Hey Johnny,

What do you recommend for post workout nutrition. I train in a box where EVERYONE is very Paleo and as soon as I start whipping out my shakers of BCAA’s, protein powders, carnitine and glutamine, all while munching down on my banana, I’m the brunt of the joke at the gym. (I get my own back though considering my name is at the top of the boards on the daily WODs and most of the big lifts). Basically. I train twice a day, in the mornings I will do a CrossFit Football session and in the evenings I will do a Daily WOD with shakes after each, having a rest day and Wednesdays and Sundays and eating Paleo everyday (besides the supplements). Any advise you would give me would be much appreciated, because if you ask my missus she tells me every time I do a big lift “You just wanna be John Welbourn STRONG”.

Thanks Mate,

Kurt S.

Welbourn Strong. Awesome.

True. Kelly Starrett has several shirts with Welbourn Strong on them. He wears them to bed most nights. Only on special nights does he sleep in his Welbourn Eagles NFC Championship jersey.

True. Proteins are composed of small molecules called amino acids. There are twenty-two standard amino acids, eight are called essential amino acids because the human body cannot create them from other compounds, and so they must be obtained from food. (The eight essential amino acids are isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.) Each different protein is composed of various amino acids put together in varying order with almost limitless combinations. Most proteins are large molecules that may contain several hundred amino acids arranged in branches and chains. Proteins have various functions; they can provide structure, help in digestion, aid in muscle and play a part in our ability to see.

Basically, protein and amino acids are the building blocks of muscle, and as the saying goes, “Flesh builds Flesh.”

True. Whey protein is an abundant source of branch chain amino acids, these are used to fuel muscles and stimulate protein synthesis. The key player in protein synthesis is the essential amino, leucine. When ingested in high amounts, such as with whey protein supplementation, there is greater stimulation, which leads to increased recovery. Recovery is the key factor, as we do not build muscle while training. Training breaks muscles down; only during the recovery phase does muscle growth occur.

True. Protein synthesis is the mechanism by which the body affects recovery and repairs muscle. During exercise muscles will break down; the repair of the damaged muscle is known as anabolism. This is the building up and the growth of the existing and previously damaged fiber. When the body produces more synthesized protein than it consumes through its catabolic processes muscle will be developed.

True: Increasing protein intake through a diet rich in animal proteins and supplementing with whey protein will increase strength, muscle and recovery.

True. The body contains natural digestive enzymes that are used to break down your intake of food molecules. Individuals trying to gain muscle and strength are normally consuming an excess amount of calories and many times their digest this system cannot handle the surplus. To help enhance nutrient utilization a person should include digestive enzymes before eating some of their larger meals. Key factors that play into increased digestion are chewing the food completely before ingesting and not consuming water or beverages with the meal. Digestion starts in the mouth, if a meal is not chewed properly it will not completely digest. Liquids tend to dilute stomach acids and digestive enzymes and decrease the body’s ability to digest foods.

True. Creatine occurs naturally in anything with a skeleton and helps to supply energy to all cells in the body, primarily muscle, by increasing the formation of ATP. ATP transports chemical energy within cells for metabolism.

True. Whey protein, a high protein diet, supplementing with BCAA, leucine, vitamin D3, digestive enzymes, water and creatine all work to increase strength and performance. Avoiding gluten and gut irritants increases gut health, which translates to increased immune function. A healthy immune system is your best friend when it comes to performance and recovery.

Any crowd that shuns supplements, shoes, strength and curls is confusing. Any demographic striving for elite human performance should be looking to increase recovery, muscle and strength. The same confusion extends to the people who won’t wear shoes when they lift because it is not functional or do not think strengthening your biceps brachii through isolated single jointed movements has benefit. If your goal is elite human performance, things like supplements to aid in recovery, shoes to increase your lifts and curls to strength your biceps brachii for pulling movements makes total sense.

Remember for it to be called a strength program, it has to get you strong. For it to be called a conditioning or speed program, it has to get you in shape and fast. And if you are doing everything in your power to increase recovery and performance you have better be consuming the right things to get you there.

I have never wanted to mediocre at anything. I have never been average at anything I have poured myself into. And I can’t understand the desire to strive for mediocrity.

When you walk into the gym you should want to be the strongest, fastest, most explosive, well muscled athlete with the biggest engine. Period. Striving for anything less is unacceptable.

A few months ago I posted a statistic about the NFL,“…over the past 20 years, 15,018 players played in the NFL, but only 631 (4%) played three or more years. The average career length is 3.7 season.”

Take that a step further when you realize how many kids have played football in American over the last 20 years. Of those millions of kids only 631 played longer than 3 years in the NFL.

Do you think those 631 just strived to average? Do you think they just accidentally got there? No. They had a ton of genetics and trained for the demands of their sport.

Strive to be the best.