CrossFit South Rockland

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Get fit with caveman cuisine

Article By: Rob Peters

Working out helps, as does eating properly, but I have learnt over time that if you want the best results you need to do both. My first month at CrossFit has certainly helped me in the strength department, but my poor eating habits mean that my jeans are not getting any looser...

So to rectify the situation I have decided to embrace the diet of choice at CrossFit – the Paleo diet.

"Paleo-what?" I hear you ask.

The Paleolithic diet (abbreviated to Paleo diet or Paleodiet), is also referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet.
It is a nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various human species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era.

It’s a little more than that obviously, but I will be going into more detail in my next column after I have had time to give the Paleo diet a whirl. The Paleo practitioners I have spoken to say the benefits of eating this way are huge, and while I know I will struggle with the restrictions (it’s a long list), I am interested to see how my body reacts.

I have no doubt that I will drop weight, but how will it affect my strength and endurance? Only time will tell.

I do have a carrot being dangled in front of me, however, with CrossFit running a dual challenge over the next couple of months. And there is a decent chunk of change for the winner. 

Yes, I know that self-motivation is key when it comes to training, but a bit of healthy competition never hurts and it’s great to know that there are a bunch of other people embracing this challenge at the same time as I am.

The challenge:
There are two parts to the challenge – a workout-based segment and a nutritional one. The biggest improvement gets the loot, and while you can do one or the other, I decided to enter both – papa needs a new pair of shoes after all, as does my son…

The nutrition part of the challenge is pretty standard. The biggest improvement over the assigned period – 10 October to 5 December – wins.
 The overall ranking is a combined ranking of the participant’s improvement in body composition and body fat loss.
So, for example, if I come in first in the body composition and third in body fat, I will receive a score of four (adding up the ranks) and be ranked accordingly. If four is the lowest score out of all the people taking part, I win!

The workout chosen for the challenge is called "3 More…"

In six minutes, you need to perform as many sets as possible of kettlebell swings, followed by box jumps and finally push-ups – starting with three reps, moving onto six, nine, 12 and so on until the time is up. It sounds simple enough, but trust me, it will put you on your back…

Again, the biggest improvement in this area obviously walks away with the cash.

Being classed as “intermediate” (a point I attempted to argue in favour of “beginner”), I used a 24kg kettlebell, a 60cm box and the push-ups were of the “bottom release” variety. In six minutes, I managed to eke out just over three sets (a set being kettlbell, box jumps and push ups).

We will see how much of an improvement I make come December, but I am quietly confident that with the help of the CrossFit instructors, I will be making some big gains by then. Challenge accepted…

Rob Peters will blog his CrossFit experience over the next three months, keeping a weekly log of how it improves/hinders his running. From October, he will also be taking on the Paleo diet and nutrition challenge at the gym as he puts the CrossFit way to the ultimate test.

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