If you've just stumbled onto this blog, I want to apologize in advance for everything: The awful writing, the typos and misspellings, the bare-bones site design, the failed attempts at humor -- all of it.
Worst of all, up 'til recently, this blog hasn't been easy to navigate -- in part because I have no friggin' idea what I'm doing, but also because I've accumulated over 1,500 posts without giving much thought to organization. So yeah: I recognize that it can be daunting for new readers to try to figure out where to begin, and what I'm writing about.
Take my hand, and let's wade into the chaos together.
There are three key things you should know about this site:
1. THIS BLOG FOCUSES ON HEALTH AND FITNESS.
(Those are different things, by the way.) Sure, I'll occasionally drift off onto a tangent or two, and I may post an occasional weird fitness video clip or two. But for the most part, I try to stick to writing about optimizing physical health and performance through application of lifestyle, exercise and nutrition approaches. In particular, I tend to write about the strategies I've personally adopted.
There are three reasons for this: (A) this site began as my personal workout log back when I started doing a video-based home workout program called P90X in the summer of 2009, (B) it's easier for me to write about what I know, and (C) I can be kind of self-absorbed. (Duh. I have a blog.)
I try to publish at least one post (and sometimes more) every day. But I try to keep things short. (I do have a day job, people.) Virtually all of my blogging is done after my kids go to sleep, so I limit myself to no more than an hour or two of writing and site maintenance per day.
2. THIS BLOG STARTED AS A P90X WORKOUT LOG, AND I'M A P90X "GRAD," BUT I'M NOT DOING IT ANYMORE (OR EVER AGAIN).
As I mentioned, this blog got its start in 2009, when I decided (on a whim) to see if I could get through a 90-day cycle of the P90X program. (I'm sure you've seen it hawked on late night infomercials by now.) As I hit my mid-30s, I was turning doughy and flabby, and to keep myself accountable to a new daily exercise regimen, I launched this blog to jot down my experiences with P90X each day. And in the process of obsessively researching everything I could about the program, I ended up absorbing a good deal about the science of exercise and nutrition. (I also learned a lot -- sometimes, too much -- about the extracurricular activities of a lot of the P90X "celebrities" who appeared in the DVDs.)
At the end of my 90 days of P90X, I was over it. Watching the same videos over and over again was mind-numbing. Nonetheless, I was pretty happy with my results, so I figured I'd just keep going. To mix things up a bit, I made up my own hybrid of P90X and Insanity, another home fitness program sold by the creators of P90X. After another three months of exercising in my garage, boredom crept in again, so I blended everything together with even more stuff to try to keep myself mentally engaged. But after spending the majority of a year working out in front of a TV set, I was ready to gouge my eyes out with a spoon. I couldn't stand exercising to DVDs anymore.
I'm not saying that P90X, Insanity and other home fitness programs are worthless. When I started P90X, it was just what I needed to shove me off the couch and motivate me to work out on a regular basis. It helped whip me into shape in a very short amount of time, and transformed my lifestyle in a major way. But while P90X was my gateway drug to health and fitness, I wasn't interested in doing it in perpetuity. I had to move on.
Will I do P90X again? No, for the reasons stated here.
So why does P90X still pop up on this blog?
Reason Number One:
Because otherwise, this blog would probably be relegated to the dustbin of the Interwebs. About half of my readers come here just to read the P90X stuff. So every once in a while, I'll post about the program when it pops up on my radar, if only to satisfy your P90X cravings.
Reason Number Two:
I'm not-so-secretly trying to suck my P90X-obsessed readers into CrossFit.
Especially in the United States, P90X has a huge following -- but P90X "grads" (like me) who get hooked on fitness tend to gravitate towards something else once they tire of Tony Horton and his jokes. Some choose kettlebells or Starting Strength. Others start training for endurance events or focusing on bodybuilding. Me? I chose CrossFit. And my plan is to hook you P90X people into it, too.
There. I've laid bare my agenda.
(If you're interested in learning more about the differences between P90X and CrossFit, read this post -- and don't skip the discussion in the comments by readers.)
3. I'M DOING CROSSFIT AND EATING LIKE A CAVEMAN.
Do you think CrossFit is stupid? Ineffective? Dangerous? All of the above? Do you believe that Paleo nutrition is nothing more than a dumb fad?
If so, move along. These aren't the droids you're looking for.
If you're not familiar with CrossFit, read more about it here. I've been working out at CrossFit Palo Alto since June of 2010, and am a big fan of the strength-biased Max Effort Black Box programming at our gym. I've heard people write off CrossFit as just a bunch of crazy, random metabolic conditioning workouts -- but that's not been my experience at all. Rather, the focus at our gym is on strength development and skills practice, with relatively short, focused metcons at the end of each class. We train. Then, one week each month, we test ourselves with longer WODs (Workouts of the Day).
Trust me. It's a blast.
Also, since January 2010, I've been eating Paleo. You'll see plenty of references to the Paleo diet in my posts, so if you're scratching your head over what I'm talking about, please read this first.
By the way, my wife (I refer to her as "M" on this blog) has her own Paleo food blog, Nom Nom Paleo. If you haven't checked it out, you should. It's awesome, and I'm not just saying this because she married me, or because her site has grown exponentially more popular than mine. On Nom Nom Paleo, you can find all sorts of food porn, recipes, and tips on how to cook and eat Paleo every day.
She's also a CrossFitter -- one of my first converts to the cause.
So now you know a little about the blog. It's still confusing to navigate (sorry), and some of the content may not excite you. And if you dig around in my archives, you'll find posts that I wrote back in the day that I now think are stupid and wrong.
But try not to hold it against me. After all, I'm just another dumbass with a laptop and an Internet connection.