Primal Ninja Warrior!
In case you guys haven't seen this yet:
American Ninja Warrior Audition Video @Urban Evolution - YouTube
I have followed this guy on youtube for about a year, and his style used to be primarily strength based, ring gymnastics, balance work, etc. Now he's changed his style up quite a bit. Very cool display.
You can see him eating raw beef liver on camera near the end and talking about it!
I didn't want to mention previously so as to not start a separate discussion, but now that I've heard from Johnny (guy in vid) himself I want to share:
I contacted him a few months back asking about how his diet is. I knew he was paleo but I wanted to see what modifications, if any, he had made to tailor to his training. I contacted him not too long ago, Oct 29, 2011. He responded saying he was "on a very reduced carb, raw paleo diet" eating about "1 kilo of meat" a day, focusing on grass fed and eating lots offal with "fruit, sometimes, after a draining session"
Obviously, I let him be, you can't argue with the way he was moving at the time - Remember, he was primarily a strength based athlete and most of his videos featured WODs from gymnasticbodies.com, ring sequences mostly. At least that's what he was capturing on video, not sure if he was doing other work.
Anyway, having his email I sent him another one saying I had seen this video and wishing him good luck on his training for Ninja Warrior training. I had to ask about diet though, if he had revised it at all based on what seems to me to be twice the activity level he used to have. He said:
"You called it on diet. After about 2 weeks of extremely low carbs I felt drained and added them back in. Now Its basically paleo + fruit or sweet potato PWO and even white rice about once a week. "
Emphasis obviously mine. He's still probably on the lower carb end compared to some of us here doing more of a Leangains style diet.
This adds to the "do we need carbs as athletes?" discussion. Even if some of us are more on the "just for fun" side of things rather than competitive. One more real-life example, from a serious athlete, that carbs help him perform better. I like to find out what successful people are doing and seeing how it fits into my scheme. What I got from Johnny was re-assuring, and I'm not about to change everything to imitate him at all, because we're not the same person with the same goals, but I tend to get very comfy eating a lot of carbs. I absolutely love potatoes and have literally ate them every day this week irregardless of activity. It hasn't put any weight on me (not that I would care too much, but I do want to shed some BF so am watching my body comp) and I actually feel quite a bit better after being mostly low-carb.
Anyway, watch and share the video.
Last edited by iniQuity; 02-16-2012 at 06:10 AM.
I love ninja warrior submission videos!
I just wish I had better access to watching the actual competitions! (no G4 )
Thanks for sharing this - and it's definitely interesting to hear the changes he's made to his diet.
I know personally I need more carbs than is generally 'allowed' ... but then I've never been overweight or overly sedentary.
thanks for the info iniquity.
When I up my carbs drastically I seem to notice an almost hormonal response. It isn't so much energy as it is like an additional shot of rage/aggression that is otherwise missing while low carb. Maybe this is what people refer to as "energy" but to me it seems different. In addition to better sleep.
On a separate note I kind of implicit carbs as nitrous oxide in cars - you know that extra boost that racers use for added horsepower (seen in the fast and furious movies for example). The reason why Mark Sisson advocates a more ketogenic, low carb diet (and he does) as he explained in depth at PrimalCon 2011 is the effect of running your body in "overdrive" is not advantageous in the long run in terms of increased cell division and faster aging. That being said you will definitely notice a difference when boosting on carbs if you generally eat them in moderation (moderation=low carb).
For the vast majority of non-competitive athletes who exercise for fun and to stay healthy I don't think carbohydrates are needed in abundance -- it kind of goes back to the chronic cardio example of fueling in order to exercise in order to lose/maintain weight (so what's the point?). I do think that in terms of adding mass, the requirements of adding carbohydrates are vastly understated. It is so much easier (for me) to add strength and lean mass with more carbs; the alternative of more fat and protein generally is hard because I have to eat beyond the point of comfort and feel bloated and uncomfortable. Carbs are super easy to eat in excess.
ad astra per aspera
Fastcat, agreed basically with everything you said.
I do tend to put more weight on when I up the carbs, but it's definitely because I don't limit the fat. Fatty proteins + potatoes are just the best thing ever. I'm serious when I say I could eat mashed potatoes with steak/chicken/pork/anything for every single meal for a long LONG time. I actually had mashed potatoes (dry though, which is to say, just potatoes mashed without added fat) every day last week since I had made a lot and didn't want it to go to waste.
Putting on weight using carbs is definitely easier for me, as far as lean weight goes though that's another story. I have to balance it out with less fat and/or more exercise. I know exercise isn't as effective as diet, but it is fun so I don't care.
What's interesting to me though is that Johnny actually does NOT eat that many carbs compared to most of us. He didn't mention how many days per week he works out, but in the video above he says he trains "for hours at a time" which is more than most of us probably do. He also teaches at the CF gym in the video (actually it may not be CF affiliated at all, but looks like a CF facility) so let's assume he trains "for hours" 3 days a week, plus 2 days of lighter activity. He's still considered low-carb at the end of the day. He mentioned fruit and potatoes, and white rice "maybe once a week" so I'd say his carbs are probably pretty low stil, but evidently he's doing fine so maybe going too crazy on carbs isn't absolutely necessary -- and if it puts too much fat on you too quick, you can feel 'safe' to scale down a bit.
Of course, let us not forget that his level of conditioning is higher due to years of physical activity and all of that. No two people are equal.
Thanks for sharing! It's interesting because I am always advising people to treat social discussion like a good dinner party---have fun and be yourself but always be respective of others and listen as much or more than you talk.
Seems to me I need to up my activity, up my carbs, AND up my protein if I want to gain the weight I would like! I keep losing weight and that's not something I want!