How many calories are you really burning at your Crossfit Class? Enough to allow you not to worry about your calorie intake, food sources, and nutrient content of your diet?
I’m afraid not, the reality is that you’re not burning as many calories as you think and the nutritional decisions you make based on the false notion that you’re burning hundreds/thousands of calories is dropping a massive roadblock on your road to success.
Do not fall into the trap of thinking that if you train like it’s your job you can avoid any responsibility when it comes to your diet. You need to have a tailored approach to your nutrition that’s based on your goals, lifestyle, experience, and tastes.
DO YOUR SKILLS PAY THE BILLS?
We work with people with varying skill levels at pH Nutrition, from new members to games athletes.
Let’s break down a normal class. Your coach (should) talk you through the class, explain the workout and take you through a warm up. There may be a skill or strength portion to start of a class.
Ding….first thing to note – this portion of the class can vary hugely on calorie output. If you are doing 4×8 deadlift with a superset of banded good mornings then that’s pretty intense.
But what if the first part was strict HSPU or build to a heavy snatch for the day? Then you have those that can rep out HSPU like it’s a set of air squats and those who can’t manage a single rep so perhaps they perform a regression on the box.
For those doing the regression, despite the fact they’re challenging themselves, it can mean not doing that much work from a calorie burning standpoint.
If the first part of the class (or even all of it) requires a movement that you aren’t proficient at and need to regress then you’ll spend a significant amount of time trying and failing.
Does this equate to a good workout?
Well in a way yes. If you progress your skill this is awesome. From a purely caloric output point of view not so much.
We have all been there – learning to snatch with the bar or a couple of dinky plates each side, going nowhere near parallel before your shoulders/back/neck/wrist/hip/knee start screaming.
Then you look over to the person who is more skilled, stronger and has been doing crossfit for 4 years. They’re throwing up 80kg snatches like it’s a wooden dowel.
YOUR SKILL LEVEL MASSIVELY DICTATES YOUR CALORIE OUTPUT.
Now we come to actual workouts. In the WOD your skill level will again dictate the calorie output. Can’t do double unders? Cool, you have single or jumps.
But have a few and want to get better at them?
You may have 30 unbroken pull ups but if the first part of the workout is 100 double unders you spend 60% of the workout whipping yourself and doing intervals of five jumps.
Maybe you are thinking, so Liam, how do I do CrossFit and lose body fat / get stronger etc?
This is down to your box and coaches to guide you, but it takes awareness.
- Awareness that you may not need to “refuel” as much after each class.
- Awareness that you may need to check the ego at the door – do a lighter weight to ensure you get more quality reps in.
- Awareness that just because you work out 7 times a week, your overall calories may need to be a bit lower than you think.
Look at the type of session and the actual amount of time you spent working out. This is not an exact science as some workouts that look less “sexy” may actually help you reach your goals faster than the 9-5-3 muscle ups and snatches.