But as is always the case, the success of any undertaking hinges solely on one factor and one factor alone: the quality of the T-Shirt. I mean, essentially that's what we're really paying for, right? And I must say that in this regard, it appears HQ has really stepped up their game with some high-quality blended-fabric Reebok apparel. At my original cert in 2011, they handed out some of those crappy Hanes 100% cotton shirts. You know, the ones you can get a 4-pack of at Wal-Mart for $1.99? And they're so cheap because they can only be worn once, at which point you have wash them and render them useless by changing the fit and feel to roughly that of a cardboard box? Yeah, those. But what has struck me today is not the quality of the new shirts, but rather what is scrawled on the back of them. Here it is:
Copyright CrossFit. Trademark CrossFit. All rights reserved. CrossFit. Please don't sue me.
For those of you lacking in higher education, this is what CF refers to as "The Theoretical Hierarchy of the Development of an Athlete." This is fancy-talk for "A Pyramid of Important Workout Stuff." The part I want to call your attention to today is the base. This is where they place Nutrition, and on this point CF and I could not agree more. Which totally explains why we spent the vast majority of last weekend's cert discussing the topic of nutrition in-depth, exploring with an open mind various types of nutritional approaches with their benefits and drawbacks, and discussing how to potentially implement these with our membership ... yet amazingly we only spent 20 minutes humping a PVC pipe during a very forgettable portion of just one of the days. Oh wait, sorry. Scratch that last sentence - and completely reverse it.
Nutrition might be the base of the hierarchy, but clearly the rungs and frame are all built out of Schedule 40.
Unless of course we're talking about Paused Overhead Squats, in which case I think we'd all rather chug a broccoli-kale smoothie.All of these are pretty good reasons to just throw our hands up in the air, give up, and avoid the topic of nutrition and diet altogether. That would surely be the easy way out. We (BARx) have made some attempts in the past to focus on diet through a few "challenges" that we did over the course of 8-10 weeks at various points throughout the last 3 years. I've analyzed the available data on those attempts, and spent many a sleepless night reflecting on them. And today I have an important confession for you: they were all failures. Now, that doesn't mean there weren't some people who saw some success or positive outcomes from these challenges - it simply means that as a whole, we had a lot more people who didn't. There were some high points and some good takeaways, but the vast majority of people saw no tangible benefit. And that is unacceptable. But the good news is that I typically only stumble onto my face 7 or 8 times before I figure out exactly what went wrong. And after a lot of reflection and a lot of research into some unconventional topics that have little to do with diet and fitness, I think I've come up with a damn good solution.
So that's your reward for trudging through yet another one of my posts4: you get to be the first to hear the news. I am starting a nutrition program at BARx, and it's going to be unlike anything we've ever seen or tried. There won’t be any goals laid out beforehand. There won’t be some elaborate tracking system handed down to you on the first day. We’re not even going to concern ourselves with what you’re eating and when you’re eating it for the first couple months. We won't be weighing ourselves or our food every day, unless that’s a habit you already happen to have. There will be no promise of results in 30, 60, or even 90 days. This is not a diet “challenge”: this is training. And hopefully we can build some habits that will benefit you for the rest of your life.
Please email me personally if you're interested in learning more. Space will be limited for the first group, mostly because I want to make sure I get this off the ground properly. I can't give away all the details just yet, but it's important that you know that this is open to anybody and everybody at our gym, regardless of past experiences, fitness level, or current diet regimen. It's also important to remember up front that I have no real credentials: I'm not a doctor, a trained nutritionist, or a scientist. I don't have a 12-year degree to help me figure out that we shouldn't drink 7 Mountain Dew's every day. I'm simply a coach with an idea, some good experience, a lot of passion for this particular topic, and a willingness to help ... Oh, and a $500 T-shirt.
1 I know you're wondering what the muscle-up cue is. Get to work on your strict pull ups and dips and maybe I'll let you know one day.↩
2 By using the term we in this context, I hope you realize that I'm referring to everybody except me. So ... you.↩
3 I'll probably give this a post all its own someday, but I have absolutely come to loathe the term clean eating. You should join me in this, and every time you hear it feel free to go ahead and throat punch whoever said it.↩
4 I purposefully embedded this very important announcement at the bottom of the post, to weed out those who don't have the attention span to read a 5-minute article.↩