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  1. #31
    mark2741's Avatar
    mark2741 is offline Member
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    I did crossfit for about 5 months before giving it up. I was kinda addicted the first couple of months but only in a "I have to do better" and "can I survive another WOD?" kind of way. I was flat-out fearful of the WODs and unfortunately for me, I had a real jackpot of a starting point to work with:

    1. My body is extremely inflexible. My mobility is still not great considering the ~year of work I've put into it. But it was horrendous when I started crossfit. During the on-ramp classes (which, for the box I attended, were basically one-on-one personal training sessions with one of the coaches), she admitted to me that I may have been the most inflexible dude she'd ever coached (she was talking about my body, not my attitude! : )

    2. Weak. I was weak. Sad part is, walking in I looked like I was in okay shape for a 40-something guy. But I had never *really* worked out before, either true metcons or weightlifting.

    3. Cardio level was piss-poor. My guess is that ANYONE would be taken back by what is typically done at most WODs at first, in terms of the cardio required. This is one of the key reasons why I am not a big fan of crossfit as a more than once or twice a week workout - it is chronic cardio. What is chronic cardio? It is your heart rate up high for an extended period. And the warm-up alone will get most people's heartrate up high, and then there's the actual WOD.

    The box I was a member of is the largest in my state and has one of the top coaches in the country. She was fabulous. But you have to be prepared to suck at it. Most of the 'athletes' are in their 20's/early 30's and come to crossfit from other sports/athletic backgrounds. At least at my box they did. So even after 5 months I still came in dead last at every WOD, after giving it my all, and, quite frankly, the stress and pounding my body was taking to just make it through 3 WODs per week was taking its toll. I was gaining weight (not muscle, but fat) from the stress. I quit and immediately dropped ~10lbs of fat and felt 1000x better.

    That said - I do miss it some. My best advice is to don't even look at the board/times/points/etc. AVOID at all costs the team WODs, because invariably you will get people yelling at you to 'motivate' you. Personally, for me, the first month of that was motivating but after a while I wanted to throw the barbell down and yell at the guy yelling in my ear to do one more rep to shut up. It gets annoying. To me, anyway.

    The previous poster who said that mobility is important was dead on. The squat is the fundamental core movement. If you can't get below parallel then you will have problems. For me, we thought it was my hip flexibility (or lack thereof) but I eventually found out on my own that my problem is my ankles aren't flexible enough to squat deep. When I started I couldn't get ANYWHERE near parallel. Now, with a lot of stretching before, I can get to parallel. Everything from barbell lifts, to air squats, to wall balls, etc. is going to be predicated on your squat technique. They can teach you till you and they are blue in the face, but if your body won't go there, it won't go there unless you put a lot of time and effort into it.

  2. #32
    OutdoorAmy's Avatar
    OutdoorAmy is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by heatseeker View Post
    Are you sure you were only doing 45lb on the deadlift? If you were using a men's bar, that's just the bar, and if you were using a women's bar, that's with a 5lb plate on either end. I ask not because of it being a low weight, but because generally they at least have you use bumper plates (which start at 10lb) so your start position is correct. Otherwise the bar is too close to the ground, you start the lift way lower, and it's bad for your back.

    Also, without knowing you at all, I am 100% certain you can deadlift even more than 20lbs more. Like, a lot more. I'm sure you'll surprise yourself when you do your 1RM.
    Yeah, those were the real weights. Like I said - I'm sure I could do more. Strength and flexibility are actually two of the things I'm generally quite good at and gain easily with focused effort. For instance - today we did power cleans and I did them at 65 lbs. for 35 total reps. When we benched on Monday I did 85 lbs. So I'm sure my deadlift is higher - possibly much higher - than the 45 lbs. But since it was still in foundations when we did that I think the focus was much more on form than strength. I'll be looking forward to finding out what my actual max is - because I'm sure it's pretty good - and with doing full WODs in between now and then it'll only get better - even if we aren't working on it.

    Cardio and agility are my biggest weaknesses. Anytime we do a WOD with running or burpees my times go down near the bottom. When we do one focusing more on strength exercises I can knock it out of the park (for a beginner coming in with a not great fitness level to start). I may have been a gymnast, dancer, cheerleader and tennis player when I was younger - but I haven't done any of those things in more than 10 years (except very casual tennis playing and social dancing).

    Quote Originally Posted by mark2741 View Post
    I did crossfit for about 5 months before giving it up. I was kinda addicted the first couple of months but only in a "I have to do better" and "can I survive another WOD?" kind of way. I was flat-out fearful of the WODs and unfortunately for me, I had a real jackpot of a starting point to work with:

    1. My body is extremely inflexible. My mobility is still not great considering the ~year of work I've put into it. But it was horrendous when I started crossfit. During the on-ramp classes (which, for the box I attended, were basically one-on-one personal training sessions with one of the coaches), she admitted to me that I may have been the most inflexible dude she'd ever coached (she was talking about my body, not my attitude! : )

    2. Weak. I was weak. Sad part is, walking in I looked like I was in okay shape for a 40-something guy. But I had never *really* worked out before, either true metcons or weightlifting.

    3. Cardio level was piss-poor. My guess is that ANYONE would be taken back by what is typically done at most WODs at first, in terms of the cardio required. This is one of the key reasons why I am not a big fan of crossfit as a more than once or twice a week workout - it is chronic cardio. What is chronic cardio? It is your heart rate up high for an extended period. And the warm-up alone will get most people's heartrate up high, and then there's the actual WOD.

    The box I was a member of is the largest in my state and has one of the top coaches in the country. She was fabulous. But you have to be prepared to suck at it. Most of the 'athletes' are in their 20's/early 30's and come to crossfit from other sports/athletic backgrounds. At least at my box they did. So even after 5 months I still came in dead last at every WOD, after giving it my all, and, quite frankly, the stress and pounding my body was taking to just make it through 3 WODs per week was taking its toll. I was gaining weight (not muscle, but fat) from the stress. I quit and immediately dropped ~10lbs of fat and felt 1000x better.

    That said - I do miss it some. My best advice is to don't even look at the board/times/points/etc. AVOID at all costs the team WODs, because invariably you will get people yelling at you to 'motivate' you. Personally, for me, the first month of that was motivating but after a while I wanted to throw the barbell down and yell at the guy yelling in my ear to do one more rep to shut up. It gets annoying. To me, anyway.

    The previous poster who said that mobility is important was dead on. The squat is the fundamental core movement. If you can't get below parallel then you will have problems. For me, we thought it was my hip flexibility (or lack thereof) but I eventually found out on my own that my problem is my ankles aren't flexible enough to squat deep. When I started I couldn't get ANYWHERE near parallel. Now, with a lot of stretching before, I can get to parallel. Everything from barbell lifts, to air squats, to wall balls, etc. is going to be predicated on your squat technique. They can teach you till you and they are blue in the face, but if your body won't go there, it won't go there unless you put a lot of time and effort into it.
    Fortunately there are a couple ladies about on par with me at my box and another couple that are starting off at an even lower fitness level than me - so that hyper competitive atmosphere just isn't really there. And for me I am generally just challenging myself to do it harder and faster than the previous time. Like today - how I pushed myself up to 65lb. power cleans (even though my coach had me doing the WOD at just 55 to start with - I knew I could do more). I'm not sure how long I can afford to keep going - but I'm committing to at least 4 months (including February). I may take the summer off and then re-join in fall, so I can save some money, but we'll see. I am really liking it so far and I like that even though I haven't lost weight I have noticed gains in strength and flexibility already.
    Healthy Bucket List:
    • Summit all of Colorado's 14-ers
    • Hike the Appalachian Trail
    • Do a real pull-up
    • Run a 5k
    • Be "Hot For Training Camp"



    Check out my journey at Outdoor Amy's Blog.

  3. #33
    Kvalhion's Avatar
    Kvalhion is offline Senior Member
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    It took me 4 months of going 5 days a week to crossfit before I was able to do my first strict pullup. Once I was finally able to do one strict pullup, I got into a multi-car accident and had to take the next three months off due to having a back injury. Ugh.

    So I am finally back at the point where I will go to my first Crossfit workout since early to mid December after going to the chiropractor 3x per week for the last six weeks. During the 4 months I was crossfitting, the number on the scale didn't change but I could tell I was leaning out a bit and gaining muscle. In the three months since, I've lost about 10 pounds and none of it was fat. Sigh. So it looks like I am back to square one.

    I pretty consistently come in last in the WODs but I don't really care. I push myself and do the best I can. I enjoy the challenge and have really missed working out the last few months. I hadn't realized just how much progress I had made until I had to stop cold turkey.
    5-24-10 ................ 5-24-11
    Weight: 281.......... Weight: 203

    10-11-10
    Weight: 259
    Total Cholesterol: 243
    LDL: 188
    HDL: 40
    Trig: 96

    2-18-11
    Weight: 228
    Total Cholesterol: 239
    LDL: 183 (calc), 138 (actual)
    HDL: 46
    Trig: 49

    6-23-11
    Weight: 197.2
    Total Cholesterol: 225
    LDL: 161 (calc), 120 (actual)
    HDL: 56
    Trig: 38


  4. #34
    Badkty22's Avatar
    Badkty22 is offline Senior Member
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    I came to crossfit in June of 2012 with zero athletic background. I did not play sports as a kid, was not a gym person as an adult. I had no muscle to speak of. During my beginner's classes, I was the last one to graduate from the 15lb training bar to the 35lb bar. Now I have actual muscles- someone at my box took a candid pic of me deadlifting and holy cow, hello triceps!

    Tips and advice:
    You will gain weight, not lose, especially if you did not have much muscle before. It is a good thing, even though sometimes it is hard to look at the scale. Judge by how your body looks and feels.

    Your thighs and butt may get bigger. Again a function of adding muscle where previously there wasn't much.

    Eating sh*t on box jumps hurts! Knee socks don't help. Still patiently waiting for a month-old box jump injury to heal. Thank god it is still pants weather, my shin is one long stretch of ugly right now.

    Try not to skip WODs that look too hard, or have elements you are not good at yet (double-unders for me!). Practicing stuff you suck at is the only way to get better.

    Scale your WODs but be honest! If you find your natural inclination is to underestimate what weight you can reasonably manage to perform a WOD at, be aware of that and force yourself to add a bit more.

    Don't get overly focused on or intimidated by the numbers other members are posting. 1- some of them have been doing this a while and of course they are better than newbies; 2- you are not competing with them, you are competing with yourself (this is one I struggle with); 3- some percentage of the population lies. Yes, even in Crossfit.

    Take off rings before you workout. This may be obvious to some but it was a lesson I learned the not-fun way. All digits remain intact, thank you for your concern.

    Yoga or some other stretching regimen. At first the stretching you do before/after WODs will be enough and you will see gains in flexibility. Once you start really adding muscle though you will need to stretch more than just the few minutes warm-up you do in class.

    Rowing is not easier because you get to sit. It is hard. If there are not enough rowers, always volunteer to run instead.

    Go to youtube and watch the video "Sh*t Crossfit Girls Say". Hilarious. I always need chalk.

    Enjoy Crossfit!

  5. #35
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    diene is online now Senior Member
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    I have my assessment on 3/16 and will hopefully start on-ramp sessions the week after. I'm very excited. I've been working on my ankle flexibility doing that stretch Mark posted a while back in response to a reader's question about not being able to do the grok squat or whatever without falling backwards. I had the same issue before, but now I can squat without falling backwards. I imagine that my squats have improved as well, but we'll see. My main motivation for doing Crossfit is (aside from wanting to lose body fat) that I really need to work on my weightlifting form. I'm not one of those people who can just watch some Youtube videos or look at the pictures in Starting Strength and figure out how to lift properly. I need someone to teach me, basically, but I can't afford a personal trainer. Crossfit is expensive but cheaper than personal training, and I think it would be a good compromise.

  6. #36
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  7. #37
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    My main motivation for doing Crossfit is (aside from wanting to lose body fat) that I really need to work on my weightlifting form. I'm not one of those people who can just watch some Youtube videos or look at the pictures in Starting Strength and figure out how to lift properly. I need someone to teach me, basically, but I can't afford a personal trainer. Crossfit is expensive but cheaper than personal training, and I think it would be a good compromise.
    This was exactly the reason I joined Crossfit, and the coaching and instruction on lifts has been invaluable. No guarantee that your coaches are as awesome as mine, but if they're anywhere close, I think you're going to be thrilled with your results! Keep us updated!

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