Paleo Challenge Results

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It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the final results from the Paleo Challenge. First of all, a reminder that the top male and female in each category (“participation” and “body fat loss”) will win $200 cash each.

For the “Participation” category, the scores were tallied from the points from the logs you turned in (or didn’t turn in) each week. As a fun metric, we also calculated the “percent participation” from these scores to determine how well you played the game (or perhaps, “how much effort you gave”). It appears that Jeff and Lindsay changed their priorities around to make “eating paleo”, “posting recipes” and “working out” fall only slightly behind “breathing” and “going to the bathroom.” Out of the 617 points possible, Jeff had a total of 592 (for a remarkable 96% Participation) and Lindsay had 558 (90% Participation). Congratulations you two – you most definitely win this category, and you can both take Danielle and me out to a Paleo-friendly dinner with your winnings.

The winners of the “Body Fat Loss” category had the greatest difference between their final and initial total skinfold measurements from the 4 testing sites (triceps, biceps, subscapular and iliac crest). Only the direct measurements were used in consideration of the winners in order to keep it objective, since the accuracy of converting those measurements into a percentage of body fat is somewhat less than perfect. Also for a fun metric, we calculated the “percent improvement” over the initial measurement. Tony G. wins for the men, having a difference of 20mm (40% improvement!) in his measurements, and Michell wins for the women, with a difference of 28mm (18% improvement). Congratulations to both of you – you may also take Danielle and I out for dinner sometime with your winnings.

But wait, there’s more! A new prize category has been added called “Relentless Perseverance.” This category reflects the male and female who have the highest combined participation and body fat loss (based on the percentage metrics I mentioned). I wish I had made this one of the categories from the beginning, because this is the best reflection of your overall dedication to change your life for the better, in my opinion. Emily had 523 points (85% Participation) and a skinfold difference of 13mm (14% improvement) for a total score of 99%, and is the women’s winner for Relentless Perseverance. Eric had 556 points (90% Participation) and a skinfold difference of 12mm (31% improvement) for a total score of 121%, and is the men’s winner. You both win $50 cash and the t-shirt of your choice from the website, and the opportunity to take Danielle and I out for coffee (since your winnings won’t cover dinner).

Congratulations to all of our winners, and to everyone else as well. You all took huge deliberate steps toward improving your lives and that can only lead to better things. I can’t wait to see how much more you can improve.

  • michell g fishman

    Congratulations, one and all!

  • Ray

    I’m glad I did the Paleo Challenge. I lost 20 lbs doing this and I saw every metric I can think of get better. My stamina increased, my cardio/respiratory capacity increased, my strength went up, I can do unassisted pullups (awesome!), I can string together multiple double-unders (60 days ago, I couldn’t do a single double-under). I sleep better, feel better, think better.

    I’m probably preaching to the choir with this, as most at the gym are probably paleo, anyway. But anyone reading this who isn’t considering moving to paleo, don’t sabotage the hard work you put into the WOD by filling your body with stuff that is going to work against you.

    Thanks, Tai! I am drinking the proverbial Kool-Aid (b/c who needs that much sugar, right?) I got 60 days until my wedding, and I can’t wait to see what else I can do in that time.

    That’s enough out of me.
    Ray H

  • Erik Herik

    Congrats to everyone!

    The Paleo lifestyle opened my eyes to a new definition of what is “healthly” on several occasions. The most beneficial finding was the revelation I have an egg allergy. I’ve spent several years trying to determine the cause of severe heartburn and intermittent nausea, both of which I finally chalked up to be 30+ yo. The Paleo lifestyle allowed me to isolate many of the foods I ate, which led to the (un)fortunate discovery that my body hates eggs. Eggs are in so many food products that I’m now forced to re-evaluate almost everything I eat. Although eggs in low concentrations don’t seem to irritate my body as badly, I’m certain they’re instigating a war with my immune system even when there are no obvious symptoms. My heartburn is almost entirely gone. (On a side note, my brother discovered an unknown almond allergy while eating Paleo.)

    The Paleo lifestyle also undermined a diet-myth I hear from guys my size and build: “I’m already thin, so I don’t want to lose any more weight on some Adkins-type diet.” From Day 1 to 90 my body weight barely changed. The lack of weight gain (or weight loss) made me question whether I was making any progress at all. There was anecdotal evidence: better sleep, heavier Olympic weight lifts, faster times, etc. My final caliper pinch told the whole story: The change in my BMI suggests that I lost approximately 8lbs of fat, and since my weight was constant, I likely gained an add’l 8 lbs of muscle!

    It’s tough to argue with those results.

  • Jeff Silver

    I totally agree with everyone. At first the transition is not an easy one but after only a little time the benefits far far outweigh the costs. I also really like what Erik said about not wanting to loose weight, but despite loosing some weight my lifts have gotten heavier, times gotten faster and basically everything else has improved as well, so perhaps my body is a better guide to my ideal weight than a number that I have thought up. Eating paleo is very much worthwhile. If you don’t think so, thats fine. But if you are even the slightest bit curious you should give it a try. But if you do, really give it a shot. But don’t expect that you will instantly turn into the best in the gym, progress takes time. Anyway, I’m very happy to have been a part of the challenge and congrats to everyone who participated.

  • Jeff Silver

    Oh yeah, I also totally agree with what Erik said. It is really pretty much impossible to argue with results in case someone tells you it doesn’t work.

  • Michell

    Okay, I now have time to expand on this mornings post.

    First – every one competing in this challenge was (and is) absolutely amazing.

    Second – Tai, Danielle, and everyone I have worked out with…you are inspirational and motivating. I now look forward to going to the gym and doing not only the very best I can, but trying to do a little better. Take today, for example; I was only 10 lb off an Rx workout. Two months ago, I was freaking out about the GHD machine and assisted pullups!!

    I have lost 18 pounds, and gained such an amazing increase in strength. My sugar cravings are practicaly nil. I *am* still pro dairy, but barely miss grains and legumes at all. As Eric and Jeff said above – you can’t argue with results!!

    Finally, I want to thank each and everyone at the gym for being so friendly and kind. I have massive mental and body issues that I struggle with every day, but have never felt anything but welcome from my very first day at the gym. (okay, I am choking myself up a little now, so it must be time to go to bed.)

    Best and Burpees to all!!!

  • Rachel

    as someone who watched you all begin the challenge with a smug sense you were nutters, then increasingly grew more interested (read wolf and cordain, have started reading sisson), I am so freaking inspired by you all! I have started cutting out grains and sugar, though I still succumb to the occasional pastry and don’t eat enough protein (ex vegan who just can’t get myself to enjoy meat enough yet!). But after following you guys, looking at the million recipes you posted, and hearing about these phenom results I really am committed to giving it a REAL go for a while. thanks.

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