October 18, 2016

Eating Fat to Burn Fat: Metabolic Flexibility

Eating Fat to Burn Fat: Metabolic Flexibility


Jim Beaumont -Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach (CSC); Sport Nutrition Specialist; Primal Blueprint Certified Expert; WKC Kettlebell Strength and Conditioning Coach. (208) 412-6079.

Class Goal

Introduce advantages of utilizing fat instead of sugar as your body’s primary energy source (ketosis).

Nutritional Ketosis

Nutritional ketosis begins when your body switches from burning glucose (sugar) to burning fat as its primary fuel source. This is not to be confused with a dangerous medical condition called ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when the pancreas cannot secrete enough insulin to keep excessive ketone production within healthy ranges. This only occurs in Type 1 diabetics and very brittle Type 2 diabetics with pancreatic burnout, or extreme longterm alcoholics.

Your body will make enough glucose to run via gluconeogensis to run your brain. You don’t necessarily have to eat carbs to function effectively. While in ketosis, your body’s primary energy source is beta-hydroxybutyrate (B-OHB).

Fat burning (we’ll just call ketosis that from now). Is the body’s preferred state. Throughout over 90% of our evolution this is how we operated. We did not have a consistent and reliable source of carbohydrate until fairly recently.

Different Ketogenic Strategies

1) Standard Ketogenic Diet: Very low-carb, high-fat, and moderate protein. 75-80% of calories come from fats, 5-10% from carbs, and around 20% from protein.

2) Cyclical Ketogenic Diet: Carbs are strategically timed to remain in ketosis for the vast majority of the time. Usually, this entails only consuming carbs right after exercise, and it might entail introducing high-carb meals on select days.

3) High-Protein Ketogenic Diet: This method works well in conjunction with strength training. Protein is generally in the 30% range, carbs around 5-10% and the rest fats (this is basically where I am 90% of the time). This does very well to keep body fat in check and is very satisfying.

Benefits of Being a Fat Burner

1. Proven weight loss without deliberate calorie restriction…”Carbs drive insulin; Insulin drives fat.”

2. Healthy blood sugars though increased insulin sensitivity.

3. Low levels of inflammation and lowered blood pressure.

4. Better skin.

5. Effortless appetite control.

6. Potential resistance to cancer, Alzheimer’s, dementia, premature aging.

7. Ketogenic diets are currently being researched to help epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and assist in recovery from brain injuries (look these up if you don’t believe me).

8. Increased endurance performance. Endless energy supply for athletic purposes. Dual fuel sources.

Foods to Avoid to become a Fat-Burning Beast

* Added sugars of all kinds.

* All grains and starches (pasta, bread, rice, corn).

* Fruit. One small piece per day is about it.

* Diet products or low-fat foods.

* Legumes (beans, lentils, peas, peanuts, etc.)

* Most root vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, etc.

* Man-made fats like soy and canola oil, trans-fats, and seed oils.

* Most alcoholic beverages.

Preferred Beast Foods

* Meat, eggs, and fatty wild fish.

* Small amounts of full-fat cheese.

* Cream and grass-fed butter.

* Nuts and seeds such as almonds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, and hazelnuts.

* Avocados.

* Low-carb veggies like broccoli, spinach, kale, red cabbage, onions, peppers, etc.

* Healthy oils like coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil.

* Spices


* MCT oil. Helps increase ketone production. Instant energy.

* Caffeine. Why not? Helps to mobilize fatty acid stores.

* Magnesium. Preferred types are magnesium glycinate, aspartate, and citrate.

Side Effects

Ketogenic diets are very safe.The main downside is what is called the “low-carb flu.” It is generally over in about 4-5 days. This can include brain fog, low-energy, nausea, some sleep or anxiety issues. Plenty of water, extra salt (up to 5000mg per day), potassium, and magnesium are the best ways to combat this.

Additional Information

Here are some easy additional resources.


Peter Attia, M.D. – “An Advantaged Metabolic State: Human Performance, Resilience & Health” 

Dr. Stephen Phinney – “The Art and Science of Nutritional Ketosis” 


The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living: Jeff Volek, PhD, R.D. and Stephen Phinney, M.D., PhD.


March 18, 2015

Full-Body Conditioning Simplified: Run, Swing, Repeat.

Simple, full-body conditioning. ASAP!

One of the primary reasons people get sidetracked or discouraged in any exercise program is the massive number of exercise variations and the tidal wave of information available online.

Ideally, you should have your week or day’s training already planned out, because random “workout of the day” formats only get you so far. But, sometimes a break is in order, or maybe time or equipment is short for that day. You still have to train, though.

Here is one of my simple workouts for a little extra conditioning and some strength work. I have found that a good mix of basic kettlebell exercises and bodyweight movements are absolute gold for body-composition, mobility, and conditioning.

You will need a single kettlebell, a stopwatch or timer, and an open space.

2-Arm kettlebell swings, jog, burpees, jog, repeat.

Take a single kettlebell to an open field, park, or parking lot.

Pace out about 100 strides, or just eyeball an object in the distance approximately 100 yards away.

Set the bell down, set the timer for 10,15 or 20 minutes. Do a hard set of swings with the bell, in few enough reps that the last rep of your set is just as explosive and fast as your first rep.

Slow jog to the pre-determined spot in the distance. Drop down and do 5-10 burpees. Try to do them as fast and powerfully as possible. I know there are 100s of burpee variations out there. Don’t overthink this. Just pick one and do it.

Jog back to the kettlebell. Repeat for the allotted time. Count rounds if you want, but I usually don’t. I just work for the allotted time and don’t worry about the numbers.

Remember that the run is supposed to be an easy, recovery jog. Take it easy, so that you can put as much speed into your swings and burpees as possible. The idea is not to let those movements get slow. Remember, they are both power movements, which means speed is important.

What kind of swing?
For me, I generally just do the low-tech 2-arm swing for this and drag out either a 40kg or 48kg bell. 8-10 swings per set seems to be the sweet spot for sustained power production in this exercise for me with these weights. Any more and they start to slow and power production starts to drop. I would choose a weight you can manage 15-20 perfect reps with at a maximum, and then only do 8-10 reps per set to make sure every rep is perfect.

Just because you might do competitive kettlebell sport, you don’t have to ignore the 2-Arm “Hardstyle” Swing as an exercise. It’s OK. Relax. The kettlebell gods won’t strike you down.

It is a different exercise than the 1-arm GS Swing designed to improve your snatch or long-cycle numbers, but it is still a great conditioning movement. I see it on the same level as the burpee, and probably has as much to do with your sport numbers as the burpee does (which is little). This is about getting in a few minutes of good conditioning with a little strength built in. No skill involved, just work. This might be a good addition to add after high-skill movements like the jerk or snatch.

The heavy 2-Arm Swing will build conditioning unlike nearly any other exercise. The swing works the entire posterior chain, but special emphasis is placed on the glutes, hamstrings and mid-line stabilization muscles (core).

The 2-Arm Swing is a perfectly symmetrical exercise. You can’t favor one side. If you do, you will know about it real fast.
Since the swing is primarily focused on mid-line stabilization – in synchronization with explosive hip and knee extension – its carryover into sports activities and other functional movement is incredible.

In plain English, this means that it will help you lift heavier, jump higher and run faster. Or, simply do these things easier and with less risk of injury.

In theory, you could take a group with some kind of body-composition goal and have them finish out 20-30 minutes of strength training with 10-15 minutes of this a few days a week.

Low-skill. Easy on the hands.
One of the benefits of this type of training for a martial artist or kettlebell sport competitor is these low-skill movements are easy on the hands. If you’ve been drilling the snatch or long-cycle for timed sets, your concentration can be a little fried and the hands might need rest. Short, heavy sets of 2-arm swings don’t put a ton of wear on the hands and are safe enough and low-skill enough that they shouldn’t interfere with recovery or risk injury.

Listen to your body, and don’t be afraid to scale back.
This basic workout is simple, but not easy. It is designed to be low-skill, and not interfere with recovery time. It should also challenge anyone if you use the right bell and move fast enough. The simplest way to up the ante, if needed, is to simply reduce the length of your recovery jog. Reducing it to 50 yards instead of 100 yards is actually a huge increase in difficulty.

There is no reason to risk injury if you are new to training, either. If burpees are not possible, then just do pushups, or maybe even a plank hold instead. If swings aren’t on the table yet, then kettlebell deadlifts or goblet squats are a good substitute.

I have used this exact training for senior citizens and extremely de-conditioned individuals, using plank holds, a one-minute brisk walk, and kettlebell deadlifts in place of swings. Whatever you choose, just make sure your first rep looks as good as your last.

Get off the computer and get moving!
Quit looking for a magical workout or exercise. Just get moving with a few simple movements. Enough thinking and reading. Work!

-Jim Beaumont
Idaho Kettlebell Strength and Conditioning

February 24, 2015

“Graduate” to Building Strength and Health

“Graduate” to Building Strength and Health.

Conversation with a long-time member of IKSC yesterday about goals:  It really brought me to one of the things of which I am most proud.

I feel safe to say that not many are here at IKSC because they are trying to “lose” anything, and there has never been a short-term weight loss challenge or contest.  We do lots of monthly challenges, of course, but they are always centered on building some physical skill or healthy eating pattern.

We are here to build positive things, not focus on a negative. I think you’ll find that in doing so, the negatives kind of go away on their own. Things like weight loss challenges are about focusing on some element of dissatisfaction that is to be reduced, not building a positive. Think about that for a minute.

Some fat or weight loss may occur as a result of training appropriately and following a healthy eating pattern, but most are truly here in order to build rather than reduce.

  • Strength – Because it makes everything in life better. Without this, nothing else is important or possible.
  • Proper Movement Patterns –Because this enables strength to be utilized. Without it, it is like a car with a great engine, but no wheels to travel with.  
  • Low-Risk/High-Yield training  Living pain-free should be your default setting. If you are becoming injured as a result of your training system, you’d better take a long look at it.
  • Health -Through the best nutrition education available, I am happy to say that those that follow our nutrition education guidelines are just as likely to report better skin, hair, energy levels, less inflammation, higher strength levels, and  improved clinical blood test results as they are pounds lost on a scale.
  • Long-term Focus and Lifestyle Change –The goal is never about a few weeks out. It is about what is continuing to happen in 5, 10, or 20 years.

These things are not an accident.

The fitness industry preys on people’s insecurities and self-hatred. This simply does not happen here.

You truly have to enjoy making yourself stronger and healthier to train here. When a new member makes the decision to train, I think of them as a “student” that is here to learn and build something permanent.

This is quite a paradigm shift for many. In a way, I feel that they “graduate” to advanced study at Idaho Kettlebell Strength and Conditioning .


Idaho Kettlebell Strength and Conditioning

February 15, 2015

Strategies for Success on Any Nutrition Program.

Strategies for Success on Any Nutrition Program.

1) You must log everything you eat and drink. No exceptions.  If you don’t have an accurate account of what you are taking in, the quantities, and the times you are eating them, failure is very likely.

2) You can’t be afraid of meat, fish, and/or eggs. Protein coming from real food is your 1# priority. This is one thing that pretty much all legitimate nutrition plans agree on.

3) You will have to drink lots of water.

4) Don’t drink calories if you have a weight or fat loss goal. The digestive process begins – and satiety signals are sent -the instant nutrients hit your salivary glands. Drinking calories “short circuits” this process. Your body expects to have to chew to get nutrients. Don’t confuse it.

5) Your logs are tools for your learning process, and they need to include more than carbs, fats, and protein. It is helpful to make notes about sleep, mood, life stressors , energy levels, etc.

6) Develop the mindset that whatever plan you decide to follow is an education program not a diet or short-term weight loss program. This is a process to figure out what makes your body run best.

-Jim Beaumont

Idaho Kettlebell Strength and Conditioning

February 4, 2015

21 Instant and Irresistible Low-Carb/High-Nutrient Snacks

21 Instant and Irresistible Low-Carb/High-Nutrient Snacks

Poor Planning=Poor Eating.

I have found that pre-planning nutritious and irresistible low-carbohydrate meals/snacks is vital in dealing with sugar cravings. Here are a few examples to have on-deck when cutting out the carbs. If I know that one of these yummy and extremely satisfying options are waiting for me, it is way easier to avoid the drive-thru. Some of these are not “perfect” primal options, but they are certainly good, instant options.

All of these can be prepared in about a minute or less. Bacon can be pre-cooked and eaten cold or warmed for about 20 seconds in a microwave. Have a few of these options on hand when time is an issue.

1. Beef jerky and nuts (look for jerky that has less than 5gr of sugar per serving, and paleo-approved nuts).
2. Wild salmon lox and cream cheese (no bagel, and be very sparing on the cream cheese).
3. Bacon and avocado slices on a romaine lettuce leaf, rolled up like a taco.
4. Tanka buffalo meat snacks.
5. 85% or higher dark chocolate with a tablespoon of coconut oil smeared on top.
6. Cucumber slices soaked in a small bowl of white vinegar with salt and pepper.
7. A whole sliced avocado with lime juice, salt and pepper.
8. Related to #6, a whole avocado with lemon juice and cayenne pepper.
9. Sardines (packed in water or olive oil…watch out for soybean oil in many brands). I like mine sprinkled with Tabasco sauce.
10. Dry salami and Kerrygold cheese slices rolled into little burrito thingys.
11. Fried pork skins/Chicharrones.
12. Two words: Bacon Jerky. Lower in sugar than most any jerky. Very satisfying.
13. A scoop of coconut oil and a handful of paleo- approved, raw nuts. Not roasted.
14. Ostrim ostrich sticks.
15. Smoked wild salmon. All by itself.
16. Crispy bacon with slices of avocado made into little bacon and avocado sandwiches.
17. Lettuce wraps with homemade guacamole and bacon strips.
18. Roasted deli meat…you have to be really careful about the ingredients. Look out for wheat and sugars.
19. 88% pure dark chocolate. All by itself.
20. 2 ounces of a hard, dry cheese like parmesan or Romano.
21. Canned smoked herring. Double check the contents for nasty oils like canola or cottonseed oil.

These are all options that are fair game on my 6-Week Nutrition Education Program.

January 4, 2015

Fighting Sugar Cravings: Sugar Survival 101.

Fighting Sugar Cravings: Sugar Survival 101.

When: Saturday, Jan 24th. 11:00 a.m.-12:30p.m.

Where: Idaho Kettlebell Strength and Conditioning.
6121 E. Cleveland Blvd. Caldwell, ID 83607 (208) 412-6079.

Instructor: Jim Beaumont. Certified Sport Nutrition Specialist, and Primal Blueprint Certified Expert.

Cost: $20
($10 for regular IKSC members. Free to current nutrition education program members.

*Anyone who came to the first session can repeat for free)

*Limited to max of 20 students.

  • Find out what foods CAUSE sugar cravings.
  • Find out which foods FIGHT sugar cravings.
  • How supplementation can curb sugar cravings.
  • How simple lifestyle changes can affect how your body uses (and craves) sugar.
  • How your exercise schedule affects the way your body craves sugar.
  • How your meal timing affects fat storage and appetite.
  • How sugar is messing with basic hormonal function, causing you to store fat.
  • How sugars destroy your progress in the gym and stop fat burning.

April 2, 2014

Hill Sprints

Ajax Hill Sprint

You all know I recommend hill sprints once a week to compliment strength training.

How to start?

Here is the simplest “program” I can think of:

Find a hill, steep or not. Walk UP the hill for about 45 seconds or about 100 steps.

Walk back to the start. Set a timer or stopwatch for 15-20 minutes.

Run up the hill to the spot you reached before. Walk slowly back to the start. Repeat for 20 minutes. Done. That’s it. No, this isn’t true max-speed “sprints” but they will be just fine for most people. You want to rest enough between efforts that you can run as fast as possible, but the hill will reduce the stride length and add enough resistance that the risk of injury is minimized.

For best results, do this on an empty stomach.

And, take your dog or dogs. They’ll love this!

Saving Money on Supplements

Today’s fitness tip: Saving money on supplements.

There is very little new in the supplement world and most new supplements that hit the market are simple, effective ingredients that are really cheap if bought in raw form.

The cheapest place I know of for raw ingredients is You might shop around and find a better deal once in a while, but for the most part that is your best bet and they have about everything under the sun.

1) Look at the label of any supplement on the market.

2)Find the main ingredients.

3)Go to and find those raw ingredients and price them in generic form.

Make your decision.

Example: Pre-workout formulas.

Most popular ones (that actually work) have caffeine as the primary ingredient, with some beta-alanine, L-arginine, and maybe some creatine monohydrate.

A jar of most pre-workout powders costs between $30-40 and will last you less than a month in most cases.

I bet you can find 3-6 months of those ingredients for the same price in raw form.

June 29, 2012

July Fitness/Nutrition Challenge

July Fitness/Nutrition Challenge.

Do not overthink this!
Eat ONLY meat, fish, eggs, raw nuts, and fresh produce.
Drink ONLY water.
(Reasonable amounts of condiments, like real butter, real sour cream, coconut oil, olive oil, vinegar, etc are allowed).

Supplements are OK, as long as they are not a primary source of nutrition or consumed as meal replacements.

ONE cheat meal per week is allowed. Plan it and enjoy whatever you want.

Bodyweight Exercise Minimum Quota:
200 pullups per week
300 pushups
1,000 squats
-Break this up over as many days, into as many sets as needed. Do this as part of, or in addition to, your normal training. Don’t overthink this! Just start doing reps. Feel free to do more.

ANY needed or reasonable modification of these exercises is permitted.

Omission of any of these is OK for bonafide medical reasons (not just because you are sore or too busy. Suck it up).

Get creative and get moving.

Please…I don’t want to hear a single excuse from anyone.

Either do it or choose not to. I only want to hear what you CAN do, not how hard this is, or hear reasons why you can’t do any part of it.

-Jim Beaumont

April 12, 2011

Double Kettlebell Workout: Squats, Presses and Pullups.

Double kettlebells for a few weeks.

Squats (mostly for flexibility and stability, while recovering from a pulled hamstring).

Double presses supersetted with pullups.

10 sets of 5 week 1.

8 sets of 6 week 2.

6 sets of 8 week 3.

90 seconds rest between sets, in order to reduce soreness and hypertrophy. Working on strength and stability. I’m as big as I need to be.

Today’s training:
Double Kettlebell Front Squats (32kg)
8 x 6. 90 seconds rest between sets.

Double Kettlebell Presses/Pullups. 90 seconds rest between supersets.

Finished with three 1-minute sets of kettlebell Mill Presses with the 32kg at 12 reps/minute. Sets of 6 pullups immediately after presses.
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