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Crossfit? (Or Unrelenting Box of Torture)

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  • Crossfit? (Or Unrelenting Box of Torture)

    Hi Pimers

    I've been doing a lot of walking, heavy gardening, playing on the beach with my little boy and so on. But decided I needed to get on with the sprints and weights. Suddenly I noticed the crossfit sign, right near my home, that I had driven past everyday. So in I go, a still overweight 44 year old woman, and the trainer does an initial one on one session with me, he pushes me, and some more, and some more, for the whole hour. For days I cannot walk without cramps and pain, I can't lift my son, even cooking is a mammoth effort. And the fatigue, I was in bed at 8 with my son for the next three nights. It wiped me. I get a txt from the trainer asking me how I feel, I tell him, and wonder when I'm ready for my first actual class. "Come tomorrow, you'll be right". I went, but I wasn't alright. I couldn't even start the class, my legs were jello and wouldn't do what my brain was trying to tell them to do. I struggled through the class, with a much worse performance than on my initial one-on-one session. To his credit, the trainer did notice, but told me to work through it, coming at least 4 times a week if I wanted to make progress. I didn't, cause my life has priority over crossfit, but tried to get back there as soon as I wasn't extremely fatigued from the previous class, maybe once or twice a week. Trainer keeps telling me to hit it harder to see results, and that recovery will speed up if I make it through two tough weeks. I'm thinking of tossing it in. I don't have a lot of confidence that the trainer to understand my needs, and his advice doesn't seem to sit well with what I'm learning here.

    I'd rather take guidance from this community than my trainer. Please help me with some ideas about what I should do?

  • #2
    I was doing sprints with my son, he on his push-along 2 wheeler, and me on my feet. Where I used to struggle to keep up with him, he was having to work hard to keep up with me! So it must be working...... but the fatigue....... (maybe I am nearly ready for him to upgrade to a pedal bike....hmmm... I'm worried about him getting away from me and my not being able to catch him before we hit a road. Yes, I'm holding him back).


    • #3
      I think four times a week of Crossfit right out of the blocks would be really hard. I'd work up to it. 2, then 3, then 4. And even after that, occasionally just go once/week but do a lot of walking that week. I do 4 days/week now, but I had to work up to it. My gym is not that great at resting any certain muscles so when I do go 4 or even 5 times in one week, I tend to work a lot of the same muscles multiple days in a row. If this happens to be my shoulders or triceps, I can't even lift my kid.

      Oh, and I don't think 4 times per week is remotely necessary. I do it because I can get in a quick lunch workout, freeing me to do other things in the evening and I like to get myself out of the office at noon and NOT out for lunch. I also get a good social value from my gym. I don't think any person NEEDS 4 times per week to make impressive progress. I'm not the first person to say this- it's waaaay more important to have a perfect diet.


      • #4
        I've always been of the mindset that working out should make what you do in life better, so I don't think exercise should impede your life to where you can't cook or lift your son.

        Maybe you could do crossfit just once a week and do other bodyweight/sprint exercises the rest of the week until you feel up to more?

        From personal experience, I can be intensely sore after cross fit the next day, and even follow into the day after that. However, I usually only feel like jelly during or immediately the workout, not at the next one. Are you getting enough sleep, water, and protein for your muscles to heal after a workout?

        If your trainer gives you problems, you can always say "I understand your need to push me, and I'm thankful for it, but only I know what I'm feeling and how it affects my life. So I'll make the final call on what I do." If he pushes, go elsewhere!


        • #5
          I'm no expert, but I've been around.

          This guy pushed you way too hard. You should not not be able to walk and/or have to take to your bed. Four times a week for a beginner is just too much.

          I'm not doing CF, but I recently started a group fitness class that's working my body unlike anything ever has (bodyweight, compound movements, deep stretching), so exactly what you're writing about is up-front-and-center for me, right now.

          The first class felt like a true accomplishment and triumph to complete and I was pushed to right at my max, but it did not blow me out of the water, like what you're describing. I was sore for the next 2 days, but it was the good kind of sore (as opposed to the over-the-top kind of sore--I do know what you are talking about) and I was able to move .... and I looked forward to the next time I could go (not dreading it). I was only able to do 2 times a week, with lots of recovery in between. It has taken about 4 weeks for me to even consider going 3 times a week. In the beginning I was working so hard I was nauseous, but now I'm not even that. (P.S. I'm 42.)

          What this guy is trying to get you to do is just to much for you, where you are right now, and it's pissing me off a little that he's just barreling ahead and not listening to you or your body. Not a good sign.
          Last edited by TigerLily; 09-14-2011, 04:38 PM.
          "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


          • #6
            It's too much for you and too soon.

            with how you are describing your DOMS as well as the shape I imagine you might be in - two times a week would be quite a feat.

            Back off a lot - but don't give up. Crossfit is a useful tool but only in the capacity that you utilize it correctly. It sounds like you have an active, passionate crossfit trainer which is a good thing too much of that for you right now, however, is a very bad thing.

            Everyone is correct in that your body will adapt to work hard (and trust me you will never be in the pain and discomfort you are currently in again). It get's way better - trust me. Take it a little easier and give yourself some ramp up time.

            Crossfit *is* worth it; but trust me when I say that if you don't enjoy the feeling of getting your butt kick it may not be the right regimen for you.
            ad astra per aspera


            • #7
              I think he pushed you too hard too. I've been doing crossfit type exercise at home lately and I'm loving it but still haven't done the real thing yet. I think I'd rather work up to it a bit on my own before I try it. Can't even do a pull-up but we have a bar at home so I'm working on it. I also have a 10 lb medicine ball, weighted bar, a few free-weights, jump rope, and dip station. One site I get a lot of ideas from is bodyrock . tv. I find the workouts are usually not too long but intense and there are always modifications for beginners or if you don't have any equipment. Good luck!


              • #8
                I think, and no disrespect to the community here, the fact that you'd rather take advice from us than the coach means they probably weren't a great coach. Unfortunately, Crossfit is pretty un-regulated so the standard of instruction will vary massively. This is a problem with all coaching though.

                You'll know you've found the right coach when:

                a. You trust them.
                b. They get YOU results.
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                • #9
                  Heh... been there...

                  You over trained plain and simple.... Rest for a full week and give it another go... dont worry... you only get THAT sore once if you keep with it.

                  Also only keep going if you enjoy the workout if you dont look for alternatives.


                  • #10
                    4 times a week like that is "chronic cardio" and you are releasing stress hormones. Counter-productive.


                    • #11
                      Well, it's apparent she doesn't trust him. She should be chomping at the bit to be recovered enough to get back to another class and feeling so fortunate and happy that she'd found this and going back to the website 13 times (as I was). I really do hope this guy hasn't ruined it for her.
                      "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


                      • #12
                        I'm a Crossfit newbie too, only been going for 2 months and my first session was nothing like the OP's. Just a fairly mild warmup (tough for me though ) and then all us newbs started learning the basic moves with a WOD-style finish at the end. I certainly felt it the day after but nothing like what you describe.

                        Now I go 3 times a week, which is plenty to shape up a former couch potatoe like me. I'd definetly take care not to overtrain, so maybe go 2 times a week the first 2 weeks or so and then take it from there?
                        Last edited by Legbiter; 09-15-2011, 12:42 PM.


                        • #13
                          Yeah, sounds like a bad coach. There are some great CF boxes and some terrible ones (I can see the variation between gyms here in my city--there's one here I'd never even consider joining). You shouldn't be in that much pain after a first session. He should be scaling and adapting things to match your level, starting you at a couple of days per week to build up, and then getting you to do more as your capacity builds.

                          If you have other options for CF gyms, I'd suggest looking for one that offers an on-ramp program (they may call it fundamentals, intro classes, whatever). Our gym does 12 classes for very new folks, 6 classes for athletic people who still need to learn the movements, and test-outs for people who have a lot of experience (either with training/lifting or coming from another CF box). Nobody gets to join the regular classes until they're ready, and even then, WODs are scaled.

                          It's no wonder CF gets such a bad name in the fitness community. I'm glad the coaches I'm working with have a lot of experience and training beyond a Level One cert (phys. ed. degrees, Oly lifting coach certs from a national organization, etc.). Ask a lot of questions and find out what qualifications any coach has--you want someone who knows their stuff, especially as a newbie.
                          “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                          Owly's Journal


                          • #14
                            Sounds like way too much too soon. I love Crossfit but my box has great coaches. Robb Wolf often criticizes the corporate CF mission statement of trying to make everyone into elite athletes but lacking the ability to built people up slowly over time. Throwing a beginner into some crazy met con WOD with deadlifts, no matter how scaled, is probably a bad idea. Sounds like your box might be the type that Robb is talking about.


                            • #15
                              Agree with all of this; the best thing about my crossfit gym is that they really respect everyone's level and push people to push themselves but not necessarily meet some impossible (for them) standard. And they never scoff at pain complaints! Too bad that not all places do this; I thought it was a crossfit thing.