I am not a smart man. People who know me know this. Case in point:
I have been doing the Zone diet since around the 1st of the year. The point of the Zone is that you can add or subtract “blocks” from your diet to impact weight gain or loss. You can also track your performance in the gym. If you add too many blocks you might get sluggish and start to gain weight (or maybe you are trying to gain for strength purposes in the gym). You can subtract blocks and attempt to lose weight, but at the same time try to see if your performance in the gym drops. The perfect harmony comes when you find the right block amount and continue to make gains in the gym, either in strength or time domains to complete a WOD or both.
I started off using 20-21 blocks per day. And my first mistake came when I didn’t get my body fat tested to help me figure out how many blocks I should get a day. I still haven’t done this and when you calculate your blocks your body fat percentage is key.
Along with stupid I am lazy and cut corners.
After week one I felt like I was eating plenty, almost too much, so I dropped my block allotment down to 19. 19 felt pretty darn good. Felt like I was eating plenty, didn’t feel hungry, and felt good in the gym. Then I saw this tweet from Pat Sherwood:
A good basic guide to the Zone Diet is #CrossFit Journal 21. From there you can dig into other resources. I’m on 16 blocks & no extra fat.
— Pat Sherwood (@PatSherwood215) January 17, 2014
16 blocks?! I saw somewhere on his Twitter feed that he weighs around 180 pounds – about 30 pounds less than me – but that seemed like entirely too few blocks. Right?! But this guy is a CrossFit level 1 trainer and OG in the CrossFit community and presumably has a really good understanding of the Zone, so maybe I am eating way too many blocks?!
Still haven’t gotten my body fat tested…
This week I dropped my blocks to 18 per day. This is day four of eating 18 blocks per day and I am feeling lethargic. Last week I did extra credit in the gym in the form of skill work or auxiliary work to supplement the WOD. Not today. Not yesterday. And not the day before. Today’s WOD was two rounds of 25 back squats at 50% of my one round clean max (bar was taken from ground), 50 situps, 25 squats, 50 pushups. I was hunched over during my last round of 50 pushups, sweat dripping off my forehead, and I was gassed. Spent. I am usually really strong with pushups. I have done 40 unbroken many times. Today I found myself struggling to get 15.
On my drive home I started to think that 18 blocks is not enough fuel for my body. When I got to my parents to shower my dad asked me how much rest I give myself as he could tell I was moving slower than normal.
Um, good question…so stupid.
Since I did all the programming this month for the box I workout at I haven’t missed a WOD all month. That’s six days a week working out since January 2nd. And that includes some beasts I have programmed on Saturday’s intended to be partner WODs – long and fun.
Maybe I am torn down from all the working out and it isn’t what I am eating. So stupid to not change just one thing. I added several variables to this experiment – which to blame for my poor gym performance?
And it doesn’t end there. As I stated in this entry earlier this week I shorted myself a few carbs per meal thinking it wouldn’t be a big deal. Well, maybe it is!?
Finally, while I have actually slept better this week than in week’s past I did wake up this morning at 3:30am, 45 minutes prior to when my alarm was set to go off. I very, very rarely am awoken by my alarm. It is not uncommon for me to wake up before 4am. I go to bed at 8pm and am very rarely still awake past 8:30pm so I am getting seven plus hours of sleep a night. I don’t think the amount of sleep I get is a concern, I know “they” say eight solid hours, but I feel pretty good after anything over seven. But, still, this morning I was up earlier than normal and maybe that impacted my WOD today?
As I see it, my dumbass actually has three solid possibilities for my recent sluggish gym behavior:
- 18 Zone blocks is insufficient. If I go off of hunger than I really don’t think this is a case. I eat five times a day and am never starving except possibly in the morning when I wake up. …is that a possibility, too? I don’t think so because I very rarely eat before working out.
- Cutting too many carbs out of my diet because I figured the amount in my recipe was “close enough”.
- Not getting enough rest between workouts.
I think it is partially number 2 and number 3 together that are causing this. I am coaching tomorrow and was planning on getting to the gym early to workout prior to class starting. Now I am thinking that I might just take the entire weekend off. I’ll be active in the sense of a walk or something, but no heavy weights or long WODs. Next week I have programmed as a deload week anyway, so it might be a good time to take two days off in a row. Let my body recuperate.
As for number 2, I think I will stick with 18 blocks for a second week next week but make sure not to short myself even a half block of carbs in my meals for the week. Need that extra bit of energy.
And, no, I still haven’t found my body fat percentage. I wonder if I could go to 24 Hour Fitness and if they would do it for me? I just want a ballpark. I don’t need to be dunked in a tank.