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View Full Version : weightlifting and the zone


Rachel Izzo
07-14-2008, 11:48 PM
So maybe this should be over in the zone thread, but I think it could work on both.

What do you all honestly think about the zone and lifting, and I mean full-time lifters? Everyone at my gym is discouraging me from doing it (apart from one girl who's also a CF trainer). Do elite lifters ever follow zone? Does it work for that heavy lifting? People are telling me no, more carbs, and just more food in general. So far, I'm not budging, but now learning that Melanie Roach and her nutritionist don't follow zone, I'm not so sure.

Steven Low
07-15-2008, 12:11 AM
Find out what works best for your body. If Zone does then do it. If it doesn't don't do it. Play around with your macros some.

Alex Bond
07-15-2008, 02:06 AM
I think the priciples of the Zone are good - don't eat your macronutrients out of balance, don't eat too many calories, etc.

For weightlifters, follow the same basic principles- don't eat high GI carbs, eat a TON of protein, eat balanced amounts of macronutrients in each meal, and as long as you follow basic nutrition rules, eat as many calories as it takes to have the forward progress you want.

Weightlifters should worry about their PRs, not their calorie intake. That doesn't give them carte blanche to eat whatever they want. Eat healthy, but eat as much of it as you need to make progress, and you will.

Jordan Glasser
07-15-2008, 09:01 AM
HI Rachel,

I trained with the crossfit seattle crew back when it was crossfit north. You had great talents then, I can only imagine that your efforts in becoming a weightlifter will only pay off.

Couple of questions.
Are you zoning right now?
Do you feel good?
Are you improving?

And, what does scott recommend?

From personal experience I can say this. The zone is the best diet for me when I am doing crossfit as the majority of my training. However, I often switch things up and focus on the lifts. Here's where I find I need to make adjustments to the zone. But, because I am on the zone, those adjustments are so easy to make.

Mike ODonnell
07-15-2008, 09:18 AM
Zone is a great "diet"....if fat loss and body composition are your goals

Once you start multiplying fat blocks...it's not even the "zone" anymore

I say use the Zone as a tool to get certain body composition results and learn portion control....and then start to try new things to find what works best for you! Some people do great on zone.....some do better with IF....some with Paleo. Some love to workout fasted...other's would rather have a snack beforehand. Don't be afraid to experiment (that's the only way you will know the truth for you).....as anyone who claims that only one way is the right way is being silly. (Hey I'll even admit IF is not for everyone....but then again you can always change up the macronutrients and calories to any IF plan to make it work for you)

Rachel Izzo
07-15-2008, 09:35 AM
Thanks for all the replies everyone.

Jordan: You trained at CFN? And you remember me? I miss those days! I am currently zoning, and I feel ok as of right now, although I'm not good with accepting how my body feels ie if I'm in pain or tired, etc. I feel ok, my numbers are going up, but Sam (do you remember him?) is insisting that I'm not eating enough, and he firmly believes that the lifting would improve even more if I ate more calories. Melanie Roach's nutritionist also came in and gave a talk to their gym and said that low carb diets do not work for athletes. Not that the zone is necessarily low carb, but that athletes need more carbs, etc.

Scott recommends that I stay with zone, as does Allison (do you remember her?). I'm at 13 blocks, and it seems to be working fine. My only thing is, is COULD it be better if I did something else? It's also hard for me to change things; I've been zoning for so long it's hard for me to play around with other things, and wondering who I should listen to ... Sam Maxwell, former Olympian, or my two closest crossfit trainers ...

Keith Moore
07-15-2008, 09:39 AM
Am I missing something? 40% of Cals from carbs at a modest intake of 2500 Cal is 250 g carbs. That doesn't seem low carb at all to me. Well, I eat more like 125 g, which isn't even ketogenic. I'll admit I'm not really familiar with Zone but I thought it had something to do with 40/30/30 ratios...

Greg Everett
07-15-2008, 09:59 AM
I know of no weightlifters who use the Zone, and I would never recommend it. Like Kelly says, it's NOT low carb by any stretch of the imagination. It's not nearly enough protein for that sport, and waaaaay to many carbs. If you're training virtually exclusively in the realm of phosphagen metabolism, and that ATP/CP is being replenished through oxidative metabolism of fat, there's really no need for carb intake beyond vegetables and some fruit, wth the exception of weight gain situations.

If you want to be a crossfitter, listen to crossfitters. If you want to be a weightlifter, listen to weightlifters and their coaches.

Gant Grimes
07-15-2008, 11:12 AM
If you want to be a crossfitter, listen to crossfitters. If you want to be a weightlifter, listen to weightlifters and their coaches.

Nice.

And if a CF trainer only suggests the Zone, then don't listen to that person, either. There are a number of ways to achieve your goals. Most of them involve consuming bucket loads of flesh.

Rachel Izzo
07-15-2008, 11:47 AM
I know of no weightlifters who use the Zone, and I would never recommend it. Like Kelly says, it's NOT low carb by any stretch of the imagination. It's not nearly enough protein for that sport, and waaaaay to many carbs. If you're training virtually exclusively in the realm of phosphagen metabolism, and that ATP/CP is being replenished through oxidative metabolism of fat, there's really no need for carb intake beyond vegetables and some fruit, wth the exception of weight gain situations.

If you want to be a crossfitter, listen to crossfitters. If you want to be a weightlifter, listen to weightlifters and their coaches.

Wait, so you're saying that the zone is TOO much carbs? Because the ones who are telling me to go off zone (my coaches) are saying i'm not eating ENOUGH carbs. This is why I'm so confused ...

Jordan Glasser
07-15-2008, 12:58 PM
If you want to be a crossfitter, listen to crossfitters. If you want to be a weightlifter, listen to weightlifters and their coaches.

How do you argue with that logic.
The question is, are you doing 100% weightlifting?

To add to my original response, when I switch to olympic lifting, I almost double my protein intake, and really ensure that I get enough fats. If I fail to do both, I always feel hungry, and never recover from heavy lifting sessions.

And of course I remember SAM. Tell him I say hi!
http://i294.photobucket.com/albums/mm96/crossfitwhistler/sam-1.jpg
Here's the poster I made when training with him.

Mike Ng
07-15-2008, 01:23 PM
Argh Izzo, just eat more food, ALOT more. You can't subsist on raw broccoli and distilled water and expect to get strong...

Mike Ng
07-15-2008, 01:25 PM
How do you argue with that logic.
The question is, are you doing 100% weightlifting?

To add to my original response, when I switch to olympic lifting, I almost double my protein intake, and really ensure that I get enough fats. If I fail to do both, I always feel hungry, and never recover from heavy lifting sessions.

And of course I remember SAM. Tell him I say hi!
http://i294.photobucket.com/albums/mm96/crossfitwhistler/sam-1.jpg
Here's the poster I made when training with him.

What up Jordan, we've still got that poster up in the gym. Hope you're still lifting big up there in the great white north.

Jordan Glasser
07-15-2008, 01:40 PM
What up Jordan, we've still got that poster up in the gym. Hope you're still lifting big up there in the great white north.

I wouldn't say lifting big. I'm doing my best not to get any worse. Better technique, not as strong. All I have to do is stop crossfitting to get that strength back!

How I miss The Hangar Gym!

Mike ODonnell
07-15-2008, 01:59 PM
Eat more protein.....enough carbs to maintain glycogen stores and time them properly for maximum absorption (which isn't going to be much for lifting only like Greg says)....eat more fat for not getting too low on calories....and then eat some more meat. The muscles you develop in heavy lifting are not going to be the same water/glycogen filled muscles BB develop for show. Anyone preaching the zone is the only one way to eat for all goals and sports.......well just don't listen to them as they don't know nutrition.

sarena kopciel
07-15-2008, 02:12 PM
And Rachel, do you hear everyone echoing the need to eat MEAT! I know you have tried meat a few times recently (yeah those baby steps) but really being veg and eating a lot of soy aint gonna do sh*t for your lifting, which I think you know at this point on some level!! You are getting great advice here from everyone!

And I think you decided that CF isnt a long term plan for you now either so why still hold onto the zone. If you are questioning it so, perhaps you are also doubting its basis as your current nutritional plan as well!

Eva Claire Synkowski
07-15-2008, 04:41 PM
like others have said, you will have to do what works for you.

i will say that i cut way down on zone allotment of carbs, and get much more fat. i am by no means a weightlifter, but i do more weightlifting than anything else. so i shoot for zone protein, <1/2 zone carbs (50-70g/day), and virtually unlimited fat. you really don't need as many carbs as zone prescribes. iirc, robb wolf mentioned on his blog that olifters could likely run at/near ketosis most of the time.

Rachel Izzo
07-15-2008, 04:44 PM
oh no Mike, you found me! now there's no escaping you

Jordan, I always read that poster when I lift! I think it's funny. Oh, and yes I'm only doing weightlifting now (after a bit of a transitional period ...)

The zone seems to work for me as of right now. So does not eating a ton of meat (fish, cottage cheese, eggs, whey protein, soy protein). The reason I question it is because I don't know a lot of lifters that do. People tell me to eat more carbs ... but then Greg says zone is TOO many carbs ... I just don't know who to listen to, what to do, or what my body needs! I need to be able to tune into myself more and see what I need, but I haven't gotten to that point yet.

Thanks for all the input everyone.

Gant Grimes
07-15-2008, 06:06 PM
What do you all honestly think about the zone and lifting, and I mean full-time lifters? Everyone at my gym is discouraging me from doing it (apart from one girl who's also a CF trainer). Do elite lifters ever follow zone? Does it work for that heavy lifting? People are telling me no, more carbs, and just more food in general. So far, I'm not budging, but now learning that Melanie Roach and her nutritionist don't follow zone, I'm not so sure.


The zone seems to work for me as of right now. So does not eating a ton of meat (fish, cottage cheese, eggs, whey protein, soy protein). The reason I question it is because I don't know a lot of lifters that do. People tell me to eat more carbs ... but then Greg says zone is TOO many carbs ... I just don't know who to listen to, what to do, or what my body needs! I need to be able to tune into myself more and see what I need, but I haven't gotten to that point yet.

I didn't know you were a vegetarian, or I wouldn't have spent the time answering your question. No offense, but it goes back to what Robb W. said months ago. You're just not going to get enough good protein to back up what your body is trying to do (especially now that you're OLY instead of CFing).

Regarding carbs...some people do well with them. Some people take 300+ g of carbs with no ill effects. And hell, there are a few idiots out there that have put on a good bit of muscle on a high carb/low protein diet. However, it's not the norm.

You have to find what works for you. If you like the Zone, then stick with the Zone. Just know the answer to your original question is NO, no elite weightlifters follow the Zone (no elite athletes in any sport follow the Zone), no elite strength-lifters follow the Zone, and nobody here thinks it's a good idea for you. Maybe you're different, and it will work for you. Best of luck.

Mike ODonnell
07-15-2008, 06:27 PM
robb wolf mentioned on his blog that olifters could likely run at/near ketosis most of the time.

pretty much sums it up nicely

Rachel Izzo
07-15-2008, 07:35 PM
I didn't know you were a vegetarian, or I wouldn't have spent the time answering your question. No offense, but it goes back to what Robb W. said months ago. You're just not going to get enough good protein to back up what your body is trying to do (especially now that you're OLY instead of CFing).

I'm not strict vegetarian, I eat fish. And I'm working back into eating meat, but it's not something that I can personally just jump in and handle.

Carissa Gump eats bread, pasta and bagels. Melanie doesn't eat any sugar, and most of her carbs are from fruit and veggies. So there's obviously a lot that can work. I suppose for now, I stick with what I'm doing, but I guess I'll have to experiment when I go to college.

Gant Grimes
07-15-2008, 07:40 PM
Like I said, some people need weird macro ratios. And some people get away with weird macro ratios. Great genetics can overcome subpar nutrition, especially when you're younger. You'll just have to figure out if you're one of those people that need more sugar or can just get by with more sugar. The good thing is you're just starting the OLY game. Your technique will hold you back longer than your strength will. Take a little time, listen to your coaches, and you'll get things figured out.

I guess I'll have to experiment when I go to college.

That's what college is for.

sarena kopciel
07-16-2008, 05:25 AM
Like I said, some people need weird macro ratios. And some people get away with weird macro ratios. Great genetics can overcome subpar nutrition, especially when you're younger. You'll just have to figure out if you're one of those people that need more sugar or can just get by with more sugar. The good thing is you're just starting the OLY game. Your technique will hold you back longer than your strength will. Take a little time, listen to your coaches, and you'll get things figured out.



That's what college is for.

Great thoughts here!