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Old 07-07-2013, 03:22 PM   #1
Tricia Grunwaldt
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how do you tell what you are gaining?

Ive been at this for almost 2 months. I thought for SURE with this hands down being the hardest workouts Ive EVER done, Id lose weight- no problem. Nope. Gained a little. Id gained 3 pounds in about a month! What the what? I've been working my butt off, literally! My doc suggested cutting calories. I tried. I attempted 1150 a day, at his suggestion, but I felt weak. (And, honestly, counting and logging calories kinda blows.)
How can I determine-without a major test at the doctor- if Im gaining fat or muscle or some funky combo of both (my arms & shoulders are super toned. Thats all Im happy with, thus far.)

If theres a supplement or shake or SOMETHING I should be taking, please FILL me in!!!
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:08 PM   #2
Mark E. Wallace
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Re: how do you tell what you are gaining?

(I feel like I should set up a macro for this response at this point)

Crossfit is not a weight loss program.

Crossfit is a Strength and Conditioning program.

Do you feel that, after two months, you are becoming stronger and more conditioned?

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Old 07-07-2013, 05:04 PM   #3
Chris Mason
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Re: how do you tell what you are gaining?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tricia Grunwaldt View Post
Ive been at this for almost 2 months. I thought for SURE with this hands down being the hardest workouts Ive EVER done, Id lose weight- no problem. Nope. Gained a little. Id gained 3 pounds in about a month! What the what? I've been working my butt off, literally! My doc suggested cutting calories. I tried. I attempted 1150 a day, at his suggestion, but I felt weak. (And, honestly, counting and logging calories kinda blows.)
How can I determine-without a major test at the doctor- if Im gaining fat or muscle or some funky combo of both (my arms & shoulders are super toned. Thats all Im happy with, thus far.)

If theres a supplement or shake or SOMETHING I should be taking, please FILL me in!!!

Tricia, most docs don't know much about proper weight loss.

You note a very common misconception. People think that training hard will automatically result in weight loss. Unfortunately that is not true. Sure, exercise will burn calories and the right kind of exercise will cause you to burn more fat even when resting, but that does not automatically translate to weight loss. The human body is highly adaptive and will do what it can to maintain body weight.

Diet is the #1 factor in body composition. Not to confuse the matter, but exercise is SUPER important because if you do not do the right kind of exercise (primarily strength training) fat loss will not be optimized when you reduce caloric intake and it will be more likely that you will regain lost fat at some point.

I think in your case you simply added some muscle and likely did lose some body fat. Muscle weighs significantly more than fat, so gaining a little muscle can offset the loss of more fat in terms of body weight.

My suggestion is you stay the course in terms of your training. Lean muscle mass burns fat preferentially when at rest and will burn more fat when exercising as well. In other words, muscle = good. And don't worry, the vast majority of females cannot become overly muscular without the use of anabolic steroids.

I also suggest that you do need to reduce your caloric intake, but obviously not as dramatically as the doc suggested. Get a calorie counting app and eat normally for one week. Record every calorie containing food and beverage you consume. At the end of the week see what your average daily intake is. Once you have that drop it by 300 cals and consume that much for two weeks and see how your body responds.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:15 PM   #4
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: how do you tell what you are gaining?

Only weigh in the morning before you really have eaten or drank anything. This is pretty accurate but if you have a carb crazy night, expect to weigh in heavier. More carbs, more fluid retention.

Periodic measurement by calipers or jiggle method (with a camera and mirror). I prefer the latter. Do you really want to subject yourself to pinching and prodding on a regular basis for this goal? That is kind of heading down a dark path.

Quote:
If theres a supplement or shake or SOMETHING I should be taking
Probably not. Some stuff may help but your first stop should be diet and seeing if you sleep well enough.

Tricia, you might have added some weight due to bone, muscle, connective tissue besides your muscles adapting to your workouts and thus storing more glycogen to fuel your workouts (muscles are as you know a lot of water 70% and bone is 32% H2O).

Quite a lot of crossfitters end up gaining weight and size as they lean out. Same thing happens in basic during the military. Some of the skinnier, weaker recruits gain weight while others shed pounds.

You could also see if you can find a BodPod or water tank body fat test.
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:36 PM   #5
Mike Knittel
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Re: how do you tell what you are gaining?

Tricia,
I am just starting my 4th month of CrossFit. Until recently I was struggling with this same mind F that you are experiencing with the scale. I finally through the scale out a week and a half ago.

Since I started CrossFit I have not lost a single stinking pound, not a one! I have not gained either. I finally pulled my head out and realized that I have dropped a pant size and also dropped a shirt size. I am more toned, stronger, conditioned, and confident than I think I have ever been in my life.

Have you noticed any of these things I have mentioned? If not stay with it and see where you are at in 6 months.
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:49 AM   #6
Phil Washlow
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Re: how do you tell what you are gaining?

What is your height and weight? Have your lifts gone up or down? Any change in body measurements?

Personally I am not an advocate of cutting calories, I believe macro ratios are more important for fat loss but I will avoid that topic. If you feel that cutting calories is the way to go, as many people do. At least get a baseline number before you cut. Eat very clean, nothing with a high glycemic load, plenty of good fats (eggs, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and quality meats), plenty of colorful vegetables, only drink water tea or coffee (preferrably black). Nothing Processed! Do this and track everything you consume for 4 weeks to get a baseline and adjust your calories from there (if you even need to). You may find that your apetite will regulate your intake itself once your body knows it is getting all of the nutrients necessary. Getting plenty of nutrients will help your body acclimate to how much energy it really needs to thrive.
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:43 AM   #7
Tricia Grunwaldt
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Re: how do you tell what you are gaining?

Thanks for the replies.
I am 5'1", weigh 125 and wear a sz 4/5. I HAVE gotten more toned and my lifts HAVE gone up, but I havent taken any measurements.

Ill admit, I dont know much about high/low glycemic but I hear it alot with CF, so I will be checking into that. Im interested in the Zone principles and trying to make that work for a family.

I know CF isnt intended for weight loss, it just seems like working THAT hard, nearly EVERY day, weight loss would naturally follow suit.

It is comforting to get actual explanations of what is possibly going on and suggestions for improvement.
Thanks!
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:28 AM   #8
Mark E. Wallace
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Re: how do you tell what you are gaining?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tricia Grunwaldt View Post
I know CF isnt intended for weight loss, it just seems like working THAT hard, nearly EVERY day, weight loss would naturally follow suit.
Not necessarily a good assumption.

A better assumption is that the body is going to adapt to the demands being placed upon it. What that adaptation is depends on the body's condition to begin with.

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Old 07-08-2013, 08:03 AM   #9
John Holcombe
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Re: how do you tell what you are gaining?

One thing I noticed with starting crossfit is that everything is a total body workout and there's a ton of squatting and leg strengthening work. I gained weight initially too and I know it was from gaining muscle in my legs, butt and core area.
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:36 AM   #10
Andrew N. Casey
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Re: how do you tell what you are gaining?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tricia Grunwaldt View Post
Thanks for the replies.
I am 5'1", weigh 125 and wear a sz 4/5.
at that size why would you think you need to lose weight? do you know your current body fat %? it is doubtful you need to lose much, if any, weight, and you may actually need to gain. and gaining could well be the result you get if you continue to do crossfit.

this question comes up alot, it seems especially with women, so let me ramble a bit and perhaps something will help you or someone else out...

one thing is that alot of people don't start with a goal in mind, or perhaps they do but then they don't choose their program based on their goal. many people, men and women, seem to start with a generic goal like "look good" or "get in shape" but don't really define what that means to them. then people make the assumption that to reach their goal they need to "eat right and exercise" because that is what we have all been told. they assume that in the end all workout programs will lead to the same end destination of looking good and being in shape. but when you think about it that doesn't make any sense. if you wanted to be a great basketball player would you practice swimming every day? do gymanists, track athletes, swimmers, ballet dancers, and yoga instructors all train the same? of course not. and they don't all look the same either. to a large degree how a person looks is determined by what they do. while not all athletes of the same sport will look identical, it is pretty easy to tell that a ballet dancer is not a swimmer or gymnist. even amoung track athletes it is easy to see the difference between sprinters and long distance specialist. but alot of people don't think about this when deciding what to do. guys will start jogging or playing pick up basketball or doing crossfit but what they really hope for is to wind up looking like Arnold. and many women will start jogging every day, or doing yoga, or doing crossfit when what they are actually hoping for is look like a bikini model or victoria secret girl. the problem is in these cases that what they are doing will never result in their goal.

all that being said, you have to decide what your actual goal is and be honest and realistic about it. for 99% of people, we can't have it all. so if your main concern is looks or weight or body image, then you need to determine what your goal is for how you want to look and then pick a program of diet and exercise to achieve that, fully accepting the fact that it may mean you can't reach certain other goals of fitness, strength, etc. if you decide that your main goal is in regards to fitness, performance, strength, etc then you may have to accept that reaching those performance goals will result in you not looking the way you would prefer. but you do need to accept that you can't weigh 100lbs and look like cover girl while at the same time being able to perform like a top athlete. if you want to be an athlete you will look like an athlete. if you want to look like a model you will perform like a model. do you really think any of those models or hollywood starlets can do a bunch of pullups or throw heavy barbells overhead?

for a little perspective, Camille is one of the top crossfit femal athletes (and also considered by many one of the best looking), she is 5'2" and weighs 130lbs.

the whole "i should be losing weight thing" has been addressed before many times and below is a link to a picture that has been used many times and helped it to "click" for many women that they should throw their scale away because weight really means nothing

http://paleozonenutrition.com/wp-con...-vs-muscle.jpg link WFS

but in looking at that i hope you will see that you would be far better off to use actual body fat %, measurements in inches around arms, chest, waist, hips, thighs, etc, and performance to track progress instead of using the scale. both men and women that lift heavy weights will generally weigh more than they are "suppose to". according to BMI charts and such, most male athletes would be obese.

next i am going to post an article written specifically in regards to CF that is very good and address this specific issue. i probably could have just posted this as it sums it all up very nice and has pictures and everything else... the title is "fear of bulkiness" or something like that and it is written by a CF coach for women

http://crossfitfms.wordpress.com/201...-and-crossfit/ link WFS


the next article is not specific to CF and was written more for guys and bodybuilders but it does a very good job of explaining the issue of how you can actually get smaller and leaner but look bigger...

http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_..._like_crap&cr= link not WFS


lastly i am going to post up some links to pictures of CF women... take a good look and decide if you will be happy with a crossfit body. you may decide that performance, fitness, health, etc are more important and that you don't care about looks. that is great. or you may decide that you like this look. but if you are not going to be happy looking this way, then stop now and find a workout program that better fits your goals. pay attention to the legs, back, traps/shoulders. these woman are athletes. some men and women think they look awesome and some men and women don't like they way they look. only you can decide that for yourself (and possibly your spouse if you have one). but don't do crossfit, work hard to lift heavy weight and do pullups and jump high and run fast, all the while thinking you will eventually look like a skinny model and lose a bunch of weight. if you do crossfit you will look like you do crossfit.

all links below are WFS, pictures of CF female athletes:

http://www.crossfit.com/mt-archive2/...alWomenRun.jpg

http://img.tapatalk.com/48d24668-b10f-e32f.jpg

http://www.shorelinecrossfit.com/wp-...s_Floater2.jpg

http://boisecrossfit.com/files/2013/...227-025809.jpg

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ma...xc1o1_1280.jpg



hope this helps.
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