For those that have tried and stopped CrossFit - What Else Did you Do?
After re-aggravating a pinched nerve in my neck due to being a wuss (both in succumbing to group pressure but more in that I'm too weak for a 55# kettlebell while very other person at my CrossFit gym is fine with them...), I'm thinking the 3 month experiment with CrossFit is over for me - I kinda like it (some days), but the time commitment, schedule, and cost just aren't worth the benefit I'm getting. And honestly, I think I'd have more strength gain if I lifted weights on my own.
I started CrossFit because, quite frankly, I didn't know how to workout on my own properly. But after 3 months, I know what intensity is, how to do weight lifting, etc. safely. And the group thing at CrossFit just isn't working for me so I'd like to go solo, and I guess what I need is a program/approach.
I'm 41 (this weekend!), 196lbs, 5'10" male. I lost 70lbs in the first half of 2011 and have maintained it easily and then this year decided to 'become an athlete' : ) So I joined a gym and tried weightlifting on my own but my lack of flexibility made it so that even getting under the bar for a back squat was difficult. Thanks to CrossFit, that issue is something I can deal with now as I've learned how to lift properly and have enough flexibility now to do it on my own. My goals are to continue to lean out (I still want to drop another 10 pounds or so and I have not lost ANY weight since joining crossfit, and in fact I gained about 5 pounds, and I think a lot of that is the stress from the stupid 45 minute 'metcons' they do more often than not). I'd like to 'tone' my body more. After the majority of my life thinking that I was born with a bad, naturally flabby body/shape, after dropping most of the excess weight I've realized that I am very fortunate - I have a naturally good body shape/distribution, so that the 196lbs (at only 5'10") actually looks good on me as I have large quads/thighs.
I think if I were 25yo or my current fitness level were better than maybe CrossFit would be for me, but it's not. So I'm looking for another program. I do a lot of walking, almost every day. I enjoy it very much. I am very familiar with the BP Fitness routine.
For those who have tried and abandoned CrossFit -
What did you do as an alternative? I like the idea of the BP movements but I'm concerned it's not enough and/or will be boring.
I used to belong to a globo-gym and liked it but stopped going and started CrossFit because I figured the 'chronic cardio' I was doing on the elliptical/treadmill was not good. (But I found that the 40+ minute metcons at crossfit are a perfect example of chronic cardio....most are ~20 to 30 mins in length but add the 10 mins of always aerobic and intense 'warm-up' and I don't see how it is different).
I live in the Northeast so while I have at least another month or two where I could workout on my own outside/at a playground/track, I'll likely need to join a gym to do weightlifting as I have no equipment or space at my house.
Thoughts? Program recommendations? Is the PB Fitness routine enough to really tone/build lean muscle, or is it simply for 'basic fitness'?
Originally Posted by mark2741
For strength training, try stronglifts.com or starting strength (Starting Strength Wiki)
For cardio, sprints as described in PB fitness are great!
1. Your Crossfit gym sounds like one of the unfortunate ones.
2. I've enjoyed doing the DWODs and SWODs over at Crossfit Football, most of which seem do-able at a gym.
No advice on the PB fitness routine as body weight movements bore me :P
Actually, they're one of the best. I think the problem is the total time of the WODs, plus other non-WOD factors.
Originally Posted by unsuperb
I don't do crossfit. So take my opinion for what it is. I'm interested in it, and under different circumstances I might actually do it, but for me, I can't get past the following:
2. the "American swing"
3. Kipping pull ups
I have friends and acquaintances who do it and get great results. As someone mentioned above, I think a lot depends on the gym.
PB Fitness is great. And I like the progressions in it. I think you could also take those movements (upper body push, upper body pull, and a leg dominant full body lift) and apply them in a lot of different ways as they are the basis for so many good programs. It could be enough for a lot of people. It probably depends mostly on your goals and what you really like doing.
As for myself, I go back and forth between barbell routines and kettlebell routines. I like both, but I like the kettlebells more. My favorite is in Pavel's Enter The Kettlebell. I've done it many times (and I'm doing it now). It's got three days of prescribed workouts and two variety days that let you do whatever you want. When I'm on the program I always find that my strength levels and amount of lean muscle mass go up, and my conditioning feels great.
As a bonus it is cheap (compared to a gym) and you can do it almost anywhere. If my wife and I are traveling by car, we each bring a bell with us.
Have fun with whatever new program you pick.
To clarify -
The coaches are great and they stress form. My beef with CrossFit is the length of WODs, particularly when combined with the very intense 'warm-up'. They total workout time is usually a minimum of 45 minutes. If that ain't "chronic cardio" then I don't know what is.
I check the other area CF boxes' blogs for their daily WODs and they aren't any different in terms of time and the focus on aerobic (lighter weight high reps is how I'm defining that). At least they're better than the main site WODs, which are ridiculous. Even most experienced CFers seem to acknowledge that.
Price is high but if it was working for me then it wouldn't be an issue. It's 3x the price of a gym membership but it'd be worth it for the coaching, etc., if I wasn't injured half the time. : ( It's just not for me.
FWIW - I never could do a kipping pullup and they weren't really stressed at my box.
Originally Posted by booksbikesbeer
They're much harder than the "strict" ones that I can string together in succession. I can't even do one kipping pullup. I recently tried to work on kipping pu's with a coach and found them very hard to even attempt, let alone do one. They definitely work your core more than strict pullups do.
My advice FWIW would be to go to High Intensity Nation - The Go-To Place On The Internet For High Intensity Training and just listen to some of the interviews there. Many of the interviews are with very successful strength and conditioning coaches from NCAA and NFL programs. You will find there is a common thread among all of them and that is Intensity/effort and recovery are the major keys in strength and conditioning. As long as you have those two components you should be successful.
I just started CrossFit tonight... I've heard a lot of good things about it, but evidently it's not everything for everyone (it just started where I live which is why I was keen to try).
My issue is that after the first month (which is less expensive) I can sign up monthly, or for 3 months, 6 months or 12 months... but the more months I sign up for, the less I pay (and it IS freakin expensive!!). If I start getting great results, I'll be able to commit, but if I stall and don't really improve I'm going to be stuffed if I go the cheaper route and sign up for 12 months...hmm...
For the record I struggled with 12kg kettlebells (errm but I'm small and female, which may have something to do with that...). But yeah, I'd be disappointed if I couldn't get that up within a couple of months!
I guess you have to weigh up the pros and cons... cost is a BIG one, and if you're not getting bang for your buck, then maybe it's worth just getting a regular gym membership? You usually get a program to follow etc. and you can always tailor it to your needs. I don't mind going to the gym (haven't been for awhile though)... I'm not big on boring cardio, but never minded doing weights and stuff (with my iPod for entertainment). You can generally get a plan that will mix bodyweight exercises and free weights, with weight machines if you like.
One thing that I sort of DO like about the CrossFit here is that I have to book in... and once I'm booked in I'm committed . Gym it was easier to decide not to go if I wasn't feeling 100% (or was tired, or whatever).
I'm in a situation like you mark2741. I was a member of a CF box for about a year (with approx. 6 months of actual training). Quit it because of the same reasons you mention, even though I did not give the chronic cardio any thoughts. You are quite spot on there.
The biggest problem for me was however the non-existent possibility of getting good at anything. My general fitness level got a real boost but I never really learned to do a pistol or a proper turkish get up since there was to many exercises constantly introduced (I know there is a discussion on specification in the Crossfit sphere, but that is of no importance here. We talk general Crossfit.).
Decide for yourself what goals you have. If it is barbell work, do Starting Strength. If you enjoy body weight training, do PBF or Convict Conditioning. If you want to kill that kettlebell, do the Rite of Passage by Pavel Tsatsouline. If you want flexibility and mobility, start yoga.
I decided I wanted to be able to do one arm pushups, one arm pullups and pistols before moving on to anything else. I went primal, quit crossfit, did some research and since may I do body weight exercise only in accordance with Convict Conditioning and the book Naked Warrior. Once I can do these movements, or once 2013 is here, I will move on to barbell training to try to get my 2 x bodyweight deadlift. I still do some WODs but they are really simple, based only on body weight movements (google Comprehensive Bodyweight Workout List, v1.5 and scale the wods in the PDF document).
Its not the actual system trained but the consistency of the training that gives results.
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