Paleo For Lifters E-book Release

In late 2007 I shifted my training focus from two years of  “bodybuilding style stuff” back to an emphasis on performance. In early 2008 I started doing CrossFit exclusively for several months. As I was studying Kinesiology material in school, I also soaked up training and nutrition information at home. I read Loren Cordain’s “The Paleo Diet” and implemented it immediately. I quickly found that lots of protein and fat with controlled carbs was not only optimal for performance, but also helped me gain almost ten pounds of lean body mass in a month even though I was doing CrossFit. I was meticulous. In the beginning of 2009 I focused on strength training and put an emphasis on low quality, yet high calorie foods in high quantities. I ate like this for 18 months and gained weight and got stronger, but I always felt a bit sluggish. Since the middle of 2010, I’ve steadily experimented and progressed my diet into something that uses the Paleo diet as a base, but provides enough calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fat to fuel strength and conditioning training.

I constantly aim to improve my knowledge and how I teach nutrition on has evolved over time. It’s possible to consume enough macronutrients and calories to recover from training and do so with quality foods that make our bodies more efficient and healthy; increased efficiency improves training recovery.

The result is that I maintain a sub-10% body fat while hovering between 210 and 215 pounds and can perform the following any day of the week: squat 450 for reps, press 225, deadlift 500, snatch 125kg, and clean and jerk 155kg. I don’t like humble-bragging, but these methods are effective not only for me, but lifters and trainees I work with.

Paleo for Lifters is an e-book I’ve been writing off and on for months and is about 26,000 words and 60 pages. It surpasses the length of Texas Method: Part 1 by several thousand words but isn’t as big as The Texas Method: Advanced, which sits at about 35,000 words. While the TM books were riddled with figures, graphs, and images, Paleo for Lifters is mostly just old fashioned text and explanation. Those who have read my books in the past know that I don’t put out crappy e-books, and this book is chock-full of useful information.

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Table of Contents
1 —  Introduction
2 — Nutrition Basics
3 — Why Paleo?
4 — Implementation
5 — Tips and Such
6 — A Final Word

The early chapters explain the basics of nutrition physiology as well as how much food a lifter, athlete, or trainee needs. Chapter 3 explains why the Paleolithic Diet is a good foundation for quality food and how it can help reduce systemic inflammation and therefore improve training recovery. Chapter 4 teaches readers how to use the Paleo diet to get enough quantities of protein, carbs, and fat and even how to tweak it based on body type and goal. Section topics include questionable and acceptable food choices (that differ from Paleo zealot recommendations), supplements, types of trainees, and a step-by-step guide to improving food quality. Chapter 5 ties up loose ends by covering topics like how to effectively use “cheat meals” (a goofy term that I use for consistency’s sake), how to read food labels, cooking tips, eating on a budget, eating while traveling, timing food intake with training, and how to tweak carbs intake, and information on sleep and hydration.

There are no recipes in this book, though there is a section that gives information on learning how to cook.

33 thoughts on “Paleo For Lifters E-book Release

  1. This’ll really help both myself and my trainees when it comes to fitting a Paleo diet with training goals. Thanks for putting this out there.

    And just because I have OCD about these things, a few typos:
    page 10: In the Sweet Potatoes section: “Minimal protein, no fat” appears twice in the same paragraph.
    page 11: In the White Potatoes section: “more quicklyly”
    page 38: “any time of potato” – Should probably be “type”.

    Thanks again!

  2. I liked the TM books- useful and pretty well organized. I’ve gone back to it many times and I think it has helped my training.

    I always think of ‘strict Paleo’ as a weight loss diet. I don’t get very hungry and end up eating MUCH less food when I get strict. I feel like another bite of chicken or steak is going to make me barf, and I end up chewing it up and swallowing with some water- like a pill. But there’s always room for more burrito, casserole, or ice cream. I like the way paleo makes me feel, and I think it would great for ‘maintanence,’ but it makes me hate eating because it’s so hard to get enough quantity.

    Yeah, yeah- “eating is training.” Training is training. Feeling like you’re going to throw up during every meal is just awful. I’ll give this book a go based on Justin’s track record and delts, hopefully it helps.

  3. Just bought it as well. I second Spartan’s comment regarding implementation on a chow hall/MRE diet, but look forward to going all out when I get back.

  4. Just finished the book… good stuff in there, Justin. Great guide for how to do this right without all the fitness mag bro-science BS.

    What’s the general recommendation for early-morning training? I trained fasted for a few years and did just fine.

    Recently, I’ve been waking up and blending a banana with a 1/2 cup of oats and 25g whey – I’m lifting 45 mins later.

    If I’m going to drop the whey and oats, is it a better idea to train fasted? Maybe some BCAAs?

    Anybody have suggestions?

    • 10g BCAAs 5 minutes or so before training fasted makes sense, and as long as you buy a basic BCAA powder it should cost 30 cents per serving, so why not use it? For me, the placebo effect alone is worth the cost and 20 seconds it takes.
      Again, everyone is different here in regards to fasted training. If you are setting PRs and generally achieving your goals while training fasted (with or without BCAAs), great! I think for early morning training, if fasted training lets you sleep an extra 30 minutes, its awesome.
      Of course if you’ve been training fasted for months and aren’t progressing, try changing you pre-workout meal and see if things improve.
      I seem to do really well “fasted” or with 3-4 eggs 2 hours pre-workout. Could I adapt to a carb heavy preworkout meal? Probably, but I’d rather top my glycogen stores up the night before and not have a belly full of cereal before training. That’s just me though. As long as calories, protein, a decent training plan, and sleep are in order, I grow/get stronger.

  5. I mean basically what happened was the food FAQ that erbody wanted was put into book form for sale but its fine I’ll probably buy it anyway.

    Stay Safe.

  6. Just finished reading the book. Great job, Justin! The section for fat trainees was way more helpful than the guidelines my endocrinologist gave me.

    And I loved the bit about making good choices being a chance to prove your quality, because it reminded me of Faramir showing his quality in The Lord of the Rings. Don’t know if that was intentional, but that is badass. :)

  7. I enjoyed this read very much. It assuaged most of my concerns, and I’m going to give it a go while I train for my first powerlifting meet which I just registered seven weeks from now. A quick question because I’m not up on all the paleo stuff and not sure I want to be: are beans no bueno? Or rather, why are beans no bueno. I like potatoes plenty, but I also like beans and they seem to agree with me and sort of seem more like nuts than grains in the nomenclature.

  8. I’m about to purchase and read it myself, so I’m sure I’ll answer my own question but… “even how to tweak it based on body type and goal” you say. Does this include specific details for female athletes? If not… would you consider writing an addendum?

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  12. Very well done, Justin. I have to avoid the starches, as a type 2 diabetic, but for those without severely damaged metabolisms, it makes a lot of good sense.

  13. Just bought this and started reading. I’m happy to pay a fair price for your work, but I do wish it had come in a true e-book format so I could read it on my kindle. Just a thought for future releases…

  14. Just read the whole thing. Here’s my concise review:
    Great intro to paleo and how to implement it for getting bigger and stronger.
    Quick read with non-intimidating language.
    Very good for beginners including highschool athletes.
    No bibliography.
    No bibliography.
    Not much scientific evidence. Primarily anecdotal evidence.
    No specific meal planning information, just general guidelines.
    Not for the advanced paleo athlete. If you’ve been following paleo and lifting for a few years, there is not much new material here.

    That said, it is a great resource and was sorely needed. Thanks Justin for putting it all together. I’d love to see a hard copy of this book for my athletes, too.

  15. Hey Justin, I just bought the book for download and it didn’t download. The download box has been stuck on 0% for about 10minutes now. Is there anyway you can email me @ My paypal account is the same if you need somesort of verification. But if you could email me and we could work out a way for me to get it dowloadedwithout paying for it again, that would be awesome. Thanks

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