Becoming Superhuman

Posts tagged fitspo

WOD #1

30 Snatches @ 135 lbs

Finished in 4:10

WOD #2

10 Rounds - 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1

Kettlebell Swings (overhead) @ 70 lbs

100 Meter Run

Finished in 9:53

WOD #3

4 Rounds - Tabata 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest

Ab Mat Sit Ups

Leg Lifts


I thought I was going to die trying to do 30 snatches at 135 lbs but it wasnt bad at all.  I just watched a video on youtube of someone doing it in 1:11 so I still have a long way to go I guess.  I loved the setup of the Kettlebell workout.  Its a workout that anybody can do and feel free to replace the kettlebell swings with your exercise of choice. 

10 Things You Can Learn From 'Why We Get Fat'

1)   We have the wrong way of thinking about getting fat. 

‘We have been told that we must not take in more calories than we burn, that we cannot lose weight if we don’t exercise consistently,’ he wrote.  ‘That few of us are able to actually follow this advice is either our fault or the fault of the advice.’  Malcolm Gladwell The New Yorker 1998

‘Undereating isn’t a treatment or cure for obesity; it’s a way of temporarily reducing the most obvious symptom.  And if undereating isn’t a treatment or a cure, this certainly suggests that overeating is not a cause.’  Bruce Bistrian

2)   The model of calories in, calories out, says nothing about why we get fat.  If we want to know why we get fat, we need to specifically look at what regulates fat accumulation.

“Obesity is fundamentally a disorder or excess fat accumulation…then the natural question to ask is, what regulates fat accumulation?”

“The science tells us that obesity is ultimately the result of a hormonal imbalance, not a caloric one. “

3)   We can learn a lot by applying many of the same principles to growing fat as with growing tall.

“Had we been discussing disorders of growth – why some people grow to be more than seven feet tall and others never make it to four feet – the only subject of discussion would be the hormones and enzymes that regulate growth.  And yet, when we’re discussing a disorder in which the defining symptom is the abnormal growth of our fat tissue, the hormones and enzymes that regulate that growth are considered irrelevant. “

(Taubes referring to his growing son) “He didn’t grow because he consumed excess calories.  He consumed those excess calories—he overate – because he was growing. “

4)   When it comes to getting fatter, the most important hormone we have is insulin.  The easiest way to control insulin is by controlling carbohydrates. 

“You secrete insulin primarily in response to the carbohydrates in your diet, and you do so primarily to keep blood sugar under control. “

“When insulin levels go up, we store fat.  When they come down, we mobilize the fat and use it for fuel.”

5)   Increased insulin not only drives the storage of fat, but it also drives hunger. 

“Just by thinking about eating (bagels and other carbohydrate-rich foods), we secrete insulin.”

“Avoiding carbohydrates will lower your insulin level.  Given time, this should reduce or eliminate the cravings.”

6)   Government and health officials would like us to believe that obesity is a mental issue, a fault in our own character. 

“So long as we believe that people get fat because they overeat, because they take in more calories than they expend, we’re putting the ultimate blame on a mental state, a weakness of character, and we’re leaving human biology out of the equation entirely.  It’s a mistake to think this way about any disease.”

7)   Obesity is more closely related to malnutrition than overnutrition.  It’s not the quantity of the food we are eating, it’s the quality. 

“Put simply, if we want to prevent obesity, we have to get people to eat less, but if we want to prevent undernutrition, we have to make more food available.  What do we do?”

8)   Fattening carbohydrates are largely a recent phenomenon that didn’t exist for most of human history. 

“Just two hundred years ago, we ate less than a fifth of the sugar we eat today.”

“The essential point, as this 2000 analysis noted, is that the modern foods that today constitute more than 60 percent of all calories in the typical Western diet – including cereal grains, dairy products, beverages, vegetable oils and dressings, and sugar and candy – ‘would have contributed virtually none of the energy in the typical hunter-gatherer diet.’”

9)   Lowering carbohydrates also lowers cravings.  This makes a low carbohydrate lifestyle much easier to sustain. 

“When you eat sugar…it triggers a response in the same part of the brain – known as the ‘reward center’ – that is targeted by cocaine, alcohol, nicotine, and other addictive substances….sugar seems to hijack the signal to an unnatural degree, just as cocaine and nicotine do.”

“When you restrict fattening carbohydrates, however, you don’t have to restrict consciously how much you eat; indeed, you shouldn’t try.  You can eat all you want of protein and fat….the biggest challenge is the craving for carbohydrates…the craving for carbohydrates is more like an addiction.”

10)                      Low carbohydrate diets are about more than just losing body fat.  But losing body fat alone will almost always improve a ton of important health markers along with it. 

“The fatter we are, or at least the more obese we are, the more likely we are to get virtually every major chronic disease.”

“The argument that a diet that restricts fattening carbohydrates will be lacking in essential nutrients – including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids – does not hold up.  First, the foods that you would be avoiding are the fattening ones, not leafy green vegetables and salads…Moreover, the fattening carbohydrates that are restricted – starches, refined carbohydrates, and sugars – are virtually absent essential nutrients in any case. “

Whenever possible we need to try to distinguish the difference between correlation and causation.   Just because two things generally occur together, doesn’t mean that one thing causes the other thing.  In many cases, it can be completely false.

For instance, most basketball players that you see are tall.  It would be a mistake for you to then say that you will grow taller, if you start playing basketball.  They are correlated because of other variables, not because one causes the other.

I think the same mistake is made when you look at endurance athletes.  You see that most endurance athletes are fairly thin, so you assume you need to do more cardio in order to get thin yourself. 

In most cases though, endurance athletes are not thin because they log hundreds of miles running or biking.  Most endurance athletes are already thin to begin with, and they become endurance athletes because those competitions are well suited to their body type. 

While there are a few people that lose weight on a cardio-heavy plan, many more will actually develop worse body composition over time.  They may still appear somewhat thin, but they will actually become softer around the midsection, and their total muscle mass will decrease. 

From a cost-benefit analysis, chronic cardio just doesn’t cut it.  The extra pain you are putting yourself through is typically causing more harm than good.  Get outside and run and bike for hours only if you TRULY enjoy it!  

Otherwise, lift heavy, run sprints, and play! 

I don’t believe in the idea that we need to make a huge sacrifice in order to get in shape or reach our goals.  Change is never easy and results require hard work, but sacrifice is far too painful, and suggests that what you are doing is temporary.  You shouldn’t do something because you think there will be some inevitable reward at the end of the road.  If what you are doing isn’t rewarding to you now, then you need to either change your attitude, or change what you are doing.

Today’s WOD was a good one so I thought I would post it for everyone.  They call this type of workout a chipper since the goal on each exercise is to keep chipping away at the number of reps you have left to complete. 

For time:

10 Handstand Push Ups
20 Wall Ball 20 lbs
30 Toe to Bar
40 Power Cleans 135 lbs
50 Burpees
60 Sumo Dead LIft High Pull 75 lbs

Finished in 21:05

After the last few days, including watching the Crossfit Games, I realized one of my biggest weaknesses is anything involving a pull up bar or hang.  There is so much technique that goes into things like kipping pull ups, muscle ups, toe to bars, and others that I waste way too much energy on inefficient movements. 

“We will do more for others, than we will ever do for ourselves.”

                                                                          -Tony Robbins

I think one of the biggest reasons so many people fail to lose weight or get in shape, is they fail to make their goals bigger than themselves.  I am a firm believer in the above quote that we will do more for others, than we will ever do for ourselves.  You see it every day with parents and their kids.  You’ve felt it yourself, when you performed favors for others, you wouldn’t dare think about doing for yourself. 

The problem with most health and fitness goals is they are largely selfish in nature.  After all, YOU are the one that wants to look and feel better, so it’s difficult to focus attention outside yourself.  I am here to remind you that this is not the case. 


Quick Story:

I got a text this weekend from a friend thanking me for all my help.  He’s been eating Paleo for 27 days now and hasn’t felt this good in a looong time.  He went out of his way to tell me I was his inspiration and his reason for getting started. 

It felt unbelievable to hear those words from a really good friend. 

The ironic part of the story is that I didn’t even realize that he decided to change his diet. 

Rewind back to the weekend of July 4th, and the two of us were having a somewhat heated discussion about why our country is so overweight.  My friend has a degree in exercise science and works as a personal trainer, so my arguments had little traction against his years of formal education.  I left that weekend feeling frustrated and wondering what I could say or do to get these ideas through to the people I cared about.    

Apparently, I had already done enough.

While I may have not gotten through to him verbally, the results I had achieved in myself, spoke volumes!  He saw that I was in the best shape of my life, and was motivated to do the same.  I couldn’t necessarily convince him to change, but I could inspire him to change.  Knowing that I was responsible for this, felt amazing. 


This situation proved to me that getting in shape is not a selfish goal. 

One of the greatest things you can do for others is to simply set a positive example.  Most of the people that have inspired me throughout my life, probably don’t even know it.  Imagine if they stopped going after their goals.

You never know who’s watching.  You never know who you are inspiring.  So much of my drive and motivation comes from reading other posts and blogs on Tumblr, and a lot of those people probably don’t realize it.  This is a reminder to everyone to remember why you are here. 

Be an inspiration.

I woke up this morning pretty sore from yesterday’s 300+ meters of lunges but today was Deadlift max day and I wasn’t ready to wait until next week to see how far I had progressed.  My previous best was 445 lbs, but I wanted to get at least 475 lbs since that was currently the highest weight of anybody in our gym.

I was convinced to go barefoot for the first time from one of the coaches.  It felt great so I loaded up the bar with 475 lbs, grabbed some chalk to help my grip, and even applied some to my face as eye black/war paint. 


Boom! 475 lbs!

Wow that was freaking heavy!  Im glad the camera was there because I needed to see proof that I actually stoop up and locked it out! 

I might not be at the Crossfit Games(yet), but I can still do things I never thought would be possible.

"While people are generally ready to accept that food affects our physical health, people often balk at the idea that our attitudes, intelligence, and motivation are affected by the same. After years of careful observation I am certain that the food we put in our bodies is largely responsible for our moods, our mental disorders, our productivity, and satisfaction."

-Peggy Emch

This is why I eat the way I do.  It helps me think clearer, lifts my mood, and makes me a better person to be around.  Eating to look better or get skinny can be motivating in the short term, but you will constantly feel the need to discipline or restrict yourself.  Eating to become a better person will become a constant source of motivation, and it will have a snowball effect in other areas of your life. 


Food Multitasking?? 


Most of you are probably wondering what the hell I am even talking about.  Let me explain.  Food multitasking is the struggle of balancing health vs taste at any given meal.  You want to eat healthy and look and feel great, but you also want to have a fantastic party in your mouth at the same time.  


As humans, we are really only capable of focusing on one task at a given time. This applies to things like our jobs and school work, but it also applies to how we eat.

So often you see people stuck in the middle.  You’re not necessarily eating for optimum health, and you’re not necessarily eating for optimum taste either.  You’re multitasking your food goals, and ending up worse because of it.  The results you get with your health and body are mediocre, and you barely enjoy the food you’re eating.

Its time to separate your goals and get clear on what you are really after.  

Here’s how you do it… 

When you are eating healthy, eat really healthy!  Eat with the goal in mind of getting fresh ingredients and maximizing nutrition.  90% or more of your eating should be done this way.  Food is fuel for the rest of your life, and you need to eat like it is.  Eat more vegetables, meats, eggs, fish, fruit, and nuts and cut out anything that doesn’t resemble something you could pick or catch yourself.  Get rid of the multitasking foods like breads, pastas, protein bars, dried fruits, salad dressings, and anything labeled low calorie, low fat, or “reduced”.  These foods may not be killing you, but their certainly not helping you reach your goals.

When you can’t eat as healthy, forget about nutrition, and focus on taste!  Indulge in the foods that you’ve been craving most and enjoy them to their fullest. Don’t feel guilty about going off track because you know that the majority of your diet is practically perfect.

This separation of goals, will do wonders for your physical and mental state.  Our brains are incredibly powerful when we give them specific things to focus on.  The most productive people in the world get things done because they set specific times for work and specific times for play.  The same concept applies for the healthiest people of the world.

Remove food multitasking from your life and learn how much power there is in simply having a clear direction.  

You may even find that some of the healthiest foods are also the best tasting ones.

“A protein bar is nothing more than a chocolate bar with slightly higher protein content and crappier taste.  A whopping 300 calories for a bar that you’ll gulf down in a few minutes is crazy.  You could down half a Snickers bar and a protein shake, and end up consuming fewer calories with a better nutritional breakdown than having your typical protein bar.  Protein bars are nothing more than glamorized candy.  And you don’t eat candy on a regular basis if you want to optimize fat loss and diet adherence.”   -Martin Berkhan


This is a perfect summary of why most protein bars just don’t belong in a healthy lifestyle.  I came to this same conclusion about a year ago and eliminated protein bars from my diet completely.  Bars are way more expensive and considerably less nutritionally dense than most protein powders.  And even the best tasting ones just don’t match up to the taste of a Snickers bar. 

I snapped this from a Mens Health that I skimmed through in the airport on my way up to New Jersey. I would be curious to see how much those carb percentages would decrease another 30, 60, 90 years into our history.

Before my beer and chicken wing binge yesterday, I actually had a pretty cool and unique first-time experience with stand up paddleboarding.  To be honest, I wasn’t that excited going into it, but figured it was worth a shot. 

I was pleasantly surprised with how fun it was!  It was actually way more difficult to get up and stay balanced than I thought it would be.  And once you were up, it was such a unique and cool feeling.  Ive done kayaking several times before and thought it was just okay.  But something about standing up above the water totally changes the entire experience!  Maybe it was the fact that the ocean was so calm and clear that you could see straight to the bottom. 

Either way, I highly recommend paddleboarding to anybody who has never tried it. 

After a Sunday filled with Blue Moons and Honey Garlic Wings, I found my 8 am Crossfit workout to be a little more difficult than usual.  I usually finish near the top in most workouts, so I wasn’t very happy when I finished 9 minutes behind the fastest person this morning.  This will definitely provide me some much needed motivation in the upcoming weeks. 

5 Rounds for time of:

Run 400 Meters
20 Dead Lifts 145M/105W
20 Push Ups
10 Dead Lifts 145M/105W
10 Push Ups

Finished in 28:48

1)      Squat

If you work out, and you don’t squat, then you don’t work out.  They are the single most important exercise for almost every type of athlete out there.  Master the squat, and you will improve every other lift that you do in the gym. 

 2)      Deadlift

Is there anything simpler than picking a weight off the ground and standing up with it?  It is amazing how the most basic movement can provide such SUPERHUMAN benefits.  You may never have an ass like Serena Williams at the ESPY’s, but doing heavy deadlifts is a good place to start.

3)      Clean

Cleans are the most fun and exciting workout of all, in my opinion.  They force you to be explosive unlike any other.  Perfect the clean, and you will take your vertical jump to the next level. 

 4)      Dumbbell Bench Press

This could also be listed as the push up or regular bench press, but the dumbbell version just happens to be my favorite of the 3.  It combines the mobility of the push up with the heavy force of the bench press.  This might be the most overrated exercise on the list, but it is far too powerful to leave off. 

 5)      Pull Up

The Pull Up is the king of body weight movements.  When people talk about strength-to-bodyweight ratio, the Pull Up is the ultimate test.  Even some of the best athletes out there can only do a few pull ups.  Master this movement for the perfect V-shape. 

6)      Dips

The best exercise for building arms and shoulders.  The person who masters the bench press may get more attention in the gym, but the person who masters dips will get far more attention from the opposite sex. 

7)      Sprints

The closest thing I will ever recommend to doing “cardio”.  The combination of strength, stability, and explosiveness is unmatched.  This is what makes sprinters among some of the fittest athletes in the world. 

8)      Kettlebell Swings

Another great combination of speed and strength.  They may be more aerobic in nature than the rest of this list, but they will kick your ass in a very short time.  Kettlebells are the best piece of equipment you can own in your home. 

9)      Planks

It’s a full body exercise disguised as an Ab workout.  Planks put the finishing touches on the 8-pack you are trying to achieve for your “300” Halloween costume. 

This may not be the most glamorous list, but these exercises produce results!  I did this in honor of a recent quote that I came across.  If the majority of your workout routine does not resemble this list, then it may be time re-evaluate what you’re doing in the gym. 

I usually don’t trust a guy with two first names, but this quote summarizes my viewpoint on training and nutrition.  Get clear on your goal, and narrow down your food and workouts to the few things that are giving you results.  Forget about everything else and be consistent with what works. 

I usually don’t trust a guy with two first names, but this quote summarizes my viewpoint on training and nutrition.  Get clear on your goal, and narrow down your food and workouts to the few things that are giving you results.  Forget about everything else and be consistent with what works. 

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