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Progenex for the Holidays

Single-serving packets of every flavor of Recovery, More Muscle, Build, Force and Cocoon are available, all the time, on the Progenex table in the big front room of CrossFit Green Bay. I use the honor system - drop your $$ into the cash box. Take care of your fitness and your body before, during and after workouts.

All three delicious flavors of Bars are on the table, too. Whey protein is in these bars, they're low fat, delicious and inexpensive.

Remember, you can order a bag of any Progenex product and Anne or I will deliver it to CFGB. Text or Facebook Message or email ( Same honor system - just put $$ or check into box. I'll let you know when it's delivered. Having fun at last year's Ice Bowl

A bag of Progenex makes a wonderful Christmas gift for the CrossFitter in your life!



Food, Weight-Training, Life... Eat Less, Drink Less - Nobody Wants the Truth

I no longer think of myself as a Paleo person. It's been a couple of years since I've considered myself part of that community (there is a group who identifies themselves as "Paleo people"). The definitions tire me. I eat real food, I use real supplements and vitamins and minerals and proteins and all kinds of other, logical, things. Learning about strict Paleo, listening to and reading Rob Wolff and others, was a nice assist a few years ago. I think of it as a tune-up.

Sometimes I eat organic food; much of the meat I consume is organic, grass-fed, blah blah blah. I know the people who raise the animals, I trust them. Certainly I want to put the healthiest food possible into my body.

Each day I consume lots of vegetables; some organic, much of it not. I eat potatoes and rice, and a little grain-free sprouted bread, and almond and peanut butter, and rice cakes. I work hard to allow no sugar into my body. Oh, and I drink wine. Do I need a tag? Some would consider me lapsed Paleo, others an Atkins devotee. Who cares? 

It's becoming clear to me that most people consume too much food. Whether it's gluten-free, organic, grass-fed, or plain-old magical and came from unicorns, the simple truth is that too many calories grows body fat. And nearly everyone has excess body fat!

Simply, I'm learning that if one wants to be leaner and sport some definition, show off those hard-earned muscles, you must eat less food! And drink less alcohol. This is two or three meals, not one feast!

Who wants to hear this? Yeah, nobody. Most of us who have been in the weight-training or bodybuildiing world (where I've lived for 45+ years) take a certain weird pride in how much we can eat at times. And yes, lots of protein is needed to grow lots of muscle. No kidding. But learn what your body truly needs to rebuild and grow. Only a few pounds of lean tissue on anyone will be evident as muscle; it will show up nicely. Nobody is going to add double-digits of muscle in any short period (and most won't even gain it over a span of years, frankly). Losing pounds of bodyfat, on the other hand, will cause you to look far more muscular and jacked and ripped (pick your favorite adjective) in short order.

It's all about the diet. Drill down, and you'll learn it's really about the macros. Timing doesn't matter near as much as the totals. Macro-nutrient ratios win. Every time. And get a digital food scale. Without this tool, you're just guessing and don't really know what the hell you are putting into your body. Weigh and measure and you'll be shocked.

I know of an esteemed nutrition coach who is using Captain Crunch and broccoli as his sole carb sources in a short-term body-fat loss program. It's working well. I know an extremely fit and truly ripped female athlete who commonly eats rice cakes and other carb sources at night, making certain she's hitting her numbers. She's muscular with 10%  bodyfat. Generally speaking, learning what macros work for you at any one time is the game-changer.

For a long time I avoided the science, the truth, about drinking wine and how the metablizing of alcohol changes body-fat storage preferences in the human body. I wanted that nightly glass of wine, and for years I enjoyed it. Every night. But now that I'm finding the will-power to avoid wine some nights (I'm getting better at this), I clearly see and feel the difference in my body. A simple thing that goes a long way towards being leaner. Even on the road, a cooler and food scale means you win!

Pay attention to what you pile on your plate, or how many times your refill the plate or bowl. Continue to learn about nutrition. Do some research and learning about macro-nutrient ratios, experiment with yourself, and effectively make lasting change!





Now that the Mr. Olympia is Over...

What an exciting and interesting Mr. Olympia contest this year. Reigning champ Phil Heath came in with unsurpassed size and conditioning, a look he hasn't had for a few years. He was awarded a well-deserved, yet close, win. Several other bodybuilders are breathing down his neck, veterans (Dexter Jackson), improving-all-the-time (Big Ramy, Shawn Roden), and young up-and-coming (William Bonac, Dallas McCarver). The return of Kevin Levrone at age 52, after more than a dozen retirement years, sparked much debate and attention. The absence of Kai Greene creates debate, too, of course. I loved it.

But, now that the Olympia is done, set your sights on Columbus, Ohio and the Arnold Classic! Coming up March 2-5, 2017, bodybuilding fans will have no trouble spotting and talking with (and taking selfies) the biggest names in the sport. Whether they are competing in the Arnold Classic or not, the line-up of athletes working booths and sigging autographs and posing for photos encompasses everyone you've ever heard of, plus other amazing bodybuilders you won't even be familiar with.

Here are a few of the top IFBB pros I ran across at the last two Arnold Classic Expo events. In all cases they are relaxed, happy to chat with fans and pose for photos. You'll never have a better opportunity to see and meet the top bodybuilders in the world. Everyone who competes in the Olympia shows up at the Arnold, plus everyone else (Kai Greene won the Arnold Classic last March).

Journey to Columbus in March for the Arnold Sports Festival. You'll wonder why you didn't come before, you'll have a great time, and you'll have the chance to meet everyone who is anyone in the world of bodybuilding.

@arnoldsports, #arnoldclassic, @Flex_Wheeler, @PhilHeath, @mrojaycutler

Did anyone ever have a better physique than Flex Wheeler?Chris Cormier, still in great shape.


The Arnold Classic Continuing Coverage: Victor Martinez

Even on the eve of the most highly-anticipated Mr. Olympia contest in many years, I'm reminded the next Arnold Sports Festival is coming up in March. Going forward I'll be spotlighting people, products and events from the 2016 Arnold Classic, counting down to the 2017 celebration of all things fitness and nutrition. In my opinion, as someone who's been attending the Arnold since it's inception, there remains no question the Arnold Sports Festival is the biggest, best and most important gathering in the field, in the world.

I spent a bit of time with Victor Martinez at the MHP Nutrition booth at the Expo. Victor is a good example of a working professional bodybuilder, someone who has spent several years working his way back from a serious knee injury. At the time of his knee, many wrote him off as a contendor and assumed his career had ended. Talking to him at the show, Victor was a bit upset that in 2016 anyone still wondered if he was able to compete at the highest level. I like that attitude.

Only a few months later, in July, Martinez won the IFBB Pro Baltimore, hopefully putting to rest any surprise that he's back, in a big way. I look forward to seeing him continue to compete.

The opportunity to talk with Victor Martinez and spend a few minutes is a great example of what can, and does, continually happen at the Arnold Classic.



Challenges... and hot dogs

My weight has fluctuated the past couple of weeks, for those of you keeping score at home. I never did go truly ketogenic for more than a few days. Then I had a five day stretch with increased workload in the gym (training clients), and some additional high-glycemic carbs (crap).  Meaning, two nights I enjoyed some popcorn. One night I also had ice cream (low fat protein ice cream, but still).  Oh, and I had three bottles of wine over the course of the week. My starch eating went up a little bit, too.

Weight-training went ok, but I remained hobbled by my sciatic nerve issues and pain, continuing my protocol of no lower-body exercises. For several weeks now I've only put myself through repeat bodybuilding-style sessions.  Push - pull.  Overhead press coupled with pullups and prowler pushes. Bicep and tricep workouts. On and on. I enjoy these sessions, and they're a bit of a nice change of pace, but dammit, I can't squat or deadlft or clean!

I broke down and saw the spine doc, the same guy who successfully injected my spine five years ago.  I wanted that magic again. Of course he won't do a thing without a new MRI.  Makes sense. But a week and 1/2 has passed and the MRI isn't even scheduled yet! No action on the part of the insurance company. They haven' said no, but they don't say yes. The crazy thing is, my sciatic nerve pain is decreasing by the day (thank you, 12 iboprofin each day), and I'm now at the point where if/when they call, I don't feel there's any point in having the MRI now, 'cause I'd prefer not to have the injection if I don't need it.

Hopefully I'll continue to improve. I'd like to begin some light back squatting next week. Yesterday I put myself through an entire half hour of leg extensions and leg curls (seated). Didn't light up my sciatic at all. Fingers crossed.

Today during meal prep I changed it up a bit and added chicken hot dogs (gasp! hot dogs?) to my vegetables. I'm working on doing a better job of eating smaller meals more often. This crazy work schedule the last two weeks has messed up my eating, but that's my fault.

Listening to Mark Bell's podcast this week, IFBB pro bodybuilder Jon Andersen was the guest. He's an interesting guy, used to be a professional strongman, then a WWE wrestler, now a giant bodybuilder (he was recently competing onstage at 279#, which is ridiculously big for someone in low single digit bodyfat condition). Anyways, he eats a lot, to put it simply. And he's a longtime ketogenic athlete, so I found him worth listening to, and quite entertaining. Get this: he eats ten pounds of chicken daily! Yup, 10-12 small meals. Once a week, for a treat, he adds a handful of Quest Bars to one day of meals! The dude puts in the calories! Andersen says the magic to building muscle and getting or remaining lean is to stoke the fat-burning fires with many small meals. I'm still wrapping my head around ten pounds of chicken each day. They shop at Costco, needless to say.

Weight crept up to 180# but I feel I've added muscle to my upper body. Not bursting any seams yet, but pretty full. I feel strong.

Remember, eat more vegetables, consume more protein, let the carbs in at the end if at all.