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Old 05-28-2011, 07:23 AM   #1
Stephanie Williamson
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Potentially stupid question...

Okay, so I'm fairly new to CF. I've only been doing it for a few months and naturally, I love it. On another thread, I saw people start talking about how looking good and 'forging elite fitness' might not necessarily go hand in hand. Time for the stupid question - why not? I get that CF is more about performance and strength, but I guess I just sort of assumed that looking better would go along with the feeling better aspect.

I'm not particularly vain or anything and I've always worked out, but I guess I'm just wondering what I should expect. Either way, I'll continue with CF because I feel better than I ever did with 'regular' cardio/strength training, but I just want to be able to gage my results appropriately and not get discouraged.
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:47 AM   #2
David Hansen
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Re: Potentially stupid question...

Genes. Your genes predispose you to a very specific fat and muscle deposition pattern. They predispose you to a specific tendon to muscle body length ratio. They predispose you to a specific skeletal structure.

These patterns, ratios, and structures will give you a "look" that sometimes isn't considered "ideal" by the zeitgeist of what's currently or evolutionarily considered "hot".

Aesthetic training programs like bodybuilding are intended to help fight these genetic propensities to some extent. But GPP programs like crossfit don't address this because you generally don't identify your aesthetic weaknesses and work on them. You train for performance.
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:55 AM   #3
Arturo Garcia
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Re: Potentially stupid question...

If you achieve elite performance you'll probably look good naked. BUT... some people's priorities are to look "ripped" and get the abs. These people might not care about performance and maybe, just mabye, they have to actually get weaker to achieve that look. That's a tough look to obtain for those of us who aren't naturally lean at all. For people like this, chasing optimal performance might not lead to the level of rippedness that many seem to want. Look at games competitors, some are not so ripped but I guess they train for performance. Hope this helps answer the question.
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Old 05-28-2011, 10:39 AM   #4
Spencer James
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Re: Potentially stupid question...

I think some people find that they become more defined and get those abz if they tone down their training. They might lose some of their strength/GPP, but the body starts producing less cortisol and they store less fat. I'm definitely not ripped, but I also know by most proxies of fitness I am in better shape than some other guys who are ripped. Maybe if I trained less I would see this result, but I am chasing performance right now so training less isn't appealing to me.
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:25 AM   #5
Troy Becker
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Re: Potentially stupid question...

People who work out in pursuit of good looks rarely succeed.

People who work out in pursuit of fitness usually end up looking good.
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Old 05-28-2011, 04:14 PM   #6
Scott Tredennick
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Re: Potentially stupid question...

Unless you are going for an extremely low level of body fat somewhere around 4-7, you can get pretty ripped doing crossfit, just dont expect to make strength gains while you're cutting calories and still doing workouts 3-6 times a week.
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Old 05-28-2011, 05:04 PM   #7
Debra Rae Doyle
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Re: Potentially stupid question...

I think for most people, getting leaner and carrying more muscle will improve looks, assuming of course a fairly athletic standard of what looks good. Not everyone shares that assumption, obviously.

I think there comes a time in your training however when the focus on being lean becomes at odds with the quest for strength but at that point you probably already look better than you did before you started.

My looks have changed a lot and I think they've improved but as I get stronger my body is moving outside the usual beauty standard with growing biceps and traps and a waistline that is thickening and I have had to make a choice.

The trouble with training only for looks, IMO, is when you reach your goals of fat loss and muscle gain, the only thing left is maintenance and there is no challenge or inspiration and very little motivation to just stay the same. With women there are other challenges to being motivated by looks because of the relationship with a woman's identity and her appearance making objective measurement of success or the meeting of a goal very difficult.

How do you measure 'look good naked' as a goal without obsessing in front of a mirror and when you can only see what your state of mind allows you to see? But if your goal is an objective performance measurement, this is something you can see clear progress, the numbers don't get distorted in your eyes and you can always work at improving it. Personally, I lose my drive and can't succeed at something if I don't get the positive feedback of progress of some form or another and working for looks just doesn't provide that in my experience.

Sorry for the ramble! But I hope it makes sense. I've gone back and forth training for performance and for looks and this is my personal conclusion.
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Old 05-28-2011, 05:20 PM   #8
Tricia Magrini
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Re: Potentially stupid question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Debra Rae Doyle View Post
I think for most people, getting leaner and carrying more muscle will improve looks, assuming of course a fairly athletic standard of what looks good. Not everyone shares that assumption, obviously.

I think there comes a time in your training however when the focus on being lean becomes at odds with the quest for strength but at that point you probably already look better than you did before you started.

My looks have changed a lot and I think they've improved but as I get stronger my body is moving outside the usual beauty standard with growing biceps and traps and a waistline that is thickening and I have had to make a choice.

The trouble with training only for looks, IMO, is when you reach your goals of fat loss and muscle gain, the only thing left is maintenance and there is no challenge or inspiration and very little motivation to just stay the same. With women there are other challenges to being motivated by looks because of the relationship with a woman's identity and her appearance making objective measurement of success or the meeting of a goal very difficult.

How do you measure 'look good naked' as a goal without obsessing in front of a mirror and when you can only see what your state of mind allows you to see? But if your goal is an objective performance measurement, this is something you can see clear progress, the numbers don't get distorted in your eyes and you can always work at improving it. Personally, I lose my drive and can't succeed at something if I don't get the positive feedback of progress of some form or another and working for looks just doesn't provide that in my experience.

Sorry for the ramble! But I hope it makes sense. I've gone back and forth training for performance and for looks and this is my personal conclusion.
This post is awesome! I struggle with this so much. I have heard, "chase performance and body comp will follow" but its really hard.
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Old 05-28-2011, 05:57 PM   #9
Stephanie Williamson
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Re: Potentially stupid question...

Well it does make me feel a little better to know that I'm not the only one thinking about it. I'm sure I'm over-thinking it altogether, so I'll just stick to what makes me feel better and go from there I guess.

Thanks!
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Old 05-28-2011, 06:42 PM   #10
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Potentially stupid question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Debra Rae Doyle View Post
How do you measure 'look good naked' as a goal without obsessing in front of a mirror and when you can only see what your state of mind allows you to see? But if your goal is an objective performance measurement, this is something you can see clear progress, the numbers don't get distorted in your eyes and you can always work at improving it.
This. Women in particular often have *huge* body image issues, even though objective observers will tell them they look fabulous. If you think "look good naked" means you have to look like a (photoshopped, chemically and surgically enhanced) cover model, then you're very unlikely to ever get there, and frighteningly likely to inflict all kinds of physical and/or psychological damage along the way.

But if you want to compete in the Crossfit Games, well... go back and read what some of the male posters think about how those women look.

Katherine
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