Dan "Nitro" Clark here. A funny thing happened on the way to Gladiator Arena. The arena, on this day, was the 5-week-long Crossfit open. I was sure I was going to crush this competition.
For 6 months, I trained like a beast, slung iron, smashed the MetCons, jumped and climbed ropes, did body weight exercises -- worked on any and all my weaknesses in preparation for the competition.
My training was meticulous except one thing.
You can't out train a bad diet.
A bad diet doesn't always mean eating bad or too much food. It can also mean not fueling your body correctly for optimal performance.
My Big Mistake?
I wasn't eating enough. How do I know? I tested my body fat at the beginning of the 5 week period and then again at the end of the period. I didn't lose a single pound of weight, but I lost a staggering 5 POUNDS of MUSCLE.
When the body doesn't have enough food to fuel your performance it starts to cannibalize muscle tissue for fuel. This is the same muscle you've worked months, possibly years to put on. And it's GONE in 5 weeks.
How many calories do I need for optimum performance?
This is where the science comes in. Firstly, you need to know your BMR (basal metabolic rate). This is how many calories your body burns throughout a 24 hour period while at rest.
To get the most accurate BMR you'll need to get your body fat tested. I prefer the Dexascan method.
Once you know your BMR use the simple Sterling-Passmore equation to figure out how many calories you need a day to either FUEL YOUR PERFORMANCE to LOSE or GAIN WEIGHT.
Yes, the kind of calories you eat is SUPER important too. I go for 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat (good fats).
How can this help you?
Fueling your body correctly can make the difference between standing on the podium at an event or bonking out and disappointing yourself after a lot of hard training.
It can make the difference between feeling energized and great or feeling tired, drained and weak.
My recommendation for success?
Spend 15 minutes to figure out your BMR and how many calories you need to eat a day based upon your goals: Race prep, lose weight, maintain weight, gain weight, etc.
Get the My Fitness Pal app to record your calories. It's FREE and super easy to use!
Then FUEL your way to SUCCESS
You deserve the best and to succeed!
Hopefully these tools will help you. After going through these steps I increased my calories by over 1000 a day (the joy), and it helped me crush my next competition. I felt strong and energized. I felt like a Gladiator again. So much so, the SPANDEX made an appearance!
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