Can I eat Zone for a week and expect a 2% increase in strength the following week?
Probably not, on both counts. It just don’t work that way. Life would be too simple and the CrossFit gods would never have simple.
Thankfully though, the formula of Good and Bad is pretty simple.
Eat Veggies, vegetarian animals and vast amount of fish oil
Don’t Eat Booze, breads and beans
The list isn’t comprehensive, but you get the idea. Eat more good than bad and you get the results. Or do you?
Graham Holmberg, winner of the 2010 CrossFit Games admits to the occasional eating of pasta and bread at family dinners on Sunday’s. Of course he nixed those treats as the games drew nearer. But, watching the video I could hear the moans.
You’ve got to be kidding me, I thought. How can he do it?
Watching that video I could only imagine the shudder it sent up so many CrossFit addicts spine leaving them to think “WTF am I doing wrong. I weigh and measure my grass-fed beef, I count almonds and calories like a savant and have watched every CrossFit nutrition video and I’m still sucking wind on [insert whatever WOD you suck at here].”
Graham is one of those gifted athletes who can achieve much with little. That’s why they are called “gifted” people. Gifted by the CrossFit gods.
But what about the alcohol, can it be blamed?
What’s so bad about alcohol? In summary from Nichole DeHart’s post.
Alcohol drastically effects the amount of fat your body can and will burn for energy.
Alcohol decreases testosterone and increases Cortisol.
Vitamin and mineral absorption is decreased.
Decrease in protein synthesis of Type II fibers – these are the fast-twitch fibers that make you strong and explosive.
Dehydration – dehydrated muscles are weak and more prone to injury.
Osteoporosis and some forms of arthritis can be advanced by alcohol abuse.
Prolonged exposure to alcohol can erode the stomach lining and cause chronic blood seepage into the stomach.
Alcohol can affect the quality of ones sleep.
Sounds like a recipe for all of the things that would make “Helen”, in 100+ degree temperatures, pure hell on earth.
And these are only the things going on inside the body. Never mind the debauchery you are getting into on the outside…
What does a bunch of imbibed CrossFit addicts look like? Check out this link…
This is my gym. These are my peeps. I love these guys. Nothing wrong with cutting loose a little to counter life’s stresses.
Where can it go wrong?
In the extremes!
Extreme training, extreme alcohol, extreme eating (ie. rice only diet, grapefruit only diet, air diet a.k.a. breathetarian) can all be hazardous to your health. So can extreme laziness, and extreme stupidity, but that is a talk for another time. Seems problems are most likely to occur when you run in the extreme excessively. But, after CrossFit becomes a lifestyle, sometimes it can be difficult to see that line. Training through chronic or sharp pains without stopping to investigate the cause can blur the lines.
I get strange looks from acquaintances at parties when I talk about nutrition or training philosophy. These are typically the first people to offer an excuse as to their own life’s situation, while they stuff their face with pretzels and pie.
Oblivious of the control they have in their own lives, they are content to run with the herds of sheeple. An extreme take on this is when another CrossFit aficionado is in attendance and attempts to ram CrossFit down the “non believers” throat. If you are that kind of CrossFit “stud”, please reign it in a bit and don’t be a CrossFit douche, it’s bad for business.
If CrossFit has taught me one thing, it’s that excuses are useless bullshit. And talk is cheap.
Taking an honest look at how lifestyle directly affects our bodies can be sobering.
What roll does your lifestyle choices have on your life? How does what you eat or drink affect your performance?
Hold my beer while I PR this clean and jerk.
Think on these questions and drop your answer in the comments below: