As I posted about before, I had put in a preorder for Robb Wolf’s book, The Paleo Solution, as soon as it was available on Amazon. Now if you’ve read (and stayed awake) through my previous posts, it’s no secret that I am a big fan of Robb’s work. His experience as a (formerly CrossFit) gym owner and coach as well as a former research biochemist really helps fine tune recommendations for our unique populace. While many diets are geared toward just losing weight, no matter what may happen to your muscle mass, Robb has always had an eye on optimum performance and longevity.

So what’s in the book? For the truly impatient, Robb is quite clear that you can skip ahead to the tenth chapter where he breaks down how to implement the Paleo diet. The first eight chapters give the scientific and health reasons why you would want to embark on such a venture. Make no mistake about it, this isn’t geared towards being a fad diet just to ditch a few pounds for summer. While we trainers try to give bite-size pieces of the puzzle behind the Paleo diet and why certain foods are no bueno, we can’t cover it all in a single post. Robb explains how the foods many of you choose to eat negatively affect you, why you would want to stop eating them and what is causing your cravings. Not surprisingly, people react to having their precious carbs taken away much like an addict being separated from their addiction. (For a prime example, go back and read all the whining about August’s Challenge.) There actually is a biological reason for this reaction and he explains the mechanism.

For those that eyes being to gloss over when things get too scientific (like our dear Ruth), he does mark off certain sections as “geekspeak” where if you really want to know the nuts-and-bolts you can read the whys — or you can skip if you so choose. As a minor gripe, this idea doesn’t seem to be implemented clearly throughout the book. Rounding out the book is a cursory fitness program (well below the fitness level of anyone attending our classes) along with chapters on measuring progress and suggested supplementation for those that want to fine tune things. Measuring progress goes further than jumping onto a scale and seeing if the number changed. Instead, Robb has certain markers that he recommends you order from your doctor, along with explanations of what you should be aiming for and what the numbers are telling you. This alone is pretty remarkable as many diet books would not really want you to look under the hood, but Robb wants you to be in control of your health.

It should come as no surprise that I give the book two thumbs up and recommend you get a copy… like yesterday! While I knew much of the information in the book prior to reading, it’s very nice to have it all compiled in a single location. As a final takeaway from the book, it has caused me to seriously reconsider how much I’ll let my guard slip for a “cheat” day in the future. It’s now available in a Kindle version, with other e-book versions to follow. In addition, Robb has revamped his site and included many more free resources for those that visit. I’ve thought about going to buy a box of copies and hand them out to new members, along with their log book — but then I’d also require a test to make sure people actually read it. So beware what you ask for, comedians. :)

WOD 10.11.10

Front Squat 4×3
Deadlift 1×5

4 Responses to “Book Review: the Paleo Solution”

October 11, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Marcus, do you have the Primal Blueprint Cookbook? I’m thinking about getting it too, but hadn’t heard much about it one way or the other.

Holley, I don’t have that one. If I remember right, our friend Al from Cutting Edge CrossFit has a copy and he might be able to chime in with a review.
- Marcus

October 11, 2010 at 10:52 AM

Aww man this book will mess up cheat day cheat day cheat day!

October 11, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Robb Wolf has a great podcast as well. Sometimes they go on for a bit too long but there is a lot of really good information. The first several podcasts are painful to listen to because the audio is so jacked and the levels are off, but good info.

October 11, 2010 at 6:15 PM

I think his podcasts are really interesting as well, I just wish he’d also give a slightly more dumbed down summary with less big words after he gives his technical answer. I don’t have time to write down all of the big words while I’m trying to work, haha.