlines some ways in which the optimal human diet might be altered to certain heritage traits and even why carefully chosen additions outside of the strict paleo definition could be beneficial, or at least not detrimental. Then read this article written by Mark Sisson the details all of the in’s and out’s of various non-wheat grain sources. His take home message is that short grain white rice is both devoid of anti-nutrients and also devoid of any real nutritional value. It’s the perfect form of starch, it’s pure starch. My intestinal fortitude will not be compromised, and my muscles will thank me for the extra glycogen right? That’s what Dan Keifer would have me belief – he’s a pretty big proponent of short grain sticky rice as part of the carb backload. So with bost these fabulously written articles in mind – I took a stab at some white rice tonight.
Today was a good day – I gave this a lot of thought and I feel good about it. I feel like I’m back on the track to reaching attainable goals. I have new methods to attack my ankle mobility, I have new programming to target my weaknesses and get me moving efficiently, and I finally feel as if I have a firm grasp on my ability to properly fuel these goals. I’m sure the 32 oz. of bulletproof coffee didn’t hurt either.
While I’m on the subject, let’s talk coffee. I’m planning on doing a step by step post tomorrow, but the basics are simple; brew some strong ass black coffee, add about 1tbsp of grass fed butter and coconut oil for each 8-10 oz. portion (I use 3 tbsp for 32oz.), blend the shit out of it and enjoy thoroughly. I drink a ton of coffee, and caffeine in general, I have a pretty good idea for how it affects me. Today I was feeling this caffeine buzz well into 1:00 pm, which is usually when I’m thinking about my 4th cup for the day. That’s huge! The one 32 oz coffee at 6:20 AM, kept me going until my pre-workout at 3:00. Today was a good day.
Mid-thigh Snatch from blocks or hang 3 @ 50%, 3 @ 60%, 3 @ 70%, 3 @ 80%, 1 @ 85% 95; 105; 125; 145; 155
Snatch High Pull from blocks or hang 4 x 3 @ 90% 165
Front Squat 3RM 270
Running clock, add 1 rep to each round:
Odd: GHD Situps 12 (9 of 13)
Even: Burpees 10 (9 of 11)
I’d be pretty confident in saying that most people now consider the amount of time I spend in the gym on an average day a little sickening. I’ll break it down cause I know you’re curious.
3:00 – Arrive at CF STL
3:00 – 3:20 – Bullshit with David, practice double unders
3:20 – 3:50 – Soft tissue and mobility work
3:50 – 4:15 – Change shoes, more mobility, general barbell warmup
4:15 – 5:00 – Warmup A (snatch postion, pausing quad snatch work, 3 stop snatch drills, top down snatch drills)
5:00 – 6:30 – My actual programming
Obviously there’s some room to cut things out and speed things up but I’m much more of a quality over speed mindset. I’d rather take the time and make sure things are going well. Sorry if it means I live at the box – frankly there are worse places I could be and far worse people I could be around.
Today was probably the best weightlifting day I’ve had in the last week. The warmup complexes felt really good, really fast, and I was hitting all my position marks with some to little difficulty. The high hang snatches didn’t really feel heavy until the 145 mark, and even then it wasn’t impossible. I taped a set of high pulls to make sure my bar path was good and its probably the most vertical bar bath I’ve ever had. I was actually surprised when I watched it. I thought the front squats would be awful today for a couple reasons. First, my back squats Monday felt terrible, second I did pistols yesterday which didn’t give me any rest, third my right knee has been pretty hot again lately with this increased volume. I warmed up from 95 pounds and did 3 sets of 5 at 95 before I went up from there, I think that helped a lot. Add that to all the goblet squat holds and I think it’s transfered really well to a more vertical torso and a stronger front squat position. For reference 275 was my 1RM at front squats for a solid 8 weeks so to be hitting 270×3 is pretty huge in such a short time. Granted the 3rd rep was pretty gross, it took a significant amount of back flexion to get that one up, but it got up. This is Crossfit right, health be damned!
It wouldn’t have been a complete day without more capacity testing. Today was burpee and GHD sit-ups. I wasn’t really sure how you reach failure on a burpee so I tried to simply go all out on the intensity and when I started to really drift away from that level is when I called it. For me that meant either struggling off the floor, or in the hip pop at the top, or both. In this case it was both, I tapered off pretty significantly after the round of 10. Honestly I thought the GHD sit-ups would go longer but I was surprised the burpees in between actually gave my low back and abs a chance to get tight in between and that round of 11 just felt awful straight from the start.
I’m not even going to start on 13.5 because I’ve already written far more than intended to, so we’ll save that for tomorrow. I will say though that there is 6 feet of fresh Speal bar in the back of my Mini Cooper that I’m dying to break out.