Josh: Eating and Training Like an Athlete.

January 2020 vs. April 2020

Josh joined our gym in November 2019. He was already very strong and fit, but was looking for something more, a change of pace. From the very first few classes, he was hooked! He had a very good understanding of most of the basic lifts, like squatting, deadlifting, and benching. But he was intrigued with compound lifts like clean and jerks and snatches.

He was determined to get the more advanced gymnastics movements, that we normally modify for everyone, as they are tough to learn. Even by doing the modifications, like most of our members, these some of the best full body movements you can do.

Movements like toes to bar (modified with leg raises or sit ups), hand stand pushups (modified with pushups or seated dumb bell presses), kipping pull ups (modified with strict, banded pull ups, or ring rows), and muscle ups (modified with pull up variations). These movements take time to develop and learn. This is the end goal, most of our members are somewhere in between modifications, just getting the best workout for their level.

I remember coaching Josh on a muscle up – literally the number one goal for so many CrossFitters. He was a month in. After a few failed attempts, he finally got one… STRICT!! That was an unforgettable day.

He devotes some time before and after class to work on these skills. He wants to continue to learn and to get better. It’s really starting to show.

Things really took a turn when he signed up for my Reset Challenge in January. With the challenge, I had him eating more than he was used to. I had a meal plan version and a macro version of the challenge, and he taught himself how to count macros just by following the meal plans.

After the challenge was over, he started working with me one on one to continue seeing progress. His goal is athletic performance. So I customize his macros weekly to help him achieve that goal. He has a better understanding of how to properly fuel his body, and how to time meals around his training so he recovers well – as you can only get better and stronger from the workouts you recover from. Read that again, it’s important.

Seeing better body composition was just a byproduct of his initial goal of improved athletic performance. His muscle mass increased by 2 pounds so far. Body fat went down by 3.8%. Body weight went down by 5 pounds. Remember, his goal was athletic performance, this was just a positive “side effect” of working towards that goal.

So now, he has the best of both worlds, aesthetics and performance, and we’re just getting started 🙂

Most people start training or nutrition coaching with the goal of better body composition. In return, they do see better performance as well. Same goes when chasing better performance, you see better body composition in the process. You just need to know how to train and eat to fuel and recover from that training. And no, the answer is not to train more and eat less 😉

What are you doing differently with your exercise? (since joining 201)

Between stretching, warming up, gymnastics movements, kipping movements, and overhead lifts, the way I exercise now is very different from the way I used to.  

For years I had been going to a regular gym and had been on a basic lifting routine on my own.  I was doing some full body high intensity training but nothing close to the level of intensity that was being done here.  I’ve found all these changes to have had a great impact on my core strength, my strength endurance, and my metabolic rate.  

Being coached has also been huge for me and has brought an increased desire to want to work at and improve on all the new movements and lifts that I’m learning.  

Being in a class environment was a big change for me as well.  I’ve found the camaraderie of a group, and knowing that all of us are going through and pushing ourselves through the same workout at the same time, to be incredibly motivating and has really helped bring my training to a new level.


Tracking my macro and micronutrients has brought so much consistency to my daily food intake.  It has really caused me to look at protein, carbs, and fats differently and has helped me understand how much meat, grains, fruits, vegetables, and fats I should be eating on a daily basis.  

The quality of all the foods I’m now eating is making me feel full much more quickly and I have not found myself having the food cravings that I used to have, especially at night.

What physical changes surprised you the most?

I’m seeing some abs, I feel much leaner and more defined which is all pretty cool.  Taking the weekly photos and seeing how my body has changed physically week to week has definitely been motivating for me to stay the course.  

How do you stay on track and committed?

I’ve found meal prepping and cooking in bulk to be very beneficial for me.  When I cook or make something, I try to make enough for several days.  If, for example, I’m cooking chicken, asparagus and sweet potatoes for dinner, I’ll try to make enough of each to last me several days, and have them ready for me to eat at any time.  

Any advice for someone who wants to start out?  

I would highly recommend anyone interested in starting out to go for it!  Since working with Coach Stacey, my nutrition has had a great impact on so many aspects of my daily life.  I have had much more energy and focus both during a CrossFit WOD and throughout the day. 

I find myself to be more productive, I’ve been sleeping better and I’m recovering from my workouts much more quickly as well. When starting the nutrition challenge in January, I kept my goals to be CrossFit performance based and thought of my nutrition as a tool to help me reach those CrossFit goals. 

I definitely wanted to look and feel better, but had no expectations on how it would change me physically, especially when Coach Stacey put me on 3000 calories a day.  That frame of mind has and continues to work really well for me and I would recommend anyone starting out to keep that same mentality.

Also, I found the first couple of weeks to be challenging because I was learning how to properly track my macros and trying to figure out a new eating routine that best worked for me.  I think anyone starting out could expect some of those challenges early on, but it does get easier over time and it is well worth it!

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