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Thread: What happened to those of you that quit CrossFit? page 4

  1. #31
    mark2741's Avatar
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    AlyciaJ - glad you found it helpful.

    An update on me -

    I'm still doing quite well. I have about 20lbs of body fat left to lose (I lost about 70lbs so far over the last 2+ years), and almost immediately after quitting crossfit I dropped about 10 pounds of that. You might say it was muscle loss but I doubt it because after a couple of weeks of rest I began Starting Strength, as I posted prior. The strength gains have continued but leveled off. My back squat is at 185lbs but it's a struggle to keep perfect form so I stepped it back to 175.

    While Starting Strength has been a great entry into weightlifting properly, I'm at a point now in that program where I think it's time to move on to something else because, quite frankly, it's getting stale. My flexibility issues are still there but I've fought through them. Last week I was doing some research on it and found an article from an oly weightlifter discussing squat technique and he provided a test for ankle flexibility. I failed it miserably and passed the actual hip mobility test easily, so that tells me that it's my ankles and not my hips/legs like I had been told prior at crossfit and just assumed. So I'm working on that and will see how that goes.

    "Feeling" wise - I feel great.

    Been playing in a co-ed adult soccer league once per week and I have limited skills at the sport but I compensate by pure hustle - I sprint up and down the field constantly during the games. And it's really fun.

    Still doing yoga once per week (most weeks, schedule permitting) but would like to increase that.

    I must admit - I do miss one aspect of crossfit: the chance to compete, both against yourself but also in a group. Even though I came in close to dead last in every WOD time/score sheet, and I have zero interest in doing it more than once per month, there is an appeal to going all out and testing (i.e., killing) yourself once in a while. But the rest of the month I can do without the fatigue, injuries, etc., so I'll avoid crossfit : )

    One thing that I am considering is training for a 5k for spring. I know that running is not popular on these forums, and for good reason. But there is an appeal there for me from a challenge perspective. And I'd only run once or twice per week.

    I'm also considering just trying other new things. Ditching the crossfit monthly fee ($135 for me, that was with a veteran's discount) gives me that flexibility to spend that money on other stuff. My gym membership is $42. An 8 week soccer league fee is $85. I may try a yoga class at a real yoga studio, etc. Although I'm not poor, ditching the crossfit gives me the flexibility to just try new things. Or simply go to the park and 'play'/workout without feeling guilty that I'm not saving my energy for the expensive crossfit gym : )

    Important caveat: As I said in prior posts - crossfit is great, IMO, if you're young and or already in athletic shape (i.e., you are at an advanced level of fitness), or maybe if you find a box that is more beginners than advanced crossfitters. But for me, it wasn't a good fit.

  2. #32
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    Wow, this thread is fascinating to me. I love crossfit more than anything I've ever done and can't imagine leaving. I'm really self-motivated, in that I worked out for years on my own and didn't slack off, so it's not really that I'm afraid I'd stop going to the gym; but the past four months of being coached have made an incredible difference for me. I really, really love being coached and having my programming set up for me. I've had coaches point out simple little tweaks that have suddenly made 20lb differences in lifts. And also, I SUPER thrive in an environment where I'm being encouraged to keep going, try harder, don't quit--and then when I finish, I love cheering on everyone else still going, too. It's such an amazing community environment and the gains I've made since I started are more than I made in a year of doing Starting Strength on my own.

    I totally get that some things just aren't for some people, but I'm amazed at the idea of wanting to leave. I literally can not imagine leaving.

  3. #33
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    heatseeker - I think someone who enjoys the group motivation and is already in a high level of fitness will thrive in crossfit. I wan't at a high level of fitness so that didn't help me. I figured it would get better but it really didn't improve as much as it should have even after 4 months of giving it everything I had. I always gave it 110% and really got annoyed when someone (typically during team WODs, which I came to dread) would come up and start yelling to motivate me. Especially I recall the time I was front squatting a dangerously (for me) high weight that I had no business even attempting, but was 'forced' to due to it being part of a team WOD and I got grouped up with a bunch of guys that were already pretty strong and since it was time-based there was no way I could go switching plates between lifters (they all lifted the same high weight). I just didn't like the 'rah-rah' stuff but that's just me. A lot of people seemed to like it.

    As for Starting Strength in relation to crossfit - does your box do a lot of olympic lifting? We did, but it was never a primary focus and based on the mainsite WODs I doubt it is at most. If I stopped focusing on the weightlifting in lieu of doing the metcons that made up most of the WODs, I'd lose the strength I've gained on my own, because I'd have to reduce the weight drastically in order to compensate for the high reps the WODs seemed to always demand/prescribe.

    I just found crossfit WODs to be 'chronic cardio', when coupled with the usual high-intensity warm-up.

  4. #34
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    It sounds like your box suffered from subpar coaching and programming. Our coaches are absolutely anal about form, and will force you to scale down if your form is off, even if you think you can go heavier. In team workouts, the weight is always scaled to the lowest common denominator on the team, and if it's too light for you, the focus switches to speed rather than strength.

    Good example: there's a monthly cross-Austin competition called Crossfit Classic where a WOD is chosen, anyone can sign up to compete, and it's run like a real competition, with heats and spectators and an announcer and stuff. I did it in November and the WOD involved dumbbell snatches. I signed up for the intermediate weight for ladies, which was 55lb (Rx was 80lb, beginner was 35lb). I'd been doing Crossfit for a few months at that point and definitely didn't feel like a beginner. But when I practiced the move with my coach, I couldn't snatch the 55lb. I was consistently whipping it up to about eye level and then pressing it. My form was just not there at that weight. I could get it at 45lb and even 50, but not 55. So, what did my coach do? She wouldn't let me do terrible half-press snatches. Even though I could technically get it overhead, she wouldn't let me do it. She made me scale down for the competition to the beginner 35lb weight--which was really easy for me--but she said, "the focus of this competition just switched from strength to speed, and I expect you to absolutely blaze through this workout." And I did.

    Also, our workouts are always broken up into a strength portion and a metcon portion. There is ALWAYS a thorough form practice before any lifting is done, and then we load weight and move through some coached sets of either powerlifting or oly lifting. When we're done, we do the metcon, which sometimes involves a lift, but a lot of times is just bodyweight or gymnastic elements. I absolutely wouldn't call it chronic cardio. The metcons last from 5-15 minutes, the longest being 20min, and those are rare.

    All this is just to illustrate that I think the Crossfit experience is really dependant on finding a great box with coaches who really know what they're doing. The one I go to was one of the first to open back when Crossfit was getting rolling, and its owners have been Games competitors for years. So there's a lot of care and experience going into their programming and coaching.

    Of course, if you don't like people yelling at you to keep going, then that's a dealbreaker right there. There is a LOT of yelling and cheering in crossfit.

  5. #35
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    I'm a long time lurker of MDA and these forums, first time poster. I'm 36, 5'7" and from my early to mid-20's up until last year I was an endurance junky. I did marathons, was a high-level AGer at Ironman (Kona qualified), and so on. I was skinny-fat though and wasn't inspired by endurance events so that by mid-2011 I was ready for a change. I did Insanity in summer 2011 and then started lifting - 5x5 and Starting Strength, with some Crossfit-esque Metcons thrown in along with less frequent, shorter runs. I dropped weight and got stronger for awhile. My wife was Crossfitting at the time (still is) so I started dropping in once or twice a week. Even with great coaching and much more of a strength bias at our gym (hate the term "box" BTW), I could tell I wouldn't want to go there every day. It just wasn't for me. I built a very respectable home gym, complete with lifting platform, squat rack, bumpers, a mounted pullup bar, rings, rope, kettlebells and a Concept 2 rower that we've had for over 6 years. Continued Linear Progression stuff plus Metcons with Crossfit 1x or 2x per week. Was fun, met my goals, but sort of stalled on strength gains.

    Lately (last 12 weeks) I've been doing The Outlaw Way - a free program designed for the competitive Crossfitter that was [GASP!] actually based on periodization and strength gains similar (and based on a modified) Louie Simmons Conjugate Method. That means it was first a strength gainer for movements related to crossfit (squats, olympic lifts, overhead stuff) and second a muscular endurance builder for the competitive xfitter. I'm never going to qualify for Regionals, but like doing competitions (did a local one this summer, am doing a larger regional one in Feb.) and this met my goals the best and doesn't kill this 36 year old man (meaning I can actually recover from most things pretty ok). Also, I have a lot of issues with some of the exercises in typical Crossfit programming (including the high-rep olympic lifting, handstand walks, kipping pullups and so forth) that I think causes injuries. I also am not a huge fan of the cultish mentality, though can deal.

    So anyway, I kind of like Crossfit and think it has it's place for some (my wife LOVES it and it meets her needs) but I think A) It's expensive B) too cultish for my tastes C) has a tendancy to have bad programming [though individual gyms vary] that lead to D) Injuries and burnout. I'm super thrilled with my current set up and still drop into our xfit gym 1x or 2x a week (during open gym mostly) but now do Outlaw which best meets my current goals (and whose programming is well designed). Find what works for you at this stage in life, give it a chance, and if it doesn't work move on.

  6. #36
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    I think A) It's expensive B) too cultish for my tastes C) has a tendancy to have bad programming [though individual gyms vary] that lead to D) Injuries and burnout.
    Yup, right on. These are what I see as the biggest factors working against crossfit.

    Outlaw is awesome, I was doing their WODs before I officially joined the xfit near me. Great programming.

  7. #37
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    See, I was at a box with great programming and coaching, and I felt much the same way you did, heatseeker (I could never quit this--it's so awesome!). However, with the financial constraints of school, I couldn't afford it and so had to figure out my own programming and focus. I am feeling better and stronger now, I am less sore and tired, and I am more enthusiastic for my workouts because the focus is on what I want most (strength and conditioning) rather than on whatever is programmed for the day.

    I think CF was a great start for me, but I'm sort of glad that the money situation made me move on. I could afford to go back again now, but at least for the time being, I'm much happier with lifting as my main focus and other stuff as add-ons. I also have more energy now for things like swimming, biking, and so on, which are things I also enjoy but felt too tired to do on a 3-4 day weekly CF schedule.

    I suppose it's like any sport. Some people fall in love with a sport and stay with it for life, while others move on because of injury, or time, or resources, or change of interests. And that's okay. I think the cultish nature of CF makes it hard to grasp why someone would quit--I felt the same way when people quit TKD when I was training because I couldn't imagine how you couldn't love it.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

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  8. #38
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    I don't like Crossfit, but I enjoy the challenge inhereant in pushing past discomfort and improving in the process; I have been focused on oly lifting and yoga for the past 4 months but returned to doing crossfit WODs and outlaw programming last month to train for my 4th crossfit comp at the end of this month. Once this comp is over I will probably return to oly lifting.

    All this being said I got my USAW level sports performance coaching certification this year and am getting my level 1 crossfit coaching cert next weekend in Boulder, Co; I want to start coaching strength, power and oly lifting programs at my Crossfit box (and get free membership).
    ad astra per aspera

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecole66 View Post
    I do not workout for enjoyment or because it's fun. I workout because it improves every other aspect of my life including making me a better father and husband. With that said I do enjoy my brief but very intense HIT workouts twice a week and hill sprints once a week. For me that is enough to continue to get stronger and be fit enough to play all day with my daughter without wearing down.
    My problem with Crossfit is the way they seem to wear injuries as a badge of honor. I have NEVER had a workout related injury and I lift to failure every lift. Olympic lifts and all of the "explosive" exercise is a sure fire way to get injured.
    This! Being fit is NOT about feeling like shit all the time and being injured! I wanna scream when I read this stuff. I don't care how lean someone appears. If they don't feel well its all bullshit. The whole idea of constantly exercising is beyond ridiculous! Exercise is in and of itself a negative. It is very stressful and any more than the right amount will be detrimental and not beneficial. The amount required is so far and away less than almost everyone realizes. The benefits of exercise occur when you are NOT exercising. I too do HIT once or twice in a 7-9 day period. When its once, I'll do a sprint session that week. I feel great almost every single day and I'm never ill and never injured. At almost 48 years old, I have no aches or pains to speak of.

    If you are doing a program that wears you down and injures the body, do yourself a favor and stop immediately! This is NOT fitness. It is stupidity. Not that those who do it are stupid. No that isn't it. Its that the conventional idea of proper exercise is based on the fallacy that more is better and we've all been brainwashed by this. It simply isn't true.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark2741 View Post
    AlyciaJ - glad you found it helpful.

    An update on me -

    I'm still doing quite well. I have about 20lbs of body fat left to lose (I lost about 70lbs so far over the last 2+ years), and almost immediately after quitting crossfit I dropped about 10 pounds of that. You might say it was muscle loss but I doubt it because after a couple of weeks of rest I began Starting Strength, as I posted prior. The strength gains have continued but leveled off. My back squat is at 185lbs but it's a struggle to keep perfect form so I stepped it back to 175.

    While Starting Strength has been a great entry into weightlifting properly, I'm at a point now in that program where I think it's time to move on to something else because, quite frankly, it's getting stale. My flexibility issues are still there but I've fought through them. Last week I was doing some research on it and found an article from an oly weightlifter discussing squat technique and he provided a test for ankle flexibility. I failed it miserably and passed the actual hip mobility test easily, so that tells me that it's my ankles and not my hips/legs like I had been told prior at crossfit and just assumed. So I'm working on that and will see how that goes.

    "Feeling" wise - I feel great.

    Been playing in a co-ed adult soccer league once per week and I have limited skills at the sport but I compensate by pure hustle - I sprint up and down the field constantly during the games. And it's really fun.

    Still doing yoga once per week (most weeks, schedule permitting) but would like to increase that.

    I must admit - I do miss one aspect of crossfit: the chance to compete, both against yourself but also in a group. Even though I came in close to dead last in every WOD time/score sheet, and I have zero interest in doing it more than once per month, there is an appeal to going all out and testing (i.e., killing) yourself once in a while. But the rest of the month I can do without the fatigue, injuries, etc., so I'll avoid crossfit : )

    One thing that I am considering is training for a 5k for spring. I know that running is not popular on these forums, and for good reason. But there is an appeal there for me from a challenge perspective. And I'd only run once or twice per week.

    I'm also considering just trying other new things. Ditching the crossfit monthly fee ($135 for me, that was with a veteran's discount) gives me that flexibility to spend that money on other stuff. My gym membership is $42. An 8 week soccer league fee is $85. I may try a yoga class at a real yoga studio, etc. Although I'm not poor, ditching the crossfit gives me the flexibility to just try new things. Or simply go to the park and 'play'/workout without feeling guilty that I'm not saving my energy for the expensive crossfit gym : )

    Important caveat: As I said in prior posts - crossfit is great, IMO, if you're young and or already in athletic shape (i.e., you are at an advanced level of fitness), or maybe if you find a box that is more beginners than advanced crossfitters. But for me, it wasn't a good fit.
    If there is a Jui Jitsu gym anywhere near you give that a try. I have fallen in love with the art and would love to keep working my way through the belt system. If there is a Gracie facility in your area I really like their style and the way they keep the self defense aspect first and foremost. The Gracie's also have DVD set called Gracie Combatives that you can work your way up to a blue belt if you have a training partner.

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