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Old 11-14-2012, 03:59 PM   #1
Nathan Emmert
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How much to eat?

So last year I did weight watchers and it went swimmingly... unfortunately it seemed to have an adverse effect on me physically. Things like the 100 push up challenge and just lifting weights seemed to produce worse and worse results, wearing out my body. That said, I was losing an incredible amount of weight (dropped almost 80 lbs, from 260 to 180, in 8 months). Towards the end I found eating more helped a ton with energy though it obviously slowed my weight loss... unfortunately I got haphazard with that approach and have put on about 40 lbs I don't really have a need for.

So how do you balance rigorous exercise, a desire to get stronger and more fit, and a desire to lose weight (40 lbs by April would be ideal!)?? I intend to do CrossFit 5 mornings a week (M, Tu, Th, F, Sat) while also playing competitive Ultimate Frisbee upwards of 10 times a week for 1 - 2 hrs a pop with the most vigorous days being Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Can one get stronger while doing that much Cardio? Can someone get stronger while dieting or should I just hope to maintain and maybe gain a bit in efficiency? Any recommendations on how much and what to eat to balance the goals?

Thanks!
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:05 PM   #2
David Meverden
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Re: How much to eat?

You will not get stronger if every week you play 15 hours of Ultimate Frisbee, do 5 CF WoDs, and lose 2 lbs. You've got way too much on your plate.

Were you doing this much stuff before when your performance was tanking? How much volume have you done historically? I think you'll get burned out fast if you try to do what you propose.

More details would help, of course (height, strength levels, background), but without that I'll take a shot at advice for 2 different scenarios:

Scenario 1)
You are willing to cut back on the Frisbee. I'd personally like to see you drop that at least in half, then drop all but one of the CF style workouts in favor of 3 pure strength sessions (maybe 5-3-1. Depends on your experience level). Still more volume than a lot of people could handle, but maybe you could swing it. If your strength is very undeveloped so far then you might get stronger doing that while losing some weight. If it's not underdeveloped then you might be able to roughly maintain.

Scenario 2) You refuse to cut down on the Ultimate Frisbee. If you won't reduce the number of Frisbee games then, whether you have realized it or not, you've made this your priority before any other goals. So, start thinking of this as your "in season" where everything else gets a back seat. Maybe 2 or 3 lighter CF style workouts or strength sessions a week? Plus mobility and prehab to keep you from getting wrecked running your *** off 10 times a week. I think you'll feel pretty run down after long, and your injury risk is relatively high, both acute and overuse from that much running and sudden jumps, sprints, cuts, and unexpected movements by opponents, but if that's what your passionate about I won't tell you can't do it.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:44 PM   #3
Nathan Emmert
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Re: How much to eat?

When my performance was tanking I was probably doing a little more then that. I had 2 hours of racquetball on one night and then was running to the gym (4 miles) and working out for about 90 minutes before walking home (2 miles). With all that I was losing 3 to 4 lbs a week but was definitely dropping energy consistently throughout the week and going backwards in terms of things like lifting and number of push ups.

My issue with your advice is I am doing Cross Fit to get better at Ultimate. Cross Fit isn't the sport I wish to excel at, Ultimate Frisbee is. This is the means, not the end. My plan was to use Cross Fit as a sort of Plyo/Strength training hybrid to get the benefits of a little more explosive power in my legs, potentially a bit more muscle in my upper body (more muscle burns more calories), and the longer calorie burns from strength training to help in losing weight (though simply eating less given my amount of cardio will likely do that too).

My background is that of a typical 30 something year old desk jockey... former high school athlete who fell out of shape after getting out of college. I have lifted weights off and on over the years (much more off then on) and occasionally played a sport (racquetball, volleyball, etc) but was in terrible shape when I got bit by the Ultimate bug last year. I was 6'1" 260 pounds and using weight watchers and my activity dropped to about 183 lbs in 8 months. I'm now back up to 230 and figure I want to be about 190 (I was scary looking at 183, I could have walked on to a POW movie set, no problem!)

Sorry, not trying to be difficult, just seeking the right balance. The lunch games of Ultimate I play are very low intensity. My high intensity days are club practice on Wednesday (2-3 hrs), high level pickup on Saturday (3 hrs), and league on Sunday (1-2 hrs). I can slack off on D the rest of the time and keep the intensity level lower turning it mostly into throwing practice. I figured I would do Cross Fit on Monday and Tuesday giving me about 36 hrs of rest before club practice... and then CF on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. That will probably kill me for pickup on Saturdays but that will likely disappear for the winter anyhow with the snow. I will have close to 36 hrs before league. My CF performance (if too legs based) may suffer on Thursdays and Mondays from residual soreness but I can deal with that, my legs are used to being abused (my body and I are no longer on speaking terms).

I'm comfortable handling the physical parts at that... I'm more worried about trying to figure out the weight loss. I don't think I was getting enough calories last year losing 3 - 4 lbs a week and I'm guessing I wasn't getting enough protein which combined to destroy any possibility of getting stronger. I'd like to lose about 2 lbs a week (40 lbs by April) to be ready for the traveling Ultimate season to kickoff next year. Do I simply go back to WW like I was but add things like a protein shake to up my calories and protein specifically? Do I ignore WW and just go with about a 3,000 calorie diet to try and lose 2 lbs? Do I strictly do WW and figure my body breaking down last year was something else? Do I avoid red meats? (read somewhere that can actually contribute to muscle soreness???) Just trying to get that final component straight to realize the full goals of what I seek... a lean mean 190 lb Ultimate dominating machine... come April (19 year olds beware!!!)
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:20 PM   #4
Andrew N. Casey
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Re: How much to eat?

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Originally Posted by Nathan Emmert View Post

My issue with your advice is I am doing Cross Fit to get better at Ultimate. Cross Fit isn't the sport I wish to excel at, Ultimate Frisbee is. This is the means, not the end. My plan was to use Cross Fit as a sort of Plyo/Strength training hybrid to get the benefits of a little more explosive power in my legs, potentially a bit more muscle in my upper body (more muscle burns more calories), and the longer calorie burns from strength training to help in losing weight (though simply eating less given my amount of cardio will likely do that too).
well then it is like he said in number 2, frisbee is your priority. so you need to cut back on other stuff. you don't need CF for condition as you are getting plenty from all your hours of frisbee. follow a good strength program 2 or 3 days a weeks. keep it very short and simple. perhaps throw in some short and heavy CF type WODs at the end.
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:20 AM   #5
David Meverden
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Re: How much to eat?

I have no problem with Frisbee being your priority, but my point is that you have to decide when you "in season" is, because that's what you're preparing for. If it's right now, if performance NOW is what matters, then 5 CF Workouts/wk will hurt that since it will hamper your recovery for your games. If performance LATER is what matters then 15 hours of ultimate frisbee with hurt your performance because you should be using your recovery to recover from focused strength and conditioning work, not 10 games a week.

If you feel you need to perform really well basically all year round then I think you'll need to scale back on both, because 5 CF WoDs and an *** load of running around a frisbee field sounds like a great recipe for overtraining or overuse injury, and definitely not a recipe for putting on much strength.

I have a less strong opinion on the nutrition stuff, and some if it is stuff I'm sure you already know. WW is a proven way to lose weight, but as far as I know it doesn't really take into account food quality or ensuring a good balance of macro nutrients so you might do better on your own. I like paleo diet for weight loss (definitely read Paleo Diet for Athletes if you want to go this route), but if you handle gluten and dairy really well it might not be better than other options. In any case I will recommend the following:
-focus on quality food (whole foods, lots of veggies, etc)
-quite a bit of protein (1g/lbm bodyweight is probably overkill, but I like erring on the side of too much. Maybe 1g per lb lean body mass for you)
-ample post workout nutrition, especially after long hard ultimate games. Taking in a lot of carbs and some protein, 3:1 or 4:1 ratio usually recommended, after hard games this will go a long way towards you recovering for your next game. Chocolate milk is a divinely tasty, but there are lots of potential options.
-If you want more structure go back to WW or use a food scale to start keeping a food diary and using an online site to calculate your daily intake. Gives you good data to allow you to make changes as you go along.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:06 AM   #6
Nathan Emmert
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Re: How much to eat?

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Originally Posted by Andrew N. Casey View Post
well then it is like he said in number 2, frisbee is your priority. so you need to cut back on other stuff. you don't need CF for condition as you are getting plenty from all your hours of frisbee. follow a good strength program 2 or 3 days a weeks. keep it very short and simple. perhaps throw in some short and heavy CF type WODs at the end.
I'm currently out of season for Ultimate... season is mostly April through October. There's a few fun tournies and still some pickup but I can cut back on that if it will make me a better player come April when it counts. I'll be playing winter league but that's only Sunday starting in January. That will be the only real high intensity stuff, I can scale back my other games to be more recovery runs versus intense games.
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