"Hello Mr. Amundson. My original background is in martial arts, teaching Taekwondo and Kickboxing. Since I've discovered CrossFit I've never been in better shape in my life. I've never felt better, never been faster, never lifted more, or more importantly to me, never been mentally stronger than I am now. When I began training, simply attempting the WODs was satisfying enough at first. Then setting goals helped keep me motivated (double body weight deadlift, improved Fran, linking muscle-ups). But now I'm consistently motivated to just be a better me thanks to your mental reworkings! I recently watched your lecture on leadership and mental workouts at the CrossFit One facility at Reebok HQ and it was the most eye opening, light bulb moment I've had in CrossFit to date. Equal to any PR! I've literally set free my anxiety over certain WODs or techniques. Your energy and enthusiasm is palpable through the screen and your examples and metaphors are inspiring! I hope you're breathing fire for years more and someday I can thank you in person."

— James Walsh

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 Zone Blocks

Understanding Zone Blocks

A “Zone Block” is a unit of measure used to simplify the process of making balanced meals.

7 grams of protein = 1block of protein
9 grams of carbohydrate = 1 block of carbohydrate
1.5 grams of fat = 1 block of fat (There is an assumption that there is about 1.5 grams of fat in each block of protein, so the total amount of fat needed per 1 block meal is 3 grams.)

When a meal is composed of equal blocks of protein, carbohydrate, and fat, it is 40 % carbohydrate, 30 % protein and 30% fat.

Below you will find the CrossFit Amundson recommended foods, their macronutrient category (protein, carbohydrate or fat), along with a conversion of measurements to blocks.

To make a Zone meal, simply choose 1 item from the protein list, 1 item from the carbohydrate list, and 1 item from the fat list to compose a 1 block meal. Or choose 2 items from each column to compose a 2 block meal, etc.

Here is a sample 4 block meal:

4 oz. chicken breast 1 artichoke 1 cup of steamed vegetables w/ 24 crushed peanuts 1 sliced apple

This meals contains 28 grams of protein, 36 grams of carbohydrate, and 12 grams of fat. It is simpler, though, to think of it as 4 blocks of protein, 4 blocks of carbohydrate, and 4 blocks of fat.

Zone Protein Blocks

Chicken Breast = 1 oz
Cottage Cheese = 1/4 cup
1 egg (whole egg)
2 egg whites
Fish = 1.5 oz
Ground Beef = 1.5 oz
Canned Tuna = 1 oz
Protein Powder = 1 oz
Cheese = 1 oz
Lean Beef = 1oz

Zone Carbohydrate Blocks (Recommended – use these as much as possible)

Apple = 1/2
Banana = 1/3
Kiwi = 1
Broccoli = 1 1/4 cup (steamed)
Broccoli = 2 cups (raw)
Oatmeal (steel cut) 1/3 cup
Grapes = 1/2 cup
Strawberries = 1 cup
Blueberries = 1/2 cup
Spinach = 4 cups (raw)
Spinach = 1 1/2 cup (steamed)
Pear = 1/2
Orange = 1/2
Baked Sweet Potato = 1/3

Zone Fat Blocks

Almonds = 3
Avocado = 1 tbs
Macadamia nuts = 1
Peanut butter = 1 tbs
Olive oil = 1/3 tbs

Zone Carbohydrate Blocks (Use in Moderation!)

Wheat bread = 1/2 slice
Baked Potato = 1/3 cup
Brown rice = 3 tbs
Pasta = 1/4 cup
Bagel = 1/4

Additional Resources

CrossFit Amundson Nutrition Seminar Part I [video] CrossFit Amundson Nutrition Seminar Part II [video] CrossFit Amundson Nutrition Seminar Part III [video] CrossFit Amundson Nutrition Seminar Part IV [video] CrossFit Amundson Nutrition Seminar – Part V [video] CrossFit Journal Article #21 on Nutrition & Zone Diet [article] Diet Secrets of the Tupperware Man [article]

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