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Kurt Ronald Mueller 03-10-2006 12:45 PM

The Crossfit consensus on the Zone Diet seems to be: follow the Zone until you reach 8% and then bump up the fat blocks. However, isn't that prescription forsaking performance for the sake of a sub-10% bodyfat physique? That seems contradictory to the fitness protocol prescribed by Crossfit which goes after ever increasing levels of intensity and performance.

Wouldn't having more energy to go at your workout harder eventually (or even more quickly) get performance which then gets physique? Does any of this make sense?

Kurt, the guy who will be experimenting with 2x fat blocks straight out of the gate

(Message edited by buddhabellybum on March 10, 2006)

(Message edited by buddhabellybum on March 10, 2006)

(Message edited by buddhabellybum on March 10, 2006)

Nick Cummings 03-10-2006 01:07 PM

For me it boils down to this: Will I do better at the WoD at the same lean body mass and all other factors being equal with 12% bodyfat or 7% bodyfat? I suspect I will do better at the lower bodyfat due to decreased weight moved in all bodyweight exercises therefore increasing my relative strength. If I can lose 8 pounds of nonlean body mass I will gladly do so asap so that I can get a muscle-up.

Andy Deas 03-10-2006 01:55 PM


The sub-10% bodyfat target is absolutely about performance and not about physique. Most folks performances tend to improve as they get towards that 6-8% bodyfat marker. Any lower than that seems to degrade performance (of course it varies by person). So once folks have reached the bodyfat level that seems to max out their performance they began adding fat blocks to stabilize their weight.

Hope that helps...

Kurt Ronald Mueller 03-10-2006 03:22 PM

Yea... but shouldn't the nutritional guidelines you follow resemble the energy requirements of whatever sport/athletic competition you participate in? Shouldn't a would-be strongman eat like a strongman? Wouldn't a would-be marathoner eat like a marathoner?

From what I've read on this board, performance decreases when cutting down the bodyfat and it's only till you start adding up the fat blocks that you start to get intense workouts. Why not start out at 2x-3x fat blocks now and have intense workouts right away, thereby helping to expend more energy and grow useful muscle?

I hope this made sense.


Garrett Smith 03-10-2006 03:49 PM

From what I understand of this approach, it's only when starting to notice performance decreases that the fat blocks are increased.

By not increasing the fat blocks until these performance decreases are noted, the period of time in "bodyfat loss" mode is greatly reduced and the desirable bodyfat level is reached sooner.

I likely upped my fat too soon. While I'm still losing bodyfat slowly, I do know that the process would be sped up if I went to the correct fat prescription. I'll likely do that soon, come to think of it.

Kurt Ronald Mueller 03-10-2006 11:33 PM

But Doc,
Isn't a slow, steady loss of body fat preferable instead of a drastic drop in body fat? I thought that this slow change helps your body become acclimated to its new conditions.


Kurt Ronald Mueller 03-10-2006 11:33 PM

Has anybody here actually tried doing the 4-5x fat block prescription straight out of the gate?


William Hunter 03-11-2006 05:47 AM

Kurt, no one's going to lose BF drastically on the Zone. Steadily, yes. It will take some time.

Increasing fat blocks 4-5x is so that you don't lose anyMORE BF. It is meant to stabilize you at your current BF, more or less.

Garrett Smith 03-11-2006 01:01 PM

Kurt, the "more rapid" fat loss I spoke of with the standard Zone beginning is not that "rapid" in terms of what the public has gotten used to. It is still slow and steady, yet faster than if one has too many fat blocks too soon.

Weight loss achieved through proper dietary changes will be maintained as long as the proper diet is maintained.

Larry Lindenman 03-12-2006 06:23 AM

Kurt, I'm with Dr. G. Performance increases on the standard Zone UNTIL you reach lower bodyfat levels AT WHICH TIME you increase fat blocks. If you are already below 10% start with X 2 fat blocks, if not, standard Zone. You will lose 1 - 2 pounds per week consistently on the Zone...consistent, not "rapid". As is often the case a little less analyzing and a little more doing is the prescription.

Kurt Ronald Mueller 03-12-2006 11:42 AM

ha ha ha... i've been "doing" the Zone for about a month now... but I gotta build more willpower... I don't binge on the bad stuff, but adding a little extra olive oil or coconut oil or eating a couple more slices of turkey has always led to my calorie restriction downfall.

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