Little Known Strategy To Blast Through WOD Plateaus

Working hard during your WOD’s? Got your crossfit nutrition on point? Taking supplements religiously? Never miss a meal but you still just can’t seem to make progress? And to add insult to injury your fatigue is killing you and you’re so bloated that every ‘hand release push up’ feels like you’re rolling around on a swiss ball!

Sound familiar?

If it does then there’s a chance that you might have an inferior production of stomach acids. You see, your calorie intake could be spot-on, your macronutrient ratios might even be enviable to a competitive pro bodybuilder and your supplements cupboard might resemble a stock room, but all of this could be a waste of time (and money) if you simply can’t absorb it!

How will your muscles adapt, repair and grow if you can’t break down th


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e protein you’re eating? How will your immune system ‘mop up’ after a WOD if you can’t absorb the vitamins and minerals from your array of locally produced organic fruit and vegetables? How will you replenish your glycogen stores after ‘Fran’ when carbohydrate absorption is hindered? How will you get that much needed sleep to repair and adapt if you can’t absorb magnesium? The list goes on, but it’s important to understand that it ALL begins with the gut and if you’re not producing enough stomach acids or Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) you can say goodbye to strength gains, improved performance and basic health!

Think you might be under-producing HCL? Check out these potential symptoms!

Feelings of fullness


Food sensitivities







Diarrhea and constipation

Poor condition of hair, skin & nails

Inability to make muscular gains

Vertical ridges on nails

The potential effects of what is seemingly such a small process can be catastrophic. Disease can flourish and bacteria are allowed to proliferate to such a degree that toxins are produced and absorbed by the liver.

Without HCL, the assimilation of protein, carbohydrates, and fat cannot be properly conducted leaving you frustrated in your performance efforts as food is left putrefying in the small intestine and colon. The stomach needs hydrochloric acid in order to protect the stomach from bacterial and fungal overgrowth (bacteria and fungus cannot thrive in this acidic environment).

In other words; get the gut performing and you’ll perform!

So what causes Low HCL?

STRESS ranks highest on the list above ageing and alcohol consumption. In my experience stress is the number one killer of HCL and in today’s society up to 40% of us could be under producing as a result! It’s important to remember that stress comes in many forms, if we’re aware of it, we can begin to control it…



Work deadlines

Lack of sleep

Poor nutrition

Parental Stress



EMF Stress

Lack of balance in workout to rest ratio

Inability to accept situations as they are

You can see how easily it is to notch up quite a few of these situations at once and very quickly your HCL gets ramped down.

How do you know if you’re low in HCL production?

Well, there’s The Heidelberg Gastric Analysis test, it’s accurate but very lengthy and unpleasant at that. It involves swallowing a vitamin-sized capsule containing a pH meter and radio transmitter which sends signals back as to the state of your acid production. Most of us wouldn’t need to go this far so I’ve come up with some simple steps you can work through to determine your acid status.

Do you experience any of the symptoms above? If so how many? (Bloating and Infrequent toilet habits are most common) Do you feel under stress? How many of the above ‘stresses’ are you experiencing? Remember some people go through life without realizing they are under stress and think ‘it’s just the way it is’.

Have you hit a plateau in your performance, fat loss, strength, muscular hypertrophy or health? Consume 200mg of Betaine HCL midway through your next high protein meal. After a period of 15 minutes following the meal consider whether you have a warm feeling coming through your digestive tract, a bit like reflux. If you do, you’re safe and are producing enough HCL of your own. If not then you almost certainly need to supplement with Betaine HCL.

While supplementing with HCL you WILL need to find ways of reducing your stress levels to enable your body to begin producing its own. If not then you could be supplementing for 18 months or more.

When you begin to reverse this condition you will be amazed at how much your WOD times will improve, oh…and you’ll look good while you do them! There’s lots more about supplements you should know (the right and the wrong) which are covered in the Paleo In A Box system which will make you a fitter, stronger, faster and leaner WOD athlete.