Thursday, January 20, 2011

Blech! -or- Workout at Work? Yes Please!

So I had my first was a mere piece of brownie. Two bites' worth. That's it. No more than that.

Now I feel gross. And tired. But that's actually a good thing. That's the acute effects of the bloating and inflammation caused by grains and sugar. Even longer on the PB (Primal Blueprint for lazy typists) and it feels like a full-on hangover, sometimes lasting well into the next day. More incentive to continue on this path with little deviation!

Moving on to the real topic of the day:

Working out at work!

My new favorite discovery. There's no structure and it's very functional. Since I work at a hardware store, there are many heavy objects that can make for a very good workout. Go ahead and grab a roll of 4' hardware cloth (no, it's not really's metal), hoist it above your head, and do overhead squats with it. Feel the burn! There are many places to do pull-ups. There are 50 lb boxes of nails just waiting to be cleaned and pressed, sledgehammers to be swung (we have a 20 lb beauty), buckets of chain to deadlift, coils of barbed wire to farmers walk, stacks of pallets for both box jumps and deadlifts...the fun never ends!

This kind of stuff is very unstructured and entirely functional. It's spaced out throughout the day so it builds strength without sacrificing your ability to do a more intense workout before or after work. I have found this method to be extremely helpful in building useful strength that isn't limited to the exact movement I use in training. So, be creative! Almost any job can be turned into a workout if you approach it from the a different perspective.


Monday, January 17, 2011

WOD: Super Hammer Time!

This workout was adapted from the latest WOW from Mark's Daily Apple, originally titled Hammer Time. As I usually do, I added a few things to the workout to make it more intense. Thank Ross Enamait for that one. Now, on to the explanation.

I really liked this workout as soon as I saw it. It brings flashbacks, most likely from past lives, of my Viking and Celtic ancestors, heaving war hammers and smashing skulls in true ancient warrior fashion. Since I subscribe to the belief that man has gotten weaker since the time of war waged with the strength of one's hands alone, this workout is akin to the way warriors most likely trained to handle their war hammers. Granted, a sledgehammer is much heavier than a war hammer...but heavier training means faster movement with a lighter one in battle.

Okay, now on to the specifics. The hammer portion was really the only part gleaned from Mark's Daily Apple. Everything else is of my own invention. Well, to an extent. We begin with the warm-up. Since I don't have my own standard warm-up yet, we'll just do a three-minute round of shadowboxing (including kicks, of course) preceded and followed by a set of 25 push-ups (to aid in my 100 daily push-ups). From there, we begin the workout.

Complete 3 Cycles of:
6 Hammer-Around-the-Heads, each direction
10 KB Swings
10 Hammer Shovels, each direction
10 KB Swings
12 Hammer Slams

Rest 60 seconds between cycles.

5 Turkish Get-ups, each side
3 Sets Handstand Push-up (HSPU), as many reps as possible (AMRAP)
15 Minutes of Crawls

It's important to use a hammer that is challenging to you, but you do have some room to make your hammer seem heavier if you choke down (move your hands further down the handle). Since I have nowhere to slam the hammer, I'm adding this variation: I'm making it a more controlled movement by swinging it down hard, but stopping short.

The kettlebell swings are a fairly easy exercise to get down, but form is very important. If you don't know how to do it, start by watching this Crossfit video. Like the sledgehammer, use a weight that is challenging unless you are new to the exercise (in which case I recommend using a lighter weight).

If this workout doesn't leave you completely wiped out, you can do the finisher. Start with 5 TGU's (Turkish Get-ups) each side. Lie on the on your back and press the kettlebell or dumbbell upward. Now, the goal is to reach a standing position while always keeping your elbow locked and the weight overhead. Check out the Crossfit demo videos for a good visual. Next are the handstand push-ups. Kick up into a handstand against a wall (best done without shoes), and lower yourself until your forehead touches the floor (keep your body as straight as possible). If you don't know how to do this or aren't yet strong enough, you can do regular push-ups or Pike Push-ups. To do these, place your feet on a bench or chair and your hands on the floor. Bend your body at the hips, keeping your legs and back straight, head between arms. Lower yourself by bending only your arms as far as you can, then back up.

Now for the favorite. Just get down low to the ground and crawl around: bear crawl, baby crawl, monkey crawl, low or high crawl (for you military types), crab walk, or anything else...or maybe even all of them!

Now go hammer it out!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 6 and counting...

Jordan here. This morning started off well... that is, while I was still lying in bed dreaming of all of the delicious desserts in the world. Joshua woke me up around 8 and gentle nudged me to wake. Then handed me my coffee that he made.... before you say 'aw, how cute', he was technically only bringing it to me for his own defense in the continuing morning battle we have each new day. Jordan wakes up and becomes a- for lack of a better word- bitch. Josh found this out when we first moved in together... So, yeah. But I adore him for waking me up with stars the whole day off better. (:

Anyway, after waking up- I didn't feel very hungry, so I have not eaten much this morning- a piece of cold bacon, couple bites of an apple, and a few spoon fulls of cottage cheese ( after the tub fell out of the fridge and I cried- then josh fixed everything and gave me a spoon)

And here we are...sitting at the table typing away, I am hoping that today will go well...

I will write more later when I get home. 


Friday, January 14, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen, I Am Proud to Introduce...Myself!

Hello to everyone in the blogiverse! I am Josh, Jordan's (a.k.a. Wifey) other half. Wifey and I are on this journey toward true fitness together using the Primal Blueprint (which is a low-carb, high fat, high protein, sugar free, gluten free, diet) and the primary goal of this blog is for us to track our progress. The secondary goal is to provide information about this way of life (no, no...this is most definitely NOT just a "diet"), and to find like-minded individuals with whom to share our little skippity-hop to the stone age.

It all started when I was searching for fitness and nutrition-related websites via StumbleUpon (amazing if you have an hour to kill...or five). I stumbled upon (ha...), and ignored everything but the "prison workout" post that it had taken me to. It wasn't until a few months later that I found it again as I was cleaning out my bookmarks. I began reading...and couldn't stop for hours. The blog's creator and genius behind the Primal Blueprint, Mark Sisson, was once like any other man...well, any other man who happens to be a professional marathon runner and triathlete. But his diet was severely lacking. He would refeul after a hard training session or race with an entire loaf of bread and half a gallon of ice cream. He began to realize he was subjecting his body to some truly terrible things, both dietary and fitness-wise. Yes, I said fitness. Distance running and 'chronic cardio' cause emaciation, overuse injuries, and high amounts of glycogen consumption, which necessitates carb loading to replenish muscles.

Enter the Paleo Diet. The guys behind this breakthrough diet (whose names I am horrible at remembering) were really onto something. They found that (based on a lot of recent evidence, research, and studies) our hunter-gatherer ancestors were healthier than we are now. 

Healthier than now, you say? Yes, yes, I do!

Now listen up: until the advent of cultivation and farming, our ancestors did not eat anything poisonous (at least not the ones who lived long enough to reproduce and teach their offspring what not to eat), INCLUDING WHEAT, BARLEY, OATS, BEANS, POTATOES, and anything else that cannot be eaten raw or cooked over a fire. When man learned how to farm, and civilization began, diseases began to crop up. And so did everything else that plagues man now (except maybe those pesky predators who used to be very good at weeding out the evolutionary gene pool).

The Paleo diet was the beginning. It was simple. But not really. It was too regimented. This is where Mr. Sisson comes in. This man single-handedly refined and simplified the principles of the Paleo diet and expanded it to ten simple tenets of healthy living. They are called the Ten Primal Blueprint Laws, and here they be:

#1: Eat Lots of Plants and Animals
 Our ancestor (now commonly known as Grok) gathered vegetables, fruits, herbs, and nuts. He hunted, and his family ate every edible part on the animal and utilized all of the non-edible parts. He also ate insects and other things that are now considered gross...but that's beside the point. The point is, Grok ate what he could find and kill. He especially enjoyed the fat. Because he didn't eat grains or other carby fare, his body used fat as energy. And, 10,000+ years later, so do our bodies. But we have one big, fat obstacle in our way to achieving the same fitness levels as our primal ancestors. Which brings me to the second commandment.

#2: Avoid Poisonous Things
It was important to Grok's survival...and should also be important to us. I won't go into detail, but I will enumerate the health risks of eating grains and their evil cousins: insulin-resistance and diabetes, cancer, tooth decay, high cholesterol, serious water retention, obesity, sleep apnea, acid reflux disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and many more. That makes these little bugger seem pretty poisonous to me...
#3: Move Frequently at a Slow Pace
This one is fairly self-explanatory. Grok would spend much of his day tracking his prey or gathering greens, not running for miles...he would walk, maybe jog a little. Too much running can actually become unhealthy. So going for frequent long walks or bike rides is better for you than running 5 miles a day.
#4: Lift Heavy Things
In order to not need a rail to get off the toilet in your advanced years, weight (or even bodyweight) training is recommended. Grok didn't necessarily follow a regimen, but he did have to lift heavy rocks to finally put out downed prey, build shelters, make fires, throw spears, so on, and so forth, and whatnot, and wheretofor.
#5: Sprint Once in a While
Another one that is fairly self-explanatory. Sprint. Now. Go out and do it. Sprinting causes the metabolism to ramp up, increases oxygen efficiency, and is better for your heart, lungs, and joints than distance running. Look at pictures of marathoners compared to sprinters. Marathoners are generally quite emaciated and most of them have chronic joint pain from 'pounding the pavement.' On the contrary, sprinters are well-muscled and generally suffer far fewer overuse injuries and joint problems. Plus it releases growth hormone to build those muscles!
#6: Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep is important. Though we can't always go to bed as soon as the sun goes down or wake up at first light, an even sleep schedule allowing adequate sleep for rest and repair to occur is incredibly beneficial.

#7: Play
So easy, a caveman can do it! Seriously. According to George Bernard Shaw, "We don't stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing." Amen, brother! Playing is an incredible stress-reducer, creates healthy competition, and gives you plenty of reason to get out and get some sunlight. Which is actually my segue to...
#8: Get Adequate Sunlight
Vitamin D comes from the sun. Well, it comes from other things too, but you wouldn't want to eat 10 lbs. of meat to get enough for the day. People are too paranoid nowadays about the sun. No, it won't kill you. No, you won't get melanoma just from spending an hour or two in direct sunlight. Now, if you do the whole 'burn and peel' thing...well, you're on your own there.

#9: Avoid Stupid Mistakes
Another simple one. If you want some examples, look up the Darwin Awards.
#10: Use Your Brain
Just like our ancestors, we should always be learning. Always advancing. And so we need to keep our minds fresh. Use your imagination (you know, that dusty thing in the back closet of your mind that pokes its head out between commercials).
So, there ya go! Easy enough, right? We shall see. It's only Day 5. And we both have addictive personalities...

The first 5 days of this, so called, adventure...

Okay, so Josh starts on his 'Primal eating' and wanting to be like our ancient ancestors. He has talked about it for quite some time now and I have been on his side all the way. Josh is the kind of man who reads something and digs deeper to figure everything out. He really got hooked on phonics- or should I say Mark Sisson? It has been a long time in the making that josh has wanted to redefine his body on a better image- and totally stand behind him, because that is also what I want for myself. Anywho, We wake up on January 9, 2011 and We decide to start this trek into Primal land. Now josh knows everything he needs to about this new lifestyle we will be creating right? So I have to listen to everything he says- most times more than once:)- and then I am supposed to suck in the information and try to alter the way I look at my food- easy enough.

Okay, Day one- smooth, mostly, there was a little bit of difficulty giving up toast and jam, but I think we settled very nicely on eggs and a ton o' bacon.
           Day two- smoother. I didn't feel the need to eat anything except what was on my list (yes, josh has a mental list of things that can and connot be consumed- and trust me, the 'cannot' side is much larger) So, altogether, the day as a definite plus.
           Day three- no challenges. Went very well and there is really nothing to report.
           Day four- Okay really? no brownies? cookies? but but but..... damnation! We cleaned out the pantry and gave our- in my past opinion-delicious food to our neighbor. I was sad, but I know it all went to a good home. However, after the cold turkey in my gut, we went shopping. I don't know if you all realize this, but good food is soooooooo expensive. It was my paycheck and the only thing Josh said in his defense was, "that's just how it is..." Yeah, right?! Well, let me just say, there was a nice warm couch for him to sleep on when we got home (: Okay, the couch is too small for his 5 feet 11 inches..... small couch, I know...
            Day five- started off fine. Today I went to work with a stomach full of eggs and bacon, and I didn't feel bad. However, half way through my day, it hits. That's right. The 'why-the-hell-am-I-not-eating-that?' hit me...and let me say, boy does it hit hard. For the last three hours of work I was in a stage of confusion, anger, irritated-ness, and annoyed-ness. I was not a happy little girl. WHOA! You have no idea what an unhappy Jordan looks like. It wasn't until I got home that josh decides to tell me about how for the first two or three weeks we would get the CARB FLU! He says, "when you get that feeling that you need to eat whatever it is that is in front of you and not on the diet...fight it!". And in the back of my mind I am thinking, "Too late! The goldfish were calling my name so seductively...i couldn't stop." Then he asks why I have a dreamy look on my face and, of course, I have to tell my future husband the truth- well, you know, up until we actually get married; just kidding honey (:

Oh, I just want to point out that the only reason I am making these entries short and sweet is to make it easy for you  - and me to catch up on the days I couldn't write in the blog- mostly, because it wasn't created! Anywho, when I start typing daily...I will do my best to explain in deeper detail. (:  okay, that was day one through five! Ill talk to you aging soon my dearies! (:

.:The Wife:.

In the beginning...

Hello world, My name is Jordan Coleman (soon to be Vernier) and I am the girlfriend (soon to be wife) of Joshua Vernier. Our main reason for starting this blog is so that we can document our goals and achievements while starting to go Primal. What? Don't know what primal is? Well, that is where we come in. The whole 'Primal' movement was started by Mark Sisson.This man refined that Paleo diet and broke it down so that everyone could reach their goals in the 'physical and psychological' light. Now, I really am not the one who should be explaining this- Josh will have to really shed some vitamin D on this situation. 
...Okay, back on to what I was saying before that tangent. Not only are we creating this blog for the 'Primal" action, but also for our projects, our life, our thoughts, and (if you're really lucky) wedding jitters! Oh boy, I am so excited. Anywho, I figured I would send out my greeting to those of you who came across our blog and I hope you enjoy this interweb journey as much as much as we will.