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  1. #41
    Goldie's Avatar
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    I can second what MathFit posted. I'm not a trainer, but I've been Crossfitting for 3 years, and I love it. (Female, currently 56 years old.) I started by doing the WODs posted on crossfit.com by myself, then checked out my local box for more info. For me, working out with a group is much more fun than doing them by myself.

    I also know how to listen to my body, and don't have the "disadvantage" of testosterone--I push myself, but I don't feel the need to compete against others; I compete against myself. The max number of WODs I'll do in a week is 4. Usually 2 WODs and one day with our Oly coach because I love the Olympic lifts and one day with our powerlifting coach.

    My box has free Saturday WODs for anyone who wants to show up, and they don't include the technical lifts. You might want to see if any of the boxes near you have something similar.

    My box has payment options... month to month, 6 month (with a discount), yearly (with more of a discount), and cancel whenever you want. I've seen that different boxes also have other options... pay less for only 2 days/week, etc.

    Before I found Crossfit, I did the traditional big-box gym type workout, and I found it boring. I think 50% of what I like about Crossfit is the support and encouragement of our trainers and the friends I've made there. We also have social events (paleo BBQs, picnics, pot-lucks) and do fund-raising WODs for charities.

  2. #42
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    Here's my experience. I'm a 42-year-old female, very short (just under 5 feet tall). About 10 pounds overweight at the first box; about 15 pounds overweight at the second.

    I tried the first box two years ago; it's about 20 minutes from my house. I did the on-ramp sessions and rocked that for the two weeks. But then for the month that I did classes, I felt overwhelmed. Very crowded classes, so I didn't get a lot of individual attention. I felt a lot of pressure to Do! The! Reps! To be fair, that could have been how I perceived it. I was very insecure. My form was shoddy, and I wound up yanking something in my back. I didn't return.

    I tried the second box last summer; it's about 15 minutes from my house. For the first month, I felt very encouraged - I wasn't the oldest person there, and while I was slow and had light weights (my best ever deadlift was 105 pounds; at the time, I weighed 110), I felt encouraged to do my best. But during the second month, I started feeling the Come! On! pressure. I came to realize that A) I hate the team race mentality and B) I strongly prefer one-on-one sessions.

    I'm recovering from ACL surgery (tore it during taekwondo, sigh; 69 days before I hopefully get the all clear to return to TKD, which I miss terribly), so weightlifting hasn't been on the agenda. I'm going to try a bodyweight program, along with continuing my Couch To 5K program (building my endurance to return to TKD, and hey: sprints!). I may contact the owner of the second box and see if she does personal training. But if the bodyweight/HIIT sprint combo works, then I won't bother.

  3. #43
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    I think it would be cool if more places just offered straight up group weightlifting classes that focused on squats, deadlifts etc. That's the part I enjoy. If I go do that on my own at a gym, without a coach, no way will I push myself to go heavy. I looked for personal trainers, and around here, I didn't find anyone that did that type of lifting, nor were they affordable. My friend used to go to a place around here and pay something god awful like $500 a month to run on a treadmil and do bicep curls and bodyweight squats.

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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheyCallMeLazarus View Post
    * Crossfit, P90X, Insanity, other marketed stuff (Very effective, but usually a lack of long-term goal setting. Effective up to elite level)
    * Elite athlete, bodybuilding, Ultimate diet, IF regimens (Capable of producing elite level definition, power, speed, or whatever is the goal)

    Now, the reason people trash each other on every Crossfit discussion is because SOME Crossfit adherents like to act as if their regimen is superior to the last group. It's not, period. Keep in mind that most of these programs are very arduous to do, take a lot of patience, and are often highly protected by those that designed them. Crossfit is fine and has it's strengths and pitfalls, but it isn't a superior program to what guys like Martin Berkham, Lyle McDonald,or John Romaniello are putting out there. Same goes for elite coaches at colleges of all disciplines....so long as you recognize that, you will keep your expectations reasonable and not go for the hype portion of its programming.
    Heh, based on your description, crossfit is actually perfect for me because I'm not at an elite level and am not delusional enough to think that I'll ever get there. So crossfit is effective for someone like me.

    Quote Originally Posted by sakura_girl View Post
    I would never do xfit because I wouldn't pay $150/month to be motivated by people when I was self-motivated to begin with. Just my opinion.
    Well, it's not just the motivation. There's also the coaching. But if you already have a lot of athletic experience and don't need any coaching, then it would be less worthwhile for you.

    I've been working out on my own for years and had no idea what I was doing. I learned on day 1 at crossfit (actually before day 1, I learned during the assessment) that I had been doing pushups wrong. Pushups! Yup. With the proper form, I actually can't do pushups on the floor at all. Not even one. Doing them improperly, I can do 10-15 in a row. Now I do them on a box (incline) with the proper form.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paleobird View Post
    Good Grok! It costs that much? Really?
    Depends on the box. I pay $160/month now, and it is super expensive. I'm planning on moving back to the Bay Area soon and was looking at crossfit boxes in Oakland. I found out that Crossfit East Bay is only $71 per month, which is a lot more affordable. Crossfit Oakland, on the other hand, charges $199 with a 12-month contract. Yikes!

    It's totally worth it though, IMO, if you have a job and can afford it. I just don't buy as many cute but mostly useless dresses anymore. And when I do buy stuff, it's mostly supplements and workout gear. More and more, I'm becoming one of those people who live to workout.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnolia1973 View Post
    I think it would be cool if more places just offered straight up group weightlifting classes that focused on squats, deadlifts etc. That's the part I enjoy. If I go do that on my own at a gym, without a coach, no way will I push myself to go heavy. I looked for personal trainers, and around here, I didn't find anyone that did that type of lifting, nor were they affordable. My friend used to go to a place around here and pay something god awful like $500 a month to run on a treadmil and do bicep curls and bodyweight squats.
    You need to find a good "black iron" gym and hire a trainer there. Or find a good partner and do a program on your own. I think you can search for Starting Strength certified coaches on that website as well.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnolia1973 View Post
    I think it would be cool if more places just offered straight up group weightlifting classes that focused on squats, deadlifts etc. That's the part I enjoy. If I go do that on my own at a gym, without a coach, no way will I push myself to go heavy. I looked for personal trainers, and around here, I didn't find anyone that did that type of lifting, nor were they affordable. My friend used to go to a place around here and pay something god awful like $500 a month to run on a treadmil and do bicep curls and bodyweight squats.
    I'm in same boat, wanting a trainer to help with or correct form. I think I could go much heavier on my lifts but don't for fear of injury. I've never seen a trainer at my gym EVER put a woman in the squat rack, or hold a dumbbell over 10 lbs! Bodyweight lunges are very common. I doubt they even know what a deadlift is!

    For now I study a lot of youtube videos trying to figure it out on my own.

    You need to find a good "black iron" gym and hire a trainer there. Or find a good partner and do a program on your own. I think you can search for Starting Strength certified coaches on that website as well.
    A "Black Iron" gym would be great, if only I lived by one

  7. #47
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    You need to find a good "black iron" gym and hire a trainer there. Or find a good partner and do a program on your own. I think you can search for Starting Strength certified coaches on that website as well.
    I know the type of gym of which you speak, there used to be one across the street from me. They closed. But they had a basement of dumbbells and barbells and big ass guys. Plus a sauna and a steam room. I used to go and do the elliptical for an hour then hang out in the steam room and talk to the stripper that was always doing pull ups. This town is DOMINATED by the YMCA and boutique gyms (I think we have like 6 places to Pole Dance, 3 or 4 of the "Aerial Silk" places etc.). That and the Planet Fitness that has free pizza every Thursday (judgement free!).

    Maybe I should just start a gym. LOL, I have a friend who is a bodybuilder. Maybe he could be the trainer.

    That said, I enjoy where I go for Crossfit, and like it enough that I hope they don't close down.

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  8. #48
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    I was going to write up proper pros and cons for CF from my experience, but I think I'll just note a few key points instead:

    1) Check what the WOD is beforehand and decide if you want to/should go. For example, if you are sore having worked shoulders a lot recently and it is another shoulder heavy workout, don't go. IMHO far too many people blindly follow their box's or HQ's programming without thinking for themselves.

    2) High rep complex lifts done for time are problematic, regardless of how much form is stressed over speed. Simply put, you will get fatigued and however hard you try, form will suffer unless you start taking long breaks during a WOD, which kind of defeats the point. The risk of injury is reduced somewhat, however, by the relatively modest weights being used. Again you need to think for yourself, use a weight you can handle.

    3) Kipping-pullups. This is a tricky one and often opens a can of worms, but here goes. Kipping is cheating, whatever anyone tries to tell you. However, that doesn't mean they can't be effectively incorporated into a workout. The problem is that people often use kipping-pullups when they can't do deadhangs. This makes injury more likely as they probably lack the strength and stability to execute the exercise under control.

    There's a lot more you could say for and against CF, but I think it is well worth having a go as long as you always question what you are doing and why.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleobird View Post
    What are people's thoughts on Crossfit being geared more toward strength or more toward fitness?
    CrossFit is definitely not a strength program. Strength training cannot be effective done long term without careful programming.

    In my opinion, for "fitness", I think the best approach is appropriate strength training with heavy weights a few times a week, high intensity conditioning training a few times a week, such as hill sprints and prowler work, some mobility training, if there are problem areas, and lots of walking and such. This type of training is actually quite in line with Mark Sisson's approach, sprint, lift heavy things, etc.

    I think if you took two twins, put one through CrossFit for 2 years, and the other through Starting Strength (to completion! none of this "tried it for a month" crap), followed by an intermediate lifting program and prowler conditioning 2-3 times a week, he would end up with much higher strength, bone density, lean body mass, and a high level of physical conditioning. In fact, I bet the lifter/prowler guy would beat the CrossFitter at CrossFit, with the exception being not knowing how to do things like kipping pull-ups (which is a plus in my book), muscle-ups, double unders, and some other things popular in CrossFit which require specific technique.

    Look up how strong people do in CrossFit. Almost always they end up quickly progressing to the top of the pack because being able to press 185lb and do deadhang pull-ups with 45lb makes Fran a heck of a lot easier than just trying to do Fran faster.

  10. #50
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    I think though, Crossfit is a huge step up for people in terms of strength training. When you consider so many people are sedentary, then you have people who work out and just do jogging or cycling, getting people to do any type of weights is great. I already see a big difference in my body after 8 weeks. Much stronger in the core and broader shoulders, plus god bless them, my thighs are bigger but leaner.

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