Purity Promise 2.0 (not to be confused with the Purity Promise you signed in middle school)

Yogic Principle: Purity.

So far we’ve discussed the 5 ethical principles of yoga (aka the Yamas). If we’re putting all these into practice we should begin to feel different–more relaxed, lighter, finding enjoyment in daily activities, etc. If you find yourself harboring feelings of jealousy, anger, resentment, frustration….have no fear. This is a journey. Continue to work.

Today we move on and discuss the Niyamas, ways in which we act within ourselves. First up, Purity.

Purity in the body: I hear people throw the word “toxins” around like it’s going out of style. What is a toxin? Free radicals? Carcinogens? Face cream? Diet coke? A toxin is anything that causes harm to our body. Personally, I don’t get caught up in the details of “chemicals” on my face when there are bigger toxins at play. I would much rather have a patient come off their blood pressure/diabetes medications because they “cleansed” their bodies with diet and physical exercise rather than refuse to use shampoo with the word “glycol” in it. More bang for your buck. (not to mention the whole evidenced-based thing) See my point?

CrossFit: CrossFit detoxifies the body through physical exercise. Kudos to all the 6 week challenge folks. I’ve heard there’s been some great results.

Purity of the mind: We’re all human and we do shitty things. (also anyone see the irony of me discussing purity while randomly cursing?) Purity comes into play when we can admit what a**holes we are. Whether you confess to your friends, your Instagram account, or a journal, confession can be a great way to detoxify your mind and move on.

CrossFit: No one cares what your score was, everyone cares if you cheated. Be pure and don’t cheat. If you accidentally miscount, you’re human (math is hard!). Clear your mind through confession (even if just to your bestie) and move on. Don’t forget that even if you don’t miscount, crappy reps are a form of impurity (squat below parallel son!).

Purity of space: Clutter is the worst for me. I can barely concentrate on a task without a clean space. Zane knows I can’t handle his “Zane piles” of magazines, scribbles of work-related notes, and Hindu print outs (he’s taking a class currently). I often tell him “everything has a place.” (And if it doesn’t, I’ll go to the Container Store and find it one).

CrossFit: Have you ever walked into the gym and thought wtf happened here? Handprints everywhere, KB/DB’s in the middle of the room, rope fragments laying everywhere? It’s a rare thing but it’s distracting when it happens. Why is it rare? Because Jared or someone he’s hired are cleaning up after us. Thank them for what they do to de-clutter our space so we can practice purity.

Purity of the moment: Have you ever had to re-read the same page of a book over and over because you didn’t actually pay attention to it? Well then you weren’t present. Have you ever had a friend complain to you about their problems and your immediate response is to TELL them what to do. Well then you weren’t practicing purity by being in the moment. Purity is about leaving your expectations and what you “wish” would happen at the door. Face reality and what’s before you.

CrossFit: So I sprained my ankle like whoa last weekend. I’ve never felt that much pain in my life and #uglycried like it was my job. The tears dried up after some ice and ibuprofen, but I’lll be honest…Sunday was filled with some “poor me” tears. Poor me for having to use those damn crutches. Poor me for not being able to workout, something I love. Poor me for having a torn meniscus and a busted ankle. But “wishing” things away isn’t living in the present. It’s not being at peace and being pure. There’s a lot to be said for the power of positivity. I’ll heel up soon (pun intended) and continue #armdayerrday

Stay positive ya’ll. Be pure.

Make like Frozen and Let It Go

Yogic Principle: Non-possessiveness

(Synonyms: non-attachment or non-coveting)

What we possess begins to possess us. That sounds super wise, but I stole it from a book. And it’s true. What things in your life are requiring most of your attention and energy? What’s eating you, Gilbert Grape?

1. Negativity: It could be something that is haunting you—a bad relationship, poor family dynamics, previous life choices that had real consequences, etc. Non-possessiveness invites us to ask why we cling to such things? Do they serve us? Don’t dwell on the past. Learn from it and LET IT GO!

2. It could be something that used to be positive—weight loss, getting promotions, compliments in general. Things that give us attention. Sure compliments are fine, but we all know someone who needs constant attention, compliments, or reassurance. That person is probably struggling with possessiveness. LET GO of the need for positive reinforcement. Know that you are enough.

Shall we apply to CrossFit?

1. Gotta love the concept of the Benchmark WODs. It makes perfect sense….it’s great to be able to retest yourself. Except if you’re someone who struggles with the ability to LET IT GO. For example, let’s say Megan had a horrible experience doing DT. So every time she sees the workout is DT she gets nervous, considers skipping class, and wonders if she can even complete it. Megan needs to LET IT GO. (Note: Megan is actually extremely great at DT in case you’ve never seen her throw that bar around).

2. The other day I had the pleasure of cheering on and recording Brooks PR his Clean & Jerk. I think I was more excited than he was. Sure, he told his Bro, Griffin, but he didn’t tell everyone who walked in the gym over and over. Brooks doesn’t need that. He doesn’t cling to (or possess) attention in order to feel good about himself.

For the next few days let’s practice non-possessiveness. How do we do it?

Trust. Generosity.

Trust that you’ll be ok once you LET GO of those things that aren’t serving a purpose in your life. Like a trapeze artist, sometimes you gotta LET GO before you can catch something new.

Be generous. Physical goods cause clutter. What possessions do you really need? Are there people who need it more than you? Attention doesn’t serve you. Stop and consider if there are there people who need the attention and the reassurance more than you.

For the next yogic principle and to be a better human, come to class on Monday at 7pm!

Supplement Q&A

I have gotten a few questions over my last post concerning supplements. I love that people are taking the time to read these posts and take an interest in it enough to become curious. Please keep asking questions. You can write comments on the post, ask me in person, or send me an email. If there are enough questions, I will make a post like this one to address them. Otherwise I may just reply to the comments.

Q: Will I gain weight when taking creatine?
A: It is possible to gain a couple of pounds when you first start taking creatine. Have no fear though. You are not getting fat all of a sudden. As your body stores up the creatine, you will also hold more water within your muscle. This is the reason for the weight gain that is seen. Stopping the creatine will lead to lower stores and therefore less water being held on to and the weight will come off. Having said all this, I urge you not to focus on the scale when determining your health and performance. These few pounds of water will not affect your performance, even gymnastics. The small change in bodyweight will be offset by the increased power output that the creatine provides. Actually, the increased bodyweight will help you to build more muscle and get used to that higher weight so when you shed the water you will be that much stronger.

Q: Is creatine safe?
A: Though most of the talk about creatine damaging kidneys has been proven false, there are a few important things to note. As I said earlier, you will store more water while taking creatine. This means you need to drink more water while taking it. I recommend drinking more water whenever you take any type of supplement as this will ease the work that is put on your kidneys. Having said that, creatine has not been found to be unsafe when taken in normal quantities (<10g/day).

Q: There is beta-alanine in my pre-workout and creatine in post-workout shake. Isn’t that good enough?
A: Unfortunately, with mixes such as pre- and post-workout shakes, the amount of the supplement is either unknown or less than the minimal dose. For example, many pre-workout powders will contain a “proprietary blend”. This basically allows the company to throw a bunch of crazy sounding ingredients together and not tell you the individual quantities of each. If it details how much beta-alanine is included, it will likely be around 1-1.5grams. Like I noted in the last post, you need closer to 6 grams daily to get any effect. Taking the pre-workout every once in a while will do nothing but give you some tingles so you think it is working. The same can be said for products containing creatine. There have been some drinks that recently advertise their inclusion of creatine. Once again, there is only about a gram of creatine in it. You would need to drink of these per day to get the recommended amount. This is why I highly suggest get the product by itself so you can monitor the actual dosage you are consuming each day.

Q: What’s so special about Blonyx’s products?
A: When I played football and ran track, I took both creatine and beta-alanine. However, I would get individual tubs of both and have to weigh out how much I took each time. Blonyx solves this problem by giving a pre-measured scoop so all you have to do is take one scoop in the morning and one scoop at night. Also, by splitting the dose across the day, you are less likely to experience some of the side effects, such as tingling with beta-alanine and stomach discomfort with creatine. Lastly, Blonyx’s products are clean. Just like we work with SFH because they only include the ingredients needed, Blonyx’s products contain only the supplement you desire. No added flavoring, sugar, or extraneous powder and root extracts. Simple, clean, and straight to the point. We have tubs of the Blonyx product on the main side of the gym for purchase. Just ask a coach if you are interested.

Hopefully, this cleared up some of the questions that people had. Again, continue to educate yourselves. Invest some time in to learning for your health and future. Comment, email (griffin@crossfitinfiltrate.com), and as always, stay hungry my friends.

The Problem with Netflix

Yogic Principle: Nonexcess

Most of us have binged on something at one point or another. Food. Netflix series. Lululemon (cough, cough, myself). The principle of nonexcess invites us to practice moderation and reflect not just on the things we binge on, but why.

So what else do we binge on? Material goods, yes. Sleep. Food. Money. Sex. Drugs/Alcohol. Even Exercise.

Student raises hand “But Becca, don’t we need these things to survive and for health & happiness?” Well young grasshopper, we sure do, but what happens when we tip over that edge from moderation to excess?

Too much sleep = groggy. Too much food = bloating/meat sweats (acute), obesity/disease (chronic). Too much alcohol/drugs = impairment of physical/mental capabilities (acute), job/family problems (chronic) Exercise = severe soreness, overuse injuries.

Why do we binge? Chasing the damn dragon. It’s looking to fill a void or get the same response we got the first time we used it. It’s about emotion, attachment, and trying to achieve something beyond our basic needs.

For the next few days, think about what you binge on. Be aware of it. Stop and ask yourself why you’re bingeing. Be mindful. Stop when your body has had what it needs.

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Supplementation

If you have been in the south gym lately, you likely will have noticed three things. First, there is a hole in the ceiling with water dripping down (it’s been a real headache for Jared, since the building maintenance has been not been doing this repair “for time”). Second, the whiteboard has been replaced with some fancy sheets of paper (small little explosive accident that will soon be remedied). Lastly, there is a new Blonyx banner hanging up in the corner. We recently partnered up with Blonyx to offer members products that can boost their performance. With so many supplements being sold by various companies in the fitness industry, I figured it would be a good idea to inform every one of which supplements have been proven to work, which ones do nothing more than turn your pee yellow, and which ones are actually a little scary. Naturally, I will start off with the products we have in the gym. However, don’t think that I am just attempting to sell these products to you; I am only educating you on what the research has shown. Feel free to do your own research, or use the links to studies I have posted below.

Although there are hundreds of thousands of supplements being sold, research has shown that very few of them actually have any sort of effect. Even still, the effect that is marketed may be limited to certain sub-population, such as elderly individuals or people with certain diagnoses. In order to figure out what products will work for the healthy athlete in the gym, you must look closely at what research has been done. In doing this, there are only just over a handful of products that are actually worth their value. I will begin with one of the most well-known and well-researched supplements, creatine.

There are many forms of creatine: creatine monohydrate, creatine esters, creatine salts, microionized creatine, etc. I am only going to focus on creatine monohydrate, as this has been proven to be the most effective. I could go into detail about the biochemistry behind creatine, but most of you would fall asleep before the end of the paragraph. To put it simply, creatine works by creating more ATP in your muscle cells. ATP is used to create energy to do work. This means you can generate more force and lift more weight. Specifically, creatine helps with explosive lifts such as the clean and jerk or the snatch. It also helps in low rep ranges for almost all movements, such as doing the CrossFit Total. By taking creatine, your muscles will be able to produce more power and you will be able to lift more weight. This will help to build more muscle to sustain that weight, so you will keep your strength even if you cycle off the creatine.

Like I said earlier though, there are some specifics to every product. You must have a certain amount of creatine for it to be effective. The easiest way to do it is to take at least 5 grams of creatine per day. The effect will not be immediate, as it will take some time for the creatine to store up in your body. Most people will starting feeling the difference in the second and third weeks. This also means that you cannot expect to take a gram of creatine every so often and see results. You must commit to taking it for a little while to see gains in performance. SFH has a product called Strong that contains the necessary 5 grams of creatine. Blonyx also has a product specifically for this. The directions are simple. Take a scoop in the morning and a scoop a night. No need to weigh it out or worry that you’re not actually getting the full required amount. This is because there are only two ingredients to this product, and the other ingredient makes me pretty excited.

The product made by Blonyx is called HMB + Creatine. HMB stands for hydroxymethylbutyrate and it’s a breakdown product of the amino acid leucine. HMB works through various signaling pathways to decrease muscle breakdown. Basically, as you workout, you breakdown muscle. This is why you feel sore the next day (or the whole next week depending on the workout). HMB decreases this breakdown to help you feel less sore and ready to go for your next workout. Just like creatine, it is a long term product. You must take it daily overtime to feel these results. HMB only requires 1-3 grams per day, however. In Blonyx’s product, you will get 3 grams for the day. This combination of HMB and creatine has me excited. Combining decreased muscle breakdown (less soreness) with increased muscle building kills two birds with one stone. Expect to see some gains made with this one. Jared took Blonyx Creatine + HMB in the year leading up to qualifying for the CrossFit Games, and it has his full stamp of approval which is often-times few and far between.

The last supplement I will discuss is much less known by its name. However, there is an interesting side effect that some people may know. If you have ever taken a pre-workout and felt tingling on your face or down your arms, you have experienced one of the side effects of beta-alanine. Beta-alanine does something interesting in the body. It helps to buffer acid build-up in muscle. Think of lactic acid production and the burning you feel while working out. Beta-alanine helps to decrease this burn and provide an optimal environment for your muscles to function efficiently. The most gain is seen during activity that lasts between 1-3 minutes, or medium rep range lifting. I used to take beta-alanine when I ran track and loved the difference it made. Just as before, the product requires a storage to build up and therefore must be taken over time. Doses of 3-6 grams daily have found to be the most effective. With Blonyx Beta-Alanine, you will consume 3 grams twice per day. This lower single dose taken with food will help to reduce the tingling side effect.

These three supplements have some of the most research behind them proving an increased performance. Whether you are seeking higher maxes, faster times, or just better body composition, these three can be a major help. If you have any questions about the products, just ask me or Jared. We will also be posting some informative flyers around the gym. Next week, I will discuss the rest of the supplements that have been proven effective for health and performance. Then, I will get into some of the most commonly used supplements that either do nothing or don’t work the way most people think they do. Until next week, stay hungry my friends.

Resources:
Creatine-
https://examine.com/supplements/creatine/
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/10591062_Effect_of_Creatine_Supplementation_on_Body_Composition_and_Performance_A_Meta-analysis

HMB-
https://examine.com/supplements/hmb/
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/280058939_Effect_of_beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate_supplementation_on_muscle_loss_in_older_adults_A_systematic_review_and_meta-analysis

Beta-Alanine-
https://examine.com/supplements/beta-alanine/
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/255690345_The_Effects_of_Beta-Alanine_Supplementation_on_Performance_A_Systematic_Review_of_the_Literature

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Nonstealing

Thou shalt not steal. Cool, we get it. Don’t rob someone’s house.

Let’s apply it to CrossFit. Don’t steal Jared’s KBs and put them in your basement. Also easy enough.

But nonstealing is more than just stealing in a physical sense. We steal from ourselves, each other, and the world in a more spiritual way.

Ourselves:

Zane’s feeling tired today. When he goes to class he’s only going to do the bare minimum. In fact, he might say he did all 150KB swings but really he only did 140.

Obviously this isn’t how Zane really acts. But in this scenario he’s stealing from himself by not giving himself the opportunity to perform. Missed potential is stealing from yourself and can only set you back instead of propelling yourself forward. Why would Zane want to cheat reps? Is he too fatigued? Is he mentally not invested today? Is he insecure of how he’ll look if his fiance beats him? Rep cheating is a symptom of a greater problem…

Each Other:

Nick: “Guess what, yesterday I finally PR’d my clean and jerk! I’m so excited I can’t wait to hit 200.”

Griffin: “Nice. I remember when I hit 200. I hit 580 the other day though and am going to go to Nationals soon.”

In this hypothetical situation, Griffin is being a tool because he’s totally stealing Nick’s thunder. He’s drawing the attention away from Nick and onto himself. Everyone deserves a time to shine when they reach their goals! Note: Griffin is not a tool and cannot deadlift let alone C&J 580.

The World:

Anything we use, from trees and gasoline, to our cars and apartments, to barbells and Abmats, are things temporarily in our possession. We steal from them, simply through daily wear and tear. Nonstealing invites us to care for things in our possession and prolong their functionality for as long as possible.

For the next few days, be cognizant of the gym equipment…care for your barbell, don’t drop metal weights, and don’t let the handle hit the rower. Clean up after yourself and put things away. If you’re tempted to cheat reps or “pad your score” don’t do it. Instead, ask yourself why you feel the urge to do so and address that.

Don’t forget yoga resumes tonight at 7pm in the South Gym!

You Can Handle the Truth!

Yogic Principle: Truthfulness

Truth is complicated and fluid. We’ve all lied and probably for good reasons (think: “does this make my butt look big?”) The principle of truthfulness is not some guide to when you should lie and when to be honest, but rather, it asks us to bring our attention to when we lie and why; in addition, who do we lie to? By lying, are we missing an opportunity to grow?

The coaches practice truthfulness with us everyday. Their job is to keep us safe and give us a good workout. I’ll never forget a year or two back when Eileen Cantrell got super truthful with a guy who dropped in a few times to our gym. He would come in, take other peoples equipment, and try to do more weight and more skilled movements than he should. It was distracting for everyone because we all thought he was going to hurt himself or one of us. She pulled him aside, things got real, and the problem was solved. (Thus proving she is a saint and also a badass)

Being truthful with ourselves is also important. We shouldn’t have to put the coaches in this situation. If we’re trying to do too much, let’s slow down and ask ourselves why? What are we trying to prove? Not being truthful without ourselves can compromise our safety and acts as a masquerade of who we are. Sara Jackson and I jokingly talk about the importance of percentages in Olympic Lifting class. In our opinion, without those percentages, raging testosterone would probably get the men all jacked up and everyone would be trying to max out all day every day.

Likewise, if we don’t push ourselves, we are missing an opportunity to grow. I’ve seen several great examples on SugarWOD of people posting “thanks for pushing me” or “thanks for forcing me to do RX.” April Moore, Natalie Macy, and Katie Nelson definitely stand out in my mind as 3 badasses who have really progressed in their time at Infiltrate. There’s nothing wrong with scaling workouts, but eventually we need to check-in and realize we are capable. As our bodies continue to grow, so should our choices!

For the next few days, practice being truthful with yourself. Give yourself an extra push to try something new if you’re ready. If you’re not sure-ask a coach! Likewise, if you’re fatigued or coming back from an injury, ask if you really should be doing so much. One workout isn’t worth compromising your physical health.

Peace, Love, & Fitness

Yogic Principle: Nonviolence.
*This is the first topic in a series of yogic principles Becca is discussing*

The first principle is the foundation of everything yet to come: nonviolence, meaning “do no harm.” In order to practice nonviolence, we have to be able to understand the root causes of violence. They are:

1. Fear = hate crimes
2. Imbalance = whacked out priorities, greed
3. Power/Control = war, rape
4. Self-loathing = cycles of abuse.

Still with me? Good. In order to practice nonviolence, we must practice the opposite of what causes violence. What’s the opposite of fear? Courage. Imbalance? Balance. Power? Powerlessness. Self-loathing? Self-love.

Apply it to CrossFit and your overall health:

Practicing courage: Every time I squat clean the damn bar now I’m practicing courage (thanks to a traumatic fall resulting in a knee injury). Every time I hang upside-down and attempt to walk on my hands I’m practicing courage (crashes are painful!). Courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to be afraid and do it anyway.

Practicing balance: What would happen if Clara started coming to the gym 2305928093 hours/day? She’d prob be a little fatigued, her kids and husband would miss her, and her life would be all sorts of out of balance. What would happen if Brenden started eating nothing but chocolate donuts? He would probably begin to struggle with triathlon training and might become diabetic. Disease is a perfect example of what happens when the body is out of balance.

Practicing (or dealing with) lack of control/power: What happened after Marvin broke his hand? Did he quit coming to the gym and throw himself a pity party? Dealing with powerlessness (over an injury, for example) is all about perspective. No, he showed up a few days later ready to run and do what he could. Every new situation is an opportunity to learn something new and grow.

Self respect: How you feel about yourself greatly impacts how you treat others. Studies show this. CrossFit is filled with good days and bad days. For me, some days my snatch is great and other days it looks like it’s my first time holding a barbell. Be ok with your failures and know you’ll do better next time. Love yourself and know that you are enough.

Preventing violence: We can actively prevent violence by practicing compassion for others. For the next few days, challenge yourself to show compassion to someone else in the gym. Encourage someone to run faster, lift heavier, etc even if it means they outperform you. Practice positive self-talk with yourself. Accept your current abilities.

Diets Galore!

Hey guys, for those that read the blog, I’m sure you’ve been wondering where the next nutrition post was. I promised an article per week and, sure enough, last week I was unable to post anything. Actually, I was on a cruise in the Caribbean for our honeymoon. However, to make up for leaving all of you in the dark, I decided to make this post packed with information. So put on your reading glasses, grab a fresh cup of coffee, and get ready to view dieting in a whole new way.

To begin with, there are thousands of diets out there to choose from. Some are medically recommended diets, such as the DASH diet for those with high blood pressure, while others have been termed the new fad diet at some point, such as Adkins, Zone, or Paleo. There are even crazy diets such as the Charcoal Cleanse and the Vision Diet. If you haven’t heard of these, they are definitely worth a Google. Needless to say, there are too many diets to consider trying to cover in this post. Therefore, I have decided to restrict this article to contain the most popular diets in the CrossFit community.

In the original “What is Fitness?” article, Greg Glassman, the creator of CrossFit, describes a theoretical hierarchy of development for an athlete. In this hierarchy, nutrition is the base and foundation upon which all other aspects of conditioning and skill can be laid. He goes on to describe his version of the most effective nutrition protocol. In the simplest terms, he states “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that support exercise, but not body fat.” This diet would contain moderate amounts of protein, carbohydrate, and fat. The description given by Glassman doesn’t get much more specific, but he does recommend a macronutrient ratio of 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, and 30% fat. Furthermore, he states that the Zone Diet follows these guidelines closely and offers the greatest precision and efficacy.

The Zone Diet was created by Dr. Barry Sears many years ago. He deemed the protocol as an anti-inflammatory diet based on his research. What is an anti-inflammatory diet? Dr. Sears describes a few main points of the diet that characterize it as anti-inflammatory. First of all, protein levels are kept at a level for a positive nitrogen balance. In simpler terms, you consume just enough protein to build back what your body is breaking down. Based off this level of protein, a moderate level of low-glycemic carbohydrates are consumed. Low-glycemic basically means the food does not cause a huge spike in your blood sugar levels. These carbohydrates help to stabilize certain hormones in the body that determine various functions such as blood sugar levels, fat breakdown and storage. Lastly, this is coupled with a low level of fat. The goal is to pack the greatest amount of nutrients in as few calories as possible.

While these guidelines still seem somewhat broad, Dr. Sears breaks it down further so that the diet can be more precisely controlled. Protein levels are based off lean body mass and physical activity, with carbohydrates also factoring in. However, he claims the average female should be consuming a mere 1200 calories per day and the average male only 1500 calories per day. Personally, I am quite skeptical of this claim as the classic formula for basal metabolic rate for an average male equates to over 1700 calories per day and that doesn’t include any activity whatsoever. Still, Dr. Sears has based much of the protocol on sound science. The belief that highly palatable food filled with fat and sugar has overridden the energy-balance system in the brain is very valid. This leads to an increased desire for even more of these foods, which creates a positive feedback loop. This belief was also part of the basis for the Paleo diet.

The Paleo Diet was created by Dr. Loren Cordain after he did a considerable amount of research in “Paleolithic Nutrition”. The diet attempts to mimic that of our pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors. According to his research, Dr. Cordain found that along with the development of agricultural practices, many avoidable diseases also crept up. Food choice then becomes the main emphasis of this diet. Much like the CrossFit nutrition protocol, lean meats, vegetables, and healthy fats make up much of the food consumed. Fruit and vegetables should be non-starchy and have low glycemic indices. Due to the emphasis on food choice, many foods have either been termed Paleo or non-Paleo, and the Paleo diet as a whole, is sometime described as “eating like a caveman”. While there are many things wrong with both of these topics, I will not get into them now. Since, the carbohydrate sources in the traditional Paleo diet are much less calorically dense than others, the ratio of carbohydrates in the diet becomes relatively low while the fat percentage rises. Tipping the scale further in the direction of fat leads to the Keto Diet.

The Keto Diet is only recently gaining publicity despite it being around for hundreds of years. Keto is short for ketogenic. The diet forces the body into a state of ketosis. In this state, the body switches its main energy source from carbohydrates to metabolites of fat, called ketoacids. This is done by keeping carbohydrates in a very low range. Depending on the source, this range can be as low as 50 grams per day. For reference, this amount is slightly more than what is found in a bottle of Gatorade. Protein is also kept at a lower range than normal, as they are gluconeogenic. This means that they can be easily converted into carbohydrates. By keeping carbohydrates and protein low, the body is forced to fuel itself with fat. While this has shown to produce fat loss, the diet usually comes with a large deficit in caloric intake as well. Additionally, much of the weight loss early on comes from water shedding due to glycogen depletion in muscles and the liver. This must be offset with electrolytes to maintain an adequate fluid balance. Glycogen depletion in skeletal muscle also means burning out earlier on during more intense exercise.

The diets I have discussed so far all focused on either food choice or macronutrient ratios. Zone started with moderate carbs and low fat. Paleo dropped the carbs a little and raised the fat, while keto went to the other extreme with low carb and high fat. This is where the newest diet craze enters the picture: flexible dieting, or better known in the bodybuilding realm as “If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM)”. Flexible dieting focuses more on caloric intake. One specific macronutrient ratio isn’t required for all. Rather the ratio is determined by your activity and goals. Food choice also isn’t stressed. This is where the IIFYM name got its start. Foods that were normally considered off-limits or cheat foods are now allowed as long as it fits your macros. Now obviously eating candy for breakfast would still be frowned upon, but the main focus is hitting your prescribed caloric intake close to your macro set-points. This makes the diet very flexible to individual lifestyles, and therefore more sustainable in the long term.

This brings me to my favorite diet. It is my favorite for many reasons. The main one is that I don’t consider it a diet at all. It is more of a lifestyle. Secondly, it is specific to each individual person. In fact, this is where it gets its name, Personalized Nutrition. Lastly, it is applicable to anyone. CrossFit games athletes, bodybuilders, yogis, the weekend warrior, even those with no athletic background whatsoever can do this diet. It all begins with tracking what you are already eating. Whether we want to admit it or not, there is no starting or stopping a diet. Your diet is whatever you are currently eating. Therefore, we need to determine what your current caloric intake and macronutrient levels are. Depending on your current situation and your goals, a plan is created. This is the beauty of it. Each plan is different. There is no one path to greatness. There isn’t a secret recipe to get you ripped 6-pack abs. Everyone responds to certain foods in different ways. We all have unique hormone profiles. Hell, not everyone likes the same foods. With this setup, the plan is specific to what you need and are willing to do. The plan changes as your body changes. It is because of this that it is sustainable. You enjoy eating the way you do and feel better because of it, not to mention the results that come from it.

There isn’t a single diet that is best for everyone. From high carb to low carb, they all have their applications. The key to success is adhering to the diet and not jumping ship just because you gained half a pound in a day. Figure out a path that fits with your lifestyle and needs, and stick to it. Educate yourselves and ask questions. Don’t hesitate to comment on this post or send me an email, griffin@crossfitinfiltrate.com. I’d love to help every one of you figure out your path to a happy, healthy life. Until next week, stay hungry my friends.

Are you a terrible person?

Maybe. None of us are perfect. But we can at least strive to be better, happy people. Becca here—Griffin thought I should consider doing some blog posts on what we’ve been discussing in yoga. Because yoga isn’t just meditation and weird poses that have the word “warrior” in them. And because I’m a yoga teacher who does CrossFit, I try and make it more applicable to CrossFitters.

The mental game in CrossFit is huge. It’s something that needs exercise. Just as Brooks does bicep curls, so must we all flex our psyche. There are basic yogic priciples (called the Yamas and Niyamas) which, once achieved, can lead to more balanced life. Pure bliss! Do you think the Games Athletes get to where they are without some happiness? During a Regionals interview, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet was asked by an Interviewer what it felt like to be going “back and forth” all weekend with one of the other competitors for the lead. Camille’s response struck me. She laughed and said “Am I? I’m just trying to do my best.” Sounds like someone who has their mental game in check.

And ok, so you’re not going to the Games. Maybe you just workout so you can eat donuts. I get it. But at the very least, discussing these basic principles can make us not only better athletes, but better neighbors, friends, and humans. Let’s get spiritual.

More blog posts coming your way soon. Namaste.