Greg Glassman, CrossFit founder, defined world class fitness in 100 words.
“Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.”
When Glassman defined world class fitness, I think he intentionally took aim at nutrition first. Nutrition is the most critical component of health, well-being, and performance. Without proper nutrition, we are all trying to out train our poor nutritional choices. An endeavor that will not end in success.
The key to take away here is “some fruit, little starch and no sugar”. This equivocates to limiting carbohydrates. While it is true that carbohydrates fuel performance, it should go without saying that we must be lean enough to require those carbohydrates for recovery. Males should shoot for 11%-17% body fat while females should aim for 16%-25%. If you are not inside these ranges, here are some simple steps to get there.
Step 1: Get to the gym five times per week. No excuses.
Its step one because it’s the easiest. Everything after this gets hard. If you cannot make it to the gym five times per week, you should re-evaluate your priorities. Work is important, I get it, but no one is so busy that they can’t workout. I don’t buy it now and I never will. And trust me, we see people all the time go on hold or quit because of work, school, or something else. It’s an excuse, no matter how you slice it. You have to think about fitness in a different way. Either it will allow you to play with your great grandchildren when you get older or help you close your next business deal. If you frame it in that manner, your more apt to make it happen. Fitness is not something you can just put off. It doesn’t get better as you age, its gets worse.
Step 2: Use a macro counter to figure out where you are over eating.
We all have smart phones, unless you’re a hipster still rocking a Samsung flip phone, in which case, please leave my blog. There are several apps out there that help you track your food to see where your over eating. The best one is MyFitnessPal. Download it and use it. Helpful hint: if you type “ETP” before you input an item, you will get the most accurate labels (ex. ETP Chicken)
Step 3: Remove junk food from your diet.
It just got real didn’t it? That’s right, remove the junk food from your diet. I get it, I like sour patch kids and pizza too, but if you want that 6 pack, you’re going to have to sacrifice a little. And let’s step it up another notch. Try a month with no “cheat meals”. In the past, I’ve been lenient on this with clients, but not anymore. I’ve come to the conclusion that most cannot have just one day. Let’s be a little more honest here, you’ve probably had 3 years’ worth of cheat days over the last 6 months, so I think a 1 month challenge is not that hard.
Step 4: Eat more colorful high quality fibrous vegetables.
And the hardest one for last, eat vegetables. This is hard because it means you will actually have to cook and plan your meals. Simply replace rice, oatmeal or potatoes with colorful vegetables. Its super hard to over eat vegetables, but not starchy carbs.
Once you have mastered this nutritional advice and your body gets within the above body fat ranges, we can then start to manipulate the macros to dial your nutrition in even more.
CrossFit Pickerington will host a nutritional challenge at some point in January. It will be through Wodify, but we don’t have the complete details just yet. Wodify is releasing a new program on 12/18. When we know more, we will be sure to get everyone that info.