Really, is it all that complicated? Yeah, all of us in the Paleo/Evolutionary Fitness community like to geek-out on the minutia of this stuff (and with the workout specifics as well), but when we get down to brass tacks — or (and especially so!) when dealing with the “mainstream”, or potential converts — it’s helpful to remember this: Paleo is, at its roots, really, really easy. To wit, check out Robb Wolf’s the Paleo Solution, Quick Start Guide. In fact, the entire Paleo Solution book is a great Paleo introduction tool. I won’t go into a full-fledged review just quite yet, as I prefer to fully digest a book (lots of margin scribbles, notes, underlining, etc.) before weighing-in. I can tell you this much, though; Robb’s book would be a fantastic introduction to anyone contemplating testing the Paleo/Evolutionary Fitness waters. As opposed to, say, Taubes’ Good Calorie, Bad Calories; a read that I’m particularly fond of, by the way, but that can be, oh…how shall be say…a bit off-putting to the newly initiated? Hell, even Toban Weibe’s most excellent summary of Taubes’ tome can be much for most initiates. Not so Robb’s the Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet. Accessible? You bet; I’d feel comfortable suggesting it to anyone — and certainly to anyone who is even the least bit skeptical over the whole “Caveman” thing. Robb does an excellent job of both providing sound, science-backed information, and doing so in a way so as to not come-off as being some kind of a back-to-the-caves whack-job…or worse yet, a dietary dogmatic. Bottom line? Get Robb’s book; get it for yourself and for anyone you care enough about to coax into the Paleo fold.
On to a couple of workouts –
Let’s preface things a bit by noting that I spent the greater part of Sunday lifting, toting, and just all-around man-handling heavy things. And not in a fun way, either — I’m talkin’ moving, folks. As in, shuttling a shit-pot-ton of household…stuff, from one place to another. How does one ever acquire so much? Anyway, thanks to my good friend Robert Remmers for sacrificing his Sunday (and a good deal of sleep!) to help Michelle and I out. Thanks, my man — we couldn’t have done it without you!
So I split this workout up into an AM/afternoon thing, as that’s just the way things happened to pan out on Monday, between training clients and handling other, more admin-related work. It was a nice opportunity for me to test how I’d respond to back-to-back (and separated by only a few hours) explosive work, as it’s been a while since I’ve done something like this. Again, I’m not personally a huge fan of the power clean, as I feel like I can (because of my build/bio-mechanics), get a bit more out of other lifts — however, I do like to keep light and technically flawless PCs in the mix — more so for the dynamics of the catch (as opposed to the pull). So, power cleans and power snatches in the AM; trap bar jump-ups and feet elevated ring presses in the 2nd of the day’s bouts.
power cleans: 135 x 7, 7; 175 x 3, 3; 185 x 2, 2, 2, 2 (high, rock-solid catch, very little knee bend with an immediate return to the hang position and explosion into the following rep)
power snatch: 135 x 3, 3, 3, 3
…and a few hours later:
trap bar jump-ups: (jump squats with a trap bar): 135 x6, 6, 6, 6
in a superset with –
feet elevated ring presses: bodyweight + 60 lb vest x 8, 7, 7, 7
How much can one cram into 10 minutes? Quite a bit, actually. I sandwiched this quick-HITer (heh…) between Wednesday AM and early afternoon fixie sprint sessions:
tru-squat: (115 counter weight) – 115 x 12, 150 x 10 (42×0 tempo)
rdl (X-Ccentric machine): 90 x 12, 140 x 7 (42×0 tempo)
nautilus pec dec: 110 x 8, 7 (4020 tempo)
Amazing what a concentrated slam you can give to your body in such a short period of time.
I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and really enjoy it. I have to order the Paleo Solution book. The quick guide looks great. I’m always looking for simple ways to explain the Paleo style of eating to other people.
Keep up the good work.
Best – Mike
It is a great read, Mike — and Robb’s super personality really comes through in the writing. Highly recommended.
Yep, Robb Wolf is the bees-knees. I’ve listened to all of his podcasts and am part way through his book. I agree that he shows how simple it really all is. I’m in it for the health and longevity, so for me it’s a simple plan. I wake up naturally in the morning w/o an alarm clock (usually around 6:30-7am). I have some coffee with a splash of raw milk for breakfast. Get the kids ready for school (and make their lunches). Drop kids off at school and then swing by the store for a day or two’s worth of fresh produce and meat. I do a brief, intense heavy lifting/body weight work out about twice per week (each session about 2-3 sets of the following in my sunny backyard around 10-11am: pushups, pullups/chinups, shoulder press with kettlebells, squats holding kettlebells). I eat lunch (first meal of the day) any where between 10:30am and noon. It’s my biggest meal of the day. I work (sometimes from home, sometimes at the University). If working from home, about 2-3 days per week I’ll take a 45 or so minute walk and listen to Robb’s podcast or one by Jimmy Moore (or occasionally Underground Wellness). I start making dinner around 4-5pm which usually consists of a whack of protein (fish, beef, lamb, chicken, or goat), a big salad and/or some veggies (kale with coconut cream has been a biggie this summer), some red wine of course. Dinner’s consumed anywhere between 6-7pm. Kids fed, bathed, stories read, and in bed by 8-8:30. I’m in bed and lights out between 9-10pm, occasionally I stay up late, depending on my mood.
I’ll easily skip a workout or two with not a care in the world if I get busy or I just don’t feel like it. I don’t worry about trying to make up the “missed” workout. I just pick up again when I feel ready.
This protocol has left me feeling great just about all the time, I rarely get seriously sick, I’m lean, and happy. I’m not out for hitting performance marks, just want to feel like I can climb a tree in a pinch and be functional and feel good for as long as possible. It really doesn’t get any easier than this!
Right on, Aaron. And it really is just that simple; an easy (and cheap!) prescription for a long, healthy and fruitful life.
Keith – another great post. And, I appreciate Aaron’s reminder of the ultimate simplicity of living a healthy lifestyle. With that said (and somewhat off topic), Keith, I’m curious if you’ve read the study from McMaster University that Clarence Bass discuss in his October postings. Clarence’s discussion, titled “Light Weights Build Muscle,” is here: http://www.cbass.com/LightWeights.htm
I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this, if you’re so inclined to weigh in on the merits of the study.
Thanks for the good words, Will. And in reference to the McMaster study, check out these two posts (here and here). Bottom line? It all boils down to a question of n=1. The “magic” is in crafting a protocol (choosing from the myriad of available methodologies out there) that best addresses both the trainee’s needs, recovery, and place along the anabolic continuum. This is why I say training is as much intuitive art, as it is science.
I have heard nothing but positive reviews about The Paleo Solution and I will likely be purchasing that some time soon. And I know what you are saying about Taubes’ book; I consider my self at least of average intelligence, but it took some re-reading and some gestation time before some of that sank in.
Quick question. Can you explain your tempo nomenclature? 42×0? Sometimes I see 3010 or 4020. I’m assuming you mean in those cases 30 sec down/10 sec up.
I highly, highly recommend Robb’s book, Andy. As far as my tempo nomenclature, it goes like this: eccentric, pause in the “stretch”, concentric, pause at full contraction. “X” signifies fast-as-possible, i.e., explosive. “0” signifies an immediate turn-around, i.e., no pause.