Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Testimonial: Nic

My co-worker Nic, who joined my NSA Mid South CrossFit group last year, sent this report to me.

In the spring of 2010 I weighed 210 pounds, and for that PFA (physical fitness assessment) I scored a 273 calories burned on the eliptical machine, after doing 80 pushups and 99 situps.
Note: the Navy test starts with pushups, max in 2 minutes, then a rest, followed by situps, max in 2 minutes, followed by the "cardio" portion. 
Seven months later, I weighed 217, burned 274 calories, and hit 80/100 pushups and situps respectively.  So my work output did not change.  However, for the spring PFA, I spent two days wrapped in plastic, wore a plastic bag when walking and on the treadmill - in other words, deliberately tried to dehydrate myself, and was sucking on ice cubes to keep my mouth wet, just so that I could get below my max percent of body fat. 

For the fall 2010 preparation, I didn't touch the plastic, nor make any change, except that I did not drink 1 liter of water when I woke up...

In other words, by including CrossFit in an already prodigeous training regimen that Nic followed (and follows), and by modifying his diet with carb restriction to a max of 100g/day while eliminating wheat from his diet, he lost enough fat that he didn't have to worry about his weigh in. 

If you've never been in the situation before of facing a pass/fail measurement of your belly, which will dramatically and negatively change the trajectory of your career if you fail - you may not know how significant of a change this is.  He didn't say it, but what Nic means is he went from weeks of figuratively and literally "sweating" it out for his PFA weigh in to a "no problem" attitude.  What do you suppose the impact might have been on his ability to deliver the goods in the office, with his family, and to his workouts, now that's he's not 'sweating' that load? 

We can also tell from the combination of a smaller belly with a 7 pound weight gain that he was trading less than desirable (fat) mass, for increases in muscle mass and bone density - which is good for most athletes, non-athletes, senior citizens and probably for anyone over the age of 7.  It's becoming more and more well known that a smaller abdomen in and of itself is a marker of improved health, whereas abdominal circumference in excess of 40 inches is a strong predictor of the chronic diseases of the west.

Nic's the kind of athlete you have to rein in - he's always pushing his body to the limit, and trains much like I did at his age, with a mix of barbell training, martial arts, and metabolic conditioning.  As the song goes, he has "a smile for everyone he meets", and never backed down from any workout I threw at him.  It was a pleasure working with him.  Now he's setting sails to take command at another locale, so let me say "thanks" Nic, fair winds and following seas!
(minor edits 13 Apr 11, 16.20)


  1. Didn't get the chance to say goodbye. Instead I did burpees at most of my pit stops. 19 hrs 246 burpees

  2. As a part of this group, Nic was not only a motivating factor in our office but that competitive factor that helped push me to go beyond what I thought I could during our crossfit sessions. Nic (LT) I'm gonna get fat without you here movtivating me and setting the example. I guess, I'll have to do it myself. JK