Crash dieting (n., kraSH dī-iting): extreme caloric restriction, oftentimes coupled with excessive exercise (namely steady-state cardio). Time-frame can range anywhere from a few days to several months.
People who crash diet are in a hurry to drop the most amount of fat in a short time frame. Crash dieting can take multiple forms, including but not limited to: consuming only a select few specific foods (eg. only crackers and lemons), engaging in bizarre rituals, and mixing together foods that suddenly possess magical power.
Many sports are organized in such a fashion that mandates formal mastery of some skill before advancing to the next level. With Tae Kwon Do, you start out with the white belt, then you progress to yellow belt, and so on and so forth until you finally obtain elite black belt status. Gymnastics works in a similar fashion: once level 5 is reached, the athlete is required to meet a minimum score before moving forward and eventually becoming an elite gymnast. There are strict rules to adhere to and milestones that must be achieved. With general gym training, however, such rules do not exist.
Trap bar deadlift, then sumo, then conventional.
Goblet squat, then front, then back.
Crawl, then walk, then run.
The regular readers of you know that I’ve been an intermittent faster for the past couple of months now (click here for a primer). There are many things that are great about it. I decided to give it a whirl some time ago and decided that I liked it, so I stuck with it. Just last week, however, I woke up in the morning and said to myself, “I would really like some bacon right now.” And so with a side of eggs (over easy!) and a bowl of oatmeal with berries, I very merrily consumed my very first real breakfast of the year 2012.
It wasn’t entirely on a whim, however. Ever since I started interning at Cressey Performance, I’ve had to make the adjustment from being a sedentary, full-time student sitting on my butt for most of the day to standing on my feet for the better part of 10 hours. Talk about a boost in NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). Unsurprisingly, my body was in for a shock and I found myself fatigued during the first week. I felt… depleted. All the time. It probably didn’t help that my first calories weren’t consumed until 3p.m. after a 10:30a.m. training session (and yes, BCAAs were consumed before, during, and after.
So I made the logical decision that I would try the whole eat-breakfast deal again. Perhaps, if I was lucky, Breakfast and I could once again become fond friends. Maybe rekindle our long lost companionship?
Today’s piece is the first of its kind on this site. As many of you are aware, I’ve been spending this summer working as a coaching intern at Cressey Performance in Hudson, Massachusetts. So far it’s been a wild ride – I’m learning a ton, having fun, and pretty much bathing in awesome 24/7 what with all the incredible people here. I am one of six interns, and we’ve all become close pretty quickly. The idea came to me sometime last week to have a collaboration post with each of the six of us contributing and offering a different angle. We eventually agreed to write on overlooked training mistakes that most of the active population is likely to make when in the gym setting.
Here’s our final product. Let us know what you think!
Two years ago, I was eating out with some friends at a burger place. It was my first time there, so I asked the waitress what their best appetizers were. The sweet potato fries, she said. Oh, and also the onion strings. You can get them split half-and-half because they really are just that good. She went on excitedly about how they were just about her favorite food and that she regularly ate a whole order in one sitting. Mind you, she had far from the leanest figure; in fact, she was morbidly obese and had difficulty walking. After we’d placed our orders and she walked away, I shook my head and remarked that I hoped that woman would take better care of her health before something happened. A girl – let’s call her Sue – sitting at the table with us stared at me long and hard. I knew she had some choice words just itching to burst their way out of her mouth. “They can’t help it that they’re obese!!” she spat, disgust written all over her face.