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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 06-06-2007, 01:56 PM   #1
James William Goulden
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I'm a Personal Trainer and a fellow crossfitter.
I've followed crossfit for 2 months now and i have personally experienced increases in strength and endurance and i love the WOD's.
However i have also experienced increases in size and had a sharp gain in weight, going up 3.5kg's from 78.5 to 82kg in just 8 weeks, all of which is muscle. I was well built to start with and only 10% BF.
To add to that two of my clients who i put on a crossfit type program also had weight gains of 3 kg's in the 8 week period, again all muscle.
I would have guessed beforehand that with the high Rep ranges in CF that Muscle Gain (Hypertrophy) would not have happened...but it did.
I'm not i look like a greek god :-)

My question to this discussion board is, have any others had similar results on the crossfit program.

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Old 06-06-2007, 04:16 PM   #2
Steven Low
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I wrote something about this last night in a big post on how to workout but I'll summarize it here --

"On the other hand though not going to failure can also be utilized well with endurance and metabolic conditioning. Again, with metabolic conditioning, if one stops short of failure, their work capacity for the workout will be increased and therefore allow them to complete it sooner. This increases the amount of work per the amount of time (e.g. total power output is higher). This is akin to a higher intensity because although it is not like a 1 RM exercise, the total intensity is distributed throughout the body more by different exercises instead. This is one difference where metabolic conditioning is more like strength than endurance."

It's a pretty simple concept: a high total power output in a lot of metcon workouts becomes like strength workouts because of the amount of stress put on the entire body (not just selected muscle groups like in strength lifting). High power outputs will stimulate hormone release. This can be seen in any sport like oly lifting, world class rowing, gymnastics, sprinting, etc.
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Old 06-06-2007, 04:21 PM   #3
Greg Hamilton
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definitely no greek god here, but i was somewhat overweight to start and rather quickly gained 10lbs - 12lbs. my diet isn't the greatest but it's not horrible either, and i certainly wasn't eating MORE unless it was protein. i started at 196lbs and got as heavy as 208lbs, a 12lb total gain, but certainly in far better shape than when i started crossfit and the fit of my clothes showed the difference (and the mirror). i've been at it just over 9 months now, and in the past couple of months the pounds just started slowly coming off. i've been as low as my starting weight, 9 months ago at 196lbs, and i'm 199lbs today. i'm absolutely certain that if i was concerned about it enough and stayed completely out of the cookie jar and away from the occasional fast food feast, i could easily drop below 190lbs at this point and look like a greek god, too!
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Old 06-07-2007, 01:19 AM   #4
Gorm Laursen
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I've experienced the exact same! A little to my regret, as I've lost alot of fat and doesn't want to replace one type of gargantuic apperance with another ... but still: it's a luxury problem!

Another thing I've noticed is the hefty decrease in food intake. I doesn't eat nearly enough to maintain lean body mass (if you ask regular fitness 'science') but still the muscles seem not only to stick but also increase.
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Old 06-07-2007, 06:27 AM   #5
Michael Ledney
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I put on a solid 25# in my first 2-3 months on CF. Much of that, however, I attribute to improved diet.

I felt uncomfortably large at 250# though and took steps to drop some muscle. Now I stay somewhere between 230 and 240 without having to think about it.

PS. none of those guys in the avatar are me if you're looking for the 240# crossfitter.

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Old 06-07-2007, 07:29 AM   #6
Chris Honnon
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Funny, I was just thinking about this topic myself when I came onto the forums.

I got my a$$ handed to me snowboarding in early April (could only make it down the mountain once and had to stop). Disgusted with myself I started going to the gym that very Monday. I went from 230# to 219# in about 2-3 weeks of standard muscle isolation type workouts on machines mixed with brisk walks on the treadmill. Then I found CF.

Since starting CF in late April my weight has actually gone back up to 220#. This is even after making drastic changes to my diet (thanks Gorm and everyone else who helped me with that). I was getting very frustrated at first when I'd get on the scale and see no change.

On the other hand, I'm down from a 38" pushing 40" pant size to an easy 36" (I'm wearing them right now :-P) and I've gone down nearly 3 holes on my belt. I'm also fitting into shirts that I haven't worn in a very long time. Oh, and big news for me - my wife told me this morning that she has noticed that I snore less now than a month ago!

I've decided to stay of the scales for a little while because they mess with my head right now. The proof is in the mirror and when other people comment. I care more about what I can do then how much I weigh!

That is just me of course but, point being, similar experience here.
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:48 AM   #7
Nick Cruz
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I have actually had the exact opposite happen to me! I started at 220 (6'-2") and after I started CF and a diet change (eliminating fast food, alcohol, sugars) the weight came off like a coat. I started losing at least 1# per week. After 9 mos of CF I hit 185. I went from a 38" waist to a 34"! I started doing zone meals and I bottomed out at 179 a couple of months ago. I noticed that I was not making the strength gains that I wanted. Since then I have upped my fat intake by 3x-5x and I am back up to 185 and posting new PR's every week!
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Old 06-07-2007, 10:31 AM   #8
John Seiler
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I've experienced the same. I agree with Steven that is a neuro-endocrine response to the stimilus you are getting that is responsible.

Those who are losing weight are coming from the other side of things wherein the wanted to lose weight. I've always been trying to add muscle.

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Old 06-07-2007, 10:41 AM   #9
Lincoln Brigham
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I once went to a Marine Corp boot camp graduation ceremony. The head DI got on stage and asked, "How many of you recruits lost 10 pounds or more during boot?" About 2/3rds of the hands went up. "How many of you gained 10 pounds or more?" Most of the rest of the hands went up. So too with Crossfit - the odds of your weight staying the same aren't good.
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Old 06-07-2007, 02:15 PM   #10
Garth Reed
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Great photo Gorm!!!
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