Yoga, Intermittent Starvation, Cold Showers and Testosterone: Unleashing the Animal

by Frost on February 16, 2011

I am a beast. GRRRRRR

I did 15 pull-ups today. I haven’t done 15 since high school.

Looking in the mirror after the workout, I’m leaner than I’ve been in years. 6-8 pack instead of 4 and a bike tire. Forearm veins. Glowing blood-red eyes.

At my desk, I felt like I’d been popping Adderall like M&Ms all afternoon. I plowed through a blog post, a virtual pile of job-work, and speed-read through the archives of my new favourite law blog. Laser-like focus.

On the subway home from work tonight, I could barely sit still. I wanted to sprint, eat, scream, fuck and write all at the same time.

Now, finally, I am calm enough to blog coherently. Tonight has been an especially potent example of a general trend I’ve been experiencing lately: I feel healthier than I have in years. Regular readers know that I’ve made some radical changes to my diet and lifestyle in the past month or two. I don’t know exactly which of the changes contributed the most to my hulk-like transformation, but here’s a list of everything I’ve done:

1) Started eating a Slow-Carb Paleolithic diet. Monday to Friday, every day is the same up until 7pm: Large coffee with 18% cream for breakfast, huge steak salad for lunch. No snacks. Between 7-11pm, depending on my schedule, I eat a big paleo dinner. Meat/fish/seafood and nuts + veggies. Occasionally, I’ll have bacon and a 4-egg omelette right before bed.

Friday night and Saturday morning is a “cheat day” and I eat whatever I want. Usually beer and liquor and fast food at night, and a big breakfast with croissants and french toast in the AM. I make sure to overload my Saturday AM coffees with cinnamon to reduce insulin secretion.

2) Started working out LESS. Went from a standard 3 x ~45 minute workouts per week to 2X TEN MINUTES with zero rest. I now have one standard workout that I do twice a week before lunch:

20-minute yoga warm-up followed by four sets each of: Pull-ups, Flat bench Dumbell Press, Jump Squats and Leg Press. One giant super-set, zero rest, each set to failure. By ACTUALLY going to failure and not resting, I feel like a punching bag by the end of those ten minutes.

3) Yoga. I’m still about as flexible as a diamond, but my chronic rugby-induced lower back and achilles tendon injuries appear to have been beaten into submission. Used to be a stiff breeze could throw my back out. Last night, I mis-landed a poorly-timed ski jump that bent me over like a rag doll. Somehow, got right back up. Also, light meditation is good for focus and mental clarity.

4) Stimulated Testosterone production. Eggs and almonds before bed. Cold showers. Limited sex and masturbation. Intermittent fasting. Lots of quality sleep. Zinc pills. Watching old Sylvester Stallone movies and ripping phone books in half.

5) Avoiding unnatural light after sundown.

Again, I don’t know how much each of these changes has midwifed my new vitality. But something is going on here, and I like it. I started 2011 in pretty good shape. I had the standard mid-20’s ex-athlete, still-works-out-occasionally-but-is-slowly-deteriorating body. Now I feel like I’m approaching the best shape of my life.

I also feel like I want to start a fist-fight with a grizzly bear, and shave my chest with a lawnmower. Testosterone + Ketosis is a hell of a drug.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric April 9, 2013 at 11:44 pm

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Poester99 April 30, 2011 at 8:50 pm

I’m doing basically what you’re doing except I’m doing Atkins which is more strongly ketogenic, and with which I’ve had a lot of good results. I found that the cheat day (or meal) is a lot more powerful for pumping up T production, when used with a lower carb system.

Here is some interesting information on the T effect of sex/maturbation.

raliv February 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Damn. I fell off my diet because I had to move to a place that does not have a dishwasher making cooking time consuming and difficult.

This makes me wish I still stuck with it. I want to unleash the animal.

Frost February 17, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Hey R, strongly agree. I’m rehabilitating a few injuries right now so I’ve been away from heavy squats and deads for a while. I hope to get back into them soon though, and I definitely recommend them for others.

Goodtimer, welcome aboard!

(R)Evolutionary February 17, 2011 at 12:05 pm

One more good tip for upping the Testosterone:

Deadlift. Seriously, look at the research, no other exercise stimulates as much release of T (and growth hormone, for that matter,) as the deadlift. None. Only the back squat comes close, and it’s not all that close.

The deadlift engages every muscle group in the body except the pecs. So do your bench press too, but do deadlifts first. and HEAVY. 3 sets of three at 85% of your max.

Doing DLs in a low-carb dietary program will increase it even more; there is something about high glucose & insulin levels that blunts the release of T and GH.

Goodtimer February 17, 2011 at 3:24 am

Excellent posts. I just scanned this and some other posts, I’ve very similar thoughts and experiences. Also, I’ve been reading the same “game” blogs and books as yourself. You have another avid fan. Looking forward to more posts.

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