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Nutrition Diet, supplements, weightloss, health & longevity

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Old 05-27-2007, 03:12 PM   #1
Dimitri Dziabenko
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Hello to all fellow Crossfitters!

I lost 12lb over the past 3 months. I noticed the most significant change in my physique while on Crossfit. I went from 162lb and 10.1% bodyfat (3 months ago) to 150lb and 7.3% bodyfat. I am pleased with my bodyfat percentage, but am somewhat worried about the muscle loss . Am I not eating enough? I would like to lose a bit more fat, or gain more muscle, to get into that 6% range (I am questioning the accuracy of the percentage measurements, but as a comparison, I think they will do).
I have been following the Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle diet by Tom Venuto. I am male, 16yo, 5'11" and the Crossfit WODs are my main workouts. What should I do to lose more fat, and perhaps gain muscle in the long run?

Regards,

Dimitri

PS: Strangely enough, all of my lifts increased so I wasn't really worried about it until today when I took the measurements.
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Old 05-27-2007, 04:49 PM   #2
Kevin McKay
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What are you eating? Be specific.
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:33 PM   #3
Dimitri Dziabenko
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Generally, I try to stay within 2200 calories:
A typical day may be:
Meal #1: (8:10) Oatmeal (around 160cal, microwaved with soy milk) + Egg whites (for a total of around 500 calories here)

Meal #2 (10:30) ON 100% Whey Protein shake (1 scoop + 250ml soy) + almonds (400 cal. here)

Meal #3 (1:30PM) Salmon + Vegetables (broccoli or cucumber or a salad) (400 cal.)

Meal #4 (4PM) Chicken Breast + Flax seed oil (Udo's choice) + some fruit (400cal)

Meal 5 (6:30PM) Chicken breast or Salmon/ some vegetables or possibly oatmeal if I feel like it but not too much (300 cal)

Meal 6. (9PM): Smoothie of Cottage Cheese/Soy Milk/Strawberries and possibly a bit of Udo's oil (300cal)

This is what my day looks like. Should I follow some of the advice found on this forum and up my calories and use heavier weights/weighted vest for the WODs to try to gain muscle?
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:50 PM   #4
George Mounce
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To get much lower than 6% that you'd have to pretty much cut out all carbs and drop water. You'd have to do what bodybuilders do for a competition to get down to 3% bodyfat. It is HORRIBLE for your body and they only do it for a week at most, then jump right back up, sometimes by 30+ pounds.

Second, at 16 years of age you have at least 5 more years of growing to do. You will substantially gain weight particularly muscle mass if you are only 5'11" at 16 and keep up with CF. As you grow, you'll gain weight, more weight for the WODs, etc.

If you plan on gaining muscle, you would have to eat more. I would stick with the weights as posted on the WODs.

Keep eating, keep CF'ing.
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Old 05-28-2007, 06:55 AM   #5
Dimitri Dziabenko
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Thank you George!

I am well aware of the fact that dropping that low will not be healthy, however I do doubt the accuracy of my measurements. I use Accu Measure in conjunction with this site www.linear-software.com/online.html
I find that there is not much to pinch, but I can only barely see my lower abs, so the 7% is questionable. In terms of calories, would you recommend sticking with around 2300 for a time and then switch to maintenance, or immediately start with maintenance or perhaps even going to ~3300 for some muscle gain?
I would really appreciate the specifics!

Dimitri Dziabenko
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Old 05-28-2007, 02:06 PM   #6
George Mounce
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Well, easily enough the equation to gain weight is to eat more then you burn. What I would suggest is to plug those extra calories 30 min before (say 1/2 a protein bar) your workout and immediately after (big protein, carb, fat shake).

To add them in from more natural sources then a weight gainer, I would suggest you use a high-glycemic fruit or fruit juice mixed with protein powder (I am a huge fan of the banana + peanut butter + chocolate protein powder fix after a workout) and up your intake during workout days, try to hit 2700-3000 calories on your workout days and stick with the 2300 on off days. While 400-700 doesn't sound like a lot it really is (2400-4200 extra calories a week) I would also look into how much protein you really need, and you also need to find out what kind of muscle fibers you are made of genetically.

From (work/family safe): http://www.coachr.org/fiber.htm

"Humans have basically three different types of muscle fibers. Slow- twitch (ST or Type I) fibers are identified by a slow contraction time and a high resistance to fatigue. Structurally, they have a small motor neuron and fiber diameter, a high mitochondrial and capillary density, and a high myoglobin content, Energetically, they have a low supply of creatine phosphate (a high-energy substrate used for quick, explosive movements), a low glycogen content, and a wealthy store of triglycerides (the stored form of fat). They contain few of the enzymes involved in glycolysis, but contain many of the enzymes involved in the oxidative pathways (Krebs cycle, electron transport chain). Functionally, ST fibers are used for aerobic activities requiring low-level force production, such as walking and maintaining posture. Most activities of daily living use ST fibers.

Fast-twitch (FT or Type II) fibers are identified by a quick con- traction time and a low resistance to fatigue. The differences in the speeds of contraction that gives the fibers their names can be explained, in part, by the rates of release of calcium by the sarcoplasmic reticulum (the muscle's storage site for calcium) and by the activity of the enzyme (myosin-ATPase) that breaks down ATP inside the myosin head of the contractile proteins. Both of these characteristics are faster and greater in the FT fibers (Fitts & Widrick, 1996; Harigaya & Schwartz, 1969).

Fast-twitch fibers are further divided into fast-twitch A (FT -A or Type IIA) and fast- twitch B (FT -B or Type lIB) fibers. FT -A fibers have a moderate resistance to fatigue and represent a transition between the two extremes of the ST and FT -B fibers. Structurally, FT -A fibers have a large motor neuron and fiber diameter, a high mitochondrial density, a medium capillary density, and a medium myoglobin content. They are high in creatine phosphate and glycogen and medium in triglyceride stores. They have both a high glycolytic and oxidative enzyme activity. Functionally, they are used for prolonged anaerobic activities with a relatively high force output, such as racing 400 meters.

Fast-twitch B fibers, on the other hand, are very sensitive to fatigue and are used for short anaerobic, high force production activities, such as sprinting, hurdling, jumping, and putting the shot. These fibers are also capable of producing more power than ST fibers. Like the FT -A fibers, FT -B fibers have a large motor neuron and fiber diameter, but a low mitochondrial and capillary density and myoglobin content. They also are high in creatine phosphate and glycogen, but low in triglycerides. They contain many glycolytic enzymes but few oxidative enzymes."

"An indirect method that can be used in the weight room to determine the fiber composition of a muscle group is to initially establish the 1RM (the greatest weight that they can lift just once) of your athletes. Then have them perform as many repetitions at 80% of 1RM as they can. If they do fewer than seven repetitions, then the muscle group is likely composed of more than 50% FT fibers. If they can perform 12 or more repetitions, then the muscle group has more than 50% ST fibers. If the athlete can do between 7 and 12 repetitions, then the muscle group probably has an equal proportion of fibers."

ACK, enough with the medical mumbo-jumbo.

This simple test can help you determine what you are made of. Sadly, the only way to REALLY know is an invasive needle biopsy of your muscles. Ouch.

How to make muscles grow is simple, you need to put them into hypertrophy, or a growing state. CrossFit as a whole promotes this state to a degree, but it focuses more on muscle endurance and strength, you will notice this by how many reps and amount of weight most of the WODs use. Most incorporate either 1-3 of a lift or as many as you can do with no rest. If you could lift 800 pounds on a dead lift I highly doubt you'd be able to get a sub 30 min on a 5k. Any type of training with weights and non-efficient in nature (CrossFit) will increase muscle, your body is amazing at what it can try to adapt to.

Now, here is the killer reality. By eating more, you might lose those abs until your muscle can catch up. Building muscle is not an easy thing, those huge guys have been doing it for years, and they put on a lot of weight when not competing. I prefer the CrossFit lean look, and overall its much more healthy. Plus some people have a hard time gaining muscle. Fortunately for me, I am not one of them, I can put on 2-3 pounds of muscle on a week without trying. Genetics play a huge role, and it is worth more (in my opinion) to try and work with what you were given then against it (aka Michael Jordan playing baseball instead of basketball).

I am in no way giving medical advice, as I am not a nutritionist, just a guy with a Sports Management Master's degree and a lot of empirical data I've used on my own body over the past 25 years since I started playing hockey at the ripe old age of 4. I currently use the Zone diet and CrossFit and to date I have never had better results then from what I am getting now.

Good luck!

(Message edited by gdmv on May 28, 2007)
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Old 05-29-2007, 12:17 PM   #7
Patrick Donnelly
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What is it that causes extra calories to become muscle rather than fat? I've always wondered about that.
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Old 05-29-2007, 02:14 PM   #8
Nick Cummings
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Hard work.
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Old 05-29-2007, 07:52 PM   #9
Patrick Donnelly
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Hahahaha, I was looking for a more detailed answer, but that one works too.
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Old 05-30-2007, 07:31 PM   #10
Matt DeMinico
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Look up some info on post workout shakes. Basically, cortisol burns muscle, and it's generated after intense workouts, especially if they go long. There's ways to reduce the level of cortisol, typically with a post workout shake (don't quote me on it, but I believe it's something like 50-100g maltodextrin (carbs) and 20ish grams of protein from powder. This spikes insulin, which crashes cortisol). Again, don't quote me on it, but if I remember correctly, that's what happens.

But regardless, you're going to feel extremely tired a little while after drinking the post workout shake (cause the insulin spike will eventually cause a blood sugar crash), which means maybe an hour after the post workout shake, you should eat a zone meal (look up info on here about the Zone meal plan)
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