Staying out of the 'Zone'... Article 1
For an explanation of the CROSSFIT methods and the ZONE diet click HERE
I believe that Crossfit is currently the best GPP program out there. In all honesty, how can you argue against that? This 'machine' has so much data to back up it's claims, that you would be a fool to say otherwise. The ineffectiveness of gym balls, x-trainers and pilates is slowly beginning to filter through. We are starting to understand that things like marathons,triathlons and biking all day long, are not actually that great for us. Have you ever been to the start of a marathon? Have you seen what these supposedly top-level athletes actually look like? Mark Rippetoes lifting friend once said that ' If I was given the choice between looking like a marathon runner and having a heart attack, I'd take the heart attack.' The oxidative pathway is something best to avoid if you want to hang onto your years.
Greg Glassman (founder of crossfit), stated that Crossfit is always evolving, and that if something better comes along, then Crossfit will adopt whatever makes it a better program. Robb Wolf soon figured out that an unweighed, unmeasured Paleo diet, seemed to be preferable to the 'zone' with regard to performance and insulin regulation. It became quite clear that, in his opinion, quality would always beat quantity. In terms of the programs structure, Greg Everett and others felt that people would benefit from a more structured lifting program. This has been at the forefront for some time, and as I stated before, is the reason we are seeing things like Rutherfords Black Box producing some great athletes.
So why don't we hear more from these guys? As most know, things came to a head at the Black Box Summit a while back. Apparently HQ didn't take kindly to being told that their program might still have room for improvement. Bye Bye Robb and Greg. I know we all got that horrible feeling in our stomachs when we were ostracized on the main page for making any comments relating to the incident. But I am starting to go off track..
The reason I have brought this up is to take a look at the 'Zone' diet. This is the diet as recommended by Crossfit to keep us performing at a high level consistently. The idea is that your food is weighed and measured precisely according to a 'block' method, based on your height/weight and activity levels. From here it doesn't matter what you eat, as long as you stick to your allotted 'blocks'. The good news is that if you are looking to lose weight, you most certainly will. But here, in MY OPINION, are the downsides.
The 'Zone' is basically just a clever way of controlling your calorie intake. You still eat a fair proportion of carbohydrates but are constantly running on a calorie deficit. To be fair, it is recommended that your carbs come from fruit and vegetables. But being told that you have the option of eating rubbish and can still stay on track makes things hard for a lot of people. Being permanently hungry and still addicted to sugar is no way to go through life. Nor is having to isolate yourself from friends/family because you need to count how many nuts you're eating. Think about how ridiculous the idea of eating 12 almonds actually is. Wondering, 'is that a medium or large almond?' People become obsessed. Thats not good. I know people really suffer (as I did) and feel permanently tired and lacking in energy. Don't let your relationships or your training suffer because of a diet that breeds obsessive behaviour. Some people get on really well with 'zoning', but many struggle daily, under the false impression that this is doing them good.
You may have heard about, or even partaken in one of the Paleo challenges that Crossfit Bath run. You can see the astonishing results on the 'Testimonials' page. These guys have stripped bodyfat, built muscle, and improved performance in 7 weeks. They did not weigh or measure their food. They felt GREAT. These athletes continue to make incredible progress in their lifts and their metcons, and can still eat dinner with their families! But what's even better is that they are eating quality food, and most are probably eating much less sugar than the 'Zone' prescribes. Healthy and Happy!
Everything written here is just my personal take on things and does not necessarily represent the opinions of the guys who run Crossfit Bath. The information on 'Zoning' is pulled from my personalexperience, and from what I have witnessed in others. Also, I was not at the Black Box Summit, and have drawn on what I have read from the parties involved. The main purpose here is to make sure you question everything you are told, and then go find out for yourself.