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Old 08-11-2007, 11:29 AM   #11
-Ross Hunt
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Russell,

A couple points:

1) Appearance of low body fat is not governed solely by bodyfat levels. Total amount of lean body mass is also a factor. A 6' 200 pound man with 10% bodyfat has a six-pack; a 6' 150 pound man with 10% doesn't. The way to better apparent body comp is often an increase in bodymass. There is a certain weight: height ratio beneath which it is very difficult or impossible to maintain high muscle definition without continually shedding total body weight.

2) What is the limiting factor in your XF performance--peak power (heavy weights) or power endurance? If it's the former, take it from me--don't cut bodyweight. I did the Zone rigorously for a month, with fat levels far beyond the recommended ones; I still lost weight from the vast amount of vegetables I had to eat; my tolerance for volume with heavy loads nosedived; my strength decreased, and with it my overall fitness. I perceived no performance benefit whatsoever from a rigorous Zone diet in relation to a normal Paleo diet. I don't know how fast your metabolism is, but your food and fat intake sounds significantly lower than what I tried when I weighed ~180 at 6'.

So--if you're very strong, but you're carrying a little extra body fat that's slowing you down, and your metabolism is naturally slow, the Zone probably has something to offer you. But if the only reason that you don't have the body comp you want is that you lack total lean body mass, then the way to get that body mass is by moving heavy weights, and cutting bodyweight and reducing caloric intake is not going to help you do that.
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Old 08-11-2007, 10:28 PM   #12
Russell Greene
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Many, if not most of the best crossfitters are either around as heavy as I am or lighter. There are very few above 190 lbs. OPT who won the crossfit games is my height and 10 lbs. lighter than me. I am 174 now. I seriously doubt that there would be an advantage to me gaining muscle mass. OPT does have better max lifts than me, by about 25 lbs. on the squat and 40 lbs. on the dead, about the same on the press (he did a 340 squat, 440 dead, and 155 press IIRC.) I will be lifting what he lifts now in terms of maxes within 9 months to a year, without doing a strength specialization program. Chris Spealler who was one of the top finishers lifted less than me on every lift.

The commonalities I saw in the people who beat me at the games was that they all were leaner, nearly all were on the zone, and all had more powerful kips on the pullups than me. So I have gone on the zone, and am practicing my kip.

I love heavy lifting, but I think that for pure crossfit performance purposes, a strength-focused lifting program and mass gain diet are completely unnecessary, if not detrimental, for most people.

Perhaps all the top Crossfitters would be better at crossfit if they trained and ate like olympic weightlifters or powerlifters for a large chunk of their training time, but until I see a group of people who do that, and dominate at the games or the WOD's, I will conclude that a Crossfit program and diet is the best way to be good at Crossfit.
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:55 AM   #13
Chris Goodrich
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Russ,
My stats are similar to yours (5'8", 180, similar lifts and Fran time, mostly mainsite CF WOD schedule for the last 2 years) and I found 17 blocks to be too low for me. Coach Glassman presrcribed 17 blocks to me at a cert back in 2005 but even at 5x fat blocks my lean mass plummeted and my WOD times slowed. As I approached 160 and falling I bumped my blocks up to 22, and later up to my current 24, which built me back up slowly to my current weight while keeping me lean.
Obviously, this is a single data point, and I am very likely some kind of catabolic freak, but I would recommend that you monitor your lean mass and don't be shy about increasing protein intake if it starts to go down. I use the little cheap accumeasure plastic caliper, which isn't super accurate but is good enough to establish a trend line and make some useful judgements from there.
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:01 PM   #14
Russell Greene
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Thanks for the ideas, everybody.

I will be paying close attention to strength and muscle loss. It's only been about a week and a half, but I am feeling pretty damn good about the diet still. I will probably end up increasing my overall blocks, and I will surely increase my fat blocks at the very least, but for now I'll stick with 17 blocks at 2X fat as long as it continues to work.
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Old 08-15-2007, 08:30 PM   #15
-Ross Hunt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Greene View Post
I love heavy lifting, but I think that for pure crossfit performance purposes, a strength-focused lifting program and mass gain diet are completely unnecessary, if not detrimental, for most people.

Perhaps all the top Crossfitters would be better at crossfit if they trained and ate like olympic weightlifters or powerlifters for a large chunk of their training time, but until I see a group of people who do that, and dominate at the games or the WOD's, I will conclude that a Crossfit program and diet is the best way to be good at Crossfit.
OK, then it sounds as the game is being played now you definitely have the right game plan.

I would second the other poster's comment that your food consumption sounds low, but I'm just one more data point, and a really skinny one at that; RMR varies a lot. Good luck.
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