the-performance-menu-issue-1---feb.-2005 by xiangpeng


									                                                                                    THE PERFORMANCE MENU
                                                                                                      JOURNAL OF NUTRITION AND ATHLETIC EXCELLENCE
CrossFit NorCal                   INTRODUCTION
Robb Wolf
Nicki Violetti                    3    Publisher Robb Wolf welcomes readers to
DESIGN                                 The Performance Menu
Greg Everett
Nicole Carrol
Photo by Robb Wolf                11   (R)Evolutionary Fitness
                                       An interview with Professor Art De Vany
Backissues are available at       18   The Queda De Rins
                                       An introduction to Capoeira strength moves
is published monthly and
distributed exclusively to sub-   REGULARS
scribers by CrossFit NorCal.
Yearly subscriptions can be
purchased for $25.00. Visit       5    Recipes for Health & Performance for             New ways to feed yourself for optimum
more information.                      health and athletic performance
PO Box 5501                       9    Breakfast: Conundrum of Champions
Chico, CA 95927                        More new ways to start your day
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Welcome to The Performance Menu! Our mis-            in your lifestyle of health and fitness. We have
sion is to help you optimize performance,            adopted a unique position: All of our recipes
health and longevity by providing the best in-       will be Paleo in composition—grain, dairy
formation and support pertaining to nutrition        and legume free–and for those following the
and training. Foundational to this mission           Zone, we will provide nutritional breakdowns
will be practical, time-efficient recipes that        in blocks.
are friendly to Paleo, Zone, and cyclic low
carb approaches. These recipes will bridge the       In addition to recipes, we will feature inter-
gap between the theoretical—knowing what to          views, advice, and commentary from experts
eat—and the practical—how to actually do it.         in a variety of fields. We will explore, debate,
                                                                        and challenge many ideas
Even armed with the                                                     and methodologies central
                        World-Class Kitchen
guidelines from the                                                     to health and performance.
October 2002 issue      You likely have all you need to prepare the
of the CrossFit Jour-   recipes we will be featuring. There are,      Why Paleo?
nal “Eat meat and       however, a few essential items that speed
vegetables, nuts and    the culinary process:                         Some may argue that it is
seeds, some fruit,                                                    unnecessary to adopt a Pa-
little starch and no    . Cleaver Thin bladed Asian style
sugar...” there still   . Chef knife A good quality knife will last   leo approach to nutrition for
                                                                      optimum health and perfor-
exists the challenge        a lifetime. Find one that fits your hand   mance. We strongly disagree.
of implementation.
How does an active
                        .   Slow cooker If you want a hot dinner
                                                                      In simple terms, we are the
                                                                      product of our genetic heri-
                            waiting for you when you get home from
individual prepare                                                    tage. As such, we are ill-
                            work, you want one of these.
tasty, healthy meals    .   Pressure cooker Stainless steel. Read
                                                                      equipped to deal with foods
in a time-efficient                                                    which did not exist until re-
                            the instructions carefully!
manner? Stated an-      .   Food scale                                cently in our collective past.
other way, How do       .   Blender                                   The Neolithic foods (grains,
we turn nutrition                                                     dairy, legumes) are prob-
guidelines into hot                                                   lematic for many with re-
meals that fuel elite                                                 gards to glycemic load and
athleticism?            Benefits of a Zone / Paleo Diet                insulin tolerance, as well
                        . Increased insulin sensitivity               as gastrointestinal irritation
The     Performance
                        . Body composition improvement                and general autoimmune is-
Menu will tackle        . Increased antioxidant intake                sues. This is to say nothing
the implementation      . Sustained energy throughout the day         of high fructose corn syrup,
challenge by consis-    . Decreased inflammation                       trans fats and highly pro-
tently offering fresh   . Improved recovery                           cessed “Frankenfoods” that
ideas to assist you                                                   make for an alarming frac-

                                       ISSUE 1 FEBRUARY 2005 3
tion of modern dietary intake. These foods im-        meal with an egg white omelet for breakfast,

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part high caloric content at the expense of nu-       and cottage cheese, apples and macadamia
tritional value. They are inadequate for health       nuts for three of the five recommended meals
maintenance, let alone elite performance. It is       seem all to often to be the norm. While eas-
our contention that the Neolithic foods pose a        ily measured into the appropriate “blocks” we
problem to anyone, given sufficient exposure.          find the situation woefully lacking in variety,
We will explore topics such as acid base bal-         and perhaps one of the reasons for the lack of
ance, glycemic load and autoimmunity in fu-           long-term adherence for all but the most dedi-
ture issues. For an exhaustive resource, please       cated of individuals. Not to belabor the point,
see Professor Lauren Cordain’s highly infor-          but this also flies in the face of our Paleolithic
mative website                  perspective, both with regard to meal content
                                                      and food variety.
In The Zone, Or In A Rut?
                                                      Seasonality and Locality
Out of the darkness of the high-carb, low-fat
chicanery a voice of reason appeared. Barry           We would like to put forth the concepts of sea-
Sears’ Enter the Zone is perhaps the best sin-        sonality and locality. Perhaps not imperative
gle volume currently available on the topic           for elite-level performance, they are central to
of nutrition. Nowhere else can we find hor-            a Paleolithic and nutrient diverse diet. In the
monal control, our evolutionary past, caloric         past, seasonality forced the issue of variety.
restriction, and inflammation so accessibly            Spring fruits were simply not available year-
explained. The Zone can be simplicity per-            round. The easiest way to avoid the monotony
sonified and has been foundational in the              of supermarkets is to partake of the abundance
achievements of many of the CrossFit super-           to be found at local farmer’s markets. Here
stars.                                                we find produce quality impossible to locate
                                                      elsewhere. In addition, the seasonal fare that
Although it need not be the case, the Zone can        is offered will eliminate taste-bud boredom.
also lead to a highly monotonous diet. Oat-

  Essential Components of a Hormonally Intelligent Paleo Diet

  Frequent small meals: 4-5 throughout the day

  Protein: Palm-sized portion at every meal. Buy a food scale & find out how little 4-5 oz really is.

  Keep carbohydrate consumption to vegetables and fruits: Choose in season and local where

  Eliminate processed foods: Although obvious when considering the food exclusions for a Paleo
  diet, it merits mention if only for eradicating confusion. Processed foods contain trans fats, high
  fructose corn syrup, and refined carbohydrates. They do not promote health and in no way en-
  hance performance.

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Winter Fruit Salad                               place in bowl. Cut apple into eighths and
                                                 then cut into smaller bite-sized pieces.
Time                                             Add to bowl. Mince the mint and add to
20 minutes                                       salad. Add pecans, drizzle with lime juice
                                                 and sprinkle with cinnamon. Mix and en-
Ingredients                                      joy!

. 1 medium blood orange                          Zone Blocks
. 1 medium ruby red grapefruit
. 1 medium Fuji apple                            Salad contains: 8 blocks carbohydrate, 4
. 1 medium Valencia orange                       blocks fat. 1.5 Cups contains 2 carb blocks
. 1 handful of fresh mint                        and 1 fat block.
. ¼ cup pecans
. Juice from ½ lime
. ½ tsp cinnamon
Makes ~ 6 Cups                                   Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Preparation                                      This is a great tasting substitute for tradi-
                                                 tional mashed potatoes. We recommend
Coarsely chop pecans and set aside. Peel         using a pressure cooker for the sake of
orange, blood orange, and grapefruit and         saving time, although steaming is a viable
separate into slices. The grapefruit will re-    option as well. The amount of garlic we
quire some extra effort to remove the thick      use is fairly moderate. For extreme garlic
cortex. Chop each slice into fifths and           lovers add as much as you desire. If you’re
                                                 not combating vampires one may certainly
                                                 reduce the prescribed amount.

                                                 Pressure cooker: 10 minutes
                                                 Steaming: 15-20 minutes


                                                 . 1 large head of cauliflower
                                                 . 8-12 cloves of garlic
                                                 . Olive oil
                                                 . Black pepper and sea salt to

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Preparation                                    One may use a hand-held potato masher

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                                               or electric beaters (for a creamier consis-
Trim green leaves from cauliflower head         tency) to mash. Add black pepper, sea salt
and set aside. The leaves are not needed       and olive oil as desired.
for this recipe, but don’t throw them away!
They are both tasty and nutritious and are     Zone blocks
a great side vegetable.
                                               Every 200g of raw cauliflower yields 1
Cut cauliflower into florets and place in        Zone carbohydrate block. Pre-weigh cauli-
pressure cooker or steamer. Peel garlic        flower to determine number of carb blocks
cloves and add to cauliflower. No need          in entire batch. Use olive oil to meet your
to chop or mince the garlic as it will be      fat block requirements, 1/3 tsp = 1 fat
mashed later. If using a pressure cooker       block. We have found that approximate-
add ¼ to ½ cup of water. Cook cauliflower       ly 1 cup of finished mashed cauliflower
until slightly soft. This will be 3-5 min-     yields 1 carb block.
utes in a pressure cooker, 5-10 minutes if

                                  ISSUE 1 FEBRUARY 2005 6
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                    WILD ALASKAN SALMON
Comprised of lean protein and significant           Where to cast your net
amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and
DHA, Wild Alaskan canned salmon (WAS)              Those of you fortunate enough to live near a
makes for a great quick meal. Factor in the        Trader Joe’s may take advantage of their pri-
ease and versatility and it instantly becomes      vate label WAS which sells for $1.99/14.75
a favorite. Whether a main course, or a quick      oz. can. For those of you counting Zone
snack on the go, WAS has saved the day on          blocks, this is sufficient protein for two 4-
                                                   block Zone meals.
numerous occasions. Other reasons we love
it: affordable, easily accessible and portable!
                                                   If Trader Joe’s has yet to make it to a town
                                                   near you, fear not! We have discovered a
WAS can be enjoyed straight from the can or        product equal in every way, Icy Point brand
atop a bed of mixed greens. Included here are      WAS. This product is available at our local
a main dish, two salads, and a breakfast reci-     Rite Aid drugstore, however one may find
pe, all of which can be prepared and ready to      it at quite a number of locations (see www.
eat in less than twenty minutes.         

Wild Alaskan Performance Patty                    Preparation

Time                                              Drain water from salmon and discard.
20 minutes                                        Place the salmon in a mixing bowl. Using
                                                  a coffee grinder or food processor, grind
                                                  almonds to a rough paste-like consistency
                                                  and add to bowl. Add eggs, pepper and
  1 can Wild Alaskan salmon
  36 almonds (roughly                             sea salt. Mix thoroughly.
  a rounded ¼ cup;
  or substitute 1 Tbsp                                                 Heat a non-stick skil-
                                                                       let with a little olive
  Almond butter)
                                                                       oil. Measure 4.75 oz
  3 eggs
                                                                       or a rounded ½ cup of
  Black pepper
  Dash of sea salt                                                     salmon mixture and
                                                                       form into a patty ap-
Yields ~ 2 cups of pat-                                                prox 4.5” in diameter
ty mixture (4 medium-                                                  (1/2 inch thick). Place
sized patties)                                                         in skillet and cook
                                                                       on medium heat for 5
                                                                       minutes per side or un-

                                     ISSUE 1 FEBRUARY 2005 7
til golden brown.                              and add to bowl. Mix thoroughly. Add

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                                               toasted sesame oil to taste.
Zone blocks
                                               Zone blocks
Total recipe yields: 12 blocks protein, 18
blocks fat.                                    Prepare cabbage as above. Mix cabbage,
                                               salmon and sesame oil on a per-meal ba-
1/6 cup = 1 block protein, 3 blocks fat        sis. When serving keep in mind that 2
1/3 cup = 2 blocks protein, 6 blocks fat       cups cabbage = 1 block carbohydrate and
1/2 cup = 3 blocks protein, 9 blocks fat       1.5 oz salmon = 1 block protein. 1/3 tsp
2/3 cup = 4 blocks protein, 12 blocks fat      sesame oil = 1 block fat.

We have constructed this recipe to reflect
a 3X Athlete’s Zone fat content. You may
adjust this number up or down by altering      Art De Vany’s Lunch Salad
the quantity of almonds.
                                               10 minutes

Curried Performance Patty                      Ingredients

                                               . 1 can Trader Joe’s Alaskan Salmon
                                               . Lettuce
Prepare as above, but add ¼ tsp of your fa-

                                               . Raw vegetables (cabbage, broccoli,
vorite curry powder and omit pepper and
sea salt. Let us know what other seasoning

                                               . Garlic
variations you discover on this theme!           cauliflower, etc)

                                               . Fresh spices (ginger, basil, cilantro)
                                               . Olive oil
Sesame & Ginger Salmon Salad                   . Balsamic vinegar
Time                                           Preparation
10 mins
                                               Chop lettuce and vegetables. Add gar-
Ingredients                                    lic and other spices as desired. Top with

. 1 can Wild Alaskan salmon
                                               salmon and dress with olive oil and bal-

. 1 head cabbage, red or green
                                               samic vinegar.

. Ginger, 2” long finger
. Juice from 1 lemon
                                               Zone blocks

. Toasted sesame oil                           2 cups of raw vegetables, lettuce, etc = 1
                                               block carbohydrate. 1.5 oz salmon = 1
Preparation                                    block protein. Construct salad to suit your
                                               carb needs and add appropriate quantity
Finely chop cabbage (or shred in food          of salmon to meet protein block require-
processor) and place in large bowl. Mince      ments.
ginger and add to cabbage. Add lemon
juice to preserve freshness. Drain salmon

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                                                                                                                          JOURNAL OF NUTRITION AND ATHLETIC EXCELLENCE

Everybody knows breakfast is the “most important meal of the day.” Despite this awareness,
however, it seems to simultaneously be the most challenging, especially for the Paleo adherent.
Grain-based cereals abound and flour- and sugar-laden pastries tempt us from behind glass
counters as we order our morning coffee. Just getting out of bed, showered, dressed and to work
on time is difficult enough; How does one make time for breakfast, let alone prepare something
healthy that will provide the energy to sustain an active day?

Breakfast is important for all, but for the athlete who depends on physical performance, it is para-
mount. As such, breakfast ideas and suggestions will be an ongoing feature of this journal.

Being winter, we find it fitting to offer a Paleo version of traditional hot cereal. Warm, nourishing,
and satisfying, when accompanied by the appropriate lean protein, this cereal will be founda-
tional for your high-energy day.

Unless you are on the Athletes Zone with increased fat blocks this may be a bit fat intensive.
For those following a cyclic low carb plan this may be your dream accompaniment to a salmon
scramble. A double batch may be made and stored in the refrigerator for use throughout the

Nutty Hot Cereal                                    Preparation

Time                                                Place all ingredients in blender and pu-
10 mins                                             ree. Pour into medium sized saucepan.
                                                    You may need to rinse the blender with
Ingredients                                         an additional ¼ cup of water to get all the
                                                    cereal. Bring to a boil. Reduce tempera-
. 1 cup almonds or pecans                           ture immediately and allow to simmer for
. 1 medium sized apple, quartered                   5 minutes covered. If thicker consistency
. 1 Tbsp cinnamon (This will help                   is desired, allow to simmer longer.

. 1 cup water
  increase insulin sensitivity)
                                                    Zone blocks

Makes 2 cups                                        48 blocks fat, 2 blocks carbs.
                                                    ¼ cup = 6 blocks fat, ¼ carb
                                                    ½ cup 12 blocks fat, ½ block carbs

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Wild Alaskan Scramble                            scramble for color, flavor and nutrient

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                                                 content. Be sure to start the vegetables first
Time                                             and cook the water down a bit to avoid a
10 mins                                          runny scramble.

Ingredients                                      Zone Blocks

. ½ can wild Alaskan salmon                      Construct a Zone scramble according to
. 2 eggs                                         your protein block needs. 1 egg or 2 egg
                                                 whites = 1 block protein, as does 1.5 oz
Preparation                                      salmon. We have tinkered with a plethora
                                                 of ratios ranging from a predominantly
Add salmon to a non-stick skillet with a         salmon scramble to a predominantly egg
dash of olive oil. Mash and break up the         scramble. All are delicious. Here is an ex-
salmon such that it forms a thin uniform         ample of a 3 block salmon scramble:
layer on the bottom of the skillet. Cook for
about 2 minutes. Beat the eggs and add to        1.5 oz salmon
skillet. Stir gently and consistently until      1 egg
done.                                            2 egg whites

Fresh vegetables may be added to the             Keep in mind that one whole egg also pro-
                                                 vides 2 blocks fat.

                                   ISSUE 1 FEBRUARY 2005 10
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An Interview with Professor Art De Vany        Like most truly complex endeavors, it is
by Robb Wolf                                   hard to identify a turning point or a key
                                               inspiration or insight. There are so many
Professor Arthur De Vany is Professor          intertwined layers of science, learning,
Emeritus of Economics and Mathemati-           experience and so many different fields
cal Behavioral Sciences at the University      involved that I don’t know at what point
of California, Irvine. He has conducted        they came together. Nonetheless, key ele-
groundbreaking research in many areas of       ments are my interests in complex systems
economics, but is perhaps most noted for       (which was integral to my understanding
his work concerning decentralized, non-        of power law behavior and intermittency
linear systems. Professor De Vany is an        as components of human action) and my
accomplished athlete with an extensive         interest in evolution. My training as an
background that ranges from Olympic            economist was extremely helpful since it
weightlifting to professional baseball. As     gave me the perspective required to un-
early as 1995, Professor De Vany had syn-      derstand how a decentralized system allo-
thesized a holistic ap-                                             cates scarce resources
proach to health and                                                in the self-organized
fitness that he called                                               human physiology.
Evolutionary Fitness.                                               My interests in ge-
Many people current-                                                netics and cognition
ly involved with the                                                also came into play
CrossFit community,                                                 as it led me to appre-
including me, can                                                   ciate the key role of
trace their own fit-                                                 gene expression and
ness odyssey back to                                                how diet and activity
Professor De Vany’s                                                 alter what the genes
Evolutionary Fitness.                                               express.
We are profoundly
grateful to Professor                                               At the Institute for
De Vany for sharing                                                 Mathematical Behav-
with us his work and                                                ioral Sciences, my
insights.                                                           true home for the last
                                                                    fifteen years of my ca-
                                                                    reer, I was surround-
Would you please elaborate on how you          ed by cognitive scientists, brain scientists,
came to form your ideas about Evolution-       mathematicians, statisticians, geneticists,
ary Fitness?                                   biologists, and information scientists.
                                               These all come into play in evolutionary
I would have to say that it just happened.     fitness.

                                 ISSUE 1 FEBRUARY 2005 11
I truly began living the Evolutionary Fit-       before them. Our minds are not made for

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ness Way in about 1985 when I started            the standardization of life and the quest
cooking more at home to make our meals           of possessions; they can never bring true
more healthful. My wife is a Type I dia-         peace for that reason.
betic and by monitoring her blood glucose        The mental peace that comes with this
we found many foods tended to promote            realization is powerful. An evolutionary
high blood sugar. As we cut them back, we        perspective is truly supportive: I often
began to eat a more plant-based diet with        laugh at myself for trying “accomplish”
leaner meats. I began to cook with color         too much and tell myself that is just my
and texture as my guides and the results         genes talking. Remember, we are alive
were terrific. Lots of fresh spices with          only because we carry the genes that got
their high antioxidant content, and lots of      us here and they “care” only about their
fiber and variety.                                own reproduction. Thus, as males, we do
                                                 many dangerous, demonstrative things
I then began to rethink my training. I began     in our youth, primarily to enhance the
working out more in the manner of, say, a        prospects of reproducing and sending our
Mike Mentzer or Hitter. But, that wasn’t         genes into the next generation. Women are
enough; it took too much time and was tir-       susceptible to this as well, though it mani-
ing. I experimented, relying on Astrand’s        fests itself in different ways.
wonderful text and my understanding of
power law variation to find a more natural        As to longevity, an active lean body trans-
way to balance intensity with variety. The       lates into a peaceful, playful lifeway and a
answer was the intermittent pattern that         powerful mind. Few people seem to real-
is typical of all playful activity: wild ani-    ize that mind and body are one; there is no
mals exhibit power law variation in activ-       reality to Cartesian dualism. For example,
ity (proven by monitors placed on fish and        children do not learn to speak if they are
wild animals), and most sports like tennis       confined in such a way that they do not
and baseball are also power law distrib-         understand the force mechanics of move-
uted activities.                                 ment, nor can they learn math unless they
                                                 sense the physical relationships among
Would you please describe the Evolution-         things through movement. A healthy mind
ary Fitness lifestyle and explain how this       is the first requisite to longevity. A lean,
approach might benefit performance and            muscular body prevents the brain from
longevity?                                       becoming resistant to the action of insulin
                                                 and keeps it healthy and well-nourished.
Power law variation and intermittency            It keeps stress hormones, which are neu-
mean that you don’t live in a narrow fre-        rotoxic and cause diminished brain mass,
quency range: you do activities that are         at bay.
“all over the map,” with no typical or
standard activity. You have intense bursts       Body composition is one of the best predic-
of activity and lots of languid, easy mo-        tors of longevity. Our male ancestors had
ments. Modern life is a stressor, with too       about 11% body fat. Females were closer
much standard activity and not enough            to 15%, just near the boundary where they
variety or true peace. Remember, our spe-        may or may not be able to conceive. This
cies never had more than they could carry        kept population growth within bounds,
as possessions, yet they had the whole           along with other natural hazards. Thus,
outdoors and the gifts of nature constantly      females had far fewer ovulations than a

                                   ISSUE 1 FEBRUARY 2005 12
modern female and aged less rapidly be-            modern life seems to encourage. If you

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cause nothing ages as much as reproduc-            look at hunter-gatherers again, you find
tion. A lean, muscular body, say 6 to 10%          that they expend about 2 to 2.5 times their
for a modern male and up to 17% for a              basal metabolic rate in a day, most of this
female promotes low insulin levels, a key          in a few intense bursts on the order of 10 or
hormone in aging. I am aging at a slow rate        more metabolic equivalents. Office work-
(I think) because my insulin is so low it          ers expend about 1.2 METS (equivalents of
is outside the range for the lab. Low body         their basal metabolic rate). The hormone
fat also guarantees low blood fats, most of        drives are vastly different for office work-
which come from a person’s own abdomi-             er or hunter-gatherer. The HG has higher
nal fat rather than from their diet. But, it is    testosterone, growth hormone, and lower
body composition, not just body fat that is        stress hormone. Office Worker has many
the issue; one must have the right balance         low level threats to which he/she cannot
of muscle to fat to promote the hormone            make a fight or flight response, and thus
drives that keep you young and your brain          carries a stress accumulation that cannot
well balanced and nourished. Your mus-             be relieved. The HG has a higher threat
cle is also part of your immune system (it         threshold and does need the fight or flight
functions as a reservoir of protein to pro-        response now and then. Still stressful, but
liferate killer cells when needed).                the stress is periodically relieved through
                                                   action with a consequent quenching of
Would you please explain the concept of            the adverse hormone profile induced by
power laws with regard to training?                stress.

First, recall that a power law is a distribu-      Routinized, lower intensity activities,
tion of frequencies over intensities. Such a       even jogging, train the natural chaos out of
distribution implies that the most intense         the human heartbeat, making it less adapt-
activities are few, but very high in exer-         able to stress. This pattern holds broadly
tion. The low intensity activities are the         for other physiological systems too.
bulk of your activities, including rest and
easy walking. I do a lot of easy walking as        If you want to read the research literature
many scientists do; Einstein and Darwin            that investigates the ideas regarding power
are notable examples. So did Dorian Yates          law training, do a search for intermittent
when he was Mr. Olympia. For hunter-               training. You will find that it is very effec-
gatherers, walking is the predominate ac-          tive and has been studied by sophisticated
tivity, by far. Modern life leaves too little      scientists. This research is much harder to
of this languid, easy, “I’m not going any-         do than what one finds in investigations
where” kind of activity.                           of aerobic training. That is because aero-
                                                   bic training is steady-state and the equa-
Second, there is no typical activity with a        tions are easy to handle because they deal
power law so things are not compressed             with equilibrium conditions. Intermittent,
into a narrow frequency range: all scales of       power law training is far-from-equilibri-
activity occur with diminishing frequency          um training and much harder to analyze,
at the higher intensities.                         as no steady state equations exist for in-
                                                   tense activities that can only be sustained
Third, the high intensities are really very        in brief bursts.
high, but their frequency is low. Again,
this is far outside the Normal distribution        It is not wrong to suggest that aerobic,

                                     ISSUE 1 FEBRUARY 2005 13
steady state training is often taken to be       to tolerate 50 degree temperatures naked

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the norm for training because it is studied      without shivering, and to bite through
most. And it is studied most because that        iron nails. Their hearing and balance are
is what researchers know how to do. The          exquisite. Remarkably, members of tribes
far more effective intermittent training is      express an almost pure type; they are
little known because the research is hard-       similar in appearance and stature because
er to do. So, it is the old drunkard prob-       they express their genes truly, without
lem: when asked why he was looking for           the alterations among modern humans
his lost car keys under the street lamp, the     that are caused by vastly different diets
drunkard replied, “Because that is where         and lifeways. Moderns have altered gene
the light is.” Aerobic training is heavily       expression greatly because we do things
studied because that is where the steady         that vastly alter the messages our genes
state holds. It really is nonsense. The hu-      receive; hence, there is a very large dif-
man body is a far-from-equilibrium open          ference among modern humans relative
energy system to which a steady state            to the ancestral past. This would indicate
analysis simply does not hold. Such an           that some modern humans might be better
obvious point, but it took me a long time        at some sports, owing to the large varia-
to figure it out and see why a lot of pub-        tion in types, but it also says that any ran-
lished research has an aerobic bias to it.       domly selected ancestor would be better
                                                 at almost any physical task than a modern
Do you see a departure between the re-           human.
quirements in preparing for elite athleti-
cism versus the demands faced by our Pa-         One ethnologist visiting a tribe found that
leolithic ancestors?                             nearly all the males in the tribe could out
                                                 sprint him even though he was a college
Only in the way skill enters into it might       sub-11 second sprinter. One of the games
there be a difference. Some sports require       in another tribe consists of teams of men
such a high level of skill that they require     hoisting huge logs over their heads and
many repetitive movements. It is known           running as far as they can go. Men of all
that hunter-gatherers also practiced a           ages participate. I have seen, on film, a
great deal. For example, young Eskimos           New Guinea male who looks like an ath-
used to be taught to throw at an early age       letic Mike Mentzer; he had muscles on his
and even had their shoulders stretched so        muscles according to the speaker on the
they could throw harpoons from a seated          film. He “made his living” climbing great
position with great force and accuracy. No       trees hunting sloth and other tree-dwell-
modern person compares to the skill and          ing animals. To see him go up a huge tree,
endurance of ancient Eskimos in kayaking         fearlessly and effortlessly was mind-alter-
or spearing. Iroquois Indians easily out-        ing.
lifted American soldiers in tests devised
by a physiologist. Of course, that was in
the 19th Century. Things are different           Your alactic and hierarchal sets are quite
now.                                             unique and have been found by many to
                                                 be very effective. Would you please ex-
Few modern athletes will have the vision         plain to our readers what they are, why
or bone density of our ancestors; hunter-        you like them, and share some examples
gathers have been noted for their ability        of practical implementation?
to see the moons of Jupiter by naked eye,

                                   ISSUE 1 FEBRUARY 2005 14
The hierarchical sets, one set of 15, one of     tually the key to endurance in many high

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8 and another of 4 with increasing weight        intensity sports; it is quick recovery from
and increasing speed with no rest in be-         intense moves, not aerobic endurance that
tween, are meant to go up the fiber hierar-       counts in these sports. In addition, after
chy from slow to type II and I fast twitch       the first rep in multiple rep sets a lot of the
fibers (the latter the fastest). The idea is      energy is supplied by tendon and muscle
to drop out the slower fibers with lighter        elasticity, so these reps are not as intense
weight and higher reps in the early sets,        as the first one. It is always the first rep
leaving the fastest, highest force type 1 fi-     that is hardest in most exercises because
bers to carry all the load at the end. The       you are starting a dead weight. So, alactic
last set also emphasizes the descending          sets are extremely challenging and that is
phase of the movement because eccen-             good. Finally, single reps let you handle
tric movements preferentially hit the FT         very heavy weight without fear of failure
fibers. In addition, huge amounts of lactic       and they stabilize the joints because of the
acid are produced, a well-known promoter         static starting position.
of growth hormone (GH). In addition, the
genes in the muscle fibers “sense” the sig-       In light of Evolutionary Fitness, what
nal of acid or oxygen to determine whether       are your thoughts as to why brief, in-
to make fast myosin chains or slow ones.         tense workouts elicit impressive gains in
The lactic acid promotes gene expression         strength, power and endurance?
for fast fibers. Oxygen promotes slow fiber
expression. This makes sense, doesn’t it,        This is the pattern of activity to which the
because something has to tell the muscle         human genome is adapted. Through all of
how to develop and it has to be a local sig-     our evolutionary past, human physiology
nal, right there in that muscle fiber. This       and metabolism adapted to a pattern of in-
is an example of a decentralized signal          termittency and fight or flight response. It
that much of my economic research deals          could not have been otherwise until the
with.                                            advent of agricultural only 10,000 years
                                                 ago. This is the pattern of activity that pro-
It is this gene expression signaling process     motes the true expression of the human
that hierarchical sets are designed to ex-       genome and produces the optimal body
ploit. This process also explains how aero-      composition of our ancestors. To live oth-
bic exercise promotes slow twitch muscle         erwise is to cause the evolutionarily adapt-
development and not FT development.              ed genetic information to be expressed in
                                                 unhealthful ways. Much has been made of
Alactic sets are a- or non-lactate promot-       the so-called “thrifty gene” as a cause of
ing. They are done as a single rep, putting      modern obesity. This is a genotype adapt-
the bar down, resting 5 or 10 seconds and        ed to episodes of starvation that conserves
then doing another rep. This goes on for 2       energy and causes weight gain in a nutri-
to 8 reps. Doing a heavy weight just one rep     tion abundant modern world. I think this
does not produce lactic acid. But, it does       is turning evolution on its head. Humans
use up the phosphates that fire the FT fi-         are an active genotype, as activity was es-
ber. The 5 to 10 second pause between reps       sential and obligatory to the acquisition
trains the ability of the muscle to regener-     of food. A prone-to-fat, thrifty genotype
ate the phosphates that fuel the FT fiber.        would not survive this environment and
So, you are training your recovery ability       would be reproductively less successful
in response to intense effort. This is ac-       than an active genotype.

                                   ISSUE 1 FEBRUARY 2005 15
So, modern humans may fail to achieve            and negative balance over a longer time

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the activity to which the active genotype        period that any kind of caloric balance is
encoded by evolution in their genes is           achieved. So, caloric balance is an averag-
adapted. The result is faulty gene expres-       ing concept that does not apply to shorter
sion, obesity, and ill health. When food is      intervals of time. It happens that when
abundant at virtually no energy cost, the        you fast and engage in intense activity of
tie between activity and nutrition is bro-       very brief duration you signal the body to
ken. Activity declines and energy intake         conserve protein. The signal is a high level
increases; that is, the real thrifty genotype    of GH, which can promote a redirection of
and gene expression is altered adversely.        the body’s resources to retain and develop
                                                 its protein pools. Remember, protein cir-
Dr. William Kraemer of Pennsylvania              culates through the body, in and out, and
State University has noted an inordinate         the pool goes up and down. It is possible
neuroendocrine response from move-               to take in less food and still deposit pro-
ments such as squats, deadlifts, and the         tein in muscle if you lower the rate of pro-
Olympic lifts, particularly when they are        tein wastage. This is the role of GH: it is
performed at very high intensity. From an        a strong signal to conserve protein and to
evolutionary perspective, why might this         mobilize fat for use as an energy source.
be? How do you feel we might best capi-          Evolutionary times would require just
talize on this phenomenon to obtain opti-        this mechanism. Fasting triggers a main-
mal health and elite athleticism?                tenance function: fat is burned for energy
                                                 and protein is strictly preserved unless it
It is the Growth Hormone which the move-         is required to produce glucose (gluconeo-
ments trigger as well as the whole body          genesis) to fuel the brain.
coordination under maximal neural stim-
ulation. Each type of muscle fiber has a          Would you comment on intermittent fast-
neural threshold that must be exceeded to        ing and its effect on health and longev-
fire. The slow twitch fiber has the lowest         ity? Do you feel that intermittent fasting
thresholds, the fast twitch I (if that is the    is completely at odds with achieving op-
designation you use) is next, and the high-      timum performance or can it be success-
est threshold fast twitch II fibers fire last.     fully integrated with a high-level training
These movements go right up the fiber hi-         program?
erarchy and trigger all the thresholds.
                                                 Intermittent fasting triggers protein spar-
Many of our readers have noted an abil-          ing maintenance and gene expression that
ity to gain lean muscle mass while con-          underlines repair processes. Fasting also
suming what would appear to be a calo-           triggers brief flows of stressor hormones,
rie-deficient diet (Paleo/Zone). You have         which make the body more adaptable to
alluded to similar phenomenon with               stress. Fasting in the context of activity on
Evolutionary Fitness. Could you help our         an intermittent basis has all the benefits of
readers to understand some of the mecha-         chronic fasting without its downside.
nisms possibly at play here?
                                                 What are your thoughts on pre- and post-
Remember, caloric deficit is a steady state       workout nutrition?
concept. Humans are almost never in ca-
loric balance at a point in time, it is only     Before the workout, an empty stomach to
through integrating moments of positive          maximize GH production. After, I eat a

                                   ISSUE 1 FEBRUARY 2005 16
normal meal (Paleo style) no sooner than          Do you have a favorite Paleo-friendly rec-

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                                                                                                                       JOURNAL OF NUTRITION AND ATHLETIC EXCELLENCE
an hour later. Usually, I hike, walk or shoot     ipe to share with our readers?
baskets after a workout. Absolutely do not
drink “gainer” drinks or other high glucose       Probably my lunch salad is my favorite. A
supplements (they all are high in glucose).       can of Trader Joe’s Alaskan Salmon over
The sugar shuts down the GH response              a bed of lettuce, fresh spices, plenty of
too early and we have already seen that           garlic and raw vegetables such as red cab-
muscle grows in a high GH environment,            bage, broccoli, and or cauliflower. I use ol-
even in the face of brief caloric deficit.         ive oil and balsamic vinegar for dressing.
Body builders tend to have high insulin           These vegetables are not only cancer fight-
levels, even with their muscle mass soak-         ing, but they also block DHT (the pros-
ing up the glucose. Partly, they promote          tate promoting metabolite of testosterone)
this to grow and may even inject insulin          and conserve testosterone by preventing
to grow more. But, there is an awfully high       it from being converted to estrogen. Re-
rate of cancer among body builders and            member, what you put in is not necessar-
the longevity, though hard to judge since I       ily what you get. Inject testosterone and
can find no studies of it, seems rather low.       you get more estrogen and a shut down of
Remember, things that make muscle grow,           testosterone production.
like high IGF1, 2, 3 and 4 levels also make
cancer cells grow more rapidly. Cancer is         Finally, is there a timeline for the comple-
just a maverick cell that doesn’t obey the        tion of Evolutionary Fitness?
body’s messages to cease.
                                                  Well, no. I have my doubts about how it
Please describe “a day in the life,” train-       might sell. If I do finish, which this inter-
ing, meals, play, etc?                            view is encouraging me to do, it will be to
                                                  put this message out there.
There is no typical day. There is some pat-
tern, but lots of variety. Since I am now
retired, it is almost not fair to describe my
day and hard to do as well since I do what-
                                                    Arthur De Vany
ever I wish. Presently, I am working out
                                                    Professor Emeritus, Economics and Math-
three days a week in order to rehabilitate
                                                    ematical Behavioral Sciences
some old injuries from sports. I am also
                                                    University of California, Irvine
working on core stability and dynamic sta-
bility and balance. Until the injuries cease
to interfere with heavy lifting, I am doing
fairly light weights but at a high pace and
close to failure. I am using a trainer for the
first time to check my form as my injuries
have caused me to lose some form and it is        Special thanks to Mike Minium, Greg Glassman,
helpful to have another eye to watch for a        and Dan John for help preparing these excellent
loss of form. He is very good and a stickler
for form. It is nice to have someone help
me do negatives in safety as I thrive on
them. I am a primarily fast twitch meso-
morph and respond well to eccentrics.

                                    ISSUE 1 FEBRUARY 2005 17
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                            THE QUEDA DE RINS

As part of using a lot of different tools,      complex process of integration and mix-
from various disciplines, and thus trying       ture of those different African rituals, a
to achieve a more complete understand-          process no one truly understands, Capoei-
ing and activation of human movement, I         ra was created. Capoeira has gone through
will present today a very old static posi-      a lot of changes during its estimated 500+
tion strength move, later to become part        years of existence, being both a traditional
of some dynamic movement sequences,             art as well as part of the open, change-
called Queda De Rins (pronounced Keda-          welcoming way of the Brazilian people.
Ji-Hins). The QDR is part of the basic floor     Today, Capoeira is practiced worldwide,
work in Capoeira                                                     with schools all over
training,    although                                                the US, Europe, Asia,
today you can see it                                                 Africa, Australia, and
used in a lot of other                                               even Israel.
sport-art disciplines
like karate, break
dancing, etc... Some                                                 The Queda De Rins
of these were influ-
enced by Capoeira,                                                   The meaning of Que-
during the late 1970s,                                               da De Rins in Portu-
when it first came to                                                 guese is “fall of the
the US.                                                              kidneys”—this is due
                                                                     to the positioning of
Capoeira is an afro-                                                 one of the elbows be-
Brazilian martial art                                                ing in line with the
more than 500 years                                                  kidneys, and its use
old. It was created                                                  as a “save” from be-
by the African slaves                                                ing taken down on
brought to Brazil by                                                 your ass in some situ-
the Portuguese to work                                               ations. The Queda De
the land. The slaves                                                 Rins is actually a very
had different back-                                                  basic Capoeira move,
grounds and came                                                     which originated in
from lots of different                                               the traditional Ca-
tribes, each with its                                                poeira      style—Ca-
own unique rituals,                                                  poeira Angola. It is
games, musical instru-                                               usually used as part
ments and even fight-                                                 of the Capoeira Flo-
ing styles. Through a                                                reio—a low, floor

                                  ISSUE 1 FEBRUARY 2005 18
moving flow of movements used to get to           most at the same height on the wall, but

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                                                                                                                   JOURNAL OF NUTRITION AND ATHLETIC EXCELLENCE
a strategic advantage, or just for the sake      just a bit higher, the fingers should point
of artistic beauty. The basic static holding     to the other side of the first hand.
QDR is only used for learning purposes,
as later in the Capoeira training you start      Put your head
incorporating it as soon as possible into        higher on the wall
dynamic movement, passing through it,            completing a trian-
without stopping the flow.                        gle base of support,
                                                 keeping your head
                                                 turned to the side
Starting Out                                     of the higher hand.
                                                 You have just com-
The QDR is a three contact point balance         pleted a QDR on
move (Like a head stand), advancing later        the wall; This po-
to a two contact point move only. (Like a        sitioning should later be duplicated accu-
handstand)                                       rately on the floor.

Stage I                                          Push off and on the wall 10-15 times, be-
                                                 fore releasing, and make sure you under-
Flex your strong arm, creating a 90-degree       stand the correct positioning of each of the
angle, while keeping it close to your body.      three contact points.
Most people have their elbows just above
the oblique muscles. Now take the elbow          Stage III
a bit inside the body, closer to center line,
but keep the hand pointing straight ahead,       Squatting low on
with an extended, semi-supinated wrist.          your heels, put your
                                                 hand on the floor be-
                      Take the other hand        side you, not too far
                      and put it above           away, with the fin-
                      the extended wrist,        gers pointing back.
                      pushing the arm            Start     descending
                      and elbow into your        with the body side-
                      body, without let-         ways, using your
                      ting the elbow slip        arm, until the exact
sideways. The most important thing here          contact point of the
is the 90-degree angle, which will allow         body-elbow       from
the force from your other hand and later         the last two stages is
your body weight to transfer up/down the         achieved.
lower arm, providing a support.
                                                 Add the other hand
Stage II                                         further to the side
                                                 and a bit forward
Maintaining the last stage position, stand       to your first hand,
near a wall, and position your hand on it,       while    descending
maintaining the 90-degree angle between          with the head be-
the wall and your arm. Your fingers should        tween those two
point to the side. Add the other hand, al-       contact points, and

                                   ISSUE 1 FEBRUARY 2005 19
to the back, those creating a triangle. Once           Some points to consider:

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                                                                                                                              JOURNAL OF NUTRITION AND ATHLETIC EXCELLENCE
you are secured in your new base of sup-
port, try getting first the further leg up in           * Due to a strong external rotation in the
the air, while bringing the knee toward the            shoulder joint, make sure your shoulders
space created between your three contact               are well warmed up before starting to
points.                                                “play” with the QDR.

Once one leg is up there, try bringing the             * If you can’t seem to get the legs “up
other one close to it, creating a closed po-           there”, try bouncing in and out of the po-
sition. This is the simplest QDR, and the              sition, while trying to correct your triangle
easier version. We call it Queda Fechada               base of support.
(closed QDR), because of the leg position-
ing.                                                   * For the ones who succeeded with the
                                                       basic QDR, you can try the following posi-
                                                       tions, shown in the photos, like the one
Conclusion                                             handed QDR and the flag QDR without the
                                                       head support.
Well, that’s it! This is the basic QDR posi-
tion, and the easiest one to learn. Further,           Future articles will show some dynamic
more advanced positions and dynamic                    sequences using the QDR as transition
movements going in and out of the QDR                  point in some strength-coordination-bal-
are the following stages in the training               ance movements.
evolution of this position.

 Ido Portal has been practicing Capoeira for almost ten years now. He is part of the first generation
 of Capoeiristas (Capoeira practioners) in Israel, and one of those responsible for taking this art
 into the public’s attention, participating in shows, TV commercials, newspaper articles in Israel,
 Brazil and world-wide. (

 By trying to achieve optimal results in his Capoeira training, a few years ago Ido entered a new
 path of exploration of the human anatomy, physiology, nutrition and the training process. He has
 participated in formal studies, getting his Strength & Conditioning certificate as well as a Nutrition
 Advisor certificate, although he credits his knowledge mainly to his own exploration and research,
 influenced by the world’s leading experts in fitness and sports training.

 Last July Ido opened up his two floor training facility in the port city of Haifa, Israel, where he con-
 ducts training, workshops and sports activities, using Martial Arts, Capoeira, and a well equipped
 professional strength training facility.

                                       ISSUE 1 FEBRUARY 2005 20
                                                          THE PERFORMANCE MENU
                                                                             JOURNAL OF NUTRITION AND ATHLETIC EXCELLENCE
An excerpt from the forthcoming book by World Cham-
pion lifter and thrower Dan John

The wit and wisdom of Brad Hirakawa

The Zone in context


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