Friday, July 22, 2016

Even power athletes will benefit from our endurance protocol

Image stolen from linked article
Before the main article, two announcements: 1) Today Jordan starts her Friday morning class, so from now on, she'll be doing the 6:30 AM class every weekday.  2) Randy is coaching Ben at the Rocky Mountain State Games on Saturday, so Saturday weightlifting club practice will be 10:30-12:00, overlapping with our morning S&C class.

Yesterday, during our 1RM press test while talking about nerdy things we got off on the topic of a calorie-is-a-calorie (wrong) vs food quality and what matters for both performance and weight loss.  Coincidentally, I had just come across this summary of an article about both performance and weight loss in CrossFit athletes and keto (very low carb) diets.

Disclaimer: we are not a CrossFit, we don't try to be a CrossFit, and we don't want to be confused with CrossFit. But they are a good model for a high-intensity fitness program, and we are closer to CrossFit than say a yoga class or a spinning class. But please remember: we don't do anything as intense or misguided as a typical CrossFit gym would program.  So this article is a good worst-case-scenario for what might be closely considered to what we do.

The short story is that Weight, BMI, Body Fat, Fat Mass, Lean Body Mass (all the typical body comp measurements) improved in power athletes on a ketogenic diet compared to the non-intervention group. That's not too surprising, we tend to see that a lot. But what about their performance? In the first three weeks, their performance suffered (and that's what I noticed 7 years ago when I did my paleo-keto diet), but by 6 weeks everyone was either back to, or better than, their initial performance. (Side note: Amy wrote about this years ago.)

Why is this important? For many of our members, a low-carb diet probably is the right thing. The kind of work we do in the gym is lower intensity than what it typically labeled CrossFit, and we offer an even lower intensity endurance program (which not enough of you are taking advantage of). On the endurance program we strongly advocate (actually, we say it won't work unless) you follow a very low-carb, low inflammation diet - essentially a keto diet. We know it works, and those that are doing the endurance program are seeing both great performance and body composition improvements.

So if you are looking for a way to improve your performance or body composition or both, we urge you to consider a low-carb (maybe even keto), low inflammation diet. It's a tough transition, but it likely will work for you. And it can't hurt to try - you just need to try it long enough to see the good results.  Food quality matters. A calorie is not just a calorie.

Come talk to us if you're interested in our nutrition thoughts, we'll talk about this forever.


press 3x5
3 pull-ups between sets


5 rounds with a sense of urgency
10 double kettlebell front squat
rack-carry those kettlebells to the stop sign and back
(scale to single kettlebells if you're new to either movement)

Endurance Option

accumulate 15 presses at 5RM
3 pull-ups between sets


5 rounds below AeroMAX
10 double kettlebell front squat
rack-carry those kettlebells to the stop sign and back
(scale to single kettlebells if you're new to either movement)

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