Here was my first meal of the day that I had a little after 4:00, yes I IF (intermittent fast) but more on that later. I went down to the cafeteria at work got some streamed vegetables ($1.25) and added some slivered almonds (free). I topped that with a can of Trader Joe’s Wild Alaskan Salmon and some Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Also from the cafe I got some chicken and tomato “soup”, I drained pretty much all the liquid to get more chicken in the medium container ($2.10) so it was more like a thick stew. So that plus some green tea and liquid vitamin-D3 left me with a great Paleo meal with very little prep time. Following Paleo means that you have to be resourceful a lot and that may mean getting made fun of by your co-workers because you eat “cat food”. That’s fine with me.
So I just finished Robb Wolf’s book, The Paleo Solution. It was great, simply put. What really makes it a good read is how he presents this Paleo stuff in a fun and engaging manner. While I can read anything when it comes to nutrition, I have ton of diet and nutrition books, I found Robb’s book to be written in a manner for all to enjoy (stay awake while reading). I am going to encourage/push most of my family to read this book as I have found that if it comes from a book, most of the info sinks in more as opposed to me saying over and over, “don’t eat processed foods!”
Seriously though, this book was fun to read and I was sad when I finished it. While nothing was particularly new for me, after all I have followed Robb for awhile (listened to each one of his podcasts at least once, attended two of his all-day lectures, and hounded him with many questions over the years), that doesn’t mean I didn’t learn anything. As I always say, it’s not about what you know necessarily, it’s how you present the info to others that makes them and yourself understand.
Lastly, the 30-day meal plan looked very good and I can’t wait to try it out as my meals can get very repetitive and boring for most (except my dog who loves people food).
As of writing this, Robb’s book is #20 on Amazon.com’s best seller list! For only $14.58, that is quite an attractive ROI if you follow through with the plan. Please buy and distribute amongst your family and friends because this isn’t about trying to make Robb rich (although he deserves it), it’s about transforming the health of your loved ones. I know that sounds corny but after researching and trying almost every approach to nutrition, I can honestly say that a pure Paleo diet is without a doubt the most fool-proof approach out there.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and please let me know your results if you decide to jump in. Good luck, it’s not the easiest approach out there but the rewards are well worth the efforts.
I was excited all day for today’s workout. Deadlift and a Met-Con, what’s not to love? After a quick stretch, we got right into it.
Athlete-Set 1 weight, 6 reps-Set 2 weight, 4 reps-Set 3 weight, max reps, Set 4 weight, prior set reps +1 if possible
Video’s of these lifts can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/user/FFTraining1#p/u
Kerri had a great performance tonight that came out of nowhere. Ann pulled hard but did not want to let her form fall apart, good decision. Matt worked really hard on staying back on his heels while pushing his hips back. He has come a long way and it won’t be long until he feels just as comfortable in this lift as he does in the squat. I was happy with my performance and I really think that lifting in my Vibram Five Fingers makes a difference. Also a big congratulations goes out to Jenna who worked on her form tonight and completed her first deadlifts! It didn’t take long before her form started to fall into place, even with a higher-heel running shoe on.
After the deadlifts, we went outside for a new met-con that I thought up earlier in the day. Thinking back to my Crossfit Level 1 certification, I came up with this workout.
As many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of:
Air Squat with a 3-second pause at the bottom, 10 reps
Carry Bumper Plate 40 yds, 10#/25#
Sprint 40 yds and back
Carry your plate back to the start
This workout provided the metabolic response that I was looking for, tired but not destroyed. No movement was so taxing that you were left in muscle failure but you still felt it. All in all, a good night.
Today was a non-deadlift/squat day for the class and we ended up working on running, overhead weights, and pressing strength. To start the class, I talked about a good video I saw over at CrossfitEndurance.com where some of the more technical aspects of running were discussed. Two parts that I focused on in particular were the angle of the leg while pulling and how much vertical distance is covered on each stride. There is a lot within just those two parts but simply said, try to make your running as effortless as possible.
After a brief stretch, we went into working on dumbbell overhead squats. With a review of this skill and once everyone had a chance to get comfortable with OH squats, we went into the first workout of the class.
WOD 1 – 3 rounds, with a focus on form and not intensity, of:
DB Complex*, 3 per arm
Run from Building to Grass and Back
*Deadlift, Swing, Power Clean, Push Press, OH Squat
With only a little bit of time to recover, it wasn’t long before we went right into the second workout of the class. While this was not a pure strength workout, it still gave the upper body a good thrashing.
WOD 2 – max rep Bench Press right into max rep Push-Up, 3 rounds
This was organized as the second athlete would start their bench set as soon as the first athlete was done with their bench and starting their push-ups. Therefore each athlete was provided some time in between sets but not too much.
Athlete, round(bench weight) – bench reps/push-up reps
Ann, 1(75) – 5/12, 2(60) – 18/5, 3(45) – 21/2
Kerri, 1(80) – 6/7, 2(65) – 14/6, 3(45) – 18/7
Matt, 1(195) – 7/12, 2(150) – 12/10, 3(110) – 10/8
Mark, 2(235) – 8/10, 2(180) – 12/10, 3(130) – 13/6
After this, everyone was spent but not destroyed. With another class coming tomorrow, deadlifts nonetheless, this is the type of feeling that I was shooting for. Good work everyone. See you tomorrow night at 6:30 pm.
There will be a slight delay with Part 2 of the ‘What is FFT?’ series as I am reading Robb Wolf’s new book. So far it’s excellent! I will write a review when I’m done, which might be very soon. I am just hanging out in an airport.
As FFT has been around for a little over a year and a half, the class structure used has naturally evolved in that time. Before I get into that though, I feel it is only fitting to describe the goals of FFT. I see FFT as a way to develop strong people who can apply their strength in a multitude of situations. This is really just another way of saying “Functional Fitness”. On a practical level, this means being able to move sacks of grain from the ground into a truck bed, shoveling heavy wet snow “for time”, running most of a 5k when you could only walk it before, not pulling a hamstring anymore when softball season comes around after having done so in almost every season prior, or pulling more than your own bodyweight in dead lifts for reps when your chiropractor wants to help you lift your bag when in his office. By the way, those examples are all stories from my clients after following FFT principles.
Before going on I should note that FFT is nothing groundbreaking or revolutionary, just a hodgepodge of programs that have worked for coaches and clients across the globe. Just like anything else, I believe that fitness and health are fields where evidence-based results should reign over anecdotal reports and hypotheses. Don’t get me wrong though, one should never stop thinking and challenging their beliefs as it is only through a complete understanding that you will ultimately be able to be confident in your actions. Just ask some of the FFT regulars how much I talk about the same topics over and over, but always from different angles as I try to poke holes in arguments and ideas. My goal for not only myself, but for my clients as well, is to come to your own conclusions. I am just here to serve as a guide, there is no need to believe what I say blindly.
With all that said, now I want to get into how FFT classes are structured and why they are done this way. Drawing from the first paragraph, I believe that strength is one of the most important parts of any foundation, be it a college athlete or a grandparent. Next to nutrition, which I will certainly have more to say about in future posts, strength just helps everything else. That is why I make the dead lift and the squat the core lifts for FFT classes. Proficiency in these two lifts alone, if you were to do nothing else, I believe would give you such strong base level of strength that most would be satisfied with just that.
As FFT class is currently held three times a week, one to two of those classes are based around either the squat or the dead lift. On those days, we will do a quick warm-up to get the blood flowing and then get right into either the squat or the dead lift. For each of these lifts, four sets will be performed with weights that are calculated to bring out the right intensity within a desired rep range. For example, we shoot for 5 reps on the max effort set (the third set). If at least five reps are done on that set, then that lifter is able to add weight the next time that that lift comes up in class. If five reps are not achieved, then the weight remains the same until you get to five.
After the squat or dead lift sets are done, it is now time for a quick (usually under 10 minutes) met-con (an anaerobic* workout that is usually not tons of fun to do but not one to leave you lifeless on the floor either). The met-con’s purpose is to serve as a conditioning tool as we don’t do any traditional “cardio” during class. My goal is that through three classes a week along with proper diet and recovery, one wouldn’t have to do much outside of class to reach their fitness and health goals, within reason of course. I’m talking more so about being lean and healthy, not olympic level athletes or sport-specific athletes where extra time must be spent practicing particular skill sets.
*think sprints as opposed to jogging
That is all for now. Time to get to bed as sleep is very important, which we will discuss in some future posts.
Thank you for traveling here from my old blog, functionalfitnesstraining.blogspot.com. Through the WordPress app I can update this blog from anywhere on my iPhone! My first post will be later on today, stay tuned.