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A Control Day with April Blackford



Currently one of the HUGE advantages you get as a Science Lab member is that you get to talk to April! There are a handful or role models that answer questions regularly.  Click here for more information.

It’s Sunday (the day after my higher volume workout day), which is usually a day of laziness.  I wake up early and immediately get coffee.  I only have a short time of silence before my kids get up, so I savor it; I make some chocolate peanut butter protein oatmeal and have a second cup of coffee. This is quick and delicious, and I hit at least 30g of carbs and protein all in one shot.


Next, I head to church at 9:00 a.m.  Mass is an hour long.  Afterwards, I run errands with family then head home.  I do minor chores, and I am a little sore from yesterday’s WO, so I foam roll for a bit.  I start getting hungry, and decide to make lunch; I end up with these 2 grilled all-natural chicken sausages with smoked mozzarella and artichokes.  I sautéed some mushrooms to put on top and ate those on a flax flatbread, with some purple cabbage, sautéed in coconut oil, as well as a side of kimchi.


I also had my creatine with this meal.  I lazed around for a bit, and decided to head to the driving range with my husband and son to hit some golf balls.  My son was rather impressed with how good I was!

I came home and lazed around some more (It is Sunday, you know.), and then decided to make dinner.  I was a little torn on what to make and threw this together at the last minute:  I ended up with a baked yellow pepper stuffed with ground turkey, sautéed mushrooms, and red onion with a farm fresh egg on top.  My sister has her own chickens and I get the luxury of having all the fresh eggs I want. (Yes, don’t hate.)  I also have roasted kabocha squash with cinnamon, and some fresh roasted asparagus with pink sea salt and cracked pepper.  By the way, if you have never had kabocha squash, your life has not been complete.  It really is JUST that good.


After dinner, I went for a walk with my husband, and then winded down with this baked organic blueberry pie oatmeal.  I had it with some plain Greek yogurt with some cocoa bliss coconut butter on top; the coconut butter ended up being the star of this. (Although the organic blueberry pie boatmeal was a very close second.)


At the end of this “control day”, my carbs came out to 188g.  185g is my goal, but I’m not going to fret;  tomorrow is a bench press day and those extra 3g may just help me out with a new PR!

Case scenario: 160 pound male 10% body fat



For a 160 pound man to reach their body composition goals it somewhat depends on a lot of factors but in the end when you are already lean it always comes down to muscle.  For this person if they took a relatively low carb approach to get there I have very good news.  You can probably get to 165 with minimal fat gain because your muscles are probably pretty depleted.  So simply filling up your muscles with the nectar they are desiring is going to get you the result you want (starches).


There is another interesting case scenario in this instance because many men in this situation got here with low fat.  That also is a deficiency that can be solved.  Especially if you were in a deficit to get lean, simply add more fats and get stay pretty close to your TDEE using this calculator most of the time.  Fats are favorable as it relates to testosterone production and hormonal activity in general and so they are said to be muscle sparing.


So while we have talked about both scenarios that got this person to 10% the question then becomes how to get to 7% or 8%.  Which would seem to be quite easy but gets tough.  Realistically it’s only 3.2 pounds of fat but your body doesn’t care what your percentage is, in fact, your body retains fat as a measure of protection for you.


So what will mobilize fat those last few pounds of fat? First off if you aren’t using Creatine check this article out.  Once again a simple add that can make a big difference in terms of muscle retention.  That alone could get you there in a short period of time because Creatine maintains your muscle.  So I basically just gave it away right there, without an appropriate amount of muscle maintenance you are in a battle of diminishing returns which is why body builders that don’t take a slow approach are a metabolic train wreck and actually live shorter lives as a result of the harm they do to themselves.  Gradually building while mostly maintaining your weight is the best path for someone to get to single digits and stay there.  This is the same for both men and women but women tend to get lean approximately ten percent higher than men because of breasts and hips.

Case Example: 170 pound woman at 40%

Curvy Women


There are two main parts to the Science Lab, there are the seminars I post most days and there is a private forum for people that can’t make those seminars.  If you have questions you would like answered both are resources.  Click here for details.

This woman probably needs to start in the mirror.  How big is her chest, how big are her hips? That is going to tell a big part of this persons story.  Ladies if you have a big chest and hips you are a weight lifter, that doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t be able to do some of the cardio stuff and still be quite athletic but for this person to become who she is supposed to be she needs to first realize who that was supposed to be all along.  Genetics is a factor.  This person is also one of the easiest people to work with because that speech I just gave just rang a bell in a lot of gals heads.


Let me also say this body type is the woman I married.  Crossfit is making her the best version of herself but that version has curves.  She always had curves, even when I met her when she was  18 years old.  That was the plan I signed up for and it’s the plan I currently still love.  My wife is a pretty neat lady and for women at 40% getting under 30% is a significant goal and accomplishment but you don’t get there with an underfed approach.  You get there with a fed approach eating mostly whole foods, eating a strategic amount of carbohydrate and maintaining and building most of the time.  Once again I probably like a cycling approach for this person with about their weight in carbohydrates most of the time and work up from there.  This woman can typically eat LBM for protein because her fat layer serves as protection for her muscle.  Then you simply solve for fats using -10% using this calculator.

Case Example: Female at 20% dialing in her approach

christina gloger

There are two main parts to the Science Lab, there are the seminars I post most days and there is a private forum for people that can’t make those seminars.  If you have questions you would like answered both are resources.  Click here for details.

1) For a 140 pound woman with almost no fat to lose (20% for a woman is extremely lean) her biggest priorities BY FAR are maintainng and building muscle. Abs, legs, glutes or whatever lagging body part is the answer to her problems. For a 140 pound woman to say get to 17% and have visible unflexed abs (once again this is an example) this person needs to maintain all of the muscle they have and add some tissue. This is a much slower process than many people think. Each percentage of muscle weighs 1.4 pounds for this individual (1% of 140 pounds).  This requires carbs, nailing down the specifics and enough fats to allow her hormones to function properly and AT LEAST 140 grams of protein a day. It’s a lie that unflexed abs happen in the kitchen, they happen on the GHD and when this woman is squatting in the 200′s and deadlifting in the 300′s. #eattoperform

I would say if this woman isn’t at 200g of carbs or more she will probably struggle to meet her goals in the end. That is somewhat person dependent but I was asked for general rules. So that is what I gave.

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