The call to participate in SoLat’s Summer PH360 adventure from Andy, CrossFit coach extraordinaire, is clear: you’ll love this. It’s a super personalised, incredibly detailed look at your health and fitness, based on your genetic type.
The fundamental premise of the programme is people are all different, based on our genetics and the hormone profiles they create, and therefore the “one size fits all” approach to diet and exercise is largely redundant, or worse, counter productive. I’ve sort of felt that innately for a long time, so yeah, OK.
But I’m still skeptical. Wouldn’t it just be a good idea if I ate better and trained occasionally? It would, Andy agrees, but if you’re going to go to the effort of doing that, then why don’t you really make it all about you, and do this at the same time?
My genetic type, apparently, is the Diplomat. I find this pretty fucking funny given how many people have complained about my unwelcome directness across my lifetime. But that, apparently, is what I am. The other types are the Activator, Guardian, Crusader, Connector, and Sensor. Is this a diet and exercise programme, or a trick entry into a role playing game? Your type is determined by a series of measurements and other highly personal observations, right down to the striations on your finger nails.
Sitting in the Box, a tape measure around my head, I tell Andy: “You know phrenology is a totally debunked science, right? It was big with the Nazis.” Andy assures me yes, he does know, because I’m the second person to tell him only that day. Cue eye roll, suggesting every person he’s greeted with a tape measure has told him the same thing. Measuring the size of my head and jawline is a function of hormones, he says, not a classification of my racial type.
Being a diplomat, I have a super long digestive tract, meaning I don’t often wake up hungry, and can go without food until late in the day if I’m calm. This is surprisingly true. Not for the first time, I nod my head in agreement. The programme recommends three meals per day, especially heavy on vegetables, and says I should avoid snacks. It also tells me timing is the most important thing in my eating. All of this is directly linked to my hormone profile, such as how much cortisol will be present on a normal morning.
The key to participation is downloading the SHAE app. SHAE stands for something, but no one can tell me what. That aside, it contains an awe-inspiring amount of data about me and how I should be eating, training, resting, socialising, meditating, sleeping, and generally living. The most important part first off is the food section, which is an enormous compendium of detail about what foods are good for me, which ones aren’t, and in what quantities. It creates food plans, recipes, shopping lists, the lot. I think it wants me to become a vegetarian, but I’m going to resist.
I head into the week with Andy’s challenges ahead of me: eat and prep one SHAE meal a day, and action a priority suggestion. In my case these are Place and Genius, which are functions within the app. One of the Genius suggestions is to remain quiet between 7.00AM and 10.00AM, and “to take it slow in the morning,” which is fine with me.