Results of the Dragon CrossFit Clean Living Challenge

Becoming part of Team DC and signing up to the Clean Living Challenge was a brilliant way to kick start 2014. It’s given me new training focus, new ambition, helped me appreciate my strengths and allowed me to understand more about the weaknesses that have held me back and how I can go about improving them.

For the statisticians amongst you the very end of this post carries the specific numbers. But, in summary, after 48 days of three CrossFit sessions a week, zero alcohol, zero refined carbs, no dairy and 30 days strict Paleo to kick start my fat loss efforts, here’s what happened:

  • I shifted some serious pounds that were accumulated during the annual festive splurge
  • I lost just shy of 10 inches total from various sites across my body
  • The biggest improvements / losses came from round my thighs and middle
  • I actually felt like the Incredible Hulk during the final testing when my 1RM back squat increased from 70 to 90kg *proud face*
Sweaty, post testing face!

Sweaty, post testing face!


Whilst I’m a long way off having the confidence to post ‘before’ and ‘after’ half dressed selfies to this blog (maybe one day, eh?) I can safely say I felt incredible on that final measurement day. Family and friends commented on my leaner physique and my clothes were all fitting that much better again.

But this Challenge has been about so much more than lbs, inches and seconds on / off the clock.

The DC Clean Living Challenge brought all its participants together. From the get go we all shared the desire to just get better. Better with every mealtime, every workout, every decent night’s sleep, every effort at proper hydration and post work out refuel. From the moment the online forum went live we were accountable to one another. Night shift workers propped one another up during long stints haunted by the corridor vending machine; no dinner was eaten without a photo being taken and shared; recipes were revised, deconstructed and perfected; new friends were made; new foods were tried – “what’s a Sharon Fruit?” swiftly followed by a “ooooooh, it’s lush”.

Above all, the Challenge highlighted Clean Eating is a continuous journey. Sometimes the wheels fall off (especially at Christmas and holiday time) but climbing back on the wagon feels soooooooooooo good. And every time I climb back on board I’m ever more determined, ever wiser. It’s about learning exactly how food makes you feel, which foods really make you tick and managing the all too frequent quandary we can sometimes find ourselves in when faced with “Mmmmmm, ice cold beer” followed a mere 24 hours later by “Eugh, bloated belly, puffy face, groggy uselessness in the gym.” Life for me is one big experiment and I’m becoming pretty good serving as my own guinea pig. There’s a lot to be said for a few tweaks here and there and reminding yourself that you will actually survive not eating houmous with everything…

A huge thank you to all the coaches at Dragon CrossFit that poured insane amounts of extra effort into getting this Challenge off the ground and supporting all participants in achieving some truly incredible results. Another shout out to all the 10am Monday, Wednesday and Thursday regulars who welcomed me to workouts with open arms right from the very beginning. I owe you all kale chips!

For more detail on the DC Clean Living Challenge check out a post from the guys at Dragon here

The numbers:

Body weight down 5.1 kg

Body fat down 3.1%

Body measurements (inches)

  • Arms down 0.5
  • Upper waist down 3.1
  • Belly button down 2.3
  • Hips down 2.5
  • Thighs down 1.8

Skinfolds (mm)

  • Bicep down 2.6
  • Tricep down 2.8
  • Subscap down 3.6
  • Illiac crest down 6.6
  • Belly button down 7.2
  • Thigh down 9.6

Prescribed work out fitness test

  • Start of challenge completed in 12:47
  • End of challenge completed in 11:39

Strength testing – Back squat

  • 1RM at start of challenge 70kg
  • 1RM at end of challenge 90kg

Strength testing – Shoulder press

  • 1RM at start of challenge 30kg
  • 1RM at end of challenge 32.5kg