Archive | science lab

Our hidden gem, Janelle Deeds


This is a comment from Janelle talking to someone in the forums.  She has a lot of experience working with people on a one to one basis and along with myself and James we monitor “the groups”.  The groups are set in the Science Lab for people’s specific goals.  This is actually the topic Mike will be doing his update on this month in Met Flex for Fat Loss.  (Also Janelle’s profile is in that link) She is a rock star in the forums and does a great job working people through their hurdles.

This is Janelle

I cannot stress highly enough the ‘gradually awesome approach’ here! Resetting the metabolism and keeping it healthy is very important.

Key points to keep things reigned in:

  1. Know where you are now. You have to know what your intake is and what changes if you want to know what is working and what is not. That means a little tracking up front. Don’t go crazy but know.
  2. Make the changes regular. Meaning, don’t add in 3 different carb sources all in one day and then if you feel lousy, you don’t know which one you might have had a reaction to. Start with one thing and use it for 3 days, then add something else.
  3. Don’t wait until you are freaked out to dial it back a little. Being up 3-5 lbs is re-feeding, don’t wait until you are up so far that you can’t make a course correction without getting down on yourself. Listen to your body, make some tweaks, ask for help (that’s what we are here for).
  4. Sometimes you need to rest. Yes, we are here to Eat To Perform. But your body just might need a short reset. Take a de-load week or even some real rest days. Take care of yourself! Your body will like it.  (this is Paul, if the Omegawave app has taught me anything it’s that more rest is actually better for performance, there isn’t just one way to Eat To Perform)

Adrenal Fatigue Mistakes

Steve Omegawave


This is a guest post from one of our Science Lab members.  He is sharing his story in hopes that someone can benefit from his mistakes.  If you think you aren’t susceptible to this you are probably wrong.  In Met Flex for Fat Loss (our book that gets updated monthly) a big theme is to fuel your workouts, specifically fueling them with carbohydrates.  Another big theme is rest.  The app is Omegawave, it is an HRV monitor that allows you to check various metrics to keep you working out at your peak.

Here is Steve’s story:

I started training like a madman at the age of 12 years old after a dude I worshipped told me I had man tits.  I was crushed.  I vowed to do whatever it took to become a beast.    At the time I listened to a band called Molly Hatchet.   (Remember them?)   They had the coolest album covers of gigantic warriors.    That’s what I wanted to look like.   So I set up shop in my basement and followed the body building routines in all the mags.    I’d work out for hours;   The problem was I wasn’t blessed with lean man genes.    I was dang strong, but I couldn’t figure out how to get lean.

In steps my buddy’s uncle:  Ken Waller.   Some of you may remember him from “Pumping Iron.”    He said the trick was to cut carbs out, so I did…And I got really freaking lean.   I remember passing out at the pool one day because I hadn’t eaten one gram of carbohydrate.     But I was lean!

That was the start of my battle against looking ripped vs. feeling good.    To this day, I think I’d rather be ripped and feel like dog turds, but that’s another story.     For years, it was a constant battle of training for hours and not eating carbs (other than the crazy binges I’d go on).      Consuming 2 large pizzas in one sitting was nothing for me.    My weight would go up and down every few months.  To counter the weight gain I’d just train longer and harder; the problem was fatigue got in the way.   At the time, I’d tell myself I was being weak and I’d just keep grinding away.   Type A personalities are good at that.

In about 1992 I found the holy grail.   Ephedra!!   For any of you who haven’t taken this stuff, it’s like crack!    Now I was in business!    I could train all day and not be hungry!

Fast forward to 2000.    After years of training and eating this way, the wheels fell off the bus.   I literally couldn’t get out of bed and I gained 75 lbs. of fat in 6 months.  175 up to 250!      I’ve been on a quest to find “the answer” ever since.    Deep down, I knew it was my diet because every time I binged on pizza I felt great for about 3 days.     God forbid I keep eating carbs though, because I didn’t want to get fat.     Oh wait, I did get fat.    Oh well, back to the no carb diet and training like crazy again.    This cycle has continued, until about 2 months ago when I found ETP.

I decided nothing else was working and started eating carbs every day.    I gained about 10 lbs. quickly but felt sooooo much better.    In the process, I met Mike T Nelson.   He looked at my training logs and had me start monitoring myself with the ithlete and OmegaWave software.    He knew I was severely overtraining by looking at my logs, but I needed proof.    The software doesn’t lie.    As you can see from my measurement, I’m fried…And that was after two weeks of doing nothing!

What’s the point?    

Too many of us are chasing after the “lean, hard” look we see in magazines at the expense of eating to perform and feeling good.    The problem is most of the folks we see in magazines that look like Greek gods and goddesses are juicing.    And BTW, I did that too.    When people look like that and tell me they are clean I’m like yea right.    Whatever.    Been there done that.

What’s the answer?

Put the carbs back in, cycle your calories up and down, train and sleep hard and I believe you can maintain YOUR ultimate body year round.   I’m stuck on the sidelines for now, recuperating.    But, with some rest and proper eating, I’ll come back stronger and better than ever.

Hope this helps those of you who are battling the same demons.    Everyone has their own perfect body.   Go find it.

Met Flex Tip 5: Evil Carbs and Performance

sweet potato

We recently introduced Private Forums to go along with our webinars we do four times a week.  Both of which give you the opportunity to walk through your changes using the info you get when you buy Met Flex for Fat Loss.

It seems that many people are afraid of carbs.  The media has convinced them that they are bad.  I disagree.  Remember that the media once said all fats were bad too, so are eggs, milk, etc.  Bah!

Carbs are the preferred fuel source for high intensity exercise.  It is a bioengertic fact that you can NOT produce the same levels of power by only using fat as an energy source.   This is in every basic exercise physiology textbook.

I am a big fan of having some carbs before training if at all possible.  I know some lift in the AM fasted as it is impossible to get anything down beforehand, and that is fine.    If you have time though, take in some starchy carbs before your training session, starting at around 50 grams.     Good choices are sweet potatoes, bananas or prepackaged carb sources like Vitargo.

Not only will you have the fuel to use during training, they promote the release of insulin by your body.  Insulin is not the devil it has been portrayed and higher levels of insulin actually push the body to use more carbs. This is exactly what you want to do during training.

If you have not tried this before, please try it first on a non training day or time to see how your body reacts.


Try adding some starchy carbs pretraining if at all possible.  If you are training in the AM fasted, push your carb intake to the night before.     Most people see a nice bump in their performance

Mike T Nelson

Met Flex Tip 4: “Shape Shifting Nutrition”

Lisa Cartwright

We recently introduced Private Forums to go along with our webinars we do four times a week.  Both of which give you the opportunity to walk through your changes using the info you get when you buy Met Flex for Fat Loss.

I may be dating myself here, but one of the coolest movie bad guys was the shape-shifting cyborg sent back in time to kill John Connor in Terminator 2.   He was so scary due to his ability to change and take on almost any form, and he almost beat Arnold!

This concept can be applied to your body too, but with a slight tweak for more fat loss and performance.

When we eat food, our body breaks it down into fuel.  The main fuels are  carbs and fats (protein is generally not used directly for fuel).

We can measure this in the lab with fancy equipment called a metabolic cart that will tell us what “fuel mixture” your body is using at that time via the respiratory exchange ratio (RER).

Both fuels are needed for optimal body composition and performance.   When you are doing high intensity exercise, carbs are the best fuel.    The rest of the day you want to be a fat burning machine, thus your overall RER is low (pushed towards using fats).

Metabolic flexibility is the process of turning your body into a fuel shape-shifter.   Carbs can be used or stored as glycogen for later use during exercise, while fat (both dietary fat and body fat) can be burned at a higher rate the rest of the time.   This way you get the performance you want in the gym, but the body composition you want at the beach.

Mike T Nelson

Changing Your Relationship with Yourself

CrossFit it just different, plain and simple.  I am convinced that we are adding a significant piece to the puzzle.  You become a Science Lab member free of charge when you buy our book Met Flex for Fat Loss.

These are the comments of a member that has been doing the program for a while talking to a member that just signed up. (I’ve also included her response to me at the end.)

Screen Shot 2013-06-08 at 6.59.30 AM


This was her response to me when I messaged her asking if I could use her post:

Screen Shot 2013-06-08 at 7.14.28 AM

Strength Tip from Julia on Deadlift

Marshall Johnson


Julia Ladewski is one of the most respected strength coaches and powerlifters.  She does the Women’s Seminars in the Science Lab which is a free perk you get when you purchase Met Flex for High Intensity Athletes.  Here are the details.

Deadlift – If you are looking for maximal strength and miss off the floor turn your feet out just a bit, drive through your heels and push your knees out to activate the hips and glutes more. This will give you a lot more speed off the ground and allow you to get through that sticking point.

(you can see the feet turned out a hair, but really watch the knees as I pull. The knees push out to get the hips involved. Also notice how my hips don’t pop up first. This allows me to use my hips the entire pull.)

Met Flex Tip 3: Protein, BCAAs and confusion

Progenex Review with links for 10% off, you can also click the banner

When Mike says he gets asked this question A LOT he gets asked this question in the Science Lab. When you buy our book we support it with a team of coaches that answers your various training questions. Click here for more info.

A good question I get asked a lot is “I know you are big on protein, but what is the diference between whey protein and BCAAs (branched chain amino acids)? Can I take just whey? Only BCAAs? Both of them? I am confused!”

Great question!

The short version is that BCAAs are AAs (amino acids) which are the building blocks of protein.

BCAAs are in whey protein already (and many other forms of protein).

BCAAs, esp leucine are used to kick start the protein building process (muscle protein synthesis). But the assembly line of protein building and repair to make bigger and stronger muscles still needs raw materials (which are the other essential AAs) and fuel (carb, more protein or fat) to run.

2-3 grams of leucine is enough to turn on the assembly, but remember that you need AAs (raw material) to really make better muscle tissue.

If you get about 30 grams of whey, you have enough leucine (which is in BCAAs) to start the assembly line and provide enough raw material.

Can I add more leucine?

Adding more leucine beyond that dose will not make it run faster or better. Just like once the light switch is on, pushing on it harder won’t make the light brighter.

There is some data that added more BCAAs about 2 hours after a protein dose may help, but that is for another time.

In the meantime, get the raw materials (AAs in protein) and some leucine. If you use whey protein, you are covered with about a 30 gram dose.

Mike T Nelson

Back Squat Tip from Julia: Upper Back Tightness

Julia Ladewski works with some of the strongest people on the planet and is an EliteFTS sponsored athlete.  So she knows a thing or two about helping people get strong.  She also leads our women’s seminars in the Science Lab which is a service you get free when you purchase Met Flex for High Intensity Athletes.  For Julia’s bio and more info on Met Flex click here.

One if the most common mistakes that leads to poor technique, failing to increase strength, or worse, injuries is the tightness of one’s upper back in the back squat. The tightness you achieve in the upper back when you bench press (or front squat if you don’t bench) is the same tightness you want when you back squat.

Think about it this way… When you front squat, you have to keep your chest up, which means your upper back has to be real tight and strong or the bar will pull your forward. When you back squat you need to make sure your shoulder blades are pulled back and down.While you do that, you should try to point your elbows to the floor. This will lock your upper body into place and keep your chest up while you squat. If your upper back seems to be a weak point for you, be sure to train it using heavier front squats, good mornings and heavy rows.

Met Flex tip 2: Carbs before training or not?

sweet potato

Mike wrote Met Flex for our sports (Crossfit, Powerlifting and OLY Lifting) because nothing comparable existed.  He updates it monthly with ideas from Science Lab members (the support group for the materials), this also gets you access to the webinars we do four times a week where you can ask us questions in real time.  Click here for more information.

This is a very common question, and for good reason.   My preference is to have some carbs (and protein) before training if it is possible.


When you consume carbs (and some proteins), insulin levels go up.   Insulin is the fuel selector switch.  When it is higher, it shifts your body to use carbs.   As you know, carbs are the preferred fuel for high intensity exercise.   This way you are matching your nutrition to your training.

But what if I exercise early in the AM?

I totally understand that some train in the early AM and getting in much of any food is not possible.   Don’t worry, as all is not lost.  Your body has stored carbohydrates in the form of glycogen in the muscles and liver.   As long as your stores are adequate, you can still fuel your exercise session.


Metabolic flexibility is all about using the right fuel at the right time.  Your body is brilliantly designed to use stored glycogen for training when you can’t consume any carbs beforehand.

If you can get in some carbs before an intense exercise session, go for it.   If you can’t, you will still be fine too.

Mike T Nelson
PhD Candidate, Exercise Science

Using your Body Fat Percentage Trump Card

Ace Of Spades


This is some of the information you get when you buy Met Flex for Fat Loss.  I made this post and subsequent video as a response to Science Lab members explaining how you can use a mostly fed approach to get your best fat loss gains over time.  (Sorry the volume is so high)

1.  The value of a low carbohydrate diet is basically that it pulls water/inflammation from your cells, and if you eat at a caloric deficit related to your energy output you CAN lose fat in the process.

2.   The value of a high carbohydrate diet (at a caloric deficit) is that you maintain hydration levels within your body.  The downside is that countering excess inflammation from a high carb diet requires you to drop your calories.  In the end, people with high activity levels won’t have adequate energy.

3.  Whichever approach you take is not going to favorable as it relates to energy levels, so you are always compromising something else (in this case, performance) to reach a body fat percentage (or weight) goal.

4.  When you diet down to get an extreme result, you are basically using up your “diet” trump card.  You have two options at this point:  you can attempt to maintain your current body fat percentage by upping your level of activity (possibly ending up hurt and sick), or you lower your calories further which will be equally harmful.  Most people do some combination of the two.

5.  If you eat adequate calories for a prolonged period of time it is favorable as it relates to muscle maintenance and muscle retention.  This is the basis for what we teach at Eat To Perform.

6.  If you are coming from a low carbohydrate or low calorie way of eating you will often gain weight as your muscles re-hydrate and become more functional.  This doesn’t typically correlate with an increase in body fat, but the your jeans might fit a bit tighter.  A full muscle is a bigger muscle!

7.  Losing fat the right way requires you to throw out your misconceptions related to what you think you should weigh.   Body fat tests (BOD POD, DXA) can help but often just signal people to make bad decisions trying to aim for a goal when they should aim for performance.  A gradual approach to body recomposition through increased performance (form following function) is your best bet.

8.  Here’s a strategy that CAN work: go for a period of time (let’s use three months as an example) with a goal of maintaining or slightly increasing you weight.  A slight increase looks like 5 pounds or so.  10 pounds is probably too aggressive.  After this period, your work capacity will have increased.  Your muscles will be full, and you have now earned the right to eat less for a short period of time.  Every person is different, but after you’ve taken the time to rehydrate your muscles and get your metabolic function in order, you can start to under eat in short bursts.  For every month from that point forward you can take one week to get a little aggressive with calories and carbs to speed up the process of dropping body fat.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes