“There are two things to aim at in life; first to get what you want,
and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the

~ Logan Pearsall Smith

What follows is a quick run-down of the crazy schedule I’ve kept for the last few days, and how I was able to squeeze-in a quick (though, highly effective) workout in the midst of it all.

New Year’s eve day started off well enough, with the morning workout I wrote about here.  I was pretty taxed by 8AM, but like I mentioned in that post, I knew I was going to be gym-less for the better part of a week and have plenty of time to recover.  So far, so good; but then the workday hit full-on.  I won’t get into all the sordid details, but suffice to say it was “one of those days” (way to ring-out the old, huh?), the result of which being that I didn’t get home until well after 10 PM (no ringing the new year, either).  I wound-up skipping dinner; no real hunger pangs, so why bother? (something that would never have occurred in my high-carb, former life).  A 12-hour hibernation followed and somewhere around 5 PM on Thursday (the days and times are sorta melding together) I ate a meal of leftover ham steak, rib eye and Brussels sprouts.  Then it was on the road to Atlanta, where Meesus TTP had an interview with a modeling agency on Friday afternoon (keep your fingers crossed, please!).

Now, Atlanta is an approximate 8-hours drive from our lovely hometown of G-Vegas, NC.  Long story short, here: I wound -up fasting until 6PM on Friday — but again, no big deal.  However, the place where we finally decided to eat was a virtual carb-fest bakery/sandwich shop that reminded me of an upscale Panera Bread.  Sheesh.  Okay, so after some haggling and begging, I ended-up with a roasted chicken salad.  Not too bad, either (Paleo-wise) — and rather tasty, I have to say — even slacking as it was on the chicken part.  So, okay, no blood, no foul, right?  I’m still doing a Paleo-well, good job.  We decide then (another long story omitted) to go ahead and huck it back to G-Vegas that night.  So off we go; the result being that the only other thing I ate that day (night?) was a truck stop cashew and almond mix.  About as Paleo as you can find (except for jerky) in these kinds of places.  Oh yeah, and lots of coffee (make it a red-eye, please!  And black, of course).  Thank goodness for road-side Starbucks.  And even though Meesus TTP is out of work due to their “cost savings/restructuring” cutbacks, I’ve got no hate.  A serious caffeine Jones, yes — but no hate.  Anyhow, I’m finally showered and crashed by about 4:30 AM Saturday morning.

Fast forward to Saturday afternoon: In my mind’s eye I have a plan formulated whereby I’ll run sprints the following day (Sunday), as this will give me time to fully recover from the events of the past few days.  A quick check of the weather, though, sidelines this plan — rain is moving in.  It is a gorgious day Saturday, though — 60’s and sunny — so I saddle-up the fixie and head out to ECU (with the 45 lb medicine ball in tow) for some sprints and throws.  Now I still haven’t eaten since the Atlanta chicken salad and truck stop cashews/almonds, but I feel amazingly “on” and, once I get moving, nicely invigorated.  Something else that would have severely affected my performance in my “previous life” was working out without having recently eaten.  This scenario would have resulted in a pretty good bonk and/or at least a substandard performance.  “Weak” would’ve been the best way to describe it.  This does not occur on a Paleo diet; no bonk, no weakness at all.  Anyway, once I reach the university, I see that the Dowdy-Ficklen stadium gates are open.  Winner!  This opportunity doesn’t come around much between the end of football season and the spring, so I jump dead on it. 

Here’s how the session panned-out:

1. Ramp sprint starts
2. Vertical Jump repeats (2-hand stretch, as if blocking a volleyball shot) x 5

8 rounds of that superset, with very little recovery between each exercise.  It just so happens that the height of the concourse between each ramp section allows for me to perform a near max, two-handed vertical jump.  This allows me to do repeat jumps with touching the ceiling (two hands) as a goal/marker.  No reset between jumps (think “pogo stick”, or “hot coals”).  For a look at what I mean by ramp sprint starts, check out this post.

Then it was out to the stadium’s upper deck for this superset:
1. Three-step, dual-leg “bounds”  (x 13 “bounds”)
2. Ballistic decline (feet higher than hands) push-ups x 10.  Max “air” on every rep, stiff catch at a fraction from the “bottom-out”, or chest-impaling-the-deck, position.
3. Dive bomber push-ups (same starting position as above) x 10.  By the way, the guy in the clip is a little over the top, but he does demonstrate good form.

7 rounds of that, with a full recovery between each set of bounds.  Compare/contrast the portion above to this workout.  An additional note: I think of the “three-step bounds” as being performed exactly as a hurdle bound (at the 1:25 mark, in this clip), though with enough horizontal element to propel me up the step run.  I shoot for traversing the total distance (41 steps) “as fast as possible”, here.

Then, to finish off the session, I did lunges on the way down the ramps.  I really exaggerated the downward fall of each lunge step, turning the exercise into a plyometric-like altitude drop/catch at the bottom position of the movement (as demonstrated here, at the :42 mark).  Then I had to tote that friggin’ medicine ball all the way back home  🙂

Next up, I’ll have a post covering a reader’s question concerning the compatibility of endurance athletics and the Paleo lifestyle.  Also on tap, coverage of the slow-go version of an eye-of-round roast.  This little baby is in the oven — and smelling damn good, too — as I write.

Enjoy the last day of the holidays, for tomorrow we head back to the grind in earnest.

In Health,

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Keith Norris is a former standout athlete, a military vet, and an elite strength and conditioning expert with over 35 years of in-the-trenches experience. As a serial entrepreneur in the health and wellness space, he is an owner, co-founder and Chief Development Officer of the largest Paleo conference in the world, Paleo f(x) . As well, Keith is a partner in one of the most innovative lines of boutique training studios in the nation, Efficient Exercise. He’s also a partner in ARXFit training equipment, and a founding member of ID Life. In his spare time, he authors one of the top fitness blogs in the health and wellness sphere, Theory To Practice.


  1. Wow, that’s a long time no eat! I’m trying my first 30-plus hour fast today. Planning to run about three or four miles tonight on nothing. Also, been doing a bunch of kettlebells lately! I will be interested in hearing your thoughts on the endurance stuff. I have found that even in endurance sports, your performace increases with Paleo. You train your body to burn fat for fuel, thus major endurance ensues. 🙂 Keep up the good work.

    Also, no offense, but if your wife is up for a modeling contract, perhaps she should have a blog? Also, pictures or it didn’t happen. 🙂

    • I’m currently working on the “endurance” post. Unfortunately (or fortunately, I suppose, in this market), I’m also swamped at work. Gotta feed the beast that pays the bills, ya know! And the Longhorns play tonight! Seriously, though, I hope to have it ready by tonight — tomorrow night at the latest.

      Good idea about Meesus TTP’s photos. I’ll see if her site can be linked to from the outside.

  2. Yesterday was the first day back at work after holidays. I had a great fast until about 4pm when I had some bacon and eggs over easy cooked in the bacon grease. It was tasty!

    Felt good to be off the holiday rollercoaster, but unfortunately it’s time to get down to some serious work at work, when all I really want is a good workout and to be left alone. I will have to do one tomorrow or I will go crazy. Not as crazy as I was for just meat after all the junk (although I did pretty good over the break for the most part).



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