Being exposed to both the CrossFit world as well as the Endurance running world in Tough Mudder is really quite a juxtaposition when it comes to nutrition. CrossFitters rally around the high protein and rather high fat menus as body composition being a big focus of training. Tough Mudder athletes and endurance athletes in general rely on the holy grail of glycogen (blood sugar) stores to keep them going and therefore go big on refined carbs and low on good fats.
Today I want to discuss and perhaps empower athletes from all disciplines to look at their training nutrition differently, staying away from always loading up on carbs for energy and rather focusing on nutrient timing and essential proteins to keep muscles performing at their peak levels. Here are 2 reasons not to 'Carb Load'.
Setting the scene for this discussion, you must know that what you eat ABSOLUTELY effects your overall health. Every meal can either add to or take away performance in your training as an athlete. Maintaining 'conscious' eating habits allows for a habit of setting yourself up for success in life and athletics.
First off, eating carbohydrates in an excessive manner means that you are doing 2 things to your body;
1- consuming fructose
2- deceasing your body sensitivity to insulin
Fructose is one of the 3 types of sugars that you consume, the others being Glucose and Sucrose. Fructose is found in fruits and is added to practically everything in our modern American pantry. Carbohydrates which include fruit juices and many sports drinks are loaded with excessive fructose. As opposed to other sugars, your body doesn't always know what to do with fructose and is quickly stored as fat unless burned immediately. Fructose has a way of tricking the body into turning off the hunger enzyme (ghrelin) which controls the quality and timing of your daily hunger. Fructose also turns off your satisfaction enzyme (leptin) which is activated to tell you when you are full. You can see just how a funky metabolic system combined with high sugar can lead to a host of health problems.
Now for insulin sensitivity. By consuming an excessive carbohydrate diet you run the risk of creating a situation in your pancreas known as insulin desensitivity. Your body produces insulin in a 1:1 ration with the amount of sugar that is consumed. The more you eat, the more your body works to keep up. De-sensitivity to insulin creates a host of metabolic problems like high cholesterol (LDL), high blood pressure, high blood sugar and Heart Disease .
Secondly, Carb Loading can cut down on your performance. Let me introduce you to HGH (Human Growth Hormone) . HGH is king when it comes to performance training and athleticism. You may know this Hormone from the many drug scandals in professional sports. Supplementation of HGH has been in question for a long time because increasing it can give athletes such an edge in their sports. Eating excessive carbohydrates decreases the production of HGH because of the imbalance created in the body due to an attempt to process carbohydrates.
Protein and fat are essential to keeping muscles and organs like the Thyroid and pancreas functioning well. By consuming more protein and fat you not only ensure proper hormone function but also increase the availability of essential AMINO ACIDS which help build muscle. If carbohydrate loading occurs without protein then all the gains from training are lost. Catabolism is a real thing folks. Without protein the muscles will turn in on themselves and further breakdown will occur. Carbohydrates, even the most nutrient dense versions, still cannot ensure adequate muscle function without the support of good fats and protein.
Now as a runner I see the need for easily digestible carbohydrates before and during races for quick sugar to fire muscles. I have tried eating super clean during long races and it simply isn't what I crave and cramping occurs. Training before races should be calculated. Allowing for your nutrition to be fuel for development and progression look different than the survival/fuel mode you are in on long race or competition days.
Stay conscious my friends and always think before you eat. Stay fired up and keep pushing to be the best possible version of yourself possible. Love , E.
Programming Notes 8/28-9/1
2.5/5# Rotator Cuff Drills (see my Instagram for sequence)
10 Scapula Push Ups
10 Scapula Pull Ups
10 Kip Swings
10 Jump Squats
Snatch Warm Up:
7 x romanian deadlift
7 x snatch high pull
7 x muscle snatch
7 x tempo overhead squat @ 23X1
7 x snatch balance
7 x power snatch to OHS
7 x snatch pull under
7 x hang (squat) snatch
CF Games Opens 2017 #3
Against an 8 Minute clock ,
6 Chest TO bar Pull Ups (scale to pull ups for speed)
6 Snatch 95/65
7 Chest To bar Pull Ups
5 Snatch 135/95
If completed, time extends to 12 minutes
8 Chest TO bar Pull Ups
4 Snatches 185/105
If Completed, time extends to 16 Minutes
9 Chest To Bar Pull Ups
3 Snatch 225/135
*ensure that scaling allows for all athletes to move into 12 minute cycle. Then snatch weight should be challenging and/or pull ups should be scaled up.
Partner Warm Up:
P1- Duck Walk 15m
P2- Bike For Cals
*alternate once P1 completes 15m. 6 minute AMRAP. Winning Team with most calories rests and other teams leap Frog hop each other 10 Times Each.
Kang Squat, Internal Rotation Stretch, Hip Bridge, Elbow TO Instep W/ T Spine Rotation, PNF, Squat W/ T Spine Rotation, BootStraps
Single Leg Strength:
Exposure 8 of 8!
Back Rack Reverse Lunges
2X4- Heavier that previous.
*once 4 reps are complete on each leg, drop weight 30-50# and Perform a max set of alternating reverse lunges. Weight solely on working leg, not on lunging leg.
20 Medicine Ball Cleans
30 Sit Ups
Divebomber Push Ups
Lat Band Mobility/ Bully Stretch/ Scapula Distraction
Exposure 8 of 8!
Weighted Pull Ups
Every 2 Minutes for 8 cycles
3-5 Bar Muscle Ups (scale to Jumping Bar Muscle Ups)
10 Hand Release Push Ups
12 Lateral Box Jump Overs 24/20” *scale height to allow for plyometric jumps
Partner Warm Up
P1- 1 Minute of Jump Rope
P2- Inch Worm W/ Push Up
P1- 1 Minute Of High Knee Jump Rope
P2- Mountain Climbers
P1- 1 Minute Double Under Practice
P2- Active Squat Hold
Shoulder TO Overhead Progression
*Take 5 Minutes to Cover Press/Push Press and Push Jerk
-5 Press 95/65
-5 Push Jerk
-5 Bent Over Rows
Toes To Bar Progression
-hollow Body hold
-Strict Toes To Bar (lat activation, push torso away, look up)
-Kipping Straight Leg Toe TO bar
-Kipping T2B W/ kick
X3 Double Unders (63-45-27)
Shoulder TO Overhead 135/95
Toes To Bar
-hip swivel Kicks
-Alternating Knee TO Elbow
-Glute Bridge W/ :02 hold
-Russian Twist X2
-Push Up W/ Shoulder Tap
“Tabata Something Else”
8 rounds :20 Work/ :10 Rest
*perfrom all 8 Rounds before moving onto next exercise
*rest 1 Minute between exercises
*Lowest score across all 8 rounds is score for exercise.
-Bike For Cals
-Lateral Wall Ball Throws against wall
-Hang Power clean 155/105
*add all 4 score together for total score for the day