« Snatch Complex | Main | Push Press »

Rest Day

Becky and I are excited to introduce Graham Bradley Kellogg. Graham was born on 11/11/2013 at 3:23 am. He weighed 6lb 15oz and 18.9 inches


In the Zone? Cavemanning it?

by Chris Fox

    There was a time not too long ago when every CrossFitter was told on crossfit.com and at our Level 1 seminars that the most efficient way to get your nutrition in order was to follow the Zone Diet. We understood that our health and fitness were dependant on a solid nutritional approach. And so we Zoned, and it was good. Weighing and measuring made sense since it was quantifiable and repeatable, and lord knows that CrossFitters love to measure stuff! What’s your Fran time, brah!? Weighing and measuring our meals led us to fitter bodies. Excess fat was shed, lean muscle gained, and shirts would quickly come off during the WOD even in the dead of February. We were shredded and sexy beasts! If we felt like we were getting too lean or if we started to drag in energy we would up the fat blocks or up the total blocks to meet the needs of our larger, more muscular, super charged selves. It was the quantities that mattered above all else. A 12oz can of Bud, 18 peanuts, and 3 ounces of beef jerky was a healthy balanced meal! Zoning made sense and worked well...until it didn’t. We became neurotic about food. Counting raisins, macadamia nuts, and canned tuna made us crazy. We became lazy about food prep and wanted a new approach. The Paleo Diet provided it. Sure, we had to ditch our morning breakfast sandwich and forgo the beans and rice with our roasted chicken, but we could relax about how much we were eating. We were told that an “unweighed, unmeasured, Paleo gig” was all we really needed to follow. It was easy and mindless. So, we relaxed. And we ate. We convinced ourselves that bacon was an everyday kind of health food, that we could eat as much meat and vegetable and coconut milk as we wanted, and that since we gave up those devilish grains all would be ok. It became strictly about food quality over food quantity. And it was good...until it wasn’t. It was hard to eat out with friends. We obsessed over procuring local, grass-fed, artisanal, grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, everything. We couldn’t enjoy a cupcake or a beer without feeling guilty so when we did we would binge the whole day, or weekend, or week, or month.  How do we deal with that?  We binge and purge in a sense and “go paleo” for brief periods of time to “get back on track”. We devour the paleo special (all 2 pounds of it) post lifting session since we earned it, or add in extra “conditioning” workouts to combat fat gain. We convince ourselves that wine and tequila are Paleo enough since they aren’t made from grains...Grok would surely drink a Nor-Cal Margarita! Red wine and 85% dark chocolate have anti-oxidants! Pass them over! Mostly what we did is eat more than we needed to. Too many calories, whether from pastured chickens or bagels, is still too many calories. A net surplus of calories will over time cause weight gain, there’s no way around that. Some of us begin to drop weight too rapidly since we can't get enough carbs (sweet potato again?) in to fuel us properly. Sure some of us have found a happy place with eating and exercising that brings success. Bravo! But for a lot of us we constantly ask the question “What the hell should I be eating !?” Next week we’ll take a look at what’s good from both of these approaches and consider a few ways to find out what works for best for us as individuals.

Hint: If you won’t do it, it won’t work.
When You Train and What It Might Mean About You and Your Exercise Breaking Muscle
Rich Froning and Sam Briggs at ESPN
Words of Wisdom for CrossFit Rowers CrossFit One World

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments (23)

Awesome reads (and watches?) on today's post. Can't wait for the next installment from Fox. Another solo OG day at CFMNL for me.

95x3 115x2 135x1 145x1 155x1 165x1 (PR) 170xF 166XF,F,F

No fractional plates so I went for the big jump before I hacked something together (weighed the spring collars to determine that 4 extra would be a pound) but I wasn't getting under fast enough.

Front Squat
135x3 185x3 215x3x3

Snatch Pulls

45x5 75x5 105x5 120x5x3 (5RM PR and 3x5 PR)

Had hit 120x4 at the end of strength last winter. Psyched on this PR the most. Finished off with 10 minutes of handstand work and had a few 5 second holds and what was definitely a PR 7+ second hold that felt great.

November 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTodd

Also I'll just leave this here:


Q: Do you do cardio?
Klokov: Yes, I squat sets of ten sometimes. Like 275kg x10.

November 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTodd

Nice post Fox, apropos of our diet consult. Glad this is being added in to training.

November 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJacques

Nice post, Man Fox. You nailed it. It's pretty easy to go strict Paleo for a long while and then have a sandwich one day and feel like you're a failure, or that you're "cheating". Like most things in life, I'm convinced that the answer lies somewhere in the middle ground. I'm still woking out exactly where that is…

And congratulations Brad! One of my favorite morning workout buddies, a great athlete and an all-around nice guy. :-)

November 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKH

Awesome write up Fox, can't wait to read where it goes from here. Also, thanks for the advice for my friend earlier this week, she's totally using it.

This year has been a dietary/nutrition experiment for me since last year's LFPB challenge was my first real go at the paleo/mostly-paleo thing, but if anything the challenge taught me that the food part is important but so are a lot of other things, like hydration and sleep.

During the summer, also know as the most fun time to drink alcohol of the year, I played around with not drinking at all and that whole CarbNite thing, which kind of led me down a path of weird holed up carb-eating shame once every five days. That was a head game for me, it worked body-comp wise, but I still felt like what I was doing was wrong and not to be seen by others, yes I was in an overall weird headspace over that.

Luckily, this fall my schedule got so busy that I had to decide to give myself a break on crazily thinking about my diet so now I would say I avoid grains on the weekdays because I have to plan out my weekly meals on Sundays and it's easy for me not not include grains in my plan. I eat some dark chocolate every couple days. Then on the weekends I don't worry too much over what I'm eating, while so far not going overboard into an entire-day-of-bread or something.

This last stage is working out nicely right now as I work toward co-existing in a healthy happy relationship with food.

In the back of my mind though, holiday sugar dread. Last year I found myself in a policy of eating one giant sized cookie per day. I've definitely found out in the last year that sugar, more than grains are a slippery slope for me.

Happy Friday everyone!

November 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterginacatto

6am with McDowell and Josh. Snatch: 94, 124, 134, 144, 154, 159. Nice jump from last week where I only managed 145. The reps at 154 and 159 were both a bit unstable on the catch, but I did stand them up. HBBS: 135x5, 185x5, 225x5, 235x5, 235x9. Felt much better than last week. Legs were feeling good on the rep out, but I was a bit dizzy after the 9th rep. Cash-out: fun times with the "vanity finisher". Used 65# and 35# DBs.

November 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Great post. I am going to borrow it for my blog and obviously give you credit for a great blog. Thank you Chris.

November 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMerle

BRAD!!! Super-mega-congratulations! (And, srsly? You're at 7 AM class already? Does that mean the baby is letting you sleep, or that he *isn't* letting you sleep?)

Snatches and squats with McDowell, who very kindly put on Nick's playlist so I could get my '80s fix. Got to 83 again with the snatch, frustratingly failed 88, and didn't have time to try again. HBBSQ, on the other hand, went much better -- 155x5x3.

Had time for only 1/3 of the cashout, with 25# DBs. You won't BELIEVE what the second third of it is, Saturday warriors.

November 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStella

135# Overhead box jump

As for me, worked up to a 105# snatch, uber slow lift-off, I will stick around with this weight and work on speed. Partnered with Stella for the 155# 5x3 HBBSQ.
Congrats again Brad!

November 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPigeon

When I first started CrossFit, I had a lot of questions about nutrition. Josh directed me to the CrossFit journal where there were some links about the Zone diet etc. So I geeked out, did all the math, figured out how many blocks I would need per day/each meal and got started.

Well, almost immediately, I hit a major wall in my lifts. Couldn't jump up by 5lbs every week, and felt really weak and tired. I became hungry between my meals and found myself needing a lot more food towards the end of the day than usual.

After speaking to Josh again, I gave up on the whole Zone BS of measuring and being strict, feeling hungry and sucking at lifting weights and decided to try the Paleo way. Boom, that same week I was back to adding 5 lbs to each lift and finally broke through a bench press wall that I had been stuck at for 3 weeks. I also wasn't hungry between meals and at the end of the day.

What I have noticed is that my body is very sensitive to carbs. My body looks puffy in the mornings when I eat too much the night before, but when I eat just the right amount, my skin is much "tighter" and muscles are more defined. Making sure I hit my macros (especially carbs) also makes a big difference in my performance during lifts etc.

So, so far, staying strict Paleo during the week is easy with the KBK program and I do my best on the weekends but give myself some wiggle room when I go out to a restaurant so I can enjoy myself.

Excited to see what posts come next.

November 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGracie

Made up yesterday's WOD today.

Push Press: 115x3, 145x2, 175x1, 195x1, 205x1 (tied old PR), 215x1 (PR 10#)

Metcon: 8:14 Rx'd. This was about as tough as I thought it would be. Thrusters slowed me down. Had trouble organizing and cycling them.

Congrats again Brad!

November 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDan L

6am Today with McDowell:

worked up to an ugly 135 power snatch, and tacked on an OHS so I could pretend I was squat snatching. not a good snatch day. McDowell advised me to start lighter and warmup more.

HBBS 210x5, 210x5, 210x7. Accessory work: 50 50lb dumbbell bench presses in 6 sets: 17, 10, 7, 6, 5, 5. 50 bicep curls with 25lbs, 50 sit-ups. Ugghh, but my biceps are pumped!

Felt exhausted in a CNS kind of way today. Hard to wake up, sluggish, disorganized lifts all morning.

November 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex C

Snatch #40 - I backed off a ton on weight so I could work on form. I FINALLY feel like I'm making some progress and McDowell helped this morning by putting on eye on it. Really trying to work on making contact at the hip before jumping up. I like doing lifts like this on the rest days because we're in a smaller group and I feel like there's even more opportunity for coaching. I'll take all i can get.

Anyone else find anything that particularly helps them to organize the snatch?

HBBS #120 (new PR!) - These felt really good today. I friggin' love back squatting. I've made steady gains each week, which help me on my burnt pride on the snatches.

Cash Out - 17.5 on the presses

FOOD!!! I went paleo/primal last year and that's how I found crossfit last February and between the two - I managed to lose about 20+lbs of baggage I'd accumulated since college. Since then I've leveled off and, other than vanity, I don't feel much pull to burn that last 10 lbs. I think about zone sometimes, but the measuring is not sustainable for me. The only reason paleo has worked for me is because I like the food and don't have to be crazy about it to feel full, strong and healthy. That being said, it's REALLY hard on my wallet to eat so much happy meat.

November 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElena Y


Will try to wait patiently for part two.

November 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterariel c

Congratulations, Brad!

Stella, spill the beans.

Thanks for the write-up Fox. I look forward to the next installment.

I've also been wondering what, how much, when to eat prior to training -- and whether it varies for strength vs. conditioning vs. gymnastics (I think it does for me).

I've heard and read a range of things that often disagree. I've also done a bunch of trial and error and haven't hit on anything worth repeating.

I'm sure it varies by individual, but I figure there's some science behind it as well.

November 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Great post I will re read it again in January because I am now eating whatever the heck I want and I won't be watching what I eat until January

November 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

Finger and wrist joints were still a little tender from gymnastics and last week's climbing so I didn't go to BKB today.

Lots of elbow, and wrist AR

5 Rounds of:
2:00 Row
:30 Rest


Not going all out, just trying to get more comfortable rowing under 2:00 splits consistently. I have a low tolerance for rowing discomfort and should therefore row more.

4" Deficit Deadlifts
Worked up to 315x1 and then missed at 335
Then a few hours later after I finished coaching I did 295x1x10 OTM, again standing on 4" blocks.

Tough times for non-traditional NYC fitness facilities:



November 15, 2013 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

I wonder who the anon tipster was who called the DOB on the Cliff gym...

November 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbkb

i read a story in the Brooklyn Eagle just the other day regarding Crossfit 718 and the complaints of neighbors:


November 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermichele

Thank you Josh!!! Went to Open Gym tonight because my schedule tomorrow is pretty tight, so glad I did. Worked up to150# on the hang power snatch, a 15# PR and it went up pretty well. All of Josh's tips worked really well, from making sure to keep tight in my shoulders to how to fall quickly under the bar. Please tell me this is only week 5 of 6?! Definitely want to do this again next week.

Also worked up to 220x5x3 on hbbs & did double the situps instead of the full cashout, my situps can always use work.

Like everyone else, I'm super curious to hear what Fox has to say about diet...

++Congrats Brad!

November 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpcker



Disappointingly inconsistent today. Was doing an odd dump the bar forward thing. Could be a mobility issue, as I have not been stretching that much.

Clean+2 Jerks
286, Failed second jerk

Snatch Grip Deadlifts

November 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJakeL

That's a bummer about the gyms... On the other hand, I certainly wouldn't want someone dropping bummer plates in my building-- the boiler clanging is bad enough!

Nice to hit open gym tonight after a session with Dr. Fidler. Good to see so many friendly faces..

Gradually the ache and pain from the 36 squats reps I did Tuesday is fading. Don't know what I was thinking.

ERG: 7 rounds of :20 full blast and 1:40 rest
This was decidedly better. Pretty much killed it all the way through.

Circuit (3 rounds w/ 1min rest between):
DB Press: 50x10
10 Air Squats
DB Row: 50x10
Planks: :45

This was a good circuit for me. I got out of breath by the middle of each one and it was heavy enough to be meaningful. 3 more reps than last time I pressed I think. First time doing DB rows in quite a while-- shoulder felt decent, definitely improving.

PS The stuff about nutrition is interesting, curious to see where this lands. I've been measuring again and while it's very, very annoying, cutting back on the fat and actually knowing how much I'm eating has helped. For a weight-class athlete, unfortunately it matters how much I weigh, but I'm still trying to look at it in terms of "health." It's a rabbit hole though, I'll tell ya.

November 15, 2013 | Registered CommenterRob Is

Squat cleans worked up to 185, I started pulling with my arms when I got to 195
FSQ : 215x2, 225x2(pr), 235x1(pr), failed on the second rep at 235

November 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKevin McDonald

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>