As always, the biggest success is the T-shirt.
Here are the cash and prizes winners:
3rd Place: Mike McNamara 95.59%
Mike had a somewhat unique goal coming into the challenge of actually eating more food to put on some muscle. For those of you that don't know the pain, this is actually a much more difficult and tedious task than trying to lose weight. If you know Mike, you know that he has a very active job and also burns a ton of calories from all those long walks on the beach. I think he hit the gym consistently between 8 and 15 times (only a slight exaggeration) a week during the challenge, competed in his first ever CrossFit competition, and saw tons of strength gains across the board. Not to mention adding a few pounds onto his frame. Great job all around.
2nd Place: William Straughn 97.31%
Will embraced the challenge right from the start. After using the two week intro period to figure out exactly how to make things work, he really dialed in with superior consistency for the 8 scored weeks of the challenge, not only with his macro targets but also in the gym. And what did he get to show for it? Nearly 13 pounds of average weight loss over the 8 weeks! That is phenomenal, and a great example of how actually eating more food (in the right proportion) can fuel your body correctly and lead to awesome changes in a short amount of time. Congratulations sir, and keep up the hard work!
1st Place: Chris Nieburg 99.66%
No, that is not a typo. 99.7%. The only way to describe this man's performance is militant precision. He hit 100% for the vast majority of the days, by following a consistent routine and eating nearly the exact same thing each day (except that day he fell asleep and forgot to eat his pre-bed Hawaiian roll). This is not for the faint of heart. I can think of no more of a fitting winner for the challenge, because this is a great example of how consistency over time pays off. Chris was actually eating a metric ton of food at the very start, but after the first 4 weeks we decided he was losing weight TOO fast and we might be risking some muscle loss or performance detriment in the gym. So he actually added in more calories in without batting an eye. All said and done, he dropped an average of 12 lbs for the 8 weeks of the challenge, and is still making huge strides in the gym (the other day he was supposed to be doing deadlifts with 225 and accidentally power cleaned it). Congratulations Chris, you earned the victory!
Since there were only a handful of others out of the original group of 40 to actually finish the challenge, I thought it would be worth mentioning here. Congratulations to this group for sticking with it and finishing the challenge as prescribed. I know for a fact that many of the names on this list have seen some huge progress over the last 8 weeks (read: PRs) as well:
There were also some others that reached out to me to say that even though they didn't finish the challenge, they are still tracking macros and making it a part of their life, and seeing results. And that's really all I ever wanted. They deserve a congratulations here as well. Not to mention a few that were derailed by life events (family issues, surgeries, Crusher Races, etc.) yet still managed to track and stick with it for the majority of the challenge. Also, although she refused to participate, Katy Zwick would have easily been in the top 5 of this challenge and has been working very hard on nutrition for the last several months.
And last but not least, I don't want to brag on myself, but apparently there are some naysayers out there that don't really think I practice what I preach ... unfortunately there's no IQ test for membership at BARx .... yet. I started tracking macros over a year ago (320 days according to MyFitnessPal) but have only really dialed it in over the last 4 months. I diligently entered my numbers into the sheet throughout the challenge, and it is available for you to view here:
Yes, as you can see I would have barely placed second in my own challenge, really putting me in my place for thinking that nobody would even come close to my level of anal retention when it comes to macros. Boy was I wrong. Congratulations to all of our participants. I hope everybody at least learned something other than how to obtain a moderately priced t-shirt, and can take something away from all this tracking and measuring that will be useful for the rest of your fitness journey. Great work!
And for those of you that are kicking yourselves because you missed out this year, or because you weren't ready, or because you gave up after two weeks ... don't worry, there will be another shot coming next year. Start practicing now.