2017 Lifestyle Challenge Wrap-Up!
CF 416 coaches and staff would like to extend a huge congratulations to all participants in the 2017 Lifestyle Challenge! This year, we had 89 people partake. We witnessed some amazing transformations over the course of the challenge. There were two individuals that stood out.
Our 2017 Lifestyle Challenge winners are Amanda Secor and Mike Bogias!!!!
These two demonstrated that, when you put an emphasis on consistency, nutrition, exercise, and recovery, it directly correlates with improved performance and body composition.
Amanda started a new job that required her to be testing wines on a weekly basis. Dedicated to the challenge’s guidelines, she employed any means necessary to avoid consuming the many samplings that crossed her path. She was extremely consistent in tracking her daily food intake and bonus points, which resulted in a total point tally of 365.
Amanda entered this year's challenge looking to improve her body composition while simultaneously improving her performance, which is exactly what she did. Amanda improved her test WOD score by 2 minutes and 24 seconds, added 3 pull ups, and had a 14 second PR on her 2 KM row.
As for her body composition, her reaction after leaving her post-challenge measurement by Ben said it all: all smiles! (as always). In addition, Amanda is down 2.48lbs (waiting on actual numbers).
Mike was our 2015 Lifestyle Challenge champion, and entered this year’s challenge looking to reclaim his title and ended up knocking it out of the park. Over the six weeks, Mike lost a grand total of 17.1 Lbs., added 5 reps to his max pull ups, shaved 6 minutes and 26 seconds off of his test WOD time, and improved his 2 KM time by 39 seconds.
Every morning throughout the challenge, after finishing the 6 AM class, Mike would be parked in the corner, consuming his post-workout, "real food" recovery. So… much… tuna!
Preparation really aided Mike in attaining his weight loss and performance goals. As for Mike’s continuing fitness journey, he says he plans on continuing to count his macros, ultimately resulting in him ending up on the cover of Men’s Health in December 2017. Good luck, Mike!
Aside from Amanda and Mike’s winning performances, we had a number of other noteworthy performances .
Julie lost 13.2 Lbs., and significantly improved her test scores. Julie added 6 pullups, took 75 seconds off of her test WOD, and 8 seconds off of her 2 KM row. In order to see this sort of progress, Julie had to overcome a lot of ingrained habits, but, by doing so, showed huge improvement as the challenge went on. Julie went above and beyond simply tweaking some habits, truly making a 180 degree turn. Amazing effort, Julie! Keep up the amazing lifestyle changes you’ve managed to make in such a short time (although we’re sure it felt like ages at times for everyone).
Tara entered this year’s lifestyle challenge looking to improve her performance, which is exactly what she did, shaving 3 minutes and 45 seconds off of her test WOD, 34 seconds off of her 2 KM row, and adding 2 pullups in the process.
Tara showed remarkable consistency throughout the challenge, posting nearly the same number of points on a weekly basis, diligently prepping her food every week, and taking care of her exercise and recovery needs.
Her hard work has been paying dividends in the gym, as she continues to improve on a weekly basis. Last week, she managed to get her first kipping pullups. Great work, Tara!
Habits Post Challenge
The intent of this year’s Lifestyle Challenge was to provide participants with the tools and support to help people achieve fitness goals both in-, and outside of, the gym. Whether you are seeking improved body composition or enhanced performance, nutrition is a foundational element for attaining nearly any fitness or performance goal. Fuelling your body properly will alter how you feel, recover, and perform. We can’t stress that enough!
So, now that the challenge is over, you might be wondering where to go from here with regards to your nutrition and meal planning? Let’s be completely honest: following the Challenge's nutrition recommendations 100% of the time for the rest of your life is fairly unrealistic. My suggestion would be to follow a few of the key recommendations you can stick to, and turn them into habit.
The challenge wasn't meant to punish you for six weeks, but to show that changes in health and lifestyle can be sustainable. To help you out a bit, here are some key recommendations to consider now that the Challenge is over:
Eat consistently: Never skip a meal; snack between meals to prevent extreme hunger and overeating
Macronutrients: Keep tracking your macros as much as possible. You may run into times when tracking isn't realistic, however, on the days you do have control, keep tabs on what you are eating to ensure you are staying on track.
Timing: Eat within that one hour window post-exercise. This will help to minimize muscle loss and enhance protein synthesis i.e. the GainTrain
Alcohol in moderation: Okay, this will never go away entirely, but taking a moderate approach to drinking is reasonable. Aim for no more than 14 drinks per week for men and 9 for women, limiting yourself to no more than 2-3 drinks in a 24-hour period.
Don’t feel guilty: So you slipped up and had that cupcake or that greasy bacon cheese burger. Now what? Move on! Enjoy it, don’t feel bad, and get back to healthy eating during the next meal. At the same time, don’t lie to yourself. Be accountable for your cheats. If you truly want to continue to see changes in your fitness and body composition, treats should be kept to a minimum (1-2 times weekly).
Here are a couple of words from our winners:
Mike: “I just found out that I'm the male winner of the CrossFit BODZii Challenge™. Super Awesome! I'd like thank all of the CF416 coaches and our nutrition expert Emilie for putting this together in its third year running. I really look forward to it as a focused reset period when work and life get in the way of good health.
Last year I failed the challenge miserably, mostly because I couldn't wrap my head around counting macro-nutrients. I'm from a Greek family and this type of behaviour is seen as shameful. However, I committed to becoming a science experiment for 6 weeks, and now I'm really happy with the results. My pants fit better, I can move better, my conditioning has improved, and I carry myself with more confidence (even more).
For those who were on the fence this year and decided not to participate in the challenge, I hope that you change your mind next year. The reality is, most of us are not competing in the CrossFit games but many of us are competing in the "most balanced life challenge". This is perfect opportunity to tip the scale towards good health when it often takes a back seat to other things in life.
Couple of last Thank You’s:
Thank you to Chelsea (my wife, high five), for helping with the meal prep and the macro counting. You're not bad.”
And finally thanks to my aunt and uncle for identifying that I had become fat over the Christmas holidays. Sometimes it take family to be upfront with you, or just to insult you out of pleasure. Either way, I'm 18 Lbs lighter today so I'll take that motivation anytime. :)
Amanda: “I took the challenge very seriously this year, more a personal feat to hold myself accountable.
Not surprisingly, like most, the hardest part was avoiding alcohol. Super challenging given I started a new job in the wine industry - which means I think about, talk about, and look at wine ALL day. Do you know how many tasting opportunities I turned down? How many hours I spent in LCBOs without buying anything? How big my wine collection became?
I had to be the new girl that continually explained that I couldn't drink... but also quickly follow up with 'and but NO, I'm NOT pregnant' (I figure being the new pregnant girl would be worse then the new lame healthy girl).
This challenge also killed my social life. It's really the best way to make you super aware of how much your life revolves around eating out and drinking. Thankfully I was not alone, fellow lifestyle challengers and I would meet for our 'sober series' a couple times a week. I also slept a lot more and took the extra time to stretch and to some creative meal-prep. “