Lessons from the Greats: Annie Sakamoto’s Diet Tweak

This begins a series of entries discussing how to prepare for the 2013 CrossFit Open, which begins March 6. We’ll talk to some of the best coaches, athletes and experts with the mission of helping you prepare.

Preparing for the CrossFit Open. Lesson #1

CrossFit legend Annie Sakamoto. Photo by Vance Jacobs.

Tweak Your Diet. When CrossFit legend Annie Sakamoto began to seriously focus on training for the CrossFit Open, Regionals and Games in 2011, one of the adjustments suggested by her coach, CrossFit Santa Cruz Central coach, Gary Hirthler, was to make a critical fix to her diet. While Sakamoto said her diet had always been pretty good, one habit she had was to eat one or two bowls of cereal before going to bed. Such late-night dietary mistake sent Sakamoto to sleep with elevated insulin levels, interfering with what otherwise may have been peak levels of the natural release of human growth hormone from the pituitary gland. Girthler has a background in kinesiology and movement and suggested Sakamoto stop with the late-night bowl of sugary cereal. The improvement was more dramatic than Girthler expected. “You could see the change in two weeks,” describing how Sakamoto’s body transformed, becoming leaner and more powerful. All from dropping one poor nutritional habit. While it’s common knowledge that good nutrition is a key to getting the most out of your CrossFit training, if you’re serious about performing at you best in the CrossFit Open it may be time to conduct a thorough review of the strengths and weaknesses of your diet. Seemingly small errors compound themselves on a daily basis to wreak havoc on the development of your athletic potential.

In Inside the Box, veteran journalist and marathoner T.J. Murphy goes all in to expose the gritty, high-intensity sport of CrossFit®. From staggering newcomer to evangelist, Murphy finds out how it feels, why it’s so popular, and whether CrossFit can fix his broken body.