I'm new to the crossfit world, but not new to primal eating or the fitness industry. I just finished Mark's book and had a question about your 'lifting heavy things' section. I will admit, I am a chronic cardio gal but I maintain a lean physique and fluctuate between 11-15% body fat. I have studied crossfitting and tried it here and there but just do not like the bulky muscles it tends to build in women from the explosive movements. I have all the muscle I want and I DO NOT want to add any more muscle to my body. Is there a way for me to live the primal fitness lifestyle without adding muscle, yet staying lean? My current workout program: cardio (kickboxing or running) for 60 minutes 5x/wk, and I walk my dog 3 miles every day. Thanks so much!
something I always tell people when they say things like "I don't want to get too big/too muscular/etc" is that they shouldn't worry about it. It's not like you are going to get up one day and look like a body builder.
the amount of dedication and work it takes to transform your body like that differs for each individual, but something tells me if you are worried about it, you don't know how much dedication and work it actually takes.
tell ya what - go ahead and do it, and if you get "too muscular," I'll PayPal you $500.
Just train, if you see yourself getting 'big and bulky' then dial back, but I guarantee you won't be seeing those types of gains being a 'chronic cardio' type of person. No offense.
Also, for what it's worth, if you stick to lower rep work with heavy weights you will stay slimmer, it's the higher repetition (anything about 10 reps or so) that prompts that type of muscular development. This isn't to say you should ALWAYS avoid it, but you should focus on lower rep work (which in CF is kind of hard to do... so you have yet another option: don't do crossfit) and only do higher rep every now and again.
I'm a male, so our bodies have higher changes of getting bigger, trust me, it's not easy and I have 60 times the muscle building testosterone you do.
One of my good friends and her husband own a CrossFIT box. She is not super muscle looking at all. She looks lean and fit but not muscular. However she consistently places in the top 5 or 10 in the frequent competitions they do in FL. Her husband is ripped and strong, she just looks lean but can take on any man and likely win. You would never think that just by looking at her. Even her amazing abs don't scream Body Builder magazine model.
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If you do get too muscular, just take up distance running for a few weeks. That's the fastest way to destroy your physique and burn your muscles away.
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You won't get bulky, period. That statement is so steeped in conventional wisdom it's ridiculous.
Crossfit Babes - These girls are muscular but not bulky.
Also having a bit more muscle mass is good for the body, and you'll never get to much without trying really, really hard to do so. Plus, more muscle would no doubt help your kickboxing.
Take a look at the video from this Friday's post! That girl is not at all muscular like you'd think she should be, I looked at her and thought she'd probably bench 50#, maybe squat 130, etc... She blew me away when she lifted! She's very lean and not in the least bit bulky. Heavy weights and crossfit type stuff are awesome! You should definitely give it a try