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

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Old 10-03-2006, 12:13 PM   #1
Jeff Belyeu
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I am trying to give some advice to a friend of mine. He has been out of the USMC for a few years, and is currently working on a base as a civilian. He is applying for a position that would require him to rejoin. In order to rejoin, he needs to lose about 20# in the next month. (Currently I would guess he is about 5'6" and 200#) I have suggested Crossfit, but he is afraid that he may lose fat, but will build muscle, and therefore not lose weight. Unfortunately in this case, the scale is the deciding factor. If his weight is not below the mark, then he does not pass, does not re-enlist, and does not get the job. Currently he is restricting his diet by eating salads (not sure, but I hope at least some meat on it) for lunch and dinner, and his exercise program is basically jogging. Long term fitness, and GPP, and healthy diet wise, this is not best, but in order to make the weight, is this his best choice, or what would everyone suggest? I would think some of the metcon type workouts would be best long term, and hopefully meet the mark short term, but I would like some input if anyone can help. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-03-2006, 12:27 PM   #2
Mike ODonnell
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20lbs in one month is hard hard to do unless one is really overweight by alot...if he does lose it, it will be some fat, lots of water and some muscle. Diet would be the #1 thing for him to concentrate on. If his calorie intake is too low...eventually the body will figure it out and lower the metabolism (built in survival alarm). Low carbing will draw alot of water out of the body. If there are some fighters who drop lbs to make weight class they might have some techniques...but overall not going to be very healthy. Not sure if I know how else to help out.
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Old 10-03-2006, 02:37 PM   #3
Lynne Pitts
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Moving to Fitness.
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Old 10-04-2006, 05:23 AM   #4
Craig Van De Walker
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I feel quick weight loss is DANGEROUS (as in potentially fatal, but so is driving), unhealthy, to be taken at your own risk, but possible!

I do not think he should have a huge problem at his weight and height, but it won't be fun. His weight loss will not be healthy, but if his only concern is 20 lbs in one month he could crash diet his way there.

If I was him I think I would do met con and LSD. But really long really slow LSD like a 10-15 mile WALK everday and a met con every other. Maybe dig out his old ruck or a weight vest. I say walk because if he injures himself running that kind of distance without a ramp up he is unlikely to make weight in his short time frame.

I think it is bad practice to drop weight fast but if anyone has ever wrestled in high school 20-30 years back they probably remember at least one team mate dropping 10lbs in less than a week (very dangerous)

Hopefully his salads are good with something besides iceberg lettuce and he keeps an eye on his fluid status keeping it in good shape at least until the day before weigh in.
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:51 AM   #5
Motion Macivor
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intervals intervals intervals!
nothing will drop weight like high intensity cardio work combined with an atkins style diet (expect some extreme grumpieness). The lsd is important for recovery but it takes forever to loose weight that way (compared to interval training combined with lsd). I know LSD puts you in the "fat burning zone" but think about how many fat people you see in the gym plodding along on the treadmills. If you do a half hour warm up, 4-6 intervals about 5 minutes each as hard as posible with a full recovery in between and then a half hour cool down you should be able to avoid gaining muscle. this would be a typical early season workout for a competitve cyclist so if you want to look like one of those fat pigs this would be a good start. Running stairs is also great interval training. The key is to make the workouts long enough, and intense enough to burn muscle as well as fat, and to stay away from any sort of pure strength work that will increase muscle mass. These workouts will basically be the metcon that Craig mentioned and should be done three maybe four times a week with lsd days between. If he can follow that schedule for four weeks I would be amazed if he did'nt loose twenty pounds.
Hope that helps
BTW if he gets really sore from the interval training make sure he does lots of low intensity cardio (hiking) until he's ready for the next round of intervals. Laying on the couch and moaning will not make you thin.
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Old 10-04-2006, 09:50 AM   #6
Matthew Nielsen
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I think Dan John just lost 20+ lbs in a month. Maybe he can help?
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Old 10-04-2006, 05:51 PM   #7
Jeff Belyeu
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Thanks for the advice, guys. I thought the LSD would maybe work but wasn't sure how quickly. I thought the metcon would work faster, but needed some backup/experience. So the consensus is basically a combination of the two. The metcon should not be anything too strength related, but just high intensity. I like burpees too much not to try to include them here. Sprints, stairs, anything else? The LSD is there to just burn more and more calories, to keep the motor running and maby workout any soreness. Thanks again for the input.
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Old 10-04-2006, 06:22 PM   #8
Damon Stewart
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I'm a former wrestler now BJJ practitioner...if he gets close and doesn't make it's possible (but not necessarily safe) to lose that much weight in water. 10% of your bodyweight is as far as I'd push it. I was a big fan of lose it as late as possible and rehydrate as quick as possible...this link has some somewhat sensible advice:

Diet and lifestyle changes always trump crash programs if he has the discipline to follow through. If not it's off to the sauna.
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:16 PM   #9
Kenneth R Davis
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I think Mike, above, stated it well.

I personally believe your friend should look more towards his overall health, and let the job opportunity be secondary to getting in shape. At 5'6" and 200lb, his BMI is 31.5. (That's obese, not just overweight) He should be looking at a BMI of 22 to 24, or weight of 140 - 154 lb--Yikes!

On any diet, he will loose 8 to 10 lbs as glyogen stores are depleted and water is lost in a week or 10 days. There's also a loss of energy, i.e. he'll be tired. I doubt your friend gained 20lbs in 2 weeks and he shouldn't think he can loose it that fast.

It is VERY difficult to simultaneously loose fat and gain muscle. I would suggest the CrossFit approach of intense workouts and the Zone diet with 4 blocks x 3 meals and 2 block for 2 snacks, will allow your friend to reach his goal. I like Aerobics and would add that to each day's WOD, e.g. 4 minutes of fast rope jumping followed by 1/2 mile spirnts, x 3 rounds. Or, just jogging for 3 miles. However, he'll need to add some carbs to his diet it he wants to keep this up for more than a week.
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Old 10-05-2006, 06:12 AM   #10
Jeff Belyeu
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Thanks again. I am trying to push him in the long term (can I say right?) direction, but as another thread has recently covered about giving advice to family and friends, they do not always choose to listen.
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