End of the Paleo Challenge

One month ago, we started a team Paleo Challenge at Survival Fitness. I promised myself that I would try to go 100% Paleo for the entire challenge, and with one small exception (shredded cheese and croutons on a salad), I did it. I’ve seen incredible results in my fitness, my body composition, and how I feel.

I started the challenge at 12.3% body fat and 181 pounds. In less than 2 weeks, I had dropped to 172 pounds (home scale)! I was losing too much weight, so I increased my protein sources (eggs, meat, fish, etc.) by 50% at each meal. As an example, I went from eating 4 eggs at breakfast to 6. This brought my weight back up into the 175 pound range where I’ve been able to stabilize. This morning at my final weigh-in at the gym I was 178 pounds (not sure how I got back up that high) and 9.8% body fat. That’s a drop of more than 20% of my starting body fat %. I have a visible 6-pack, which has always been a goal of mine. I can’t believe the changes in my body is one short month. A key point is that I had already been eating 80-90% Paleo since I started doing CrossFit, but going 100% made a huge difference!

After taking the rest day yesterday I was feeling great this morning. I attended the 9am class so I could get the benchmark WOD done early. Can you say pizza and Mountain Dew for lunch and dinner? Seriously!


4 rounds

  • 15s Zombie Kicks
  • 15s Jumping Jacks
  • 15s Butt Kicks
  • 15s Mountain Climbers

12:00 AMRAP

  • 150m Run
  • Rest as long as the run took

I started out pretty fast, but realized 12:00 is a long time to do sprints, so I slowed down to a 30s pace in order to save myself for the WOD. It is a warm-up after all. I think I completed 13 runs.


We partnered up again so that we could count each other and get a bit of rest.

5:00 AMRAP

  • Burpees

4:00 AMRAP

  • Wall Balls

3:00 AMRAP

  • Air Squats

2:00 AMRAP

  • KBS (Russian)

1:00 AMRAP

  • AbMat Sit-ups

I improved in each of the tests:

  • Burpees went from 82 to 91, an increase of 10.9%.
  • Wall balls went from 77 to 95, an increase of 23.4%.
  • Air squats went from 101 to 112, an increase of 10.9%
  • KBS went from 76 to 82, an increase of 7.9%.
  • AbMat (“cheater”) sit-ups went from 67 to 81, an increase of 20.9%
  • Total reps went from 403 to 461, an overall increase of 14.4%.

I had one of the top 5 scores for the first assessment, so I figured improving wasn’t going to be easy. I’m thrilled with a 14.4% improvement. Hard work pays off! I’m really happy with my burpee and wall ball improvements because burpees are such a great overall cardio and full body exercise and I knew wall balls were one of my weaknesses. My air squats are still pretty weak compared to the best in the gym, but getting better. It’s hard to improve on the Russian KBS, except by increasing weight, because you can only do them so fast. In the first test I took one short break, but went unbroken for the entire 2 minutes today. I’m not concerned about the sit-up number because it was doing the cheater standard, which I’m no longer doing.

With all of the rest time, I don’t feel like I had to work very hard overall, even though I pushed as hard as I could go. I may try attend 8pm open gym and do a strength WOD since I’ll be out of town for the weekend.

Published by

Nick Momrik

I'm searching for the perfect golf swing and my first hole-in-one. I'm addicted to CrossFit. I work for Automattic.

12 thoughts on “End of the Paleo Challenge”

  1. Way to go! It’s amazing how 20% change up can really CHANGE YOU for the better! Don’t be going into a food coma now. Or should I say I hope you don’t have any plans for tomorrow cause the first time I ate pizza after being super strict I was in a 2 day haze! Enjoy your pizza and WAY TO GO again!


    1. Yeah, I don’t plan to go crazy off of Paleo. I’m going to have to experiment for awhile to see what level of cheating per week or every two weeks I can get away with and still maintain my body composition. Now that I’ve leaned out my goal is to add muscle, but I realize that takes a lot longer.


  2. I know I read back somewhere in your blog what you were eating, but can’t find it now. I’m trying to do semi-paleoish. Pretty much I’ve cut out grains and no added-sugar during the week, but splurge on my weekends.
    Did you find it hard to keep on track during the weekends? And how did a typical day look like as far as food? I remember reading when you wrote up about your food, it seemed pretty simple. I like simple, but feel like I can’t eat enough sometimes without getting all carby.


      1. Thanks! I was looking on your CrossFit blog, but must’ve read it on the other.

        Couple more questions (as I’m intrigued by strict paleo-eaters!):
        1. Do you buy/prepare your own foods? And are you eating all grass-fed, free range meat? Or does this include restaurant food?
        2. How did you eat before your 30-day challenge?
        3. How do you like that Withings scale? Sounds like an awesome concept, but I’m cheap lol.


        1. 1) I rarely eat out. 95+% of my meals are at home. I don’t bother with grass-fed or free-range because it’s too tough to find and a lot more expensive.
          2) Before the challenge I was eating very similar, at about 80-90% Paleo with a couple of cheat meals per week, usually an entire day of pizza one day a week.
          3) I love it, but I’m a data geek. I also use a FitBit, keep very detailed stats about my golf game, and love looking at numbers. FitBit also has come out with a similar scale, which I believe is a bit cheaper.


          1. It’s good to see that you still got awesome results without going the whole grass-fed route; I’ve done really good at cutting out my beloved bread and pasta, but I have a hard time paying more than $3/lb for beef!


            1. I try to buy most of my meat at Kroger when it’s on sale and then freeze a bunch. Every 2 or 3 weeks they have beef chuck shoulder (for roasts) and pork chops buy one get one free.


              1. I’ll have to check it out.
                My kitchen skills are quite limited, which is why a lot of the paleo meals I’ve seen scare me (I’m super picky).. I’m mostly a ground beef/boneless,skinless chicken breast.
                But as I said, your story is pretty great considering how simple your meals are and that you stuck to the cheaper meat.
                Nice job!


                1. You can probably get 80-90% or more of the benefits from Paleo without going as far as the grass-fed and free-range meats. Make it fun in the kitchen and slowly add new techniques to your arsenal and new gadgets to your supplies.


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