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Old 01-14-2009, 10:49 AM   #1
Jeff S Johnson
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Right way to proceed?

Background: I'm 36 and have been CrossFitting since mid-September. I've been working out in various ways for about 3 years now.

My question pertains to nutrition plans.

Since I pulled my head out of my rear 5 years or so ago and started paying attention to my weight and eating, I've fluctuated between 150 and 185. The 150 came from strict dieting, working out a lot and an unhealthy borderline obsession with seeing my abs for the first time in my adult life (didn't get to a full six-pack, for the record). In retrospect, it's clear that I hadn't built enough muscle mass to accomplish that goal and I wasn't going about it the right way either. The 185 came from a combination of adding muscle mass AND slacking on my food intake (and especially beer). Currently, I'm around 178 with about 16-17% bodyfat.

Since taking up CF again 4 months ago, I've dropped little weight, but a measurable amount of fat. At one point, my weight was unchanged, but waist measurement was down 1".

Getting around to my point....with the new year, I've decided I want to attack the extra padding specifically. Without fail, the advice I've read here is "eat for performance and the rest will come." To me, that's exactly what I want to do by dropping the extra 15 or so pounds of lard I'm carrying around. I cannot help but think that any WOD involving bodyweight exercises will be greatly improved at 160-165 pounds versus 180-185, as will my running, or any WOD based on % of bodyweight. I can't figure many WOD's where extra the extra 3+" around my waist is anything but a hinderance?

From tinkering with a bunch of eating plans over the last few years, I've figured out I am pretty carb-sensitive. So, my plan is to go low-carb with a Paleo angle to it. I'm also IF'ing a few times per week. As I get closer to a good bodyfat %, switching more towards straight Paleo with less emphasis on limiting carbs. At whatever point I feel like I'm at an ideal %, I intended to switch to a Zone or Paleo/Zone. The reason I'm going low-carb is two-fold: 1) Having tried a big variety of eating plans, nothing strips fat off of me faster 2) Previous experience tells me I can can strength and at least maintain overall conditioning while limiting carbs.

I've been on low levels of carbs for two weeks now, and very low carb this week. Thus far, I'm still setting PR's regularly.

My goals from CF are: become and remain fit, maintain maximum health benefits in the long-term and have a competitive outlet. Aesthetics fits in their somewhere, I suppose...but I'm well past any major care about seeing a "sixer." If it happens, great. If not, who cares? I'm too old and too married for that type of thing to take on any importance.

Some current stats: Consecutive pullups 19, Cindy 17 rounds, Angie 28:27. Haven't done a 1 RM on CFT lifts lately except OHP. 125, up from 115 in mid-Nov. Back squat 205x5 (up from 205 1RM in Nov). Deadlift 280x3 (250 1RM). Squat and DL have been shooting up exponentially after correcting some major structural imbalances. My met-con is at least average and my strength is well below-average, but improving.

Not sure if it matters, but I'm a former college athlete (baseball). At 18, I was 155 pounds at approximately 11% bodyfat and 30" waist. And I was pathetically weak.

Anyway, this long, drawn-out post is intended to solicit opinions on the approach I've decided to take. I'm completely open to tweaks to the plan, and even complete reassessment of my plan based on the input from experienced CF'ers.
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:08 AM   #2
Gavin Harrison
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Re: Right way to proceed?

I'm personally a fan of IF/Paleo/Warrior Diet, and not so much Zone. Calories are meant to be eaten, not counted

Look at the warrior diet, you may like it.
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:15 AM   #3
Jeff S Johnson
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Re: Right way to proceed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavin Harrison View Post
I'm personally a fan of IF/Paleo/Warrior Diet, and not so much Zone. Calories are meant to be eaten, not counted

Look at the warrior diet, you may like it.
I've looked at it before and just glanced back over the WD site. You're right...I might like it alot. I naturally tend towards being totally fine not eating much during the day, but rather hungry at night. That's true even if I do eat alot of calories during the day, too.
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:22 PM   #4
Alex Europa
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Re: Right way to proceed?

Just making sure, you've read Robb Wolf's Blog (W/F/S), right?

One thing that he typically recommends is to eat Zone ratios, except to modify the carb intake such that the majority of them come during your post workout meal.

So for me, 26/m/192 <10% (working to drop another 2-ish% before my CFG qualifier)

17 blocks (2-3x fat), Paleo-ish (except for the milk):

Breakfast:
5 Block Pro
3 Block Carb
18 Block Fat

Midday WOD, then PWO 16oz chocolate milk (not ideal, but seems to work really well for me)
2 Block Pro
4 Block Carb
2 Fat (once I hit my BF% goal, then I'll start ratching this up)

Lunch and Dinner (each)
5 Block Pro
2 Block Carb
22 Block Fat

Also, head over to the Performance Menu (W/F/S) and check out 42 Ways to Skin the Zone. PMenu also has an entire collection of Robb's articles including some good IF stuff. Lots of good info there to help you dial in your nutrition.

- Alex
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Last edited by Alex Europa; 01-14-2009 at 09:24 PM..
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:56 PM   #5
Jeff S Johnson
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Re: Right way to proceed?

Alex,

Yeah, I read Robb's blog fairly frequently.

I've almost decided the Zone may not be for me. Figuring and tracking blocks just doesn't make a lot of sense to my brain. I realize many people have no problem with it, but it seems more complicated than it need be to me. As I mentioned, once I'm getting reasonably lean, a switch to the Zone is my plan. Probably more accurate to say "Zone ratios" as I'm far more likely to use fitday or something to monitor intake. For sure I'll be following Robb's and your advice of having the most carb intake PWO.

I almost bought 42 Ways the other day, but got distracted by something. Thanks for the reminder!
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:57 AM   #6
Alex Europa
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Re: Right way to proceed?

Yeah, I know what you mean about the blocks being confusing. After a year and change of messing with it, it has become second nature to me. Because of my job (typically 16-20 hour days, 4-5 days per week) I eat alot of eggs, chicken breasts, packaged tuna, fruit (banana = 3 carb blocks / apple, orange, etc.. = 2 carb blocks), and either macademia nuts or almonds. It gets repetive, but it's the best I can do for the time being.

When I'm able to make Zone meals, sometimes it feels a bit more complicated, but the practice has really helped me get to the comfort level I have now. I would say that it's worth it to print out CFJ 21 and keep a copy of the block sheet in your man-purse and another in your kitchen...then it's really easy to figure out exactly what portions you need. But even if you don't like or feel comfortable with the precision of the Zone plan, then just doing Paleo will help quite alot.

- Alex
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