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. We’ll also have a little nationally ranked weightlifter and popular diet coach Riki Long (IG = @lil_riki_) to occasionally answer participant questions from time-to-time during the challenge.


  • Bodyfat Tests: Week of 06/15
  • Test Workout: 6/16, during all class times. Make-ups only on 6/18.
  • 6 Weeks of Awesome Eating: 06/22 – 08/02.
  • Bodyfat Retests: Week of 08/03
  • Retest Workout: 08/04, during all regular workouts. Make-ups on 08/06.


$45 per person. We’ll bill the account you have on file.


All teams will consist of 4 to 6 members. You’ll have the option to form your own teams, but it’s completely OK to sign-up individually. We’ll assign teams for those folks. Everyone must sign-up at the front desk or online by Monday, 06/15.


$100 will go to each member of the winning team, with plenty of public recognition and bragging to go along with it. No individual prizes this time. It’s all about how you can help make your team successful!


We want you to know how dedicated, substantial changes to the way you eat can affect your performance and body composition. We’re setting up specific criteria in hope that you will finish the PNC fitter, leaner, and with a better understanding of the impact of food.

50% of Score: Body composition percentage improvement:

This number is averaged across all members for the team score. Body composition will be measured using the bioelectrical impedance (BIA) scale.

Notes on the BIA Scale

  • You will need THREE body composition measurements on both the test week, and the retest week.
  • Tests must be done before you train.
  • You will be responsible for testing yourself, although we’ll be available to assist the process.
  • Scale will be located in the shower room. Instructions will be provided. Don’t forget to take off your shoes and socks, you HAVE to be barefooted.
  • It is important to do every test with a consistent level of hydration, with a consistent amount of food in you. Make sure to drink water a couple hours out form each test to stay hydrated.

For our Fat Loss participants, we will be measuring the amount of fat lost relative to your total bodyweight.
For Muscle Gain participants, we will be measuring the amount of muscle gained, relative to your total bodyweight.

50% of Score: Workout score percentage improvement:

Performance will be measured via a workout.

The workout for participants seeking to lose body fat will be:

AMRAP in 5 minutes-
Over the bar burpees

The workout for participants seeking to gain lean body mass will be:

For time-
30 Ground To Overhead (GTOH) at 75% of the individual’s body-weight

The final workout for GTOH will be performed based on the participant’s original body-weight

We want all of our members to look and feel great, but our main goal is a greater level of fitness. For the legitimacy of testing, no sandbagging the first workout in hopes of achieving a better percentage improvement. Also, if there’s any scaling needed on the first workout, you must complete the second workout using the same scaling methods, even if they are no longer necessary.

Again, make sure to record any notes on scaling methods. It will be your responsibility to submit scores via the provided forms/links.
We will provide a workout sheet for the PNC participants, similar to what you see during the CrossFit Open. You’ll also be required to have a counter/judge. Every PNC we run into a situation where someone, intentionally or not, does not perform the workouts to standard, or gets creative with their rep counting.


For PNC VIII, we will calculate your macronutrient proportions and total daily calories but, in the past, we’ve found compliance tracking to be cumbersome. You’re all adults, do this PNC because you’re prepared to follow the rules of the challenge! We’ve done seven PNC’s total, have a great success rate for those who stick with the prescription.

Log your food. Download the MyFitnessPal app. Enter in the macros and calories numbers we provide. Log all the food you eat and every drink other than water! Friend members on your team and make sure your settings allow you to share your food diary. We will provide a guidance on how to use MyFitnessPal. Don’t cheat. There are very few food restrictions and it’s only 6 weeks.

Do not eat wheat in any form

  • Large insulin response (insulin is a culprit in fat storage)
  • Gluten sensitivity/”leaky gut”
  • Anti-nutrients (Lectins, Phytates)

Do not eat added sugar (including added artificial sweeteners*)

  • Carbohydrates elicit a physiological response that favors fat storage.
  • As with grains, the concern with added sugar is the insulin response.

Those are the only RULES of this challenge.


Beyond hard and fast rules, we have a method to help you get the most out of this challenge.

General Notes on Food

Our new approach emphasizes a hierarchical approach of food quality, caloric/macro-nutrient quantity and nutrient timing. This means that you should consume the freshest, most minimally processed natural foods possible (i.e. not from a package) within the calorie/macro guidelines we provide. Nutrient timing simply means that you should consume the bulk (60% of total macro-nutrient recommendation) of your carbohydrates immediately after you work out.

Though we have loosened our restrictions there are still some considerations:

Macronutrient Calculation

“Macros” are all the rage. We’re going to be providing all participants with a calculation of the number of grams of protein, carbs, and fat they should be eating, based on the Flexible Dieting 2.0 book.

Fat Loss participants will have their macros calculated with a slight caloric deficit, Muscle Gain Participants will have their macros calculated with a caloric surplus. By following the provided macros, you’ll have a solid starting point, and, have a clear path to troubleshoot as issues arise. Everyone is different, but if you are not tracking your food, it’s very difficult to know how to adjust your food to help achieve your goals.

Grains other than wheat are OK (with certain conditions)

  • Rice, oatmeal, quinoa, are great sources of clean carbohydrates.
  • Should only be consumed after hard workouts (heavy lifting and a 15+ minute metcon) or if you are seeking to gain lean body mass

Dairy is OK (with caution)

  • Whole milk, cream, half & half, and cheeses are a great source of nutrition.
  • Quality is important. Try to consume only grass fed dairy, if grass fed is too expensive stick to organic. If organic is out of your range, seek dairy products that are hormone free.
  • Should only be consumed after hard workouts (heavy lifting and a 15+ minute metcon) or if you are seeking to gain lean body mass
  • Do not consume if you have a lactose sensitivity

  • Legumes are OK

    • Over seven challenges and hundreds of athletes we have found legumes to be a grey area. They seem to be fine to eat if you do not have an allergenic sensitivity
    • Like grains, presence of phytates and lectins
    • Some believe can cause autoimmune issues
    • Gut irritation
    • Large carb content relative to protein. Not a great source of protein.

    Be Active Daily

      This includes:

    • Training at the gym. CrossFit, Yoga, Endurance.
    • Training outside of the gym, moderate to high intensity. Bodyweight circuits, jumping rope, sprinting. Minimum of 10 minutes.
    • Foam rolling, stretching, active recovery. Minimum of 10 minutes.
    • Low-moderate intensity exercise. Running, biking, hiking. Minimum of 30 minutes.
    • Does not include:

    • Activity accumulated through routine function. Example: Walking to your car.


    We’ll put out weekly posts, videos, and have a Facebook group for general information. The week before the challenge begins, we’ll supply some initial info to help you prepare, including a basic recipe book. You can always ask us if you have any questions.
    We also have some great resources available to help make the challenge easier!
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