Electrolyte Product Review

The crazy heat wave this year has brought up the hydration issue more than ever.

I’ve been digging around at different options for awhile and here is my review.

1.) Most of what I have found at the store is 100% awesome marketing and not worth the price (In my opinion).

2.) Most lack the sodium and chloride needed for optimal performance in the Texas heat and many others are just hyped up koolaid.

 

I left off photos and links to avoid issues so if you want a product you can search online 🙂

 

Re-lyte
5 star review 🙂
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The tub is much cheaper per serving than LMNT and there are no food colorings, artificial flavors, and no sucralose/aspartame.

The Redmonds salt they use is also loaded with minerals.

The ingredients were clearly well researched and developed.

 

KTX IMMUNE
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Obviously I love this product (we created it)!  BUT it is not designed solely for electrolyte replenishment.

There is 500mg of pink Himalayan salt, coconut water powder, and magnesium but in this weather I would add an additional 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of salt to 1 scoop of this product.

Personally, I add 1/2- 1 scoop of re-lyte to KTX Immune and it is a great combo 🙂

LMNT
4 stars
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
High quality and dosed properly but super high $$$ per serving.

-No aspartame/sucralose so that is awesome.

 

Liquid IV
⭐️ ⭐️
Great marketing. Not that great for elite hydration. Super overpriced.

This is a step up from  the original Gatorade and Poweraid days so I will give this along with most of the other shelved products at the grocery stores 2 stars for the effort.

 

Gatorlyte (new)
⭐️ ⭐️
Huge step in the right direction for Gatorade. Easy to find and the kids might actually drink it.

The most expensive per serving on this list and only the clear one is free from food coloring.

If the cost was lower I would give the CLEAR version 3 stars…

 

Drinking Fluids AND Electrolytes for Exercise in the Heat

🐬🐬🐳🐬🐬🐳🐳

 

The Texas heat is here so I want to cut right to the numbers I personally stick to and hope they help you during the hottest parts of the year (now until October essentially).

 

*** With the 16 points being made I will say if you are not an athlete focused on maximum performance you will likely not need the carbohydrates added to your fluid during the 1-hour group class especially if your goal is to lose bodyfat- you will release plenty of stored glycogen for your workout assuming you are eating a balanced diet throughout the day BUT YOU SHOULD STILL HAVE THE WATER. 

 

****If you complete multiple workout sessions in one day then the added carbohydrates could be a great option. ***

 

 

1.)  With temperatures above 80 degrees in the open-door gym (KTX) I estimate my fluid loss around 1 liter per hour while coaching and exercising or anything that has me moving around.

2.)  #1 has me drinking 4 cups (32 ounces) of water PER HOUR to maintain adequate water levels.

3.)  #2 would be near impossible without a water bottle (or 32oz mason jar with a lid 😊 )

4.)  Drinking too much water without proper electrolyte and mineral balance can be just as dangerous as not drinking enough water (details below).

5.)   To combat #4 becoming an issue I typically add 100mg – 200mg per cup (8oz)

 

 -or- more simply put…

¼ tsp salt per 32oz water in the fall/winter

and

½ tsp salt per 32 oz during the hot spring/summer/early fall

 

6.)  If you work outside or in a hot warehouse, I recommend the same guidelines.

7.)  If you show up to the gym dehydrated in 90+ degree weather and try to do 60 minutes of warm up + workout you are putting yourself at risk but you certainly are not going to maximize your performance output.

8.)  Some athletes lose closer to 2 liters per hour… the only way to truly know is to weigh yourself (without a sweaty shirt) before and after the workout. 1 liter of water is roughly 2 pounds.

9.)  Minor underhydration (as little as 2% of your total body weight) can cause a measurable decrease in performance. Obviously the greater the % the greater negative impact.

10.)   Glycerol could be supplemented to help retention of consumed fluids pre workout… (like before a long workout on a hot summer day). Do more research if you plan to use glycerol… I will discuss this as well as other supplements during the final portion of performance nutrition (supplements) Part 3.

11.)   DURING workout sessions (between rest sets – not all at once in the middle of a metcon) Carbohydrates should be added to the fluid at around 5-8% to maximize performance output.

12.)   #11 put simply… add 50 grams of simple carbohydrate (glucose/dextrose/ sugar/honey etc.. ) to 32 ounces of water.

13.)   Add #5 to #11 = #14

14.)   32 ounces of water + ¼ – ½ tsp salt + 50g simple carb = basic athlete intra workout sports drink formula.

15.)   Consume around 8 ounces every 15 minutes but make sure you do not drink a bunch within 15 minutes of the highest intensity workouts.

16.)  #15 boils down to if you are training multiple sessions + when those sessions are taking place + what type of session is taking place (high intensity, lifting, cardio, gymnastics, and duration).

 

❤️❤️❤️My favorite sources of sodium + minerals: ❤️❤️❤️

1.)  Irish sea moss (loaded with electrolytes and contains 92 of the 102 minerals… say whaaat!  )

2.)  Celtic Sea Salt

3.)  Colima Salt

4.)  Redmond Salt

5.)  Pink Himalayan Salt (not as much sodium chloride as the others but extra minerals – some sources are not as clean as others )

6.)  Iodized salt

 

🚨🚨IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS about water/electrolytes/carbs PLEASE LET ME KNOW! I love to help to the best of my ability.  🚨🚨

 

🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️

Micronutrients for Performance (Basics)

As always, I am here to remind you this series is for athletes eating for performance goals specifically NOT muscle gain, weight loss, or health – straight up performance and focusing primarily on fitness athletes.

We kick off part 2 with MICRONUTRIENTS for performance.

 

Macros are all the rage these days and for good reason HOWEVER if you want to perform your best you should focus on maximizing the nutrients within those set macros (micronutrients)!  This is a fine detail athletes miss the mark on because it requires education, thought, and intention. You will not perform your best by throwing your hands up and saying…” whatever bro.”

 

Starting off on macro-based eating you could simplify things by eating similar breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and snacks/shakes.  This will allow an athlete to hit numbers consistently without much added stress. (THE BASICS). 

I hope that if you are trying to maximize your performance you have mastered the basics and you find it enjoyable (not stressful) to further enhance your performance through nutrition.

The main issue with eating the same foods each day is nutrient assortment/balance. If you are lacking vitamins in your diet and eating the same foods then the probability of a deficiency is increased.

 

I feel it is important for athletes to realize a few things regarding micronutrients:

1️⃣    There are recommended dietary allowances (RDA) %s that you will find on nutrition labels, food apps, books, and web searches. These #s are established based on average numbers sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all “healthy people” in particular age/gender groups.

2️⃣    The RDA and dietary reference intakes (DRIs) were primarily created to lower the risk of suffering from nutrient-deficiency disease and to lower the risk of developing chronic disease by ensuring a properly balance diet.

3️⃣    They were NOT created to help athletes perform their best at the fitness Olympics (or whatever sport you play).

 

This common data matters to me for a few different reasons…

1️⃣  A high performing athlete is not an “average healthy person”. There is just about nothing average or ancestrally common with completing a day of running 400-meter intervals, lifting ¼ of a car for 45 reps followed by 200 push-ups, then carrying 100 lbs around in between squat sets at 1.5x your bodyweight, before your pump sesh… 5+ days per week.

2️⃣  The amount of XY&Z nutrients in a food (or on a label) are not 100% accurate. There are too many factors involved to be that precise. The nutrients estimated in each food serving are based on averages as well.

3️⃣  Some micronutrients do not have an RDA! There are so many vitamins and minerals, and our bodies are unique, so some numbers are essentially made up when you look really look at it.

4️⃣  Deficiency is not good, “Healthy range” does not necessarily mean “optimal for performance”… and “over-abundance” above the tolerable upper intake level (UL) can also pose potential risk and create adverse effects – so be careful with supplements.

5️⃣  Athletes are often looked at as the “pinnacle of health.”  I would argue most athletes are flirting with sickness just as much as the “average” human and most have strong relationships with deficiencies just as common or even worse than seen in sedentary humans.  High performance requires high octane fuel. This creates deficiencies very easily when not monitored carefully.

 

🚨The important factors of micronutrients opens the door to me recommending what SHOULD be a common practice covered by insurance during a yearly physical exam: a blood panel THAT INCLUDES MICRONUTRIENT TESTING! Not just testing vitamin D status for example…

👨🏼‍💻I have my theories to why more nutrients are not commonly tested but I will save those for a conversation over some whiskey with friends from now on… I would hate to come across as a conspiracy theorist via social media😊

 

Anyways…

A micronutrient blood panel opens the door to a whole new world where you can get 3 great data points:

1️⃣  Am I deficient in any nutrients?

2️⃣  Am I getting to much of any certain nutrients?

3️⃣  Am I on par with other elite athlete’s numbers (the common denominator of the elite could help you figure out “optimal” for your sport/size/age)?

 

Although panels can get very pricey, I believe they are a smart investment for beginners AND elites because a nutrient deficiency can cause havoc in health and performance. Most of the time these imbalances are cheap and simple fixes that will improve the way you feel and perform.  It is hard for me to put a price tag on quality of life… if I can spend an extra $$$ amount that I can afford per month on specific foods and supplements to feel better and help prevent disease/medication + boost my performance then… (why the heck not)?

 

🐒 Basic = get introductory level panel + fix deficiencies through diet and supplements.

🧑🏼‍🔬Advanced = get full spectrum panel+ fix deficiencies+ research optimal performance #s and strive for those.

 

😮 According to According the CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA):

-9 out of 10 Americans are deficient in potassium

-7 out of 10 are deficient in calcium

-8 out of 10 are deficient in vitamin E

-50 percent of Americans are deficient in vitamin A, vitamin C, and magnesium

-More 50 percent of the general population is vitamin D deficient, regardless of age

-90 percent of Americans of color are vitamin D deficient

-Approximately 70 percent of elderly Americans are vitamin D deficient

(From what I have gathered) the CDC and USDA are not studying high end performance athletes… so you can gather the average numbers above (plus many more with a simple search) and notice it is probably a good idea to balance out your meals and get on some high-quality vitamins. 🥑🥩🌱💊

 

The funding for kinetic research and sports nutrition (outside of the CDC and USDA) has increased over the last few decades so I will sprinkle in what common denominators are popping up regarding athletes and nutrition deficiencies in this series. ✅

With the blood panel I discussed before and a coach or proper research on your overall nutrition plan you can narrow down those deficiencies and make substitutions to your diet that will fill in the gaps, or supplement when necessary.

Vitamin deficiencies contributing to chronic disease (which we will dive into further in nutrition for health/longevity) is not often talked about, but I am going to cover vitamins importance for performance and save that discussion for another post.

 

How do vitamins effect performance? 🤸‍♀️🏋🏻‍♀️🥇

1️⃣             Vitamins are substances needed by cells to encourage specific cellular chemical reactions.

2️⃣             Vitamins are involved in energy reactions that enable cells to derive energy from carbs, fats, and proteins (your macros).  In other words, if you want to utilize the food you eat properly you need to have proper vitamin balance.

3️⃣             Athletes burn more energy than non-athletes = they typically need more vitamins.

4️⃣             Vitamins work synergistically to enhance other vitamins and nutrients. If one Is off balance, many will also suffer.

5️⃣             B12,b6,& folate specifically help with the formation of red blood cells= essential for oxygen delivery to working muscles.

6️⃣             B2, B6, & niacin -> aerobic metabolism (krebs cycle) = primary means for obtaining energy from fuel.

7️⃣             B1, b6,b12 = neurotransmitters for stimulating and relaxing muscles.

8️⃣             Vit A = healthy surface cells, eye health, immune function, and hormones.

9️⃣             Vit D= absorption of calcium and phosphorus + hormones.

🔟         Vit E = antioxidant protection of cell membranes.

1️⃣1️⃣           Vit K = formation of blood clots + bone strengthening.

 

 

Factors that increase the likelihood of nutrient imbalance: ❌❌

1️⃣             High amount of protein coming from protein powder and supplements rather than food. I aim to keep my supplemental protein at 25% of my protein totals (or less). ❌

2️⃣             Diet high in ultra-processed, processed, and pre-cooked (store bought) meals. ❌

3️⃣             Diet high in seed oils and other refined oils/fats. ❌

4️⃣             Same foods day in and day out without variety. ❌

5️⃣             Caloric restricted diets. ❌

6️⃣             Poor gut health/ microbiome diversity. ❌

7️⃣             Medications- including anti-inflammatory drugs often overly consumed by athletes. ❌

8️⃣             Artificial ingredients – sucralose, aspartame, food colorings, and many preservatives. ❌

9️⃣             Over-consumption of specific nutrients (usually from supplementation). ❌

 

 

👇👇To maximize vitamin intake from your diet try the following: ✅✅

1️⃣             Consume or supplement organ meats. It is difficult to find more nutrients than that of vital animal organs.

2️⃣             Eat a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. In season, it can be difficult for athletes to consume enough total macros while consuming a lot of vegetables.

👨🏼‍💻Although veggies are nutrient dense, they are are filling and make it difficult for athletes to consume adequate amounts of carbohydrates which can resuklt in sub optimal energy. ✅

3️⃣             Replace ultra-processed foods with whole foods and home cook your meals when possible.

 

I hope you leave this with motivation to maximize the nutrient density of your diet through balance and quality food choices. This practice will generally prevent vitamin deficiencies but sometimes they still happen and that is where blood panels + supplements come into play.

 

Eating for Performance (Basics-Fats)

Today will wrap up the basics of essential macros for performance nutrition.

 

Just a reminder for those who missed previous posts, this is for athletes eating for performance goals specifically NOT muscle gain, weight loss, or health – just straight up performance.

 

ESSENTIAL MACROS FOR PERFORMANCE: FATS 🥑🥜🥛

 

 

As previously mentioned, after total needed caloric intake has been established, carbohydrate intake is likely the limiting factor in energy for athletes.

 

Once carbs have been established you will ensure that adequate protein is maintained and hopefully not over-consumed.

 

This leaves us with the remainder of the calories coming from fats.

 

👻I have to say it was VERY challenging for me to keep this one simple since fats are farrrrrr from simple. But we will dive deep many moons down the road on advanced fats.

 

Since the high-performance diet for sport leaves a small amount of wiggle room for fat consumption compared to carbs and protein it is vital to focus on quality fat sources to ensure optimal performance can occur.

 

 

Without going crazy on which types of fats and exactly how much of each is ideal (advanced nutrition) I’ll keep it simple and say:

 

🚨HAVE A BALANCED FATTY ACID MEAL PLAN🚨

 

1️⃣             Saturated fats – (most animal products/ coconut & palm oils)

 

2️⃣             Monounsaturated fats – (olive oil, avocado, macadamia nuts)

 

3️⃣             Polyunsaturated fats- (seeds & most vegetables oils)

 

It would be very easy to go down rabbit holes of which ones are good/bad/ugly/ etc… at the end of the day for athletes focused on performance (basics)… keep a balanced diet of fats and you will probably be OKAY.

 

 

If you log your food and 80% of your daily fat intake is regularly from the same exact food source then maybe raise an eyebrow and get it fixed.  (This would typically happen with saturated and polyunsaturated fats).  I’ve never encountered an athlete consuming an over abundance of monounsaturated fats on the regular.

 

 

It is important for athletes to get the minimum necessary amount of ESSENTIAL fats for these reasons:

 

1.)           Required for normal skin health. ✅

 

2.)           Fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E, & K) must be delivered in a fat package. 💊+🥑+☀️ =✅

 

3.)           Necessary for neural function and growth. 🧠

 

4.)           Improved release of somatotropin (growth hormone). 👍

 

5.)           Reduction of inflammation (unless there is an imbalance). ✅

 

 

 

Higher amounts of omega 3 fatty acids could potentially give the following performance advantages: 🔥🔥

 

1.)           Enhancement of aerobic metabolic processes.

 

2.)           Reduce the ability of red blood cells to congregate (decreasing the change of unwanted blood clots).

 

 

 

 

On the contrary, too much fat intake is typically associated with REDUCED ATHLETIC performance.

 

1️⃣   It is very easy to go overboard on fat sources when eating processed foods containing oils.

 

2️⃣   Excess fat calories can limit the required intake of protein and carbohydrate.

 

3️⃣    Athletes should note that excess amounts of fat can raise triglycerides and cholesterol levels beyond what would be considered ideal particularly when combined with HIGH AMOUNTS OF CARBOHYDRATES. 🍕🍟🍔 = 😮

 

 

^^^ This is usually NOT the case when consuming the same amount of fats on a moderate to low carb diet, which we will discuss in eating for health.  High carb does not typically go well with high fat.  Carbs and fats are not bros. ❌

 

 

When excess fats can help athletic performance: 🤔

 

1️⃣             When athletes have a hard time sustaining weight even with adequate carb and protein requirements being met (eat more fat).  Many times these athletes are called “hard-gainers” or “ectomorphs.”

 

2️⃣             When athletes need to consume 4,000+ total calories in a day… this can be challenging off primarily carbs and protein. Usually endurance athletes.

 

Note – doing 4-5 cardio sessions per week does not qualify as an endurance athlete.  Endurance athletes are typically 10+ sessions per week and multiple hours per session.

 

3.)           ^ MCT oils could be a great option for “hard-gainers” or athletes who struggle to get in enough total calories because they are easy to consume and can be used strategically for performance aid.

 

 

 

In a nutshell 🥜,  I recommend athletes eating for performance to:

 

1️⃣             Avoid oils, butter, cooking with added fats, and avoid processed foods with added fats when possible.

 

2️⃣             Get a good portion of the saturated fats from fatty fish like salmon, grass fed meats (better omega 3 balance), or other whole food sources.

 

3️⃣             Get the remainder of balanced fats from vegetables, nuts (brazil, pecan, walnut, & macadamia), avocados, and hummus (blended sesame seeds).

 

4️⃣             Avoid HIGH fat meals within 2-3 hours pre workout and 2-3 hours post workout.

 

 

This wraps up essential macronutrients for performance (the basics).

 

 

Eating for Performance (Basics- Protein)

Many athletes consider protein to the most important nutrient for success. As discussed previously, I believe carbohydrates are the most important macronutrient for performance and see too many athletes consuming excess protein (beyond what is ideal) leading to limiting the intake of other essential nutrients that are critical to high level performance.

 

To contradict that point, I also see too many athletes consuming far less than ideal protein, which is generally worse for performance than consuming too much. 🤯

 

Protein is essential and the right amounts are needed for brain health, muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, hair, nails, hormones, hemoglobin, blood, and much more so it is crucial to get the minimum requirements for performance but also keeping in mind that you will want to stay under the maximum recommended amounts to MAXIMIZE your nutrition plan.

 

 

Protein demand for performance is primarily dictated by these 3 factors

 

1️⃣             Muscle damage created during exercise resulting in increased protein requirements for tissue repair.

 

2️⃣             The amount of protein used for energy rises as muscle glycogen decreases.   (Utilizing proteins for fuel is not ideal). I consider it wasteful, and your body loses excess water in this process as well. This point makes the case for pre and intra workout carbohydrates even more valuable.

 

3️⃣             Weight of the athlete (most of the world uses KGs… I will use LBs)

 

 

 

 

🚨🚨The amount of protein required to maintain proper nitrogen balance in performance nutrition should be between .8 and 1 gram per pound of bodyweight and fall between 15-20% of TOTAL daily calories. 🚨🚨

 

This number is based on the assumption that ideal carbohydrate and fat intake has been achieved. 👍

 

 

 

Circling back to Marisa’s ❤️ numbers.

 

We have her total daily carbohydrates during performance training cycles at 55-65% total daily calories.

 

We have her total protein at 15-20% total daily calories.

 

Her daily average is roughly 1,900 calories at body weight 107 lbs.

 

Current macro goals:

 

Carbs – 285 grams (60%) (minimum)

 

Protein – 85 grams (18%)

 

Fats – (% will fill in the remainder of calories- which we will discuss in our next post)

 

 

Let’s take a moment to hold up because this is going to take a bit of explaining…

 

Reminder: this series is about PERFORMANCE nutrition. Not gaining muscle, burning fat, building a bigger chest, or fixing your health.

 

I am aware that most Instagram models, bodybuilders, high school heroes who no longer exercise who know all the answers etc. will have mixed advice on macro amounts. It’s all fun and games until you’re getting smoked at the competition.

 

In other words… “If you’re eating like an Instagram model you’re going to get smoked at the competition.” 🐒🐒🐒

 

The main reason behind this is…

 

🔥 If you are eating more than your bodyweight in protein, I am willing to bet you are not eating enough carbohydrates and likely too much fat to perform at 100% in the sport. 🔥

 

More muscle does not necessarily mean more strength. I believe many fitness athletes get confused because they follow the advice of bodybuilders (who generally consume more protein than most athletes) and feel like that will help their performance. Strength and power are performance-based goals that requires adequate fuel (carbs) and should not be confused with hypertrophy and eating for aesthetics or “gaining.”

 

Prioritizing mirror gainz over performance gainz will come in our EATING FOR BODY COMPOSITION discussion.

 

Lastly, there is an idea that high amounts of protein must be consumed in a magical post workout “anabolic window.” Listen, I know it sounds cool and many people can benefit from protein shakes post workout.

 

I also believe athletes should consume some protein post workout but the most valuable tool post workout for performance is…. drum roll… glycogen replenishment. Which, as previously discussed will come from carbohydrates and fluids.    🧃💦

 

Note: I did not make the above statement to deter protein use post workout. I am encouraging athletes focused on performance to consume protein WITH carbohydrates and never alone for enhanced muscle protein synthesis and to replenish depleted glycogen stores.

 

 

 

 

📝Key notes regarding protein for performance: 📝

 

1.)           1 gram of protein = 4 calories which is the same as carbohydates per gram.

 

2.)           Protein requirements for those who exercise is nearly double that of sedentary people. The general food recommendations should never be applied for performance nutrition.

 

3.)           The liver is the central processing unit for protein synthesis. If you have elevated liver enzymes on a blood panel, you could research ways to cleanse and improve those numbers to help utilize proteins and for general overall well-being.

 

4.)           Vegan athletes should consider supplementing the essential amino acid L-Leucine as well as many other nutrients we will discuss in the future.

 

5.)           Whey protein and essential amino acid supplements appear to be the highest bioavailable protein sources.

 

6.)           If you would like modern research regarding protein check out the research from Brad Schoenfeld, PhD and “protein expert” Stuart Phillips, PhD and his team at McMaster University.

 

7.)           Consumption of whole eggs promotes greater stimulation of post-exercise muscle protein synthesis than consumption of isonitrogenous amounts of egg whites in young men. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28978542/)

Eating for Performance (Basics + Carbs)

Day 1️⃣  (4-5 minute read)

 

This is the basic series of eating for performance. I believe it is intermediate level knowledge to have a general grasp on basic performance nutrition.

 

Elite/professional level nutrition requires regular lab testing, upper-level knowledge of sport science, and most of these athletes have nutrition coaches and chefs preparing the foods, plus a lab formulating customized vitamins💊 based on their needs.

 

I just want to be clear on the differences and clear gap of basics➡️elite.

 

 

🚨Note: If your goal is weight loss, muscle gain, or health/wellness I do not recommend following a performance-based plan as you will likely never reach your goals.

I also truly believe if you have metabolic issues or disease a performance-based nutrition plan could be dangerous, and you should always consult a functional medicine doctor accompanied by a Registered Dietitian focusing on integrative nutrition. I am neither of those.

 

 

 

📝Final note: Every sport has unique nutrition requirements. This is going to cover the basics of “CrossFit” as a sport or “Functional Fitness.”  We can assume that performance nutrition needs in this area will need to cover all bases. ✅

Strength, power, endurance, short, medium, long, gymnastics, weightlifting, etc. The energy needs of each of these demands differs greatly so there is no one size fits all model when combining all of these elements.

 

 

I prioritize performance nutrition requirements in this order:

 

1️⃣  Essential macros (carbs, protein, fats)

 

2️⃣  Essential micronutrients (electrolytes, vitamins, minerals) & fluids

 

3️⃣  Supplements & other factors

 

 

We kick this thing off with ESSENTIAL MACROS FOR PERFORMANCE which will be divided into 3 posts.

 

1️⃣  Carbohydrates 🍎🍚🍯🧃🍭

 

2️⃣  Protein 🥩🍗🍖

 

3️⃣  Fats 🥑🥜

 

 

ESSENTIAL MACROS FOR PERFORMANCE: CARBOHYDRATES

 

Carbohydrate demand for performance is primarily dictated by these 3 factors

 

1️⃣  Duration of exercise (sprint/short/medium/long/ ultra)

 

2️⃣  Type of exercise being performed (rowing/weightlifting/ gymnastics/ bodybuilding/ etc.)

 

3️⃣  Weight of the athlete (most of the world uses KGs… I will use LBs)

 

 

For carbohydrate basics I recommend going off a weekly average. This will simplify daily needs.

 

To understand what your weekly average is you will want to wear a device such as the Whoop, Fit-Bit, Apple watch, Garmin etc. that tracks daily expenditure and provides an easy to access “WEEKLY TOTAL.”

 

Alternatively, you could make an educated guess or “wing it…” and that’s not ideal but a good starting point would be to add 400-600 calories per 60 minutes of exercise. You would have to monitor how you feel during exercise and how the scale moves and make changes from there.

 

Note: a 60-minute class is not 60 minutes of exercise❌. Monitor the duration of the actual activity. ✅

 

 

I will use Marisa ❤️ as an example:

 

Marisa weighs 107 lbs with a base metabolic rate (BMR) of 1,262

 

Calories burned (week 2/1 – 2/7)

Tuesday – 1,883

Wednesday- 1,900

Thursday- 1,740

Friday- 1,939

Saturday- 1,896

Sunday- 1,676

Monday- 2,246

Total = 13,280 weekly calories -or- 1,897 calories per day

 

🚨🚨🚨I typically recommend 55-65% of total calories from carbohydrate while eating for performance. 😮😮😮

 

If this number scares you please keep in mind the type of exercises that are involved in fitness and their main energy supply. 🤯🤯

 

 

Taking 60% of Marisa’s daily average = 1,138 calories from carbohydrate.

 

Divide 1,138 by 4 calories per carbohydrate = 285 grams of carbs

 

 

A basic general guideline would be for Marisa to aim for a MINIMUM of 285 grams of carbohydrate per day. Some days would be over, and some would be under but over the course of a year it is unlikely she would be training overly depleted for risky periods of time (which could be damaging to her health) and obviously her fitness results.

 

 

 

📝Key notes regarding carbohydrates for performance: 📝

 

1.)  Starchy and simple carbs are best for pre/during/and immediately post exercise other than those periods complex carbohydrates are best utilized.

 

2.)  Carbohydrate depletion can lower blood sugar too much- causing mental fatigue. This can be combated with pre and intra workout carbs as well as adequate complex carbohydrate throughout the day.

 

3.)  Carbs are clearly the limiting substrate in athletic performance.

 

4.)  Carbs allow for muscle recovery post exercise.

 

5.)  Carbs are an energy source that help sustain blood sugar during physical activity.

 

6.)  Glycogen replenishment is more difficult if you are in a dehydrated state.

 

7.) “If you are scared of carbs you are scared of performing your best.” – My opinion.

 

 

👨‍🔬I do not believe there is enough data to support a low carb- performance based nutrition plan. People have been testing the waters but I have not seen a high level athlete successful on low carb.

 

 

This wraps up CARBOHYDRATES FOR PERFORMANCE. Next, we will cover BASIC PROTEIN REQUIREMENTS FOR PERFORMANCE.

Eating in a Deficit (Basics)

Here is a 7 day series covering some of the basics of macros and eating in a deficit.

 

Day 1

Eating in a Deficit

If your goal is to burn body fat and/ or weight loss you need to look at what you’re eating on a weekly basis!

You can do all the fitness in the world and eat the healthiest foods out there but still gain body fat if you aren’t eating ideal amounts of protein and If you aren’t eating in a caloric deficit.    This can be very frustrating for people!

🔥 The only way to burn body fat is to be in a caloric deficit. 🔥

The only way to truly know, is to track your macros for a while! It can be quite humbling.

BUT: For most athletes, it is not a good idea to be in a caloric deficit 7 days per week. This can lead to “under recovering”, diminishing performance, and is typically not sustainable.

I recommend staying in a caloric deficit 4 days per week, on lighter workout and recovery days and utilizing 3 “re-feed” days where you are not in a surplus but eating at least your base metabolic rate in calories.  (If you do not know your base metabolic rate BMR, the Inbody scan is a great option or you can use an online calculator that could help get you started).

The total weekly caloric intake will still be at a deficit if the re-feed days do not send you over.  If you go over, it’s unlikely you will burn fat.

This is a great way to burn fat and still see performance results.

If you need help putting a plan together, share your goals with a coach!

Day 2

In post 1 we discussed eating in a caloric deficit for body fat loss.

Today we are going to discuss how to establish a general baseline and begin tracking your nutrition.

First off, I never want to downplay the importance of quality food in your life. I say life but I’m referring to your diet or what goes in your body. The word diet is just sketchy because then it sounds temporary. If you say life… then it sounds like you’re making long term decisions.  I just want to make it 100% clear going into the “MACROS” talk… that although we are talking strictly #s – carbs, fats, proteins, water, and calories you should always assume we want the highest quality in each category… nutrient dense carbs (not white sugar), nutrient dense fats (not canola or other refined oils), quality proteins, and clean -mineral rich water sources.

Sorry… GENERAL BASELINES

  1. Establish your base metabolic rate (BMR) –the number of calories your body needs to accomplish its most basic life-sustaining functions.
  1. Most accurate: Schedule an Inbody scan with one of our coaches!  All access members get these included in your membership! All others – this is only $20!
  2. Not quite as accurate but a good starting point: use an online calculator!

https://www.active.com/fitness/calculators/bmr

  • Download a “macro” tracking APP

There are thousands to choose from. I am recommending My Fitness Pal because the basic version is free, simple to use, and I am familiar with the APP.  If your friend sells you on one just make sure its simple and not wasting your money.

Tip #1 : don’t follow the recommendations on these apps. They are “general” and if you haven’t noticed based on the general FDA guidelines, food pyramid, and everything else “generally speaking” the average numbers lead to sub -average results.

Tip #2 : don’t follow the diet of the 21 year old Instagram model -or- professional athlete marketing their 6 weeks shredded jacked & tan program… I mean you can, but come back to me in 12 weeks & let me know how it went.

Tip #3 : follow along this mini series & apply the steps… I bet you will learn something & make progress or your $$$ back guaranteed 😊

Tip #4 : ask a coach for guidance if you feel lost/overwhelmed!   We’ve probably made the same mistakes before.

  • Plug in your “macro” goals.

Macros = carbs, fats, protein = total calories.

Sorry to leave you on a hanger! Tomorrow we will go over the very basics of establishing your “macro goals.”

Homework assignment : download a macro APP & establish a baseline BMR so we can set up your numbers!

Day 3

In post 1 we discussed eating in a caloric deficit for body fat loss.

In post 2 we discussed how to establish and track your nutrition.

Today we are going to cover the very basics of establishing your “protein goals.”

Your nutrition APP should allow for you to set goals for PROTEINS, FATS, & CARBS.

KEEP AN OPEN MIND … Everyone is unique based on age, sex, hormones, body fat levels, muscle, lipid status, gut health, activity level, insulin sensitivity, yada yada… these are BASIC – GENERAL starting points (guidelines) and depending on the time of the month, year, season of life etc. the exact same macro nutrients will probably not be perfect 365 days per year. You need to be adaptable in nutrition just like you are at home and in the workplace etc.

STEP 1:   Establishing your protein needs.

Assuming if you read this you participate in at least the following activities: strength training, cardiovascular endurance, muscle endurance, speed, powerlifting, agility…

ALL OF THESE ACTIVITIES INCREASE YOUR NEED FOR PROTEIN.  I will dive deep with you in specific needs of aminos for joint health, brain function, connective tissue repair, muscle recovery, gut health, etc. when we pass the basics course but for now just accept the fact that if you are living the KTX LIFESTYLE YOU NEED MORE THAN THE FDA RECOMMENDED AMOUNTS OF PROTEIN TO RECOVER AND LIVE OPTIMALLY!

If you are trying to burn fat you need protein, if you are trying to gain muscle you need protein, if you are trying to maintain… you still need that protein. Sorry.

Minimum protein goal:  .7 grams per pound of bodyweight

Maximum protein goal: 1.2 grams per pound of bodyweight

Use a calculator and multiple your weight by somewhere between .7 and 1.2.

MY OPINIONS REGARDING PROTEIN:

  1. Humans with higher amounts of bodyfat (25% or more) typically respond better to lower amounts of protein… like .7 – .8 grams per lb of bodyweight. Sometimes slightly less, depending on how much muscle they have and hormone status.
  • Leaner humans (12% or less), typically respond better to higher amounts of protein… like .9 to 1.2 grams per lb of bodyweight. The amount in this range usually depends on activity level.
  • Living optimally on the lower side of this protein recommendation COULD potentially lead to a longer lifespan… If you want resources for this data Google search scholarly articles regarding the information.
  • Eating for performance & getting as lean as possible COULD have you eating on the higher end of this protein recommendation… that doesn’t mean you can’t live a long healthy life because you consumed more protein.
  • A good indicator for optimal protein levels is your (BUN) status on a blood panel. We will go into those details down the road.
  • I believe it is best to CYCLE between higher and lower protein loads. Don’t stick to the same exact amount 365 days per year.

Well, there you have it… there are some basic protein guidelines. In the next series, we will go deep into protein, carbs, fats etc. but for now there you go.

Next we will go over the very basics of establishing your carbohydrate needs.

Homework assignment: calculate your protein needs & plug your protein goals into your APP.

Day 4

In post 1 we discussed eating in a caloric deficit for body fat loss.

In post 2 we discussed how to establish and track your nutrition.

In post 3 we covered the very basics of establishing your “protein goals.”

Today we are going to cover the very basics of establishing your “fat goals.”

I originally said we would cover carbs next, but I changed my mind & decided to cover fats first 😊

Please note: these recommendations, along with my guidelines for protein and carbs are a great place to start for the majority of people who are not obese, lifting weights regularly, and who have not yet started the final 3rd of their life expectancy (let’s ballpark 55 and over…)  These guidelines will more than likely “work” decently for those who do not fall into these categories, and could work for those who do fall in one of those categories just please understand the reality of nutrition is that it’s very individual and please bear with me on that limitation.

ESTABLISHING YOUR FAT NEEDS

Most people will find while cutting bodyfat 15 – 25% of total calories will come from fat. Personally, I would never stay at 15% fat for more than 4 weeks at a time without bumping up to 25-30% for hormonal and health reasons.

Minimum fat goal for cutting:  15% of total daily calories

Maximum fat goal for cutting: 25% of total daily calories

Each gram of fat = 9 calories

Step 1: Establish your daily caloric needs (BMR) and set calories in your APP.

Step 2: Establish your daily protein goals and set # in your app.

Step 3: Establish your starting point for fats.

Example: if your daily goals are 2000 calories and %20 of the calories come from fat you will consume 400 calories per day from fats. 400 divided by 9 = 44/45 grams of fat

My opinions regarding fats.

  1. You should almost in no circumstance consistently stay on a high fat, high carbohydrate diet. If your fats are high, your carbs should be low, and if your fats are low your carbs should be higher to make up the difference in energy.
  2. Opt for fats from whole foods rather than oils more often than not (80% or more).
  3. Refined, processed, and rancid oils/fats are one of the greatest (if not the greatest) contributors to the health crisis we are dealing with in our country today, and often overlooked when compared to “sugar” and other chemicals.
  4. When eating out… you can almost be certain the fats in the food are the poorest quality options available. In my opinion, this is the worst issue with eating out on a regular basis.
  5. The only oil supplements I would consume are cod liver oil and krill oil. I do not trust many other types. There is an issue with quality standards on supplemental oils (in my opinion).

Next, we will “for real” go over the basics of carbohydrates.

For now, you can plug in your protein, fats, and then the remainder of your daily calories will come from carbs.  That will get you started.

Day 5

In post 1 we discussed eating in a caloric deficit for body fat loss.

In post 2 we discussed how to establish and track your nutrition.

In post 3 we covered the very basics of establishing your “protein goals.”

In post 4 we covered the very basics of establishing your “fat goals.”

Today we are going to cover the very basics of establishing your “carbohydrate goals.”

IMPORTANT TO NOTE:

I am discussing carbohydrates for “fat loss” and general health—à NOT performance-based nutrition.   It is important to understand there is a HUGE-BIGLY difference in eating for performance compared to eating for general health/ body composition.

We will talk about performance-based nutrition when we go into detailed discussions in the second series.

ESTABLISHING YOUR CARBOHYDRATE NEEDS

Step 1: Establish your daily caloric needs (BMR) and set calories in your APP.

Step 2: Establish your daily protein goals and set # in your app.

Step 3: Establish your starting point for fat and set # in your app.

At this point the remainder of your calories should come from carbohydrate.

EXAMPLE: If your Inbody scan shows a BMR of 2,000 calories and you are 200 lbs trying to cut down to 180 lbs.

Protein: .85 grams per lb of bodyweight until goal is reach = 170 grams = 640 calories
Fats : 20% target until goal is reached = 44 grams = 400 calories
Carbs: BMR = 2,000 calories – 640 P cals – 400 F cals = 960 calories = 240 carbs

My macro goals would be: 170g protein + 44g fat + 240 carbs

I would plan to exercise enough to burn 500 daily calories for a weekly caloric deficit of 3,500 calories to aim for 1lb of fat loss per week.

At this rate I would hit my goal of 180 in 20 weeks (4-5 months) and would maintain or possibly even gain muscle along the way, rather than yo-yo dieting or wrecking my metabolism and hormones.

Things to note about carbohydrates:

  1. The higher the exercise intensity, the greater the reliance on carbs as fuel.
  2. Athletes should consume enough carbs to allow for recovery after physical activity and provide proper energy (fuel) for following workouts/daily activities.
  3. Inadequate carbohydrate stores in the body during exercise can cause low blood sugar and muscle breakdown to supply fuel for the brain in a process called “gluconeogenesis.”  For this reason, I do not recommend a “low carb diet” mixed with high intensity exercises without professional guidance and caution. I’m not claiming it is impossible to do high intensity workouts on a low -carb diet, I am suggesting that if you aren’t very careful you can cause more harm than good.
  4. If you have diabetes, insulin resistance, or have specific recommendations from a physician to eat a low carb diet, please consult a dietitian who specializes in that area and do not follow my general guidelines.

***Nutrient deficiencies can inhibit oxygen delivery to cells, which will impair your performance. Impaired performance = decrease in power output = less results. ***

HOMEWORK: Complete these basic steps. Aim to hit your new MACRO GOALS for the remainder of this week!

Now that we have wrapped up the very basics of establishing macros I will discuss how I believe you can set yourself up for success in nutrition, what sustainable fat loss and muscle gain goals look like, and other strategies to help you succeed on your nutrition journey!   That will wrap up series ONE. Please let a coach know if you have any questions!

Day ??

Don’t forget the fiber!

What is often left out of discussion is “FIBER.” Although fiber technically falls under CARBS some preach they should not be added to carb totals & others oppose the idea… neither is right or wrong because there are no ABSOLUTES in nutrition.

What I can tell you is that eating a diet rich in fiber means your carbohydrate sources are typically coming from whole food sources such as fruits, veggies, and whole grains rather than flours, juices, and sugars. – Try to debate which of those sides is healthier.

Day 6

Now that we have wrapped up the very basics of establishing macros, we are going to discuss setting yourself up for success with nutrition. THE BASICS. I am going to target fat loss first, as this tends to be the 90%. The 10% who want to gain muscle can still apply fat loss techniques to prevent gaining too much bodyfat on their muscle gain journey.

While I know it can be tempting to try immediate & drastic fat loss challenges, the long-term results usually end up looking like a roller coaster ride.  Long term-sustainable (LIFESTYLE) changes are what bring on true results. This applies to positive AND negative results. Years and years of either A or B = what you end up with.

The ability to have a wild and crazy bender during vacation or overindulge on those holiday and celebratory weekends and immediately get back into a routine all comes down to your habits (lifestyle). You can’t expect to jump right back into a routine that hasn’t been successfully carried out and tested before.

A man I look up to greatly has repeatedly said the following…” WHAT HASN’T BEEN TESTED CANNOT BE TRUSTED.”

Taking steps towards changing your overall lifestyle will help prevent disaster to your goals as soon as a stressor (like a pandemic for example) comes along! It takes consistent effort (work) and discipline to establish new habits but once they are developed you can reap the benefits (rewards) and enjoy feeling better than before.

If you have established healthy nutrition habits over an extended period (YEARS… not a few weeks or months) … an extreme challenge can be a fun experiment! But I truly believe the basics should be stress free & happen like clockwork before this is even a thought.

If you jump right into a 6 week strict paleo plan with no eating out etc. then what happens when the 6 weeks is over? Where do you go next?  If it isn’t planned out I would be willing to bet you would (fall back into your old habits) pretty much immediately. – If you are satisfied with where you are in regards to your health and want a challenge then jumping into a 6 week challenge makes more sense.

That’s just my opinion, feel free to disagree.

When I say basics, I am meaning —->  = Eat mostly (80% or more) of your nutrition from vegetables, meat, fruit, nuts, seeds… and the remaining 20% (or less) from starches, grains, and “whatever else.”   Drink lots of clean water, black coffee, and unsweetened herbal teas for your liquids.

Messing around with an extreme fad diet that teaches you nothing along the way except how to be extreme just to hit your goal weight for a wedding or beach vacation just to return home & “relapse” on old habits is my definition of a roller coaster ride.  If you enjoy the ride, I won’t try to stop you from riding it.

BUT: It doesn’t have to be like that! It also doesn’t have to be extreme or stressful. You should be able to feel great, and the process should be enjoyable or somethin’ ain’t right!  The “relapse” could be like “HEY I don’t feel that great from this crazy holiday week, I’m excited to get back into my routine!”

My goal of this message was to (hopefully) detour a few minds from extreme fad diets to shift focus towards creating healthier long-term habits and thinking of a lifestyle rather than a short-term fix or “bandaid.”

I hope on this journey we can all drop (or cut down on) some habits that are adding stress or holding us back from our goals and replace them with some habits that help us feel better.

HOMEWORK: Think of a few changes you could make to help you reach your goals and improve your quality of life.    This does not have to be a life changing goal. It could be something as simple as “I want to drink more water on a regular basis.” Or… “I want to quit eating ice cream before bed for a few months.”

Tomorrow we are going to go over what a low stress- sustainable caloric deficit looks like and how you could plan out a week of macros in your APP.

I would plan to weigh in DAILY.

 

 

Day 7

So, what is a low stress, sustainable caloric deficit to aim for?  – The most accurate answer depends on your goals and lifestyle factors, but there’s always a place to start without getting deep into the weeds…

A “safe starting point” for most people is a 300-500 caloric deficit 3-4 days per week and 3-4 days right around the BMR or base metabolic rate.

EXAMPLE: If my Inbody scan shows a BMR of 2000 calories I could set a fat loss deficit as follows…

M – 1700 cals (normal workout day- easy day to plan meals)
T – 1700 cals (normal workout day – easy day to plan meals)
W- 2100 cals (normal workout day – usually random things pop up & we like to enjoy a large dinner w/ maybe a few drinks )
TH – 1300 cals (rest day- good day to intermittent fast & only eat lunch & dinner without overly feeling hungry)
Fr- 1800 cals
Sat – 2400 cals
Sun – 1500 cals

Total weekly deficit = 1,500 cals

Expected fat loss = approx .5 lbs   or  ( 2 lbs bodyfat loss per month)

This may not seem like a lot but 2 lbs of body fat per month = 26 lbs of bodyfat in a year… if you have the mindset of lifelong investment on your body here, this is realistic and awesome!

Roller Coaster Weekly EXAMPLE: (and what usually happens without at least some accountability or idea of what’s going on…)

M – 1700 cals  (perfect)
T- 1700 cals (perfect… right on track for the week)
W- 2400 cals (had a fun night.. its all good Ill get back on track tomorrow)
Th- 1200 cals – (didn’t want to eat a lot… and then forgot to eat)
FR – 3000 cals – ( woke up starving and tired because undereating Thursday so had a big breakfast and went out after work & got off track)
Sat- 2500 cals – (insert fun thing here)
Sun- 2500 cals – (Not too bad, but ill get back on track Monday!)

Total weekly SURPLUS = +1000 cals

Expected weight gain = approximately .25 – .5 lbs

At first glance the bodyfat loss and gain examples do not seem extreme. We are always great at looking and thinking short term.  Looking over the course of a year though… example A could potentially lead to 26 lbs of bodyfat loss and example B could lead to 13-26 lbs of weight gain.

Compound these habits 2,3,4… 10… 20 years and you start to see the big picture.

Weekly deficit goals:

  1. If your goal is to lose .5 lb per week aim for a weekly deficit of around 1500 calories.
  2. If your goal is to lose 1lb per week aim for a weekly deficit of around 3,000-4,000 calories.
  3. You can add in extra exercise/activity to burn additional calories… which will allow you to eat the same number but remain in a larger “deficit” of calories.

Personal advice — > what works when I am trying to cut:

  1. Lowest calorie days + intermittent fasting on rest/recovery/ lower stress days of the week. For me this is Thursday & Sunday.  I enjoy days where I’m not eating meals all day, if that is not enjoyable to you then aim for a different route!
  2. Plan a higher calorie day on a hard workout day, a day where I will be eating with friends and family or eating out, and DO NOT feel guilty about my decisions. Give thanks and enjoy the party!
  3. Being in a deficit 5+ days per week with 1 or 2 days at my BMR or higher has never worked for me. I feel drained, “hangry”, sleep and recovery suffer, and I can usually go 2-3 weeks before I’m ready to quit. None of that is enjoyable to me.
  4. After a few years of habitual efforts you will not have to plan weeks/days very often (if ever)… you will figure out what works pretty quick!

HOMEWORK:

Plan the best days of YOUR week for a deficit and days you enjoy more food/drinks. This will help plan your week.

Competing in CrossFit

The purpose of this post is to help members and athletes establish goals and understand the practicality of competing in different levels in “The Sport of Fitness.”

There will be a follow up post on CrossFit for health and longevity as I believe there should be clear distinction between the two sides of the spectrum.

So you want to compete?

Awesome! Competing at all different levels can be an amazing journey to be a part of both coaching and participating.

In my experiences, athletes interested in the competitive side of fitness typically come from one of two viewpoints:

CROSSFIT GAMES | SANCTIONED EVENTS

1.) I saw the CrossFit Games on TV, social media, or YouTube and I want to train for that!

LOCAL COMPETITION

2.) My friend has been posting on his or her social media page or bragging at work about competing in CrossFit competitions and I think that’s what I want to do.

From the outside looking in, training for #1 or #2 could appear to be the same. The purpose of this post is to shed light on the fact that training for the CrossFit Games or a CrossFit sanctioned event (#1) is a full time job. This is similar to watching the athletes running 13 minute 5ks in the Olympics.

Training for a local competition (#2) is more comparable to your 5k Turkey trot. You can sign up and just do it.

Sanctioned events could be compared to the Houston marathon where you have elite professional runners (athletes competing for money and a spot at the CrossFit Games) mixed with folks who trained to complete the marathon (intermediate and scaled athletes) but do not focus on the marathon solely as their job.

What does it take to compete?

LOCAL COMPETITION

To compete in a local competition you should be familiar with all the common CrossFit movements and be able to complete full range of motion movements without risk of injury.

There are so many different levels of local competition from ultimate newbie, scaled, all women’s, all men’s, masters, kids, intermediate, and “RX”…. Every local competition will provide movement standards or expectations for athletes prior to signing up. You can expect these events to range anywhere from $50 – $150 per participant to register.

Local competitions can be great fun for family and friends and they are a great way to support the local fitness community as well as small businesses.

By completing the CrossFit Annihilation workout of the day 4-5 days per week, you should be ready for most local competitions intermediate or scaled. To compete RX in local competition however, you should be able to complete the majority of our workouts without scaling and be near the top of the whiteboard on a day to day basis.

TRAINING FOR A SANCTIONED EVENT OR THE CROSSFIT GAMES

I want to be fully transparent in regards to training for this level of competition to eliminate false expectations and self made pressure to anyone who reads this post.

If you have a full time job outside of a gym, it is highly unlikely you will have the time or energy to compete at this level. If this fact ruins your reasoning to do CrossFit then I’m sorry, you can hit the exit browser button now and thank me later for saving you the trouble… if you have the time or are just curious what it takes then continue to 2.).

2.) If you have the time and energy to train for the CrossFit games you need to be aware of exactly how much training needs to be done on a day to day basis

as well as the other factors that need to be considered.

A. 30-60 minutes daily (or more) of body work.

This could include physical therapy movement preparation, foam rolling, stretching, warm up, cool down, massage, chiropractic work etc.

Without this type of TLC to your body, it is highly unlikely you will make it through the years and years of high volume training necessary to compete at this level. The demands on your body at this stage are far beyond what is considered “ideal for health” and more towards what is considered “extreme.”

B. 8,9, or 10+ hours of sleep on a regular basis. If you find a CrossFit Games athlete with a full time job outside of the gym getting by on 6 hours of sleep daily I’ll drink a cup of canola oil with a cherry coke for your viewing pleasure. That was a joke, the point is I don’t think you’ll find that anymore. Maybe in 2009.

C. Alcohol– if you’re a male consuming more than a few drinks total per month, I’d be willing to bet your hormone levels are too low to compete at this level. That’s just my theory based on what alcohol does to a males hormone levels and heart rate variability.

D. The programming – the volume needed at this level is no longer safely achievable within the first 3 (usually more) years of training. Basically, unless you have the enforceable future planned for training at an elite level… I mean, here’s an example of the work you will need to put in.

Example training week:

Take our most intense CrossFit Annihilation or local crossfit gym’s workout of the week. Combine 2-3 of these per day 3-4 days per week in combination with:

KTX Capacity workout of the day 3-4 days per week ensuring you hit every energy system with every possible cardio element on a fairly regular basis.

KTX Strength and Weightlifting 4-5x per week ensuring you are about as physically strong and efficient as possible on every lift as your body can possibly handle.

KTX Gymnastics 2-3x per week ensuring you can do very high volumes without unnecessary stress to your joints (good form).

Personal accessory work regularly to make sure you have no weak areas.

The training listed above has to be done not only day in and day out but realIstically year in and year out which leads us to the next point…

E.) You have to be beyond a normal level of mentally strong. What some people call #obsessive.

It’s easy for people who do no understand what kind of mindset it takes to be a champion to point the finger at everyone better then they are at their craft and accuse them all of using steroids or other performance enhancing drugs.

Obviously, in any competitive sport there will be athletes doing whatever they can to have an advantage or cheat the competition. That does not mean that all athletes at the elite level are doing it. In my experiences being around elite athletes of all different backgrounds, the best ones usually have more integrity and less desire to cheat where as the ones pointing fingers and getting caught are the ones who (in their head) have to use drugs to try and keep up. This is not always 100% true (obviously).

Personal belief – some athletes cheat, most do not.

The best of the best have the MINDSET, the GENETICS, most have a lifelong TRAINING HISTORY, and skill sets that go far beyond what the losing mindset will allow them to see. This isn’t a 6 week training program. These athletes are doing the big AND little things day and in day out all the time.

F.) $$$ is almost non existent until you are the best of the best.

This could be an issue in many areas, including but not limited to :

1. Body maintenance is expensive. You need a good network of physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, or sponsors willing to help in your journey. Or a sugar momma.

2. The amount of food needed is expensive. Most aspiring athletes do not get anywhere near the nutrition needed to compete at their desired peak levels. Supplements are essential to fill the void so sponsors or $$$ are required here as well.

3. Nutrition can be stressful for athletes. Having a nutritionist or meal prep service can help take stress off the shoulders. Both of which cost money or require sponsorships.

4. Qualifiers, travel, and signing up all cost about as much as a vacation… fund raisers & sponsors are almost always needed for this considering these athletes don’t typically have full time jobs unless they are RICH fitness trainers 🙂

5. You are trying to compete or “catch up” to the athletes who already have all of the money and sponsors listed above … this makes a coach or manager even more valuable…. you either need a really dedicated supper buddy or someone who believes In your abilities to donate this kind of time and energy into helping you achieve your goals. Or be that much more disciplined on your own watch = even more stress.

I’m sure I’m missing some key points, but I’m about to land in Colorado and think i got my message across.

Summary:

1. Training for local competitions can be great fun and are realistic to any person or skill level.

2. Training for elite level competitions is unrealistic for most people and shouldn’t be a burden on your shoulders if you don’t have the time and resources essential to be successful.

I am always available to help you establish a training goal and keep it real regarding the competition side of CrossFit or “The Sport of Fitness.”

-Kyle Flowers

(Focus Grasshopper) Skill Progression

We are spending a good amount of time and energy on correcting movement patterns, gymnastics and Olympic lifting accessories and “skills.”

I can relate to the frustrations that may arise by taking a few steps back in one area to improve overall. The largest mind shift I had to take several years ago was convincing myself that a direct focus on skills and movement would have a beneficial long term effect. I was trying to be competitive in CrossFit so I thought I needed MORE volume here and there when in reality the QUALITY of volume and correcting movement flaws improved my overall fitness. It took time to develop this relationship, but after a lifelong journey of different sports and military (10+ years of CrossFit sprinkled in there) I’m deeply in love with the smarter not harder approach. “What’s the best bang for my buck?

Attention to detail:

Olympic lifting and gymnastics are among the most technical sports you will play. Both of which have their young athletes practicing hours and hours throughout the younger years of their life where motor development is developed at a much faster rate than where most of us begin “functional fitness programs” or CrossFit. (As adults).

For the mass majority, 1 hour of gym training 5x per week is the most that can fit in the busy work life schedule. This makes the 1 hr class valuable!

Focus on the small details.

Focus on what your body is doing on the skills day in and day out and you will make long term improvements.

Focus on perfecting the movements before adding volume and weight!

Buying into this belief will allow yourself time to recover, adapt, and improve.

Lifestyle

Many people are looking for a 6 week or short term body transformation. If this is your mindset there is nothing wrong with that but I do not believe CrossFit Annihilation is the best option for you. Sure, I’ve seen amazing transformations happen in 6 weeks. But the faster you try to achieve a goal the higher the risk of injury and burnout occurs and the unrealistic long term diet/lifestyle changes unfold.

We want to develop lifelong skills, health, and fitness. This takes consistency and smart work, which is typically more difficult for people than “hard workouts.” Because it requires more discipline, patience, and attention to details.

• If you prioritize hard, challenging, and fun workouts only, you will inevitably reach some stalling point in your training. (Possibly injuries).

• Honoring the progression principles from the beginning will save you countless hours of frustration and disappointment.

• Honoring the fundamentals doesn’t have to mean boring or easy. We spend a great deal of time keeping the program fun and challenging while still emphasizing the basics and foundations. (I will be the first to admit, this has been a huge shift in programming/culture and I feel guilt for how I initially programmed for the gym).

• Training is not a constant progression. Take specific time periods to progress and follow a plan towards a goal, then step back to recalibrate and refresh before you tackle the next big goal and training build. Regress back to the foundations!

Lastly

If you feel lost or unsure where you can focus time/energy on improving as an athlete PLEASE reach out to myself or one of the coaches at KTX!

We have a wide range of brilliant minds from doctors of physical therapy, movement specialist and massage therapists, gymnastics, weightlifting, endurance and nutrition coaches.

We want to help you reach your goals!

P.S. – this message comes from some deep bitterness in myself from cramming in “junk volume” a month leading up to a local competition I should not have taken so seriously. I was quickly reminded by my body that I’m not 20 years old anymore 😉 I’m not injured, but it was a frustrating couple of weeks scaling the workout of the day.

-Kyle