Archive | crossfit

Crossfit Athlete Fat Loss Summary

Ivette Carcas

This is just the summary version of the long post you can find in the link at the bottom.  What we teach is a patient approach that focuses on work capacity.  Our book Met Flex for Fat Loss gets updated monthly and you also get a free membership to the Science Lab private forum and unlimited access to the webinars.


  • Prolonged periods of low carb dieting can equate to underfeeding, and this can lead to all kinds of metabolic derangement.
  • Eating to perform means eating enough food to sustain and improve your work capacity, strength, agility, and sport specific skills.
  • Form follows function; by putting performance first, you can achieve an optimal body composition.  That may not mean you walk around at 5% body fat, but you’ll be lean and muscular without eating in a restrictive fashion.
  • Start by getting a ballpark figure of how many calories you need to eat every day (TDEE).  Although it may seem like a lot of food at first, most of the time you will create a calorie deficit through your training and eating more (not less) will promote positive body composition changes.
  • If fat loss is your primary goal or you’re coming from a period of calorie restriction, subtract 10% from your TDEE calculation to give yourself some room to eat a little bit less.
  • A good place to start for men would be bodyweight in grams + 50g for carbs on training days and dial it in as they go.  Women should start at bodyweight in grams of carbs. Another and potentially much better approach is to use the calculator and solve for carbs using the fats as I recommend on that page (lean people need to start at their weight in grams to maintain conditions favorable to maintaining the muscle they have earned)
  • Eat 1g of protein for every lb. of bodyweight.  
  • Counting calories may be necessary for a short period of time while you get a handle on how much you need to eat, but you should ultimately try to eat more by how you feel, look, and perform than any number.

Here is the link to the full post “How Crossfit Athletes Should Do a Calorie Deficit“.

“Meet the Girls” Infographic

This image provided by East Dallas Crossfit
“The Girls” workouts are something all of us are familiar with.  This graphic shows the men’s Rx weight.  For the women’s Rx weight, you would multiply by .68.  If you are looking for the newest Reebok gear to help you in your WOD’s, click the link below to support this site.

Our hidden gem, Janelle Deeds


This is a comment from Janelle talking to someone in the forums.  She has a lot of experience working with people on a one to one basis and along with myself and James we monitor “the groups”.  The groups are set in the Science Lab for people’s specific goals.  This is actually the topic Mike will be doing his update on this month in Met Flex for Fat Loss.  (Also Janelle’s profile is in that link) She is a rock star in the forums and does a great job working people through their hurdles.

This is Janelle

I cannot stress highly enough the ‘gradually awesome approach’ here! Resetting the metabolism and keeping it healthy is very important.

Key points to keep things reigned in:

  1. Know where you are now. You have to know what your intake is and what changes if you want to know what is working and what is not. That means a little tracking up front. Don’t go crazy but know.
  2. Make the changes regular. Meaning, don’t add in 3 different carb sources all in one day and then if you feel lousy, you don’t know which one you might have had a reaction to. Start with one thing and use it for 3 days, then add something else.
  3. Don’t wait until you are freaked out to dial it back a little. Being up 3-5 lbs is re-feeding, don’t wait until you are up so far that you can’t make a course correction without getting down on yourself. Listen to your body, make some tweaks, ask for help (that’s what we are here for).
  4. Sometimes you need to rest. Yes, we are here to Eat To Perform. But your body just might need a short reset. Take a de-load week or even some real rest days. Take care of yourself! Your body will like it.  (this is Paul, if the Omegawave app has taught me anything it’s that more rest is actually better for performance, there isn’t just one way to Eat To Perform)

Met Flex Tip 5: Evil Carbs and Performance

sweet potato

We recently introduced Private Forums to go along with our webinars we do four times a week.  Both of which give you the opportunity to walk through your changes using the info you get when you buy Met Flex for Fat Loss.

It seems that many people are afraid of carbs.  The media has convinced them that they are bad.  I disagree.  Remember that the media once said all fats were bad too, so are eggs, milk, etc.  Bah!

Carbs are the preferred fuel source for high intensity exercise.  It is a bioengertic fact that you can NOT produce the same levels of power by only using fat as an energy source.   This is in every basic exercise physiology textbook.

I am a big fan of having some carbs before training if at all possible.  I know some lift in the AM fasted as it is impossible to get anything down beforehand, and that is fine.    If you have time though, take in some starchy carbs before your training session, starting at around 50 grams.     Good choices are sweet potatoes, bananas or prepackaged carb sources like Vitargo.

Not only will you have the fuel to use during training, they promote the release of insulin by your body.  Insulin is not the devil it has been portrayed and higher levels of insulin actually push the body to use more carbs. This is exactly what you want to do during training.

If you have not tried this before, please try it first on a non training day or time to see how your body reacts.


Try adding some starchy carbs pretraining if at all possible.  If you are training in the AM fasted, push your carb intake to the night before.     Most people see a nice bump in their performance

Mike T Nelson

Danielle Horan, someone you will know very soon

Danielle Horan

Crossfit Games athletes have it most right already.  Danielle smoked the North East Region coming in first and then contacted me afterwards.  Many of you haven’t heard of Danielle but you will.  If Vegas had odds on the Crossfit Games I would have a lot of money on Danielle because she is going to be ready in July and she has all the tools to win the Crossfit Games.  Today we will be rooting on Erica Livett in the Canada West division.  In a very short time our book (Met Flex for Fat Loss) and the seminars and private group have made a big difference for a lot of people.  Let me just caution you though, this is a FAT LOSS group with performance first.  Our women are led by Elisabeth Akinwale, Danielle Horan and Erica Livett.  Work Capacity is our model.  The goal is to be better and Crossfit, eat appropriate amounts to fuel athleticism and let body composition come naturally.

To buy Met Flex for Fat Loss click here

This is a post Danielle put up in the private forums for our members:

Screen Shot 2013-06-09 at 8.08.19 AM

For Proteins I have Danielle using Hydrolyzed Whey Isolates (the stuff in Recovery and More Muscle) and Beta Alanine (one of the ingredients in Force).  I am going to be honest with you, this stuff isn’t cheap because it’s really good and works.  That is why we promote Progenex on this site and if you buy clicking this banner you get 10% off.


For carbs Danielle is using Vitargo.  If you click the banner the article goes over the benefits and how to use it.  It is a fast acting and quick absorbing carbohydrate that you drink.

Vitargo Image

A Kick-Ass Week Ends With an OMG Moment…

6monthbefore&after copy2

Click the link to enlarge the image

Note From Paul:  As I have mentioned before I don’t work with anyone.  I teach them to teach themselves   The one thing I taught Shannon was the same thing I teach all of the people in the Extreme Fat Loss class.  Don’t lower calories too low.  You have to keep enough energy to crush WOD’s and improve.  

This picture is pretty astonishing and one thing that seems obvious is that Shannon is on the right path this time.  Too often people with a lot of fat to lose get too aggressive and crush themselves in the gym.  This whole time Shannon has been eating at a slight deficit, mostly whole foods but enough to sustain her energy levels.  In Met Flex for Extreme Fat Loss we teach you to fuel your workouts with carbs, for clients with a lot of fat to lose I like those carbs to be whole foods.  Shannon averages roughly 2,500 calories and as you can see her progress is going great.  

Every Monday night we have a seminar for our members with a good amount of fat to lose.  You can attend these free when you purchase the book using the link above.

This is Shannon Talking Now

Ever since I did Murph, I feel like my body has never recovered.  It’s not a bad feeling; it’s actually pretty awesome.  My body has been more sore than it was during month 4 and 5 and I think it’s because I am pushing myself a little harder.  I wasn’t aware that I was pushing myself harder, but my body is telling me that I am.

This past week has been a pretty awesome one.  On Tuesday of this week, I RX’d a the weight in a WOD that I really did not plan on.  We had to do 40 lunges at 65#, 30 at 75#, 20 at 95# and 10 at 115# (with the same amount of toes to bar in between).  I warmed up with the 65# and thought, “No way in Hell can I RX this!” until my “friend” Jill said very matter of factly, “I didn’t think I could do it either…you can do it!”.  30 minutes or so later I was pushing through those last 10 lunges at 115#.  Never in my wildest dreams….

Thursday’s WOD was equally surprising for me.  Fat Grace….  Fat Grace is pretty much Grace, but lifting your body weight.  Well…..I currently weigh 220 pounds and although I may be strong, I am not THAT strong.  Hell, most of the men in my box couldn’t power snatch my body weight.  What to do, what to do?  Just do Grace?  I had never done it before, so it would be a good time to try it…NAH!!!!  Let’s up it to 105# and see what I can do.

My plan was to do 5/minute at least for the first 10 and then see what happens.  I really didn’t think I would be able to keep up that pace, but you’ve gotta start somewhere, right?  My expectation for this WOD was to hopefully finish before 10 minutes….

I completed my first 10 lifts, looked at the clock…1:59…Holy Shit!  Can’t stop now!  The next 10 took about 3 minutes and those last 10 were completed as the clock read 7:24.   I had to really think back and double check that I really did do 30 reps…Yep!  30 reps…..

My week of WODS finished up today as we did Barbara at my box.  Really?  5 rounds of basically the mid section of Murph (except let’s add in some sit-ups too)?  I was so ready to cancel my reservation, but my husband showed no signs of cancelling, so I knew I was in for it….  My plan was to do 3 rounds.  I can get through 3 rounds.  I just didn’t want to be the last one finishing…again…

There is no shame in finishing last, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes, it gets tiresome when the elite and some not so elite athletes are huddled around you cheering you on.  While they are helping me push myself to finish so they can go away – you just wish they’d go away and leave you to your misery.  Today, Craig, our box’s Chuck Norris, walked by a few times cheering me on, and I thought, “You are lucky you are so adorable, cause I really want to kill you!”

I wouldn’t change it for the world though.  These elite Crossfitters give me something to work towards…one day, I will be that person that the person finishing last hates and loves all at the same time.

Anyways…back to Barbara…I finished all 5 rounds…45 minutes!  Woo hoo!!

Feeling so great about myself given my last week of WODS, I had my husband take a picture so I could compare it to my original.  That is what you see above.  While I am no where near where I want to be, it amazes me to see the difference in my face and body.  Damn, I was fat!

This is not my first drastic before and after.  About 10 years ago I weighed 295 pounds.  I was desperate and so unhappy and ashamed that I had allowed my body to get to that point.  My entire family, including me, was very active in Tae Kwon Do.  I loved it and was pretty good at it.  Unfortunately, my body could not do what I wanted it to do because of my weight.  Hell, sitting on the floor with my legs crossed was torture!

In November of 2003, I had gastric bypass surgery.  I came through the surgery with ease and was back to work within a week.  I stepped on the scale every day and was losing weight…every day!  It was incredible!  I tested for my black belt in Tae Kwon Do about 3 weeks after my surgery and felt amazing.  After all was said and done, I lost 150 pounds.  I got down to 150 pounds and looked pretty fantastic!  I was lifting weights at our gym and exercising – getting all sorts of attention too!

That all lasted about 3-4 years and then life happened….again.  I gained 100 pounds back and was terrified that I wouldn’t lose it again.  I tried several times, lost 10 pounds, gained it back, lost 10 pounds, gained it back…vicious vicious cycle….

Here I am today.  The before and after above may not be as dramatic as my 6 month before and after from my surgery, but it is far more gratifying!  I know that I will end up looking better than I did at 150 pounds, but the journey to get there is so much more rewarding than that journey I took after my surgery.  I know a lot of people reading this have struggled with their weight, just like me.  You need to keep going…don’t give up on yourself…you are worth the work and you will be so proud of yourself when you reach each tiny goal you have set.

Sorry no recipe today…BUT I have some delicious ingredients in my refrigerator for tomorrrow…..salmon burgers are on the menu for tomorrow!

Changing Your Relationship with Yourself

CrossFit it just different, plain and simple.  I am convinced that we are adding a significant piece to the puzzle.  You become a Science Lab member free of charge when you buy our book Met Flex for Fat Loss.

These are the comments of a member that has been doing the program for a while talking to a member that just signed up. (I’ve also included her response to me at the end.)

Screen Shot 2013-06-08 at 6.59.30 AM


This was her response to me when I messaged her asking if I could use her post:

Screen Shot 2013-06-08 at 7.14.28 AM

Back Squat Tip from Julia: Upper Back Tightness

Julia Ladewski works with some of the strongest people on the planet and is an EliteFTS sponsored athlete.  So she knows a thing or two about helping people get strong.  She also leads our women’s seminars in the Science Lab which is a service you get free when you purchase Met Flex for High Intensity Athletes.  For Julia’s bio and more info on Met Flex click here.

One if the most common mistakes that leads to poor technique, failing to increase strength, or worse, injuries is the tightness of one’s upper back in the back squat. The tightness you achieve in the upper back when you bench press (or front squat if you don’t bench) is the same tightness you want when you back squat.

Think about it this way… When you front squat, you have to keep your chest up, which means your upper back has to be real tight and strong or the bar will pull your forward. When you back squat you need to make sure your shoulder blades are pulled back and down.While you do that, you should try to point your elbows to the floor. This will lock your upper body into place and keep your chest up while you squat. If your upper back seems to be a weak point for you, be sure to train it using heavier front squats, good mornings and heavy rows.

Met Flex tip 2: Carbs before training or not?

sweet potato

Mike wrote Met Flex for our sports (Crossfit, Powerlifting and OLY Lifting) because nothing comparable existed.  He updates it monthly with ideas from Science Lab members (the support group for the materials), this also gets you access to the webinars we do four times a week where you can ask us questions in real time.  Click here for more information.

This is a very common question, and for good reason.   My preference is to have some carbs (and protein) before training if it is possible.


When you consume carbs (and some proteins), insulin levels go up.   Insulin is the fuel selector switch.  When it is higher, it shifts your body to use carbs.   As you know, carbs are the preferred fuel for high intensity exercise.   This way you are matching your nutrition to your training.

But what if I exercise early in the AM?

I totally understand that some train in the early AM and getting in much of any food is not possible.   Don’t worry, as all is not lost.  Your body has stored carbohydrates in the form of glycogen in the muscles and liver.   As long as your stores are adequate, you can still fuel your exercise session.


Metabolic flexibility is all about using the right fuel at the right time.  Your body is brilliantly designed to use stored glycogen for training when you can’t consume any carbs beforehand.

If you can get in some carbs before an intense exercise session, go for it.   If you can’t, you will still be fine too.

Mike T Nelson
PhD Candidate, Exercise Science

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes