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Tooth and Claw

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  • Tooth and Claw


    This intends to become a different sort of MDA journal. TFC (TheFastCat) is not here to lose weight. TFC is not here to overcome a lifelong debilitating illness or the amalgamation of poor health decisions since being a kitten. TFC is not here to simply maintain his current existence until he shrivels up and dies. TFC is here to grow stronger, tougher and well more like his ancestors. If “Grok” is the quintessential role model for modern Primal humans, “Smiley” is what this cat is shooting for. An artist’s rendering of Smiley:

    Smiley was a Smilodon and as such an alpha predator of his day. He was large, strong, fierce and mean. He was also agile, fast and powerful. He ate things with faces and no doubt a few Groks here and there.

    You are correct to surmise that there were differences between how Smiley and Grok lived. For one thing Smiley was a big cat who weighed in at a conservative 400 kilograms. He traveled, hunted, ate and lived in pack environment. Unlike Grok’s pack though, Smiley’s pack was more predicated on the leadership of the alpha male and female than social graces and friendships.

    Constant physical vigilance was required on the Alpha’s part to stay on top of his game for the sake of maintaining his status. While Grok was eating sloth bacon, playing ultimate Frisbee or lounging around the campfire in a bear hide thong without a care in the world eating almonds gathered the summer before – Smiley was fighting tooth and claw to become bigger, faster and stronger.

    Smiley ate constantly so that he could grow larger. Size and strength was the determining factor in deciding social status in the pack so he practiced his jumping, killing and wrestling so that he might grow more powerful. His life was more stressful and shorter than Grok’s and also harder. No thumbs and the inability to digest many of the foods Grok sustained himself on meant that Smiley had to use only the tools given to him- his teeth and claws, in order to eat.

    And yet Smiley did have many things in common with Grok. Both lived in a cave and slept a lot. Both conserved energy when it was efficient to. Both ate the foods they were meant to. Both were keyed into the natural world and thrived within it.

    And so if Grok is the model to which many Primals aspire to in their eating and activity levels, Smiley is the model to which this modern day FastCat aspires. TFC is not interested in maintaining an optimal “least effort for max gain approach” to living. Not yet. Maybe once he has a litter of his own he can rest on the laurels of his accomplishments and laze about like a Grok. Until then though he’s gunning to be an Alpha – just like Smiley. Such a path is arduous and often times exhausting. You aren't crowned an Alpha by moving slowly and eating copious amounts of vegetables that's for sure. You are crowned Alpha by out toothing and out clawing whatever comes in your way be it dinner, competition, challenges... life.
    Last edited by TheFastCat; 09-03-2012, 01:30 PM.
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  • #2
    Eraserheadgirl thinks The Fast Cat's self-referential use of third person is hilarious.


    • #3
      Howdy! I’m a 30 [when I wrote this, but I'm 34 now] year old, single software developer living in urban Denver, Colorado. I have been athletic and adventurous my entire life. I enjoy international adventure travel and have been to 17 countries so far, including living in southern Switzerland for 5 months. My family hails from southern Wyoming where we have owned land since 1870. These days (and for about 40 years) we lease our land to a cattle farmer that grazes grass fed Angus and Maine beef hybrids on it. In the warm months I enjoy fly fishing the river that abuts the property. Sometime soon I would like to begin hunting wild deer and elk.

      I have a pet Rhodesian Ridgeback named Rodeo. Rodeo is three years old and very much a hound dog. He is delegated mostly to my downtown loft unfortunately though does have a lot of fun in Wyoming on the weekends when applicable.

      I have been Primal since April 2010. After Thanksgiving 2010 I decided to switch to Paleo on account of my introduction to Crossfit and Robb Wolf podcasts. Since then I have been thriving in the competitive spirit of Crossfit that has stood as a great challenge to my understanding of health and fitness. While I have always prided myself in my strength and health, Crossfit has helped me understand how much further I want to take things.

      I must admit that I find myself veering further and further away from the PB. I find myself biting my tongue more and more on the forums when people ask for advice or feedback. In addition to my workout regimen I thought it was time to segregate myself from the Groks. It was only a matter of time before this cat got hunted down!

      I have never been overweight, out of shape or unhealthy. As such I came at the PB from a different angle. It catered more to my mind's perception of the proper way humans should consume food and where the calories should be coming from. I quit all grains cold turkey the week after stumbling upon MDA. I am very Paleo compliant. I do not believe in cheat meals (nor desire them). I look down generally on those I perceive to be weak, lazy or apathetic. I don't pride myself in this personality trait, but hey -- just keeping it real!

      Not your neighborhood Grok
      I am very unprimal in many ways; for instance while I take Rodeo to the park or for a walk each day – I do not ascribe to the “move slowly a lot” deal that Mark Sisson recommends. I sit in front of a computer for 10 hours a day between work and internet browsing at home. Additional to that a larger percentage of my calories comes from protein and fat with fewer vegetables. I exercise very hard and often (another way I veer from the Primal norm) and find I need more protein and fat for recovery. Additionally I don’t drink coffee. I think coffee is evil and am pretty upset Mark Sission condones caffeine intake. I think people use coffee as a crutch to overcome sleep depravity and without exception I view chemical dependence in all of its forms abhorrent and a weakness.

      Which leads me to my next point - I'm an INTJ. What better place for an INTJ to live in besides his own journal?

      This Journal
      I'll be cataloging what I eat, my workout log, some opinions regarding things I see on the forums (that nobody else really cares about but I feel like cataloging here) and my progress in "improving." I am attending PrimalCon 2011 in the spring of 2011 - I aim to add some coverage here on my experiences there.

      [edit to update age]
      Last edited by TheFastCat; 03-27-2015, 07:45 AM.
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      • #4
        Starting Stats at the time of this journal (1-20-2011)
        Height: 6’2.5”
        Weight: 195ish
        Age: 30
        Dead Lift: (5x5) 307lb
        Dead Lift: (1 RM) 328lb
        Strict Press: (5x5) 120lb
        Thruster: (5x5) 125lb
        High Bar Back Squat: (5x5) 204lb

        Current Stats as of (2/20/2015 AD)
        Weight: 200ish
        Age: 34
        Dead Lift: (5x5) 324#
        Strict Press: (3x5) 135#
        Push Press: (3x4) 175#
        Thruster: (3x5) 165#
        Snatch: (5x5) 109#
        Jerk: (From Rack) (5x5) 165#
        Clean: (5x5) 154#
        Front Squat: (3x5) 207#
        High Bar Back Squat: (3x5) 242lb
        High Bar Back Squat: (5x3) 264lb
        Overhead Squat: (5x3) 175lb
        Strict pull ups: 24 @ 200#

        Current 1 Rep Max PR (all done barefoot)
        Press: 160#
        Snatch: 195#
        Dead Lift: 395#
        Squat Clean: 235#
        Power Clean: 235#
        Clean and Jerk: 235#
        Front Squat: 260#
        Thruster: 205# (x2)
        Push Press: 210#
        Jerk: 245#
        High Bar Back Squat - 305#
        Low Bar Back Squat - 315#
        Overhead Squat - 235#
        1000m row - 3:22
        Last edited by TheFastCat; 02-20-2015, 03:48 PM.
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        • #5
          Fun psuedo-fact (as in I heard it, liked it, and don't care if it's true or not) Sabertooth tigers (and maybe cave bears) probably kept humans out of the bearing straight during the ice age, slowing human migration.

          That is of course until the humans said Eff it, and killed the hell out of them with spear throwers, and other force multiplier innovations.

          Humans only have two effective predators. Mosquitoes and humans.

          Enjoy journaling.


          • #6
            I woke up this morning sick --a cold with a post-nasally, sticky mucus thing going on. I took a sick day from work and slept all day. I had taken Rodeo to puppy dog play camp yesterday since it was too stormy to get him exercise so it was kind of convenient that he wasn’t around the house while I was tired and sick since he would just want to play.

            This afternoon I started writing up this journal. I must admit my motivation to start it stemmed from a message a forum user sent to me that I will paste here because I think it’s well written and not out of place:
            Fast Cat - I don't want to impede on your exercise routine, so take my opinion as you will, but remember that more work does not necessarily equal more gains. The fact that you went out and hit the weights hard after a comment like that makes me think (and worry..) that you use exercise to fill some sort of void that truly has nothing to do with exercise at all. Please don't take offense to that comment, but I've experienced something similiar with training. I wouldn't feel "right" if I missed a session, and didn't quite "get" what was so bad about working my body so much. I find it is similiar to sleep, actually... While people can feel fine at 6-7 hours (or 6+ days of exercise,) you're gonna end up spinning your wheels eventually and going nowhere fast, you know what I mean?

            Strength doesn't always come down to calories, but also to rest periods. Actually, my boyfriend just told me yesterday that after a week off from lifting (I currently train him, and have him on a 3x/wk program,) that his session last night was incredibly strong and people have made comments that he's "bigger" (in a good way! One guy asked him if he was on steroids! That's good to hear from a personal trainer's perspective! ;-)) I wouldn't consider him an athlete by any means, he's just motivated and enjoys DOING stuff instead of sitting around all day. He actually was 300+ pounds, but got down to about 180lbs in a year or so by doing TAE-BO (of all things) and eating smaller portions. Now I've got him understanding the importance of lifting heavy things and eating meat. He's never looked or felt better and I'm so so happy for him!! :-)

            Anyway, my point is, don't work yourself to a pulp in hope of gaining something that can never realistically be achieved through training. I can tell you with full confidence that a program with SPECIFIC goals, measurable factors, and enough rest will get you WAY further than doing circuits and barbell lifts nearly everyday.

            All the luck to you,
            Anonymous Grokette

            I really appreciated her writing that. I thought it was kind and well intentioned. At the same time it motivated me more to keep working hard; I aim to prove that Smiley hasn't become obselete in the modern age of LOLCats.

            Ok I need to eat quickly and then pick up Rodeo and hit the gym for a quick lift.

            edit - back from gym

            rowed 2k meters at slow pace
            working sets of hip extension sit ups
            death by weighted push ups (25#) to 12 reps
            death by weighted air squats (25#) to 14 reps (until squat rack was open)

            High bar squats - 5x5 @ 204#
            Last edited by TheFastCat; 01-20-2011, 07:23 PM. Reason: Back from gym
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            • #7
              Originally posted by eraserheadgirl View Post
              Eraserheadgirl thinks The Fast Cat's self-referential use of third person is hilarious.
              Paleobird was wondering if anyone else had noticed that too.


              • #8
                i also thought it was funny.

                i also think that crossfit is a bit bunk. there's really only one reason. all of that dynamic motion stuff is effing up people's form, which is a fast track to injury. watching those wimpy girls do whippy chins makes me want to puke. i'm like, good on them for getting into it, but learn how to do it with some control, you know? like, for reals.

                anyway, that's just my take on it. otherwise, looks like fun and carry on.


                • #9
                  Some people seem to like crossfit for the, "Rah, Rah, yay team" social aspect of it. Whatever floats yer boat and gets you to do a workout I guess. But I agree with you Zoe that, in the adrenalin pumped moment, lots of them can and do hurt themselves due to poor form.


                  • #10

                    *Has anyone from the peanut gallery gone to a Crossfit box and participated in a workout (or are we just youTubing)? Kipping pull ups as "poor form" is definitely not a new argument against Crossfit - but kipping isn't poor form. It's the most efficient way to get your chin over the bar. Crossfit - like parkour, involves moving your body most efficiently in the realm of functional movement. For more information about kipping pull ups see this FAQ on the Crossift HQ site. If you've participated in Crossfit workouts that means a certified coach has taught you proper form and/or scaled the workouts to that you can complete them with proper form. I don't have a good kip yet - so for the workouts I do hanging pull ups ("normal") and if there are enough of them (50) then I use a band. If I had a good kip I could do my in about half the time, as it is I can't get myself over the bar as efficiently as possible. It's the same thing as sprinting -- try doing it without using your arms; it isn't very efficient.

                    TFC feels better today. Got good enough sleep - skipped the 5:30am workout and just slept in. Went to eat at Snooze and had the corned beef & hash x2. Not sure if I can squeeze in a workout today owning to a fancy dinner I am attending at a Brazilian steak house.

                    workout was lifting 5000 lb from ground to over head as fast as possible - took me 4:31
                    Then max sets of 5 ring dips within 5 minutes - only full sets without rests count - got 6 I think
                    finally a scale at the gym - turns out I am 200 lbs in my kilt, wife beater and vibrams.

                    Dinner was probably 2 lbs of meat and salad/veg
                    Last edited by TheFastCat; 01-21-2011, 10:04 PM. Reason: Back From Dinner
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                    • #11
                      Fellow Denver-ite and Fellow CrossFitter a_morgan24 is loving the start of this journal! Besides the diet portion (I cheat. it's ok, you can judge me), we are quite similar with the dog walking/CrossFit combo for fitness.
                      Everybody is entitled to their opinion when it comes to CrossFit. Not for everybody but it is for me! I love the workouts, the coaches and the rah-rah aspect. And that I can get my @ss kicked in one hour and be out the door. I cannot do a normal dead hang pullup but I can while kipping and as long as the chin gets over the bar, it does the job! I agree with you, efficiency is key.
                      I am a member at a box where they encourage proper range of motion and technique over time any day so injuries are few and far between. I am sure that not all affiliates are as concerned with these principals but I've been doing it consistently for over 2 years with no injury (knock on wood) because of that 'culture'.
                      Anyhoo - that's my two cents. I look forward to future posts from you in here and p.s. why did you have to say Snooze?!?!
                      Last edited by a_morgan24; 01-21-2011, 09:12 AM.


                      • #12

                        Woke up still sick. Yuck.

                        This morning @8AM was 2 eggs over easy and corned beef & hash for breakfast. Took the dog to the dog park, bought a coffee and delivered to my dad.

                        Hit up Crossfit at 10 - awesome workout was continuous HIIT for 20 minutes (long story short). A good met con.

                        Afterward I did 4x5 press @125# - felt super heavy. Not sure if I will hit my next progression at 130# next week.
                        Afterward I did 5,4,5 dead lift @324# (heavy!) and then 3x5 @265 (the kind where your hips ache when you drop the bar after a set)
                        Then did 4x5 ring pull ups
                        Then did 5,4, 5 weighted pull ups (22#) and then 1x4 (@32#)

                        Just got a text from a probably flake from an online dating website. Man that stuff is so aggravating I don't even know why I bother? Probably just to get myself "out there." TFC needs to go through the motions of courting to keep his muscle memory fresh and synaptically well practiced.

                        I have a pseudo-complex about approaching women and making them uncomfortable so unfortunately I bring the pitfalls of online dating (flakes, email annoyances, hassle of playing games etc.) upon myself.

                        -- so she suggested we go for a walk and I suggested city park - she says how about this other park that's closer to my neighborhood? So she already probably thinks I'm a serial rapist -_-. Why can't all the ladies in the world just automagically know what a charming, sensitive, strong, fast cat I am without me needing to constantly prove it? k I'm going to call her and set things straight.

                        (TFC dials on phone using claws) beep-boop-beep-beep.... beep-beep-beep-boop-boop-beep (talks on phone)

                        ok - dog walking date in an hour. Man why does this feel like a chore? I bet she can't even dead lift 100#. I'll update this post with a synopsis. $10 my dog is way cooler than her dog.

                        Just slammed 2x cans of tuna + 1x coconut milk whey protein shake, 2 teaspoons of almond butter

                        meet up/date thing went well. Had a post game text to the extent "let me know if you want to get drinks next". Couple of things not ideal about the situation:

                        1.) She's a runner
                        2.) She's a vegetarian
                        3.) She doesn't look very strong or tough
                        4.) Canadian
                        5.) Doesn't look that "healthy" (skin, muscles, energy etc)

                        She does have her master's in engineering though and her dog is pretty cool; on top of that she seems to like me so that means she's smart. Meh. But shouldn't I be super excited for a follow up date? If I'm not does that mean I should skip it? I guess women go out with guys they are ambivalent about a few times before they decide. Maybe I will try that.

                        I had the opportunity to try that this week when a woman I had emailed two weeks ago asking her for a follow up date (after having a very good first date) returned my message and asked if I would like to go hiking. I told her that I was not interested, good luck in the future etc on account that it took her two weeks to reply to my date request and I thought it was very inconsiderate.

                        Just keeping it real!

                        Dinner: 10 eggs w/jalapenos, green chiles. about to have two choco coconut macaroons

                        edit - TFC ate 4 instead of two. glad it is such a small bag might have eated twenty
                        Last edited by TheFastCat; 01-22-2011, 05:59 PM. Reason: macaroons
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                        • #13
                          Let's have a picture of Rodeo.
                          Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.


                          • #14
                            woke up at 1 am this morning on account of a caffeinated green tea I drank at 2:15 pm. Yes that is how sensitive I am to caffeine! Fell asleep again at 4am and had amazing, lucid, tremendous dreams.

                            Woke up again at 8 and once again went to Snooze and had the same thing I always do: corned beef and hash. Got an extra egg (3) from a nice waitress who knows I don't take toast

                            Took Rodeo for a long walk and listened to Crossfit Radio pod casts and played some Pac Man

                            Watched the NFC championship game at a bar - had a steak salad and then a buffalo burger sans buns.

                            back home from the bar - kinda hungry. I really want to have some fruit but my beloved pears I bought at the grocery store last weekend are still rock hard. so tantalizing. Should I eat them short of their peak or wait or hold out for delayed gratification?

                            So no workout today; gym owner didn't work out/didn't open it up. probably needed as I am still getting over this cold.

                            Might be going to a seafood restaurant a friend works at for the second half of the AFC Championship Game. He bar tends on Sundays and gives me super good deals on seafood and paleo-compliant (or nearly) cocktails. E.g. last time I went I ate 2.5lbs of shrimp for $10.
                            But he is also a Jets fan and well if they are losing big it might not be such a fun night to go hang out at his bar since he will be upset.

                            Had two glasses of red wine and an order of shrimp for dinner; my friend was not working but off watching his team lose. Still hungry but I probably don't need to eat and it's pretty late.
                            Last edited by TheFastCat; 01-23-2011, 08:41 PM. Reason: Back from Seafood
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                            • #15
                              first, a person is entitled to disagree, even with a certified crossfit coach and/or a certified crossfit idea. crossfit is not the end all and be all of fitness knowledge in the cosmos.

                              second, i tend to research things pretty extensively before jumping in because i seek to *prevent injury* by doing something ridiculously foolish even if a "certified trainer" tells me that it is not ridiculously foolish. this goes for just about anything. a lot of certified yoga teachers are full of shit, for example. and, i'm perfectly honest enough to say it to a person's face when i think what they are doing is dangerous (for themselves of their students). I can also take the heat if someone dishes it in my direction.

                              third, i never discouraged anyone else from doing it, only that seeing people doing it (in various videos, including official crossfit ones) and talking to people who do crossfit and/or trainers, i made the decision that i disagreed with certain aspects of crossfit's training process, and that i didn't want to do it. that doesn't mean that another person can't do the same.

                              finally, one doesn't have to do it to see if it is appropriate for them. it is possible to research and make a reasonable conclusion. i did. i'm perfectly capable of doing so. also, i don't think it's anything like parkour, nor is that an effcient movement. the idea is not to get your chin above the bar at all costs, but rather to get the bar to your chest utilizing the appropriate muscle groups in a successive and compound fashion. proper muscle use, not momentum, is what is efficient in the movement.