Last week at CFW…
A few weeks ago someone asked me “Why aren’t triathletes more ripped?”. He said, “it’s the end of the tri season, shouldn’t they be more lean at the end of the season than when it started?”.
My answer was most of their diets suck and tri-guys eat like they are preparing for the Kona World Championship when they’re only doing a few sprint races all year. I also jumped to their training. So many do 6 mile runs, 1200m swims, and 30 mile bikes all week every week when, again, only preparing for a race with a 500m Swim, 12 mile ride, and 3 mile run. So by the end of the race season they’re so overtrained, constantly inflamed, and carrying a chronically elevated coritsol state from the stress and lack of recovery they allow themselves.
But the conversation lead to me looking at the statistics for body fat percentages of the average person and that of athletes. Which led me to think we are all in need of losing a few pounds.
On the Triathlete thing, I came to the conclusion that the only thing separating most tri-guys from the normals is the exercise they do, not their diets or the body fat percentages. Many tri coaches agree being slightly overweight (+15% BF) doesn’t impede the swim or bike much, if any, at all. Only in the run does being slightly overweight begin to cause us problems.
The running community says 1lbs of body fat = 1 minute on a marathon race time. At first that doesn’t sound like much, but drop 5 lbs and you get a 5 minute faster Marathon! That is huge. Oddly, most runners will run more in an effort to improve their time, than simply fixing their diet and dropping a few pounds.
“1lbs of body fat equals one minute on a marathon race time”.
The average body fat carried by Americans is 24-28% in males and 35-40% in females. The American Council on Exercise says accecptable, normal percentages of body fat are 18-25% in males and 25%-31% in females. In other words, the ACE says it’s normal for a 180lbs male to carry over 40lbs of fat and a 135lbs female to have 45lbs of body fat.
Really??? These “normals” are ridiculous. The average normal Amercian is overweight, heavy, obese… call it whatever, they’re fat.
Contrarily, the average fat percentage for athletes… all athletes, not just tri-guys, are 7-11% for males and 9-14% for females.
This is certainly the case in the higher performing CrossFitters. But most CrossFitters are somewhere between normal person and the athlete percentages, with the tendency to be closer to the normal folks.
So if body fat effects running, a movement we’ve done since we where only a few months old and requires very little range of motion from any joint, so drastically, what does it do to our CrossFit workouts? Like running, with CF there are no pedals linked to gears that increase speed through decreasing ratios. There is no fluid medium in which we can “float and paddle”. The few pounds weigh what they weigh and they weigh you down.
There are only 4, maybe 5 members at CFW that are 10% or less bodyfat. All of us can lose 5 lbs… most of us would benefit from losing 10lbs, and those of you that need to lose more, let’s get to it!
So here’s the deal… we’re doing a “Don’t be Normal” contest. I don’t usually do contests and challenges… I tend to think you should motivate yourself. But, it’s time to light a fire under our collective arses!
What better time than the holiday season when it’s all too easy to chunky up?
The rules are simple. By Friday of this week, submit a before picture of yourself in shorts (guys) and shorts and sports bra (ladies) to email@example.com with the subject line “not normal” and on December 18th you’ll submit another pic showing the new “ripped” you. Stop by the office and have one of the instructors weigh you on our scale and record your weight. We’ll repeat the weigh in on December 18th.
Both weight loss and end body fat percentage will be considered. I.e., a person that starts at 40% body fat, loses 30 lbs and gets down to only 20% body fat may not beat a person that starts at 25% bodyfat, drops 15lbs, and hits a 12% body fat.
If you’re heavier, don’t let this discourage you. You have more reason to drop pounds… don’t underestimate your motivation and drive. Once the pounds start coming off, it’s easy to keep them coming off.
The winners, 1 male and 1 female, will get 4 months Unlimited Classes Membership at CrossFit Wilmington.