9+ hours deep sleep.  Last meal 7:30 PM, workout @ 12 PM – 2 PM.  Post w/o at 4:30 PM


Nothing fancy about this one.  Started off with approximately 40 minutes of interval bursts on the fixie, then on to the ECU soccer field for sprints x9 secs each.  Lost count of total number (15 or so?) – not that the total mattered for what I was targeting.  Ran each 9-sec. sprint to max overall best distance, then continued reps until drop-off of > 1 full stride.

More on drop-offs here, and auto-regulation, here.


  1. Hey Keith,

    I’ve been doing a little experimenting lately and would like to hear your thoughts on whats going on. I went zero carb for about a week a month ago(eating large amounts of beef, chicken, etc. and tallow as a fat source), but then decided to add back in vegetables every once and a while. Ever since that week of carnivore my hunger has been next to none. Being 6’1, 155 some odd pounds, I definitely do not want to lose weight, but I don’t want to force myself to eat either. Lately I’ve only been hungry once a day, if that, but I can’t see how that one meal is satisfying my caloric needs for the whole day. Given, it is a relatively large meal, but I’d say only about 80 grams of protein and the rest fat (I have no idea how to measure how many calories I’m getting from the fat). What are your thoughts? Is it possible that when switching to meat, fat, and few vegetables one thrives better on less calories? Should I reintroduce more carbs to get my hunger going again or just trust my body to know what I need and eat only when I have the urge?

    I’ve tried splitting the meals into two smaller ones, but it seems if I eat less the first meal I stay just as satiated and even further reduce my caloric intake.

    I’m probably just over analyzing things but I feel so full at times the thought of food repulses me for hours and hours, even on hard workout days. I do not feel any changes in energy and/or happiness though, in fact, I feel great.


    • I guess the first question is, why would you want to eat more? If it’s solely to gain muscular weight, forcing yourself to eat more won’t do the trick. Your body is naturally taking in and storing what it needs, according to its needs, which is fine. Remember that one’s phenotype (or specifically, the amount of lean muscle mass carried) will be defined by a combination of environment/signal and genetics. Not everyone is genetically predisposed to be heavily muscled; you may be one of those lucky bastards who can pull off the Fight Club look. Not at all a bad goal to shoot for.

      As far as meal frequency, I’d just lighten up on the amount taken in at most meals, then get out of the way and allow nature to take its course. And try not to over think things. This is part of the beauty of eating in a Paleo way — the lack of time/effort spent in food obsession. Remember too, that one aspect of “hunger” is the body’s signaling for nutrients (as opposed to raw energy needs). Feeding the body more nutrient dense foods, then, helps to quench this component of hunger.

  2. Thanks Keith. I think you’re right. I suppose I’m just having trouble accepting that fact that eating more food will not help muscle gain. After talking to and seeing multiple body builders (not a look I want by any means, but simply 10 lbs more muscle) saying “eating big is the only way to get big” and seeing their transformations from the skinny guy to the opposite I feel like I have to force my body into growing. But that’s not natural, and there’s no use putting on muscle if its too metabolically expensive that I won’t be able to maintain it.

    I suppose its just a syndrome of constantly seeing the scale go down instead of up (losing body fat and stored muscle glycogen, I assume, from the nearly zero carb lifestyle).


    • What’s your training history, Justin? Have you been training long enough to have topped-out in the basic lifts (squat, deadlift, dips, pull-ups, press/push-press) at about the 6-rep range? I remember you had some lower back issues following a deadlift (?) session, so you’re likely to be a good candidate for cycling in some unilateral, lower body work.

  3. Hm, well it’s a little convoluted. I started training about 2.5 years ago, doing the normal routine of back/bi’s, chest/tri’s, and shoulders/legs for about a year. Then I left that and started intense circuit training (lower body/upper body pairs like pushups and jumpsquats, onto pullups and split jump lunges, etc, bodyweight mostly). Then moved on to just the big, compound exercises like squats, deadlift, dips, pulls ups, starting to take more time between workouts (about 3 days on average for recovery). Then I found your site and started following routines more in your manner of exercise. Recently incorporated sprints, etc, trying to start incorporating the rear foot elevated split squat and the like to get my glutes/hams in balance with my quads but haven’t found the comfort in the exercise to really push myself on them yet. Still a bit off balance.


    Here’s a photo to give you an idea of basically what my build is (the one on the right).

    • And yes, that was me with the deadlift predicament. I took about a week off and started warming up much more dynamically, dropping the weight and focusing on power production. No back problems to mention as of now, knock on wood.

    • Would you consider yourself a natural sprinter, or are you more comfortable at greater distances/slower pace? More comfortable with, say, numerous, explosive, plyometric push-ups, or multiple sets of 15 or 20? In other words, if you had to reach into a hat and pull one of these options as a competition, what would you rather see? What would you most excel at?

  4. Hm. I enjoy sprinting more, but I’ve always been good at long distances, though I find it monotonous. The competitor in me would always go for the explosive pushups/sprints, hands down, but I’m not sure if that’s what I’d be best at. My legs are quite long and quite skinny, more apt to long distances I’d say.

    It’s kind of a mind/body rift. I workout solely to push myself to the limit but I wouldn’t say the majority of my muscle fibers are fast-twitch.

    • You’re the type of person I’d love to train in person; lots of variables to juggle here. And we’re not just talking physiology, either — there’s the whole psychological element to deal with as well. This is not to imply that you’re not “well” in the head, mind you, but that we’ve got to get you to buy into — and be good with — the notion that a little bit of muscle on a lean/wirery frame can go a long way. As far as a workout philosophy goes, I’d have you dedicate about 80% (8 weeks out of 10) of your time in a 25 for a bigger engine type work, coupled with shorter blocks of time dedicated to explosive work. Merge the hypertrophy work (25 for a B.E.) with the auto-regulation principles so as to prevent sliding into overtraining.

  5. Listen, I’ll make the 6 hour commute if you will. It seems like you need to quit the daily grind and go into training full time anyway…

    In all seriousness, though, a quick question. The T-Nation article for 25 for a bigger engine recommends hitting 25 (approximately) on a single exercise before moving onto the next, but what I think I’ve learned from your workouts is that you tend to do the three exercises as a round with little to no rest, back to back to back. Which would you recommend for me? Get done with one and then move on to the next, or incorporate all three in a circuit?

    Also, being really into basketball, I’ve always wanted to be able to dunk when playing. Is there a specific exercise regimen you would design to increase vertical jump or can certain exercises be incorporated into the 25 for a bigger engine routine to help accomplish this (a hefty goal, I know, but at least I’d like to be able to hang on the rim)?

    Congrats on the 45th year,


    • I’d certainly like to transition into full-time training — I’m attempting to get my financial situation so that I can make that transition. Selling my house recently was a big piece of that overall puzzle, so we’ll see what the universe has in mind for me from here on out.

      In most instances, I will do a complementary antagonistic movement in conjunction with the primary movement. 2 reasons for this: (1) allows for more overall work to be compressed within a finite period of time, and (2) there is a synergy at work b/t a prime mover and its antagonist whereby the antagonist inhibitory function/action will be somewhat diminished, thereby allowing one to push more weight (and faster) in the primary movement. Now, along with this, I’ll usually throw in something totally unrelated to the primary/antagonist movements (for instance, within a dips/high-pull combo, I might add in a squat variation). This is nothing more than working the clock, so to speak, and adding to the overall work output w/in a finite workout period.

      I think I’ve got something upcoming that will address your “vert” question.

  6. Would other examples of these complementary antagonistic movements be, for example, pull-up/push up, bent over row/ floor press, basically alternating push/pull, or is it more complicated than that when choosing exercises?

    So would you say it’d be more advantageous to use this method and throw out the t-nation recommendation when practicing 25 for a B.E.?

    • I’d pair some form of standing press with a pull-up, but yes, that’s the right idea. Now, “advantageous” is only relative to your goals; in other words, I skew most all of my workouts toward increasing short duration power production (primary) and overall work capacity within a fixed, relatively short (30 – 45 mins, on average) time period (secondary). Hypertrophy, for me, is of minimal concern — that is to say, I train for power, and what hypertrophy comes from that training I consider a nice side benefit. If hypertrophy is your main focus, then a push/pull set-up under the 25 4ABE combined with auto-regulation is, I think, a good method. I would not, however, be too concerned with (for instance) overall work capacity and I would adjust my working load such that my per-set rep range remained in the 7+/- 2 zone.


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