Why I Don't Look Like I Lift : Diet : Strength Training : Longevity

Why I Don't Look Like I Lift

Diet : Strength Training


By Adam Mundorf

Why I Don't Look Like I Lift
When I go to the park, certifications or local gyms, I often get the same comment : "He doesn't look like he could lift that."  "Why aren't you more muscular but can lift all that weight?" "Why are you a bit heavy(fat) but can still do impressive calisthenics?"

Let's begin with the way I've strength trained and eaten for the last decade.  For one to incur muscle hypertrophy generally a caloric surplus and high density is required.  Caloric surplus means eating more than you expend and high density means lifting as much weight in as short a time frame as possible.  The two above things are required to drastically change your body.  I don't do the above things.

I fast for 18 to 20 hours every single day.  I am often exceeding 15,000 steps per day at my job which burns more calories than the average person without taking any in.  I come home and enjoy a large glass of Kombucha.  I then exercise.  I follow my workout with three cups of Greek whole yogurt, often with maple syrup or fruit, each cup spread out every 15 - 20 minutes post workout.  I then have a large leafy salad, steamed vegetables and a large protein source.  This protein source could be eggs, pizza or just some rice and beans.  I then take a multivitamin, fish oil and creatine.

The above eating style does not lend itself to building big muscles.  Sure, it could but that would require me to be a lot more neurotic about protein and caloric intake.  I believe the above protocol, builds quality muscle and if I may digress for a moment, proves to you that your muscle is built through hardship.  Anyone can build muscle in lab conditions but to do so after a day of hard labor?  That is impressive and proves that your muscle is 'anti-fragile'.  

Strength Training
My version of strength training.  My version of strength training isn't rushed but takes as much time as necessary to get perfect reps in.  If you read the passage earlier, you would've learned that to induce hypertrophy you need to lift as much weight in as short a time frame as possible.  This is the opposite of how I strength train.  Let me explain to you a typical training day for me.  I train after 20 hours of fasting., My muscles and body are depleted of fuel.  I then begin with some joint circling and qi gong shaking to get my body primed for exercise.  I grab a 24kg kettlebell and carry it out the pull up bar in the sweltering sun.  I clean and press it once, perform one strict chin up and walk around the park for as long as needed.  This could be anywhere from five minutes to 20 minutes depending on how much I am loving the walk.  I never check the time or my watch, I just go until I am ready again.  Imagine doing 75 reps in this manner spread throughout the day.  I am 'greasing the groove' as Pavel Tsatsouline calls it while doing it in austere conditions.  The sweat of a Summer day and in the elements.  I master every second of every movement I perform.  Quality over quantity, every time.  I grease that neurological groove, that doesn't change your body but alters your mind.  Your body learns how to move better and more efficiently, how to generate tension without tearing the muscles down.  Lift as much as possible while staying as fresh as possible.  Ever see that skinny furniture movers move a fire proof cabinet or that skinny farmer who can labor all day and throw seemingly unmovable hay bales?  This is the strength I am looking for, all terrain strength.  

The marriage of resiliency and strength.  I don't care what you can do with a full stomach and lab conditions but what you can do in a situation of scarcity.

I believe the above protocols will offer themselves better longevity than anything else.  You are getting fasting, quality strength training, joint mobility and plenty of walking.  You are keeping your bodyweight down but getting stronger while possibly building quality muscle along the way.  No one ever said that being big was healthy, be that muscle or fat.  When we eat for growth I feel as though we prime our bodies for cancerous disease and the body needs a daily recycling protocol (autophagy) triggered by fasting.  Just remember that the above protocols can be applied to any modality or lifestyle.  It's about the principles.

I'll leave you with this quote from my mentor and friend Ori Hofmekler :

"If you're not actively surviving, you're passively dying." -- Ori Hofmekler


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