Calories revisited..

Calories - you can't just run them off......

Calories – you can’t just run them off……

Calories.  We just can’t stop thinking about them…

How many we eat, how many we think we SHOULD eat, how many are in a particular meal… whether that is a good or bad amount…..

And of course how many of them we can ‘burn off’ during exercise… (even the rowing ergs have a calorie setting….)

If only it was as simple as that.  Balancing a ledger of energy intake and expenditure.

Energy in = Energy out.

CrossFitCals

Most of the numbers here are of no relevance to exercise effectiveness. Heart rate and VO2 give clues about intensity, which is a requirement, but calories burned matter little.

Writing it a little more accurately may look more like this:

Calories eaten + (insulin resistance) + (carbohydrate load) – (undigested food) = BMR (basal metabolic rate) + (thermic effect of food) + NEPA (non exercise physical activity) + exercise

Now that’s just a made up formula, but hopefully it helps us see that it’s not as simple as the first example.

Also…..I’ve got bad news – exercise doesn’t burn a lot of calories.

The average CrossFit workout is going to burn 250-350 calories.  Compare that to the 2500-3500 calories we consume per day from food.

That’s right, a bout of exercise burns around 1/10 of our energy intake each day.

So if it was all about burning more energy than you take in, you better talk to your boss, find out how much leave you have accrued, and get busy…. cause you have got a LOT of exercise to do…..!

It’s important that this concept is well understood, even if not physiologically, then at least conceptually.  Otherwise it’s easy to doom yourself to a daily check in of calories burned, of hours exercised, of sweat shed, of pain endured, and grams gained and lost on the scale.

It’s a big part of why in some people we see resistance, whether sub-consciously or overtly, to skill practice, to strength work, to warm ups, mobility and short conditioning pieces.  They don’t feel like they are doing the right things, or enough of the right things, to burn all of the calories….

Exercise is not the primary driver for fat loss or muscle gain.

Nutrition is.

But, we can use exercise to determine whether weight gained or lost is comprised of muscle or fat.  Whether muscle gained is functional (makes you stronger) or non-functional (makes you bigger).  Exercise can get you better at your sport, help you sleep better, improve mobility, rehab injury, prevent injury and sure, if it’s once in a while, exercise will make your body less prone to storing the calories from a sub-optimal meal as fat, but it’s not a formula you should rely on.

The below isn’t really a formula, but it’s better than thinking of the two factors as being at odds with each other.  And it’s better than thinking that more exercise and more calories burned is the right thing to do.

Exercise helps you to DO stuff better (strength, flexibility, coordination, power, endurance).  Nutrition helps you to BE better (healthy body composition, insulin, blood pressure, blood glucose, inflammation etc all under control).

Training March 6-10

MONDAY

A1.
Front Squat
5 x 6, building
A2.
Single Leg Romanian
5 x 6 e/leg

B.
12 Russian Step Ups
10 Powell Raise e/side
8 Russian Swings
30 sec Ring Plank Hold
AMRAP in 12mins

A1.
Back Squat
5 x 6, building
A2.
Single Leg Romanian
5 x 6 e/leg

B.
12 Russian Step Ups
10 Powell Raise e/side
8 Russian Swings
30 sec Ring Plank
AMRAP in 12mins

TUESDAY

A1.
Strict Press
4 x [2-3-5, same weight]
A2.
Handstand Hold
4 x 20-30 sec

B.
30 sec Row
30 sec Wallballs
30 sec Burpees
Rest 5 minutes
3 sets

20 sec Handstand Hold
Max Strict HSPU
20 sec HS Hold
Max Kip HSPU
Rest 3mins
3-4 sets

B.
30 sec Row
30 sec Thrusters 35/25kg
30 sec Burpees
Rest 5 minutes
3 sets

WEDNESDAY

1. 3 Deadlifts, building
2. 10 OH Situps
3. 50m Farmers carry
4. Dub practice
5. Rest
EM x 40
A.
Power Clean
Build to a heavy 3, (high, middle, low catch)

B.
1. 5 Power Clean @ 75% of A.
2. 15 CTB
3. 50 Double Unders
Alt EM x 15

THURSDAY

A1.
Double KB Front Squat
12-10-8-6-4, building

B.
1 Rope Laydown
2 TGU
4 Strict Pull Ups
10 Shoulder Taps
20 Slamballs
40m Bear Crawl
AMRAP in 15mins

A.
Front Squat
8-6-4-8, heavy

B.
1 Rope Climb
2 TGU
4 Muscle Ups
10 Shoulder Taps
20 Slamballs 15/12kg
40m Bear Crawl
AMRAP in 15mins

FRIDAY

A.
Single Arm Bent Row
3-4 x 10, building

B. [no measure]
2 min Row
2 min Rest
2 min AMRAP: 5 Pushups + 5 TTB
2 min Rest
2 min DB Snatch
2 min Rest
2 min Shuttle Run (10m)
2 min Rest
2 min AMRAP: 5 OH squats + 5 Burpees
2 min Rest
2 min Airbike
2 min Rest
2min AMRAP: 5 Wallballs + 5 Russian Swings
(26mins)

A.
Weighted CTB
Build to a heavy 1

B.
2 min Row
2 min Rest

2 min AMRAP: 5 Pushups + 5 TTB
2 min Rest

2 min DB Snatch 20/12.5kg
2 min Rest

2 min Shuttle Run (10m)
2 min Rest

2 min AMRAP: 5 OH squats 20/15kg + 5 Burpees
2 min Rest

2 min Airbike
2 min Rest

2min AMRAP: 5 Wallballs + 5 Russian Swings
(26mins)