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Old 05-17-2010, 09:25 AM   #1
Dave Reilly
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CF First Timer, any tips for a big guy?

I am 6'5", 275lbs. I am in decent shape from years of lifting and running for football. It is time for me to get into a more sustainable body and focus on being in shape instead of being as big and strong as possible.

I am familiar with the lifts in CF and the rest of the excercises don't seem too complicated (although very difficult).

I have a good 24/7 gym that should be pretty CF friendly. It has bumper plates, chalk, sandbags, tires, but no kettle bells.

I have eaten garbage most of my life and it is time to clean up! From what I have read the "Paleo Diet" is the way to go.

I have come up with these goals so far:

-Lower my Blood Pressure (I am pre-hypertensive)

-Cut my risk of Heart Disease and Diabetes (I have a bad family history)

-Get down to 245lbs, while staying strong

-Do twenty pull-ups

-Do one muscle-up

I have a couple of questions too:

-Big guys: any general tips on what might be tricky in CF at my size?

-What is the favorite jump rope of the tall?

-How is push/pull balanced in CF? (I have a history of shoulder injuries and have found that increased pull movements versus pushes has helped [thanks dieselcrew.com], but I can only do six pull-ups right now.

Thanks in advance!

I'm having my "Marti-Gras" this week and IT IS ON MONDAY 5/24!
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:22 AM   #2
Aushion Chatman
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Re: CF First Timer, any tips for a big guy?

I'm not a big guy...but I think you're overthinking it a bit...which is probably good nervousness before jumping into any endeavor.

1) Obviously bodyweight movements are going to be tough for you. You're probably not going to be in a Front Lever anytime soon

But Wall Ball to a 10' target is definitely something that is too easy for you, so some things you'll scale up, some things you'll scale down...it's really like that for everyone though so, just jump in and see where your weaknesses are...then concentrate in those areas.

2) Any jump rope long enough for you is a good jump rope.

3) CF is less about managing push/pull (at least mainsite) and more about managing energy systems. Each workout is designed to predominately stress certain energy systems in your body. With the majority tending towards Anaerobic stressors. If you have shoulder issues continue dieselcrew rehab and at this point "prehab" routines. For rehab you do the 3-5 sets as they prescribe...for prehab, you simply do 1-2 sets as a warm up or cool down.

Mardi Gras is no excuse...GET TO WORK!
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:43 PM   #3
Dave Reilly
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Re: CF First Timer, any tips for a big guy?

Also, what is with the pitbulls in the logos, background of demo videos, etc?

I have one, so maybe I am cut out for CF
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:52 AM   #4
Carl Leaf
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Re: CF First Timer, any tips for a big guy?

I hear you on being big man, I'm 6'4 and 280, just started at a CrossFit gym yesterday. Only tip I can suggest is find an actual CrossFit gym with trainers who can give you pointers and encourage you. Other gyms might just look at you confused.
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:46 PM   #5
Aushion Chatman
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Re: CF First Timer, any tips for a big guy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Reilly View Post
Also, what is with the pitbulls in the logos, background of demo videos, etc?

I have one, so maybe I am cut out for CF
I believe the Glassman's (founders) have a pit...so there were plenty of pics back in the day of him everywhere. If you read CFJ 21 or 15...one of those, they did a food test with him, he chose Paleo.
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:23 AM   #6
Levi Noecker
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Re: CF First Timer, any tips for a big guy?

I'm still a CF newbie (9 months in), but I thought I'd add that proper footwear seems to be very important for big guys starting out. I've seen several large guys join my box and within two months develop knee and shin problems that other, smaller new people starting out didn't get. They then went to a local running shoe store that fit them with more appropriate footwear (more minimalistic, like Inov8), and their knee and shin problems have since disappeared.

Obviously this is anecdotal evidence, so perhaps someone else could chime in and agree/disagree?
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:36 AM   #7
Frank Passalacqua
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Re: CF First Timer, any tips for a big guy?

I was 6'2" 250 when I started back in Nov. Now I'm down to 225. My best advice is try to keep things in perspective. When I started I couldn't keep up with any one, always finished last...but was the strongest. So my strength was strength but that only goes so far. I also thought I was "fit" but got quite a reality check with CF. Also don't get crazy over times and what people are doing in bench mark WOD's...compete against yourself and validate success against your own before and after stats.
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:14 AM   #8
Stu Christensen
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Re: CF First Timer, any tips for a big guy?

Dropping weight will make you better at CF. Guys who aren't overly musclebound definitely do better and find certain tasks easier. If that is your goal, dropping a few pounds will be the right thing for you. I personally like the metcon portion of CF but train straight up strength based powerlifting/strongman. I am 5'11" and 240-245 and like it that way...when I stop focusing on strength so much, I'll drop 25 pounds...but right now, I know the bodyweight stuff and some other things will be my weakness and I accept that.

Good luck and enjoy!!
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:06 PM   #9
David Arnar Sverrisson
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Re: CF First Timer, any tips for a big guy?

Hi Dave.

I too am 6'5 (and I have these crazy long arms!), although nowhere near as big as you - that is to say I started CF at 200 pounds, and currently weigh in at a somewhat leaner 225 pounds.

The paleo diet is probably the way to go. I did the Zone for a year, with great results - but lately I've been consuming more (50% daily Cal) carbs. The increased carbs have improved my perfomance, but padded my abs with some fat. On the diet front, don't be afraid to experiment: just stay strict, note your experience and find what works for you. Strict Paleo is an excellent starting point.

Blood pressure: I too am pre-hypertensive. I actually think that this might be a byproduct of being tall and having a strong heart (resting HR of 40-50) and thus impermutable, that is: your systolic pressure might be high but if your diastolic pressure is low-ish you should not worry to much, but losing fat should work to decrease the blood pressure anyhow.

With a healthy diet and a great excercise regime (Crossfit!) you are pretty much tackling the development of CHD and DM2 head on.

(I guess you know all this, but streams of consciousness are not meant to be stopped)
-----------

Be sure to drink plenty of water and supplement omega-3 fatty acids. Your body will be taking an extra pounding for your size, and I felt that water and fish oil really helped with all those minor aches and injuries that sprung up.

Olympic movements will be slightly tougher. I got a dedicated O-lifter to help me out on technique and I feel this paid off immensely.

At my gym there were a few muscle-up capable guys. All small. I actually had to go counter to their advice (in regards to the swing of the legs) to get a muscle up. Just keep in mind that you may have to do this slightly differently than smaller athletes.

I got a Buddy Lee jumprope the day I started Crossfit. Yay, affiliate! I never used a jumprope before that. This might be a moot datapoint, but when I do try using low-end jumpropes I can't get them swinging fast enough to make consistent double unders. Whereas my DU's on the Buddy Lee's are crazy good. So, if you intend to buy a jump rope - the cheap ones might not be so good.

Also, (and this is what I have the most trouble with ) don't get too caught up with how much harder a time you are having with all that bodyweight stuff compared to everybody else: just focus on having your own perfect ROM and accept you can't really compete in bodyweight excercises. Just hit them with all the intensity you have.

Lastly, learn to love the burpee!
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Old 05-20-2010, 09:27 PM   #10
Dave Reilly
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Re: CF First Timer, any tips for a big guy?

I had my first big-guy mishap today: I came back too far on the Concept2 and maxed it out, which caused the handle to come out of my hands and retract. Gym was close to empty, so there weren't too many strange looks.

I've been trying some of the moves and equipment (not hard effort, just getting familiar). I'm starting Monday with the WOD from this Thursday, hopefully the lag will give me time to figure out scaling and how to deal with equipment I don't have access to.
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