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Rest Day


CFSBK Summer 2012 Lean Out Challenge

CFSBK members who desire to celebrate a better bathing suit body and want a little competitive motivation to get there.

A four week commitment to eating and acting like you want your sexy back. While we fully believe in the long term health benefits of a Paleo-centric diet, this shotgun challenge is aimed at looking better and feeling better now.

June 10th through July 9th. We’ll end the challenge in fashion with a beach trip including a WOD, and surfing lessons if you’re so inclined!

What’s in it for me?
Aside from looking better and feeling better...
1 Month free unlimited membership for both 1st place male and 1st place female finishers. You’ll also get daily email reinforcements to stay on track!

Rules, please?
1- Submit “before” and “after” photos, on time. (“Before” shots due on or before 6/10. “After” shots by 7/10)
2- Daily logging of your meals and habits to earn *Lean Out Challenge Points*. This daily accountability is the heart of the challenge. You will submit total points earned in each category at the end.
3- Pay $15 buy-in fee
4- Winners will be chosen by your fellow contestants via online voting based on positive changes in body composition and points earned throughout the challenge. Each participant gets two votes each for a male and a female (you may not vote for yourself).

Lean Out Challenge Points

Meal Log Points:
3 points - 100% Paleo. Ate great all day! (no grains, dairy, or refined sugars)
2 points  - 95% Paleo. Ate one “bad” item but didn’t derail. (a slice of toast with breakfast, a lollypop snack, or cheese on you bunless burger at lunch)
1 point - Mostly Paleo. Ate one bad meal but jumped right back on track for the next one. (had fries with the burger plus a beer or coke, or a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast).
0 points - Bad day. Off the wagon. Will get back on tomorrow.

Bonus Points:
1 point - WOD at CrossFit South Brooklyn
1 point - 8+ hrs of sleep in a night
1 point - 3g of EPA/DHA from fish oil caps

What do I eat?
Glad you asked. To lean out we recommend you eat a low-carb Paleo diet, so eat:
Plenty of  - Meat (or high protein/low carb veggie substitutes) and veggies
Some - Nuts and seeds
Little - Fruits and starches
No - Refined sugars, dairy, chemical foods (i.e., fake sweeteners), or alcohol. Fruit juice is refined sugar!

Sample meals:


Eggs over spinach dressed in olive oil and vinegar with a sausage link.

Leftover meat and veggie from last night’s dinner.

A few ounces of deli meat, a small piece of fruit, and a few macadamias.

Bacon and veggie omelette.


Grilled chicken over a mixed salad with avocado.

Lettuce wraps with meat and mayo.

Bunless burger with marinara sauce and steamed broccoli.



Piece of fresh fruit and handful of nuts

Deli meat “roll” stuffed with sliced peppers

Celery with some almond butter


Broiled salmon with sauteéd asparagus and vinaigrette.

Grilled steak and zuchinni drizzled with ajî with a side of guac.

Chicken in coconut curry over greens

Insider Info

With a goal of becoming leaner we recommend a low-carb focus. This is not the time to chow down on lots of sweet potatoes and other starchy veggies. While “paleo”, they will not help you become leaner. It’s also not the time to indulge in “paleo” beverages like tequila and wine. Leave that for sweater weather. All this also means that this may not be the time to expect a high level of performance in high-intensity conditioning work. Focus on your lifting, do your met-con, but don’t expect a Fran PR. Consider working at a lower intensity on WODs than you’re used to. Use it as a time to focus strongly on technique over intensity. Here are a few other guidelines to follow.

1- Eat your biggest meal post-workout, when you need it. The bulk of your daily carbs should be eaten here as well. Throw in the sweet potato if you’re feeling sluggish.
2- If you workout in the AM have a little protein pre-WOD. This will help preserve lean tissue mass.
3- Add in some low intensity activity (walking, rowing, light calisthenics, dynamic yoga) to your routine before the first meal of the day. You will use more fat for energy during this time.
4- Stay well hydrated with zero calorie beverages.
5- Stick to a regular schedule. Wake up, workout, and go to sleep at the same times. This will help to normalize your hormonal system.


Before and After photos and meal logs must be submitted to:
CFSBKPaleoChallenge(at)crossfitsouthbrooklyn(dot)com with the subject line "2012 Lean Out Challenge"

References (8)

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Reader Comments (55)

Great idea. Just started this myself...now I'll have some extra motivation!

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShawn$

I'm so in. Also, might i suggest the iPhone app Lose It for calorie tracking.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoel W

I am currently in New Orleans stuffing my face for a week. I think this challenge is obviously for me. MGMT - thanks for stopping just short of calling me fat to my face.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNino

can i just eat a ton of fish oil every day to make up for my 0 meal points?

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLuca

I think I eat 4x the amount of food listed on the sample meals.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterasta

Nice one Luca.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDH3

I would take part in this challenge but I'm too embarrassed to send in my 'Before' photo.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

I'm down from 210 to 192 on the year, and I am actually walking around in 34s. That's down from 36s and all time highs of my party pants, at 38. I don't know how much room is left to run! What if I am sideways in my after picture? Will you be able to see me?

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJR

Samir, I usually refrain from saying things like, "Look at what the universe is telling you!" but seriously - we were just talking about this yesterday! What amazing timing! Send in that before picture, dammit!

Regarding this challenge, if I were to assign myself points from the last month for example, I would probably be in the 1 or 2 point range for my meal points most days, with the occasional 3 thrown in, although it has become more rare since the early spring. And for bonus points I would get the WOD point most days, almost never get the sleep point (7 hours is my max these days), and get the fish oil point about half the time. I seem to forget to take that sucker a lot. I am definitely going to participate in this, if only just to see how my points stack up during the week and to see how I can do going back to a more strict routine. Things that disappeared during Paleo have crept back in, like milk in my coffee, dark chocolate bars, and beans (dammit, I love beans). I was talking with Samir yesterday about how once you open the door for a little "indulgence" meal here and there, it's VERY difficult to keep the door only slightly ajar - it wants to bust right open!

Great WOD today. Fun squatting/ring rowing/wall balling with Luca.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKH

I was just thinking about trying to recruit people for a summer paleo re-up but got distracted by an internal debate about which kind of ice cream is the best. Now I can cross ice cream off my list of things to think about! What a relief. But wait- the picture is to be viewed by all participants? Sheesh.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Brash

I am so in for this - wedding coming up makes this perfect timing. Like many others (or maybe not), bad habits post paleo challenge have crept back in. Cutting back the happy hours and fun in the sun drinking will likely be hardest, but this is well timed and much needed :)

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave E

I'm not a fan of how this challenge has been set up. I think the Paleo challenge from earlier in the year had a better format and focus on personal motivation, performance and long term change. This sounds exceedingly close to a Shape magazine slim down for summer diet.


June 5, 2012 | Registered CommenterSarah la Rosa

hey i love shape magazine. what are you saying?

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSameer

To me this mostly reads like Leangains, and not a Shape diet. Leangains has been very good to me in terms of managing the amount of food I consume, and thinking about my macronutrient intake.

A point system can be really useful, though understandably not useful for all. Weight Watchers, whatever you think of it, has been basically the only diet plan that has succeeded on a macrolevel (google weightwatchers lancet for details).

The comparison to the Israeli's daycare study is misplaced, however. The point in that study was that there was loss of social consequence for one's actions. The moral responsibility was not parent to child, but parent to daycare employees. Here, by joining a challenge and instituting a point system, and sending in photos, people are increasing the social consequences of their actions, not decreasing them.

Regardless, I find the moral purity of that Whole 9 post incredibly annoying. We all have different goals at various times, different amounts of willpower, and different response functions to incentives. Indeed, ours change all the time. For awhile now, I've been focused on trying to get stronger, requiring lots of eating and some weight gain. But I still want muscle definition and reduced bodyfat. It's vain, it's selfless (hi girlfriend), it's a lot of things, but it's a goal I've thought about and thought about its implications, and decided I'm fine with it.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoel W.


I just pretend there's an "and" between each item.

Breakfast = Eggs over spinach dressed in olive oil and vinegar with a sausage link
Leftover meat and veggie from last night’s dinner
A few ounces of deli meat, a small piece of fruit, and a few macadamias
Bacon and veggie omelette.

Much better.

June 5, 2012 | Registered CommenterJoe

Hmmmmm. Tempting to try to ditch the last of the baby weight, but I need to think long and hard about whether it's appropriate to try to lose weight when I'm a breastfeeding mom and whether I feel OK about joining a challenge that is so appearance-focused. Hmmmmmm....

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBethany B.

Joe! Genius!

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAsta

I knew there was something wrong with the daycare study cite but couldn't put my finger on it. thanks for pointing that out joel.


June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSameer

If not mistaken,the points just seem liek a system to help us self regulate better with some measurement. The final decision is based on participant voting, correct?

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commentershawn$

AWESOME LUCA. Points for Joe as well.

I'm not going to participate this time around, because I am going on vacation right in the middle of the challenge and I'm okay with going a little crazy while I'm away. (Especially since my birthday/wedding anniversary falls right in the middle -- it's the same day so I get two pieces of cake, right?) Also, I've actually been pretty good about sticking to "moo-Paleo" since the end of the challenge. My plan of allowing myself one cheat item (not a cheat meal, and not a cheat day) every other day has really worked to keep me eating well without feeling deprived.

8 AM class was just Micheline and I. Duuuuude. Sumo deadlifts are WEIRD. I'm going to have to get over that (somewhat justified) feeling that the bar is just an instant away from slipping out of my fingers, because once I panic about that, I forget about all the other good stuff like keeping my shoulders back and the bar close to my legs. 115, 165, 175, 185, 185. Was hoping to get to 195 but I will take it.

WOD, fitness version because I don't have double-unders and I am OH SO CLOSE to T2B but not quite there yet. 160 reps, and you can chalk up how small that number is to those damn double-unders.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStella

Screw it I am in. I love a challenge! bring it!

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJR

@Bethany I would not do the contest. Just my two cents. If you want to use it as a chance to try to dial in your eating as a personal challenge, that's cool, but BFing and a bikini contest aren't a happy pair. I definitely am among the women who hold onto bodyfat while BFing and I bet you are too. The old cliche that it took nine months to gain the weight, it will take nine months to lose it, is really true...
As for the points thing...I disagree that the Israeli childcare study isn't relevant. The point (hah!) was, it assigned a cost to being late that changed the cost/benefit calculation for the parents. Same thing with a points system that equally weights a bag of M&Ms with a slice of cheese on your burger. The cost/benefit calculation switches from "this bag of M&Ms will make me feel like shit and puff up like a balloon" to "this bag of M&Ms only costs one point!" What works about the Weight Watchers point system is that the point values are representative of the caloric value of the food, so you can make fair tradeoffs.

That said, I also totally agree that the Whole 9 post tone is very annoying.

Anyway. As a strength cycler I ain't trying to lean out at this particular time, but I'm excited to see how our winners fare! And I'm going to take a page from Stella's book and try to have a more structured "cheat" system, rather than allbetsareoffonweekends, which isn't really doing me good.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

Great to see the dialogue on the challenge! Luca - nope. Joel - extremely well said. Shawn - Yep. Daily honesty and accountability is the point (Charlotte - hah!)

I am all in because have you seen me in any of the Murph shots?

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFox

Hey all, not to break up the very interesting discussion about the Lean Out Challenge but....

After completing the challenging 4 mile Spartan Race this past Saturday, Coaches Josh and Melissa are looking to go back next year with a team of CFSBKers in tow! They've already successfully recruited me and Fox and we've got a team all set up. The best part is if you sign up by midnight tonight and use the discount code "NY50" you get 50% off of the registration fee. The more members we get to join our team, the cheaper the fee ends up being too! Yes, I know it's a whole year in advance but it will be awesome.
When: Saturday June 1, 2013
Where: Tuxedo, NY (only a short drive away and we'll carpool!)
Time: 10:30am heat
Team: Crossfit South Brooklyn
Register Here!

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlady fox


I agree to a point. However, I think in the Israeli study there was a major issue of turning implict costs into explicit costs. Perhaps they just underpriced, and if it were $10 parents would have picked their kids up on time. Here, I think the flaw would merely be with the point system, not with the concept of moving to a point system. Calories are fungible, so the problem is that a cheat is treated in whole units, rather than the underlying calories. I think most people in a challenge where they are trying to lose body fat would be aware of this. If one wanted to set up a personal system where it was 5 points for a perfect day, 4 for a small cheat, 3 for a medium, etc. it might be a better system (though also more complicated).

Still, I don't think that changing to a point system detaches us and makes us cheat more, which was what Whole 9 seemed to be arguing.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoel W.

worked up to 205x3

Accessory workout - no idea. Just moved to stay out of breath. This was fun.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMargie

@Jess: Whew, I have my out. Even a year in advance I'm 90% certain I'll have to go to the same damn cancer conference next year as the one I just came back from, which means I'll be in Chicago while Spartan is happening.

But really it's that me and mud...not so much. Sweat, yes (hello, Ragnar); mud, no!

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStella

point taken. (OMG, the puns, I am killing myself.)

BTW $10 is a pretty good deterrent for late daycare pickup; it's what our place charges, and we've been late twice in 2.5 years.

Incidentally, I like how this challenge spells out the tradeoffs to leaning out vis-a-vis WOD performance. We can't optimize everything all the time, it's nice to be reminded of that!

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

@Bethany: please, please don't do this, just feed your kid and keep getting those extra nutrients that you need to keep Rockett and you healthy.

Heh. I'm glad I put the Whole9 link in, it was more of an aside regarding the points than the meat of what I was getting at, but it seems to have really spiked conversation.

Despite what you think of Whole9, they have a very valid point when it comes to trying to change your palette. If you are 'cheating' constantly throughout a program, because that concept is build in, you're not going to be able to get yourself away from the addictive/emotional response of sugar. I think that KH touched on this when she talked about how hard it is to just 'let the door open a little.'

I also despise the term 'cheating' when it comes to food. It's automatically assigns guilt and a whole bunch of negative connotations.

I could go off about this for days, but what I really appreciated about the last challenge was the focus on measuring our performance/emotional response, instead of making it all about looks. Don't get me wrong, aesthetics are desirable, but depending upon their emphasis things start to tread too closely to what is considered mainstream dieting and the social norms and pressures contained within. One of the things I really pride our community about is not buying into a lot of that stuff. Ie: Samir's blog about women and crossfit + Laurel's post response.

June 5, 2012 | Registered CommenterSarah la Rosa

@Joel, @Charlotte, I must have missed something as to how the Israeli study got in here, but that study didn't surrpise me at all.

The parents initially were unfairly burdening the workers at the center, as Joel said.

When one charges a price or penalty for the service, you have now clearly defined it's cost. It's no longer "You're a jerk parent and a menace to society," it's "This is perfectly fine as long as you pay $3."

In general, I find that's what happens when you charge a price for things. The price was absurdly low.

I still must have missed the analogy here somewhere, but I'll say this. I think it's great that the gym does these things in general. The system of points for wods, etc., doesn't work for me AT all. It means that I have zero chance of winning the contest, which is fine. (how many nights will I not have even one drink, how many "wods" do I ever do? how can I compete with that?)

I prefer a results-oriented approach. I don't care how many points someone does or doesn't have, how do you look/feel afterwards. One person could work their ass off and achieve very little, another could do almost nothing and just naturally watch it all work. I personally would award the better result, as that's what happens in, well, life.

Some athletes just get it (Josh Hamilton) some don't. In never never land, someone who puts forth more effort might get awarded, but on the planet earth, Josh Hamilton does.

The reason I am in is for the results. I'll be better for it at the end, even with zero mathematical chance of winning, and that's a result that I am looking for. I am also hoping that someone starts talking trash my way, as that's another result that I am looking for!

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJR

So, what's the feeling on coffee (sans dairy and sugar)?

This is a good kick in the pants though, after a month of travel and letting my diet/exercise slack off.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterScott


I just think you're extrapolating too much from personal experience, and not allowing for varied desires. As it stands, I personally don't have an emotional/addictive response to sugar. I like it, I enjoy desserts, but I can give it up. Alcohol (beer especially), the occassional cigarette (gasp), the unthinking sandwich or bagel bc it's convenient, I find those hard to give up, and frankly like the guilt/negative emotional response if I'm not supposed to have them. I am quite aware that this is not for everybody, and if I were coaching or trying to help others lose weight, I'd like to think I'd make room for lots of varied personalities that need different motivations for fitness and health.

I've definitely written about this on the blog before, but four years ago (can't believe it's that long ago now) I was about 25 pounds heavier than I am now, it got down to 35 at one point. I was at a friend's place for dinner, and was somewhat aware of my lack of health. I hadn't worked out much at all really in a couple years, basically just stuck in a pattern from when I taught the LSAT and played a lot of online poker and traveled a lot for work. It just wasn't part of my life. The topic of my increased weight came up with a couple friends, so I made a bet with a friend that I would get to a weight I believed to be about 15 pounds less than I was at the time. It turned out to be 25 pounds less than I was at the time. Step 1, the bet made me get on a damn scale. I made a friend send me a picture from my then recent trip to Israel, as a motivator/comparison. If you asked me now if I'd be as focused on weight loss, the answer would be no, but that was not now, and it's not where I was.

I started running again, and lifting weights again, and I signed up for the Brooklyn half marathon. I swear every single person who told me they didn't recognize me after I lost that weight still resonates with me today. Ask Jenna, thinking about her reaction after not seeing me for 4-5 months still makes me happy. Is it totally self-involved? Yeah, probably, but I'm much better off for it. As it stood, my knees hurt a lot from running so much, and I wanted to run less. As luck would have it, a random guy at my gym (Body Elite what up) saw me squatting and told me to get lower when I squat, I wasn't breaking parallel. I started getting stronger, a friend suggested I do crossfit, I started doing it on my own. All the while, I had totally lost the bet, and stopped caring about losing weight, and started caring about getting stronger. I hadn't even noticed it really.

And yet today I find myself frustrated with not making it to the gym as much as I want to, eating crappier bc of my job. Maybe I could use a new bet, a new challenge. I have gone on way too long, and I definitely understand fears about the mainstream fitness culture, but I don't think those fears should make us repress other motivators. I dug deep in my gmail archive for this excerpt in a newsletter from Fox because it really resonated with me then:

"Nowadays the politically correct thing for your coach or trainer to say is that fitness and overall health should be the real motivators to train. That aesthetic goals are shallow, and you should be pushed to succeed by the simple fact that training is good for you. Well the fact is that we can't necessarily see good for you, and that fact makes it enough many well intentioned folks fall off the wagon early on."

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoel W.

Completely unrelated to today's thread: is there still someone at the gym that makes custom temporary tattoos? I have a need for some, apparently. Can you email me the info/website or whatever it is? jennajerman at gmail


June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJenna J

6am with Coach Lady Fox. Did a modified version of Sunday's partner wod:

5 rounds of 20 situps with a PVC on my shoulders (Jess called them Jesus situps) and 5 wall-balls (20#)
1 mi run

Doing a situp with a PVC on your shoulders completely eliminates arm swing from the situp making it ~1000x harder. Really struggled to get through the situps. Did the run in a bit over 6:30.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

This challenge is interesting, but not well defined. It rewards compliance in specific activities (taking fish oil, performing workouts, and sleeping) while allowing for an arbitrary metric for success: a better "looking" body, as opposed to a better body composition.

Having actual data and metrics for performance, like body fat percentage or a comparison of performance (lift, WOD's, whatever) after 30 days seems more appropriate given our continued attempts at quantifying our workouts.

Disregarding the study for a moment, it's not explained how the "points" are even valued as their role in "winning" isn't established. More than changing the number of points, or their allocation, it's how they figure into the overall structure that affects their perceived value and ultimately influence behavior.

What's more interesting (to me) is the results of the informal study that's being conducted at CFSBK right now. How will changes to this paleo-ish challenge and the application of open judging affect compliance of the diet in new members, given that community support has been what helps people succeed in the past.

Ultimately, will the points even matter?

Geeking out...
I could see some savvy iOS app developer using our conversations to develop an app that would also include bonus points for:
Taking rest days (isn't recovery important?)
Attending active recovery
Points for cooking at home
Holding a paleo pot-luck with others
Do something social and active outside of CrossFit
Playing a sport
blah, blah, blah

Would include the ability to remind you to take a photo-a-day and store it so you can create and share a slide show of your body's adaptation over time.

And where points were accumulated with each meal, the goal to compete with your friends for total points (similar to foursquare). As for the cheats, such an app would have an option to select the number of cheat meals a week, and upon exceeding said number would delete the last days worth of accumulated points. *ouch* Any more than that might have the unintended consequence of causing a person to give up.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan (almost) Rx'd

6am with coach lady fox and coach mcdowell

pre wu
foam roll
hip rotations
leg swings

3rnds nft
20 hollow rocks
20 kb swings

felt pretty good. weird too.

30lb slam balls. oh how i love thee.
subbed 1.5pd kb swings for du's.
toes to bar, once i got the kip it was sooo much easier

178 reps
this was a good one.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMcGrath

One way to quantify the challenge in terms of performance.

Pre-challenge: conduct a fairly straightforward low-skills benchmark WOD (a standard one for which large amounts of performance data are available). Place athlete performances in percentile ranks.

Post-challenge: Conduct benchmark WOD again. Reward athletes for improvement with caveat that those whose performances in pre-challenge WOD had placed them in high percentiles would be expected to show smaller gains than those enjoying the 'beginner effect' i.e., someone that was already in the 95th percentile for Fran would be happy with a 5-second gain, while a 35th percentiler would love to get a 2-minute gain (or something like that).

Standard caveats for random brain farts apply.

@KH: I hear you. I hear you!

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

Related to today's thread: I agree with Joel's point about needing different motivations, including appealing to one's sense of vanity, and I actually like that this challenge explicitly separates appearance from performance, especially as a woman, because I am sick of hearing about female strength in the context of beauty. ("performance above all else because strength is beautiful!") we would never talk about male strength in the context of being "beautiful", so let's call a spade a spade.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJenna J

We're having a get-your-sexy-back-for-summer challenge? Really? I find that pretty disappointing. I thought the gym had a different culture than that. I agree with La Rosa - whose response doesn't seem at all overly personal, as far as I can see - except for the following:

I don't see this as being substantially different from earlier Paleo challenges, in that it talks up the importance of making substantive lifestyle changes, and then judges people's "success" based on potentially unrelated aesthetic changes. Same old same old. If you want to reward compliance with Paleo and lifestyle changes, reward that. If you want to reward getting hawt for summer, go for it. But to say you're valuing one thing while actually rewarding the other, when there's no causal relationship demonstrated between the two, just feels kinda dishonest.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermelon

I think it's easy to poke holes in any idea that gets floated. It's especially perplexing to me to see people assuming some sort of sinister motivation for this challenge-seriously, we aren't trying to get you all leaned out to turn you into perfect Reebok CF Androids, or to make you sad.

When the idea of this challenge got floated to me I thought, "sure, sounds like fun." The points system, while admittedly not all encompassing or perfectly balanced, makes the challenge something of a game. (Again, fun.) Looking way back to KH's post, it also gives us some easily digestible data as a means to improve- and that's just from her rough guesstimation of her last few months. (Maybe not as much data as Dan Rx suggested, which would be awwwesome, but tricky.)

The challenge over the winter, while commendable, was wayyyy too undefined. Everyone was doing their own version of the challenge, some with dairy, some with booze, some with dairy AND booze (beer milkshakes anyone?), some with multiple cheat days etc. It was meant to be very inclusive, but I think it came at the expense of effectiveness for a lot of people.

In the end, even THAT challenge came down to aesthetics- the winners were absolutely people with big body comp and weight loss triumphs. Trying to divorce how you look from a physical culture establishment just doesn't work- sure it shouldn't be the only thing, but its definitely a big thing. Further, this isn't about how I look compared to Joel or Fox or Josh (that's a losing battle if there ever was one), but how Noah on 6/10 compares to Noah on 7/10. Much like everything we do here, the only person you really are competing with is you.

The Whole 9 duo are preachy assbags. I get the concept of the perils or removing moral responsibility, but seriously, not every bon-bon is a prisoner's dilemma.

Anyone else stoked that the challenge is only 1 MONTH LONG? I'm totally into that! I agree that pictures should be kept private, lest I scar the CFSBK populace with my Blue Steel in Underoos Clothes Off Pose Off. I've been practicing.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNoah

Greetings from Maine!

Disclaimer: Noah and I both wrote our posts while eating salt and vinegar potato chips, drinking beer, and eating gelato (not all at the same time). All of this, AFTER we ate dinner. Yeah, we’re on vacation.

Re: The Challenge. I’m in. I’ll admit that I considered not joining because, like JR, I know I can’t win (sorry if that sounds b*tchy). I’m naturally slim, so any body comp change probably won’t be dramatic enough to win. Obviously, winning shouldn’t be the only motivation, but a little competition never hurt! That said, I did notice some body comp changes during the last challenge, and while weight loss is NOT one of my goals, I could use a reset. I’ve been slipping lately, and I feel crappy as a result. Noah and I were going to do a one-month challenge on our own when we got back from vacation, so this is perfect timing. Yes, there are some limitations to the points system, but it’s only for a month. I’m not viewing this challenge as a the beginning of a complete lifestyle change, but rather as an opportunity to get back on track with the good habits I developed in January/February. Thanks, MGMT for putting this on. Are we having a potluck at some point? We should.

On, and trust me, no one wants to see Noah’s Blue Steel :)

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKMo


A pretty straightforward metric that I like is a Crossfit Total divided by body weight. It incentivizes maintaining strength while reducing bodyfat content, and disincentivizes simply eating too few calories.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoel W

I think I'm going to sit this challenge out after all. First off I think participating would send a poor message to other new and potential-new-moms at the gym. My current fitness and health focus is 100% on being a good healthy mother and breastmilk-producer for my child and I don't want to send a message otherwise. I told myself months ago that I'd give myself 6-9 months post-partum before worried at all about my weight so this would be jumping the gun. Thank you LaRosa and Charlotte for the input!

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBethany B.

No to the challenge (Paleo does not work well with my chemistry) but yes to the Spartan race...all signed up!

Today did tomorrows workout.
Box squats - 45x5, 135x3, 205x3, 225x3, 245x2
Last rep was not going up!
Did the partner WOD solo: completed 5 rounds plus 4 pull ups (resting the amount of time each round took) Round times: 1:00, 1:17, 1:34, 1:55, 1:30
Pull ups were the limiting factor. Don’t go to failure on the pullups and don’t stop on the wallballs. Good WOD.

Thanks to Coach Josh for just outstanding coaching, queuing and timing!

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDmak

Melon: you were able to suss out what has been bothering me all along about these challenges-- thanks.

I've bit my tongue all day, but can't any longer. I think this challenge is a bad idea. (Not to mention most people here are too skinny already). Posting this after the Gawker "beach body" article is too ironic.

With so many over-achievers working so hard-- do we really need another self-image smack down, judgement-laden contest/protocol? Considering the food relationships problems so many in general population have (and by natural extension, our own membership) I can see this spinning people over the edge.

Strangely, last week I had decided to "lean out" (and will never use that term again, ever in my life, I swear) and try to do a strength maintenance routine for about 6 weeks. However, after reading today's post the contrarian in me makes me want to do a mass gain instead.

Skinny? Good-god. The only thing it's good for is strict chin-ups.

June 5, 2012 | Registered CommenterRob Is

Folks: How was *performance* on the winter paleo challenge measured?

In general, what are the most salient differences between that challenge and this one?

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra


June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBilly Noble

@Jenna - here is a site that makes temporary tattoos. Im not sure they do custom ones though

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterken

The differences between prior challenges and this one are:
1) Prior ones were about going Paleo and this one is about losing weight.
2) Prior ones did not have a point structure, but a personalized plan to judge adherence.
3) Prior ones emphasized health and this one emphasizes aesthetics.

June 5, 2012 | Registered CommenterRob Is

Personally, I have no interest in these dietary competitions. Eating paleo for 30+ days offers no challenge (for me) and leaning out isn't part of my goals. It wasn't so long ago that I was out paced by my 80+ year old grandfather. I had 3 months of leaning out after getting injured, and that's quite enough of that.

I much prefer monthly and longer term goal setting; success is it's own reward.

Have to think a bit more about actual execution, but it goes:

1. Support Asta in her decision to participate in this challenge.
a. This does constitute a challenge for her, and she's more likely to succeed if she and I do this together.
b. Eat a lot, get to 1 gram of protein per lbs of body weight, exceed 180lbs.
c. Make it interesting by doing the filthy 50 before and after the 30 days are up. Also compute lifts (press, dead, squat, clean, snatch) to bodyweight ratio.
d. retest max reps pullups

2. Come to CFSBK more.
a. I've been away from the place I love and the people I care about for too long.

3. Become more proprioceptively aware. Getting hurt destroyed my ability to know where my lower body is in space and my overall body position is suffering.
a. It also killed my double unders, need to relearn these.
b. snatch body weight.
c. repeat 15+ overhead squats at higher bodyweight.

4. Squat more, while maintaining upper body strength.
a. Keep the top spot for kipping pullups; go for 50+
b. Steal the top spot for weighted chin-ups.
c. Press body weight overhead.
d. get to 400lbs+ backsquats.
e. and 300lbs+ front squats.

5. Run, row, and otherwise improve cardiovascular endurance
a. Quite concerned how to accomplish this given the damage I've done.

6. Spend more time doing the things I love, challenging myself, and living up to my own standards.

With regards to the earlier posts:
I've really enjoyed hearing all of the different perspectives from everyone at the gym and understanding their motivations. Being away from CFSBK for so long I rarely recognize the handles of people posting, but the writing remains thoughtful and engaging. While there may be differences in opinions about the structure or merit of the competition, would hope that an open, intelligent conversation on the subject would never strain our bonds of friendship.

For those participating, and those doing their own thing, good luck to you all!

@Jenna: always happy to discuss strength aesthetics of the human form.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan (almost) Rx'd

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