An Interview With CrossFit Games Athlete Cole Sager
|Goal||CrossFit Games Fittest Man on Earth|
|Weight lost/gained to date||Lost 10lbs|
|Sport (if applicable)||CrossFit.|
Q: Why did you decide to join Team WAG?
A: I chose to join Team WAG because I wanted to maximize every opportunity I had available to me to reach my potential. I saw a huge opportunity to better my performance and fitness by dialing in my nutrition. I had been monitoring and watching what Team WAG had been doing with other athletes as well as the general community and thought I would be missing out on a great opportunity if I did not start working with them. I was right. This has been an amazing experience thus far and has played a major role in dialing in my nutrition, gaining the physique I want, and lowering my weight to a number that I feel more comfortable competing at. It has given me a better relationship with food than I have ever had in my life.
Q: Was there anything about the program that surprised you?
A: The thing that has been most surprising about the WAG program is the knowledge it has given me regarding how our bodies need food to function. It has been a great reminder of the importance of calories in versus calories out. It does not matter how much of each macro you are consuming if you are consuming too many calories overall. There are so many health fads out there and the WAG program has helped simplify things. The program has helped show me the proper foods to consume to satisfy my hunger. I typically do not choose foods that are calorically dense, but rather allow me a larger physical amount of food with fewer calories.
Q: As an athlete, your training schedule is intense and varied. How have you managed to stay on track while balancing all of your commitments?
A: Staying on track while balancing commitments can be very tough, but I have found several tricks for when life gets hectic. I keep pre-prepped meals in the fridge that are ready to cook, as well as my “go to” snacks that I know fit well with my macros so if I am ever in a pinch for time I have a good option to fall back on. When I travel I always make sure to carry some sort of low-fat meat jerky. Protein can be very hard to come by on a travel day, so knowing I have some with me provides stress relief. When arriving to a new destination I try to hit up a grocery store first thing to load up on vegetables. My favorite choices are sugar snap peas and cucumbers.
Q: How has your performance in the gym been affected by tracking, if at all?
A: My performance in the gym has improved tremendously. I am the leanest I have ever been, which makes cardio-based workouts easier. I am the lightest I have been in 8 years, making gymnastic movements much easier. I also feel that I have much more energy because I am cognitive of my food intake throughout the day, so I know that I am getting the energy I need to fuel my workouts. Higher levels of energy simply translates to higher intensity in workouts, which is the fastest way to get results.
Q: What has been the biggest change you've made in your lifestyle since joining?
A: Since I have joined the team, the biggest change in lifestyle I have made is getting rid of the infamous “cheat days” in my life. I used to go two to three weeks of clean eating, some days being slightly more than what my body needed, and some days being less than what I actually needed. This would then build up to the thought that I needed a “cheat day” to let go and hit the reset button on my energy levels. This just led to me binge eating and consuming a copious amount of calories, forcing my body to store this as fat. Looking back, it was likely that I would consume upwards of 7,000 calories on some cheat days… and I wondered why I was never able to achieve the physique I wanted. When I have cravings now, I can simply add in a small treat that fits my macros. I now realize that my “cheat day” method was an unhealthy relationship with food. Since joining Team WAG, I feel that I have found a good balance of food intake for performance and a healthy well-being that is satisfied by the occasional treat that fits my macros.
Q: What advice do you have for other people considering hiring a nutrition coach?
A: Working with a nutrition coach has been one of the most effective things that I have ever done for my nutrition and health. So much so that my wife saw the changes that I was making and started working with my nutritionist as well and is now seeing tremendous results. The best and most effective thing about working with a nutrition coach is the accountability they provide. Your nutrition coach knows all of the struggles you are going to endure. They have helped people through the same struggles or have experienced them firsthand. This dynamic creates for an open and honest relationship that makes keeping each other accountable to your goals easy and fun! So… if it fits your macros, I say, enjoy guilt-free!
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Love what you learned but still want more guidance and support? Hire a 1:1 coach who will get to know you, your lifestyle and your unique needs and create results that you can sustain long-term. If you're not quite ready to go all-in on hiring a coach, check out our Macro Calculation Cheat Sheet & 18 Tracking Tips and Tricks for macro counting!