I Did a Caffeine Detox For a Week and You Should To

There comes a point where that grande mocha choca bullshit just doesn't get you lit for work anymore - let me explain.

For two months, I was on the east coast doing door to door sales. It's fun but combine the long workdays with an athletic training program and it gets very gnarly, very quick. The first month wasn't too bad (get up early, train, work all day, sleep late and repeat). The problem starts when you put yourself at a sleep deficit or decide to get a quick pick-me-up for the second part of the day. The body is an amazing machine that is built to adapt and adapt to caffeine it did. 

The second month was hell. I'd wake up feeling exhausted, I would only feel normal after chugging down black coffee followed by 2 scoops of pre-workout before my workout (which is a big no-no) and drink at least 2-3 more red bulls by the end of the day (the new sugar free lime taste great by the way). There was an obvious problem when I kept getting random headaches throughout the day. 

The detox started when I got back from sales. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be; I was just mostly tired (even though I averaged 10-ish hours of sleep a night when I got back, not including naps) and would get irritated easily. A week later, my tolerance for caffeine SIGNIFICANTLY decreased and I have so much more energy now. 

Point is, if you feel like caffeine is consuming you, it might be time to stop consuming it and work on that sleep.

- Thought was written by Edgar Ramirez (@eddygee) one of our very own athletes.

 

As a coach I think it is important to periodically take a step back and access our habits. If you find yourself constantly relying on caffeine to be motivated for training and life; there may be some bigger issues hiding beneath this struggle. First and foremost sleep! Recovery is a number one priority and sleep is one of the BIGGEST influencers in recovery. Don't forget the basics.

The "WHY"

When I was thinking about WHY I wanted to provide online coaching and programming I knew I needed to identify something that I was passionate about if I wanted to give my clients the best experience possible. After weeks of contemplation I finally narrowed it down to the fact that I want to provide people with knowledge and ability to care for themselves in a healthy and sustainable way.

It is not uncommon for athletes and those that pursue a greater level of fitness and performance to develop habits that will undoubtedly impact them down the road in a negative manner. With the unbelievable amount of content posted by uneducated and unqualified individuals on the internet there really isn't a clear path for people such as yourself to embark on. It ends up producing a large amount of confusion and misunderstanding, and in reality makes being healthy and happy much harder than it should be. Companies and trainers want you to buy into the idea of everything needed to be new and cutting edge, but the real "magic" pill is simply HARD WORK. There isn't anything fancy or pretty about it; and that scares people. There isn't a secret shortcut around the lack of work that was put in before, you can't just change your mind and instantly see a change in your body. That isn't how it works NO MATTER what you hear or see from the industry. 

I'm here to make the thinking process easier; NOT the actual hard work itself. I provide the thinking and the training for YOU; therefore all you have to do is GO DO THE WORK. This isn't a get fit quick guarantee, but rather a promise to point you in the right direction.

 If somebody tells you they can make the work easier, they are WRONG.

- Darren Hansen

Fitness Industry = Fads

Think about the information we are constantly force fed over social media and online pertaining to fitness.

Trends. Everything is trendy. Superficial. Sexual. Quick Fixes.

Pretty much anything that can take invoke an immediate emotional response will be used against you. With that being said, please be conscious and aware of where you take advice from pertaining to YOUR fitness.

Would you walk into a doctors office accredited only by the fact that they have a nice ass in tights, a pretty face, and possibly a 6 pack? Personally, I would rather have a good understanding of accomplishments, education, and experience of that said doctor.

Maybe that's just me...

My point being this happens every day. People are taking advice and even PAYING people that have NO IDEA what they are even talking about. The internet has created a platform for uneducated trainers to make a quick dollar on those that feel lost and helpless. This leads to those clients becoming burned out, injured, or just simply lacking results. Most often that experience will leave a negative feeling towards remote coaching, programming, and possibly fitness in general. This is not only a disservice to the person, but also negatively impacts those that are qualified to help. 

Please ask. Most often a simple "what are your qualifications" should do the trick. Not only would this help you achieve your goals and invest wisely, but it will also set you up with a healthy relationship with your trainer.

 

Good luck friends

BE AWARE

 

You're Not Eating Enough

You’re Not Eating Enough

You cannot trick your body. It’s smarter than you. If you want to lose weight you need to work with your body to give it what it needs to achieve what you want. We all know that eating too much can pack on the unwanted pounds. We have developed such a negative association between eating and losing weight that for many of us the concept of eating more to lose weight is unimaginable.

Your body will always fight to maintain homeostasis and will burn whatever tissue is needed to maintain its energy levels. Unfortunately for your body, fat is much more efficient for providing energy than muscle tissue and as a result when energy is low muscle is burned. You must make sure you are providing your body with enough calories to maintain muscle mass and to fuel your workouts. If you’re not working out you may still be doing more than you realize and could still suffer if you’re under fed.

PAHQ

Matt Van Dyke 12/1/2016

The pursuit of "balanced" nutrition is essentially seeking perfection in your diet to most people and this is impossible. Instead seeking "balance" should be understood as having lower-highs and higher-lows in your overall experience with food. We will always move in waves of choices, committment, food selection, quality, consistency and that is to be EXPECTED. You will feel like a failure more often than not if you are seeking linear progression without waves.

- Expect waves in weight but seek progression over time.
- Expect waves in commitment but seek increases in streaks of adherence and progress. 
- Do not compare your eating habits to others. Its your food and your mouth. Use it as you like.
- Do not compare food choices to other same reason as above. 
- Desire waves in body composition. You should never just desire skinny and depleted. Encourage yourself to enjoy being strong and shifting gears throughout the year to higher body fat levels that are still healthy.
- Never obsess over anything for too long. Anyone who's successful became obsessed to a certain extent but the true pros know how to pull out and redirect focus when needed.
- Extremes in any direction will end badly unless you can bring it back to home base and regain control. Most never reach any kind of mastery with food and their body because they swing too wildly from one extreme to another.

Everyone has their own enjoyment and battle with food. It is up to you to seek out the basic underlying principles of food, their properties and benefits and how you can create your own "balanced" lifestyle. These are just some of my tips on how i view my overall balance and stay happy along the way.

John Welbourne's 42 things he learned in 2013

Maybe my 42 Things can help you become the best version of you. Here they are:

1. Know what you are training for.
We often say at the seminars and my gym, “What are you training?” This translates into: you need a goal, a destination for your journey. Without one you are left to wander, and this site is not called Kung Fu and you are not Caine. Pick a goal, chart a course, keep your head down and don’t come up for air until you meet it.

2. The squat is the foundation of any good program.
A program that does not involve the squat is incomplete. Any coach that tells you that you shouldn't squat because it is bad for your back and knees, or if it is done you should not squat below parallel needs to be punched. Email me and I will send someone out who specializes in punching people who need a punch. And when I say squat, I mean the one where you put a heavy bar on your back. If I were talking about the front squat or overhead squat, I would have said front squat or overhead squat.

3. Be a performance whore.
Your only mark for progress should be performance and success. Don’t get caught up in dogma, realize all that matters is performance. Don’t get married to one philosophy or stuck in one circle. Look to expand your training arsenal and realize your only master is progress.

4. “Know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em.”
When you start hitting the weights, certain days you feel like the weights are made of foam and you could lift the gym. Other days, the weights seem to be made of adamantium. Realize on the days when the weights are light, go for broke and set a new personal record regardless of what the program says. On the days when the opposite is true, all you need to do is survive and realize the weights will be there tomorrow.

5. Don’t fall prey to the Secret Squirrel Program.
This is what happens when late at night while scanning the internet you decided to hybrid CrossFit Football’s strength WOD with CFE’s running 2 days a week with CrossFit’s hero WODs and Outlaw’s Olympic programming just for good measure. All the while doing 23 hours a day of Ketogenic interment fasting. If you think this secret squirrel program will help you become the fittest man on the planet you are delusional. All that will happen is you become a massive ball of injury, end up doing nothing but Mobility WOD for 2 years with the testosterone levels of a 14-year-old eunuch.

6. You need to warm up.
Warming up is key to raising core temperature and getting the muscles, tendons and fascia warm. You are warming up because you are preparing to train. Take the old boxing proverb to heart. “If you go into the ring cold, you come out cold.”

7. Use Lacrosse balls
If rolling out with a squishy foam roller is painful, you have led a life of luxury and share the energy expenditure with a veal. Real athletes roll out with two lacrosse balls and Kelly Starrett sitting on your body part adjacent to it.

8. Static Stretching is great way to cool down. Period.

9. The first movement at the beginning of your training week needs to involve a heavy bar on your back.

10. All the machines and praying in the world will not build a physique like the one crafted from lifting free weights over 85% of your 1 RM.

11. Weighted Pull Ups can cure world hunger.

12. Isometric holds build stability and strength.

13. It is better to live like a farmer than a bartender.
Farmers go to bed when the sun goes down and wake when the roosters crow. Bartenders hang out with drunks, don’t go to bed till 3 or 4 in the morning and sleep all day. Be a farmer.

14. Heavy prowler pushes cleanse the soul.

15. Sleeping 8 hours or more a day makes you bullet proof.
Yes, if you sleep more than 8 hours a day, bullets will not harm you and you will be able to control the minds of those around you.

16. Shower in ice-cold water in the morning. Hot shower before bed.

17. Vitamin D is the most important vitamin of all, so go outside and get a tan. As George Robert’s dad once said, “Georgie, even fat looks good tan.”

18. The only proteins that count are the ones with faces, souls and a mother. I do not care how you process hemp and peas…it is not real protein.

19. Earn your carbs.
Don’t get lulled into thinking a primal or Paleo diet is low carb diet. If you are a hard charging athlete that lifts heavy weights, sprints and moves, eat some carbs. Low carb diets are for fat people and sedentary people with metabolic disorders. If you are training for the CrossFit Games, playing football or trying to run a hundred miles you have earned your carbs.

20. I don’t care how far or often you run, running slow will never help you get fast. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and marathon runners. I am not impressed that you finished a marathon in 5 hours. I am more impressed that it took you 7 hours to sprint 421 100-meter repeats.

21. Percentages are a waste of time for beginners.
Why, you ask? Because to efficiently lift a true 1 RM you need an extremely well training central nervous system. And efficiency in the CNS comes from prolonged training. Hence, how could a beginner have enough control over their body or their CNS to put forth the ability to lift a true 1 RM? They can’t. So don’t do it.

22. Every man should own a slow cooker and a grill that uses lump wood charcoal.

23. Meat from grass-fed cows should make up the bulk of your daily food consumption.

24. Drink water.
Anyone who tells you they don’t like to drink water needs to grow the fuck up. How much…at least 1 ounce per 2 lbs of body weight.

25.  Don’t let fear be your limiting factor.
Louie Simmons told me, "To master Kung Fu, the training must be severe." What Louie means is, don't take the easy way out. Winners and champions are forged in the crucible of competition and hard work. Don't let fear of not meeting your goals be your limiting factor when it comes to training or success.

26. Full Fat Greek Yogurt is an excellent source of protein and probiotics. Anyone that tells you dairy from pasture-raised animals is bad should be pushed in the mud.

27. Have the talent to rest.
If you think taking a rest day is weakness, you have never really trained hard. And you definitely have low testosterone levels.

28. The Second Amendment was put in place to guarantee the First Amendment. Problems arise when we allow our leaders to suspend the First Amendment and many other rights given to us in the Bill of Rights because of fear. When terrible things happen in society, we are so quick to give away our rights so the government can protect us and make it so it never happens again. It is impossible to stop bad people from doing bad things, but you can train and prepare for the day when good men are called upon to stop evil men. That is Edmund Burke.

29. Guns are inanimate objects that can be used to do harm. Much like cars, airplanes and knives, all these things can be turned into weapons if someone so chooses. Banning the sale, use or ownership of inanimate objects will no better cure the world of evil than eating low-fat food will cure a fat ass.

30. Lift heavy and awkward implements.
The power gained from picking up and lifting awkward and heavy objects creates a strength not found in a weight room. Anyone that grew up on a farm or wrestled or played football with farm kids knows what I am talking about. We also call this Field Strong.

31. Having kids puts everything into perspective.
My wife and I had twin girls in late 2011; I just came up for air in late 2012. Kids put things in perspective. The things that mattered so much, seem small and unimportant. What is important is raising your kids, providing a positive role model and keeping your wife happy and loved so she doesn’t drive the whole train off the tracks.

32. Learn to cook.
Even if it just involves adding meat, water, salt and root vegetables to a slow cooker or burning meat on a grill. Learn to cook. Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who cannot or will not learn.

33. Stop posting on message boards. If you have more than 100 posts on any message board, kick your own ass.

34. Twitter rocks.
If you can’t say it in a 140 characters, it doesn’t need to be said.

35. Training Vs. Testing.
Learn certain days are training days other days are testing days. Have a plan each day and realize professional athletes don’t compete every day. They save that for when the money is on the line and the crowd is in the stands.

36. Read. Real. Books.
In this Internet age, digital books, periodicals, websites and blogs consume us. I feel something is missing, hard copy books.

37. Bacon.
I started eating bacon in the 70’s. I am not sure when many of you found bacon, but if it was last two years, I am sorry. Up until recently for many, bacon has been a mystery. But upon finding it, it is all they talk about. I am proud of you for finding bacon. I am sorry your dad didn’t make bacon on Saturdays when you were growing up. I believe it makes you feel primal and talking about bacon on social media is your way of thumbing your nose at society, but enough. Welcome to the party and guess what? We are serving bacon.

38. I don’t care that you are 100% Paleo; if a friend offers you a beer, drink it. Nothing says "FU" like not accepting a drink from a friend because of a diet. Grow the fuck up.

39. Work the tissue.
Active Release Therapy. Graston. Deep Tissue Massage. Mashing. Do something to mobilize tissue and speed recovery.

40. Move the bar as fast as possible.
When lifting weights, you should move the bar as fast as you can at all times. Think compensatory acceleration. If you have never head the term “compensatory acceleration”, go Google it now. I will wait. Slow reps are akin to the splinters in your ass from sitting on the bench watching the explosive guys play. The only thing moving slow did, was make me slow. Fuck slow.

41. Don’t be a cartoon character.
In today’s age of social media and virtual existence, people are not held to the same standards they were so long ago. Individuals are more cartoon characters than real people. Be a real person that can be depended on and does not take every opportunity to take advantage of those around you. Being a man involves more than growing a beard and drinking whiskey…even though those things do help.

42. High testosterone levels = nice guys.
I read a study a while back that related mental wellness and all around nice guys having higher testosterone levels than their male dick head counterparts. Next time you meet a douche bag, instead of cursing the day he was born, realize he is a lesser male and just has low testosterone levels. Pity him, because there is nothing worse for a man than having low testosterone levels. If you are reading this and think you might have low-test levels, go see a doctor.