Day 2 PaleoFX

Day two of PaleoFX, and my abs are sore! The previous day’s Parkour, of simple jumps was amazingly core oriented. I will be adding more Parkour-like movements to my pile stuff. The key is to keep things fun, and have a lot of variety.


First talk of the day is from Menno Henselmans. His website is Bayesian Bodybuilding. If you’ve never seen him before, he’s Superman meets Einstein. Super fit, and super smart. His talk was entitled The Science of Metabolic Damage, The Yo-yo Effect and Sustainable Fat Loss. There’s no way I could adequately describe in detail behind Menno’s scientific research, but it was clear he knew what he was talking about, with data to back it up. A few key points:

  • The metabolism will adapt
    • Less mass = lower metabolism
    • The less fat one is, the more energy efficient the system adapts.
  • Metabolic damage is defined as the non-adaptation of metabolism with mass loss or weight.
    • Metabolic damage is extremely rare.
  • Reverse Dieting
    • Increasing calories after a contest as a mirror of calorie reduction.
    • Needless self torture.
    • Just increase calories 5-10% over the next few weeks until one is back to homeostasis.
  • Strength training is key to controlling metabolic rate.
  • People yo-yo because they lose weight, but fail to do strength training.
    • Yo-yo is primarily a lifestyle failure.
  • Fat is one of the big causes of insulin resistance.
    • Getting lean is key for diabetics.
    • Strength training(yes, again) equals more energy usage.
    • Sleep is key.
      • A loss of 2.5 hours of quality sleep reduces fat loss by 50%.
    • Crash diets actually work for the obese.
    • Slim people must diet slower. Diet = lifestyle food changes.
  • Key points: Diet + strength training + sleep reinforce each other.
    • These three must be trained together.
  • Body fat measurement bonus:
    • Use a skinfold caliper on the EXACT same spot.
      • Find a mole or some marker which you can use repeatedly.
    • Only quantify thickness. Nothing else, not body fat calculators, or stupid algorithms.
    • Track this thickness. Make it your personal quantifiable metric for fat loss.


Next talk was Mark Sisson; I’ve always enjoyed Mark’s blog and his podcast interviews. He’s a wealth of knowledge and an athlete, who understands what an athlete wants to achieve. His talk, Primal Endurance: Go Slower to Go Faster, is a fantastic journey from old school ideas to new school realities. He starts off with old paradigms, continues with interesting anecdotes, and finishes with the new paradigm.

A few key points:

  • Old paradigm
    • sugar, carbs, were the fuel one needs to run a race.
    • Runners should avoid weights
    • Runners should ONLY run, jumpers should only jump. Specificity.
  • Result
    • No fat loss
    • Stress, and hormones out of whack
    • Unexplained weight gain
    • Cardiac muscle thickness
  • New concepts:
    • Extract more energy from food.
    • Play counts as aerobic activity
      • Consistency is key.
    • Keto adaptation
      • While in ketosis (or near it) sprints were just as effective as long duration running.
    • Longer rest in between high intensity sets.
    • Fat is fuel
    • Sustained power is key
      • Lift heavy weight, multiple times, over a longer time, at  steady rate such as 3 lifts/10 seconds etc..
    • Fueling the brain with ketones will keep it from shutting your body down.
    • Random activity.
    • 180 – age is rough range at which fat is the fuel.
    • No carb loading
    • Avoid chronic ketosis
    • Sprints with a long rest is good stuff
    • Collagen is good stuff
    • Playing is good stuff
    • Heart Rate Variability is good stuff
    • Strategic use of high intensity training is key.
      • Too much stress on the body and endorphins are bad for you
    • Long, slow endurance should be heart rate tracked.
      • 180 – age…stay right in that zone +/- 10 bpm.
      • Do not run for pace
      • Spring no more than once per week

Next up was a workshop with Parkour expert Dan Edwardes from Parkour Generations. Yesterday, I had a great time at his baby Parkour class. Today’s class is Parkour Biomedics: Practical over Functional. Dan explained that functional movement is simply the action of an elbow bend, or a knee bend – the joint’s function. Which gets confused in the “functional” training world as some sort of practical movement is to perform a biceps curl. A practical movement is really what one is after. The ability to join all basic functional movements into a smooth chain of action, which propels a Parkour practitioner over an obstacle.

We started off with some interesting warmups:

  • Crossed feet, sitting and twisting. Sometimes with hands behind the back, and eyes closed.
  • Squatting while on tippy toes.
  • Squatting while on heels (this is HARD!)
  • Two person drill – hand gripped see-saw – standing vs squatting back and forth. I really like this one.
  • Quadripedal movement
    • Squatted, knees together, hands flat reach for ground and pop feet up to hands, or past them is possible.

Now that the warmups are done we did some basic bounding from one raised surface to another, ending with a simple jump. This sound easy, but in reality, the jump arc, stopping one self correctly, arm swing, feet positioning and overall smoothness was super tricky to get right. I found my self stutter stepping to re-distance myself as I bounded toward the far end obstacle.

Next was Cat Pass. This one is something I’ve always admired while watching Parkour and never really thought that I could perform it. What really helped with this was the basic practice on a very low three high inch curb. Squat down, knees together, back away from the curb a few feet and simply reach for the curb and quadripedal pull your feet over the curb. Fun stuff! After a few tries, we went outside and tried it on a variety of wall heights, from two feet to about three feet. I was amazed at my own ability to do it. Very surprising, but due to excellent instruction. No worries at all.

The class concluded with a mini Parkour free-run through a small section of the park, which enabled us to try our bounding jumps and cat passes as a practical and smooth unit. FUN!

I highly recommend Dan and his team for your Parkour training!

That’s it for today. Come back tomorrow for day three!




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