Absolutely fascinating interview combining several of my passions, diet, exercise and kayaking.
Back from vacation in a big way.
But now comes the tricky part of transitioning from winter/building mode to endurance/cardio training in a kayak on water.
This year will be a more difficult transition than past years because I’ve become part of a new gym culture but I’ll put that aside for a few months as I ramp up functional training.
And boy was it a big one.
I had a couple days off from work and I planned a recovery week starting tomorrow so I hit it hard during the lead-up this past week.
Just over 191,000 lbs. total volume this week. I would not recommend this type of training to anyone.
I’m now ready to enjoy the holidays and give every muscle and joint in my body time to rest and recover.
My shoulders will be in the best shape ever come paddling season in the Spring.
I finally made it back out on the water today during a well-earned day off.
I managed to paddle 10 miles in the Thunderbolt-X kayak and took it easy so I only averaged 5.7mph. It was a cold, breezy day so I had to wear a full wet suit which definitely constrains the natural paddling motion.
Nonetheless, it was an extremely enjoyable paddle and the water was clear as crystal. I also spotted a flock of turkeys on shore which was a bonus.
Taking the Thunderbolt-X out for a spin with full wet suit
Then after attacking an item or two on the “honey do” list, I dropped off my son and his friend for basketball practice this evening and hit the gym while they were at practice. It wasn’t my typical #MFN (massive Friday night) workout, but I managed some good volume in a somewhat crowded gym for a Friday night. Usually I can have the place to myself on a Friday night but not tonight.
I focused on bent over rows and flies and worked in some squats.
It was a good training day.
Oh, and I’ve gotten myself into dietary ketosis and I hope to stay here for a good, long while.
And in the interest of transparency, here is my starting point for this current “cut,” according to the Skulp Aim.
Compared to Jan., 2016. They obviously re-scaled the index since then as it now appears as though Muscle Quality is on a scale from 1-100. It’s a shame I don’t have a direct comparison.
It is nice to a see more and more research supporting what many of us have come to believe for a while now. This one from the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
“A landmark systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies showed no association between saturated fat consumption and (1) all-cause mortality, (2) coronary heart disease (CHD), (3) CHD mortality, (4) ischaemic stroke or (5) type 2 diabetes in healthy adults.”
“[T]he conceptual model of dietary saturated fat clogging a pipe is just plain wrong.”
Examine the figure above and you’ll see the authors point to fructose and refined carbohydrates as the problem.
“LDL cholesterol is not associated with cardiovascular disease and is inversely associated with all-cause mortality. A high TC [total cholesterol] to HDL ratio drops rapidly with dietary changes such as replacing refined carbohydrates with healthy high fat foods.”
I was out of the country this past week and due to jet lag with disrupted sleep patterns, long work hours, and my own stupidity, I was only able to hit a gym twice last week. Last Sunday and last Tuesday.
I flew back from overseas yesterday so today my typical Massive Friday Night Workout (#MFNW) had to become a Massive Sunday Night Workout (MSNW.)
Massive Sunday Night Workout recorded on the Atlas Wristband
Dinner was a grain-free “Fat Head” pizza featuring bacon and provolone cheese
I did a lot of total volume so I had a lot of time to clear my head and reflect on my life and my upcoming training over the next few months.
Typically I undulate between lifting heavy at low volume and then lighter but higher volume over the winter months and then try to back down and cut some fat and go into dietary ketosis in time for kayak racing season in April.
I’ve decided to do things differently this year.
I’m going No Beer No Wine (NBNW) effective immediately along with going very strict on my No Sugars, No Grains (#NSNG) lifestyle. I will stay as strict as I can through most of kayak racing season, my 100-miler with Vinnie Tortorich down the Bayou LaFourche in Louisiana at a date yet to be determined, probably late April or early May, and the James River Rundown some time in June.
Bayou Lafourche, LA
I know there will be some weeks where this will be difficult if not impossible over the holidays and with some scheduled business meetings, so I’ll allow for these brief setbacks but get right back on the horse immediately afterward.
I’ll get in as much paddling time on the water and on my indoor trainer as possible and let my gym time fill in the gaps rather than making gym time the centerpiece. I also want to get back on the bike and work in some more cardio training. I’ll let my body judge what my gym training will look like, but I anticipate fewer workouts with moderate weights and reps with a focus on legs and core. In short, this is going to be an extended period of leaning out and cardio conditioning.
I also want to get back in touch with my guitar as it has taken a back seat for the past year or so and has collected too much dust. That had always been an important part of my mental health and I need to bring it back into my life for some balance.
I also hope to get back in the gym later this week to record a new episode of “Exercises for Kayakers” for my YouTube channel. The next exercise will be a modified bench press.
I’ll keep you informed as I try this new style of training and living.
Changes are in order.
Feel free to skip to 26:42 where he starts talking about our trip and the indoor kayak training ergometer I built for him, but I encourage you to watch the whole video.
Vinnie is The Man for the No Sugars, No Grains (NSNG) lifestyle and has inspired me as a trainer more than he’ll ever know.
I was very fortunate to be able to personally deliver the Tortorich Kayak Ergometer to Vinnie himself.
There was a little bit of shipping damage but a quick trip to the local hardware store and some wooden braces and wood screws made for an effective repair.
I spent some time with Vinnie getting the device trimmed to his body and providing some basic wing stroke instruction.
The picture below is my “kayaker’s selfie” with Vinnie in his office.
He now has a device to train on and I will help him work on his wing paddle stroke whilst sourcing a kayak for him and working out other logistics for the trip in the Spring down the 100 miles of the Bayou Lafourche in Louisiana.
I’ve completed my new, more compact design for the kayak ergometer. I call this model “The Tortorich Model” because this one was specifically built for Vinnie Tortorich to train on.
This design is some 15 inches shorter than the original and the flywheel is now brought much further back on the device so it resides under the knees of the paddler. This makes it much smoother and better balanced.
In researching what it would take to ship one of these things I have decided that shipping these is simply cost prohibitive.
So now that I’ve engineered this better design, I will build another one very soon and take detailed measurements, photos, and step-by-step videos along with a part list so you will have the basic specifications needed to build your own. I’ll then make the training video and e-book instructions available for a nominal fee.
In the meantime, here are some photos that should give you a pretty good look at how to build one for yourself.
Celebrity fitness trainer and best selling author of Fitness Confidential, Vinnie Tortorich, has asked me to coach him through his first 100-mile kayak trip. He is coming from very little kayaking experience.
I’m confident I’ll be able to get him prepared even though we live on opposite coasts.
I’m building him an indoor training device, a kayak ergometer, which will help him with his indoor training. Along with other guidance I’m sure I’ll be able to get him down the 100 miles of the Bayou Lafourche in Louisiana in the Spring.
Oh, did I not mention I’ll be joining him for this journey?
I would not miss it for the world!
It is going to be epic!!