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

A Few Health Tips During Corona Lockdown

This is a tough situation, but that does not mean we have to hit rock bottom in our health. Here are a few good tips for maintaining health during this period.

 

DECREASE CORTISOL LEVELS

High cortisol can wreck havoc on us physically and mentally, here are a few tips on balancing your levels:

DITCH THE ALARM CLOCK

Alarms immediately wake us up into a fight or flight state. This is the opposite of what we should strive for (waking up peacefully…) During a period like this, if waking up early for school or work are not a concern, this is a great opportunity to get on your natural clock. Aiming to fall asleep and wake up around the same times daily will generally allow your body to get in rhythm, and should decrease high cortisol.

BREATH.

Pay attention to your breathing (or lack thereof) especially during times of stress. When I am extra stressed, I will find myself almost naturally holding my breath and then taking short shallow breaths until I realize what is going on and I change my focus to full inhales and deep exhales. It’s amazing how I begin to feel better after 10-15 deep breaths. (TRY IT)!

Look for APPS like Headspace, follow a YOGA video on Youtube, or close your eyes and listen to your favorite songs while you focus on 6-10 second inhale and 6-10 second exhales. Meditation and stretching are both great ways to breath and maintain healthy cortisol levels!

P.S. – One of the reasons aerobic exercise is great is because IT FORCES YOU TO BREATH!

FASTING

Time restricted eating habits can improve immune function, improve blood glucose and insulin levels, cholesterol & triglyceride numbers, decrease inflammation, and balance hormones (to name a few). If you have concerns, talk to your physician about whether or not time restricted eating or intermittent fasting is a good option for you.

The most common time restricted eating practice is eating your full days worth of food in an 8 hour time frame. Calorie restriction is NOT the goal of fasting. The break you give your body from constantly eating on a regular basis (habitual) will pay off.

MODERATE EXERCISE

Exercise in the right dosage is one of the best ways to improve health and boost immune function. There is no debate here.

Chronic cardio -or- extreme amounts of exercise can compromise our immune health. So during a time like this, balance is key (150-300 minutes per week). If you are locked up in the house, over exertion should not be an issue, move as much as you can- to overdue it, you typically have to be going to the extreme day in and day out.

ZERO exercise | sedentary lifestyle in today’s world  is one of the best ways to guarantee health issues arise at some point. Not always, but the odds are against you. Get outside and sweat.

EAT THE RAINBOW

Aim to eat a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and foods that are not in a package. This is a good time to experiment with new recipes in the kitchen!

SLEEP

Aim for 7 – 9 hours of sleep every day.  This is an excellent opportunity for many folks to create healthy sleep patterns and get our your proper biological clock.

Inadequate sleep is linked to shorter lifespan, hormone imbalances, chronic inflammation, and just about every stress related disease you can imagine… if there is one most important lifestyle factor to focus on, sleep might be at the top.

NOTE: If you get 7+ hours of sleep regularly, but still feel exhausted then you might not be getting quality sleep.

Some things that can disrupt proper sleep patterns may include : more than 2 alcoholic beverages before bed, caffeine consumption after 1:00 PM (even if you think you can drink it and go straight to bed, try tracking your sleep patterns),  THC, too much exercise (it takes A LOT ) , not enough exercise, not consuming enough nutrients, WIFI in or near the bedroom, blue lights in the bedroom,  dehydration, stress, and… well maybe children. Some things are out of our control , most most are not.

GET OUTSIDE

Sunlight, fresh air, dirt, and the sight of earthly objects (like trees, grass, clouds, etc…) all have positive effects on our health. The last thing you want to do is lock yourself inside. You also do not have to go out in public if you are worried, your backyard is just fine 🙂   15-20 minutes of sun hitting as much skin as possible may do the trick.

If you are not getting regular sun exposure, adding in 2,000-3,000 IUs of vitamin D3 with 100-200mcg vitamin K could be a great option.

 

In good health,

Kyle Flowers

 

Strength | Power | Speed

Strength | Power | Speed

Strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination muscular units, to apply force.

Power – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in a minimum time.

Speed– The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.

As we wrap up strength cycle 1 of 2020, I have decided to write about a few fitness traits and why we periodize our training programs at KTX Fit.

Cycle 1 was focused around maximal strength. There were many huge PRs (personal records) as well as a few athletes left disappointed at the results from the cycle. Without going into deep detail on any of the factors listed below, there are numerous reasons why one athlete could hit a 50lb personal best on a back squat while others may stay the same or only increase 5lbs. Here are a few issues that could arise:

-Age
-Hormones
-Nutrition
-Sleep
-Training Background
-Body Type (muscle fibers etc.) 

An increase in MAXIMUM STRENGTH will not necessarily result in an increase in POWER. If an athlete is really strong but produces maximum force slowly, they will lack power. Many athletes, due to the above mentioned issues, will benefit more from maximal strength cycles (like cycle 1) while others will show greater progress in “strength” from what we are approaching in cycle 2.

You must train at the correct velocity to build a special strength. One can become stronger and jump higher in the beginning of training, but progress will stop if the rate of force development does not improve. There are many things to consider for improving sports performance.

In cycle 2, we will work on maintaining our strength progress while incorporating speed-strength + strength-speed + different power building approaches for our power and olympic lifts. We will be building our stamina and muscle endurance with an increase in bodyweight volume as well as begin to incorporate interval weight training (IWT) and improve our lactate inflection point (LIP). 

 NOTE: The athletes who have built a larger “aerobic base” by completing the capacity workouts and additional endurance training will generally yield greater results in the IWT and LIP training cycle. I compare this to someone investing higher amounts of money into the stock market. Everyone will benefit greatly from these intense forms of investing (training) but generally speaking, the people with the higher amounts of money invested will be rewarded more on the smart investments (intervals and higher intensity workouts)… athletes with the larger base should be able to handle higher interval training volumes and faster recovery between sessions. This should not discourage anyone from training but keep expectations at bay when comparing progress. 

Maximum Strength

Both of the traits listed below are directly linked to maximal strength (MS). MS is is usually tested by conducting a 1- rep max and what our general focus of training cycle 1 consisted of in the CrossFit classes. Strength training sets between 75-95% of our 1 rep max in a progressive manner. The overall training volume and intensity was lowered during this phase as sort of an “off-season” to get us through the holidays and de-load the intensity following the CF Open.

Maximum strength and higher intensity training can co-exist, however the effects on the nervous system need to be monitored more carefully and I believe in a balanced crossfit program for the general athlete, this is best done in blocks -or- “periodized training.”

Strength|Speed and Speed|Strength sound the same… but they are two different training traits of POWER.

Power has been clearly defined for a long time : the rate (energy amount per time period) at which work is done or energy converted.

Power = FORCE X DISTANCE divided by TIME

What is Strength-Speed?

Strength-speed refers to moving relatively heavy loads as fast as you can. An example of Strength-Speed would be pushing a heavy sled, or an all-out-sprint on the Assault Bike- the resistance on the Assault Bike increases along with your force (by design) to allow more strength-speed (power) output.

The functional application of strength-speed would be something like helping coach Marisa push her neutral car down highway 90 when she runs out of gas.

In this type of training there is a strength constraint (like weight) on a heavy load (like a sled) and there is a speed goal trying to move the resistance at very high speeds : like a time cap over a given distance to ensure you are getting the intended workout stimulus!

What is Speed-Strength?

Speed-strength refers to moving at very high speed with the maximum load possible. Examples of this include: Olympic Lifting (snatch | clean & jerk) 

The desired training stimulus can be achieved by training at lower percentages of 1 Rep Maximum (RM) therefore resulting in an increase of movement velocity. For this you will need to take into account a valid speed constraint whilst conduct very fast movements trying to lift as heavy as you can. An example of this would be during a snatch as it is very difficult to make it under the barbell if it moves slower than the desired training rate for speed-strength. This is why most olympic lift training is completed at 70-80% of your 1 rep potential and your 1 rep potential on the snatch and clean & jerk is significantly lower than your maximal strength output which will come from the back squat and deadlift.

 

If you have questions, comments, or specific training goals you would like to address feel free to contact me anytime at : Kyle@ktx.fit

or comment in our members facebook group 🙂

 

Simple Yet Effective Case for Carbs

The later parts of the 20th century had the health and nutrition of America in shambles over the misinformation of the “dangers of fats”… The low fat craze was not the greatest for our health.

Fats are not bad… too much of the wrong kinds of fats can be bad… but what we know to be 100% certain is WE NEED FAT. It is essential to our health and when given the opportunity the fat we consume (just like all other nutrients) should come from the highest quality sources.

But anyways…

2020 has a new approach… well it started happening sooner than 2020 but if you wonder the grocery store today you will see KETO all over the place. Keto friendly stickers, keto products, keto this and that.

SO what has happened here is we made the amazing discovery that HEY WE CAN EAT FATS… and yes, shifting from high carb diets to high fat diets CAN HELP SOME PEOPLE IN A CONTROLLED SETTING WHEN DONE PROPERLY. So the food industry has capitalized on the opportunity to create “Keto friendly foods” and market these “healthy fat products.”

So the shift is official in the eyes of mainstream media… “FATS were the devil… now they are the savior… CARBS were the answer… now they are the devil and will make you gain bodyfat within thirty minutes of consumption (this is a joke)… Let me just tell you about protein real quick… just kidding… we aren’t ready for this, today is about carbs.

Vegetables are primarily carbs…I think we can all agree vegetables are a good choice for most humans.

Fruits are primarily carbs… Some experts are anti -fruit and the low carb- no sugar mafia has people in fear of fruit. Unless there are specific reasons to avoid or limit fruit  temporarily (for reasons like diabetes), then there is no reason to be scared of fruit.

50 grams of high fructose corn syrup in a Sonic slushie is a little different than 50 grams of carbohydrates from 2 dates and an apple… macro boy on Instagram may try to convince you that 50 carbs is 50 carbs but be smarter than Macro Boy… 50 grams of high fructose corn syrup is not comparable to 50 grams of carbohydrate from fruit containing a wide assortment of nutrients and fiber.


Carbs and Performance: 

Our training is the gym is high performance. You may not view yourself as an athlete or high performer but performing squats at high %s followed by high intensity workouts day in and day out requires FUEL not only to perform your best but to recovery physically AND MENTALLY.

LOW CARB DIETS in a clinical setting need to be monitored closely with blood work and they have a specific purpose.

LOW CARB DIETS outside of a clinical setting in combination with weight training, high intensity bouts of exercise, and in a real life environment ARE FLAT OUT RISKY, SILLY IN MOST CASES (not all), and when done improperly (without blood work, careful macro and micro nutrient counting and timing) and without a specific plan|purpose are not practical.

Weightlifting requires carbohydrate for fuel. Endurance or “cardio” requires fat and carbohydrate. In a nutshell, the higher the intensity gets, the more carb dominate your fuel sources become. High intensity training requires a lot of energy. All forms of training require energy and fuel… neglecting this fact and not properly fueling your body can result in DEPRESSION, LOSS OF LIBIDO THROUGH ENDOCRINE DISRUPTION (AKA HORMONE IMBALANCES), LACK OF MOTIVATION, MUSCLE LOSS, SLEEP DISRUPTION, INFLAMMATION, GUT ISSUES, and many more issues that can pile on top of each other when you are missing specific vitamins and minerals on top of lack of carbs, fats, or protein.

I believe MOST people, those who are not battling a chronic illness (the average gym go-er in our community) can benefit greatly by simply adding in some carbohydrate pre and post training.

This can be done so simply…

Personally, I aim for 50-75 grams of easy to digest carbohydrate before any weight training, mixed with 2.5 grams of creatine twice daily, and usually mixed with 10 grams of essential amino acids (because they digest easier for me than whey or vegan protein powder) and far better than any food protein sources. This is one area where living through better science certainly proves its case for training.

I also weigh ~190 and I am fairly lean. In most cases, the lower your bodyfat % and the stronger you are per lb of BW = better utilization of carbohydrates.

If I was trying to cut body-fat I would cut the pre-workout carbs in 1/2 to 25-35 grams.

If I was 150 lbs instead of 190 I would also cut the carbs down slightly.

If I was trying to gain weight to get to 200 lbs I would increase the carbs to about 90 grams of a simple and complex mix. EX: 1/2 grape juice 1/2 Karbolyn.

 

Summary: The dosage of carbs pre-workout depends on fitness goals, workload, and body composition, but it is not rocket science. Keep it simple, some carbs pre- workout can help ANY athlete.

Here are my easy, go-to options for pre-workout carbs: 

1.) 12-16 ounces of no sugar added grape juice

2.) 2 dates and a medium banana

or if I am down in the dumps…

3.) 1 scoop of karbolyn with some caffeine

 

If I am working out again within the next few hours or later in the day then I’ll do this AGAIN… TWO TIMES IN THE SAME DAY… and if I don’t then I feel lethargic, I am typically unable to hit my %s on the movements or if I am able to they feel a lot heavier than they normally do.

PRE-Workout carbs are my friend!

POST-Workout carbs are my friend!  – If there is ever a time where your body is going to utilize “the bad carbs” more efficiently than any other time it is pre and post training!

 

Here are my easy, go-to options for post-workout carbs: 

 

When trying to gain or maintain muscle during tough training bouts (like right now): 

1.) Chocolate milk + 1/2 bag of organic spinach + 1 scoop protein + 1 scoop of carbs = roughly 80 grams of carbs & 40 grams of protein.

2.) Coconut or almond milk + 1 & 1/2  scoops of protein + 20-30 grams of coconut sugar & a banana = roughly the same as above but a “vegan option”

 

When trying to maintain during easier sessions or if I feel like I’m getting congested | inflamed | or resting for a few days 

1.) 1/2 bag of organic frozen berries, banana, avocado, and scoop of protein or hemp seeds.

2.) Maybe just skip the carbs for a few days to keep my body guessing…. but ramp them back up when training intensity increases.

 

Summary: 

I believe most people will benefit greatly from proper carbohydrate timing pre and post workout. If you have any questions or concerns on the topic lets chat some time!

 

In good health,

Kyle

 

Getting Back on Track

Getting back on track after a break (more than 2 weeks) -or- in a “sore achy slump.”

Getting back on track or starting a new fitness adventure can go from a great idea full of spark and motivation to a week of crippling pain and regret real quick without a smart plan! I’ve been there, ready to get back where I was in my prime and mentally prepared to crush a week of workouts. There I was, so sore I was embarrassed to be at the gym and so worn out it was hard to get daily activities outside the gym completed.

A comeback doesn’t have to hurt! But you need to keep your pride aside, start back light, lessen the reps, “sandbag” the intensity for a bit, and get high quality nutrients to recover!

1.) Keep all lifts under 60% of your abilities for 2 weeks. Light-perfect movements.

2.) Cut total reps on workout in 1/2 (or more) and do not “redline” your heart rate. Just do the workout for movement and completion for at least 1 week.

3.) Be careful with extreme dieting. Often times people will decide to get back to working out and also jump into a carbohydrate restrictive diet. This can be shocking to your body and leave you mentally and emotionally exhausted.

4.) Talk with a coach about a safe and effective “come back” approach. We want you to accomplish your goals and feel your best. Communication with how you are feeling will help both sides!