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Old 01-01-2003, 01:48 PM   #2
Founding Father Coach is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 391

Our process is to start with "Zone" parameters and generally the athtlete starts to "lean out." Typically, measurable (parameters (body fat, muscle mass, strength, body fat) and subjective parameters (hunger, "energy", mood, etc.)improve substantially. But, at some point in the leaning process the athlete loses the "edge" and performance and mood take a dive. This generally happens with the men somewhere below 5% body fat.

At that point we increase the fat intake until the leaning stops and the performance increases to earlier, better levels. Now, Robb, this settling point has been 25-30% lower in calories than was expected by those who've counted calories in the past. We've been OK with that in light of what we know about caloric restriction and longevity. My sense of it is that the diet is thermodynamically efficient which is not a bad thing. By the way for super-elite athletes that settling point has been, in the Zone's block system, Pro: X blocks, CHO: X blocks, FAT 3-5X blocks.

Caloric restriction when excessive results in loss of muscle, fatigue, lethargy, etc. With the Zone we've seen low calories, and dramatic increases in LBM, elevated mood and energy. Interesting! No?

Thermodynamic requirements for health and performance don't exist entirely independent of
macronutrient composition. I think that is the important lesson.

We encourage our athletes to eat essentially paleo/Zone and what we've found is that their instincts/hunger/satiety will guide them to some optimized level of performance and aesthetic that tops what they've seen on other protocols. That is, our general experience is to take a guy that has hung out for years at 3,000 kcals/day and 200 pounds with a 7% body fat and to take him to 2,500 kcal's per day, drop the body fat to 5% and bring the body weight up to 210 and find that performance improves across the board.

Finally, the answer, yes, Robb, we found that gearing the diet to performance (Zone parameters) brings one to an ideal composition, but kcals are lower and bodyweight is higher than was expected by the athlete. For instance one of our BJJ legends told us that he'd be fat at 185 (he'd been 165 for ten years). Well he looked leaner at 185 than 165 and was fitter by every measureable standard.

Sir, send us ( a three day log of your intake. Good, bad and ugly. I'd like to see where you're at and where we can go. Include all activity. Pick three days that best represent your norm.

Your friend,


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