Coach Jen will be going live from the Iron Tribe Fitness Facebook page (follow along here!) once a week during the Perform Challenge to answer some of the most common questions about the RP Templates and anything else! Here is what Jen addressed this week on Facebook Live:
1) How important is breakfast?
Breakfast is extremely important. Because you have been fasting without food overnight, your body will be in a metabolic deficit whenever you wake up. We want to start the day off right by properly fueling your body, and not allowing this deficit to continue to creep up as you go hours and hours without food. Try to eat your first meal within an hour of waking.
2) How important is variety?
This is totally individual to the athlete. Some people (like me) are fine with eating pretty bland food and the same thing everyday. Some athletes prefer variety and get sick of eating the same thing day after day. If you are an athlete who likes variety, I encourage you to look on the Iron Tribe Nutrition FaceBook page – look up all of the recipes that have been shared on the page and try out new things. You will probably have to be a little more prepared, spend more time in the kitchen and buy more items at the store – BUT a lot of athletes really find enjoyment in cooking and trying new things. I encourage you to experiment with RP approved recipes! The RP Cookbook is a great resource available to you!
3) What happens if I skip a meal?
This is not an ideal situation, however, sometimes life happens! If you skip a meal, I would recommend trying to “bulk up” your next meal. Meaning, add more protein/carbs/fat to try to get as close to your overall macro count as possible. If you need to cut something out because it’s simply too much food, go a little lighter on the veggie portion. You could also bulk up your last two meals, to spread out the volume of food little more.
4) Can I snack on the cut?
NO! You will already be consuming 6 very well planned out meals. The cut is very strict and regimented and there is no room for unaccounted for snacks. On the health template, you will have an option for a snack.
5) What is the difference between the cut and health template and will I see results on the health template?
You will DEFINITELY see results on the health template! Many of our challenge WINNERS are on the health template. The health template is going to be ideal for the athlete who is new to the program, who has never counted macros or weighed food before, who has a busier schedule, who wants more balance in life. The health template will allow the athlete some freedom in the area of snacks, meal timing, how often they are eating, etc. It is an amazing template to start with!
MOST of our athletes are on the health template and are seeing amazing results.
The cut is for the athlete who has experience counting macros and weighing food, who has the time and commitment to sticking with the program, who is looking to really dial in their nutrition and cut weight. The cut template is very strict, very regimented and can be a little confusing in terms of measuring and weighing your food. The cut template also requires the athlete to be very disciplined when considering MEAL TIMING as well as changing their macro measurements around when they workout. All in all, the cut template is a HUGE commitment. MOST of our athletes are on the health template and are seeing amazing results.
6) How can I keep from being so hungry in the evenings on the cut template?
Foods with fiber will become your best friend. I love oatmeal and sweet potatoes. Both are high in fiber and will keep you feeling fuller for longer. PLUS sweet potatoes are amazing because you can eat a LOT of them. For example, the volume of 35g carbs from sweet potatoes is more on your plate than 35g carbs from rice. Additionally, you can try playing with the spacing between your meals – meaning maybe trying to go 3 hours between meals instead of 4. And make sure you are staying HYDRATED! This will help decrease your hunger.
7) What do YOU eat?
I keep it simple. I am the type of person who can eat the same thing, day in and day out, and continue to love what I am eating! I have a shake first thing (I wake up at 4 AM and simply cannot stomach brussel sprouts that early!). Meal 2 is egg whites and veggies (usually kale and zucchini), gluten free oatmeal (with cinnamon and a little powdered peanut butter), and a small serving of berries. Post/Intra shake is ASCENT whey protein with powdered gatorade. Meal 3 & 4 are the same (post workout meal and dinner) which consists of baked chicken, an assortment of green veggies (green beans are my favorite) and sweet potatoes. Meal 5 is 2 chocolate rice cakes with creamy PB (JIF natural honey PB is the BEST!) and my chocolate ASCENT casein shake.
8) What is the best way to be weighing myself?
You will want to weigh yourself on the SAME day every week, 2-3 times per week. Ideally, you would weigh at the same time of day on those days. From there, each week you will take an average of the 3 weigh ins. In a two week period of time, you will want to see an average weight lost (or gained on the mass) of about 1-2 pounds. If no progress happens in that two week period of time, then you need to move on to the next tab on your template (cut or mass) and if you are on the health template, you will want to change something on your template – maybe you go to low carb or cut out a snack. For some athletes, the scale won’t move a whole lot on the meal program, but they will see changes in inches, how their clothes fit and pictures in the mirror. Aesthetic change shows progress as well, so you can always track your progress in that way if you aren’t seeing the scale move a lot.
9) When I use myfitnesspal to log my food, it says I am going over my macros. What is this about?
The awesome thing about the meal templates is that the extra carbs, protein, fats in some of the foods you will be eating – for example, chicken breast – is already factored in. Chicken breast has a very small amount of fat in it, but this fat doesn’t count towards your fat macros. Just stick with your template and know you are getting the appropriate amount of carbs, proteins and fats for your body. If you do use myfitnesspal, just know your calorie count/macro count will seem a little off from what is on your template and that’s OK!
10) If I am on the cut and am doing 2 workouts per day, when do I have my intra shake?
Typically, you will want to have your intra shake during the workout that you either pushed yourself the hardest, or the workout that has weights involved in it. If both workouts that day have weights and you push equally as hard in both, then I would recommend splitting up your intra shake macros into two shakes.
11) On the cut, are long distance runs considered “non-training days”?
Typically, yes. However, if you are adding serious milage and time to your runs, you definitely need to be thinking about having an intra/post workout shake or considering it a light training day.
12) Are Perform classes considered a moderate training day?
Unfortunately, no. These are still light training days. UNLESS you do a Perform class and a Power class – then this would be considered a moderate day (working out for almost 2 hours).
1) Should I do the travel workouts on days I can’t make it to the gym?
Absolutely! This is an amazing resource provided to you as an Iron Tribe athlete so take advantage! These workouts are meant to be done at home, at a hotel, in a park, etc. – you can always modify them if needed. Stick to your normal workout routine and if you miss a workout at the gym, then replace it with a travel workout. This will keep you in the routine and motivate you to stick to your goals!
2) How should I go about adding volume to my workouts/doubling up on Push/Power classes?
I would very slowly increase your volume to avoid overtraining and injury. For example, take a look at the workouts during the week and pick a day where the Push and Power classes have very different movements. I would also recommend maybe starting with 1 day of doubling up a week and if you are feeling good and your body can recover properly, adding in another day. Be mindful of how your body feels and make sure you are having at least 1 – 2 rest days per week!
Sarah oversees social media and internal communication for Iron Tribe Fitness. Her goal is to share the mission of Iron Tribe so others can be transformed by the program, and ultimately become the healthiest version of themselves.