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Thread: For those that have tried and stopped CrossFit - What Else Did you Do?

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  1. #1

    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.

    My story:
    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.

    Questions:

    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'?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by mark2741 View Post
    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.

    My story:
    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.

    Questions:

    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'?

    For strength training, try stronglifts.com or starting strength (Starting Strength Wiki)

    For cardio, sprints as described in PB fitness are great!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Orygun
    Posts
    855
    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

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by unsuperb View Post
    1. Your Crossfit gym sounds like one of the unfortunate ones.
    Actually, they're one of the best. I think the problem is the total time of the WODs, plus other non-WOD factors.

  5. #5
    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    609
    Quote Originally Posted by mark2741 View Post
    To clarify -
    They total workout time is usually a minimum of 45 minutes. If that ain't "chronic cardio" then I don't know what is.
    Seriously? 45 minutes doesn't come remotely close to "chronic cardio." You could jog at a steady state for 45 minutes and it's not chronic cardio. My lifting in the gym takes about 45 minutes to an hour and it's not chronic cardio (in fact, it's not cardio at all). PB isn't an excuse for laziness. Exercising can take an hour and it's fine. What Mark decries is extended periods of steady state cardio where you keep your heart rate above 85% of max. A slow jog for 45 minutes (assuming you're reasonably in shape) isn't chronic cardio. And Crossfit is anything but steady state. If anything, it's intervals, maybe some sprinting, etc.

    That said, to answer your original question: Starting Strength. Work that for a few months until you have decent strength, then go from there.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    2,002
    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Reena View Post
    Seriously? 45 minutes doesn't come remotely close to "chronic cardio." You could jog at a steady state for 45 minutes and it's not chronic cardio. My lifting in the gym takes about 45 minutes to an hour and it's not chronic cardio (in fact, it's not cardio at all). PB isn't an excuse for laziness. Exercising can take an hour and it's fine. What Mark decries is extended periods of steady state cardio where you keep your heart rate above 85% of max. A slow jog for 45 minutes (assuming you're reasonably in shape) isn't chronic cardio. And Crossfit is anything but steady state. If anything, it's intervals, maybe some sprinting, etc.

    That said, to answer your original question: Starting Strength. Work that for a few months until you have decent strength, then go from there.
    Sure it does- 45 minutes is about the lower end of what could be considered chronic cardio, but the other factors are more relevant:
    Are you recovering properly before your next workout?/How often are you doing these workouts?
    Is your heart rate maintained above 75% or so for the duration of the workout?

    I feel that the main concern is lack of recovery time when it comes to "chronic" cardio. A 45-minute run every day at a 7-8 minute pace would be chronic cardio for me. Once a week isn't a big deal at all. Other people have different numbers, different recovery rates, different speeds that they can run at.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    13
    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:

    1. Price
    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.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by booksbikesbeer View Post
    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:

    1. Price
    2. the "American swing"
    3. Kipping pull ups
    FWIW - I never could do a kipping pullup and they weren't really stressed at my box.

    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.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    106
    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.

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