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Introducing the Spring Challenge


Introducing the Spring Challenge

Sumo Deadlift


A fitness regimen that doesn’t support health is not CrossFit.

We are pleased to announce the 2016 Spring Challenge at Roots! This challenge incorporates the best of the best to bring to you a thorough, well-rounded challenge that is just as much about the outside as the inside.
We’ll start with an excerpt from CrossFit’s “What is Fitness” article:

Sickness, Wellness, and Fitness
There is another aspect to the CrossFit brand of fitness that is of great interest and immense value to us. We have observed that nearly every measurable value of health can be placed on a continuum that ranges from sickness to wellness to fitness. See table above. Though tougher to measure, we would even add mental health to this observation. Depression is clearly mitigated by proper diet and exercise, i.e., genuine fitness.
For example, a blood pressure of 160/95 is pathological, 120/70 is normal or healthy, and 105/55 is consistent with an athlete’s blood pressure; a body fat of 40% is pathological, 20% is normal or healthy, and 10% is fit. We observe a similar ordering for bone density, triglycerides, muscle mass, flexibility, HDL or “good cholesterol”, resting heart rate, and dozens of other common measures of health. Many authorities (e.g. Mel Siff, the NSCA) make a clear distinction between health and fitness. Frequently they cite studies that suggest that the fit may not be health protected. A close look at the supporting evidence invariably reveals the studied group is endurance athletes and, we suspect, endurance athletes on a dangerous fad diet (high carb, low fat, low protein).
Done right, fitness provides a great margin of protection against the ravages of time and disease. Where you find otherwise examine the fitness protocol, especially diet. Fitness is and should be “super-wellness.” Sickness, wellness, and fitness are measures of the same entity. A fitness regimen that doesn’t support health is not CrossFit.”
We couldn’t agree more. While outside features, such as lean body mass, physique, and performance are all important indicators of health, biomarkers such as glucose, white blood cell count, and cortisol are equally important in the quest for health. This challenge brings those factors together.

Challenge Structure
An 8-week challenge that focuses on quality and quantity, fitness, sleep, balance, and long term health. Athletes will self-report points earned from a list of indicators. Athletes will enter their scores into SugarWOD in a special track created for challenge participants. Athletes will receive a detailed challenge packet complete with recipes and detailed information on each item in the challenge list. In addition athletes will gain access to 8 regularly scheduled coaches office hours where they can come ask questions, have a food log reviewed, or talk through trouble spots.
April 11-15 – Intake week and Chalk Talks
April 18-June 10 – 8-week Challenge
$40. Sign-up available HERE!
Additional Resources
We have partnered with two great companies to bring this challenge to life – InsideTracker and RADBoulder.
InsideTracker: This Boston-based company delivers sophisticated, science-based blood analytics, tailored just for you. Athletes who participate in the challenge will receive a special discount code for blood work. The test is simple to complete. Athletes can go to any QuestLab (there is one five minutes from the shop) and have their results and recommendations in five days.
RADBoulder: One of the biggest things we’ve heard is that folks have a hard time cooking all of their meals. We get it and RADBoulder is here to help. This local meal delivery service will offer 3, 5, and 7 meals/week options that meet the requirements for the challenge.
Questions? Post to comments.


10 Responses

  1. Well this one sounds like an interesting challenge! I suppose this can all be answered at a chalk talk but you said to post questions to comments, so here come some: =)
    Since you mention the food resource there, I assume there’s a strict diet component to this one. What is it, exactly? Paleo? Zone? What?? The blood work will be able to quantify cortisol? That sounds pretty interesting, how many times throughout the challenge will we be doing blood work? What about that composition testing crap? Will we be doing that too?

    1. All great questions…
      1. There is not a specific strict diet component to this challenge, although you will earn more points for adhering to the quantity and quality guidelines put forth by the challenge. As an example, for each day, individuals will earn points for not eating dairy, grains, sugar, consuming alcohol (each separate points) and for adhering to the quantity approach to each meal. The quantity is centered around the CrossFit Kids dietary prescription (not specifically Zone but eyeball measurements for certain) and the quality component is centered around Paleo. This challenge allows for individual choice to a degree. Individuals choose to consume alcohol, dairy, to name a few; however, they will not earn that point each day. It does allow for individuals to go out to dinner and earn some points, while not throwing in the towel for that day.
      2. Yes, the blood work can quantify cortisol. Visit for more information or come to the chalk talk and speak to the InsideTracker analyst who is coming from Boston to join our presentations.
      3. Blood work is by choice for this challenge. It is an additional charge to the $40 challenge cost. The cost for blood work ranges from $90 to $424 depending on the breadth of the test and indicators collected. We recommend athletes do the blood work pre-challenge. Whether they do an outtake test (or test 6 months later) is up to them.
      4. We are not doing body comp testing as in past challenges. We have replaced that component with the blood work option for this challenge. We will be doing intake/outtake body weight and photos for this challenge. Photos will be done by the challenge participant and can be shared with coaches if desired. We believe that if individuals get their blood work in order, paired with eating high quality foods at the right quantities, that the body composition measurements will follow.

  2. Questions:
    – How are the labs different from comprehensive labs that might be ordered by an internal med or cardiologist?
    – Specifically, do the labs test for hsCRP?
    – do the labs adjust for medications?
    In the scatterplot where “*” equates to longevity as a function of score on test “y”, we have, as citizens of Western medicine, set y equal to many things: body weight, body fat, blood cholesterol, fitness, etc. In removing the composition component, are you driven by new work that suggests that labs supercede composition? Why not a “1.1” BARR protocol for the challenge?
    Thank you for undertaking this challenge, and for endeavoring to make us better, healthier, happier.

  3. Pingback : 2016 Spring Challenge Details | CrossFit Roots - Boulder, Colorado

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