How Joel Runyon’s Abs Are Saving the World

perfect diet for abs factor 75

Ok guys. I’m gonna be real. I have a huge crush on Joel Runyon. And after you read this, so will you. I don’t care who you are, this guy is damn inspiring.

It was my pleasure to interview Joel about his adventures in paleo and pushing limits. Read on to hear his no-crunch secret to perfect abs, and his recipe for a mouthwatering paleo meal that anyone can love.

Didn’t have a chance to follow along with the entire post today? Click Here to download a PDF version and read it later!


Paleo Made Easy

Joel’s Ultimate Paleo Guide started as a side project. After launching Impossible Abs, a paleo-based diet, he was swamped with reader questions.

“I decided to make one huge guide to paleo and then slowly started adding articles, recipes, and answers in my spare time,” he said. “Over time, it grew and grew.”

Now it’s one of the biggest authorities on paleo on the internet.

Q: What is the most common misconception about the paleo diet?

The biggest misconception about paleo is that it’s all meat, all the time. I mean, who doesn’t love bacon?

But the basis of paleo is eating real, unprocessed food. Lots of vegetables, fruits, high quality meats, nuts and seeds. When you break paleo down like that – it’s pretty hard to argue with it.

Q: Describe a paleo meal that anyone would love.


I got this 🙂 A big juicy steak over the grill plus sweet potatoes with grass-fed butter and cinnamon and a side of asparagus sautéed in coconut oil and garlic. I’m getting hungry just thinking about that!

Q: How does your diet affect other areas of your life: focus, memory, mood?

I’ve found that eating clean – staying away from sugar and processed foods – helps me work more efficiently, sleep better, and think clearer.

It’s hard to explain it until you experience it, but eating clean and staying away from sugar really does something to your mental activity. The times I’ve felt the most alert and responsive were the times where I cut sugar out for a month or two at a time.

Joel Puts Paleo in Your Pocket:


This is awesome: Joel’s complete paleo database is now pocket-sized. Check out the Ultimate Paleo Guide app – just released on iPhone and Android.


Crunches Won’t Give You Great Abs

Stop killing yourself with the crunches, guys. It turns out paleo is the perfect diet for abs. And Joel has perfected the recipe.

Q: Tell me a little more about your abs… ahem, I mean, the Impossible Abs program. In what ways was nutrition (versus working out) essential for getting a six pack?


This was a vanity project of a couple years back :). I always wanted to get a six pack and do a photo shoot, but it always seemed impossible. I got sick of telling myself excuses and just decided to go for it.

Eight weeks later I had a killer six pack and photos to prove it.

The most surprising thing about all this was it was 98 percent diet. It was a paleo-based, intermittent-fasting protocol that was one of the toughest things I’ve had to stick with.

Everyone always wants to know the crazy ab exercises you need to get a six pack – but the truth is that 98 percent of the work is done in the kitchen. If you nail that part – you’re golden.


Running to Save the World

Joel’s six pack isn’t the only impossible task he’s vanquished. He’s created a whole organization to inspire people to surpass their limits. It’s called Impossible Ventures.

Right now he’s traveling the world for the 777 Project, where he faces the seemingly impossible challenge to run seven ultra marathons on seven continents to raise money for seven schools. Want to help? More here.

Q: Ultramarathons? That sh*t’s crazy. What would you tell someone who believes their body isn’t capable of doing an ultra run?

I started running ultras because I ran a couple marathons and thought to myself, “What else is next?”

The great thing about ultras is they’re not typical races packed with thousands of people. It’s typically just a few crazy people who want to be out there and push their limits. The biggest advice I have to someone is to ask yourself why you would disqualify yourself from doing something that you haven’t even tried?

Why not at least try and see what happens? Your body is capable of way more than you think it is if you’re willing to put it to the test.


Follow Joel’s progress at the 777 Project Headquarters. (His next race is in Antarctica. Not kidding.)

Can’t remember if quinoa is paleo? Look it up on the database.

Need more photos of Joel’s abs? Yeah you do.

photos courtesy of Impossible HQ

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