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In our previous blogs, we defined alpha … not what people think it means, but what it actually means. Then, we looked at applying alpha in terms of nutrition, fitness, and training programs. Now, let’s take a look at it on a very personal level. It’s time to find YOUR alpha and become a force of change. But first, let’s define some terms.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent: Occurring at irregular intervals; not continuous or steady.

Fasting: Abstain from all or some kinds of food or drink, especially as a religious observance.

Ok, now that is out of the way. Intermittent Fasting, or IF, is becoming a fad again. This is sad because IF does have validity, but only if it is applied in the right setting to the right person.  So again, everything goes back to application for the individual. (Can’t come up with a template for that!)

IF is typically used by people who want to lose weight. The most popular way to apply IF is to restrict your eating window by continuing not to eat until after most people would be eating lunch.  This is referred to as the 16/8. Staying fasted daily for 16 hours, and then eating in an 8 hour window.

This is intended to limit the amount of food you are eating on a daily basis. This puts you into a caloric deficit which will, in theory, reduce body fat. Where this goes wrong is that just because you are restricting your window to consume food, does NOT mean that you are reducing calories. You could still  be consuming more food in that short window to compensate.

Issues with intermittent fasting

If you are fasting every day for the same length of time, it is no longer intermittent.  Additionally, depending on the amount of carbohydrate intake you have, you may be jacking your blood sugar up and down without any consistency. This can lead to feeling fatigued from intense fluctuation and long periods of time without any food, contrasted by times of extreme eating or even over eating.

Here’s the fix! Rather than fasting every day, take 1-2 days per week and go completely fasted from food you have to chew. Some fats and proteins in the form of liquid will curb your hunger and keep things healing. Using collagen and bone broth will help to take the edge off and promote healing of the gut lining.  This will also help reset insulin sensitivity and reduce the amount of weekly calories you consume. This will in turn create a caloric deficit and cause weight loss.

If you have more questions about IF, or how to utilize a fast for your nutritional plan, please reach out to us. We would love to help!!!

Volume

This is defined as the amount of training (sets, reps, total poundage, total time in the gym, etc.).  Volume is accumulated over days, which rolls into weeks, then months into years.

Appropriate volume is dependent on many factors. Here are 3 Big Ones:

  • Training Age: How long you have been training.  An individual has a high training age if they have been in elite level sports through high school, into college, and are now participating in a sport like CrossFit.  Conversely, an individual with low training age has never played sports but is now participating in strength and conditioning as a way to stay or get in shape. The higher the training age, the more volume you have built. And, the better the ability to handle and recover from training.
  • Nutrition/Nutrition Optimization:  An example would be if a CrossFit athlete is eating very low carbs or keto. They will have the capacity for less training volume due to recovery factors.  Conversely, it may be possible to increase training volume if the athlete’s nutrition is set to optimize recovery based on specific demands.
  • Lifestyle:  This is HUGE! This is what your stress and schedule look like outside the gym.  Factors that will cause athletes to lower training volume are things like job, shift, children, and basically anything that will increase stress load.  Conversely, if you have lower overall stress and optimal sleep patterns, you’ll have a better overall ability to keep stress levels low.

Training is all about building volume. But, if too much is added too fast, or things are added out of place, it 100% will cause damage and result in a training debt.  Here is a prime example of how to cause damage building volume.

Example: An athlete starts CrossFit training. After 3 months of training, he decides that he wants to compete and immediately adds in 3 additional days of double met con training sessions.

Now, this could work, but it can be a big risk as well. It could also result in over training and under recovering for that individual.  In an athlete with that low of a training age, a more appropriate addition of volume would be to add in some basic aerobic work in addition to regular training. He could also add in an increase in some basic structure, which will add durability and  calories.

A case study in Volume: Louie Simmons

Louie Simmons of famed Westside Barbell has been performing at an elite level in powerlifting for 4 decades.  He claims his volume is higher now than 2 decades previous. With that said, however, it is allocated much differently.

In his younger days, the volume of squats, deadlifts, and presses were much higher than today. However, now the overall training time and volume is more. But, it is allocated to things like weighted abdominal work, special accessory work, or other general physical preparedness (GPP), rather than the traditional work of only the sport specific movements of the squat, bench and deadlift.

Training volume can be your best friend or your worst enemy. You need to add it where it needs to be added. Often times, it is not the super sexy training you want to add, but rather specific needs for you personally to make sure you are building towards where you need to go to individually and specifically.

If you need help evaluating your training volume, or help in learning how to add volume appropriate to you, please contact us!

Let Heroic Fitness help you find your alpha

So there you have it … understanding intermittent fasting, training volume, and everything that affects it is just one tool in your arsenal as you begin to find YOUR alpha. Contact us today to get started with the training and nutrition program meant for YOU.