February 13, 2014 5:32 PM

A month of performance

We are wrapping up the 2nd Performance Nutrition Challenge this week. Rather than focusing on Paleo or Zone, the goal has been to eat "real" food (including some starches) and tune in to how our diet impacts our performance. The goal was not necessarily lose weight, but several participants did. More importantly, though, was the observation of the cause and effect of eating and performance.

The format is simple. We did 3 WODs at the beginning, established a point system to reward clean eating, water consumption, sleep, supplementation (fish oil), alcohol avoidance, and WOD participation.

My performance in the 3 benchmark WODs were OK at best. Like most "masters," I was in the throes of recovering from various aches and pains. This particular week, it was my left shoulder. The workouts went like this:

  • Monday: Every :30 for 10 minutes, perform 1 Power clean + 1 hang power clean + 1 jerk.
Start as heavy as you want, you may not ADD weight during the workout, only remove it - score is weight on the bar at the end of the 10 minutes.

This workout was actually in my wheelhouse - I love clean & jerk and have been practicing hard for about 4 months to improve my form (with John McEvoy, Don McCauley, and Diane Fu). I loaded the bar with 145# and finished with that same weight.

  • Tuesday: 3RFT of 20 Wall Balls @ 20# and 20 KBS @ 53#

This workout was not so much fun. I was winded after the first set of wall balls and took too many breaks along the way. I finished in 7:00 even.

  • Thursday: Barbara with a 45:00 time limit

This crushing beast of a workout is 5 rounds of: 20 pull ups, 30 push ups, 40 sit ups, and 50 air squats. Rest 3:00 between rounds.

At the end of 45 minutes, I had finished 4 rounds plus 10 more pull up reps. Half my pull ups included using a green band (remember the injured left shoulder). I was the least happy with this performance. It sucked. A lot.

The main focus of the "nutrition" part of this challenge was getting my protein intake closer to 200g/day. I ate a cow's worth of steak and a truckload of eggs over the course of the last 4 weeks.

At the same time, I worked on my shoulder pain by doing very basic curls, presses, internal and external rotations, and mobility work daily (usually multiple times a day). I started very light (3# weights) and worked up through 5 and 8 pounds. This made for a relatively quick recovery.

Over the course of the challenge, I reached new PR's in front squat, back squat, and dead lift.

We started to re-test the same 3 WODs this week.

  • Monday: Every :30 for 10 minutes, perform 1 Power clean + 1 hang power clean + 1 jerk.

Started with 160# and finished with that same weight. I think I could have done 165#, but it would have been close. I improved by 15# on this workout in 4 weeks.

  • Tuesday: 3RFT of 20 Wall Balls @ 20# and 20 KBS @ 53#

This one was still a gasser, but I took much fewer breaks and got bigger bunches of both movements. I finished in 6:32 - taking 28 seconds off my previous time.

  • Wednesday: 2 rounds of 1 muscle-up, 2 ring dips, 3 snatches (115#), 4 OHS (115#), 5 chest to bar pull ups, 6 hand release push ups, 7 box jumps (30") and 8 KBS (70#) 

This was not a benchmark from 4 weeks ago, but notable to me anyway. This was the first ever WOD that included muscle-ups that I actually got the muscle-ups. I had to get 1 muscle-up and 2 ring dips in each of two rounds. I got both on the first try and completed the dips while I was up there. Also, chest to bar pull ups were solid, strong, and unbroken. Lastly, first WOD using 70# kettlebell. *Felt AWESOME*

  • Thursday: Barbara with a 45:00 time limit

No bands. 20 unbroken pull ups in the first round. Better pull ups throughout the workout. I still ran out of time, but my shoulder felt great. I finished 4 rounds plus 85 reps. This was 75 reps better than 4 weeks ago. Furthermore, I did not stop at 45:00 - I finished Barbara in 46:43. Not within the time limit, but it is my PR regardless.

Have I lost weight? Nope. I expect to weigh in and be almost exactly the same. However, I am feeling like a winner because my goal was to improve my performance, and I did that big time.