Friday, 8 March 2013

Body By Devany

After getting in to what was to become 'paleo' back in 2006-7 (ish), the one thing I keep coming back to is Art Devany's Essay on Evolutionary Fitness (the circa 2006 version).  It strikes the right balance of simplicity and instruction without ever becoming too prescriptive.

Here is a current progress shot.  I don't think it captures my shoulders or biceps that well (although I would say that wouldn't I?). This is done without calorie counting or much in the way of restriction, save for no sweet/potatoes or bananas on a rest day and LOTs of them on one of my three training days.  My diet is broadly EF but I don't avoid fatty cuts.  The frequency of my eating follows a Leangains model.  I started IF before finding LG, but LG gives a nice evidence-based model to follow.

The training follows a pyramid but rather than Art's 15-8-4 I do a reverse pyramid - currently pushing reps from strength range in to the traditional hypertrophy range before adding weight.  I choose basic lifts and supplement with bodyweight and gymnastic moves.  No 'cardio' but with some martial arts which follow a power law with frequent bursts of intense activity.  There is also a bit of rockclimbing (less so nowadays due to time commitments).  I am not sure I will ever be Arnie-big no matter how hard I try.  My choice of lifts and rep scheme have been influence again by Leangains.  I am aiming for a condition known as Berkhanarms - but I've favoured strength goals over hypertrophy in recent years.
After several years I think I am lean as ever (around 10% BF) but am somewhere in the region of 10kg heavier than when I started.  A major difference is bigger legs (but not 'big'), and a reduction in waist size down to waist size of 30 (with room to spare).  Most of my training has been towards strength and function, but I see these as part of a continuum.  I am now 'veteran' age and still have my vitality and energy.  I am uninjured with plenty of physical goals ahead of me (I am making steady progress to an OAC but planching remains with much to improve).

As a poet once said to me, "This shit actually works."*

*I made this quote up.


Chuck said...

lookin' good. i am not all that familiar w/ devany's stuff but no doubt it works for you.

Asclepius said...

Hiya Chuck. I find I don't have the self discipline nor motivation to follow a rigid diet or training program (other than a couple of 40 min weight sessions). The martial arts and climbing definitely spill over in to 'fun'/play. Art D stresses this kind of approach. I can thoroughly recommend his blog and book.

He has some contentious ideas, but nothing that stops his broader heuristics being quite effective.

(Hope your training is going well by the way.)


Chris said...

A great post. Really interesting to read this précis of your approach. Great abs too !

Asclepius said...

Hi Chris. We all know that abs are the currency of training wisdom! ;)

Seriously though, like you I've come full circle. Keeping things nice and simple gives me results that are little different to those I get when I descend in to the convoluted world of evolutionary biology. The difference is the former is less stressful and easier to maintain.

What matters as I move in to middle age is that I keep my athleticism and health - and that is what seems to be happening. I train with guys at least a decade younger than me and I am in the top percentile. I would never call myself naturally athletic either.

God forbid I ever become so aged that I can't 'do stuff' or that I become so preoccupied with training that I simply ignore 'doing stuff'!