Kurt G. Harris MD

PāNu means paleonutrition. The "paleo" here signifies "old" and not necessarily paleolithic. The PāNu approach to nutrition is grounded on clinical medicine and basic sciences disciplined by knowledge of evolutionary biology and paleoanthropology. The best evidence from multiple disciplines supports eating a pastoral (animal-based) diet rather than a grain-based agricultural one, while avoiding what I call the neolithic agents of disease - wheat, excess fructose and excess linoleic acid.

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« Diabetes I vs II and diet | Main | Odds and Sods - feb 2010 »

Body by Science and PaNu

I first read Body by Science by Dr. Doug McGuff and John Little in the summer of 2008. I have been meaning to give it a proper review, but that's still on the to do list along with reviews of books by Lierre Keith and Jared Diamond.

I first became aware of BBS via Chris Highcock when he interviewed Dr. McGuff. I ordered the book and read it pretty quickly. I recall being impressed with the epistemological approach, which is evidence based, but filtered through some good common sense thinking and a pragmatic approach to real results in fitness.

I remember somewhat immodestly thinking it was similar to my own approach, and regular readers have seen me recommend the book in blog comments.

Once when discussing the book with someone, I got the dismissive comment "That looks like a book that some MD thought he could write after reading a bunch of papers". I'll admit that this description would also fit my own writing activities perfectly, but only with the proviso that it that about the same significance as saying that any writer is "just some guy that thinks he can write and who has read some papers". As if the thinking and articulation of the ideas were the minor parts of the exercise.

Anyway, it turns out that Dr. McGuff thinks PaNu and BBS dovetail together nicely, too.

Again through Chris' blog, I read that Dr. McGuff was incorporating some PaNu ideas into a nutrition lecture he is making available on DVD. 

So in the comments section here, Dr. McGuff  recently offered the following:

Dr. Harris,

If you email me a good mailing address I would be proud to send you a copy of the diet DVD (how's that for back scratching). Seriously, part of the lecture was your 12-step process (with credit given), so I feel I owe you a debt of gratitude. I have been using your 12-step process with my personal training clients with great success. Those that have done it have been astonished with how easily they lose bodyfat and how good they feel doing it. Their workout records also show an impressive acceleration of their strength gains.

Thanks for your great work on the blog, and kudos to your independent/capitalist practice of medicine.


The 12 steps literally came from a list I wrote on the back of an envelope after over a year of giving my oral presentation to friends and patients, and was actually first written as the outline of my yet-to-be-written book.

I am thrilled to hear how well it works for those with practical physical training goals as well as for the metabolically damaged.

So now Vicki and I have watched the video.

I can't pretend to be unbiased, as that would be a bit like Led Zeppelin being critical of white men playing the blues.

Dr. McGuff is a great speaker with a relaxing persona and a slight southern drawl (You germans and brits probably think we all sound the same) that makes him easy to follow. My wife, the non-nutrition-science obsessed dentist, thought the presentation was excellent, and was interested enough to want me to rewind for emphasis now and then.

Doug’s explanations of biochemistry are good at treading the line between detail and oversimplification.

He uses metaphor effectively (all good argument, whether scientific or not is metaphorical at root, despite what positivists and believers in scientific methodism think) and I particularly like his “draining and filling the bathtub” metaphor for how anaerobic exercise improves muscle insulin sensitivity.

At one point in the lecture, he hints that he does not believe in doing a lot of testing. He says, “if the number is bad, eat healthy, and if the number is good, eat healthy”. What do you need the number for?


This is profound, actually and I have been meaning to blog on this for a while. I think he is using a heuristic that could, when coupled with having the consumers of health care actually be the ones paying for it, slash our health care costs nationally by more than half, even if everyone kept eating the SAD. The biggest myth in all of medicine is that doing something is always better than doing nothing, with the corollary that there is always some marginal non-negative benefit to every test and procedure. I believe this is profoundly mistaken.

The average medical service diagnostic or therapeutic, may actually not  only not have a positive net benefit, but may have a net negative one.

Yes, I actually said that. So there is some “man bites dog” medical heresy for you to chew on.

And yes, I think it can be pointless or counterproductive to get calcium scores and NMR lipoprofiles and definitely standard lipid panels done at all.  There are a useful things, maybe, but most of this stuff is just fuel for neurosis. More to come on this. Stay tuned.

Anyway, Dr. MCGuff did not expand on this, but I will later and I am delighted to find another MD willing to think such subversive thoughts.

As far as the nutrition content of the lecture, it is basically PaNu with a few modifications, and he represents it very, very well. There is no need for me to repeat myself in describing it and I have no real criticisms of his presentation.

The only important error I noted was some confusion of carboxyl groups for areas of unsaturation when talking about PUFAs. I would bet he has had that pointed out already and it does nothing to diminish the message.

It seems Dr. McGuff himself basically eats PaNu, and he raves about the freedom from hunger and snacks that many of us have learned to enjoy.

Towards the end he is asked if he has advice for a vegan and he says:

“Eat meat”

But even funnier and a far bigger feather in his cap, he has to have it explained to him exactly what a vegan is!



BBS website Here

Dr. McGuff's statement about how to order the video:

"I reviewed my diet DVD this morning and am happy with its content and quality. I made a few misstatements here and there, but nothing that would stop me from distributing it as-is. I have an initial run of 25 copies that I will sell through UE, and am trying to set up an Amazon store account for the remainder. I am setting the price at $45.00. If anyone is interested in getting the early copies you can leave your purchase information at UE by calling (864)886-0200 and following the prompts. I will make notification when the Amazon option is available or if we will offer additional copies through UE. For right now we are set up to process the first 25 orders."

Reader Comments (99)

Thanks for this Doc. I am a Crossfit Trainer and just started using your approach with my new clients. I just give them the link to the get started post, and if they are having trouble implementing then I would set up a consultation. I have been using this with my dad though since mid December and the results aren't surprising. Down 23lbs (218-195), due to a busy schedule and hurting his knee playing hockey he has only worked out a totally of 8 times since December. We obviously didn't weigh and measure anything, but I can assure you he is eating more food. He also talks about how he NEVER feels hungry, basically only eating 2 meals a day without even trying to eat infrequently. He is a golf course superintendent, and use to always feel tired after lunch (no shit dad, thats what pasta will do to you!) and his productivity has increased because of it. He has always worked hard, you want find a superintendent at such a big club willing to push a fertilizer spreader around all day(most supers sit drive around on a golf cart all day), but now he loves it. Also, before we started he mentioned he thought he had mild arthritis, this has since disappeared (no gluten grains, proper fatty acid balance). I will update you on how this works once I get enough folks using the 12 steps.

KGH: Great to heat these results, Ben - do keep me posted!

Thanks again Doc!

February 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBen Wheeler

In my self-experimentation tinkering, the diet/fitness conceptual bricolage of BBS and PaNu as part of my portfolio of epistemocratic maps has yet to be falsified for me (n=1) and has resulted in the positive gain of about 10-12 lbs. of lean muscle mass over the Winter (the past four) months. I'm thankful for that. Neat to see.




Impressive, Brent. I know I added probably 5 lbs of lean mass while dropping over 20 lbs of fat while lifting weights once a week at most.

portfolio of epistemocratic maps indeed!

February 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterepistemocrat

Love the sidebar. I've had the crap scared out of me more than once by screening labs that led to more tests only to be nothing.

Doc Harris, for a serious disease such as cancer, do your recommendations change at all? Would you just recommmend following all 12 steps strictly or would there be additional measures or limitations. I've noticed you've mentioned ketosis several times as a possible strategy. What would your strategy be?


An upcoming post I promise. I want it to be well-researched and not shoot from the hip. You might listen to Jimmy Moore's interview with Thomas Seyfried for a preview.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenters.

Although I've been remiss in finishing my review (or, err, posting anything new in a while), Body by Science is one of my favorite books. Considering that it made me reconsider some metabolism material that was given pretty lackluster coverage in my cell bio class back in the day (I eventually ended up buying Metabolism at a Glance as Dr. McGuff recommends for interested nerds) and discover that this stuff is I-could-do-this-all-day fascinating for me, it may not be an exaggeration to call it life changing even though the prescriptive content was not terribly new to me. I just wish I could entice my dad to read it.

Just a little side note on the testing thing...recently I met a lady who had undiagnosed diabetes for quite a few years (with results which are expensive as well as tragic). I wouldn't wish her situation on anyone. I don't think it's a totally safe assertion to make that she would've been fine if only she'd followed a paleo diet all this time. Likewise I'm always a little concerned that those of us who drive our blood glucose up repeatedly and often through athletic activities may find that the chickens come home to roost -- as seems to be shown in research on sprinters, although AFAIK there's nothing concrete on causation -- so again I'm kind of leery of any "as long as your diet is good you're fine" justification for not checking in from time to time, at least with respect to glucose. I couldn't care less about lipids, at least for myself, though.


You said "I don't think it's a totally safe assertion to make that she would've been fine if only she'd followed a paleo diet all this time."

In general I very much disagree with this, and in fact it is one of my core beliefs. Had she avoided all neolithic agents of disease FOR LONG ENOUGH there would be no logical reason to believe in the value of surveillance for diabetes or other sequelae of metabolic syndrome. Did the kitavans or the hadza or the inuit drop like flies because they didn't get diabetes screening?

I said there were exceptions (relating to HOW LONG you ate the SAD, obviously), and I'll get to them in due time. But in the meantime, please do worry a lot about what diseases you might have. Big healthcare wants you to believe you will die without constant surveillance, and that screening for diseases saves lives and is cost-free. That's the conventional wisdom.

PS - what are you doing that's driving your blood glucose up while you run? Are you drinking gatorade continuously and doing fingersticks while you are exercising?

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Great review Kurt - I'd agree totally about the DVD. I loved his response to the vegan!

My review is here : http://conditioningresearch.blogspot.com/2010/02/dvd-review-ultimate-exercise-diet.html

if anyone is interested

My interview with Doug is at http://conditioningresearch.blogspot.com/2009/03/interview-with-doug-mcguff.html

I appreciate your referrals!

Kind regards


February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris

What a coincidence; I just started reading Body by Science!

And, as you noticed, there's a lot of criticism against the amount of exercise required (e.g. 12 minutes/week), if you want to grow stronger that's not going to cut it.

The feeling I had while reading it was that, sure, you can probably get that progress in the beginning, but as you get closer to your genetic maximum, that's too little time. Also, there's a wee bit too much Nautilus-angle -- so what if the momentum gets different from deadlifting a barbell, it'll definitely resemble any /natural/ (hey, Grok!) movements you might want to do in real life. Whereas a machine will never allow you that.

In any event, I'm still reading the book so I haven't made up my judgement just quite yet.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMikael Jansson

KGH> PS - what are you doing that's driving your blood glucose up while you run? Are you drinking gatorade continuously and doing fingersticks while you are exercising?

Adrenalin, perhaps?

My blood sugar is constantly and consistently 3,8 mmol/L (22h fasts), except after meals /and/ exercise. Any sort of exercise drives my blood sugar up to ~5,5 mmol/L.


Hi Mikal

You test while in the middle of a workout?

5.5 mmmol is still only 99 mg/dl - that is hardly glycation territory and a totally normal physiologic response. I would call this mild hypoglycemia (68 mg/dl) at the end of a fast, not hyperglycemia in response to exercise.

My BG is about 86 in the AM and if I stay fasted will fall a bit to maybe 82 or so by noon. After my workout it might be anywhere from 80 to 90

What is your dietary carb percentage? I am guessing 20 - 30% or more with a fasting BG that low.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMikael Jansson

Oh god no, no Gatorade for me, but yes I have done finger sticks in the locker room. I'm just spending a lot of time above the lactate threshold is all. Elevated blood glucose is an expected result.

There's a lot of space between "whole populations dropping like flies" and "no individual will have a genetic or acquired predisposition that outweighs positive lifestyle factors". It sure seems like, in the case of diabetes, an HbA1c check every couple of years is a whole lot cheaper than a rotating-door relationship with the ER and/or dialysis center. But hey, what do I know.

As far as my relationship with "big health care" is concerned, I've done my age-and-gender-appropriate part to foil their profit-taking by not being pregnant. I'm not sure how many lipid panels would need to be ordered to rival the cost of a "high risk" (due to age) late-30s pregnancy and inevitable convenience c-section, but I imagine it's quite a few.


And your actual serum BG values pre, during and post workouts are....? (hint, see Mikal's description)

The gatorade part was a joke, I was implying it would be surprising to have actual hyperglycemia (pathologically high BG) during a workout.

If you were to start with really low sBG your liver and hormones will no doubt make sure your brain is well fed during a workout, though.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim

KGH> You test while in the middle of a workout?

Directly after. Resistance training from 50-75% of max, one hour.

KGH> 5.5 mmmol is still only 99 mg/dl - that is hardly glycation territory and a totally normal physiologic response. I would call this mild hypoglycemia (68 mg/dl) at the end of a fast, not hyperglycemia in response to exercise.

Yeah, I'm aware of my fasting BG being on the low end, and that 5,5 is perfectly normal.
You assumed, however, that the original poster had carbs while exercising in order to get a /higher/ BG post-workout. I certainly don't, and my BG also increases.

KGH AGAIN: No I was being facetious - she made it sound like she was dangerously hyperglycemic

KGH> My BG is about 86 in the AM and if I stay fasted will fall a bit to maybe 82 or so by noon. After my workout it might be anywhere from 80 to 90

My BG in the morning is 5,5 mmol/L, and then goes down to 3,8 after an hour or so, staying at that level until I eat in the evening (around 19). Stress increases it to around 5,5, but normally it varies only between 3,7 and 3,9.

KGH> What is your dietary carb percentage? I am guessing 20 - 30% or more with a fasting BG that low.

My intake is 20-50g carbs (usually on the lower end) ~150g protein (lowered as of yesterday to 75-100g, though), rest of energy from fat (sat/monounsat) and some fibers.
27 yo, 75 kg, 176 cm. Bodyfat in the lower teens (10-15) as judged by others.

Why would a higher carb intake cause a lower fasting BG?


Future blog post topic - VLC and ZC folks usually have higher fasting BG levels than those with higher carb intake as muscle insulin resistance increases in response to decreased carb intake. Your pattern is more typical of a low carb eater but there is nothing with it.

The whole point is that I use the term hyperglycemia to mean pathologic or glycation-territory blood sugars, not physiologic increases from a low but still normal level to a higher but also still normal level.

Do you work out frequently?

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMikael Jansson


Thanks so much for the kind words. I was actually worried how many misstatements and mistakes you would find and point out. I actually realized my PUFA brain-fart when I watched the video, but I was not anal or diligent enough to try to redo it and I felt the overall message was the important thing. The entire lecture and video was off the cuff and in the "ready-fire-aim" spirit.

Thank you for showing mercy and not dissecting every technical mistake in biochemistry, or my hand-drawn pathways (I HATE powerpoint presentations). I know you have the depth of knowledge to nit-pick and you didn't.

I really appreciate your comments on the downside of testing. A worrisome test result (commonly a false positive) can create intense worry and create downstream morbidity if further testing or procedures are triggered by the first test result. This is evident to me every day in the ER. More data is NOT always better and more commonly paralyzes good decision-making.

As I said before, I owe a debt of gratitude to you and the excellent information you have given through this blog. A positive review from you means more than you can imagine.

Doug McGuff


Thanks, Doug, can I use some of that as a blurb on my book jacket?

You've also stimulated me to try some video podcasts of my own using my new HD video camera - I have no idea when I'll have time for that, though. I like to use a dry-erase board, too, like football coaches giving a "chalk-talk".

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDoug McGuff

"...that would be a bit like Led Zeppelin being critical of white men playing the blues."

Damn it doc, you're funny too!

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

While training HIT style 3 times per week, my fasting am BG was 102 with a HgA1c at 5.4. My BUN was 27 (likely due to high protein but also possibly to body catabolism and a need for glucose). And this was following a mostly paleo diet (probably 20-30% carbs). My fasting insulin was <2. I was surprised at the readings and attributed them to too much exercise while not taking in enough calories (I was losing weight with a relitively low body comp-about 7.1% fat according to my Tanida). While I cant be sure that these values are due to overtraining, correlating them with other symptoms (joint aches, waking up earlier than usual, decreased libido) seemed to make sense to me. Most would applaud my workout diligence, but It was just too much-something Dr. McGuff would have said all along. While BBS is not the only effective way to exercise, I think its greatest asset is its emphasis on safety (physically and metabolically) and getting the most bang for your buck. As for Mikael's argument that the low volume might be good for the beginner but not for the advanced, most HIT advocates (McGuff, Darden, Mentzer, Jones) argue(d) the inverse-If you gain on a high volume/frequency routine it will likely be in the beginning. You will require a decrease in frequency/volume as you progress to continue making gains. My personal experience proves the truth of this, at least for me.

By the way, I'd like to see the reference on sprinters and high blood glucose if possible.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThomas

Kurt: I can speak with relevance to this post as well as your aside. I've been following a PaNu type approach combined with BBS for about a year. Actually, I discovered BBS around April of last year and PaNu a little after that but I was in effect doing the same things, high intensity exercise, avoiding grains, avoiding N6's, avoiding sugar, etc... However, when I put the two together around April of last year, things really began to change for me. I was badly overweight and I've now lost over 50 pounds and still losing. I've gained strength in every body area. I've discontinued allergy meds and PPI's which I'd been on for years. Since then, I've sent several others to PaNu who are beginning to see similar results. The simplicity of the 12 step list is the secret. It's been nothing short of phenomenal. Thank you for starting this blog.

However, I waited too long to get started. In January of 08, I presented to the ER with severe angina (a symptom I'd been having and ignoring for several months) and on the edge of an MI. 90% blockage in the RCA and 80% in the LAD. I now have 3 stents in my coronary arteries. I was only 41 at the time. I ate poorly but no more so than people I see all around me. My family does have a history of early heart disease. My LDL was high but not really any higher than you'll see commonly reported on paleo websites every day. In the aftershock upon getting out of the hospital and searching for answers (I knew the AHA diet prescribed by the hospital was BS), I discovered Dr. William Davis' Track Your Plaque website and program. It was participation in the forums there that ultimately lead me to paleo, BBS and finally PaNu. I'm not alone in this either. Many TYPers, as we often refer to ourselves on our forum, are frequent readers of your blog as well as other paleo blogs. Your posts are almost always linked to on our forum and I can assure you that this one will be too. So why do we track? Why do we do serial CAC testing, NMR's & VAP's, Omega 3 indexes, PLAC-2, oxLDL, hsCRP? Well in my case it's because I have clearly established atherosclerosis and I want to know if the changes I'm making are working. And simply feeling better, while certainly great, is just not enough for me. I have two children under 10 and I'd like to be around with them for awhile. So I track markers of inflammation, oxidation and insulin resistance. And every 2-3 years I'll CAC my circumflex to be sure it's not growing plaque. But, what if I'd found TYP several years before when my doctor was warning me that I was at high risk? Would getting a heart scan and finding out I had significant plaque have motivated me earlier to make necessary changes? I'll never know. But I'll end with a rhetorical question to all. Would knowing you have significant coronary plaque build-up change anything for you? Would you exercise more, less or differently? Would you take as many cheat days?

KGH: You said "And every 2-3 years I'll CAC my circumflex to be sure it's not growing plaque..."

So here is my very simple question. Other than becoming very frightened, which can't do much good for your health, what will you do differently if it is growing?

Are you not already doing everything you can?

If there were more that could be done, why wait to deploy that until finding you have even more plaque?

The utility of CAC for you is now pretty limited, assuming they put the stents in the right place. The metal stents get scored as plaque - as the scoring software can't tell the difference. It would take diligent manual adjustment and a lot of time to subtract the stents from analysis. I don't bother scoring patients who have stents at my facility. I am not aware of any literature that would say scoring your single, remaining stentless vessel would be of any use as you are now looking at perhaps only 20% or so of the likely plaque-containing landscape - I personally would very much doubt this will tell you anything useful.

I had a CAC, which I only did for the self-experimentation angle for blog and because it is claimed elsewhere that having Lp(a) of 85 (by weight which is probably skewed) is a virtual death sentence. My score at age 48 is a big fat zero. I assure you that is that last one I will ever have, and I can get one for free on my own scanner any time I want to. My radiologist partner feels the same.

I will also never get a PSA to terrify myself with early knowledge of a slow growing prostate cancer I can do nothing about.

I will also never have a magnetic resonance angiogram of my brain to tell if I am one of the 3% of the population with a brain aneurysm that could theoretically rupture at any moment and kill me, but probably won't.

You get the picture. If you are doing everything you can, more "knowledge" is worse than useless, it is wasting money and your very life-energy.

If I were you, I would abandon all testing, avoid excess n-6 PUFAs and sugar and eat a real food animal based diet free of wheat and light on total carbs. Make sure you are not hypothyroid or diabetic from the SAD, though.

I really and truly believe there is not anything more that you can do that is likely to help.

Tracking markers and especially targeting them pharmacologically is confusing the police for the criminals, and there is no evidence (outside maybe niacin which mimics butyric acid) that individually adjusting any of these things pharmacologically has any net benefit outside of your diet. That belief is just a new and improved version of the lipid hypothesis.

The TYP "program", frankly, has elements that are part of the Cartesian, mechanistic medical paradigm that is something we should move away from. I understand the appeal. It seems like it should be the case that more information is always better, but I don't think so.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertm

Interesting to see how much you like Dr. McGuff's material, Kurt.

I agree with Mikael that selling the book on the promise of (as the jacket blurb phrases it) "maximizing muscle development in just 12 minutes a week" is a stretch. And I actually slammed the book pretty hard over on paleohacks for this point... mostly because I interact with a lot of people who are serious about working out--as I am myself--and its very frustrating to explain to normal people that fitness takes mainly discipline and hard work. Yet everywhere you turn there is some charlatan promising a magic pill that will get you fit with minimal effort.

I'm not saying that Dr. McGuff is misleading people, but promising on the cover that people can achieve "strength training, body building, and complete(!) fitness" in 720 seconds per week... well, I will withold comment since I respect this blog so much.


"its very frustrating to explain to normal people that fitness takes mainly discipline and hard work"

Glenn, are you a trainer by any chance?

This is precisely what I kind of disagree with, the idea that there has to be discipline and hard work in being functionally fit. This discipline and hard work thing just sounds too much like the willpower argument that everyone uses about healthy eating and weight loss. You must have the discipline to count! You must SUFFER.

For me personally, it would take more than 12 minutes a week, and I use free weights, run up to 5K, and do some cross-fit type mix-it-up workouts - most workouts are once every 3-4 days at most. But I definitely am fitter and stronger than when I lifted weights and ran 10K 3-4 times a week, thinking all that "discipline" was making me healthier.

Now let me qualify what I said by saying I am not talking about elite athletes or serious amateur competition, and I doubt, despite some dust-jacket hyperbole, that is what Doug is talking about either. My definition of fitness - functional day-to-day strength that makes you healthier - would be laughed at over at T-nation or on the crossfit forums. Indeed I like to work out quite a bit more than what Dr. McGuff advocates, but that is mostly for the mental health benefits.

Let me make a more general comment.

I don't agree with everything written in Good Calories Bad Calories - who gives a damn if Gary forgot about some enzyme or only had 500 references or if he said there was a metabolic advantage?- but Taubes' deconstruction of the Lipid Hypothesis alone deserves a Nobel Prize. I am mystified at the some way people perseverate on minor themes of the book and call Taubes a liar and a fraud.

In the case of BBS, I feel that for a lot of normal people, resistance training to true failure is harder than the book represents - maybe that is where some coaching comes in? And I guess Doug would say that is because I am not using machines but I don't use machines because I just don't enjoy them at all.

But despite these quibbles, I think Doug's book makes important contributions in metabolically debunking the "more is better" meme and the "aerobic" concepts in physical training and I would probably have to feel pretty threatened by the concepts to use the word "charlatan" in talking about it.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

Actual numbers, let's see. Before a game would be around 93 mg/dl depending a bit on what exactly was in that last meal 2 hours previous (I don't feel right if I try to play fasted). Highest number I've seen post-game was 140 mg/dl, typical is closer to 125. I can't speak for mid-game, I doubt I could manage sanitary finger-pricking on the bench. Morning fasting numbers were exactly the same as yours last time I checked, btw.

Reading about this phenomenon was what drove me to buy the glucometer in the first place. The article was a very non-technical piece on the Team Type 1 cycling team. The interesting part to me was that the author spent the day riding and testing with the team, and at one point he reports seeing frankly diabetic numbers (not specified) after a segment of the ride that exceeded his conditioning level. It was news to me that exercise could raise blood glucose, but since I conveniently have a regular date with anaerobic sprints, and middle-school level home science projects are always fun, I decided to see it for myself.

As far as how this works, I think it has a lot more to do with clearing lactate than feeding the brain. Lactic acidosis is no joke. Dr. McGuff's explanation of the Cori cycle is what really put it together for me for the first time.


If you are going from 68 to 99 that is feeding the brain - IOf you are spiking to 140 it is something else.

what are the numbers if you work out fasted and what is the carb content of the meal 2 hrs before?

140 is pretty high.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Dr Harris,
Look forward to reading your posts helped by niacin,btw


Looks like a normal high fat response to me. NMR would tell you more, but I would not worry with those numbers. My LDL calc is 195, my true LDL (number) is only 110 (1100). My total is 285, HDL about 70 and sdLDL and CAC are zero after 2.5 years eating this way.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMike Phillips

I haven't read BBS but I've seen some harsher critical reviews coming from those that follow a Starting Strength approach by Mark Rippetoe. Apparently there is heavy machine usage and incorrect instructions on squatting among other things. Rip would likely have a field day.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTeddy

Kurt, this is kind of general, but also applies to this post. I read several blogs and find valuable information (and often entertainment). The thing about yours is the lack of necessity to winnow the wheat from the chaff - er, I mean the meat from the grain. It's just about all meat. So thanks again for the fine blog. And the playground, of course.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjerome

Love the sidebar as well. There seems to be a lot more going on than meets the eye in the patient/doctor relationship. I've always felt that those who were inclined to get everything tested constantly and visit the doctor were sort of secretly wishing that there was something wrong with them. And the doctor, who surely doesn't have much interest in turning away a paying client, is thus more than happy to play scare monger and keep on riding that gravy train. In some instances I believe that both parties might behave even worse, especially given today's climate.

Have you ever read "Body Ritual Among the Nacirema" by Horace Miner? It's a pretty fascinating satirical piece written in the 1950s that pertains to the sidebar topic.

Personally, I haven't been to a doctor or dentist in ten years (that's not a shot at you and the wife!), and about half this time I was on the good old SAD. I think that by shunning "professional" advice and figuring things out largely on my own (with the help of friendly bloggers of course), I am MUCH better off. I definitely wouldn't be eating a stick of butter a day if I went to the doctor every time my mommy wanted me to.


"I've always felt that those who were inclined to get everything tested constantly and visit the doctor were sort of secretly wishing that there was something wrong with them."

Quite often the wish is not even secret. As a radiologist who shows patients their images and gives them a layman's version of the results, I can tell you that negative results are met with undisguised anger surprisingly often.

Patients and Doctors are both in the cartesian or mechanical medical paradigm - I feel bad > something must be broken > tell me which part is broken so we can fix it.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRick

Dr. Harris,

Despite my continued exuberence, I try not to clutter your comments with cheerleading-type posts but I must say the sidebar is pure gold. I can't wait to see the full post on the topic.

Your paleo pimp-hand is strong.



pimp-hand - have to add that to the glossary!

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKetoWarrior

'He says, “if the number is bad, eat healthy, and if the number is good, eat healthy”. What do you need the number for?'
In many ways, people want affirmation that what they are eating is healthy. In the Orwellian way that "healthy" has come to mean low-fat and eating food that, more often than not, is essentially poison; it's not always easy to depart from the herd when 99% of the people you know think you're killing yourself with the (actually healthy) food you eat. I have no doubts that PaNu is better for me in every way imaginable, but I do like having the numbers to show the doubters and the haters.

First time poster, been doing PaNu about 2 months, LC about 9. I haven't felt better in my life. Thanks for the great blog!

KGH: I'll post on testing to "take one for the team" soon.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDennis

Please feel free to use any statement of support you need for a book jacket. I would be happy to endorse any way possible. PM me if you would like some insights on the book publishing experience. The true vs expected experience is as different as PaNu vs the SAD.

Doug McGuff

KGH: Thanks Doug, I'll be contacting you about another health-care related idea as well. Thanks!

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDoug McGuff

Couldn't agrre more with the sidebar. If the prescription (eat healthy) is the same to cure disease and maintain health, how helpful are these tests? Who is really benefitting from the testing? And I practice medical heresy every day as a pharmacist who advocates proper diet (no you heard me correctly, eat animal fat) and explains how unneccessary chronic medications really are (but my doctor told me I would need lipitor forever). It is difficult to voice such opinoins in mainstream medicine but I am hopeful that the tides are turning. Thanks for taking such an active role in changing how medicine is practiced.

KGH: Thanks, DG

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPharm

Good to see you and Doug working together Kurt. You guys are true leaders in exercise and nutrition.

Doug will be at the convention I spoke to you about not long ago as well, barring unforeseen circumstances, along with Mark Sisson....

Let me know if your schedule changes, would love to have all 3 of you there =)


February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony

Is "dietary carb percentage" net of fiber ?



February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThomas

Just ordered the BBS to have read myself. Interested to hear your wife is also a dentist.
Wondered what you meant by "the non-nutrition-science obsessed dentist" Think this may be a highly contagious condition amongst like minded professionals.

KGH: I mean she reads the blog and eats like I do, but does not read about it obsessively.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGraham and Lorraine

@ Glenn

Go over to BodyByScience.net and check out some of the videos. The protocol isn't easy. The workouts are probably between 12 and 25 minutes ... of hard work. Plus when going to failure with proper form most people need a trainer ... whoknows the protocol well ... to get them the best out of it.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn tatore

Glenn said (re BBS):
"Yet everywhere you turn there is some charlatan promising a magic pill that will get you fit with minimal effort."

Glenn - I know (or at least I think) you're trying to make a larger point and not not putting Dr. McGuff in the "charlatan" category, but I would note for myself (having followed a BBS protocol for 8 months) that the effort required to properly follow BBS (as I understand and experience it, anyway) is extreme... not minimal by any stretch. People should not be fooled by the "720 seconds" thing: those 720 seconds are very, very rough (for me, at least). After doing 12+ years of 3x weekly weight training, BBS (and actually, Crossfit for a brief time before that) convinced me that I simply hadn't been working with nearly enough intensity or focus at the gym all those years.

My point being, BBS is not some shortcut method -- it's hardcore and demanding. And maybe Dr. McGuff fails to properly capture this on the back-cover blurb, but anyone who reads the book should easily conclude that the positive results promised by BBS require a serious physical and mental commitment during those 12 ( or whatever) weekly minutes. For me, it is certainly more total mental focus and physical demand than I encountered during an entire week of my previous 3×60-minute workouts with 12 reps and 3-4 sets of 8-10 different exercises (with rest in between).

For what it's worth, I usually throw in at least one sprint or crossfit-type training session each week, against the best advice of the good Dr. McGuff. :-)

Separately, thanks very much for the sidebar idea, Dr. Harris... another thought-provoking insight that I'll be chewing on for several days.

KGH: All good points and thanks.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark

I also loved the book. I borrowed it from the library but once I started reading it I liked it so much I decided to buy it instead.
Re the sidebar - I’ve been reduced to tears by high LDL results (accompanied by high HDL and rock bottom trigs btw) and bone density scan results (seems I have osteopoenia).
As I’m having some mild health issues that I’m currently trying to get to the bottom of, I typically have to fend off those “low-carb is bad for you” comments. My response – “what should I do, start eating bread and sugar?”

On this topic, as a radiologist (with a dentist wife), what is your opinion regarding exposure to radiation via xrays? Something I read recently made me rethink my dental xrays at checkups every two years.


I'll ask the wife and get back to you. I wouldn't be afraid of the radiation, though, as dental x-rays are trivial exposure to non-radiation sensitive tissues.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGB

Mikael, Glenn

While the 12 minute-a-week blurb is not untrue, I was concerned that it would come off as sensationalist. Authors (including John and myself) do not really have much input on what the cover copy will look like. Especially in the fitness category, things will always get the usual and customary "tarting up". However, I have not had a workout that has exceeded 15 minutes in many years, and they seldom exceed 10 minutes. Until you can experience this kind of workout first-hand you will be skeptical. Qualified supervision really helps if you can find it.

A while back I was at a University gym and observed some typical bodybuilder types working out. I used the stopwatch function on my watch to record just the time under load (actual time lifting minus all breaks for rest/socializing). Despite a workout elapsed time that exceeded mine by a factor of 4, the total time under load for their workout was less than mine. So while it seems like hyperbole, it is in fact not only possible..but desirable.

The criticism of the free weight demos is spot-on. We tried to correct this on the final round of edits, and I sent alternative photos demonstrating proper form, but it fell through the cracks somehow. I will just have to beg Rip's forgiveness I guess.

Anyway, thanks for your interest and taking the time to comment.

Doug McGuff

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDoug McGuff, MD

This is timely. At my workout earlier today my trainer asked if I had something short & sweet on paleo for him to give other clients and I said sure.

I did up a PDF of Kurt's 12-STEPS (with attribution, of course) and also sent him the link.

It's a good deal and you can probably even refine it over time.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRichard Nikoley

I would also like to hear your comments on x-ray radiation. Years ago, before I became self-informed, I sought 'help' for bloating, light-headedness, tremors. I allowed myself to be subjected to numerous MRIs & CAT scans to my brain, upper/lower GIs and chest x-rays -even some kind of nuclear radiation test on my thyroid! Nothing abnormal was ever found. I realized later it was my diet, but no doc ever asked about my diet. It freaks me out now to think about all that radiation, but I suppose the damage is done. I hope PaNu will support recovery from this type of exposure.


Don't freak out - normal humans with normal cellular repair mechanisms and that are not promoting their tumors with the SAD should have little to worry about. The damage is not only done but has probably long since been repaired. BTW, MRI is absolutely harmless - it has no ionizing radiation.

Radiation is a fact of life unless you wear a lead suit 24/7.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenters.

OFF TOPIC: I found these two links today while browsing around the Primal Wisdom blog. First: http://www.ota.com/organic/benefits/nutrition.html and second: http://www.plantpoisonsandrottenstuff.info/ and I thought you might enjoy poking around for some future posts. Take care and keep up the great work!


Thanks -articles like that are easier for me to keep track of if you email them to me at paleonu1@gmail.com. Then I just have to scroll through my emails to access articles. Thanks.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeromie

Hey Kurt,

With respect to previous comments regarding CAC scans as well as lifestyle adjustments for specific lipid markers. I'm currently in med school and have become completely fascinated in all of this new information I'm gathering about the importance of nutrition (not focused on at all in school as you well know). I've seen multiple cardiologists recently in an attempt to find the best way to manage my cholesterol while hoping to avoid as many medications as possible. However, I have familial hypercholesterolemia (with no medication - TC 442, LDL 285, HDL 75, Trig 46). I haven't received an exact calcium score but I already have plaque buildup in three areas (I am 24 yo). I've been eating PaNu for close to 4 months now and feel great. But there has to be certain circumstances to where genetics can not be avoided and medications have to be taken, right. I know for the general public, statins are unnecessarily prescribed and can be corrected through diet, but wouldn't you say that statins were made in the first place precisely for people with my condition? I could believe that by having mainly large LDL and following your plan, the high lipid numbers may actually do me no harm, but the recent CAC scan showing plaque makes me think otherwise (while causing anxiety on top of it). I'm interested in your thoughts about the issue. The last cardiologist I saw told me to go on 40mg Lipitor and that's my best option. Still searching around....




This deserves a full post - but it may take a while. I guess I need to start the paid consultation thing pretty soon.

Offhand, those numbers alone are not that bad for FH (were they while on high fat diet?), but I definitely need a numerical value for CAC before I can comment further. Also what is your family history - parents and grandparents age at death?

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersu

The routine (consolidation workout) stimulates maximum growth with absolute minimum amount of exercise possible, thereby making the least inroad into recover ability possible, and thus making more of the body's limited reserve of resources available for growth production....High Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer way. A philosophy I followed and has worked out well for me :-)

I train once a week using three compound exercises for each workout...lost fat, starting to see my abs, and gain some muscle tissue

Read both McGuff and Fred Hahn...both excellent books.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAxiom

I can definitely send you the images and get the score to you. Should I just give your office and call to get your fax and go from there? I've read all of Peter's posts on FH, interesting findings, I'm just a bit overcautious I guess, it can be tough trying to find a resolution or strategy on my own that goes against most physician's recommendations (whether right or wrong). I was tested because both my older brother's have FH as well ( 34 and 37 yo), and because there's a 50% likelihood I believe of acquiring the trait from a parent with FH. My parents both began taking Lipitor in their early thirties. My brother at 34 has just begun taking Crestor for the first time and his cardiologist saw plaque build-up on one of his valves, but he wasn't scanned. The radiologist and cardiologist who looked at my scan noted three spots, the base of the aorta and moving down towards the aortic valve along with two other areas in a few branches of the coronary arteries, but not sure which ones, I'll have to get the report. I don't know what else to mention with regards to the FH. Once again, I'm extremely grateful for your help. I'm just a bit torn by all of this. I know cardiologists will have me go on statins and disregard all nutrition or other supplements, but I know there's more too it than that from reading your blog as well as the others I'm sure you read as well. Thanks so much.



We are all forced to choose based on limited information, some more than others.

You can email pdfs of reports and labs to paleonu1@gmail.com (best) or fax it to (920) 746-9881. If you have actual images on a disc you can access the mailing address for my imaging center by clicking the advanced imaging link on the right.

Have you had NMR lipoprofile done?

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSU

KGH> Future blog post topic - VLC and ZC folks usually have higher fasting BG levels than those with higher carb intake as muscle insulin resistance increases in response to decreased carb intake. Your pattern is more typical of a low carb eater but there is nothing with it.

Maybe too much protein makes it go up? But even at ~150g, it'd only yield only approx. 40-50g of excess glucose, right? Which still isn't a whole lot of carbs.

Good topic for a post -- I guess a bunch of ZCs could fail an OGTT.

KGH> The whole point is that I use the term hyperglycemia to mean pathologic or glycation-territory blood sugars, not physiologic increases from a low but still normal level to a higher but also still normal level.

Right. :-) I'm not worried about my HbA1c at all, just curious. Did a 75g OGTT the other day and BG was back at 7,5 mmol/L (135 mg/dL) one hour later.

KGH> Do you work out frequently?

5×5 squat, deadlift, bench/dip, pullups at ~75%1RM with the occasional 1RM, three times a week.
10 km daily bike ride when there's less snow on the ground. How does that affect things?

kgh: maybe greater insulin senstivity

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMikael Jansson

Hi Doug! Nice to have you responding to our comments directly!

Doug> A while back I was at a University gym and observed some typical bodybuilder types working out. I used the stopwatch function on my watch to record just the time under load (actual time lifting minus all breaks for rest/socializing). Despite a workout elapsed time that exceeded mine by a factor of 4, the total time under load for their workout was less than mine. So while it seems like hyperbole, it is in fact not only possible..but desirable.

That's indeed a different angle, and I've long suspected something similar. In fact, last November I started working against the clock (to make sure my performance didn't drop as the workout took longer to complete), and the numbers could be similar to yours. Let's have a look:

  • Squat: 9 sets (8 reps + 8×5) in 14 minutes, including rest = 1:33/set.
  • Bench: 9 sets (8 + 8×6) in 17 minutes = 1:52/set.
  • Deadlift: same as squat, 1:33/set
  • Military press: 3 sets (9 + 6 + 3) in 4 minutes = 1:19/set.

The set rest is about 45-60s, which gives us the actual workout times:

  • Squat: 8*45s rest => 8 minutes work
  • Bench: 8*60s rest => 11 minutes work
  • Deadlift: as squat => 8 minutes work
  • Military press: 1½ minute of work.

Adds up to 29 minutes under tension. This is following the Korte 3×3 program for competitions. So, no, you probably don't need for the exercise to be very long in duration.

However -- the frequency, that's still where I'm divided. For someone experienced (despite the comment above regarding recovery time), would you still say that training once a week would yield sufficient muscle gains such that you could still increase your 1RM over time, or are we still in "functional fitness for Average Joe"-territory? Adding to the fact that muscle fiber recover at different speeds, and the above goals in mind, what would you recommend in terms of frequency and intensity?

Thanks for your time.

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMikael Jansson

Great review. Applying Body By Science workouts with a paleo diet has worked wonders for me, and look forward to see over the years my insulin sensitivity improved as a result. Best Regards, Zach

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZach

Yes, time to start the "paid consultation thing." Where do I sign up...I'm serious!

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMNS

I'm not a personal trainer... not even the vaunted CSCS! ;)
I do regret that you inferred I called Dr. McGuff a charlatan, when I specifically did not do so.

Dr. McGuff,
Thanks for responding.

Counting time under load only is still a little misleading. What if I sold a book called "The Paleo Diet: How to Eat Your Way to a Leaner, Healthier, Medication-Free Life in Just 48 Hours," but the "48 hours" was the cumulative time spent ONLY chewing and swallowing... which actually comes out to several weeks or months. (I haven't done the math, but you get the point.) I don't think that would be a perfectly straightforward way of selling the paleo diet.

You mentioned Rip. He wanted to publish a book called Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, but publishers thought that was not sexy enough. So he started his own publishing house. That's not necessarily an option for everyone, but I do it makes the point that authors are not totally helpless regarding how their books are titled... which matters, since most people do, in fact, judge a book by its cover.

In any event, let me be clear (for Kurt's sake) that I do NOT think you are charlatan... although I'm not convinced that your method would bring significant results for most people beyond the novice stage. There do seem to be some people in your videos with impressive physiques, who evidently train HIT ony, so I will admit it does seem to work for some people. To them, and you, I say: if it works for you, great!


You mentioned charlatan and darkly hinted that your views were too negative to print in the same post. I am certain I am not the only one who noticed that. Now you have made yourself more clear.

I still think you are perseverating over a point that most thoughtful people can look past. Doug obviously did not self-publish his book and has admitted (Like both Taubes and Eades) that things printed on the dust jacket and images depicting free weights were not to his liking. It's easy to say he should have self-published, but if he had there might be a book you might like better but you and I both might never had heard of it. Same with protein power life plan. I never read that originally because of the title, but how many more people have seen the discussion on paleolithic diets because Dr. Eades stuck with the conventional publishing route?

One of the reasons I started this blog is so that when my book is ready, I might have mindshare big enough to have the option to self-publish. But that is just me, I may be the world's biggest control freak, and maybe I'll only sell a few hundred books as a result (I have the cover designed already)

Why not just look past the blurbs and take what the rest of the content offers you?

PS: Thanks for clearing things up and keeping it civil.

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

I don't recall the topic of hormone replacement mentioned in any of your posts, and since I think its safe to assume you are somewhat of a purist, I am very curious what your opinion is. I am close in age to you, although a woman, and wonder if optimum hormone levels are necessary to maintain muscle mass, metabolism, and quality of life. For some reason this topic seems to be controversial and confusing.

KGH: Not a purist, a skeptical pragmatist. Bioidentical is great - not had time to blog on it yet.

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKC

I'd certainly NOT recommend HIT for aging trainees, nor for much length of time for others. Prevention and stopping/reversing chronic degenerative conditions involving much wasting & associated metabolic syndrome respond far better to EPOC inducing HIIT strategies. HIT gained popularity through use of Nautilus machines. Machines, in general, are best avoided since they restrict training to the sagittal plane of motion, and since they arbitrarily isolate a handful of muscles, thereby relatively weakening stabilizing muscles. If we're going to think Primal, no doubt the closest athletic performance to keep in mind is the contemporary decathalon.

I've experimented with older subjects afflicted with arthritic knees and hips using Dr Ron Laura's Matrix Pattern training. That's an approach that's been public through a series of books released between 1992-1996, however not distributed in Ron's native North America. All things considered, Matrix might be taken as the polar opposite of HIT - high rep sets of full and partial movements, some static holds in differing points of flexion, 15 second rest between upwards of four sets per movement. Training can be upwards of six times weekly. Any seven day week composed of three or less training sessions is a 'rest' week, while four or more constitutes a 'work' week. Lighter poundages do not impose recuperation demands of other training, especially HIT, since connective tissue is not overly abused. On the brighter side, six day training also allows for doing a wider range of movements, facilitating optimal innervation. (One of the many ways in which HIT has not met the test of time is the notion of 'one set to failure' allegedly recruiting optimal motor units; in fact, only a well innervated muscle can come close to that level of optimized work, and will have been trained through the widest possible ranges of movement to facilitate innervation - or from a strong childhood in sports). Dr Laura's most recent book concerns integration of eastern and western medicines in a new evolutionary paradigm -- Ron learned Chinese for this project in order to comprehend original sources, not western (often colonialist) misinterpretation. Matrix brings about rapid anabolic response, great for alleviating arthritic swollen joints. One young man I trained with Matrix put on over an inch of growth on his arms in six drug-free weeks.

I've done HIT based training on and off since Arthur Jones unleashed his seductive writing 40 years ago. In retrospect, exercise physiology was only then beginning to emerge as a robust discipline. Jones speculative, auto-didactic ideas cast in a mould of hypnotic writing for polemic impact have not bode well with the passage of time and emergence of a new science. We know now that strength is not a singular, rather a plural word - we've witnessed Hill's curve become populated with a range of strengths. For overall EPOC stimulating training, we must simply surf the curve rather than detrimentally relying on any one specialized orientation to training.

I just discovered this blog today in late February 2010. Ironically, the training system I've developed is called Primal FIT (FIT - fitness integrated training). We're incorporating Primal FIT into an integrative medical clinic, one regularly advocating Paleo Diet.

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterken o'neill

Place this in the category of an n=1 testimonial to the effectiveness of BBS in a >60 y/o, many times injured former athlete w/ l-4, l-5 issues and multiple surgeries. The last 6 years I have been frustrated as attempts to return to reasonable condition were brought to a halt w/another recurrence. So w/ my neurosurgeon hovering in anticipation overhead I decided to embrace BBS. My initial hypothesis, that fewer reps at higher weight through damaged joints would allow me to get to a critical mass of recovered strength w/o injury.

Eleven(11)weeks later, using an expanded basic 5 and substituting 1 complementary free weight lift per week (bench for chest press, e.g.) to aid stabilization. 3 times a week I walk my dog in snow shoes (me, not him) for 1 hour on a frozen lake.

Result: no injuries. My back is pain free. I can bend to pick something off the floor, my knees feel great despite almost maxing out my leg press on the Nautilus, I have full range of motion in my shoulders. My balance is significantly improved. No sign of neuropathy in my legs and feet.

Comments: The 20 minutes a week are hell. I workout alone and I am concerned that I don't have good feedback on form breaks. I am going to have to work to keep variety in my workouts.

Thanks Drs. Harris and McGuff. My wife loves my new shoulders.

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEd

Oops. I definitely did choose the wrong word - didn't realize purist meant traditional. I look forward to your future posts, especially one on hormones (expect it to be a hot topic). Thanks.

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKC

BBS is a good book on basic HIT training with some added science tossed in. In my experience in the field, I've never seen one training session a week work better than 2 or even three. That is not to say that one session won't produce results. All of the scientific evidence thus far does not support one training session a week as optimal. Personally one weekly session finds me weaker in many exercises after a month.

Ken O'Neill's comments are seriously flawed. Too much to go into here. But his criticisms of machine based training are ill-though out and faulty. This statement is patently false:

"Machines, in general, are best avoided since they restrict training to the sagittal plane of motion, and since they arbitrarily isolate a handful of muscles, thereby relatively weakening stabilizing muscles. "

References if you please.


Hi Fred, and thanks for joining in.

Are we allowed to consider pleasure and aesthetics? I hate machines like I hate treadmill running.

And subjectively, I find there is no machine on earth that gives me the physical feeling of compound exercises like snatches with a barbell. I am with the crossfitters on that issue.

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFred Hahn


Just for clarification. The 12 minutes mentioned on the cover (and in my own workouts) is actually total elapsed time, not just time under load. My point was that most folks in the gym who spend much more time actually spend the same or slightly more total time under load.

It is this lack of rest (along with training to failure) that escalates the intensity so much. It is this much higher level of intensity that serves as such a powerful stimulus and necessitates a longer recovery interval (once-a-week). IMO this is not just for "the average joe" or maintaining baseline fitness...it is for optimal results.

Thanks for the interest and comments

Doug McGuff

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDoug McGuff

@ Kurt: "And subjectively, I find there is no machine on earth that gives me the physical feeling of compound exercises like snatches with a barbell."

Compound lifts! And snatches, in particular! I will never doubt you again, Kurt.

I find Olympic lifts to be a great addition to my workouts, especially after learning how to do them from great Canadian weightlifting coach, Pierre Roy: http://www.charlespoliquin.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article.aspx?ID=232


I'm definitely no expert on physical training, but since being introduced to some Oly style training by my brother-in-law Jason the SEAL and crossfitter, I do snatches or clean and jerk as part of my free weight routine.

If I run a 5K pretty hard, my HR (at age 48) will get up to maybe 165 from my baseline of 50.

If I do 8-10 snatches with 95 lbs (don't laugh, please, I started with 65 lbs) I can get my HR up to 180. There has to be some "neurohormonal response" to that, I would think. I find this improves my functional day-to-day strength quite a bit - say, doing heavy or awkward work around the house, hanging a tree stand without falling, etc.

I still run those 5ks for the relaxation effect, but the once a week weight sessions probably make me more fit.

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUsacPfeCM8 Mike says that there's no evidence on 10 rep cadence and that 4 seconds is adequate. Also, Drew Bay says that 10 second rep is not necessary http://www.the21convention.com/2009/09/08/drew-baye-t21c-2009/ Fred is there any scientific evidence that 10 seconds rep cadence is "better" than 5, 6 or 7 seconds? Why 10?

And here Mike talks about frequency,rest days, and towards the end of the 2nd video gives an example of two of his clients http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VMFX6M93uE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWs9R2AsYvc Fred do you think recovery days depends on individuals or does recovery really matter at all....amateur, non- steroid bodybuilders train more frequent and build muscle.

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAxiom

"Nothing feels quite like a good snatch"- Mike Burgener

I'm with KC, would love a in-depth post on bio-identical hormone replacement. Have you had the chance to read "Sex, Lies and Menopause,"? Definitely my favorite book on the topic.

February 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBen Wheeler
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