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Old 11-19-2007, 08:16 AM   #1
Nicolas Castonguay
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Is it possible that CF demands less proteins in diet then other BB routines?

Since CF doesn't repeat over and over the same movement with heavy weight, and I'm assuming doesn't create as many micro-traumas as other BB Routines where you do 20+ sets per muscle, is it possible that you simply need less proteins to achieve the same results? I mean, according to "Mastering the Zone", I'd need around 120-130g proteins per day from blocks, and I'm 175lbs (13% BF) so thats around 150lbs lean. And yes I know there will be hidden proteins, but it won't be all that much (maybe 10-20g)

Considering that with BB routines I used to take 200g plus protein per day, this doesn't seem enough for me. Unless CF simply needs less proteins due to the fact that it isolates much less each muscle than on a BB routine.
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:25 AM   #2
George Mounce
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Re: Is it possible that CF demands less proteins in diet then other BB routines?

Body builders want a surplus of protein, they are trying to grow. CrossFitters need enough to support activity level. So while we aren't necessarily growing, we do need it to support recovery functions. If someone is trying to pack on muscle, they will need more to help build that muscle.

Currently I'm going with 21 (147g) blocks at 177 pounds. This is up from my normal 17 blocks because for some silly reason I'm doing the Concept2 Holiday Challenge (which is going to burn an extra 800 calories a day). But I didn't lose any weight nor have my performance suffer on the 17 blocks.
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Old 11-20-2007, 09:04 PM   #3
Adam Master
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Re: Is it possible that CF demands less proteins in diet then other BB routines?

Yes and no. Its not that you need less protein, crossfit (the zone diet) just asks you to consume only the amount of protein that your body needs to for its activity level, while BB methodology is generally trying bank on the fact that by eating an abundance there is no way you can eat less than you need.
But it is much to your advantage to figure out how much your body needs and heres why:

From my understanding of amino acid (protein) metabolism our bodies have no method for storing proteins. This in mind if you are taking in more proteins then you need, a positive protein balance, the amino acids leftover from the proteins in your diet cannot be used to synthesize proteins in your body and has to be degraded. They will be stripped of their nitrogen and their carbon skeletons can be converted into glucose in a state of fasting or in the fed state they are converted into fatty acids. Either way you are creating two products you probably don't need and won't help you build muscle. Glucose (sugar) that is not used to power your cells causes a boost in insulin and will eventually lead to fat storage through excess glycogen stores and fatty acids are the constituents of Fat tissue itself. Therefore there is no real benefit of having an overabundance of protein in your diet other than assuring you are receiving adequate supplies of protein (along with added fat storage and a decrease in hormones that build muscle). The goal of the zone is to accurately calculate how much protein your body needs and then only consume that much. To build muscle it is only necessary to be eating at this protein value or slightly more, but it is even possible to build muscle eating less (not the case in highly trained individuals). So if you want to eat more protein then you need it can't hurt your ability to put muscle on, but if your eating just above what your body requires you should in theory being putting on muscle at the same rate, with the added advantage of not increasing fat storage and minimizing overworking your Urea cycle (consequence of a very high protein diet which puts stress on kidneys and can lead to other health complications). I am not a PhD in biochem so if I am wrong about any details my apologies but this is my general understanding of how things work based on graduate level classes in biochemical metabolism.
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:24 PM   #4
Steven Low
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Re: Is it possible that CF demands less proteins in diet then other BB routines?

The simple answer is no because neither is true. What Adam said is certainly true, but I'll give a more concise answer to protein:

Basically what happens when you consume protein is that it is absorbed into the body and utilized up to a point. After a certain saturation point (somewhere between 1-2g/bodyweight most likely), your body will not use more protein and it will just be sent to the urea cycle and the nitrogen will be excreted through urine while the carbon will be utilized for either energy or fat storage. High amounts of protein aren't utilized well by the body, but since there is so much a lot of it is used. Conversely, if there is a low amount of protein, nitrogen will be utilized much more effectively by the body. As long as you are somewhere around .5-1g/lbs bodyweight I wouldn't worry about it too much as your body will adapt to utilize the amount of protein you are feeding it correctly. Probably less is even doable.. I've eaten <30g of protein per day for a week and still gained strength and a slight bit of muscle mass before although you probably wouldn't want to do that if you can avoid it.

BB routines may or may not create more microtears depending on what you're doing. Since hypertrophy pathways depending on a couple of various modes such as time under tension, total volume and heavy lifting (endocrine stimulus) it's not really cut and dried that microtrauma corresponding to total volume to the muscles is the only hypertrophy stimulus because it's not.

Anyway, as it is, I would say that isolation is lacking for total body hypertrophy and would recommend that ALL beginner and intermediate lifters if not all advanced be on full body routines to maximize total body muscle usage (time under tension, heavy lifting). Volume lifting per muscle group (e.g. isolation) only tends to do so much.. plus isolation doesn't work kinetic chains and screws around with your movement patterns.
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