Trained in the Precision Nutrition methodology, Derick Deal is the head of the nutrition program at District CrossFit in Washington D.C. Over the years, Deal’s nutrition consulting has evolved with his growing knowledge of CrossFit. As such, in January 2016 he will launch his newest venture: The Nutrition Academy.
The 12-week online program was born from a merging of nutrition with the CrossFit mindset. Deal explained that CrossFit did not invent the squat or deadlift; instead, it has simply built a framework people use to get involved in varying, functional movements. “How can we take that framework, which boils down to three main pieces, and just apply that toward people’s nutrition?” asked Deal.
Broken down into three, four-week sessions, The Nutrition Academy looks to teach participants the basics of nutrition and then build upon them. Deal explained it’s like any movement learned in CrossFit. First, it is broken down to its basic form, like the squat. Then it is added to in various ways, such as an overhead squat. “Again, if we look at that 100-foot view, you have to learn principles first, and then you have a system for practicing them over and over without getting bored,” said Deal. “So, that same element we want to incorporate into nutrition.”
During the first four-week session, participants in the program have an individualized nutrition plan created for them. The second four-week section is focused on teaching people the skills and helping them learn how to develop systems that enable them to follow their nutrition plan. Finally, the last four weeks address how an individual’s environment can affect nutrition and how to deal with various environmental changes. Each week will involve lessons through videos and web content.
In his consulting at CrossFit Boxes previous to The Nutrition Academy, Deal said he found many don’t have nutrition programs built into their gym. Deal’s hope is the Academy will provide the infrastructure for Boxes. Deal explained either Coaches at a gym can lead members through the program, or people can sign up individually and participate in the Academy on their own. Either way, the Box and its Coaches are already receiving a structured nutrition program they simply have to follow.
“One way to make your gym stand out in terms of giving people those ‘wow transformations’ is to actually have a very robust, systematic nutrition program,” said Deal. “That is really to help the CrossFit gym, owner and Coach teach their clients all the fundamentals of nutrition without them having to do the actual time and energy behind that type of coaching.”
Currently, The Nutrition Academy costs $197 per participant. However, Deal’s goal for the launch in January is to get more CrossFit Boxes involved in the program so he can continue testing its success. He explained nutrition doesn’t have to be painful, and that is the thought process behind The Nutrition Academy. “The idea is to just provide that infrastructure for a gym, to be able to teach just a lot of the solid fundamentals and provide people with a plan,” said Deal.