Hi folks! I have had some questions on this so I thought I would share a blog about it.
The open is less than a month away and many Icon athletes are getting excited for this big event.
Often times individuals associate peak performance with being lean; there is also the concept that optimizing your power-to-weight ratio will give you a competitive edge. Of course, there is a lot of truth to that, especially in a sport like CrossFit where there is a high emphasis on strength along with body weight movements that require us to move our bodies through space, favoring a lower body mass. Completing a high volume of pull ups is easier if we are pulling a body that weighs less, and many cardio events favor carrying less body fat. This prompts many athletes to try and get as strong as they can while having as minimal body fat as possible to avoid ‘carrying around’ excess fat mass.
In theory, this works. In application, it is not so straightforward. You may be familiar with the terms endomorph, mesomorph, and ectomorph. Essentially we are all predisposed to different body types, with some individuals gaining fat mass easily (the endomorph), some body types being more predisposed to increasing muscle mass while maintaining a leaner figure (the mesomorph), and some individuals just have a hard time gaining anything (the ectomorph). Much to the frustration of many (essentially everyone but the mesomorphs), we can’t fight our genetics and body frame. We can work within our body frame and predisposition, but we have limits as to what we can achieve.
When we set body composition goals we need to consider what our limits are. Think of what your body type is – endomorphs can achieve low body fat levels but it can be extremely difficult and typically comes at a cost – what it takes to get that low is usually not sustainable. Ectomorphs will be limited with just how ‘big’ they can get.
Looking at the Open, I again remind athletes of your body types; I also want to reiterate weight goals I’ve previously discussed. I do not recommend a weight loss or gain of more than 1 lb a week – for anyone! It is not worth what it would take to achieve greater weight loss/gain. Weight loss at rates greater than this amount compromises the energy that is available to our training, recovery, and ultimately performance. Restricting our intake for a month or two and then eating a good ‘pregame’ meal before the open just won’t cut it. Your training on a day to day basis impacts your performance at the Open significantly and cutting weight rapidly just won’t allow you to train as hard and recover efficiently from your training.
That is my advice. Being a few pounds heavier than what you would like, but knowing they you supported optimal training for the past few months will absolutely result in a better Open performance.