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A week in the life of Murph….

27 May

Murph-1

The goal of Metabolic Flexibility is to fuel your workouts by loading carbohydrates around them, relying on mostly fats, proteins and fibrous vegetables the rest of the time.  For more information on our book and how to get help with your body composition goals click here for information.

By the way this is Shannon speaking…

Sunday, May 19th….

This is the post from my CrossFit box:

Reminder:

Saturday all classes are happening-both adult and kids.

Monday-Memorial Day we will have only one class at 10:00 am.

We will be doing Murph. Be ready to run rain or shine!
For those of you new this year Murph is a hero WOD.

For time: (the mid section of body weight exercises can be partitioned any way.)

1 mile run
100 pull ups
200 push ups
300 air squats
1 mile run

Do not be intimidated by this WOD; everything can be scaled.  There is no time cap, and if you think of it as one movement at a time you are golden!

See you all there!

My reaction – hell to the double f’ing no!  I will move on…

Throughout the week, I didn’t think much about Murph.  I wasn’t doing it, so why would I be concerned about it?  I went about my week completing my WOD’s, which felt awful and hard….Paul chuckled as he observed the carnage after Thursday’s deadlift WOD…I kinda wanted to beat the shit out of him as he laughed, but couldn’t lift my arms….fucker….

Later that night as we stayed for our kid’s teens class, Paul bragged that his third CF class was Murph….he failed to share his results…I still thought nothing of Murph, I would go and take some great pictures of the brave souls who came out in honor or Murph, and I would honor him as I toasted my beer to him….

Saturday, May 25th

Dalton has CrossFit teens class and my husband and I both go to watch.  There is still a lot of talk about Murph…Mostly people dreading the 2 miles of running .  I off course shared in their complaining, even though I wasn’t doing the WOD.  There were a few who asked if I was planning on doing this Hero WOD, luckily, I tweaked my groin on Thursday which gave me the perfect excuse to NOT do Murph, although I had no worries about simply telling them, “Hell No!”  After Dalton’s class, Gretch, his trainer, was telling us how it wasn’t nearly as bad as some of the other WODS.  “Just break it up and it’s doable” she says…Well, if I could break up the mile run at the beginning and end over a few days, I might be open to trying it!  We left CrossFit with no thoughts of Murph.

Later that day as I am browsing Facebook, I come across the video about Murph and his story.   Shit!  Now I am feeling a little guilty about not doing it.  Certainly not guilty enough to sign up for the WOD, but still a little guilty…

No thoughts of Murph……watching the Blackhawks beat the Redwings (Woot woot!!!)….no thoughts of Murph….

A message pops up on my Facebook…it’s from Maggie….

“Leaning towards coming back tomorrow night and would then sign up. How can I convince you to join me in an almost death WOD? (I bet we could do 10/20/30×10 rounds to break it up?)

Or I might just skip and drink . Crap. Decisions.”

DAMN YOU MAGGIE!!!!!  That was the only push I needed.  My reply…

“Ugh….I am starting to feel guilty about not doing it…I just don’t wanna run…I could walk faster than I could run…Vicki is also contemplating…it’ll be an hour + wod for me…

double crap

we could drink after…..”

That was that…I made it public information that Maggie and I were doing Murph by posting it on Facebook…no turning back now!  Now the dread begins!

Sunday, May 26th

I wake up thinking, “What the hell did I do last night?”  Regret seeps in along with a whole lot of fear.  I can’t even cancel because SO many people were so happy that I decided to do it…damn damn damn…I guess I should EAT TO PERFORM today!  CBL in all it’s glory!

Not the best carbs, but made some absolutely delicious blueberry pancakes for breakfast.  They really are phenomenal.  I was going to post that recipe, but I ate them so fast and forgot to take a picture.  I started thinking about what to make for dinner.  It’s memorial day, so grilling would be the popular choice, however, it’s 50 degrees and cloudy in Minnesota, so I have no desire to grill.  I have been contemplating making some sort of lasagna type dish but never figured out what ingredients to use.  I’m not a big fan of eggplant so I didn’t want to use that…sweet potato?  Hmmmmm…Well Murph, you not only got me to sign up for your HERO WOD, but you have a dish named after you too…Let’s hope it helps me make it through tomorrow!

Murph’s “Lasagna”

Ingredients

  • 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices (lengthwise)
  • 2 pounds italian ground turkey sausage
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 3 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes (I prefer the tomatoes from San Marzano – they cost more but taste DELICIOUS!)
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

Cook your turkey sausage in a large skillet, drain and set aside.  In the same pan, melt 1 tbsp of coconut oil and cook your onions until transluscent.  Add the 3 cans of tomatoes, coconut milk, italian seasoning and salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low.  Continue cooking for another 5 minutes or so.  In your crockpot, grease the bottom and sides with melted coconut oil.  Place one layer of sweet potato slices on the bottom of the crockpot, followed by a layer of the tomato mixture and then sausage.  Continue layering until you run out of one of the ingredient layers (I got about 4 or 5 layers done).  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Enjoy!

Women’s Eat To Perform May 24th

24 May

Julia with Chains
Science Lab members have access to a private forum where they can ask coaches questions related to their performance and eating strategies.  They can also attend and participate in seminars like this one, click here for info.

Eat To Perform Womens Seminar

23 May

Julia Monolith

The central theme of your Science Lab membership is the idea of Metabolic Flexibility.  We wrote these chapters specifically for High Intensity Weightlifting Sports.  Along with that you get the UNLIMITED ability to talk to coaches and nutrition experts in these seminars as well as our private group click this link for details.

How to Lose a Double Chin

22 May

Paul Family Image

In some ways, my journey began by Googling “how to lose a double chin.”  I had already lost a lot of weight, but I looked like an emaciated version of my former fat self and I still had a double chin.  That’s how I found body fat testing, and that single event changed everything for me.  Our book Metabolic Flexibility for High Intensity Athletes teaches you how to fuel your body for your fat loss goals.  We back that up with seminars and a private group so you can ask high-level professionals to assist you in your journey.  To be clear though, we aren’t a diet group; we are a performance group.  All of the changes I made below didn’t come from dieting.  In a very real way, when I quit being a “dieter”, everything clicked.

My Journey

What I am supposed to do here is show you guys the “before” pictures of me walking around at 200+ lbs., then show you the “after” picture of me at 9% body fat, and tell you how easy it was to accomplish.  I am not going to do that though.  That would be a big fat lie.  I can tell you this:  knowing me will make your journey a hell of a lot easier because after years of burying my head in the sand, I decided that I was too smart to be fat.

On at least four or five separate occasions, I was able to get under 200 lbs. by dropping Cokes and M & M’s, and if I ate some  vegetables on occasion, I could get under 190 lbs.  I ate when I was stressed, I ate when I was happy, I ate when I was sad…It was a rare occasion when I didn’t have an excuse to eat.  The pictures you are seeing are from about 2004/2005; the poker picture embarrassed me so much that I actually did something about it and got down to a skinny fat 175 lbs. with almost no exercise at all.  It’s laughable to think of it now because I enjoy activity so much, but as you can see from the pictures, I knew “fat loss in 30 days” wasn’t in the cards for me.  It was going to be hard, and I went all out.

I basically starved myself to lose weight at this point.  (To be fair, I wasn’t exactly starving myself – I was really just low carbing and under eating.)  You can get by with this kind of diet in short bursts, but if you stick with it and really start to hammer away, you begin to do severe damage to yourself.  In the end I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism.

Worst of all, the weight loss didn’t stick.  By limiting carbs, you probably won’t take in adequate calories (especially if you’re active.)  You limit protein synthesis and it’s hard to put on muscle.  Your BMR drops and you need to eat less and less to keep losing weight.  The funny thing about starving yourself is that eventually, you stop and you begin to eat again (at least most people do.)  Once I started eating normally, the weight came back with interest.  I probably spent close to a year getting to 175 lbs. through a starvation diet, and it only took me a couple of weeks to put it all back on.

Paul Poker Image

When people Google my name, this is typically the first image they see of me.

I could ignore my health; I could ignore all of the family photos of me being heavy, but once I started showing up on television and in magazines (as a professional poker player) I realized that this was how people were going to view me for the rest of my life.  I didn’t want that to be the case.  More importantly, I am a successful person in many aspects of life, and I didn’t want my daughters and family to be blinded by the one area of my life where it appeared I didn’t care.

Whatever It Took

All of the times before this, I had all of these qualifiers…I had a list of all of the things I wouldn’t do.  I knew this might be my last shot; I had to go all in. (Get it?  Poker picture?  All in?)  Focusing on body fat measurements made a big difference for me because the scale didn’t always show me the progress I was making with muscle.  If there is one thing I would like to get across to you guys it’s this:  Try to reach your fat loss goals, but don’t do it without respect for your muscle.  Don’t be obsessed with the numbers.

Looking back, if there is one thing I would change about my fat loss journey, I would choose not to get so small.  Doing the math with body fat percentage calculations (focusing on getting to single digits and getting ripped) just became obsessive for some reason.  In the picture below, I weighed 149 pounds.  Currently I weigh 175 pounds.  I suspect my body fat is higher than 15% at the moment.  The reason is simple:  my goals have changed.  I am a 44 year old man.  Next year is my first opportunity to become a Masters competitor in the 45-49 age division.  If I want to have any shot at all, I need to be strong.  Our sport rewards strong people.  The reality is that my strength goals are lofty, but you have to dream big to lift big.

Me at 9%

Me at 9%.

People Want a Formula…

…But we don’t teach a formula.  We try to meet people where they’re at now, and give them the information they need to get where they want to be.  I’ve (obviously) been at both ends of the spectrum, and I honestly believe I can help practically anyone reach their goals.  Understand this though:  “lose 30 lbs.” isn’t a goal.  If it is, it certainly isn’t one you wake up excited about and ready to tackle each day.  It isn’t specific either; do you want to lose 30 lbs. of fat?  Muscle?  Where do you go after you’ve lost the 30 lbs?  How will that change who you are?  “Lift 500 pounds from the floor for a single repetition” is a goal that will have you in the gym/kitchen/bed every day getting the training, nutrition, and sleep you need to make a change in yourself (both inside and out.)  You can’t sit back and ignore your body when you’re focused on performance; you spend each day honoring your commitments and it shows in your character as well as your physique.

One thing I had going for me is that I already liked myself.  Trust me, I know why this site is popular.  A lot of people idolize Chris Spealler, but they see me as someone they can relate to.  I take that responsibility serious.  If people think I was some miserable fat guy, they are wrong; you would like me today, and you probably would have liked me then too.  I was competitive and smart, but I just wasn’t focused on health at that point.

507 pounds

Let’s make it clear that after all this change, I am not a finished product.  To a certain extent, Eat To Perform has been enlightening for me as well.  I had pretty much tapped my potential as a 165 pound man, and it occurred to me that if I wanted to pull 500 pounds off of the ground I might need to change the way I had planned my own journey.  Allowing myself, mentally, to put on 10 pounds wasn’t easy, but I am much stronger as a result and I didn’t get fat doing it.

I am as guilty as anybody of limiting my potential by letting my fat layer dictate my goals.  The best version of me is strong and capable, irrespective of weight (and to a certain extent irrespective of my body fat percentage.)  For too long I allowed that to limit me.  This isn’t an argument for being irresponsible; it’s an argument for changing your mindset related to what the best version of you looks like in the mirror.  The best version of me is strong and athletic.  I am no longer chasing weight and body fat as a means to validate my success.

No Excuses

No one wants to hear sob stories about how I didn’t eat vegetables until I was in my thirties.  Frankly, I grew up in households where convenience was the priority, and I had to work to re-wire my brain to get to where I am today.  Which brings me to my next point:

Not everyone is going to make it.

I said from day one that my problem was that I didn’t understand the WHY’s of nutrition; “Why do carbohydrates make you hold excessive water?”, “Why are they necessary for a healthy metabolism and protein turnover?”, “Why does fat store as fat without the presence of insulin?”, and maybe most importantly for this site, “WHY does high intensity exercise breaks down muscle and cause you to hold onto fat when you aren’t eating enough?”

The simple fact is I can spend every red cent I earn with this site to pay the best PhD’s, strength coaches, and psychologists to help you understand yourself but none of them can do it for you.  It’s just information.

“The people that don’t make it simply quit on themselves.”

Trust me, I get that part.  I did for many years.  The first thing I had to do was give myself a clean mental slate.  I realized who loved me and who had to leave and I remade every single part of my life.  CrossFit was the missing piece of the puzzle though; when I hang out on weekends, I like to hang out with my fit friends.  Not because it’s some devious plan, but because I like hanging around people like me.  I like mentoring new folks; I don’t allow negative sentiment to develop in the private group.  My train is headed in one direction and that direction is positive.

I’ve never put these pictures out there before, but Maggie (the business developer for this site and to a certain extent the female version of me) thought people needed to know where I came from, that it would help put some perspective on what I write and what I teach.  Secretly, I think she wanted my story out there because I keep putting up her story.  Make no mistake about it though; one of the most inspiring stories you will ever hear related to CHANGING EVERYTHING is that of Paul Nobles Jr.  I love these pictures, because they serve as a symbol of how far I have come.  (That’s an example of me being positive!)  Certainly, I could allow myself to view them the opposite way if that is what I chose, but that’s not how I roll.

It’s hard doing what it takes when you are confused and you’re allowing negative messages to dominate your psyche.  If you are new, your journey starts now.  Go to the front of the class and turn around to address them; trust me, you will give everything you have because you will see a bunch of other people doing the exact same thing.  As coaches, we need to do a better job of keeping new people interested, involved, and dedicated to a better “me.”  Allowing those people to hide in the back of the gym is something that needs to change.  No one is going to judge you for where you are at, but they will judge you for quitting on yourself.  CrossFit is about support and it’s one of the things our community does best.  I hope in some small way that Eat To Perform pushes that along a bit.

Extreme Fat Loss Seminar May 20th

20 May

warning fat loss

 

 

Science Lab members have access to a private forum where they can ask coaches questions related to their performance and eating strategies.  They can also attend and participate in seminars like this one, click here for info.

 

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Protected: Foundations for May

20 May

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Eat To Perform May 16th Men’s Seminar

16 May

Science Lab Banner

Science Lab members have access to a private forum where they can ask coaches questions related to their performance and eating strategies.  They can also attend and participate in seminars like this one, click here for info.