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Old 08-20-2007, 09:18 AM   #1
Frank Stein
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Seeking advice for the severely gravitationally challenged

Iím looking for some advice and guidance, but first some background for context.

Iím 39, 6'7"ish and 530ish pounds. Yeah, thatís not a typo. I have always been huge, but mostly fit anyway. I have a background in Judo, Shootboxing, and MMA, and never really had any health problems, as I kept pretty active. I historically fluctuated between 300 and 400 lbs, not pretty, but since I didnít rock climb or skydive, and only really fought and lifted, it wasnít a huge problem for me. Hell, I even had a guy go rhabdo on me just following me around at the gymn and using light weights in my distant past.

Three years ago I jumped into something that required my dedication pretty much 12-14 hours a day seven days a week. I quit moving, except to commute, and lived on drive through three times a day. I have come up for air recently and discovered Iím kind of trapped. My whole body is jacked, Iím not flexible or strong by any means, have developed some arythmia and some other problems I think due to poor nutrition, and deep squats, forget it.

I know what I used to do to cut weight when I needed to, but that isnít going to work for me now. I just dont have time to cook 3x a day, and spend hours and hours in the gymn, and Id rather die than go under the knife. I need something that I can incorporate into a busy lifestyle that is effective. I may not have to spend 80-100 hours a week on work for quite some time, but 60 forever is a distinct possibility.

I think crossfit is that thing, but I have some questions I hope someone can answer.

1. Can sufficient muscle mass be added through crossfit exercises so that I can ramp my metabolism back up?

2. Should I be looking to do something else to get myself back to a baseline of general fitness before I kick this off?

3. Have any severely obese men walked the crossfit road, and if so, how are they doing?

4. How big an impact is it going to be for me to substitute lat pulls for pull ups, leg presses for squats, etc? My range of motion isnt what it used to be, and clearly I cant lift my body weight with my arms at this point so....

5. Finally, I see some super impressive levels of fitness among some crossfit athletes that rival guys that I have trained with in the past who were professional boxers and UFC fighters. To attain that kind of fitness , these guys trained literally 3-6 hours a day on average. Iím a bit skeptical. (says the enormous fat guy), are all these guys just doing the WOD, and then training in their own sports, or are they doing some supplemental training as well?

Thanks in advance for you kind responses, and avoiding pointing out that I did this to myself. I know it, and Iím here to fix it, so letís leave it at that.
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:50 AM   #2
Tirzah Harper
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Re: Seeking advice for the severely gravitationally challenged

Glad to see you here!

All I can offer is that, as a desk-liver who really started padding my arse over the winter, a mild low-time, low-strength version of CrossFit has made a LOT of difference in my metabolism.

Start slow and see what your body tells you before you decide to keep going, get hardcore, or back off and use a different program for a while. I'm still doing the beginner's workouts from BrandX and they're great for scaling.
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:05 AM   #3
Ben Kaminski
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Re: Seeking advice for the severely gravitationally challenged

Congrats for coming up for air. I think that no matter what your obligations are in the future, you should try to keep a balance in your life, like taking care of yourself in spite of 100 hour work weeks. It's not fair to you if you allow that balance to skew way out.

Here are some answers:
1) definitely, CF is all about ramping up metabolisms. Search for "neuroendocrine effect" and you'll find a lot more info on how the WODs raise metabolism for houre after the workout.

2) I think you can jump right in as long as you scale the workouts to fit your current level of fitness. Some people choose to first do the Starting Strength program by Mark Rippetoe, in order to build up their strength before jumping into CF. Different roads to the same destination, to each their own.

3) If you search the message boards you will find some heavy hitters have tried CF. You might be able to contact them directly to ask their experiences, and if they stuck to it, etc.

4) Lat pulls instead of pullups are no problem, just as long as the intensity is there. Intensity is key to neuroendocrine effect, to massive results, totally key. Pull downs are fine, just tune the weight so that you are working really hard, really intensely during the workout.

5) Most of the CF monsters do just the WOD, while others mix 40% CrossFit with 60% sport specific training to compete in their sport.

Hope this helps! We are a supportive bunch around here so don't worry about any negative replies, they are very rare.
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:37 AM   #4
Susie Rosenberg
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Re: Seeking advice for the severely gravitationally challenged

Wow, do I understand that "coming up for air" feeling.

I've sort of been there, done that. Granted, I've only lost 85+ excess pounds. I'm 5'7" tall, 52 years old and female, now weighing 145 lbs. But at 230 (or more) pounds, I couldn't walk a continuous half-hour without wipe-out fatigue. So I know how it feels to be trapped in a body in a prison of fat.

If you have a cardiac arrhythmia, I am assuming you have been to and discussed your health with a physician. If not, that's a first step. It's kind of like you need to look under the hood of the car and get a systems status before you start looking to rebuild the engine and/or chassis. Make sure all the valves are working, sort of. You don't want to crank the engine and have it blow.

Second, it's important to remind yourself that you can't out-exercise your intake, nor can you exercise well on a bad diet.

When I was losing weight, I was working full-time and I was a single mom with two kids, one of whom has special needs (autism). To say I was stressed and busy is an understatement.

Here are some things I learned to do that were timesavers in the food department:

Cook on weekends for the week. Make lowfat veggie and chicken soups. Make veggie/lean beef stews. Freeze portions and bring 'em to work. Poach a bunch of chicken breasts, slice them, and keep them in portions to top your supermarket salads.

Go to the market in the morning and find a salad bar. Make a huge green salad loaded with veggies and top it with canned salmon, sardines, tuna, or your previously poached chicken breasts. Top with olive oil and vinegar and a sprinkle of nuts you keep at your desk. Buy fruit and bring it to work.

Go to a Chinese take out place and order steamed broccoli with shrimp or chicken, and top it with a couple of tablespoons of black bean sauce. Hold the white rice.

Go to a Mexican place, and order grilled chicken and shrimp fajitas with guacamole, hold the chips, tortillas, and sour cream.

Eat the grilled chicken breast salads at fast food places if you have to.

Believe me, I found every decent shortcut to good nutrition I could find. I'd be happy to email you some easy recipes or more tips, if you like.

You are only as limited as your beliefs. You *can* be busy and eat well if you decide to. Anybody who has the guts and fortitude to work as hard as you do can be successful. Go, man, go.

Susie
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:39 AM   #5
Tom Fetter
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Re: Seeking advice for the severely gravitationally challenged

I've a large friend who's using CrossFit to help with her weight loss. Combined with changed eating habits and additional metcon, she's lost about 55# so far. As with you, she's needing mechanical assist for pullups and dips etc., but the metcon benefits - and weight losses - are coming faster than she'd expected. Makes sense when you think about it - shifting more load = more work. 50 pushups at her current weight are a lot more work than 50 pushups will be when she's lost another 40 pounds.

Watch the activities with high impact though - running has caused problems with one of her heels.
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:04 AM   #6
Frank Stein
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Re: Seeking advice for the severely gravitationally challenged

Quote:
Originally Posted by Susie Rosenberg View Post
If you have a cardiac arrhythmia, I am assuming you have been to and discussed your health with a physician. If not, that's a first step. It's kind of like you need to look under the hood of the car and get a systems status before you start looking to rebuild the engine and/or chassis. Make sure all the valves are working, sort of. You don't want to crank the engine and have it blow.
Yeah, I'm told that the arrhythmia should be non problematic, not indicative of heart disease, thank god, and that the only problem is that there is a really an infinitesimally small chance I will drop dead in my tracks at some point.

After a complete blood work up, all is good on that front, except some insulin resitance, which isnt suprising considering the obesity. At this point, my biggest challenge will be the stress on my joints. My knees were already like sacks of gravel from playing Judo, and they havent improved. Im gonna have to figure out how to minimize impacts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Susie Rosenberg View Post
Second, it's important to remind yourself that you can't out-exercise your intake, nor can you exercise well on a bad diet.
agreed. Im just trying to figure out how to do it in minimal time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Susie Rosenberg View Post
Here are some things I learned to do that were timesavers in the food department:
Susie
All good suggestions, thanks for the help!

Last edited by Frank Stein : 08-20-2007 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:29 AM   #7
Patrick Donnelly
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Re: Seeking advice for the severely gravitationally challenged

Get started on The Zone diet:
http://frontrangecrossfit.typepad.co...r_crossfit.pdf
(Quick and easy summary; work/family safe.)

You'll fee like total **** for a few days while your body adjusts to it, but after that, it's great.
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:37 AM   #8
Jason Lopez-Ota
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Re: Seeking advice for the severely gravitationally challenged

:welcome!: I think you should scale the weights. You don't have to be a super-strong guy to start crossfit. You just start out using lighter weights than people that have been doing this for years use. That will increase your strength.
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Old 08-20-2007, 12:20 PM   #9
Frank Stein
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Re: Seeking advice for the severely gravitationally challenged

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Donnnelly View Post
Get started on The Zone diet:
http://frontrangecrossfit.typepad.co...r_crossfit.pdf
(Quick and easy summary; work/family safe.)

You'll fee like total **** for a few days while your body adjusts to it, but after that, it's great.
Just printed it out.

As a side note, what is a PR?
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Old 08-20-2007, 01:27 PM   #10
Tyler Weir
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Re: Seeking advice for the severely gravitationally challenged

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Originally Posted by Frank Stein View Post
As a side note, what is a PR?
Personal Record.
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