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-   -   Crossfit vs. Traditional weight lifting (http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=1469)

Ben Bundy 08-14-2006 12:37 PM

I currently lift three to four times a week and run 3 times a week as well. I am 5'11 165 and very lean. I was wondering if I do crossfit instead of my traditional program will I be able to maintain this leaness and muscularity? I do not need to put on weight, I want to stay where I am.

I really enjoy the programs and the community, just have a bit of hesitation about solely doing this to maintain my results. Any information would be helpful. Thanks.

Dave Campbell 08-14-2006 01:20 PM

Ben,
It sounds like you would adapt very quickly to Crossfit and you will easily maintain your leaness and muscularity.
Prepare to be humbled a bit as it is a totally different way of achieving fitness.

Ian Carver 08-14-2006 01:39 PM

As Dave said, yes. CF will not bulk you up to any major degree, nor will it strip you down catabolically. The only way that will happen is if your diet is waaaay out of wack in comparison to the demands placed upon the body. You may put on a couple pounds of muscle here and there, but your stripping fat and this isn't a bodybuilding format.

My athletic background was as a former elite endurance athlete. In the years since I was competitive, I lifted weights a lot and stacked up to 195-200 Lbs (from 155 Lb) while maintaining 8-9% BF. I did not want to lose a ton of muscle, but wanted to keep some and shed the other "window dressing" that served me no purpose. About a year ago, I got sick of plain weightlifting and realized it really did nothing for me and was relatively boring. I started in with CF style weight/cardio combo workouts and then shortly after convereted to and followed CF strictly. I cut off a few pounds (185-190) and my BF is still around 7-8% range.

The biggest difference is the overall endurance and fitness I have gained and maintain without having to resort to tons of cardio/endurance training, which in turn sacrifices muscle and power. With CF it all comes in one sweaty, painful, neat package. You will get the positive results you want without the negative stuff you are worried about. When I was at my heaviest weight, it was too hard for my body to maintain that muscle mass/weight. This is not the case in CF for me. Just be ready to find out how hard it is and how your current fitness may lack in some areas. Good luck and enjoy!!

Ben Bundy 08-14-2006 02:17 PM

Thanks for the help. The workouts are defintely a humbling experience. Sometimes the workouts are less than 15min< ALBEIT very difficult and i want to throw up, but do I need to do anything else to compliment these shorter workouts?

Once again thanks for all the help...that is one thing that is gret about this community, everybody maintains a positive mental attitude?

Ben Bundy 08-14-2006 04:15 PM

In response to my above comment, I just did the following workout at the gym in 17min. Should I do more work or just this. Thanks!!

Seven rounds, 21-18-15-12-9-6 - and 3 reps, for time of:
Body weight Bench press
Pull-ups


Russ Greene 08-14-2006 06:05 PM

If you can add extra gymnastics and weightlifting workouts and still recover enough to make progress, go for it. Be careful though, as the WOD's are hard as heck and adding extra work on top of them may be too much at first. As a crossfitter you will quickly learn that when it comes to fitness, quality and intensity very easily make up for a lack of quantity. I would recommend you add extra practice on several of these exercises when time, energy, and recovery permit, first to ingrain perfect form and then to improve strength:

deadlift
clean and jerk
snatch
handstand pushups
one leg squats
back squats
overhead squats
muscleups
l-pullups
rope climbs
one arm pushups
front squats

If you get to the point where you have a 3 minute Fran, 15 muscleups, and a 2.5 bodyweight deadlift, you will have a very impressive physique, I promise.

Ian Carver 08-14-2006 08:52 PM

Russ is dead on. Your WOD described above is a tough one - there will be some even more evil ones you will come upon too. Although it may not feel like a ton of work went into it, ask yourself this: How did you feel during and immediately after? Most likely, you were spent if you were going hard and fast and putting forth good effort. Think about the overall gains and advantages that has on your body-think big picture. I do exactly what Russ recommended. After the WOD, I recover for a few minutes and if I have it in me, I'll do some core work, oly lifts for form, or work on a strength move that has me beat (handstand pushups, thank you very little...) That is plenty. Some days I will do a different WOD from a list I have at home while other days I will run, ride, skate, or do something else entirely. It all adds up to the overall fitness level. In some instances, like today, I was tired all day and generally felt beat down. So today, along with yesterday, I took off. Listen to your body and don't get to aggro with your workouts and the quest to make up for what you think may be lacking. I assure you, there is very little lacking in any realm of fitness in CF. Take care and have fun.

Dave Campbell 08-15-2006 04:45 AM

Ben,
Russ makes some good points. In addition to the WOD, use extra practice to learn excellent form on the tougher moves. Being able to handle more weight in the DL, C&J, etc. will get you fit fast. Work on your Overhead Squat, too.
The WOD you mentioned is a good one (I just did it last week) but pales in intensity to many others. I find it much easier to do bench press and pulls ups than do perform say...thrusters and hang squat cleans.

Anthony Bainbridge 08-15-2006 05:56 AM

I was in the same boat as you. I wanted to improve conditioning without sacraficing size or strength.

I was skeptical at first because it's the hardcore metcon workouts that stand out, but the more you read, the more you learn, the more you realize the WOD is just an example of Crossfit principles. How you apply those principles depends on your strengths, weaknesses, and goals.

Anyway, after toying around with the ideas, I decided to jump in. Ten months later my weight and body fat are the same, my strength is through the roof, and my conditioning has been making great strides. And I could go on for days about the progress my girlfriend Jodi has made. It blows my mind.

Bottom line, we are here to stay!

George Brothers 08-15-2006 06:25 AM

ben
the one comment that i would add to all of these is that i think with crossfit your diet is very important esp when trying to stay lean. seems most are sold on the zone or paleo. right now your running is probably contributing to your leaness. you may have to keep this up some unless your diet is right on. but xfit will give you a whole new perspective on fitness. the only thing i would add is that xfit is a program to enhance your general physical preparedness. if your goal is overall excellent fitness then this will do that for you. if you have other interests such as triathlon, powerlifting, climbing, biking then you will still need to do these but xfit will enhance these activities.


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