One of the analogies that I like to use when describing diet and recovery to people is that of a piggy bank.
I always thought that you can exercise your way out of a bad diet. This is a pretty common belief, especially among men in their early 20s who have the recovery potential of a minor superhero. The simple fact of the matter is that you cannot exercise, medicate, sleep, or anything your way out of eating crap.
No quantity of fish oil, cleanses, or power cleans will fix the junk that you feed yourself.
The simple reason is that while good food helps with recovery, bad food will further deplete your body’s ability to react to and repair the damages caused by stress.
If you think of your recovery and progress to your goals like a bank, than there are things that will add money to it and things that will withdraw money from it.
Things like sleep and good food will be like interest, you get a profit just for doing it.
Something like stress from work, excessive sitting, and drinking booze and/or will be like paying robbed: you only loose money from it.
Exercise is more like an investment. Initially you loose money from it, but you get a return on the investment throughout the day. The better you eat and sleep, the better divined your investment will pay.
Food can go either way, and will be paid forward to your investment. If you eat well, than you will get more bang for your buck and get closer to your goals faster. The worse that you eat, the worse your investment will be.
This is for two reasons:
The first is because you are not giving your body the stuff (protein, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, etc) that it needs to rebuild the damage that was done to your tissues and structures.
The second is that it provides an additional stress that subtracts from your body’s ability to do anything else. This is either because the liver will have to process toxins, lectins will block the absorption of important chemicals, and/or your body will see a foreign protein as an invader and produce white blood cells to fight it. All in all, very stressful.
This is the same as how eating crappy will make you more susceptible to disease, neurological degeneration, mood swings, and pretty much anything else bad that you can think of.
Food can either be a stressor or a recovery mechanism.
Stress+stress does not equal recovery. Even if you are doing positive things, two subtractions does not make a positive.
Poor eating habits + hard work in the gym may not be wholly counter productive and this is not to argue that you should just give up all hope if you cannot live in a Paleo Ivory Tower. The issue is that if you are chasing high level performance, serious fat loss, or any specific and tangible goal you need to make sure that you are not cockblocking your goals with your love of fast food or thinking you can air squat your way out of your snickers addiction.
I have been getting a lot of questions recently about a recovery shake. This has amplified a lot now that we have started selling Progenex out of the box.
What are your thoughts on Progenex? Who is it really geared for? Is a
recovery drink really necessary? I currently do not drink anything post wod
but usually have dinner within an hour and a half or so…
My standard response to this question is that it wholly depends on who you are.
I have a pretty simple test to see if a post workout nutritional supplement is for you:
1. Are you trying to lose body fat?
2. Are you routinely setting PR’s?
3. Do you often cheat on your Paleo diet?
4. Have you been seriously training for less than 6 months?
If you answered no to any of those questions than a post work out protein shake is right for you.
If you fall into the yes categories than there a much bigger fish to fry than taking a protein shake. Everything from poor diet, to inexperienced training, to fixing metabolic derangement. A whey shake is not a magical muscle growing powder.
Don’t believe me, check out this testimonial from a client of Weight Gain 4000
The second part of the question is what do I think of Progenex as a product. Progenex is one of the top of the line protein powders and sponsors and is used by many top Crossfitters. I do not use it for a few reasons, but mostly because I like Stronger, Faster, Healthier better.
I like SFH better for a lot of reasons. Most importantly, I think its a better product. I also like to vote with my dollars, and will cast my vote for a grass fed product over a grain fed conventional one any day of the week.
Also, I know a lot of people that are involved in the company through Crossfit Endurance, and they are good dudes. Read this article for a more thorough response. To be fair, read the first comment below. I struck something from the original post for an inaccuracy on the ingredients. Definitely read both, Aaron Thomas makes some really important points.
Progenex may not be my personal choice, but that does not make it a bad choice. Do some research into it independent of what I have to say. There are people who use it who make me look like an invalid, so its hard to argue with that.
Earlier this week, the final results from the Survival of the Fittest came out. I got 25th out of 90, which is an amazing improvement from my previous performances that were all bottom ten out of about the same number of folks.
It was a great event to compete in. I really liked the one on one nature of it. It made it hard to plan, because you had no idea what you were about to do, when you were going to do it (which wasn’t as bad as I thought), or who you were going to do it again.
I went three for three. I won the 3 rounds: 20 burpees, 10 2 pood kettlebell swings, max height box jump, and “Annie” work outs. I was really pleased with my performances on all three. a 53 in box jump and 4:48 Annie are things I’ll be talking about for a while.
Here’s a video of Chris Spealler doing Annie in 4:33. He wasn’t there, so I was the only person to finish the WOD under the five minute time cap.
In summation, when it comes to measuring elite fitness, there is no better test than sit ups and skipping rope. So you can take all of that moving heavy weight and doing useful movements and shove it. Stupid human tricks and sitting up a lot is where its at. (Obviously kidding).
I had pretty respectable (in my opinion) showings on two of the three workouts that I lost. I drew the 30 deadlifts at 315lbs for time. I was on my 21st repetition at 2:30 when the other guy finished. It was also a perfect opportunity to throw my hobbit card, but I did not.
The other one I lost was the 500m ski erg for time. Another terrible event for someone who needs to prove he’s tall enough to ride roller coasters. I only lost by a second or two, so I was pretty pissed that it was that painful and that close. Seriously, that things is evil.
I drew Diane 15-12-9 225lb deadlift and handstand push up. It was modified and with a 3 minute time cap to keep the day going. This was in the mid afternoon, my sixth WOD of the day and after pretty much everyone was smoked.
The first seven deadlifts felt like 225lbs. Somehow, very portly invisible midgets jumped onto my barbell after the seventh repetition because it suddenly felt heavier than the 315lbs did. My posterior chain was done and I lost. I was not very pleased with that showing at all.
Overall, the event went amazingly well. Its a testament to the Garage that Dr. Eric, Andy, and all of their guys were able to pull off something so complicated without a hitch.
It had a lot more moving pieces than the Rumble did, so I was impressed.
We had a big group from Inception go up for the event, competing in everything from Big Dawg RX to women’s scaled. Everyone had a really awesome showing. Ned from the 3RCAT team wound up winning the Men’s RX. There were strong showings in all categories and we had a few competition first timers that did awesome.
Everyone came away with a few wins and a much better understanding of their strengths and weakness.
A Not Normal Lunch
I struggle to eat enough fermented foods. I dislike the taste of most of them (I think they taste too sour). Maybe I have an unrefined taste or something, but I also don’t like sour patch kids or any other sour candy. So maybe there’s something there.
I almost wrote something about how much I love sausage, but I get enough spam for handbags in the comments as is.
Mary Poppins recommended a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down because she secretly hated children and wanted them to have diabetes. Honestly, watch that movie. If memory serves correctly, she has 10 out of the 12 characteristics I just made of a fictitious serial killer.
So instead of evil, vile sugar, I chose to couple the probiotic goodness of the kimichie that they sell at the Fresh Market (which actually tastes good) with US Wellness Meats Sausage.
Kind of a weird pairing, but they were easy to make for lunch. It only took a little while to cook the sausages and the mustard and kimchie were spooned out without much fanfare.
Lunch should be easy, save the fancy stuff for the night time.
I needed to make a meal in one pan that I could keep in some Tupperware, make in one pan, and that would be enough food for one day. This meal was pretty easy to make. I bought some Apple Gates Farms Sausages and Brussels sprouts. I had also defrosted a pound of defrosted ground beef.
This meal started by removing the outer layer of the Brussels sprouts, cutting them in half, and cutting off the bottom portion of the sprouts. I then put two tablespoons of rendered bacon fat into the pan with the sprouts. I cooked them on a fairly high heat until the sprouts had browned on the bottom. I than added the sausages and cooked them for a few minutes.
Once the sausage had a good head start, I added the ground beef.
Needs More Meat
I stirred the contents until everything was close to done. I seasoned it with garlic, cilantro, and some dark chili pepper.