In CrossFit, Nutrition, Videos

May 18, 2011

Video Article

For their latest nutrition challenge, CrossFit Verve owner Matt Chan says he and his wife Cherie chose the most successful elements from their previous challenges.

“We’ve had more success with this one than we’ve had with any of the other ones,” he says.

The nine-week Best Shape of My Life challenge was based on points won or lost during the challenge. Points were earned through Paleo and Zone meals, with bonus points for meal frequency, workout frequency, adequate water and sleep, and eating of vegetables. Points were lost for cheat meals, not having post-workout meals, not supplementing with fish oil, drinking alcohol and working out less than three times a week.

At the beginning of the challenge, participants bought in with $100, half of which went toward blood-work testing before and after the challenge. The participants tested their performance on the workout Cindy and retested again at the end of the challenge.

Prizes were awarded for the men and women with the best changes in body composition, best improvement in performance and best overall finish. Depending upon their point total at the end of the challenge, participants could win back their money and receive a T-shirt.

“It’s been a lot of fun, and it’s something that I really recommend that any gym do,” Chan says.

9min 10sec

Additional audio: CrossFit Radio Episode 121 by Justin Judkins, published May 26, 2010.

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31 Comments on “CrossFit Verve: The Best Shape of My Life Nutrition Challenge”


wrote …



wrote …

YA! Jorge, Robyn, and Doug, you guys are famous now. Congrats on your achievements. Miss you guys.

Tobias (On my brother's account...)


wrote …

Great job!
What method did you use for the body fat analysis?

Do you have this available in a hard copy that can be emailed?


wrote …

Fantastic job guys!

Matt, do you have a link to a PDF or document with your points system? I've done the Paleo 30 day challenge and it changed my life but i've become lazy since despite training more than ever. Perhaps this could be the next boost :)



wrote …

Matt, Please do provide a PDF of the rules and points. Great Vid and info. Thanks for sharing. Good luck this year at the games.


wrote …

You guys are inspiring!!!!! GO VERVE!!!!!


wrote …

I transcribed the rules from the video (hopefully no mistakes)

"Best Shape of My life" Nutrition Challenge:
9 weeks - $100 Buy in

Each meal 3 values:
+3 Paleo/Zone Meal
+2 Zone Meal
+1 Paleo Meal
+0 Paleo Meal that includes Dairy
-2 Cheat Meal (not paleo/not zone)

Rule of 5 Bonus Points:
+1 5 Meals a day
+1 Within 5 hours between meals
-1 More than 5 blocks per meal

Exercise Bonus Points:
+20 5+ WOD's per week
+10 4 WOD's a week
+0 3 WOD's a week
-10 Fewer than 3 WOD's per week

More Bonus Points:
+1 64oz of H20
+1 8+ hours of sleep
+1 (1/2)carb blocks from veggies

-1 Each alcohol bev (max -5 per day)
-1 No post workout meal
-1 Fewer than 3g of EPA/DHA per day

0-500 Forfeit Cash ($100)
500-750 (1/2)$ back ($25)
750-1000 All money returned
1000+ All money + T-shirt

% Change in blood work
Body Composition changes
Most increased performance (Cindy)


wrote …

Hey Matt,
Great Video.
For those of us that live a LONG ways away - any chance you'd put together a pdf with all of your rules and post them.

Adam posted what he got from the video, but a quick glance at your white board suggests that there was even more to it than you highlighted in the quick video. Thanks Adam for your work.

I know you mentioned sleep being a bonus. Anyway - great video, just looking for more info. Thanks.


wrote …

thx matt and crossfit verve! you guys seriously ROCK!


wrote …

Most of the time I hate having to read the PDFs (just me being a little lazy) and love the videos. In this case, the PDF would be awesome! I know a lot of people who would greatly benefit from this challenge, myself included.


wrote …

Those are some good looking people!

Congrats to all the athletes who completed the challenge and a BIG thank you to Joylyn and Mas Godinez our partners, who put in a lot of the behind the scenes work.


wrote …

We'll put together a PDF for you guys and send it to HQ to post as a supplement to the video article. We also have a really cool little spreadsheet that tracks and totals your daily point values (put together by one of our trainers - Chris Slaughter).

The details written by Adam are spot on.


wrote …

wow that system is amazing and I would also really enjoy to see the PDF


wrote …

Try. Fail. Adjust. Continual improvement. Great job Matt!


wrote …

I took the liberty of building an Excel SS for those who may be interested. I am not sure if I can create a link to it though. Maybe if I go thru HQ.


wrote …

Here you go:

Download CFV_BestShapeMyLife.pdf (214.0K)

And the spreadsheet (numbers format I believe):
Download BestShapeofLife_ChallengeLog.numbers (190.8K)


wrote …


in the pdf you have, "Paleo/zone meal: paleo quality in zone proportions. (15 possible per day)"

Can you explain more of what you mean by paleo quality? Are you saying no wheat, legumes etc. or do you mean something else.

Also are you suggesting the fat and protein % of the zone plan for this when you say "zone proportions"

Thanks so much


wrote …

Mr. Matt
Thank you Bro.


wrote …

Great information provided again by the Chan's. I learn always learn a great deal from your videos.


replied to comment from John Gottshall


By paleo quality, our rules were dictated by the first sentence of "World Class Fitness in 100 Words": Eat meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. We had to define each of these elements for the competition, but that's out of the scope of this forum.

To address the "Zone" proportions question, we calculated body composition elements needed to prescribe daily allotment of blocks for each individual. Should they decide to use the prescription was up to them. And yes... They had to follow Zone rules.

Hope this helps,



wrote …

Nice way to structure a program.

Job well done!!


wrote …


Is your post WOD meal included in the 5 meals per day?


replied to comment from Michael Maurice



replied to comment from MATT CHAN


We would LOVE to run this challenge at our gym. Would you be able to convert it to an EXCEL file? I can't open the NUMBERS file using a PC.

Thanks for making this available!

CrossFit Orillia


replied to comment from Monique Gordon

took me a while to find, but you can convert at


wrote …

Many thanks for the details. Sounds awesome, exactly what I was looking for :)



Chris Sinagoga wrote …

Awesome video Matt! Me and another trainer have a group of high school kids that we train on a consistent basis. What I have done in the past was challenge a couple kids (myself included) to a 2-3 week "hard routine". Then I set the guidelines. Typically, it consists of:

1. Each meal must be as close to perfect Zone portioned as possible (not everybody has a scale to weigh)
2. Limit of 1 unfavorable carbohydrate per day (still Zone portioned though)
3. Drink at least half your bodyweight in ounces per day.
4. Do K Star's Mobility WOD every day.
5. Get 8 hours of sleep.

I love the point system you have developed and I'm definitely going to fit that in somewhere.


wrote …

Thanks for sharing!


Rob Barrese wrote …

That was really great thanks for sharing Matt! Everything you guys do with nutrition is always brilliant and appreciated!


wrote …

I loooove this idea. Gonna try something very similar for our next nutrition challenge. Thanks so much for sharing.

1. what measure did you use for body comp?
2. did you allow protein shakes as "paleo" (big debate at my gym!)


Hey Matt, What format is the tracking form in?

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