What’s new about the Performance Nutrition Challenge?

Matt Articles, PNC VIII

Progress is our passion. From workouts, to programming, equipment, or the overall experience of training at CrossFit RVA we are continually scrutinizing results and overhauling our methods to deliver the maximum dose of effectiveness for the widest population. Our long running Performance Nutrition Challenge (PNC) is no different.
For our eighth iteration of the PNC we are offering new guidelines and opportunities for fat loss or lean mass gain to accommodate our participants. Our approach will focus less on restriction of food choices and center on a hierarchical approach of eating.

Cool. What does that even mean?

Simply this: instead of selecting a one size fits all eating program, we’ve decided to eliminate only wheat and added sugar because we know they’re one of the most problematic foods for our population. After elimination we are going to emphasis a tiered strategy for eating.

First, if you’ve never tried to eliminate poor food choices from your diet we’re going to insist that you focus on food quality before all else. We define food quality as diet of vegetables, making sure to consume all sorts of colored varieties, lean meats, and some starches (more on this in another post). Just because we’ve eased restrictions doesn’t mean you should eat anything you want.

Next, if you’re already eating quality foods then it’s time to determine and dial in on macro-nutrient proportions. You may have noticed the recent craze of “If It Fits Your Macros” (#IIFYM), we’ve come to believe that eating the correct portions of protein, carbohydrate, and fat for your Lean Body Mass (LBM) and activity levels are important for body composition and performance. We will be using the MyFitnessPal app and some advice from RikiLynn Long to determine participants appropriate “macros”.

Finally, and this will be a post of its own, we’re going to focus on food timing. All three macro nutrients can be eaten in combinations around workouts to maximize muscle growth and fat loss. A general rule is to place the majority of your carbohydrates allotted for the day around workouts. This is not a “set in stone” recommendation and we’ll go into greater detail later.


Final Word

The intention of this new, improved PNC is to help find an eating strategy that participants can stick to for the long run. Six weeks is enough to see changes in performance and body composition but with a focused and sustainable habit you can run your own PNC for much longer, feeling both healthy and unrestricted by your diet.

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