20X Challenges, Part 2

20X Challenge Part 2Previously, I wrote about my 20X challenges that I started doing monthly in 2020.  Today’s article details out Part II of my 2020 20X challenges, from October – December.  These are basically doing a monthly challenge that is out of my comfort zone.  It is meant to be hard and challenging.  And I have thoroughly enjoyed doing these challenges.  See here for Part I  20X Challenges.

October 2020

20X Challenge:  Eating Like Ben Greenfield for a Day

I have been following Ben Greenfield for several years now.  He is an immersive journalist and author of several books on training, triathlon, nutrition, biohacking and spirituality.  I consider him to be a Renaissance Man.  So after reading about a typical day in his life, I was hooked and wanted to try out his nutrition protocol. 

Ben’s Diet

I started out the day with a massive smoothie that included bone broth, protein powder, blueberries, spinach, nuts, cacao nibs, cacao powder and a large assortment of herbs and minerals.  This smoothie had probably 800 – 900 calories.  It was extremely nutrient AND calorie dense and kept me full for many hours.  Quite delicious and filling.  

For lunch, which I ate mid-afternoon due to being so full from the smoothie, I had Ben’s version of a Big Ass Salad.  This salad was massive, in the same spirit of the smoothie.  It contained loads of greens, smoked herring, artichokes, winter squash, avocado and brazil nuts.  I dressed it with olive oil and salt and a bit of apple cider vinegar.  Once again, this huge meal was extremely nutrient dense and healthy.  And it was absolutely so good!!

I ate no afternoon snacks on this day, and to be honest, I didn’t need anything.  For dinner, we had grilled salmon, roasted pumpkin drizzled with honey and sea salt, and summer squash.  I also had a glass of red wine, as Ben is known to enjoy the grape.

One final meal, later in the evening consisted of several squares of 90% dark chocolate, along with some homemade yogurt (made by my wife from non-pasteurized farm fresh milk) and blueberries.

What a fantastic day of eating!  Great nutrition, great satiety and great taste.  I would recommend this diet to anyone!

 

November 2020

20X Challenge:  Eating and Training Like Thor

In late October, I read an article about Chris Helmworth and how he prepared for his role as Thor.  To be truthful, I’m not the biggest comic book fan and I haven’t seen any of his movies, but it was an interesting article and his physique was quite impressive.  So that sounded like excellent 20X material for me!

Thor’s Workout Regimen

The Thor workout regimen consisted of 2 separate workouts.  

Early Morning:

The morning workout was a Bodyweight circuit training program.  It consisted of the following circuit:

  • Pull-ups (3 sets, 15 reps)
  • Sit-Up (3 sets, 20 reps)
  • Push-Ups (3 sets, 15 reps)
  • Box Jumps(3 sets, 10 reps)
  • Air Squats (3 sets, 15 reps)

This was a great workout all on it’s own.  The pull-ups were strict (no kipping!) and those were tough.  All of the other movements were relatively easy, and it total, it got my heart rate jacked and I had a good sweat.  It was a very good workout.

Afternoon:

In the afternoon, I did his “Iron Circuit Training” routine, which consisted of:

  • Back Squats (3 sets, 15 reps)
  • Bench Press (3 sets, 5 reps)
  • Standing Military Press (3 sets, 8 reps)
  • Deadlift (3 sets, 5 reps)
  • Hammer Curls (3 sets, 5 reps)

This one was tough, especially being pre-fatigued from the bodyweight circuit.  Nonetheless, I crushed it and it was great!

Thor’s Nutrition

Here is what I ate on this day.

  • Breakfast: 1 cup protein oatmeal, 1 banana, 1/2 cup raisins, almond milk, 4 egg whites, 1 egg
  • Lunch: Turkey, quinoa, broccoli
  • Snacks: Beef jerky
  • Dinner: Grilled salmon, quinoa, asparagus, yogurt
  • Night-time Snack: 2 eggs, 2 slices of whole grain bread, protein shake

This was quite a high calorie day, as Mr. Helmsworth is a much larger guy than me.  To be perfectly honest, I actually cut out one entire meal.  I simply couldn’t eat another full meal!  But I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the foods throughout the day and my opinion is that it was a highly nutritious day.

Overall, my Thor 20X challenge was a fun and successful day.

 

December 2020

20X Challenge:  Eating and Training Like Superman

This is probably going to be the last Super Hero “Day in the Life” that I do, however, I do plan to continue doing 20X challenges in 2021.  The issue that I have with Super Hero’s is that the guys that play these roles are all much larger and younger than me.  I simply cannot eat what they eat in a day.  I want to copy the day and be as true as possible, but the volume of food is just too much.  Knowing this going into this day, I decided to “right-size” the day to my size.

Henry Cavill plays the role of Superman in the newly revised editions over the past few years.  His training and eating are quite epic, not unlike Thor or Aquaman (see previous months).  Today’s journal describes what I ate and how I trained, in order to be Superman for a day.  Up, up and away!!

 

The Superman Diet

  • Breakfast – 1 Eggs, 3 egg whites, 8 oz steak, ½ cup protein oatmeal 
  • Lunch – 8 oz ground bison, 1 cup brown rice, 2 cups of greens, apple, few nuts
  • Dinner – Chicken with roasted potatoes and carrots and steamed asparagus
  • Snack – ½ cup Ricotta cheese mixed with ½ yogurt, protein powder, grapes and PB2

An epic eating day to be sure!  I loved it and I’m so happy that I right-sized it, because otherwise I would have been full for 2 more days!!!!

 

The Superman Workouts

Once again, I was staring down the face of a 2-workout day and eagerly anticipating it!  

Workout 1, in the morning, fasted.  He calls this workout “Crossfit Football.”  I don’t know why. This workout was a 9 minute AMRAP (as many reps or rounds as possible).  It consisted of 3 movements:

  • Back Squats 3x
  • Pullups 6x
  • Pushups 9x

I got through 7 full rounds.  Great workout – very enjoyable!

Workout 2, in the afternoon, was a upper body hypertrophy session, consisting of the following:

  • Incline DB Bench Press 4 x 5 
  • Barbell Row  4 x 5
  • Flat Bench DB Press 4 x 5
  • Weighted Pullups 4 x 5

I thoroughly enjoyed this workout as well, but I will say that I was fatigued from the morning workout.  It’s not easy doing 2 hard workouts in a day at my age!  But that’s the point of completing a 20X challenge, right.

Overall, it was truly a great day.  

I highly encourage everyone to do their own version of a 20X challenge.  Push yourself beyond your comfort level.  Learn about yourself.  It ok and actually healthy to get uncomfortable, because the reality is that those who want to live a pampered and easy life are the most likely to have a lower quality life and struggle more with hardships as they age.   So get out there and find something tough to do.  And then conquer it!  

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