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I want to go primal in fitness but don't want the 'crossfitter body'

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  • #16
    Thank you very much to those with helpful comments rather than unhelpful (and somewhat rude) remarks. I am a personal trainer and maintain a body fat typically around 13-15%, but sometimes drop to 11, which I don't sustain for long and don't try to. My BMI is healthy (though at the lower end), because I already have a good muscle base. I don't want to look like a man, which I personally feel a lot of crossfit advertises for women. I want a feminine physique which I feel I have being a chronic cardio girl. Thus, I am a bit fearful of changing my routine since it works for me and I have the body I want. Mark's book was intriguing and I learned a lot in his fitness insights, I guess I'm just afraid of giving up what I know works (at least from outward appearances). There are a lot of cultures sustained for generations on distance running and as a trainer, I know what happens from experience when my clients and myself use explosive movements with heavy weights. I was just looking for more insight into the topic as it has my wheels turning! I guess I will keep on reading and learning. Thank you again!

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    • #17
      No I'm not a figure competitor. I went paleo about 2 years ago when I became really sick on the raw food diet. I took a food allergy test and realized I was allergic to a lot of what I was eating! My doctor (a naturopath) turned me to Robb Wolf's book which launched me into a whole new field of research. I used to be at 20% bf, but just wasn't comfortable in my own skin. After tweaking my diet, the extra weight came off and I am able to maintain 13-15% rather easily (staying in paleo bounds) and feel a lot better about where I am.

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      • #18
        Thank you. I used to follow Rusty Moore's s Visual Impact for Women (5 sets of 5 reps) but found my arms getting bulky so I scaled back, and just focused on his cardio recommendations which have worked well for me. However, after now finishing Mark's book on the toll a lot of cardio can have on a body, I am confused on the best thing to do for my body. I have the body I want, but at what expense, you know?

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        • #19
          Any woman who can maintain their bf in a 13-15% range has no worry of looking too bulky from weight training; you'd have to bulk up to get bulky. Long-term, you're wearing yourself out with chronic cardio, so you have to decide where your priorities are.

          Aesthetics are a very personal decision. Most in-shape men will disagree with you that crossfit women are too manly looking. IMHO, the chronic-cardio bunnies do not look as healthy nor as attractive as a crossfit woman.

          I'm concerned that there may be something deeper going on here. Unless you've done the 5x5 workout over a sustained period and increased your protein intake, your arms would not get bulky...I'm just saying, in a totally non-judgemental way...

          Good luck with your quest!

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          • #20
            Originally posted by bkneifel View Post
            Thank you. I used to follow Rusty Moore's s Visual Impact for Women (5 sets of 5 reps) but found my arms getting bulky so I scaled back, and just focused on his cardio recommendations which have worked well for me. However, after now finishing Mark's book on the toll a lot of cardio can have on a body, I am confused on the best thing to do for my body. I have the body I want, but at what expense, you know?
            You can always replace cardio with Fasting and Carb Re-feeds, women have success on LeanGains type programs without getting bulky. A 3-day split Reverse Pyramid program would probably be enough for you if you're not looking for mass and strength gains.

            ‘Three Day Split RPT’ Routine | RippedBody.jp

            Ignore Martin's picture at the top, he eats as much protein as I do and weighs a third less.
            I didn't like the rules you gave me, so I made some of my own.

            Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general. - Mark Rippetoe

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Jerseyjim View Post
              Any woman who can maintain their bf in a 13-15% range has no worry of looking too bulky from weight training; you'd have to bulk up to get bulky. Long-term, you're wearing yourself out with chronic cardio, so you have to decide where your priorities are.
              I
              Aesthetics are a very personal decision. Most in-shape men will disagree with you that crossfit women are too manly looking. IMHO, the chronic-cardio bunnies do not look as healthy nor as attractive as a crossfit woman.

              I'm concerned that there may be something deeper going on here. Unless you've done the 5x5 workout over a sustained period and increased your protein intake, your arms would not get bulky...I'm just saying, in a totally non-judgemental It's Official: To Protect Baby's Brain, Turn Off TV | Wired Science | Wired.com!
              +1

              To me the possibilities here are pretty much down to unusual genetics, incorrectly measured BF% or an ED.

              Are you an ex-high level athlete or descended from one or more? The genetic profile to be able to bulk effortlessly at 11-15% BF(unless measured incorrectly) does exist, it's just rare. If that's the case, you are going to have to do some self-experimentation because that genetic pool is extremely small, and it's overlap with primal is virtually non-existant.
              Lifting Journal

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              • #22
                I appreciate that, but even Mark's book says the Primal Lifestyle will have women sitting effortlessly at 12-20% BF. I have my BMI and BF tested every week and constantly sit at 13-15% when I follow paleo strictly, drop to 11-12 when I fast, and go above 15% if I stray from paleo living. My main concern is because my bf is so low, I already have a rather muscular physique. I am small, but my muscle striations show. Though it certainly hasn't always been this way...I have lost 60 pounds and definitely have a less than ideal gene pool! I guess my main question coming from Mark's book is that physically, what I'm doing (chronic cardio) is working for me, so why change a good thing? However, I don't want to damage my body as he argues I am doing so I was just looking for more wisdom in that area. Like everyone here, I want to make the best choices for my health and the health of my family.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by bkneifel View Post
                  I appreciate that, but even Mark's book says the Primal Lifestyle will have women sitting effortlessly at 12-20% BF. I have my BMI and BF tested every week and constantly sit at 13-15% when I follow paleo strictly, drop to 11-12 when I fast, and go above 15% if I stray from paleo living. My main concern is because my bf is so low, I already have a rather muscular physique. I am small, but my muscle striations show. Though it certainly hasn't always been this way...I have lost 60 pounds and definitely have a less than ideal gene pool! I guess my main question coming from Mark's book is that physically, what I'm doing (chronic cardio) is working for me, so why change a good thing? However, I don't want to damage my body as he argues I am doing so I was just looking for more wisdom in that area. Like everyone here, I want to make the best choices for my health and the health of my family.
                  Normally I'd say the CC is bad for you due to the cortisol increase, but you aren't showing typical signs of it. I'd have to say I don't know. You may be an exception to the rules(I am in some ways, to different rules), so I hesitate to say that it's assuredly bad for you.

                  Probably the easiest way to check would be to get your CRP checked. That would show if you have any inflammation going.
                  Lifting Journal

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                  • #24
                    Oh god, if only it were that easy to put on muscle. Not even men with their testosterone advantage have it that easy.

                    This is both the silliest and most optmistic thing I have ever heard.

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                    • #25
                      I'd love to see pics of your effortless 13% bf self.

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                      • #26
                        El-oh-el, Crossfit women wish they were big, ha. Powerlifters/strongwomen competitors are big.

                        On a more serious note, it might behoove you to look into essence training.

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                        • #27
                          I think that Mark provides training ideas in his book for purposes of health and your main goal is maintaining the physique of a... porn star? I can't say that I blame you! However, even though chronic cardio make work for your aesthetic it's probably hell on your health and will start to age you prematurely.

                          I saw a couple of cross fit women who looked like tiny men but most of them had amazeballs bodies. I would assume you'd just increase your strength
                          A change in perspective is worth 80 IQ points - Alan Kay

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                          • #28
                            I found this thread pretty amusing, I personally would love to look like most of them, a few of them are a little bit manish but for the most part, they are what I dream about. So I showed the pictures to my friend and she told me "I could never lift that much weight I'm already pretty bulky in the shoulders and I don't want them getting any bigger, I think I will stick to my 2 pound ones" I had to laugh I mean seriously?!? 2 pound weights, what is the point of that. But yeah them ladies are what I wish I could look like!
                            My blog - About me, my family, and my hobbies!

                            *Please ignore my horrible typing and grammar I am usually typing it all on my very uncooperative phone*

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                            • #29
                              Personally, as a guy, I find Crossfit women to be very attractive. Much more so than the girls that I see doing Chronic Cardio at my gym and on the front page of Cosmo. They definitely have muscle definition, but Crossfit training hardly ever leads to bulkiness. Maybe other guys can chime in. Perhaps I'm an outlier.

                              I suppose it comes down to the reason you're training. Correct me if I'm wrong girls, but in my experience girls have a different standard than men. What men actually find attractive is quite a bit "bulkier" than what other women find attractive.

                              The same runs true for men. Most guys think they need to get huge and be at 5% body fat to be attractive. But women actually prefer a man that is lean and muscular perhaps at 8-10% body fat over bodybuilding types. Again girls, please correct me if I'm being presumptuous.

                              So are you pursuing fitness to impress other girls, impress men, or just for general health? If for any/both of the latter two reasons, I think you would benefit by some heavy lifting.
                              Last edited by ppham27; 02-13-2012, 02:12 PM.

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                              • #30
                                As a guy, I find those crossfit women to be ridiculously hot, and don't in general find women with defined 8-packs (leanness under 15% like you are talking about) to be attractive at all. Your body is your own business, but I see very, very few truly "bulked up" women that all women are seemingly terrified of. You are welcome to ignore them, as my own aesthetic preferences don't necessarily need to mean anything to you.
                                If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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