Rest Day Rant: Why Do I Stink??? Part One

Posted: August 11, 2012 by Jim in Random Thoughts

How many of you are busting your rump in the gym and not seeing results? How many of you are dripping with sweat every single day and yet, your body fat has gone up? How many of you see your muscle mass disappearing and you have that Skeletor look? 

Over the next two weeks, I will discuss the two biggest reasons I see that people show no or slow results in CrossFit. Today, let’s talk about your fuel.

Have you ever imagined your dream car? I know you have. You’ve fantasized about how it would feel to drive, how it would smell, and how jealous all your friends would be once they saw this slick ride. Let’s say you’ve envisioned a Ferrari. Now, let’s say that you are the one who has to build this car. Would your end result be a Ferrari if you built it with Ford Escape parts?

Listen folks…you cannot…CANNOT outwork a bad diet. Look at this diagram of how CrossFit “works.”

Nutrition isn’t just a huge part of your success in CrossFit: it is the very foundation of your success. I don’t care how huge your think your lifts are getting, or how bad ass your met con has gotten, or how many pull-ups you can rip out; you will never, EVER see your best result if your nutrition is weak. Let me say this again: YOU WILL NEVER SEE YOUR BEST RESULTS IN CROSSFIT WITH A WEAK NUTRITIONAL BASE! Busting your rump in CrossFit on a poor nutritional program is like spending 1.8 million dollars to build a house, but spend $1.50 for some 6th cousin of yours named Cleatus to poor the foundation. The house will eventually fall.

Personally, I think what most call “overtraining” is truly undereating, especially protein and fat. Let’s call your lack of results (IF, and that’s a BIG IF you are truly pushing yourself in the gym) CrossFit Failture to Thrive (CFT). Now, instead of the boring you to tears with the science behind this phenomenon, let’s discuss what it looks like.

Here are the symptoms of CFT:

1.     Slow or absent results – this doesn’t only refer to your waistline. You can also hit a major wall on your workouts: you stop gaining personal records on your lifts; your runs get slower; the rower kicks your tail (more than normal); etc.

2.     You will feel tired ALL THE TIME – When you don’t eat the right types and amounts of food, your recovery will be prevented due to over-inflammation.

3.     You’ll get hurt more easily and stay hurt – See #2.

4.     Your body will hang on to fat – guess what dummy – your body thinks it’s starving when you undereat and/or eat crap. It will start to hang on to whatever it can get simply from survival mechanics.

5.     You. Will. Suck. – and not just at working out, but at life. You’re not fueling your body, so you will start to suck at everything. You’ll be sleepy and lethargic all the time. You’ll forget things. You will screw up basic tasks at work. Your kids will get on your nerves more than usual. I bet your sleep sucks, too. Look around the gym. When’s the last time you had a new PR? Are people you used to dust now handing you your rear? This can get better. Proper nutrition makes everything better.

“But JIIIIIIIMMMMMMM…you want my life to be a symphony of miserable deprivation.” Please get over yourself. Yes, proper nutrition is hard, mainly because the way you eat now probably sucks on ice. Any change in nutrition is a major lifestyle change and, this is difficult. Trust me, I know this from personal experience. I am a food addict. If you struggle with food anywhere near as much as I do, you may want to consider talking with a professional before doing anything else.

Just suck it up and eat Paleo. Just. Do. It.

Trust me, dear friend, this life is better. How about this: give it a TRY. Let’s say, I don’t know…90 days? Surely you could go all in with me for 90 days, right? What do you have to lose?

Here are the two biggest issues we must address to fix CFT:

a.     Quality, AKA get rid of the crap

b.     Quantity, AKA…EAT FOO’! (you can choose whether I left off a D or an L).

Quality is a big struggle at first, so let’s take this battle on initially. So many people have been duped by the Food and Drug Administration or some “nutritionist” to eat things that make your butt fat. I’m not going to write a dissertation on this because if you don’t own Robb Wolf’s book The Paleo Solution go buy it NOW. But, let’s take highlights version here.

1.     Get off the grains. Trust me on this. “Whole Grains” is a myth and that stuff is blowing you up. Do some research. Read books like WheatBelly and Why We Get Fat.

2.     Eat MEAT. You’ve got to trust me that soy ain’t going to cut it and meat is better than a powder. You are probably not eating nearly enough lean meat which means you’re not getting enough protein. Undereating protein is much like trying to make a 300 mile drive on 200 miles worth of gasoline. It just won’t work.

3.     Learn the Paleo Diet. Don’t just find a bunch of “Paleo recipes” and think you’re doing the true diet. This is a dangerous trap. Learn how the caveman diet really works. Again, educate thyself!

4.     Shove Fish Oil down your piehole. And find good quality Omega 3 fish oil, not the crap that’s cheap and filled with mainly Omega 6. Go to to learn how much fish oil you need.

5.     In case you missed it…read Robb Wolf’s book. Just. Do. It.

I also like this brief description from the Whole9 website:

“I eat “real” food — fresh, natural food like meat, vegetables and fruit. I choose foods that are nutrient dense, with lots of naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals, over foods that have more calories but less nutrition. And food quality is important — I’m careful about where my meat comes from, and buy produce locally and organically as often as possible.

It’s not a low calorie “diet” — I eat as much as I need to maintain strength, energy and a healthy weight. In fact, my diet is probably much higher in fat than you’d imagine. Fat isn’t the enemy — it’s a great energy source when it comes from high quality foods like avocado, coconut and nuts. And I’m not trying to do a “low carb” thing, but since I’m eating vegetables and fruits instead of bread, cereal and pasta, it just happens to work out that way.

Eating like this is good for maintaining a healthy metabolism, and reducing inflammation within the body. It’s been doing great things for my energy levels, body composition and performance in the gym. It also helps to minimize my risk for a whole host of lifestyle diseases and conditions, like diabetes, heart attack and stroke.”

Now let’s talk about Quantity. Here’s the best way to figure this out: get in the BodPod. First of all, this will tell us exactly how much of your weight is lean body mass. From this, we can set a goal to GROW your lean body mass and set your protein intake from this information. Second, if you’re still obsessed with calories (which you should really get over), the BodPod will give us your Resting Metabolic Rate from which we can selected a healthy caloric intake. I would highly recommend talking with a nutrition professional who understands the Paleo lifestyle for more help.

Now, before you cry, “I am so BORED with these bland foods,” let me expose you to Robb’s “Food Matrix.” Check out just how many combinations of food exist on this diet:

Excuses, shot down.

What are you waiting for? How about trying this full tilt for 90 days. If you don’t start seeing results, feel free to fire me in front of everyone.

This stuff works. It really does.

Are you ready to take your results to the next level? Take a ride on the wild side and eat like a Caveman.

Next week, part 2 of the “Why Do I Stink” diatribe.

  1. Rebecca Boyd says:

    Awesome rant! Couldn’t agree more!

  2. […] Last week we discussed one of the two reasons I believe some people see slow or no results in CrossFit: poor nutritional practices. Hopefully, last week’s rant encouraged you to take a hard, honest look at how you fuel your body. Let me reiterate that I truly believe you will never see ultimate results with poor nutrition. Now, let’s talk about the second reason. Recall this quote many of you have heard me say often: […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s