THE CHALLENGE: The Starting Point

After five years working in this business, a number of things have become set in stone in my mind. Everyone who is able to should squat to below parallel under load weekly at a minimum. Working out 3x per week or less is supplemental and will not drive any sort of physiological adaption that are most often desired by people. And working to achieve a healthy, sexy, awesome lifestyle is futile without a foundation of solid nutrition principles supporting everything. Of course this is not a new concept as it is one the primary topics discussed at the CrossFit Level 1 (and throughout the CrossFit journal). Unfortunately, although it may be easy to identify nutrition as being important, but maintaining a daily routine that involves wise choices is much more challenging for most of us. With this in mind we are incorporating what we already know to be true, that things are better together, and launching our next nutrition challenge. 

On Tuesday, May 31st we will be kicking off our summer nutrition challenges with three different options available to you. The challenge will run for 5 weeks and progress will be evaluated based on before & after photos, weigh-in and measurements, as well as weekly food log submissions. Each level of the challenge will include more specific requirements and varying levels of coach interaction (with Level 3 including a weekly sit down). 

The ideal choice for you is based on your activity level, your nutritional experience level, and your desired level of involvement. 

Activity Level: Leave your ego out of this for a second. Remember, the world that surrounds you is a lazy, morose, sad sad place. You are above that and I would not dare suggest you are the level of lazy that has become the norm today. However, unless you are training two times a day 5-6 days a week, you are not a highly active individual. Having an accurate understanding of your activity level does not mean you are unhealthy. Not everyone is able to train 5-6x per week. But eating for the wrong activity level will absolutely challenge your ability to make progress. 

Sedentary/Low Activity: If you train 2-3x per week on average (no, that one time you made it in for four classes that week does not define your activity level) then this is you category. Also, if your job has you seated for 7-9 hours per day then you may fall under this category even if you are coming in for 5 hour long classes each week. 5 hours pales in comparison to 45+ hours of sitting. 

Moderate Activity: Those who train an average of 5x per week or more, or who may average a class or two less but spend their day on their feet would fall under this category. When you do train you train with intensity. You do not limit your weight and you are always looking to move faster. This is very important in accurately categorizing your activity level. Going through the motions for an hour 5x per week does not make you active. Attacking each workout and getting the most out of your fitness is what defines you as active. 


Nutritional Experience: The levels of the nutrition challenge require more and more working knowledge as your progress from level 1 to level 3. With so much noise out there regarding nutrition or healthy foods and supplements, or fancy/new diets, it is important to develop a solid base of knowledge and experience regarding choosing the correct foods, knowing how much of each type to consume, and understanding what each food is used for (Food made up of macronutrients. Macronutrients are used for creating energy or building). For example, we will discuss carbohydrates being a completely necessary and vital macro nutrient that we want to consume. However, left to your own devices you will quickly learn that sugar is a carb. So if you need carbs then why not go elbow deep into the tub of ice cream? Working through Level 1 of the challenge will create an understanding of what carbohydrates work well to help us achieve our goals and which carbohydrate sources do not (or even cause problems). 


Desired Level of Involvement: If you are a super active, super knowledgeable nutrition aficionado, if you do not want to have to manage the extra work, then level 3 is not for you. Level 1 is the least involved as you are simply recording your food choices in your food log as you make them. There are loose guidelines that will help direct your choices but there is no counting or measuring involved. Level 2 requires ball park estimates of food based on a few days of weighing and measuring, and level 3 involves measuring everything and meeting very specific quantity goals. Do not bite off more than you can chew in the name of ego. The road to hell is paved with good intentions so do not jump straight into the deep end to only find yourself drowning by the end of week 1. 



Low nutritional experience or low desired level of involvement makes the Fundamental Nutrition Challenge the ideal choice for you without a doubt. There is really no way to be successful at level 2 or 3 without a desire to be more involved and definitely not without more nutritional experience. Keep in mind this is not a bad thing and you are not missing out. The fundamental challenge is our longest running challenge and it always gets results. EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Moderate to high nutritional experience and even just a bit of desired involvement makes the level 2 a great choice. 

And a moderate level of nutritional experience and a high desired involvementmakes the level 3 perfect.