Somatotype and Diet – Episode 157

Performance Menu: Journal of Health & Athletic Excellence

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  1. [4:04] Acute Pancreatitis Attack Recovery Diet
  2. [7:47] Body Type (Somatotype) Determining Diet and Exercise
  3. [12:06] Squatting Below Parallel and Knee Joints
  4. [22:06] Olympic Lifting and Speed Through The Elbows
  5. [29:44] Shoulder Calcification – Frozen Shoulder
  6. [32:44] Chronic Soft Tissue Pain and NMT
  7. [38:03] Reasoning Behind Low Vitamin D Status
  8. [43:02] Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  9. [46:18] Extended Breastfeeding and Fat Loss


1. Acute Pancreatitis Recovery Diet

Jordan says:
Hi Robb,

I’d love to hear your thoughts on a few questions I have about recovering from an acute pancreatitis attack.

Most conventional information out there states that a low fat diet is the way to recovery. That a pure liquid diet is recommended for the immediate days after the incident, and then to slowly introduce rice, whole grains, etc. and then eventually move onto a vegetarian/vegan diet. With an emphasis on no red meat, no bacon, pork, etc.

I’m sort of at a loss on direction to go. I’ve read your horror stories about following different diets (including Vegetarian), and have seen the Paleo results work, however I understand that when the pancreas has been compromised things may have to be done differently. I understand how a low fat diet contributes to recovery as the pancreas doesn’t work as hard, but at the same time, eating inflammatory foods such as rice and grains certainly can’t help either?

I’d really love your opinion or any knowledge you’d have/care to share :)


2. Do body types determine diet and exercise?

Andrew says:
Hey guys,

Love the podcast and appreciate your commitment to providing quality information for free.

My question is about body types. I only recently learned about the whole ‘ecto, endo, mesomorph’ thing – I know I’m slow!

I’m wondering what the implications are for how these different body types should approach their diet and training?
What changes, if any, are there between the three?

I’m 33 year old male, 6 foot and in the last three years have gone from 165kgs to 115kgs through training BJJ and a variety of supplemental S&C. I’ve been doing the paleo thing for the last 6 months and have certainly seen the benefits, dropping the most weight and getting fitter and faster for jiu jitsu like never before. Just wondering what I can take into account to take care of that last 10-15kgs.

Sorry for the long question and I hope you haven’t covered this topic before. If you use my question in the podcast can you let me know PLEASE, as I’m starting at the beginning and I’m only up to episode 22 – see I told you I love your podcast!

Much love from Australia.


3. Is squatting below 90 bad for the knee joint?

Rob says:
Hi Guys-thanks for what you do.  I travel for work throughout Northern California and have all the time in the world to listen to your podcast.  I enjoy listening and learning. Thanks to you I’ve been following a Paleo lifestyle for the last 2 years and have lost 30 pounds. I look, feel, and perform way better than ever before in my life.  This is from somebody who lives in Tahoe and gets to ski 100+ days a year, the same with my bikes.

Also I’m an avid Crossfitter at Crossfit Avalanche in Tahoe Vista, Ca.  Coaches Travis and Myles are great and their programming in not what I’ve heard referred to as  a “dick measuring contest.”

Unfortunately I suffered a bad fall while riding my mountain bike on August 1st and have recently had acl reconstruction surgery and major repair to both of my meniscus.

While I’m going through the rehab process I’ve had the “opportunity” to listen and learn from my surgeon, physical therapist, chiropractor and acupuncturist.

My question regards squatting below 90 degrees.  My PT says it’s tough on the knee and menisci and the joint really isn’t built for that-let alone while heavily weighted. He even goes so far as to say that very few walks of life require squats that deep – just serious weight lifters and baseball catchers.  I asked my surgeon the same question.  His response was something along the lines of risk vs reward.  In other words, you can go below 90 and the knee/menisci can handle it but years of deep squats will take its toll.

So what gives?  Is squatting below 90 degrees more of a competition standard or is it good for the knee?  I’ve never had knee issues before, have a decent back squat at 315 pounds and “enjoy” pistols.  Are these movements in my past or can I look forward to getting back to my normal routine.

Again, thanks for what you do, Rob

4. Olympic lifting and speed through the elbows

Kurt says:
Hey guys, my question is for Greg today.. Robb you’ve already helped me out enormously with my diet, now I need someone to “unfuck” my flexibility and technique!!

My problem is this:

I have a power clean of 115kg, a squat snatch of 100kg, but only have a squat clean of 105kg. I’m 5’9 and 85kg.

I know that the main issue is, it’s speed through the elbows when catching in the squat position and also that my arms don’t get parallel with the ground, forcing me to kiss the ground.

My question is: I wanna look at possibly competing in some oly comps one day because I really enjoy it, but obviously suck at it, so what can I do to improve the flexibility and speed issues to help me out.

I used to do a bit of bodybuilding and that has obviously made me a lot tighter in areas I don’t want to be tight, I do CrossFit Gymnastics now days but want to mainly focus on the Oly Lifting and still encorporate some gymnastics (because who doesn’t love being upside down?!?)

any assistance you could give me would be awesome! Cheers mate!

5. Shoulder calcification

Russell says:
Hey Robb and Greg,
Im a 48 year old healthy male who has been paleo ( with raw dairy- recently cut this) for 4 years. Lifting twice per week full body workouts with heavier training in winter and lighter in summer.

Recently I was diagnosed with shoulder calcification. Wasn’t bad at first and thought it was a pulled muscle. 2 months later and the pain was intense with no range of movement. Saw a sports doc, got a shot and now doing PT for a resulting frozen shoulder .

Not fun to say the least. So my question: what causes this? To my knowledge I was living the dream of health and all my friends are having a good time drinking their scotch and telling me I should have stayed in the dark side.

What gives? Should I give up and join satin or will I get better to lift again.

Cheers and thanks for all your great work and humble way you present your info.

(written on iPhone on a Japanese train so apologize for any strange wording )


6. chronic pain, nmt, knowledge bombs on jre podcast

Daniel says:

Thanks for all the awesome info!  you killed it on the JRE podcast, best one i have heard.

wondering what you think about chronic soft tissue pain…have had the same nagging injury for over a year.

tried accupuncture, various different physio methodologies.

wondering what you think about NMT (nueromuscular) as opposed to fascial manipulation and other techniques.  Also have you heard of Thomas Griner and Nuero Soma..thoughts?

thanks a buuch i appreciate all the knowledge.


7. yet another vitamin D question

Fun With Meat says:
Hello gifted gabbers/ramblers

I am a little confused about vitamin D after reading the following interview with Morley Robbins (aka “Magnesium Man”).

I am trying to get my head around it, but I think he is saying that the body may be keeping vitamin D levels low to prevent excess calcium being stored around the body (something to do with calcitonin?). I would love to know your thoughts on this. Vitamin D seems to have so many benefits, but it also seems strange to me that so many people have low levels, even when they are getting sufficient sunshine.

PS: Loving the podcasts down in New Zealand. I got dragged along to my first crossfit session the other night and almost died after the warmup. I think I will stick to lifting logs (and our 16month old daughter)on the beach for now.

Thanks heaps

8. guillain barre syndrome

Irene says:
Hi Robb,

I have been an avid listener for some time and have learned a great deal from you.  thank you!

I finally have a question to submit.

My friend’s daughter was recently hospitalized and diagnosed with guillain barre syndrome. Her daughter has difficulty breathing and has lost some function of her facial muscles.  It will take intensive therapy for her to recover.

This syndrome and it an auto-immune illness.

I would like to recommend to my friend that she try a Paleo approach when her daughter is able to eat properly again.  Would a paleo approach be helpful to treat this sort of illness?

Do you have any literature or success stories I can share with my friend which may help convince her to try it out?

Thank you in advance for any recommendations or ideas you can provide.


9. Extended Breastfeeding and Fat Loss

Amazon Woman says:
Hi Greg and Robb!

I have a question about the effects of extended breastfeeding and the associated hormone levels on fat loss.

I’m a 36 year old mother of five who is 5’11, broad shouldered, with viking ancestry. My youngest is 15 months old. I started eating low-carb paleo/primal and doing crossfit about a year ago.

I worked my way up to 3-4 WODs plus 2 olympic lifting classes and 1-2 sprinting sessions per week and lost an initial 30lbs.

WooHoo! I felt great! But about 7 months ago the scale stalled out and hasn’t changed since then.

I know the scale is rather unreliable, but I really want to lose the butt-hip-thigh fat that seems to be stubbornly hanging on.

I thought maybe I was over-doing the WODs, and since it’s the olympic lifting that I really love I went down to 1 WOD a week but left the other workouts the same. So now I have about 5 varied workouts a week. I also eliminated the several-times a week glass of wine, which I felt was the last dietary issue I had. But still, the butt-hips-thighs remain the same.

Now, I have always breastfed my babies till the ages of 2 or 3, which works for us, and this has always kept my fertility/periods away till about 2 years. I am wondering if the hormonal effects of breastfeeding that results in amenorrhea (no periods) would be enough to prevent my body from letting go of that extra fat despite my very clean diet and weightlifting?

I am certainly not willing to wean my son so that I can look better naked, but it would be reassuring to know that it’s probably hormones working against me, rather than that I’m just not doing other stuff right.
I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Amazon Woman,
Mama to Five, ages 12-1

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  1. Thomas Hardy says

    In regards to question 3, I have injured both of my knees. I tore my ACL in my left knee in 1998 motocross racing. I did not have surgery but did physical therapy to rehab it. I was riding again within 2-3 months and was back 100% within 6 months. Don’t have any strength markers back then b/c I was not really into keeping numbers when it came to training. In 2001 I had another accident motocross racing and tore my ACL,MCL and PCL in my right knee. I had surgery 2 months later and was riding again 2 months after that. Within 6-9 months I was back to 100%, racing and training. I still didnt keep any record of strength PR’s then either. I did not have any serious issues except that both of my knees would bother me from time to time, swelling, pain, etc… I continued to motocross race until Jan 05′. I joined the Army in Oct 04. Since I have went to Airborne School, Ranger School, SFAS and have deployed to Afghanistan twice. The point is, my knees have taken a beating jumping out of planes,rucking, crossfitting, and by just plain being a grunt in the Army. In 2011 while in the Q-Course for Special Forces I tore my ACL and had a bucket handle tear in my meniscus. I had surgery in Aug 11′. I went through extensive physical therapy(7months) and have recoverd phenomanally! To date I can squat in the full bottom posistion with no problems at all. Currently my back sqt max is 295, front sqt 250, DL 425, 2mi run time-12:40, lmi run time- 6:06, my crossfit benchmarks are good.( Male/200#/6’1/12%BF) My point is, with the willpower to do smart training, eating an anti-inflamatory paleo diet and mobility wod you can come back 110% with no issues squating below paralell. Just wanted to share my story to let the masses know that through all my mobility issues and an extreme job type that I think anybody can perservere with mobility issues. As a good friend of mine says, ” If you want more, you have to do more”.

    SSG Hardy

  2. bill says

    I have had frozen shoulders for about 1.5 years now. I have been to two orthopedic clinics including Kerlan-Jobe. I have seen 8 physicians and have had xrays, MRIs with contrast and fluoroscopy. I have had physical therapy sessions (exacerbated it) and have bought and used the DVDs from the English guy who pushes a sort of massage technique (didn’t work). I have read anything and everything I can about the condition. I am one of the 5% who gets it in both shoulders.

    It is not neuromuscular as you suggest. It is a collapse of the bursa. Nobody knows for sure why the bursa collapses but without it, any movement IMMEDIATELY compresses the nerves and causes intense pain (zero to 9 in a split second). That is just logical as the bursa is the material which cushions the joint and prevents nerve compression.

    There is much speculation as to why the bursa collapses but nobody can say for sure. My own personal belief is that it is a form of shingles. The etiology of the two diseases seem similar. There can be no test of this hypothesis as the testing for the herpes zoster virus is either yes or no and the vast majority of people would test positive for the virus anyway.

    Just thought you should know. The info from several sources on the internet all explain it the same way, such that it is pretty much boilerplate, as in: This is what you will go through whether you try anything or not. Side by side studies of groups doing intervention versus doing nothing show equal outcomes.

    I appear to be on about a 3 year course back to health. This is on the lengthy end of the spectrum of between 1 and 3 years. But I was REALLY frozen. Barely could take care of myself. And I started out very healthy, physically fit, eating LCHF/Paleo.

    I have your book and appreciate what you do.



    • Steve says

      I had frozen shoulder pretty bad two years ago, so bad that I couldn’t get any sleep. I injured the shoulder on a trail run when I slipped backward and caught myself from falling on a bunch of rocks.

      It seemed to get better but a few weeks later I reinjured the shoulder. Afterwards I had trouble lifting my arm over my head. I could barely throw a baseball ten feet, so I got sent to a shoulder “specialist” who gave me a cortisone shot, which proved ineffective.

      A couple of weeks go by and I’m at the local pool splashing around with my son. Later that day I noticed that my shoulder, while still sore, felt slightly better, so I started “swimming” in the handicap lane at the local Y. In a few short months I worked my way out to the regular swim lanes, pain free, to the point where I could swim a mile! It’s pretty funny the way this worked out.

  3. says

    RE: Squat past 90.

    This is my 2 cent worth and i will keep it straight to the point.(well i will try)

    1. If you dont use it you will lose it. As Greg said knee is designed to go there so as long as you have the right movement patterns there should be no problems at all. Robb also touched on that if you do go past 90 you will activate your glutes which is important. We all need and “want” a great ass so if you dont go past 90 you are cheating yourself.

    2. Suggestion: Use tools such as TRX Suspension Trainer or Olympic Rings to DE-LOAD the body squat so you can get past 90 pain free and teach your body a healthy Squat Pattern. Also exercises such as TRX Bottom Up squat (which can also be done on Rings) is a great exercises to take pressure of the knees. Essentially we learned to squat and lunge from the ground up.

    3. Personal Advice: Even tho I LOVE squats and they are in my top 5 most favorite exercises we also have to think about the actual movement. Squat is done in sagittal plane of motion where skiing downhill is done in all 3 planes of motion. That said Traditional CrossFit workouts may not be the best thing for downhill skiing. I would think about doing a few more lateral lunges, “ice skaters”, transverse plane lunges and use tools such as ViPR , TRX RIP Trainer which are more dynamic, athletic and would be much more sport specific.

    Not That I done MoveNat but it seems it would be much better cross training for outdoors then Traditional CrossFit.

    I think Robb and Greg do alway say this anyway but at the end of day it has to go back to your goals. If you want to Ski till you are 80 with healthy knees, it kind of makes sense that you need to add “movement” training to your Cross Fit Training.

    Cross Fit is not as “Functional” as community would like it to be, and it does not translate into LIFE and SPORT as much as many people would like.

    Unfortunately we move in all 3 planes of motion.

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