1. 1RM Clean
2. OTM x 7 – 3 squat cleans @ 70%
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Coaches Corner with Coach Ashley
To Zone or not to Zone…
This topic is definitely the buzz around the gym lately…seems a lot of people are jumping on board. During the team transformation challenge most coaches followed some variation of the zone and people had a lot of success with it. I wanted to review the basics of the zone and why it works.
The zone is nothing more than calorie restriction and hormone balance. It is quantity of food. As crossfitters, we take this one step further and add quality by zoning real whole foods: lean meats, veggies, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar. If quantity is not taken into consideration, most crossfitters find themselves very unbalanced: way too much protein, not nearly enough carbohydrates, but usually an appropriate amount of fat.
When we eat protein, glucagon is released to mobilize energy stores. This makes sense because we know a role of protein is muscle building and repair, for example, where the body is actively completing a task. In the presence of carbohydrates, insulin is released: the antagonist hormone to glucagon. Insulin aids in storing energy (glucose) for later use. This also makes complete sense because the body calls upon stored energy for every process that it does whether it is your heart beating at rest or trying to get through Murph, this is a necessary macronutrient of the body. Finally, fat does not elicit a hormone response in the body, but it slows digestion of food causing us to feel full longer.
If I were to summarize in one sentence the above paragraphs: eat real foods together to balance hormones in the body that make us feel full longer in amounts that support exercise not body fat. It doesn’t get much more simplified than that BUT it can be applied to everyone, crossfitter or not, because it works…its human physiology.
Implementing the zone is straight forward if you keep it simple. A zone block equals 1 block of protein + 1 block of carbohydrate + 1 block of fat. So the next question is, how many blocks do I eat in a day? There are advanced calculations out there to figure out this number but I will use the ranges that Ben gave to the coaches because they are simple and they make sense. For men, if your t shirt size is small you should eat 16 blocks per day, medium 17, large 18, extra-large 19-20. For women, small 11-12, medium 13, large 14. Once you determine your number, start building meals based on how you want to break down your total blocks throughout the day. Consistency here is key, what I mean is if you are a medium male eating 17 blocks a day on Monday, then Tuesday has to be 17 and so on and so forth. Some days you will find it hard to get all of your blocks in and other days you will find yourself with only 2 blocks left and its 3:00 in the afternoon! Plan accordingly. Finally, having a zone block guide is imperative for meal planning in order to know the appropriate weights and measures to balance your meals. CrossFit Journal article 21 is a good resource for explaining the zone and has a list of foods to choose from. The Zone Diet used to have an easily accessible food list online but now it is difficult to find. I was directed to CrossFit Impulse’s website which has this list on its nutrition page. It really can be that simple…so get out your food scale and measuring cups and give it a try.