April Training Focus and Suggested Reading

It’s officially Spring! Cold and rainy one day, warm and sunny the next, but there are always kettlebells in motion here at OPTI!

This month, our advanced students are putting a heavy focus on bottom up cleans and presses. I am so impressed with all of you and how quickly you have picked up the technique. This morning, Denise D. bottom up pressed (BUP) a 12kg! It was cool to watch. It just goes to show you that having a solid foundation will allow you to learn new things effectively. At this stage in the game, technique is what will hold you back from realizing your full strength potential, so every rep counts. It’s imperative that we view our training as “practice” as opposed to a “workout.” Of course, we will still get our sweat on, but we will garner much more desirable results if we approach our training with the mindset of getting “better.”

We have lots of new students joining our all levels classes this and last month! Make sure you all introduce yourselves to Brenna, Justin, Erin, and Sean. They have all spent a good amount of time in the beginner classes so they have a pretty good basic foundation. They will continue to focus their training efforts on building solid technique in the basic movements: turkish get up, deadlift, swing, squat, clean, press, pullup, pushup and row. I am really pleased to see how far they have come!

We also have Kathy and Melissa joining us in group who have both trained privately with me for some time. Be sure to say hello and make them feel welcome!

Some of you have been asking questions about the “Paleo Diet”, which I think is a solid, healthy way to eat. I pretty much eat paleo but I am not super strict about it (I put cream in my coffee and sometimes eat CHEESE!). However, I think it’s important for everyone to find their own nutritional path. What works for one person does not necessarily work for another and we are all at different stages of our health evolution. For instance, I do intermittent fasting every single day and I absolutely love it, but I would NOT recommend it for someone who is still struggling with making the right food choices.

Some links about Paleo and IF:

Robb Wolf: Paleo Solution

Fast Paleo: Recipes

Intermittent Fasting 101 and 201

I will continue to post links for you so that you can grow your education, but here are some basic guidelines for eating:

As Michael Pollan says “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” (And I would add PROTEIN!)

Things to eat:

  • Lots of veggies, every color possible
  • Fruit, but not more than veggies (berries are BEST!)
  • Protein (cage free chicken, turkey, fish, grass fed beef and lamb, eggs, pork in moderation, the less processed the BETTER!)
  • Healthy fats in MODERATION (avocado, nuts and nut butter, organic coconut and coconut oil/milk/butter, fish oil)
  • REAL FOOD. If it has a label you should always question it. Does it have a long list of ingredients on the label? Then it’s probably not a good idea!

Things NOT to eat:

  • Grains. Gluten is bad for most guts! Grains include: bread, corn, rice, oats etc. You can still make your favorite breads and treats by using almond and coconut flours!
  • SOY
  • Trans fats (all nut butters should be natural or better yet-organic!)
  • Nitrates (found in processed meats, look for “no nitrates” on things like bacon)
  • Processed sugar, and if you are trying to lose fat, try reducing or eliminating even the natural sugars (high glycemic fruits, honey, agave, maple syrup)
  • Artificial sweeteners, dyes and stabilizers (i.e. aspartame, red #40, soy emulsifiers, corn starch, etc)
  • Eat dairy in moderation. Organic, grass fed is best!

This is by NO MEANS a comprehensive list but should help get you started. I am currently working on an ebook with lots of recipes so you can look forward to that in the next few months!

A lot of you have been asking about the Amino Acid Supplement (BCAA) I drink. I don’t take many supplements but I do like this one since I fast every day and it helps support my body. It has no artificial dyes or ingredients except sucralose :(. This is the only time I ingest an artificial sweetener and when I can find one that is sweetened with stevia I will let you know! (the supplement needs to be calorie free due to the fasting component…) Anyway, if you’re interested you can get it on HERE. It is the best one I have found so far and will help build and protect your lean mass (muscle) and therefore your training.

Some suggested reading for this week:

Strong Fixes Everything

Gluten and dairy free banana bread

And my latest blog post: It’s My Fault

Great books:

In Defense of Food and The Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Don’t forget to connect on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!

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