Brent Fikowski came to me for nutritional guidance after a 2012 Wodstock competition in Ipswich Australia. He was completely exhausted following the day event and knew he needed some professional help if he wanted to continue to see progress in his training. At the time Brent was strictly following the Paleo diet, with his only real source of carbohydrate (fuel for your body) coming from some sweet potato and small amounts of fruit. Now we still use the the diet as a foundation in terms of lean meats, lots of veggies and fruit, but I have added the necessary carbohydrates into his day from rice, oats and dairy.
A few months later he came first overall in the WODstock Competition Series in Brisbane (photo on the left) and had felt the improvements in his energy levels. We have been working together ever since and what a journey it has been; culminating with a 4th place finish at the 2016 CrossFit Games in California this year (photo on the right)!
Brent’s nutrition has been a long journey with many changes. The more he trains and muscle mass growth, the greater the amount of calories his body needs to function at 100%. As a result, in the last 1-2 years my programming has changed to focus more onto periodisation.
Periodisation is looking at each meal in its own breakdown of carbs/protein/fat content however changes according to his training times. If he trains in the morning; that is where the bulk of carbs are and but it also is lower in fat. At night time if he hasn’t trained it is low carb and high fat. His protein intake never changes.
Periodisation is not really macro counting, because even if you consume the right macros in the day but the timing is out, your recovery and body fat levels may not change! It is all about eating the right food at the right time of the day. This I have found has really helped with Brent’s body composition changes and also recovery from training. (Have you seen the photo!!)
His calorie intake needs to vary according to his training, and I have taught Brent how to decipher between whether he has had either enough or not by the way he feels. If he is hungry, craving food or feeling lethargic, his meal was not properly balanced for the training session he had just completed and so he knows what foods to add in if he feels a certain way.
My biggest tip for nutrition; is you need to change your food intake accordingly to your activity level. Some workouts go for 45 minutes, others go for 10. You will need more fuel for a 45 minute workout than a 10 minute one. Don’t fall into the trap of eating the same thing day in and day out.
So at the CrossFit Games what happened??
To tell you the truth it wasn’t too different from regionals because we know what works so we keep to routine.
- We found a company to produce Brent’s meals for him for his time at the Games so he didn’t have to prep as much food.
- All meals on comp days were chicken based, low in fat straight after workouts to ensure it was easily and quickly digested for recovery. Each meal had 1-1.5 C of cooked rice added to keep him well fueled and ensure he recovered well from each workout.
- Before events, it was either a muesli and yoghurt or a caffeine and carb source to ensure his energy levels and adrenaline high going into each event.
- Straight after the event he had a protein/carb shake and a piece of fruit/dates depending on the event.
- Oats and quark before bed to help ensure he was topped up with energy and the quark to help with muscle recovery overnight.
- Rest days were more pork based and higher in fat to ensure he was getting in enough calories. More nuts/nut bars were used on these days as well.
There were a couple other things Brent had throughout the weekend, but I can’t reveal all the best tips to success 😉 It is still a competition and that podium is waiting for him in 2017!
IF you need help with your training nutrition, energy levels or body composition changes; email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
See Brent’s regionals diet here – http://amiestargetnutrition.com/2016/06/fuelling-an-elite-athlete/
Photo Cred @busman3406