Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Isn’t this a dope tattoo! ...I go in for my first session up in San Francisco, April 6’th! I’m so stoked!!! I can’t wait. Luke Stewart is an amazing tattoo artist and as I’ve stated before, I’ve been wanting him to do my tats for a long time now. I’m stoked that it’s worked out to where I am not only finally getting my tats done by Luke, but to where I’m the strength and conditioning specialist & nutritional consultant he’s chosen to trust with getting him in the best shape possible for his fights. He’s a bad ass Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt from the Ralph Gracie Academy in San Francisco and is definitely very driven to excel. This has been made clear to me during the time I have worked with him thus far, not simply while at CrossFit headquarters here in Santa Cruz, but by his dedication to the program as a whole, whether he be here a CrossFit Santa Cruz or on his own up in SF. I love working with serious, very committed & driven athletes, regardless of sport.

I’m starting with my back for the first session, then will go from there. ...Likely to my somach/chest, then calves, then arms, then ribbs, then.... First thing's first! :) ...I’m sure I’ll post a pic! :)

Well, I know it has been a lil' while since I have last updated this Blog. I do have several entries that I will be posting soon, though I have been a little too busy with a couple of other projects I have been working on to invest any quality time here with the Blog. And, just as with my programming for my clients, whether it be a philosophical entry or an entry about my clients, I can't do a half-assed job, so I forgo doing an entry until I can invest the time necessary to yield something of quality.

Well, the purpose of this entry is to let yawl know that as of April 1'st I am officially "calling myself out". "??", You say? Meaning, for a 12 week stretch starting April 1'st I am going to be VERY strict as to my food intake, workouts and logging it all, as well as outputs and results. I have always eaten pretty much in the Zone and for the most part thrown out dairy a while back and often will Intermittent Fast, but over the last week or so I have already started the process of "tightening up" a bit and it is already showing.

Specifically, what I will be doing as far as diet/nutrition will be following Zone macronutrient ratios using Paleo-Diet food sources within an Intermittent-Fasting time structure. I will be starting at 40/30/30, exactly, (weighing and measuring everything with a digital scale) then will up the fat to 2x, then 3x, then 4x, then 5x fat. I will also be using specifically the "Best Zone Foods" as per Dr Sears's book as to my sources of Proteins, Carbs and Fats. That means, for example, instead of using a little mayo as a fat source when making my "tuna-&-hard-boiled-egg" mix, I will strictly be using the "best" fat sources only, such as Macadamia Nuts, as opposed to things like mayo, albeit in the Zone. I will be eliminating dairy 100% (I now currently will have a little half/half in my coffee during my "feeding" period or a very small amount of milk once a month or so). I may still opt for using a super high quality whey protein-powder in my Zone shake as my Zone shakes are so damned good that I would be horribly bummed to eliminate it altogether, even though whey protein is technically derived from a dairy base.--I have yet to decide on that one. I will also be eliminating grains altogether. Thus, my only carbohydrate intake will come from vegetables, fruits and berries, and if I use Cashews within my Zone shakes for my fat source, then the extra carbs that are within them as well. Cashews are a little higher in carbs compared to that of almonds and a lot higher in carbs than macadamia nuts. Also, ...cashews exhibit a higher "inflammatory" profile than do either almonds or macadamia nuts. That is to say, they can have an inflammatory effect upon the body, and I do not mean simply in people who are allergic.--Not desirable for an athlete. ...But cashews are certainly so damned tasty! I will also be only choosing the best protein sources during this time. I am still working out the details, but I will be limiting myself to 1 dinner out within any given 10-day period (for dates with girls and such) where I will likely reward myself with a large Prime Rib after a long fast. I will also be following a very strict, though strategically zigzagged Intermittent Fasting of 8-9 times within a 10 days period. I will be generally doing a 20 hour fast, followed by a 4 hour feeding period. Once every ten days or so I will throw in an extended fast of 24 or more hours where "the hunt yielded no kill" and the "foraging no fruit". Once every ten days or so I will also throw in a "plentifull-kill" day where the "hunt-&-gather" yielded an abundance of food and I will consume as much as I want or as my body will allow. My times of the fast/feed will generally be fast from 4pm - till - 12:00 noon, and feed from 12:00 noon till 4pm. I will zigzag that time format and time frame a bit though so as to provide a truer to Paleo randomization for the body to deal with. The zigzagging strategy as well as the plentiful-kill days coupled with the scarce-hunt days are true to a Paleo structure. I will be logging everything during this time as well, albeit possibly an arduous task. I am committed to doing this as I have been thinking about it and planning it for well over a month.

...Why am I doing this? ...In part, it simply be a personal endeavor I wish to undertake. Also, I wish to prove a point to all, and to my clients, and especially to my serious competitive/professional athletes, as to what can be done and accomplished with the strictest adherence to a combination of following the macronutrient ratios delineated within the Zone protocol, followed through foods that are true to the Paleo Diet nutritional protocol, and delivered through a timing structure that fully incorporates the Intermittent Fasting protocol.--These three elements combined offer the absolute best that performance nutrition has to offer. This dietary/nutritional strategy coupled with some simple supplementation (fish-oil, ALA, etc.) while following a carefully regimented training protocol based heavily on CrossFit, though with an added emphasis on Olympic WeightLifting (and support movements such as heavy back-squats), Gymnastics, Track-&-Field, and some sport-specific training (for myself kickboxing and jiu-jitsu, for my client Dwight Lowery, football related NFL Combine drills, extra sprints, etc.), will yield absolutely impressive results!--Period! ...I will prove this with this endeavor.

See--Now I don't have a choice about it anymore. "Gulp!" I've "put it out there" to everyone so now I have to follow through with it. Thus, ...week-9/day-5, into it when I am perhaps wavering and debating on just saying "fuck it!--I'm gonna have WTF I want & I'm gonna break the fast today too", ...this Blog entry will cause for pause, recollection and refocus upon the task at hand. :) Determination and discipline. Lead by example, etc., etc. Again, ...largely to prove a point, not simply to anyone/everyone who may be interested, but especially to my serious professional and soon-to-be professional athlete clients, regarding how profound the results obtained by a strict adherence to the absolute best that performance nutrition has to offer can be, especially when following a truly efficacious training protocol. Recall Coach Greg Glassman's "Fitness Pyramid" that Mark Twight ripped off and not simply plagiarized, but flat-out stole; the "base" of the pyramid, hence the "foundation" of the fitness-pyramid or fitness-hierarchy is nutrition as it lays the molecular foundation for everything else we are trying to achieve. Combining and following carefully these three nutritional protocols will greatly maximize the results obtained through the CrossFit methodology.

...But, alas, let me digress. :)

Before concluding this entry, let me just say that even though Sunday is my longest day with clients and all, it is by far one of my favorites. At the end of the day I am just so fucking stoked to be doing what I do and working with amazing athletes and individuals and I finish the day just happy to be alive and truly grateful for having the opportunity to train the individuals that I do and be a part of their lives, each and every one of them. ...I can't really explain it any better than that at the moment, but that's the feeling I walk away with at the end of the day. ...My service and commitment to my clients is one element that really fuels my existence and through that service and commitment, and the relationships I forge with them, well, ...those things combined is what really brings life through my veins. While I am extremely committed to not simply providing the best service possible, but to truly improving all aspects of their lives and well-being, I am both grateful and thankful to be able to do it.

Well, ...that's all for now, folks! I'll update more later, including some educational entries as I had mentioned previously, regarding differing aspects of fitness and nutrition. :)

Friday, March 16, 2007

This is Luke Stewart, Ralph Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Black-Belt, MMA Fighter and amazing Tattoo Artist! I first met Luke about 4 or 5 years ago, back when he was still a purple belt. He was a bad-ass tattoo artist then and he has only gotten better, just like his Jiu-Jitsu game. I have been wanting to work with him for a long time and I finally have the opportunity to do so! (To check out some of his work go to: http://www.seventhsontattoo.com/index.htm)

Most of those who know me, have known that I have been wanting for many years to get several tattoos and that I have always said, “when I get them done, I want Luke Stewart from San Francisco to be the one to do them”. Well, I now not only have the opportunity to train Luke for his upcoming fights, but I am also finally stepping up to the plate and will start getting some Ink done by Luke himself. I am so stoked!!! Not only do I get to train a great Jiu-Jitsu Black-Belt, but I also have the opportunity to get tatted by, what I consider to be, one of the best in CA. Luke called me up a short while ago and said that he recalled the work I did with some of the other Jiu-Jitsu fighters from Ralph Gracie’s, as well as a few other well known fighters, and that he had a MMA fight coming up and was wondering if I was willing to do some trade. I said, "definitely!" ...I'm excited to be working with Luke and am grateful for the opportunity.

...While I am definitely looking forward to finally getting started with my tats and having the opportunity to actually get them done by Luke himself, I haven’t really been thinking much at all about the tattoos I’ll be getting in return since I started working with him. My focus has been *solely* on doing everything I can to fully prep him for his fight as far as developing for him the best six-week pre-fight Strength-&-Conditioning program and Nutritional Protocol for him to follow that I could, and making sure he is the fittest fighter in the event.--Period. I spent a great deal of time mapping out the first six weeks pre-fight strength-&conditioning program based on what I knew of his current abilities and the amount of time I actually had to work with him before this fight and I’m really happy with the end product.--It’s solid. My focus has been specifically on trying to provide THE BEST service possible. That is of utmost importance to me. I have to deliver the best product possible.--Better than anyone else would do. Just as with Both, Dwight Lowery and Steven Wright, I feel a great deal of responsibility in making sure Luke is in the best shape possible for his fights. There are a lot of other trainers out there he could have chose to work with and he chose me. (A good choice in my opinion. ;) ) I feel there’s no one out there who will do a better job or who will care more about Luke’s success in the ring (and outside the ring) than I. ...But maybe I’m just being an egotistical asshole. :)

Currently Luke is following the program outline closely and we maintain phone contact at least every other day in regards to the program and nutrition. (I mapped his program on a large desk calendar for him to hang on the wall and I have a smaller copy just like it at home to make cross-referencing on the phone more efficient.--This worked out very well for both of us.) Luke is very driven and has been doing very well with what we have gone over thus far. He is very coachable and learns the movements quickly. I can tell he really understands the concepts I am trying to impart upon him. He has also mentioned that he can already tell a difference and feel his overall strength and athleticism improving. (Just wait until we hit the 3-month mark!--3 solid months of the CrossFit protocol when coupled with the best that performance nutrition has to offer can yield incredible results!) I have to say, when I am working with him at CrossFit he definitely digs deep and fights hard through the workouts. I can tell he is really trying hard to tap that inner strength and summon from within that “fight” to go hard and leave nothing behind. The more he is exposed to the CrossFit protocol, the easier it will be for him to summon up that power from within and forge it into yet another weapon in his arsenal.

Anyway, ...after his fight I may or may not include the full six week program I developed for Luke, though I’d have to run it by him first. (...We might not want to put it out there where his opponents can get access to what he’s doing for strength-&-conditioning to help beat their ass.)

...One of my best friends, an amazing athlete who is in excellent shape, will be entering the MMA circuit very soon. He has listened and applied a lot of what I have suggested to him over the years as far as strength-&-conditioning and he is very self-driven as far as his training. ...Though he hasn’t really stepped up to to the plate to have me fully train him to prep for his new venture into fighting MMA, even though he knows I’m one of the best around. I’m not really sure why that is. It’s like having Dwayne Wade and Steve Nash as your uncle and deciding that you want to play basketball in college and then, other than asking them for some tips here and there, never humbling yourself enough to really ask them if they could take you under their wing and help make you the best basketball player you could possibly be. ...But that’s just my opinion. (I have come to learn over the years though that it is the people closest to us that we will oft have the toughest time trying to help. Coach Glassman taught me that lessen many years ago in reference to family, stating “your family will be the hardest ones you’ll ever try to help because they will never listen.”--That has proven to be *absolutely* true, ...much to my dissmay.--I wish my family would listen.) ...I’m not sure why it is that my good friend hasn’t yet stepped up to have me fully train him and help him with everything I have to offer. ...Regardless, ...I hope for his sake he doesn’t have to face Luke Stewart in the ring! :)