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The 2019 Clandestine Holiday Gift Guide!

Add these items to your list to Santa this year (or, if you’re in the giving spirit, gift the items on this list to the fitness lover in your life). Our gift guide is in three categories, priced low to high!


STOCKING STUFFERS (UNDER $20)

1. Never complain about your thumbs hurting on snatches and cleans ever again! This tape is a miracle worker.

2. What better to say I love you and Let’s work out than with a new pair of silicone rings for you and your sweetheart? Honestly, we can’t think of one.

3. Eat your meals like a fitness pro – in glass Pyrex containers! Alright this might be a little tough to fit in a stocking… but if it will help keep your fridge stocked with healthy food, we’re here for it.

4. These knee sleeves happen to be the most affordable on the market ($14!), and they’re also used by weightlifting champs the globe over. If they’re good enough for Lu Xiaojun, they’re good enough for us!
 

HANDSOME PRESENTS UNDER THE TREE (UNDER $49)

1. Clan. Gear. Need we say more? Shop the entire Clandestine Strength collection of shirts and sweatshirts here.

2. For the WOD: May we recommend a sweet new set of gymnastics grips? Pro tip: Snatch these up on Small Business Saturday at the locally owned fitness outfitter Tooth x Nail.

3. Double-unders still mystifying you? Perhaps it’s time to invest in a speed rope of your own. Practicing on the same rope that’s cut to your height can help tremendously in stringing those double-unders together. Kind of like Harry Potter and his wand (11 inches long, made of holly and containing a phoenix feather core): the spells and charms work best when you use your own wand.

4. Protein powder curious but not quite sure where to start? We recommend Vital Proteins‘ collagen+whey blend for workouts and Earth Fed Muscle‘s bedtime casein.


MICHAEL SCOTT iPOD LEVEL ($49+)

1. From Nike Metcons to Reebok Nanos to NOBULL trainers, it’s important your shoes can support all the fitness that you put them through. From squats to deadlifts to running, the folks that make these shoes know  the shoe needs to be as versatile as possible, so that you can wear them to do all of these things.

2. You need it. I know it. You know it. It’s time to start making stretching a part of your daily routine. An annual ROMWOD subscription would make a lovely and long-lasting gift.

3. If you’ve got the CrossFit trainer shoe category already covered, chances are you’ve thought about investing in a weightlifting shoe. We love the Reebok Legacy Lifter.

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WODBLOG

Fueling A CrossFit Games Athlete: What Food I Brought With Us To Madison

As many of you know, my partner Vernon Neal made his first trip to the CrossFit Games this week. It’s been an incredible week with nothing but highs and more highs. We have absolutely everything to be proud of and thankful for and we are so humbled and blown away by this experience. BUT ALL CHEESINESS ASIDE… I did say on our Instagram page that I would be sharing all the food I packed with us to Madison! Well, here’s what happened: A CRAZY, BUSY, EXTRAORDINARY WEEK HAPPENED…and I was barely at the hotel! So, unfortunately, that little kitchen tour never happened. And well, at this point, you wouldn’t want a tour anyway, because we’ve ate most of the food I packed!

So, I thought I’d do a little blog post explaining and detailing what I chose to bring and why. But before I begin, a little caveat: NOT EVERYONE IS A CROSSFIT GAMES ATHLETE. If there is anything I am sooooo tired of seeing in the internet fitness world, it’s people irresponsibly influencing people to eat like bodybuilders and succumb to a life of pre-portioned broccoli and chicken and zero calorie dressing when they are in fact, not bodybuilders. Luckily, CrossFit athletes require a very different diet….but the sentiment is still the same: if you are not a CrossFit Games athlete, don’t feel like you need to orient your life around eating like one! The main purpose of this post is to show you what the “ceiling” looks like: that is, what’s on the far, far, far end of dialed in and prepared as an athlete. If you take away one or two things from this post, cool! If not, that’s cool too!

Planning for the trip to Madison, I knew one thing: we’d be driving the four-hour trip. This opened the doors to prep as much food as I could (we’d have no problem fitting it all into our vehicle), knowing that as long as we had a fridge and a microwave in our hotel (we did), we’d be good to go. My biggest concern was actually that the fridge wouldn’t be big enough! Luckily, we had reserved a room with a kitchenette, which included, along with a microwave and a fridge, a stovetop. The fridge is also a full-size fridge with a freezer, which is great. I actually ended up prepping so many meals in advance that I haven’t even turned on the stovetop once yet, though. I knew we’d be on the go a lot and working on tight schedules so I decided against planning to cook any food there. If we were going on vacation and had lots of time to relax, or if we had flown in to Madison, that stove would’ve probably been used. I’ll get to the food itself in a moment, but here are some items I packed to support our nutrition this week:

  • Shaker bottles (even though we’ve also gotten new ones through vendors and the Games- something to keep in mind for next time)
  • Plastic forks, spoons, and knives
  • Napkins
  • Table salt (VERY important to replenish electrolytes, especially with outdoor events– every meal gets salted before eating). We used pink Himalayan salt.
  • Loose leaf tea for winding down at night
  • Protein powder — I brought an entire tub of whey protein as well as some pre-portioned bags for on-the-go. I also brought some other supplements for athletic performance, but that is not the focus of this post so I’ll skip going into detail on that.
  • Dish soap and sponge — this one is very important and easy to overlook!
  • Plastic sandwich bags
  • Nalgene water bottles
  • A stick of butter to add to meals as needed…. yes, you heard me correctly.
  • A mini jar of olive oil. Vernon and I both do really well with eating fats regularly.

I’m sure I’m missing something but that covers the basics! As for the meals themselves, I brought:

  • Three Origin Meals with me, a meal delivery service. These were intended for me to eat, not Vernon, as the macros don’t really fit his specific needs.
  • I didn’t count, but I think I brought somewhere in the ballpark of 10 pre-portioned meals for Vernon. These were either grilled chicken or beef burger patties with mostly white rice or sweet potatoes and some kind of roasted vegetable- either broccoli or a veggie mix. Keep in mind we are here for six days so as you can see, I did leave room for some restaurant meals.
  • I also brought extra servings of chicken breast, chicken thigh, ground beef, white rice, and diced sweet potatoes for myself and as backup if we blew through the pre-portioned meals. These I just ended up bringing in larger Tupperware whereas the above meals were in meal-sized Tupperware. Because I’m not competing this weekend, I mostly ate out of this stash, or the Origin Meals. It wasn’t as important for me to have my meals pre-portioned.
  • I brought some raw veggies as well, like cut up peppers, spinach, and tomatoes.
  • As soon as we got here, I went out and picked up some bottled water and LaCroix.
  • The only fruit I have with me here are blueberries.
  • Greek yogurt (unflavored), and beef jerky for some additional protein

I think that about covers it! Even though I’m sure there are some amazing restaurants in Madison, we haven’t really experienced any of them. The last thing you want to do close to a competition is eat something unfamiliar and risk the consequences of feeling not your best. So, the couple times we have eaten out, we’ve gone to the tried and true: Chipotle. Vernon has also had two official CrossFit dinners that were catered. We’ve gone out for coffee (espresso with tonic water or a pour-over, nothing added) a handful of times.

All in all, this has been an amazing experience, starting about twelve weeks ago when Vernon’s training shifted dramatically to competition training. In these past twelve weeks, I can honestly say it’s been incredibly rewarding preparing him for the CrossFit Games and doing as much as I possibly can to keep him healthy and fueled and, most importantly to him, full!!

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WODBLOG

You’re chasing the wrong measure

We’re seeing a lot of promotions on the internet that go a little something like this: “Lose 5% body fat following our program or your money back!”
 
Now, don’t get me wrong. This could be a generous offer. What’s better than getting something for free, right? I also certainly wouldn’t want to take anything away from someone who has taken this offer and worked hard to reach that goal.
 
Let’s take a step back and look at what losing 5% body fat really looks like.
 
First: let’s put the “five percent” in perspective. If I told you I’d give you 5% off the price of your gallon of milk, would you think that’s a good deal? Probably not, right?
 
By this logic, signing up for a fitness challenge to lose just 5% body fat seems like a no-brainer. Easy. Done. A few workouts a week, eat right, and everything should just fall into place, right?
 
The answer: It depends. First, how “difficult” It will be to reach this goal depends what your body fat percentage is to start out with. The lower your body fat is to start out with, the higher the tradeoffs will be. For instance, for a woman who is currently 17% body fat, her entire life would have to be restructured to get to 12%. She would need to follow a meal plan to the gram. Her lifestyle is likely to cause riffs and tension within her personal life, as socializing around food becomes harder. She would need to train up to 10 rigorous exercise sessions per week.
 
OK then- how about a little something less extreme then? How about a male looking to go from 35% to 30% body fat? Here, the tradeoffs may appear less insane, but let’s not downplay the significance of major lifestyle changes. He will need to exercise three times per week, and stick to this schedule. This may require him to say no to other commitments. He will need to eat fewer processed foods. And he will need to be consistent enough with these principles (and many others) that his identity will start to change. He will feel resistance coming from within himself. He will feel old habits creep up. He will need to fight hard to let go of his ego and allow change in. His friends and family will need to adjust to this new person. He may feel like this is too hard.
 
As you can see, even in the “less extreme” example, losing just five percent of your body fat is no small feat. I am not saying it can’t be done. We have helped individuals who have done this and more. As you can see in the pictures below, even small changes in body fat percentage result in very different looking bodies. The reality is, changing the physical state of our bodies is a slow process. No one wants to talk about that.

 
One thing the fitness industry does really well is promise EVERYONE that they too, one day, will become Super Lean, as long as they continue to follow X diet or X exercise program. As you can see in the infographic, the tradeoffs of varying degrees of leanness are real. More on these unrealistic expectations here:
 
For example: suppose you lose 5% body fat in three months, wouldn’t it follow that you would lose another 5% body fat in another three months? The answer?: Not likely, except in the most dedicated and precise of cases. As you become leaner, the costs of continuing to lean out become increasingly higher. You will need to do more and be more aggressive in your approach as you move toward increasing leanness. (These boot camp style programs aren’t designed with progressions and periodization so your physical fitness also stalls body composition changes, but that’s a post for a different day.)
 
This is why so many of these programs have great short-term success rates but the long-term success rates tend to lag behind, because people become frustrated that the healthy habits they worked so hard to form are no longer “working.”
 
If you are ONLY chasing a number on a scale, one of two things will eventually happen: you’ll reach that number and then wonder, like a dog that caught its tail, “now what?” Or, you won’t reach that number because the sacrifices required to get there have increased tenfold since when you started.
 
This is also why body fat is *one possible* measure of success that we use at Clan Strength, but not the only measure. There’s also, ohhh I don’t know, everything else related to your humanity and lived experience as a human being, unrelated to a plastic scale:
 
– Noticeably improved physical fitness
– Healthier relationship with food not rooted in guilt or punishment
– Stronger (whether for you that means deadlifting 300lbs or hoisting a suitcase into the overhead bin without knocking out your seat mate is your business)
– More energy to do the things you love and the things you never thought you could do
– Improved sex drive
– Improved ability to define what matters to you most in life, create boundaries for upholding that, and hold the line
– Better sleep
– Decreased risk of metabolic disease (aka live longer)
– Healthier muscle mass (as weight loss is often coupled with loss of muscle if not done properly)
– Decreased pain as a result of incorporating functional movement into your daily life
– Healing wounds and traumas to align yourself with a more loving version of you
 
As you can see, we are not really talking about trivial stuff here. Now let’s return to our original example and explore the reverse possibility. Suppose you take the offer, but you don’t lose 5% body fat in the allotted window. Are you more likely to see yourself as a failure? Are you more likely to resent yourself and your body? Are you more likely to revert to old, comfortable habits, because nothing that you do matters anyway? Most likely…yes, you are.
 
We don’t play games like that with your self worth. And we don’t play fast and loose with your mental, emotional, and physical health in the name of reaching a certain number.
 
Because I know someone will ask, yes, you can lose weight following our program. We’ve helped many do just that. This is not meant to invalidate anyone’s goal to lose weight. But weight loss is not the same as healing, and there is soooo much more LIFE to grab onto than that. So let’s go reach for it.
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WODBLOG

“Health Food” Myths

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🦄 “Health Food” Myth: Yogurt is always a healthy option.

Yogurt CAN be a healthy choice, but it can also be no different than having a scoop of ice cream (unless that’s what you’re going for, in which case we say, definitely go for the ice cream then!).

Greek yogurt is a great protein-packed choice, and its probiotics have the added benefit of improving gut health. It’s versatile (can be used in sweet or savory meals), and has incredible texture. YUM. 🤤

BUT! Read your labels! In comparing the two yogurt brands pictured here, one is flavored while the other is plain or unflavored. One cup of Greek Gods brand in the Honey Vanilla flavor contains 33 grams of sugar – a cup of Haagen Dazs strawberry ice cream is not far off at 40 grams of sugar. As for the plain Fage brand? It clocks in at 6 grams and no added sugar, just the naturally occurring milk sugar.
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Too many numbers all Greek to you? The good news is, you don’t even need to read the nutrition facts. Simply look at the front packaging! Here are a couple clues that the Greek Gods brand is not-so-great, without even needing a magnifying glass to read the nutrition facts… #1: it’s flavored. Flavored yogurt = Added sugars (most of the time). And #2: you have to look closely, but it clearly says “Greek yogurt style.” Greek yogurt *style* is food marketing code for NOT EVEN REAL GREEK YOGURT! Greek yogurt is a potent source of protein. Regular yogurt? Not in the slightest. A cup of Fage Greek yogurt yields 20 grams of protein. Greek Gods “Greek yogurt style” yogurt? A pitiful 8 grams.

We’ve pictured the Fage brand that has 2% fat because we want to emphasize that a little bit of fat in your yogurt (this one contains 4 grams per cup) is nothing to be afraid of. Healthy sources of dietary fat are an important part of a well-rounded diet. The problem with 0% fat yogurt is that the fat is often replaced with sugar in order to make it palatable to consumers. Fage DOES sell a 0% fat yogurt with zero added sugars, for those of you watching your fat intake closely (for various reasons), but for most of us just trying to eat a healthy, no-nonsense, well-rounded diet, a little bit of fat in our yogurt is nothing to be afraid of.

Clan’s recommendation? Go for the UNFLAVORED Fage Greek yogurt brand.

If you find the unsweetened flavor to be too strong and unenjoyable, try adding some fruit to naturally sweeten the taste. A handful of fresh raspberries in your yogurt is a much healthier option than raspberry flavored yogurt!

We’ll be sharing more of our favorite food myths, so stay tuned!

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How to succeed with any goal

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When you come to Clandestine Strength, or even just take a peek at our blog, you’re probably here for the fitness. But fitness (training) is actually just the tip of the spear of what we teach. Whether your goal is athletic performance, weight loss, general wellness, or any other goal, THIS pyramid is our hierarchy of needs to getting there.

If you’re ever feeling stuck, like you’re putting in the work but not seeing the results in a certain area, try addressing the pieces below it on the pyramid, and see if that makes a difference.


For example, if you’ve been meticulous, thorough, and consistent with your diet but still aren’t making progress, try looking at your sleep quality or your stress-management before giving up on your nutrition altogether or making your nutrition approach more aggressive.


If you’re working out regularly and putting forth your full effort in the gym but you feel like you might have hit a strength plateau, look to improve the quality of your movement. There is a lot to be gained by simply improving the mechanics of your air squat before deciding the only way to improve your 1RM back squat is by squatting heavier.


You can also think of movement as simply moving more, especially if your goal is wellness or weight loss! This doesn’t mean adding in more workouts in a day, but simply more activity, from household chores to walking: more movement and less sitting.


*** Note: if you’re completely new to working out and have never really “trained” before, we have found that STARTING with training (the top of the pyramid) can be a powerful catalyst for changing everything else on the pyramid. If you wait to start working out until you’ve managed your stress, perfected your diet, and sleep like an angel, you may never start. Start where you are! The other pieces have a way of falling into place. That is an important exception we’ll make to this “order” of needs.

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♡ my rules for self-care ♡

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“Self-care” is a buzzy, trendy word that evokes in any reader oodles of comfort and safety when they read it. While candy bar companies have been milking the self-care lane for years (“take a break, you deserve it!”), self-care is quite en vogue right now, spreading its message far beyond chocolates wrapped in colorful paper.

Glass of wine? Self-care.

Skipping the gym? Self-care.

“Cheat meal”? Self-care.

Expensive clothing item? Self-care.

Netflix marathon? Self-care.

…You get the picture. It seems any “vice” or seemingly “naughty” thing to do is seen as an automatic form of self-care. There’s no denying that any one of the above could be considered self-care. It’ll always depend on the person and what they consider to be a fair tradeoff. These all can be valid forms of self-care. But actively rebelling against your health and your own interests (whether than be financial, nutrition, or fitness-related) should not have a monopoly over what self-care is. ♟

If eating a tray of donuts will fill you with guilt and shame afterwards, causing you to miss later commitments and to spiral further, if it will cause you to react and retaliate against yourself, if it will spur a cycle that will only cause more pain for you, then eating that tray of donuts is not self-care.

If buying an expensive item you don’t really need creates more stress than it brings meaning and value to your life, then buying that expensive item is not self-care.

Skipping the gym is a tricky one: as a gym owner, I want to be careful I am not suggesting that anyone should ever feel held hostage to their gym routine. It is normal and healthy to take breaks, rest days, and to have other responsibilities that might keep you from a workout. But if skipping the gym becomes a pattern that feels more like self-sabotage than self-care, it is worth considering if you’ve put the right boundaries in place in your personal life and social life that will allow you to stay consistent with your fitness. If skipping the gym feels like a binary choice of “I can have no life and go to the gym” OR “I can go to the gym and meet my fitness goals” then skipping the gym is not self-care (but going to the gym is never going to be self-care, either). It simply means you have more work to do: more boundaries to draw up, more priorities to get crystal clear on, and more practice in articulating those priorities clearly to the people around you.

Are you guys catching my drift on this? The bottom line is this: self-care does not have to be actively unhealthy choices. Self-care can also be

  • Waking up early on vacation to work out because it feels good to have some quiet “me” time before the craziness of the day, and it will energize me for the rest of the day
  • Sharpening pencils and admiring how pretty they look afterwards 😍
  • Saying “no thank you” to a mediocre treat I don’t really want but feel obligated to eat
  • When a friend asks if I want to get dinner at the same time I planned on working out, letting that friend know that I will be busy but will be free after, instead of skipping the workout altogether
  • Feasting your eyes on a work of art or simply being in nature
  • Spending time with an animal
  • Cooking while listening to a favorite podcast or music
  • Riding the bus or waiting for an appointment without looking at my phone, but rather just quietly observing the world around me and feeling content in my own thoughts
  • Accepting a compliment from someone without belittling myself
  • Asking for something (that isn’t hurting anybody) without apologizing

Self-care simply doesn’t need to be the cliche image of lounging in a bathrobe and online shopping with a glass of wine in hand. It can be as simple as doing a type of exercise you enjoy, decluttering a closet, or being early instead of rushing. It can be as profound as letting go of something toxic in your life that isn’t serving you.

However you want to define self-care, that is your business. No two self-care protocols will look the same, and what’s not worth it to me might be worth it to you, in the same way one person may view a $500 bag as “worth it” while someone else won’t. If you’re paying off the bag long after the thrill and novelty wore off, maybe it simply isn’t worth it. If you’re feeling sluggish and bloated and craving yet more sugar after treating yourself to a few self-care cupcakes, maybe those cupcakes aren’t really a form of self-care, for you, right now. This stuff is never set in stone. It just requires reflection and inquisitiveness. No judgements. No punishments. Only information.

I believe you must advocate for yourself and play for your own team. Absolutely. But I also believe you must be detached enough to be CURIOUS rather than judgmental. Instead of “omg I can’t believe I ate that…” try the approach of a neutral researcher: “Hmm. That’s interesting that I reacted that way. I wonder what would happen if…”

Let this curiosity guide your self-care routine. Self-care is also a form of self-respect.

That’s all I got ✌️

Now go out there and love yourself!

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Sweaty Saturday

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“Angie”

For Time:

100 Pull-ups

100 Push-ups

100 Sit-ups

100 Air Squats

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WODBLOG

Why I’m not drinking right now

I recently noticed that I have inadvertently spent the past year abstaining from any alcohol, and today marks exactly one year since my last drink (thanks, Google Photos, for the reminder). This was not a deliberate choice. This time last year, there definitely wasn’t any formal “I’m quitting” decision. But a year later, here we are.

Rather, I have just low-key decided that I’m not drinking “right now.” When presented with a drink, I’d simply respond with “no thank you” or “no thanks, I’m good” or “a water would be great.” That “right now” turned into a year and counting.

I’m not here to convince anyone that alcohol is bad. Sure, I could very easily cite some research that states how alcohol affects your sleep, how it often derails weight loss efforts, or *insert statistic here.*

But that’s not why I’m here. I’m here because I know there might be someone reading this that has contemplated at some point in their life what positive, credible role drinking serves in their life right now or for their fitness and health goals. And maybe that person has thought that choosing not to drink at all is reserved only for people with severe, life-threatening dependency issues with alcohol. For the rest of us, “moderation” is the one-size-fits-all answer.

We’ve been told this by beer commercials and health magazines alike. So sweeping is this prescription of “moderation” we hardly question it.

My only goal here is to say that moderation can also mean a year and counting without drinking. Moderate drinking is often defined as 1 to 2 drinks per day. I guess I’m in the “zero” drinks category, but that still feels unfair to people like my partner, who has not had a drop of alcohol in eight years and whose sobriety is very much a part of his identity. His decision to not drink is final, forever, case closed. Mine is… open. It seems that neither decision is wrong, but we just don’t have the language to define the differences. As a society, we’ve grown to accept sobriety as a necessary decision in order to combat the unrelenting forces of addiction, and in only the rarest of cases. But we seem to have a much harder time accepting sobriety as an unfixed lifestyle choice in the absence of alcoholism. It’s… uncomfortable. Kind of a downer. Lame. Have a little fun, would ya?

As of now, I’m not sure when my next glass of red wine or NorCal margarita will be. It could be a month from now or ten years from now or never. All I know is that, for me, right now, I am enjoying alcohol not being a part of my equation. So, I’m not drinking right now.

Moderation does not have to mean “I only drink on special occasions,” “only in social situations” or “only when I’m realllllly stressed out.” The truth is, I no longer associate alcohol with having fun, being social, or with relaxation. So for me, moderate drinking actually means that I don’t drink unless I see it fitting in with my life and what’s important to me. Right now, a drink is just not jiving with that.

There aren’t many resources for people for whom “moderation” looks a lot like sobriety. Rightfully so, there are many resources dedicated to addiction and recovery. There could always be more. But it’s my inkling that people who just “aren’t drinking right now” may need some level of support and to know that they, too, are not alone in their decision, either.

So, let me know in the comments: are you in the “zero drinks” category? If so, let’s bust that vague designation wide open. I’m sure we all have different stories and perspectives to tell. If you’re not in that category, have you ever thought about deliberately not drinking, for any length of time and for any reason? If so, what kinds of resources would you need to feel supported in that decision? Let’s talk about it.

-Coach Caitlin

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Sweaty Saturday

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“Kalsu”

For Time:

100 Thrusters (135/95lbs)

*Every minute = 5 Burpees until completion

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WODBLOG

The important lesson I learned while prioritizing post-workout nutrition

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As gym owners, a question we get asked a lot is “what should I eat after a workout?”

It makes perfect sense why this is a common question. You’d hate for all your hard work in the gym to go to waste by an ill-conceived meal afterwards.

In fact, we’ve also actively encouraged our athletes to think about what a post-workout meal should consist of, oft-noting after a tough workout how important it is to replenish glycogen stores and repair muscle after a workout through adequate carbohydrate and protein consumption. You might hear one of us say, “don’t skip that rice tonight!” after a particularly grueling workout.

I must confess though, this advice is predicated on the assumption that every other meal is on point, which includes rest day meals, pre-workout meals, intra-workout nutrition, and any other eating, snacking, or meal throughout the day. In fact, it’s a necessary precondition: post-workout nutrition is only effective if the environment is already primed and ready for it.

We must master the basics before we focus on the details. I’m putting “post-workout nutrition” in the ‘Details’ category.

Suppose you work out three times a week. Suppose you also eat three meals in any given day. That means you’re eating 21 meals per week (not including snacks), and three of those would be considered “post-workout” meals.

There’s no denying that post-workout meals are important. But I would argue that the other 18 meals in your week are far more critical to your health and to reaching your health and fitness goals.

Another issue with putting too much emphasis on post-workout meals is that “post-workout nutrition” often gets misinterpreted to mean “I can eat whatever I want after the workout because I worked really hard tonight.” Cue the fried rice and cream cheese wontons, the cheese curds and beer, or whatever else someone may think they ‘earned.’

But even when it doesn’t get misinterpreted that way, that is, even when post-workout nutrition is on point, the primary focus should still remain on the other 18+ meals throughout the week. Let’s not mistake the forest for the trees! However stellar your “post-workout nutrition” is, it still won’t be enough to move the needle without addressing all the other variables that go into a more comprehensive approach, such as:

  1. How many meals are you eating in a day?
  2. Do you know how much you’re eating in a day?
  3. Do you know if your protein intake is optimal?
  4. Do your meals always contain a lean protein, vegetables, a healthy fat, and if they contain a carbohydrate, a minimally processed one?
  5. Are you eating slowly?
  6. Are you eating to 80% full?
  7. How is your sleep quality?
  8. What is the overall volume of your sleep?
  9. What are you doing for exercise?
  10. What else are you doing to fit movement into your day?
  11. How is your movement quality?
  12. What measurable steps are you taking to manage your stress?
  13. How supportive are the people and things around you of you and your goals?
  14. Do you feel in control of the food choices you make, or do you feel turmoil, anxiety, and feelings of restriction, guilt, pressure, or obligation around food?
  15. …And how consistent are you with all of these measures?

When you consider the above 15 variables, it’s easy to see how “I’m working out three times a week and I’m having my post-workout shake with my post-workout meal of white rice and chicken; why am I not seeing progress?” is a common question we get asked. Well, we can start by looking at what the other 165 hours in the week look like outside of your workout, as well as what the other 18 meals in your week consist of.

As you can see, what you eat after a workout is one small piece of the puzzle. Heck, what you eat in general is only part of the equation!