The Challenge


PERFORMANCE NUTRITION CHALLENGE

The PNC is an opportunity for many of you to shore up on one of your weakest links – nutrition. We’ve given you plenty of good reasons to get it together in past articles and challenges. We’re not here to preach about why you should do it; improved performance, recovery, and body composition, not to mention general health and well-being, are pretty obvious answers. Just do it! You will have several of the best training partners you’ve ever had doing it with you. As with the Challenges we’ve run in the past, this is a competition. NOT necessarily with one another, but -with yourself! 
There will be two measures: Performance - There are many different ways we can measure performance: absolute strength, muscle endurance, or aerobic conditioning would all be relative to our pursuits. Instead of simply measuring one aspect of fitness, or running you guys through a complicated host of tests, we are going to assess you on a workout that we think will reward an improved diet and body composition.  50% of your “score” will be percentage improvement over the baseline workout. The baseline workout will be completed on the given date at all class times. The second metric we are using is Body Composition - The old “look good naked” side of things. We don’t train specifically for aesthetics, but it’s a nice side-effect and weight loss/improved body composition is a very valid goal for many of you. To be clear, if you’re already 110 lbs. or in single digit body fat, this isn’t a part of the Challenge you should concern yourself with. There is a bottom percentage for body fat in relation to performance – if you get extremely lean/light it will likely hurt your performance and health. Everyone will be measured here, but be thoughtful about how much this really applies to you, and how you should change your eating habits accordingly. Your body fat percentage (not weight) will be measured through a Bio-Electrical Impedance Analysis scale – essentially a fancy scale. 
Body fat guidelines: We’ll be taking 3 readings over the course of the week before beginning week *1/2/12-1/7/12* (if you will not be here, you must let a coach know-and we will get your numbers in earlier). If you are NOT checked for body-fat or scored on the WOD prior to the start date *Monday, January 9th, 2012* -you will not be able to compete in the challenge *(pending coaches approval). For the greatest accuracy, we want everyone to get weighed at approximately the same time each day, with similar hydration levels (drink a similar amount of water each day leading up to the test), and in similar clothing. We’ll average out the results the first week to get our body fat percentage. We won’t do any readings after a workout, that’s an easy way to jack up the numbers. The times for your measurements will not need to be scheduled. Just before class is fine, as it should only take a few moments. Change in Body Composition % will compose the other 50% of your score. Combining those two percentages will give us your final “score”. We’ll select a male and female winner after retesting after the final week. 
The Challenge Length: 8 Weeks, Method: No added or refined sugar: including agave, artificial sweeteners, etc… No grains No dairy No legumes. Don’t half-ass it!!! Yes, this is essentially the typical “Paleo” prescription. Yes, it’s telling you “no” a lot. There’s good evidence out there that the above lead to obesity, autoimmune disorders, inflammation, nutrient absorption disorders, and the like. I’m all about “moderation” and “living your life”, but seriously, you’ve got the rest of your life to eat however you’d like. It’s two months and you’ll have no idea how the above affect you without first removing them from your diet. After the Challenge, you’ll be much more knowledgeable about how food impacts your body and can make better decisions about how you “eat in moderation”. If you choose to do the Challenge and do anything different than the above criteria, don’t tell me. I’m also not going to argue with you about the methodology or try to prove anything to you. We’re all grownups, and it’s a personal choice to do this with us. We will, however, do our best to educate you as much as we’re able and we’ll provide a different Challenge related post each week that will hopefully spark some discussion and critical thinking. 
How will I survive? We have an archive of healthy recipes –which we will update with any and all submitted information/recipes from our own members. We’ll also make this a fun community event. We will schedule cookouts and tastings during the Challenge, weekly blog posts, and a place for discussion related topics on our message board. Keep yourself motivated! Take some before and after pictures. Start a blog. Keep a food journal. Keep things documented: how do I feel? What I ate/drank?  And etc.  
Do I think this will be hard? YES! In fact, I know it will be difficult. We wouldn’t call it a Challenge otherwise. It will take preparation and commitment, but I know it is well worth it. For many of you, this will have a huge impact on your performance. For some, a change in diet will result in an improvement in your health for the rest of your life. Take the opportunity to see how changing how you eat can help you. Cost is $25 - Sign-up sheets will be at the gym! All of the Important Dates –listed below:

  • Body fat testing dates:
  • Monday 1/2, Tuesday 1/3, Wednesday 1/4, Thursday 1/5, Friday 1/6, and Saturday 1/7. You must attend three of these days and schedule the time/date you are coming in to test. As I discussed earlier, you can do this before class -BUT, you still must schedule the time/day. These scores must be given to a coach and will be averaged prior to the start date.
  • Start date: Monday, January 9th, 2012
  • WOD testing date: Monday, January 9th, 2012 -the WOD will be ran during all class times. Scores submitted.
  • Body fat retesting dates: Monday 2/27, Tuesday 2/28, Wednesday 2/29, Thursday 3/1, Friday 3/2, and Saturday 3/3. You must attend three of these days and schedule the time/date you are coming in to test. As I discussed earlier, you can do this before class -BUT, you still must schedule the time/day. These scores must be given to a coach and will be averaged prior to the start date.
  • WOD retesting date: Monday, March 5th, 2012 -the WOD will be ran during all class times. Scores submitted.
  • We will also be scheduling 2 dates for Paleo/zone cook outs during the challenge -Open to all members.