Download a transcript of this episode
1. [1:54] Electronics in the Bedroom
2. [5:29] Creatine & Creatinine Levels
3. [9:59] Low Back Pain & Inflammation
4. [20:47] Osteoarthritis in the Wrist
5. [23:14] Hang Power Clean
6. [31:10] Bulking on Low Carb
7. [36:25] Cutting Weight for Low Carb Weightlifters
8. [45:14] Hyperhydrosis
1. Electronics in the Bedroom
Tom Says: Hi! I’m new to the Paleo lifestyle and as a polysomnography tech I’m very pleased to see the emphasis on sleep in a dark room w/ avoidance of TV and computers before bed. I’ve been hearing some rumblings about EM radiation and sleep disturbances, but there’s not much in my discipline’s literature yet. What’s your opinion on eliminating unneeded electronic devices such as clocks, cordless phones, and electric blankets from the bedroom?
2. Creatine & Creatinine Levels
Nate Says: Hey guys I got a quick question for you. I have noticed in some lab tests from my doctor that when I am supplementing with creatine, about 3-5 grams a day, my creatinine levels increase. Nothing super high, just slightly above normal. I have experimented with this and removed the creatine from my diet, had another lab test, and the levels went back to normal. Should I be concerned about this? Should I stop taking creatine as a result? Thanks for the help.
3. Low Back Pain & Inflammation
Dan Says: Rob, I am finishing up your “Solution” book. Very informative. I have read two other Paleo Diet books, and enjoyed yours the most. I appreciate your insight on inflammation. My question relates to my situation. I have a 7mm, L5 (I think lower back pain radiates down left leg) disc herniation. I was doing crossfit at the time of the injury (I’ve had the injury for a about 10 years, but it became painful again during a workout). So far the only way to control the pain is with rest, ibuprofen, and I just recently had a epidural injection into the inflamed area. The medicines work very well, but I am afraid of the long term affects. I would also like to be able to crossfit again soon, but my Dr. recommended I quit it for good. As it was the cause of my flare up. Is there any foods or recommendations on exercise you can recommend? I plan on taking a month off from Crossfit, and doing yoga to strengthen my core and improve flexibility. Thanks for time.
4. Osteoarthritis in the Wrist
David Says: What are the best remedies for osteoarthritis? I am a 39 yo “convert” feeling the effects of silly past weightlifting habits. I am currently taking glucosamine chondroitin and generally eating a paleo diet. Not as strict as I could be. I also practice IF regularly (16-18 hours of fast/day). Any advice you could give would be appreciated.
5. Where Did the Hang Power Clean Come From?
Nick Says: This question is directed towards Greg (not that Rob doesn’t know his ish).
Greg, I was practicing hang power cleans on one of the two oly platforms at my local globo-gym (I know, right? Bumpers and all. Oh, but don’t drop the weight from above waist high.). One of the guys who I see there frequently, a seemingly intelligent lifter, collegiate wrestler, with more than adequate form from what I can tell, questioned why I was shorting the squat in my hang clean. I explained that I was practicing hang power cleans, and with a puzzled look on his face, he presented to me the two variations of the cleans he was aware of: the hang clean (with full squat from the hang position), and the power clean (from the floor, no squat after the catch). While I know I’m not crazy, that the hang power clean has been taught to others (Mike Burgener’s videos come to mind), I had no good explanation of why we might practice the HPC, what it benefits over the other two movements (hang clean and power clean). It’s never been explained to me, although it’s been prescribed. I made a guess and said it was helping me practice that specific pulling motion from the dip without taxing myself in a full squat. But, being a person who doesn’t like to talk about something he really doesn’t understand, I qualified that with, “honestly, dude, I have no idea…”
So, can you help me understand why one would prescribe the HPC movement to an athlete/trainee? What are it’s pros/cons vs. the other two targeted movements (hang clean, power clean). Would love your input.
6. Bulking on Low Carb
Rolan Says: Dear Robb and Greg, How are you? I am fine.
I know that many people merely can’t eat enough to grow without all that carbage, but is muscle growth actually more efficient with a higher carb percentage?
Have a bitchin’ summer!
7. Cutting Weight for Low Carb Weightlifters
Renee Says: Hey Robb and Greg! I’m a reformed CrossFitter, recently turned weightlifter and have been a little stymied by the process of cutting weight for meets. Considering the standard recommendation is “pull out carbs,” it doesn’t seem like it would be very effective for people that are already pretty low carb. I tried to drop weight for my 2nd meet back on May 1st and started 2kg over a month out, but failed pretty epically. (I was 3kg over 3 days before the meet and didn’t want to go crazy with saunas, etc). Are there any other non-extreme methods that would be more effective for the Paleo folks?
25/f, currently walking around at 78-79kg, shooting to compete as a 75. 27ish%bf? Always struggled to lose weight, though. I was 109kg at my heaviest, when I was an untrained slob. Been in the high 70s for a year and a half or so.
I’m eating 1g pro/lb of bw, calories usually work out to 1900-2100
usually half a sweet potato in the morning and green veggies throughout the day (asparagus, brussels sprouts) are my carb sources. Plantains deep fried in coconut oil are a recent addition and obsession.
No major autoimmune problems. currently legume, nut, grain free. dairy sneaks into the mix in the form of grassfed butter.
Thoughts? Thanks guys!:P
8. Hyperhydrosis (I’m So Wet)
Dan Says: Hi Robb / Greg, Please excuse the subject line… I just heard Greg say that it helps to have something that stands out. Hopefully that did the trick.
Quick question for you… I’ve always “suffered” from hyperhydrosis of the hands and feet. Any pseudo scientific thoughts on this condition and possible remedies? I know paleo isn’t a cure-all, but it’s really the only biological aspect that I haven’t seen any improvement in while adhering very strictly to the paleo approach for the past 13 or 14 months. No other medical conditions to speak of.
The book was awesome and the podcast is great! I’m grateful for all that you do.
holy hell, hyperhydrosis! I have had this my whole life. I’m 31 years old. I’m so used to it now that i don’t even think about it but, like the questioner said, it is just about the only issue that going full paleo over one year ago has not significantly improved. I can’t wait to hear the answer.
Work out like punk rock songs: short and intense.
Love the analogy with the punk rock songs!! I’ll have to remember that one in the future.
I loved the quick medicine ball joke during the hanging power clean question. I am a recovering CrossFitter (3 months and counting) and I remember thinking of how useless that warm up was every time the prescribed it. When the hell am I going to hold the bar with my palms facing together?
If you have a second I would like to ask a strength development question.
A few powerlifting friends said that I was very quad dominant in my squat and that I needed to spend some time developing strength in my posterior chain. What movements would really help me focus on that?
Go find yourself an RKC instructor and learn how to swing a kettlebell correctly (i.e. with the correct hip drive/snap).
Robb Wolf says
That is crazy talk! Seeking out an expert! Specialization is for insects!
I hope all is well. Quick question on Macros:
Is it bad to have protein be the main food source in the diet? Recently got into a convo about this and have heard contradictory evidence from what I believe (and know of Atkins). Basically it was said that dropping C&F to little and upping Pro is silly.
I know the growth and repair level, 1.5-2g per#of BW, but what if its higher?
It was said: you can take excess protein and create glucose from it in the absence of ‘preferred’ fuel sources (carbs, sometimes fats), but it can be better put to use building muscle tissue. (Someone) once told me that the ‘quickest way to teach your body to oxidize muscle for fuel is to eat a really high protein diet’
Whats your expertise on this home slice?
Robb Wolf says
Can’t run above 30% of cals with protein, not long term. beyond that the 1-2g/day is a good operating range.
Wait, so is that a regular clean or a squat clean?
Robb Wolf says
An irregular squat clean.
So would a heavy dose of magnesium make the squat regular and clean?
Robb Wolf says
Tom R. says
Re: joint pain. I’ve had some on again, off again knee pain that I deal with that flares up at times while running and if I get forward on some lifts. I’m working on the form issues but have also tried glucosamine with no relief. I’m now trying some MSM and am finding some relief there. Would the same conclusion you drew regarding the glucosamine (i.e. gluten exposure) apply for MSM? I stay pretty strict on my avoidance of gluten foods, but will have a couple of light beers each week. Thanks.
I can already hear the sound of Robb’s head hitting the desk. Those light beers are your downfall, tighten the diet.
Robb Wolf says
Thanks for covering that for me!
@ #3 — If I were you, I’d be more worried about rehabbing your back rather than worrying about when you’ll be able to get back to CrossFit. Actually, I’d even go as far as saying that you should give up CrossFit completely. Don’t get me wrong, CrossFit is a powerful tool if USED and PROGRAMMED correctly — but most people just don’t scale it correctly and some affiliates are coming out with some whack programming. Unless you are active military (in which case I think CrossFit is useful), there are plenty other ways to condition yourself/look good without potentially setting yourself up for injury. Stop drinking the CoolAid. As Robb said, dodgy programming (i.e. heavy deadlifts and burpees or some crazy sh*t like that) + fatigue = injury. Go back and re-evaluate what lead up to your injury. If you got injured doing back squats/deadlifts, it was probably a combination of a weak core and inactive glutes. In terms of rehab, I’d pick up a copy of Stuart McGill’s ‘Low Back Disorders’ and ‘Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance’, and start adding some core specific/rotary stability exercises into your workouts. Bret Contreas wrote about the above in this article which I found very helpful.
All this time I thought Creatine was bad for you… Damn myself!
Back Pain Question:
This story sounds a lot like mine, but my injury was no where near as serious. Mine was a max rep deadlift followed by a high rep heavy deadlift less than a week later, with lots of other volume and heavy lifting leading up to being generally fatigued and not well recovered.
My pain began the next day. My symptoms were pain when sitting, pain down left leg, and pain in the L-sit position, (actually I couldn’t even do that because it hurt).
I took a month off CF and spent 3 days a week in Bikram Yoga. This helped a ton. I was back doing CF with limited movement patterns for a couple months and felt well enough to compete in Regionals. But it never fully recovered.
Exactly what Robb said, 1 year later I still have minor flare ups and feel susceptible to a major problem if I’m not careful. I have basically given up Crossfit because I want to play outside for the rest of my life. I still lift heavy, and get some serious metabolic conditioning, but never involving high rep complex movements like deads, thrusters etc. This has forced me to get back into learning new sports, which I couldn’t be happier about. And lifting heavy a couple days a week, smart met con and sports I am in just as good shape as I was doing Crossfit, but I would argue I am more “Fit”, because having a back injury is not being “Fit”.
I agree with Robb, take a hard look at what Crossfit really means to you. I felt the same way you did after my injury. Contrary to Crossfitter belief, you can stay in great shape without doing “Diane”
Any chance Greg could talk more about how he teaches the clean and snatch? Does he use a pendlay or burgener type progression? Or does he do it via medicine ball cleans and SDHPs?
Robb Wolf says
I believe Greg defers to the “Tony Budding school of medball O-lifting” for all matters technical.
Adam Ball says
Go see a Chiropractor! Worst case scenario, you don’t feel any better (there’s no question in my mind that it will make you healthier). Best case scenario, your back pain completely resolves. While disc herniations can lead to back pain they aren’t always the cause of the back pain when they’re present. There are 100,000’s of people walking around with disc herniations that don’t even know they’re there (and probably will never know). This isn’t a bad thing.
Find a chiropractor you feel comfortable with and try it out (if you haven’t already). It could change your life.
Also Robb, regarding your story about the physio clinic and people being super sensitive to testing/EVERYTHING provoking pain, what are your thoughts on allodynia? It’s reduction (via an increase in mechanoreception coming from the joints) is a pretty popular, proposed mechanism of action for the effects of Chiro.
Dr. Adam Ball
Dan / Adam – AGREED.
I was got a back injury durin training in the Royal Marines Reserve here in Scotland some years back. Referred for Physio by an NHS doc. Physio lasted ONE YEAR and the pain went from unbearable to uncomfortable. Couldn’t stand let alone run for any length of time. I started bodybuilding as I was under the diluded impression the cause was a weak back. Little did I know at that point it was due to the blatant stupidity of a PTI watching over us men. The injury occuded because I was made to run with one of the largest guys in our section on my back, although I was one of the smallest.
Anyway. After about a year of bodybuilding I had two slabs of muscle for spinal erectors, but the situation was still the same. I happened across a wee clinic doing 15 minute free evaluations in Glasgow’s West End. Best 15 minutes I ever spent. The chiropractor was a McTimoney practitioner. This is basically someone that evaluates by feel. They sequentially re-align your bones by touch. You go away, come back and they take another look. It took a total of four appointments. A free 15 minute evaluation, one 45 minute fact finding & adjustment one, a 30 minute check and re-adjust and a 30 minute final evaluation / verification. No x-rays. No yanking on my arms and legs. No turning me into pretzel shapes. Just subtle, non-invasive adjustments.
I couldn’t believe it. I basically though I was going to spend my whole life with this back issue after NHS physios told me they had done everything they could. Two years of misery solved in two-and-a-half hours. I don’t know what the script is in the US, but I think this is definitely the way to go. In the interest of full disclosure, the dude’s name was Alan MacInnes an can be found here: http://balance.co.uk/chiropractic/chiropractors.php. He might be able to point you at someone useful in your area.
Best of luck,
Liam Stokes says
Really timely question for me Robb, I sprained my sacroilliac joint and herniated a disc and am now looking to get back into exercise. This all coincides with my starting on paleo and your resources have been invaluable across the board.
Just a quick note to agree with Craig and Adam, my chiropractor has been instrumental in getting me back on my feet as quickly as possible. i highly recommend a chiro as the first point of contact when dealing with a back injury.
Thanks for the carb/bulk answers. I’m glad to know that the answer isn’t just “eat more meat!”
I’m also sort of sad that the answer isn’t just “eat more meat.”
I’ve never really been afraid of carbs, but they certainly can be my downfall in the overeating dept when I’m trying to lose. It’s good to know they are in the bulking plan and aren’t actually stacking the deck against us.
So if glucosamine can minimize inflammatory responses (such as to gluten), would it be wise at all to experiment in taking glucosamine prior or after some gluten exposure?
This is potentially a really bad or good question.
Robb Wolf says
It’s a terrible idea! It’s mire complex than this.
I don’t normally read msnbc.com, but I was bored at work today and stumbled over this after listening to the podcast. Botox away!
Following on from the creatine section in this podcast. My question is what is the best way to consume the creatine powder? Espically if i’m going take 5g post workout and 5g before bed as you’ve recommended.
I know it is recommended by some supplement companies to take with a fruit/sugary drink as this is meant to help with the apsorbtion.
What say you?
Nick Holmes says
I second this question.
I just bought Now Foods Creatine, and am curious if the sugar is needed
Robb Wolf says
No, creatine alone is fine.
Denny G says
Hey now!! I have a bunch of EAS Phosphagen Creatine. It comes preloaded with a large chunk of dextrose in it. Can I use up with? Or is that a bad idea??
Denny G says
Sorry for my spelling mistake. Can I use it up?
Robb Wolf says
Are you lean & healthy? Go for it…but unnecessary.
Denny G says
On the topic of sugar.
Is chewing the odd Spry Gum while in the gym going to mess me up? It prevents me from mashing down my teeth when I’m givin’ her!
To answer your earlier Q, yes I am pretty lean and tight.
Thanks for all you do!
Bill Strahan says
I would love to have hurt my back doing deadlifts, compared to the hernia surgery I’m facing. Goshdarnit. Robb, any recommendations on an expert in this area, or can you tell me specifically which foods to eat to cause spontaneous healing and avoid the surgery? 😉
I’ll get repaired (or miraculously heal) and resume pursuit of the 500 pound deadlift.
Strangely enough I love high rep deadlifts. No back pain, and in fact my back just feels better the more deads I do, heavy singles, or high rep, it’s all good…so far.
Robb Wolf says
Good stuff. Gotta go with what works!
Crap, we have it all wrong. We shouldn’t be Paleo, we should drinking sugary SlimFast or chemical-filled Nutrisystem! Phew…thanks for clearing that up, Yahoo!
The sad thing is that many well meaning people who don’t know any better read this kind of bull and use it to try to improve their lives.