New Address, Y’all!

Heads-up my friends, TTP has now joined forces with his lovely and accomplished wife (AKA Meesus TTP), of Eclectic Kitchen and Caveman Cuisine fame, and has shifted his S & C dog-and-pony show across town to Ancestral Momentum.   Hopefully, I’ll soon have an automatic redirect at this address, but until then…

Everything from this site has been copied to the new location (in theory, anyway), so nothing should be lost…including past post comments.  So be sure to come join us over at Ancestral Momentum for the best in S & C talk, combined with the whit and knowledge of one of the most accomplished Paleo/Primal chefs around!  See ya there!

In health…and fitness,

Keith

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35 Years Worth of Power Cleans, Sprints, Dips and Chins

Intelligence requires that you don’t defend an assumption ~ David Bohm

Women and Children First (album)

Yeesh, I probably still have the cassette somewhere, too...

The setting: a recent Friday, early evening, alone and between clients at Austin’s Efficient Exercise Rosedale studio.  Shuffled tracks from Van Halen’s late 70’s/early 80’s stuff (Van Halen II, Fair Warning, Women and Children First, Diver Down…) blasting from the stereo.  I’m 8 sets into a power clean — Russian leg curl combo workout, and my thumbs are now completely raw and hook-grip-numb.  My posterior chain is just about spent, and my quads — as a result of  an ever-lower catch depth — are fading fast.  Rep after rep; set after set.  To most, this would be the epitome of prolonged drudgery and yet to me, this is just some good damn quality time spent alone.  Hardcore iron meditation; in lieu of Gregorian chants, I’ve got the incessant wailing of David Lee Roth‘s voice over an Eddie Van Halen guitar.

It occurs to me that, save for my Addidas Adipure-shod feet, this could just as easily be my 17 year-old self “slaving away” at the Power House Gym, San Antonio, Texas, circa 1982.

What’s kept this love of Physical Culture alive for me for so long, I’m not really sure I can pinpoint.  I don’t think it’s any one thing though, but rather a patchwork of things.  I think most of us who have remained true to whatever manifestation of Physical Culture we define as our base (HIT, HIIT, Oly or Power lifting, bodybuilding, etc.) can relate to Henry Rollins‘s notion of the iron never lying.  When all else in the world my be completely and insanely bat-shit, an evening’s worth of 225 lb power clean repeats remains comfort food for my physical being.

In fact, the very things that defined my exercise base 35 years ago — cleans, dips, chins and sprints — still define my base today.   Sure, I utilize a myriadof different training modalities and exercises now, and my workouts run seamlessly, day-to-day, into my play and back again.  I’ve refined and compressed my training now, with the two-hour marathon sessions being few and far between.  I have access to, and frequently utilize, proprietary ARX Fit equipment — one of the most advanced exercise technologies to come along since the heady Nautilus days; an equipment technology that I know has, in fact, allowed me perform my base-of-preference movements at ever-higher levels — and yet there’s just something about a solid, well-executed, old-school clean, a gut-wrenching dip, the clanging of iron between your knees when grinding-out chins, or that earth-skimming feeling of an all-out sprint.

I’m sure nostalgia plays a big part in this, just as I’m sure I remember myself as being a better athlete than any of my coaches would attest to.  Maybe these are the little lies we tell ourselves to make it through this life, I dunno.   What I do know is that this type of lifting — and these particular movements — are not only good for my body, but good for my mental state of being as well.  In their essence, these are primal moves; the base of the Physical Culture pyramid — heave, press, pull…and haul friggin’ ass.  Follow-up one of these sessions with some wanton carnivory and, well, we’ve got two of the four Ancestral Wellness rails covered.  Eventually, we’ll get around to addressing community and spiritual life using the same Ancestral template.  Ancestral Wellness 3.0 and 4.0?  It’s just a matter of time before these issues will force themselves to the forefront, just as the first two phases have done.

~

A little something to contemplate.  Is Physical Culture an art, in the same way that music is an art?

I would argue that it is.  Check out this clip from Big Think, and let me know what you think.

There is a huge difference between training from a template, and training intuitively according to your n=1 circumstance.  A template can never adjust for your particular set of givens; time, tools, techniques and temperament are unique for each individual, and must be navigated accordingly.  To move toward Physical Culture mastery, you must break free of adhering to some one else’s notion of what ought to be done, and cut your own path.  You can always learn from what others do under their particular set of circumstances, but blindly copying is a mistake.

In health, fitness and Ancestral Wellness –

Keith

And Now Let’s Hack Keith’s DEXA Scan…

“Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”

– William James 

So I’ve decided to follow the look under the hood with a purview of how the ol’ chassis is holding up, and what better method to do so with than the gold standard body composition test, the DEXA scan.

The big selling point of this technology, of course, lay in it’s ability to accurately and non-invasively measure bone density, and as more and more folks succumb to the horrors of a SAD/non-Paleo-diet-induced osteoporosis, this provides the grain-chomping, brittle-boned (1) a vivid snapshot of their deteriorating scaffolding, and (2) a means by which to be shock-sold the Bisphosphonate class of wonder-drugs (Boniva, Flosamax, etc.).  It’s a beautiful, beautiful, 3-way partnership; feed ’em crap, show ’em the in-your-face results of eating said crap, then sell them a drug that enables them (in one respect, at least) to continue eating that crap.  Win-win…and — cha-ching! — WIN again!  😉

Mostly seen as a side benefit of this technology — yet what those of us in the Physical Culture community would be most interested in — is the DEXA’s ability to accurately measure ALL the constituents of one’s body composition: fat, lean tissue and bone mass.  In other words, it’s the most accurate, all-encompassing picture of one’s body composition that can be had.

Now, as I have the great privilege of living in *the* epicenter of Physical Culture, Austin, Texas, I have ready access to the University of Texas run Fitness Institute of Texas, where Executive Director, Phil Stanforth, and Operations Director, Julie Drake, oversee a grade-A organization of fitness/performance-smart professionals.  In fact, we at Efficient Exercise are now in partnership with the fine folks at FIT, offering DEXA services to our clients at a much-reduced rate.  Not only do clients receive a full report of their scan results (the most of which, of my report, I’ve included below), but also a comprehensive explanation of the results from one of the astute FIT staff.

Note: for those of you making the trip to Austin this spring for what’s quickly shaping-up to be the Burning Man of the Paleo/Primal set, PFX12, we will have have a limited number of slots available to obtain your own DEXA Scan report and comprehensive explanation from the professionals at FIT.  We’ll update PFX12 website as the specifics of this service become available.  Check the PFX12 site for more details as they become available.

So without further ado, here we go.  Ain’t no Photoshoppin’ and/or airbrushin’ this stuff, folks!  And just a side note: airbrushed or not, LL does look mighty (surprisingly even?) hot, here 😉  I dunno, maybe it’s the Marilyn thing…

…I digress…

Anyway, back to the subject at hand.  So below is a visual image of the raw data, produced from approximately 7-minutes worth of actual scan time.  Note the bit of scoliosis in the mid/low back.  Now, I haven’t thought of this one iota since my days of playing college ball, when the team chiropractor pointing out this condition to me.  I remember at the time asking if it was a problem, and his reply being “based on your performance, apparently not.”   My kinda doc.  The question in my mind now is, I wonder how much extra performance *could* be squeezed-out of being perfectly aligned.  I also wonder if this is a genetic thing, or something resultant of my daredevil (read:bone-headed), no-stranger-to-the-ER, youth.

And now, the pertinent portions of the full report.  I realize these are a little tough to read; gotta work within the limitations of the blogging platform, though.

Note the 17.2 % BF in the hips.  What the hell?  Lotta junk in the trunk appearantly, y’all 😉

What would be interesting — and what I’d kill to have — are comparison data from my competitive days, where I was in the peak of my performance/fitness ability (health, of course, being another matter entirely), and played at between 220 and 225.  Aside from the extra amount of muscle I carried in my neck at that time (heh…think prototypical Neanderthal), I wonder what the rest of my composition would have looked like.  If I had to guess, I’d say that my BF% was a little higher, but not by much.

So this is quite interesting.  A 10.6% BF level without purposefully trying to be lean.  If anyone has seen me eat, they know that I do so with reckless abandon.  The key, of course, is the consumption of a Paleo diet — though I do enjoy the occasional corn tortilla, corn chips and salsa, and the much more frequent beer.  I also swill plenty of raw, unpasteurized dairy (usually reserved for post workout).  These are the n=1 tweaks that I’ve found work for me, though these few indiscretions usually have me exiled,  by Paleo dogmatists, to the nutritional equivalent of Lesbos; that’s the topic of another post though, I suppose.  At any rate, if I were a bodybuilder, a 10.6%, off-season BF would be pretty damn good — not far to go to get to stage condition — and a hell of a lot healthier than bloating up only to drop right back down again.

Oh, and one thing that I did not include from the report is that, at a BMI of 30.6, the World Health Organization considered me “obese”.   I suppose it’s time to whittle-down into the single-digit BF so as to rectify that!

~

So what, exactly is “healthy”?  And can “healthy” (as opposed to “performance”) even really be adequately defined?  None of us in this community is particularly satisfied (nor should we be) with the trite “absence of disease” definition, but damn if we don’t keep getting lead back to that point.  Health, of course, is a condition that is in continual flux, a condition defined not only by internal functioning and parameter measures, but also how those parameters react to epigenetic, cultural and societal influence.   Health is a distinct function apart from measures of “fitness” and/”performance”, and yet it is intimately tied to these measures as well.  A simple thought experiment:  how many victims of the 9/11 tragedy sported “perfect” blood labs and DEXA screens, yet perished due to a fitness base incapable of rising to the occasion? An extreme example, yes — and yet…well, it’s at least food for thought.

And with this thought in mind, checkout the fantastic post, Norm and normal: the social construction of health, by Dr. Ricky Fishman.  Good, thought-provoking stuff.

In health (and performance!),

Keith

Takin’ a Peek Under the Hood; Hackin’ My Bloodwork

“Human beings have an inalienable right to invent themselves.” – Germaine Greer 

I recently decided, in an on-going effort to better quantify an n=1 sweet-zone within my health vs performance continuum, to have an in-depth blood panel examined by Austin’s premier Ancestral Wellness savvy practitioners, the Merritt Wellness Center, and specifically by their resident nutritionist and bloodwork guru, Holly L’Italien.  Holly’s grasp of bloodwork analysis from an Ancestral Wellness prospective is unsurpassed.  She’s an as-yet undiscovered rockstar in the larger Paleo community, and yet another reason why Austin can tout itself as *the* epicenter of Physical Culture.  As we’ll see in this ongoing series, she possesses a laser-sharp insight into the nature and inter-workings of what is an extremely complicated weave of genetic and epigenetic cause, effect and (at times, and at first glance, misleading) correlation.

So what, at a thirty-thousand-foot-view, did my bloodwork reveal?  Well, it begins to tell the story of someone who’s pushing the friggin’ hairy-edge of the health vs performance continuum, that’s what.  Big surprise, huh?  I’ll turn this over to the resident expert for a more in-depth analysis in just a moment, but what we can see aligning here are indications of elevated cortisol  beginning to jack with overall health-indicator parameters in some not-so healthy ways.  What might this elevated cortisol result from?  Well, for starters, how about a recently-turned 47 year-old who insists on training (and for the most part, living) as if he were still a bullet-proof, 20 year old collegiate football player.  Add to that already-volatile mix, an exhilarating (though friggin’ taxing)  24/7 professional life, and a personal life that has endured every major stressor you can imagine — marriage, divorce, a high-stress prior gig (in Big Pharma, for God’s sake!), the raising of teenagers (four of ‘em!!), a complete, utter and drastic career change, moving cross-country, the buying and selling of homesteads in a beyond-shitty market, the passing of a daughter… and hey, those are just the biggies.

So did I do like any normal human being would, and take my foot off of the gas pedal during all of this?  Yeah, right.  Is moderation in my vocabulary, even now?  Uhhhh, no.  Hell, if anything, I just mash the pedal even more when I’m stressed, in some kind of manic (obsessive?), feed-forward loop.  It’s my wolverine/honey badger nature to do just that.  Red-lining workouts and/or pushing physical limits has always been what makes me feel most “alive”.  So am I addicted to the adrenalin rush that being in the extreme produces?  Yeah, probably so.  And I have been ever since I was a kid, so I guess I can blame it on a genetic hard-wiring thing.  But the question now is this:  do I need to back off?  And if so, where?  And, maybe even more importantly, can I restructure things so as to satisfy my psyche, as well as my health?

So what follows is the give-and-take between Holly (italicized) and I; the hacking of Keith’s bloodwork.  Feel free to join in the fray.

First up, let’s look at the hard numbers as reported by the blood-draw lab.  The draw was completed following a 12-hour fast, and 24-hour exercise fast:

And now for some insightful analysis, here’s Holly:
In reviewing Keith’s bloodwork lab values, the two things that stand out are the BUN and Total Cholesterol (301 mg/dl) values.  In Keith’s case, the BUN (Blood Urea Nitogen, 25 mg/dl) and creatinine (1.25 mg/dl) are most likely elevated due to strenuous exercise.

Regarding cholesterol, the pattern that we are seeing here is indicative of Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH).  FH is a genetic lipid disorder that causes abnormal lipid values. There are five types of FH and they each require different management strategies. On Keith’s mother’s side there is a family history of heart disease, so this is something we will want to keep an eye on.

However, the ratio of HDL (66 mg/dl) to triglycerides (64 mg/dl) is good. Typically this means that if we took a look at the breakdown of Keith’s LDL (222 mg/dl) into the different sub-particles, we would likely find there are more of the good light fuffly kind, and few of the small dense kind that can signal a risk for heart disease. Keith’s c-reactive protein (.22 mg/L) looks great, which is another indicator that his relative risk for heart disease is low.

From a ‘wellness’ or functional perspective, functionally low protein (6.8 g/dl) and phosphorus (3.4 mg/dl) suggests low stomach acid affecting the ability to digest protein. Stomach acid will decrease in times of stress. Sodium (141 mmol/L) is elevated according to functional ranges. This, in conjunction with low LDH (69 IU/L) and an A1c (5.4), suggests there may be some adrenal fatigue wherein the adrenals are unable to keep up with changes in blood sugar.  Low calcium (8.7 mg/dl) is often an indicator of thyroid issues, and the low thyroxine (T4, 5.8 ug/dl) supports this.

His white blood cells are functionally low (4.7 x10E3/UL), which can also be indicative of chronic stress, or possibly a hidden infection.

So it’s important to see that all these things are inter-related: impaired adrenal function is often associated with impaired thyroid function. Both are affected by stress. Cholesterol can be elevated in the presence of a sluggish thyroid. Cholesterol can also elevate in adrenal stress in the body’s efforts to produce more cortisol to handle the stress. LDL cholesterol– the ‘bad’ cholesterol– is necessary for life and is the precursor to all the sex and stress hormones. And finally, stress and the resultant high cortisol can impact thyroid function.  So — in classic chicken-egg scenario drama — which happened first?

If we were just looking at the labs, we would have recommend following up with a more in depth thyroid panel which looks at the free (active) thyroid hormones T3 and T4. We would also want to see if there are thyroid antibodies present. We might also order a lipid phenotyping panel to see which of the five FH patterns Keith has. Finally, we might want to see a VAP panel to ascertain what Keith’s LDL is comprised of– more of the light fluffy, or a proliferation of the small dense?

However, it is said that the patient interview is 80% of the diagnosis. When we had a chance to sit down with Keith and learn a little bit about his lifestyle, we learned that he was working very long hours, and burning the candle at both ends. This is a significant cause of stress all by itself, made much worse because Keith often doesn’t eat anything until 3 or 4 in the afternoon. This is a huge stress on the body because the adrenal glands have been working hard all night producing cortisol to balance blood sugar during the sleeping hours. By forcing the adrenal glands to keep producing cortisol all day as well instead of eating is an additional burden that can only be sustain at the expense of other organ systems.

Keith says he is not hungry in the morning, which makes sense given the stress his body is under. In times of stress, your body goes into the ‘fight or flight’ mode, shutting down the ‘rest and digest’ systems. One of the results of this is low stomach acid, one of the symptoms of this is no appetite or even nausea in the morning. The functionally low protein and phosphorus on his blood test support a diagnosis of low stomach acid.

Given that stress and cortisol has such wide ranging impact, we elected not to pursue the thyroid and cholesterol panels at this time. Instead we’ll take a closer look at what is going on with Keith’s stress hormones with a salivary hormone test which require Keith to provide samples four times a day. This will show us not only the amount of stress hormones he is producing, but will also show us how his hormones are cycling (circadian rhythm).  Finally we’ve asked him to make some lifestyle changes to support adrenal health and take some of the stress of his system:

1) Eat breakfast!
2) Eat a little something every 2-3 hours before he gets hungry. Hunger is an indication that the blood sugar is already low and the adrenal glands are already forced into action to produce cortisol to bring the blood sugar up.

Then we will retest in about 3 months to see how dealing with this major stressor affects his labs. At that time we will also follow up with whatever tests necessary to feel confidant that Keith’s health is optimal.

~

So I’ve taken Holly’s advice and have begun eating a small, protein & fat-heavy breakfast in the morning.  I have to say that this small step does have me feeling better (in a “more energy” kind of way) during the day.  I am eating more often too, though maybe not at a frequency of every 2 – 3 hours — my client load and personal training schedule doesn’t normally allow for such — but I’d say that I’m now at about a 5x/day frequency, with maybe 2x prior to noon (remember, though, that I begin each day at approximately 4 AM), and 3x thereafter, with my last meal of the day (about 8 PM, most evenings) still being the largest.  Bedie-bye is usually not until about 10 PM.  I know a couple of more hours of sleep per night would go a long way toward keeping cortisol at bay but, realistically, that’s just not going to happen anytime soon.

This is a perfect example of n=1 manipulation of what many consider to be a Paleo/Primal lifestyle “given” — the daily 5 (ish)-hour, compressed, evening feeding window.  Of course it could certainly be argued that the 5-hour feeding window is the gold standard, and that I’m leaving behind a much healthier option to “cover” for my 90 mile-an-hour lifestyle and intense training regimen.   As an epistemocrat, I’ll weight these options, best I can, free of my own confirmation biases.

And I do have the salivary hormone test kit on hand, but haven’t yet drawn or submitted my samples.  Of course, these readings will now be skewed a bit from my original “blood-draw baseline”, since I have already implemented Holly’s two suggestions, and we’ll have to take that into consideration when the results are in.  So what’s keeping me from jumping right on this test?  Meh, I have to be caffeine free for the entire day.  If you know my proclivities toward a heavy daily joe intake, you can see right off where this is a bit of a problem 🙂 Seriously though, I intend to get on this test in the very near future.

So that’s it, folks — let’s begin hacking this kids bloodwork.  Your ideas and/or comments are encouraged!

…and as you can see, I’ve already begun taking it easy 🙂

In health,

Keith

The University of Texas’ Stark Center, Anchor for PFX12

“The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.” – Bertrand Russell

OK, so it’s been a while since I documented a run of workouts, so what better time to take a snapshot of things than Thanksgiving week?  Actually, this turned out to be a fairly typical workout week for me, with lots of varied modalities and overall session intensity variability tossed into the mix.

A snapshot of last week’s workouts –

Monday –
(A1) Powermax360 work: 30 seconds on, 15 off; 2 rounds
(A2) Eccentric Edge, leverage flat bench: 7 reps, max power output, no grind outs
4 total rounds.

Tuesday –
(first workout) – whip snatch + 3 overhead squats: 10 total sets, working up from 135 to 150 lbs
(second workout, 2 hours later) – thrusters x 3 reps: 5 total sets, working up from 135 to 185 lbs

Wednesday –
Lotsa fixie hucking 🙂

Thursday – Autoregulated lifts, with a decided power emphasis (i.e, reps were kept quick, with no grind-outs); 5 total rounds.
(A1) trap bar DLs: workup to 445 x2

(A2) Dips: workup to 95 x 5

(A3) free bar chins: workup to 95 x 3

Assessment: good day for dips, and so-so for chins.  As for DLs?  Meh…  In defense of a sub-par DL showing though, this was a friggin’ tough-ass combo.

Friday –
Sprint starts (30 yards)  and limited monkey & parallel bar work (really feelin’ Thursday’s DLs — not much spring in the legs)

Saturday –
Sprints (100 yards, 8 x <15 seconds, 45 seconds recoverery) and heavy sandbag work — clean & press, snatch, totes, etc.  (yikes!  *Still* feeling those DLs!).

Sunday –
A rare day completely off — unless you count my wrestle with IKEA furniture assembly 🙂

And now for your viewing pleasure…

How about an up-close-and-personal preview of the venue that will serve as the anchor to this spring’s highly anticipated PFX12 symposium?  Having been lucky enough to have been invited (as a personal guest of Ken “Transevolutionary Fitness” O’Neill) to the reception celebrating the official opening of the Stark Center’s Joe and Betty Weider Museum of Physical Culture, I can tell you that this place is just amazing to a dyed-in-the-wool Physical Culturalist like myself.

Anyway, you can get a feel for the scope and breadth of the facility via the short documentary and blog post, here.  Oh, and as an added bonus, yours truly makes a cameo appearance at about mark 2:00.  So does this mean that, since I’ve now rubbed elbows at such an event with the likes of Arnold, Boyer Coe, Larry Scott, Bill Pearl, Ronnie Coleman and Mark Henry, that my acting career will now skyrocket? 🙂  Heh; I wouldn’t hold your breath if I were you…

In other news, it looks like my man Anthony Johnson has this summer’s 21 Convention talks by Skyler and myself up and available now.  The theme of Skyler’s presentation (link here, via Anthony’s blog) centers on training expectations over a lifetime; in other words, taking a long-range of your training efforts, and purposefully directing those efforts so as to positively affect the entirety of your life.  As always, good stuff from my Efficient Exercise training brother-in-arms.

In my own presentation, I explore (among other various topics) the highly n=1 nature of health vs performance, and the often-times contradictory nature of chasing performance as a means of bolstering health.  I’ll warn you ahead of time: if you’re looking for sound-bite answers, quick-fixes, or a one-size-fits-all template, I’m not your guy, and this won’t be your jam.  The truth is, all I can define are general processes that are applicable to iron game pursuits.  Cooking from a book will never make one a chef any more than will painting by numbers make one an artist.  In the same way, training from a template will never make one a true Physical Culturalist.  One must learn hints from others, then forge their own n=1 path.

The Vampire chronicles…

In an upcoming series of posts, I’ll be documenting my recent bloodwork draw, and what those lab numbers reveal.  Nutritionist Holly L’Italien, from Austin’s Merritt Wellness Center will be doing some TTP guest posting as she hacks away at this kid’s bloodwork.  I can tell you this: intelligent bloodwork analysis is a friggin Rubik’s Cube puzzle.  Many, many mitigating and conflicting factors to consider.  This should be interesting as hell, especially as my numbers are anything but straightforward.  Stay tuned.

In health,
Keith

Back to the Future: the Return of the Clan?

“Every man is the builder of a temple called his body.” – Henry David Thoreau

As a frequent Forum, with Michael Krasny listener, I was pleasantly surprised by the exceptional Ancestral Wellness literacy expressed in this recent show (Are Humans Meant for Monogamy?) by guest Christopher Ryan, psychologist and co-author of “Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality“.   Ancestral Wellness acuity of this level is rarely encountered in the mainstream.  Even mentions of vegetarianism in this show come with the caveat of “know your biological underpinnings and, if you still opt for a vegetarian diet, do so with this knowledge and take the necessary precautions”.  In this way, Ryan compares monogamy with vegetarianism — no moral judgements, just sound precautions if you chose to operate outside of your genetic hard-wiring.   Know thyself, then adjust accordingly so as to support your goals and wishes.

Hmmmm; where have you heard that before?  😉

Now this idea is as easy to parody as Paleo itself; however, Ryan isn’t advocating wanton hedonism, but rather, a need to know your genomic hard-wiring, and the hows-and-whys behind that hard-wiring’s development over our species’ existence.

Social networks and the innate human search for “spiritual meaning” (note: as opposed to religion), in my mind, are the missing — or at least, as yet unexplored — “third and forth rails” of the Ancestral Wellness movement.  Knowing who we are, in terms of diet and exercise, in an evolutionary sense, forms the base upon which those of us within this movement craft a healthier, happier and fitter lifestyle.  What’s missing, of course, is the societal and spiritual element.  Living within the societal structures of our current, modern dictates is as much an anathema to our well-being as subsisting on a Standard American Diet, or negating the positive implications of movement/exercise in our lives.  Neglecting our hard-wired need for “meaning” is just as corrosive.

Christopher Ryan suggests that the current economic situation may in fact drive some forward-thinking people to begin to form nascent “clans” (my word, not his), with both shared responsibility and shared fruits-of-labor.  As necessity is the mother of invention — or in this case, re-discovery — this can only be viewed in a positive light vis-a-vis hunter-gatherer clans and their propensity toward egalitarianism.  It will be interesting to see how governments deal with this scenario.

Ten-thousand-plus years of severe social conditioning, of course, won’t be scrubbed away in a mere generation or two.  But as with all cutting-edge ideas, there will always be forward-thinking, early adopters.  It is, in my mind at least, inevitable that the first “new clans” will emerge from this already egalitarian/libertarian minded Ancestral Wellness “sub-culture”; a sub-culture, by the way, that I am proud to be a member and vehement promoter of.

And hell, let’s go ahead and throw shamanism into the mix of ideas that were squelched/repressed/shamed a result of leaving behind the egalitarian, hunter-gatherer lifestyle as well.  Few non-fiction books have rocked my world the way Graham Hancock’s awesome work, Supernatural, has.  Totally mind-expanding, to say the least, in the way that Peter McWilliams’ work, Ain’t Nobody’s Business if You Do, skewed my political views (much further) toward practical libertarianism, way back in the day.  Ditto for Peter McAllister’s Manthropology, in shaping my notions of the average Joe’s physical ability and work capacity.

Food, fitness, societal underpinnings and spirituality, taken together and as viewed form an evolutionary prospective, round-out the Ancestral Wellness model.

The return of the clan and the clan shaman are, in my estimation, are a much-anticipated inevitability.  Sign me up for both.

A Weekend Fun and Frolic — on the field, in the parking lot and in the gym

Saturday: speed work –
(1) sprints: 6-seconds, self-timed, all-out and with full-recovery between reps.  Autoregulated by distance, in that when I failed to attain max distance two times in a row, I pulled the plug.  I think I ended-up getting about 10 efforts in, though I wasn’t trying to keep count.  “Full recovery” equated to about two minutes between reps.

(2) dual-leg speed hop; 10 seconds for max distance.  Same autoregulation idea as above.  Again, roughly 10 attempts before reaching drop-off.

(3) dual-leg hop — tractor tire course.  8 tires dispersed randomly, but spaced so that I could hop in, out and between each tire so as to complete the course.  Done fast as possible, but with no “double hops” or misses.  6 rounds, full recovery between rounds.

What’s the difference between speed and speed repeat (or speed endurance) work?  Check out this article from Elite Fitness: What speed training really means.  I can explain it no better than this.  Nice work, Jon.

Sunday: sprint repeat (endurance) work –
Prowler pushes, farmers walks, all manner of sandbag clean & press, snatch variations and other such manifestations of tourture — just a friggin’ free-for-all throwdown with Skyler Tanner and PFX12’s mastermind Kevin Cottrell.  Not a damn bit of it was quantifiable, although I was close to hurling at one point, so I guess that would qualify the session as “pretty intense”  Chalk another one up for the axis-side of the old power-law curve 😉

And let me just say this: you can’t take these two friggin’ animals anywhere — just look at what the hell they did to my prowler during this workout…

Check out that right rear skid.  What you can’t see is that the left rear skid is bent, too.  Does this mean that the Paleo/HIIT crowd is tougher on equipment than those West Side powerlifting behemoths?  Hmmmmm……  🙂

…meanwhile, the ol’ prowler is in ICU.  Damn, just after I got my bike off of the same such life support.  Meh…

In the news…

This is either a boon for health, longevity, and the quality of life — or a major score for the pharmaceutical industry.  Check out this story, from Big Think — The Man Who Was “Cured” of HIV.    Now this certainly can work out to be the essence of Ancestral Wellness — combining the best of modern technology, with an underpinning of smart & solid Physical Culture.  Without that solid underpinning, however, what science is creating is a class of customers beholden to the pharmaceutical industry not just for 75 years, but for 150 years.  Cha-ching!

Eat the rich, my friends…or rather, let the rich eat themselves.

In health,
Keith

PaleoFX: The Ancestral Momentum – Theory to Practice Symposium

“The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.” – Bertrand Russell

Ok, big BIG news today, y’all.  Check it out:
PaleoFX Austin Partners, a leading organization dedicated to educating fitness, nutrition, healthcare professionals and laypersons on practical applications of ancestral lifestyle theory, is proud to announce the first annual PaleoFX, Ancestral Momentum – Theory to Practice Symposium, an event to be held in the epicenter of Physical Culture, Austin Texas, March 14th – 17th, 2012.
PaleoFX?  That’s short for functional Paleo.  Functional Paleo?  Yeah, that’s right — functional, as in respect to theory.  We’re taking the implementation aspect of Ancestral Wellness, and bringing it to the masses — right where the rubber-meets-the-proverbial-road.
There is, for sure, absolutely a place for theory — and then there comes the time when one has to actually put that theory to work in a real-world situation.  Life, kids, job — the whole big ball of wax that we all have to deal with, day-in and day-out.  Think of PaleoFX as the Yang to the Ancestral Health Symposium’s Yin.  Both Yin and Yang are vitally important to the whole, of course; theory, discussion — action, implementation.  Together, a vibrant whole that is infinitely stronger than its constituent parts.  You know the theory.  Now, let’s take that theory and put it into practice.
So today, we at the PaleoFX partners are thrilled to officially announce the PaleoFX, Ancestral Momentum – Theory to Practice Symposium (#PFX12).  Our mission is to fosters collaboration among fitness experts, healthcare professionals, nutritionists, research scientists and laypersons who approach their respective disciplines from an evolutionary perspective, in order to successfully address modern health challenges through the practical application of ancestral based theory/science.  #PFX12 is is being positioned as a complimentary event that will be cross-promoted with AHS12 — the Ancestral Health Symposium slated for August 2012 — with a focus on projecting Ancestral Wellness theory into specific practice.
So does this sound like your kinda jam?  Yeah, I figured so.  It’s definitely mine, too!
We’ll open the event on the evening of Wednesday March 14th with a welcome BBQ/meet-and-greet and continue the fun and frolic thru Saturday, March 17th.  Thursday & Friday will consist of on-site presentations, panels and fitness/movement oriented clinics anchored at Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports and spilling into other select venues throughout the University of Texas campus.  Saturday will consist of continued open clinics and outdoor focused movement/fitness events oriented around sites in the greater Austin area.  Get your tickets early, as we expect 500+ attendees at the event.  Don’t be left out!  Oh, and did I mention that this event is in conjunction with Austin’s famous South by Southwest festival?  Oh yeah, it’s gonna be one hellova party for sure!  Confirmed speakers to date include:
John Welbourn — just to name a few!
So that’s the essentials thus far, folks.  Not much to chew on just yet, I know — the information on the PFX12 site will grow exponentionally over the next few weeks though, so be sure to check back often.  Oh, and make a point of following us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/AustinPaleoFX, (#PFX12), and liking us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PaleoFX
So get ready, and bring your A-game to PFX12.  I hope to see each and every one of you there — it’s gonna be a rockin’ spring 2012 in the ATX!
In health,
Keith