In the continually shifting and expanding universe of performance-related nutrition, Ori Hofmekler offers up a nutritional philosophy unlike anything I have every encountered in my 55+ years of study on the role of food in the transformational process. Hofmekler contends that we eat the wrong foods at the wrong times. He further postulates that as a species we have never 'adapted" to the manufactured foods that so dominate modern man's diet. The human body was never designed to utilize the detrimental types of foods we routinely consume. Ori assers we are a poisoned species, at least in the Western World, and detoxification is critical. He melds his unusual nutritional theories with an equally unusual approach towards exercise: his is an ambitious exercise protocol aimed at transforming the actual composition of muscle fiber. Ori Hofmekler is a visionary and a thinker; his writings on optimal human archetype are fascinating and thought provoking. He is part anthropologist, part military historian, part scientist, part soldier and part artist.
Ori has made a lifelong study of how best to renovate the human body. He is extremely knowledgeable and opinionated on the subject of food toxicity and how best to detoxify. Much of his approach is about recreating and reintroducing primordial physical attributes we as a species have lost. He reaches back in time: back into man's evolutionary past, searching for clues and methods. Ori has done extensive research on primordial man's food selections and dietary habits looking for answers to modern maladies. Is it a coincidence, he asks that man stopped evolving as a species in about the same time that modern agriculture was introduced? Modern agriculture led to the widespread consumption of high glycemic foods. For the first time in human history farm-raised grains were configured and eaten in a variety of ways. Ori points out that as a species we never "adapted" to high GI food. Any time we consume insulin-spiking nutrients it produces a detrimental effect on the body.
Ori contends we compound continual caloric overlad with chemical poisoning. Artificial, chemically-drenched foods devoid of quality nutrients make up a large part of the modern American diet. Highly glycemic foods pickled in chemicals are not merely empty calories they are toxic calories. The over consumption of impure foods interferes with the human body's inherent cleansing and fat burning mechanisms. Ori outlines the problems and offers tough love solutions. As you might expect from an ex-Israeli commando, his physical and nutritional solutions are not for low-pain tolerance, politically correct sissies.
Ori at age 55: ripped and ready to roll. "Life in Paradise should be rugged!"
"According to Newton's third law of thermodynamics, life is a constant struggle against the universal forces of entropy. Without the means to resist these forces of degradation, any living organism will lose its ability to sustain its integral structure and consequently will cease to exist. Each living thing, including the human species, carries inherent survival mechanisms that when triggered will induce metabolic actions that will protect the body against destructive forces that cause disorders, disease and death ... food provides us the fuel for the survival machine. Anything that threatens the integrity of our nutrition is detrimental to our very existence."
Ori writes at length on what he believes is a huge undiagnosed societal problem: estrogenic poisoning. A fast food outlet recently introduced a single sandwich containing 1,400 calories and 100 grams of saturated fat. The cumulative effect of eating highly processed, highly estrogenic foods is not a pretty sight. Go to the food court at any local mall and observe the preponderance of obese, obviously sickly individuals... men... women... children. Innumerable modern maladies can be traced back to the artificial, highly processed, chemically-loaded foods we eat and the sedentary lifestyles we lead. Is it any wonder Hofmekler asks, that obesity, cancer, diabetes and heart disease are epidemic? Is it any wonder that for the first time in American history, children, on account of their dietary habits and sedentary lifestyles, are not expected to live as long as their out-of-shape parents? His messianic-tinged prophetic postulations are a natural outgrowth of his eclectic background.
Hofmekler developed highly formulized ideas about what we should eat, when we should eat, and how much we should eat. We cannot gorge for years (or decades) on artificial processed, highly refined foods containing noxious elements, without consequence. If fed a continual diet of food garbage, over time we destroy ourselves. Ori takes aim at everyone and everything: he feels soy products (flooding the market today) are toxic, worse than processed foods. Soy, Ori contends, causes the body to over-produce estrogen. Too much estrogen in the body creates a variety of health problems, including cancer and obesity.
Estrogen infects and poisons much of our food sources. Estrogen thrives in our toxic environment. The rampant use of petroleum-based pesticides, according to Hofmekler, "has castrated our soil and water." The plants and animals we feed on now are pale imitations of the potent produce and chemically-free livestock consumed prior to 1950. Ori feels estrogenic poisoning of our food, water and environment potentially threatens our future existence as a species. Female infertility and male impotency rates have skyrocketed since 1950. In the industrialized Western World estrogenic poisoning, according to Ori, is a widespread yet relatively undiagnosed societal malady.
He wrote The Anti-Estrogenic Diet to help people suffering from undiagnosed estrogenic poisoning. He devised an entire food philosophy designed to lower estrogen. He identifies estrogenic foods and identifies anti-estrogenic foods. Ori shows those suffering from Type II diabetes, hypertension, digestive disorders, cardiovascular disease and insulin-related blood sugar problems how to alleviate their condition through the use of precision nutrition. Hofmekler identifies an arsenal of estrogenic inhibitors including flavonoids and mysterious plant compounds that have been shown to possess powerful anti-oxidant/anti-carcinogenic/anti-estrogenic properties. Conjugated linoleic acid, indoles and lignans shift estrogen metabolites into the production of anti-estrogenic metabolites.
Ori approaches food from a completely unique angle: while the rest of the civilized world says, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." Ori says, Bah Humbug! Breakfast sucks! Don't eat it! Allow the natural detoxification process that commenced the previous night to continue on into the next day." Eat little if anything during the day. Avoid breakfast, particularly a chemically-laden breakfast of highly estrogenic and high glycemic foods. Allow the body to continue the natural detoxification process already underway. Then at night eat a single major meal, a veritable feast, with ample amounts of low glycemic, all natural, preferably organic food, food free of petroleum-based pesticides and chemical preservatives. If the body is allowed to operate without being continually overloaded or poisoned, primordial protective mechanisms are reawakened and allowed to work as Nature intended. Body fat is used for energy, detoxification occurs, metabolic balance is established and the body re-establishes ancient circadian rhythms and patterns. Modern man needs to reawaken dormant, primitive, protective circuitry and hardwiring.
In The Warrior Diet and The Anti-Estrogenic Diet Ori contends we should eat far less food and eat natural foods free of chemicals and preservatives. Regular exercise amplifies results. He contends that we should consume foods, "lower on the food chain," foods eaten by man before our evolutionary apex was reached. Ori suggests that nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables were a large part of the primordial man's diet and are extremely beneficial for modern man. He recommends a heavy intake of cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, collards, kale, rutabaga, Swedish turnips, sea kale, turnips, radishes, grapeseed, cauliflower, canola, mustard horseradish, wasabi and watercress - along with fibrous vegetables such as asparagus, green beans, carrots, bell peppers, onions, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, spinach and zucchini squash. Seeds and nuts are also highly recommended. Organic meats and free-range fowl trump steroidal-infused beef and poultry. Low glycemic foods are always preferred. All natural and (if possible) organic foods should replace artificially produced, chemically-loaded foods. He views refined carbs as mildly poisonous.
The Warrior Diet is based on a daily feeding cycle that uses under-eating during the day and over-eating at night. The under-eating phase maximizes the Sympathetic Nervous System's (SNS) 'fight or flight" reaction to stress. Under-eating promotes alertness and generates energy while igniting the fat burning process. Triggering the SNS improves the capacity to endur physical stress. The nightly over-eating phase can last up to four hours. The goal is to maximize the Parasympathetic Nervous System's (PNS) recuperation effect on the body, thereby promoting calmness and relaxation. Digestion improves, as does the utilization of nutrients for repair and growth. The nightly 'feast' stimulates the production of cellular Cyclic AMP or GMP, which stimulate hormone synthesis and fat burning during the da. Growth hormone release occurs during deep sleep.
The Warrior Diet Template
"Avoid Extreme Low Calorie Diets"
Input most of your food-energy at night, eating a large meal that spikes the body's metabolic rate every night. This nightly overcompensation shoots the metabolism into overdrive. Undereat during the day to deplete energy stores and burn off body fat. By the end of the day recuperate and replenish energy stores.
Controlled Fatigue Training
Ori Hofmekler is an iconoclastic eclectic by any yardstick or benchmark you care to apply. Raised in Israel, he was identified as a child prodigy painter. He pursued art and was touted and awarded at every stage of his artistic career. As a teenager, he joined the army and became a Special Forces commando. After his military service, he pursued his passion for art while simultaneously obtaining a degree in biology. Hist art career took off and his work was soon featured in The New York Times, US News and World Report, Rolling Stone Magazine, Time, Newsweek, Der Spiegel and Playboy, to name but a few. Catch 22 author, Joseph Heller, labeled Hofmekler, "The world's foremost political satirical painter." In a cruel twist of fate, Ori's art career was derailed when (Beethoven-like) he began to lose his eyesight. He was forced to quit painting or risk permanent blindness.
Since childhood Ori has been fascinated by the exploits and attributes of ancient warriors. He was enthralled by ancient military cultures and studies the lifestyles, physical abilities and the training techniques of ancient warriors - particularly the Roman Legions at the apex of their military dominance. After years of intense study on the Roman Warrior culture, Ori came to a counterintuitive conclusion that the ancient fighters would best our modern soldiers were head-to-head military competitions possible. How had he arrived at this strange conclusion? Ancient warriors possessed rare skills and physical attributes. Their physiques and capacities were built as a direct result of their daily routines and dietary habits. Ancient warrior skills were broader than the specialized skills of the modern elite athlete.
Ori developed a unique approach towards training that actually sought to replicate the physical abilities and attributes possessed by ancient Roman Legionaries. He melded modern tools with esoteric exercise protocols to create Controlled Fatigue Training. CFT was designed to recreate ancient warrior capabilities and capacities.
Hofmekler's optimal physical archetype is a military archetype, not an athletic archetype, and while there are many similarities between the optimal athlete and the optimal soldier, there are considerable differences in both capacity and capability. Ori's optimal military archetype developed a functional physique, shaped in response to the daily demands placed on the foot soldier forced to carry heavy armor and weaponry for long distances. Ori's training improves specific capacities in order to improve overall function: his training seeks to meld strength with endurance. Training for sustained strength results in the formation of additional mitochondria within the working muscle. Hofmekler's ultimate goal, the construction of a retro military archetype, is in dramatic contrast to the "vanity motivation" common to mainstream fitness.
"Fitness cannot and should not be about simply seeking to look better in the mirror, Nor should it be solely about feeling better or adding muscle for the geach. Nor should it be about losing body fat to attract members of the opposite sex. Fitness-related endeavors and efforts should be directed towards creating a functional body, one with enhanced survival skills. As a species we are degrading and degenerating."
His initial efforts and postulations were met with intense skepticism by the fitness establishment. However, the amazing results obtained by individuals who followed his comprehensive system generated wide-spread interest among elite athletes, law enforcement officers and military professionals.
Ori Hofmekler's contensions and assertions flew in the face of every prevailing fitness and nutritional orthodoxy. Philosophically, his was an entirely new approach on how best to favorably aler and reconfigure the human body. His prototypical archetype was a throwback, a purposeful primitive replication of what we were (in a heariter age) as a species.Warrior attributes could and should be built using modern methodologies. His throwback methods were designed to construct a modern man able to function and flourish in our pressurized, industrialized society. A man with superior capabilities and capacities; a detoxified man, a man possessing ancient warrior attributes: a formidable man by any measure.
"I was always interested in ancient warrior archetypes. I was convinced the ancients were superior in many ways to modern man and that as a species the ancients were better survivors."
Ori's ultimate human archetype is a warrior archeype possessing a certain combination of physical attributes. Acquiring these attributes results in the construction of a certain type of physique. CFT is designed to create such a physique. The Hofmekler protocol purposefully blends strength training with endurance training. His physical ideal possesses ancient warrior attributes. Warriors were required to exert sustained strength for extended periods of time during hand-to-hand combat. Warriors needed endurance to engage in forced marches for long distances while carrying heavy weapons and armor. They needed foot speed to quickly charge or retreat, as the battle situation demanded.
On average Roman warriors weighted 140 pounds and carried 50 pounds of armor and weaponry. They possessed 7% body fat percentiles and were remarkably adept at fighting or fleeing. Ori has no interest in building humongous muscles. His interests lie in building functional muscle. He has devised a training system that, over an extended period of time, reconfigures the composition of muscle fiber. Hofmekler's training regimen morphs muscle fiber into a hybrid type that possesses a balanced blending of both fast twitch fibers (optimal for strength) and slow twitch fibers (optimal for endurance). Ori labels this particular muscle fiber amalgamation, Hybrid Super Muscle. This is the end product of his unique training protocol: Controlled Fatigue Training.
His CFT Methodology is designed to increase mitochondrial density within a targeted muscle. CFT seeks to replicate the muscle fiber type ancient warriors possessed. The hybrid super muscle possesses an ability to generate significant strength and sustain that strength output for a protracted period of time. Ori's CFT Protocol produces the abilities that Danish Olympic coach Kenneth Jay referenced when he wrote,
"Back in ancient Greece... the human race had superior genetics when compared to us. Exercise physiologists, engineers and historians from several European universities set out to determine the level of conditioning (ancient warriors) possessed. Historical analysis of information on ancient training and their ability to sail ships and cover great distances on foot (while wearing armor) showed that it would be hard if not impossible to find men today who could replicate the ancient's feats. The scientists wrote: 'It would be hard today to find enough world class athletes in the entire world to row a single copy of ancient battleships at the same speeds and for the same durations as men in the past were able to do. We would not stand a chance against these men."
Ori Hofmekler seeks to replicate physical traits the ancients possessed using a modern exercise protocol of his own invention. He integrates a unique nutritional philosophy with an equally unique training philosophy. Those who adhere to his precepts construct unique, functional, fat-free physiques. His military archetype stands in stark contrast to the orthodox athletic archetype. He offers a stunning alternative to the lock-step, group-think of conventional fitness. Ori Hofmekler is a true nutritional Master, an iconoclastic innovator by any benchmark.