Many trainers avoid addressing the topic of nutrition with clients. Top CrossFit coaches think that’s a mistake and explain how and why they broach the subject with athletes.
Alyssa Guenther thought her coach was crazy. A vegetarian of four years at the time, Guenther often felt sick—upset stomach, headaches, general lethargy. Still, when CrossFit Roots owner Nicole Christensen asked Guenther about her diet and suggested she consider adding meat—specifically via a Paleo challenge—she was met with skepticism.
But Christensen was thoughtful about her approach. Christensen knew Guenther’s goals included being a lean and strong CrossFit athlete. Armed with information and support, Christensen felt Guenther could start to consider making the switch. She was right. And Guenther added meat back into her diet.
Nutrition is the base of CrossFit Inc. Founder and CEO Greg Glassman’s Theoretical Hierarchy of Development pyramid. Yet, CrossFit coaches often ignore nutrition or deem it too sensitive a topic to broach.
Maggie Tincher of CrossFit Fairfax and CrossFit Reston in Virginia said coaches must go beyond only concerning themselves with how much an athlete can deadlift.
Coaches must help clients understand that “whatever they eat affects their performance, and if they want to become better athletes, they need to change the eating habits,” explained Tincher, a member of CrossFit’s Level 1 Seminar Staff.