The Contrast

The Contrast
Lift Big, Sing Big, Look Great Doing It.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Boulders and Leggies


Pause Overhead Press
100 7x5

Pause Squat
200 4x4

Dumbbell Press
55 6x6

2" Deficit Deads
265 3x6

Worked up to a single of 385lbs conventional Dead-lift, no deficit. Watch the Vlog for proof.

Glute Ham Raises

Back Raise
35lbs 3x10

Leg Raises
250 3x8

Side Raises
45 3x6-8

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Full body

Incline Bench
190 1x4, 3x3

Weighted chins
75 3x4

Bent over reverse hand rows (bicep rows?)
185 3x8

Pause Squats
155 3x10

2" Deficit Deads
260 2x6

1" Deficit Deads
345 x 4

Incline bench curl
50 3x6

Skull crushers
80lbs 3x8

Face Pulls
160 x 15

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Full Upper Body


Incline Bench
155 4x8

Pull Ups
82.5 3x3
62.5 2x4
42.5 x 8

Overhead Press
115 1x5
Pause press
95 2x5

Bent Over Row
220 3x10

57.5 5x8

Rack Pulls
255 2x12

255 2x20

Lateral Raises
40 2x6-8

Monday, July 28, 2014

Full Body


Incline Bench
170 5x6

Bent Over Rows
215 4x10

Pause Squat
180 5x6

2" Deficit Deads
255 2x6

1" Deficit Deads
340 x 4 

Incline Seated Bicep Curls
45lbs 3x6 

Skull Crushers
70lbs 3x8 (25lbs each side)

Face Pulls
150 x 16

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Examination of the "Carb Nite Solution"/General Low carb thoughts.

Carb manipulation is by no means a new concept to the diet game. It's history goes as far back as 1797 when John Rollo treated two diabetic officers with low carb diets. It was the most common treatment for the disease during the 19th century. In 1863, William Banting published "Leter on Corpulence Addressed to the Public" where he prescribed removing bread, butter, milk, sugar, beer and potatoes from a persons diet to lose weight. It's something that is used by the majority of modern "well programed diets" (meaning they cause you to lose weight.) The degree to which it is used being the variable that creates the patent.

Everybody wants to be a guru, a creater, an entrepreneur and get that subsequent pay check. So, very often a person will come up with a diet that is more or less a specialized version of already existing techniques.

I first heard about the "Carb Nite Solution" by listening to The Powercast with Mark Bell and watching his Youtube videos on SuperTraining.TV. He effectively lost lots of weight using this diet.

Mark Bell is featured in the movie "Bigger, Faster, Stronger" (his brother made the film) along with other athletes from Westside Barbell. He has squatted 1,025 lbs, benched 854 lbs, and deadlifted 755 lbs. His 2,551 lb total is the highest in California history. He invented the slingshot, an awesome bench press accessory piece of equipment. He has been overweight most of his professional lifting career, but he decided to lose some weight, get jacked and tan if you will, and he did so using the carb nite method.

What is "The Carb Nite Solution?"

When first looking into Carb Nite, I tried to avoid having to read the book. I ain't got the time or money for that ($27.00), I didn't need to know how it works, because I know that it works and I don't need to argue about why, and frankly I didn't care to hear anymore science around the subject, I don't understand it well enough to combat it, I just needed the, I googled it.

So, for 9 days you limit your carbohydrate intake to sub 30 grams everyday. On the 10th day, during the night time, you're allowed a high carbohydrate splurge. This cheat evening consists
of an early supper, a late dinner and dessert. The specifics of the cheat meals are what is key to the diets success.

This girl Wrote about the Carb Nite

"Kiefer suggests starting low-fat, high- glycemic carbohydrates and some protein. The sources of your carbohydrates should be: low fat pastries, lattes, ice cream, rice, sweet potato etc. You want an insulin spike!

Why an insulin spike?

The purpose is to elevate blood sugar enough to cause an insulin response. The insulin stimulates the GLUT4 receptor to translocate and pull glucose into the muscle cell. Basically your muscles are screaming for food and insulin is the key the allows the glut4 to open and accept the carbs and sugar you ate. You can get away with eating carbs for up to 6-8 hours. Your carbs will go to muscle cells not fat/adipose tissues.

Holy bananas...

After eating your low-fat carbs and protein, you can eat a balanced dinner (ie chicken breast, rice, teriyaki sauce) and for dessert…whatever you’d like: cookies, cake, ice cream! You may want to start your carb nights conservative then maybe experiment and see what you can get away with. My carb nights were very unclean. I was able to get away with whatever I wanted but was very particular about how I’d workout the day after. You’ll have to experiment with yourself and your lifestyle. The best way to measure if you overdid It is to look in the mirror, if you are too bloated and puffy, you may want to pull back on the carb night the following week. It’s all about trial and error. I notice alcohol is where my carb nights go wrong, I’m not a big drinker but during the holidays I consumed more than usual and I feel that my least successful carb nights were those which involved liquor."

Who is "Carb Nite?"

John Keifer

"DH Kiefer is a Physicist turned nutrition and performance scientist. He’s been researching, testing and verifying what hard science proves as fact for over two decades and applied the results to record-holding power lifters, top ranking aesthetic athletes, MMA fighters and even fortune 500 CEOs. He’s the author of two dietary manuals, The Carb Nite® Solution and Carb Back-Loading™, and the free exercise manual Shockwave Protocol™. He’s currently considered one of the industry’s leading experts on human metabolism and plans to stay there. He’s a featured writer in every issue of FLEX and Power Magazine. You can learn more about him at"

If you're curious about learning more about some specifics about Carb Nite, make sure to check out Keifer's Youtube Channel.

I will discuss Carb Back-Loading on another blog post, because I think they differ enough to warrant two separate addresses. It's fascinating to say the least, and it's hard to argue the results. I look forward to talking about it more in the future.


People's Experiences

This guy did a 10 Week self study while doing Carb Nite. I will quote him throughout the post and mark his comments in Blue so you can get an idea of where I'm getting some of my info.

"After 10 weeks and a loss of 1.75 inches in my abdominal circumference, I can say without a doubt that this method is effective.  It is also far easier to adhere to this with built in carb cheat days as opposed to trying to stay in ketosis indefinitely.

I’m actually very used to eating ultra low carb now and actually view it as normal.  I remember struggling a lot more with this when I was doing nutritional ketosis before, trying to keep track of every gm of carb I ate and agonizing over hidden carbs and worrying about eating items with no available nutritional info.  It’s now second nature to me."

More from Mark Bell

I mentioned Mark Bell above and all of his clout, and he's seen fantastic results with this specific diet. He's even written positively about low carb dieting more than once! I'll quote his articles in Red in the following sections.

In This article he talks about maintaining strength on Low Carb.

So, if you're in the game to get bigger, stronger, and faster, carb cutting may not be the best choice. If your main goal is fat loss, and you want to look like you train, then try pulling some carbs out of your diet.

All told, low-carb diets have upsides and downsides. My low-carb diets have helped me lean down; I look better and I feel better. But, if you go ultra low-carb, you'll probably lose some of your strength."

In This article he talks about his 50lb weight loss.

"You hear things all the time about how miserable people feel on low-carb diets. If this applies to you, there are a couple of things you’re going to have to do. First, you’ve got to suck it up and realize that being uncomfortable is going to be a large piece of the puzzle. You have to make yourself comfortable with being uncomfortable. The more used to this you can get, the better off you’re going to be, so understand this right off the top.

Next, you have to make sure you’re hydrating yourself. Make sure you’re drinking a lot of water. When athletes tell me they’ve got a headache, I tell them to drink a lot of water, then BAM, it’s gone. When you’re doing Carb Nite, you’re not really allowed to have sugar, so sports drinks are out of the question and you’re going to have to rough it out a little bit, but staying hydrated is one of the most important things you should be doing. Eat salty products, too—they can help you hold water for this purpose."

There are dozens who have seen superb results with Carb Nite.

And, frankly they seem pretty legit. 

But at what price!?!?

My first impressions 

This sounds a lot like what I used to do with my severe calorie restrictions 6 days a week with an epic cheat day on Saturday. Except I would fast for 36 hours after consuming upwards of 8,000 calories and feel sick as fuck by the end of the said cheat day. I lost nearly 90lbs on that diet style in a fairly short amount of time. I've also experimented with carb-cycling in varying degrees, I've eaten as low as 30 grams of carbs in a day during the Street Scene carb shrink, but now that seems epically stupid. How I did it I'll never know. I get pissy now on my off days from training when I only eat 250-275 grams of carbs. Call me sugar dependent, but it just seems ridiculous.

Also, I remember on the days I'd eat real low carbs and how meat tasted so unappetizing. It tasted like salt. I currently eat about a Lb of meat a day, and I love every bite, where then I could barely choke it down. Maybe it was lack of sides, or of flavor variety, but I remember counting down the seconds until I could eat carbs again. It was a diet that clearly felt like a diet. Restrictive, invasive, unsocial, and very inconvenient. But, was it effective? Uh, Yeah...

The left is me a month away from the show, the right is me during tech week. The differences: about 13-18lbs (I can't remember really), you can see that the pants fit snug on the left, the right...well, lose enough to fit my hand in and pretend my thumb is my penis....yeah, so... My frame is definitely slimmer, slimmer neck, smaller white beater. That's after 3 weeks of carb-cycling and regular intermittent fasting. And, although Carb Nite isn't branded as carb-cycling, it more or less is just the most aggressive version of carb cycling.


Quick Results

Low carb diets will make you shrink up. The results are crazy and actually very empowering. You'll literally see yourself get smaller every day, more lines, more veins, shrunken waist, clothes fit looser. BUT, that's not all fat, it's mostly water weight, which is why your muscles will look smaller too, your muscle bellies are depleted of glycogen. But, if you're a person that loves numbers going down on a scale, this gets the job done. It's also why after your big cheat meal, you will weigh much heavier. It's all of that water weight that you've been losing during the week, your muscles are drrriinkin up that sugar water.

Less Hungry? 

Ketogenic diets are typically much more satiating than most high carb diets, which is a double edged sword, because you will still mentally crave the sugary carby foods, but you're able to fill your belly with meat.

"In terms of my appetite, I’ve found that it’s been pretty blunted.  Many days I can go a full 16 hours without eating, or only having a bulletproof coffee without any hunger pangs.  In fact I’m a little concerned that I may be TOO hypo caloric.  I try my best to really go all out on the Carb Nites, but there is only so much I can put down before getting disgustingly full."

This has been cited before in studies, that although metabolism isn't any faster with low carb diets, it does suppress hunger.

"A rapid initial weight loss occurs with a low-carbohydrate diet due to a suppressed appetite. There is as yet no indication of an increased metabolic rate and an increased thermogenesis by the low-carbohydrate diet. The safety and efficacy of low-carbohydrate diets have to await further studies."

This study even demonstrated that low carb diets worked especially well on premenopausal women who consumed a high protein, low carb diet as compared to a high carb low fat diet. 



 Very restrictive

When considering this diet, you really need to know what a carb is. It's not just bread, donuts, cake, pizza, cookies, it's also fruit, sauces, sugar, veggies, lots of dairy has carbs, they are pretty much everywhere. The only thing that is completely devoid of carbs is meat with no seasoning or flavoring. Most of those tasty pork meat products are sprinkled with carbs, just so you know. So, you're more or less left with just meat. Even nuts have carbs. You'll have to be fairly anal about what you're eating in order to keep below 30 grams of carbs during the week.


This is not a diet that lends itself well to social interactions. When going to parties and the like you have to be really careful about what you're putting your hands into, because you never know if somebody threw some terryaki sauce on that chicken of yours while you're grilling in your back yard. Dems carbs, and they could set you over the limit for your day! You'll have to get really used to saying "Yes, I'll have a plain chicken breast, no butter or oil, with some dressing." (Lol, I actually did this the other week, judge me not, I ran out of carbs.)

Big Dips in Energy

Carbs are our primary source of energy unless we don't have them, then the body will turn to dietary fat, protein, and your muscle. This is how people who eat ketogenic diets are able to walk around and not pass out in the streets, they've changed how their body handles it's energy intake. Whether it's optimal or not is a matter of argument. But, since your body is receiving carbs once a week, it still uses them for energy, and after a big carb feeding venture, you will notice your mood will improve, your energy levels will sky rocket, and overall you will be functioning at a higher level than when you're on your regular low carb days.

"With regard to my energy level I noticed that I just felt better during intense workouts on the 1 or 2 days following the Carb Nites when my glycogen stores were replenished.  Having more than one Carb Nites in a week really allowed me to get in a couple extra sessions of high intensity activity throughout the week.  I definitely didn’t gas out as much when I was sparring in BJJ… whereas when I trained on days I was in ketosis I gassed out much earlier.  I didn’t notice this difference during low intensity activity like walking, slow jogging, or light BJJ." 

If you're a person who likes to have progress in their lifts and their performance in the gym or whatever physically demanding activity you like to participate in, you're probably going to experience some serious disappointment while doing a low carb diet such as Carb Nite.

"When it comes to performance, you can't go without any macronutrient. If you're a CrossFitter, or you play a sport, or are a powerlifter or strongman, ultra low-carb diets may not be for you. Unless you're looking to perform on a bodybuilding stage, your body will need adequate amounts all three macronutrients to stay in high gear. Bodybuilders have perfected the art of using a diet for a short amount of time to create a specific look."

The way around this is to follow some protocols outlined in Keifer's book (I think) but, what I recommend is that you put your hardest, heaviest workouts as close to your big Carb Nites as possible. Your lifts could potentially progress if your carb nites are planned well and you get nice amounts of quality carbs in your muscle bellies....a few days before your Carb Nites, not so much.

Vegetables and fruit aren't a requirement

This to me is a big red flag. And, Keifer actually talks about how he recommends a multivitamin for people to get their required daily intake, but...I'm not a huge fan of that. I don't think anything can really replace food, and with the kinds of debates that go on and on about the effectiveness of some of these vitamins, whereas the effectiveness of food is not even remotely debatable, it seems silly to eat a diet where you have to pop a pill to make sure you're healthy. Also, fiber?? You need to poo, and fiber is also very important to metabolism. This may explain why some people felt gassy while doing this diet.

"Again, as I previously mentioned… Carb Nites made me gassy!  Very very gassy."


Binge and Purge Reinforcement

Because of how the diet is structured it lends itself to a binge and purge lifestyle. Because you're so restrictive through the majority of the week and you're actually encouraged to go full potato on foods that are considered "bad" high insulatory response foods (like donuts, turnovers, NOT fruit) you're more or less kind of reinforcing what many would consider an eating disorder. It may yield great results, but from an outside perspective it can look rather unhealthy. Which, of course, is arguable.

However, this is a regular practice with people that practice carb nite. They spend a week in misery, and get very very excited about their carb nite that they plan their life and fun around it. This girl talked on her blog about how much she looked forward to her Carb Nite binge:

"Once carb nite commences, I feel like its the last one I’ll ever have, and I have to eat everything. I want to eat a little bit of everything. Why do I behave/feel this way? I should just plan out my carb nite ahead of time, and just keep moderation as my goal. I’ll have a damn carb nite once a week, so I will be fine. I will eventually eat all the foods I want. Seesh!"

No Exit Strategy

Because of how the diet is set up, there doesn't seem to be a great exit strategy. Meaning, do you want to eat this way for the rest of your life? Or, are you going to get to your goal weight then just go back to eating normally? What is normal for you at this point? Your carb nites? If you use the reference of the day when you consume carbs as normal, then you're going to gain back all that weight and reverse all of that hard work you've done. In order for you to get the best results out of this diet, you're going to have to ween yourself off of this aggressive carb cycling and slowly do a reverse diet style set up where you eat a little bit more carbs every day until your body evens out...or you could just live your life in ketosis...which sounds fuckin awful to me, but then again, I eat the shit of some carbs on the daily.



If you're in a pickle and you need to lose weight quickly and don't mind suffering in the present for the sake of the quick fix future, this might be good for you. However...

FOR ME, the everyday misery and the binge and purge lifestyle is too much. I've lived that life and I'd rather go without a little everyday and have things I love here and there with some cheat meals blended in instead of depleting the shit out of myself and then go full fuckin potato on some food that's gonna make me nearly shit myself. Being a little hungry everyday is bliss compared to feeling like I want to throw up after plowing a giant bag full of McDonalds. It's something I have to consciously remind myself about (fuckin leptin playin tricks on me.)

Low carb diets really demand a great deal out of your mental and physical prowess. You'll wake up in the morning before you workout and think "Get up, get up, get up. Don't be a pussy. You can't skip this workout. You're only 2 days away from your big cheat day, you can do this." Then the night before your cheat meal all you can think about is what you're going to eat the next day. Your dreams will be about food. Fuck, your dreams will be about food the entire week before. You'll want to call your workouts early every time, you'll have to grit, scream and force every bit of progress you can force out in your lifts (or whatever) on the days farthest away from your big carb cheat days.

These diets are NOT dangerous: "There is insufficient evidence to make recommendations for or against the use of low-carbohydrate diets, particularly among participants older than age 50 years, for use longer than 90 days, or for diets of 20 g/d or less of carbohydrates." So, I'm not going to act like they are dangerous or unsafe. It's very individualistic as far as how a person tolerates said dietary practices, socially and mentally and whether they can keep to them.

Again, For ME, I think having a fairly balanced diet that includes carbs (definitely over 30 grams) is healthier overall. I think starting at a high carb intake at the beginning of your diet, then slowly chipping away at it over time, then when your performance in the gym and your mood starts to suffer, start incorporating regular carb re-feeds is the best way to continue losing fat, maintaining gym performance, and maintaining something resembling sanity and social normality.

Until Next time, think through your goals, how much you're wiling to suffer in the now for the goals of tomorrow, make a pros and cons list, then chill the fuck out...

BRB, just chillin at the pool gettin ready for my Don Giovanni.

and as always...

Lift Big, Sing Big, and Look Great Doing It.

The Opera Bro

Full Body


Decline Bench
230 2x2
150 2x10-12

Weighted Chins
72.5 3x4 

Bent Over Rows
210 3x10 

Front Squat
240 4x1
150 2x12

2" Deficit Deads
250 2x6

1" deficit dead
335 x 4

I switched them around to test how it felt. As far as time efficiency is concerned, this is less set up and breakdown. Don't know if it was any easier or harder. More research to be done. 

Close Grip Bench
205 3x1, 185 x 3, 135 x 8

Bicep Curl
65 2x5

Face Pull
150 x 15

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Boulders and Wheels


Overhead Press
115 6x4

Front Squat
230 1x4, 3x3

Dumbbell Press
65 3x6?

1" Deficit Deads
335 x 4 

2" Deficit Deads
250 2x6

Glute Thrusts
210 3x8

Shoulder Raise
30 3x10

Back Raises
30lbs 3x10

Leg Extensions
230 3x8