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Old 04-16-2007, 12:19 PM   #1
Colin McNulty
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Location: Stockport  Manchester
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Back in September 2006, I posted a thread called Crossfits greatest challenge to which I was referring to myself of course. 6 months on, I thought it might be nice to pop back and update the people that originally posted there.

Basically, I discovered that Englands first Crossfit Gym was due to open up literally less than a mile from my front door! So I started to go to their Crossfit sessions in a local school before they opened proper. Unfortunately, after about 6 sessions, I managed to injure my shoulder by bouncing dumb bells on it whilst doing dumb bell Thrusters, and I ended up taking the rest of 2006 off.

So starting 1st Feb this year, when Mark and Karl from Crossfit Manchester opened up their new gym, I started going properly. Starting with 3 times a week, then 4 and now ten weeks on, I'm going 5 times a week. Additionally, I started on the Zone diet about 6 weeks ago too (and noticed an immediate improvement down the gym too).

It's hard to know where to start with how I've improved. Of course I'm physically stronger and fitter, but that goes without saying, so perhaps some examples: About 2 weeks in, we did deadlifts. My first ever deadlift PB was 90kg, which is just under my body weight. I can tell you I was pretty pleased with that 2 months ago. Well: I dead lifted 150kg this week, my back squat is at 130kg, and I cleaned 80kg this week too! So am I stronger? You bet.

As for fitter, well I decided to go with the Athletic Skill Levels for my target and guide. I'd hoped to achieve Level 1 (well rounded beginner) within 4 months (1st June target), and Level 2 within 12 months (1st Feb 2008 target). I thought these were pretty aggressive targets, from a standing start.

I can tell you I have now successfully completed ALL the Level 1 exercises except the 1 mile run. Running is my nemesis, and I'm still a long way off the 1 mile I think. But as an example, the first time I tried Christine, I missed the 15 min target, doing it instead in 19:01. That was dis-heartening to miss it by so much.

However after some great coaching AND crucially I think: starting The Zone Diet, I tried again 2 weeks later. I managed a huge improvement, finishing it in 14:38. A 23% improvement in 2 weeks! I was amazed.

My biggest concern back in Sept last year was my knees. And I did suffer sporadic knee pain from some of the exercises, however I'm pleased to report that actually very specific pains I used to get are rarely felt. I believe that building up the leg muscles generally have really help my long time dodgy knees. Lots of box jumps still does for them a bit, as does running (one of the reasons why the mile is still a problem) but they are much better.

I mentioned back then that my waist had got to 43 inches and my weight was at 205 pounds. Well, partly I think due to Crossfit, and partly 6 weeks on the Zone, my weight is still 205 pounds, but my waist is now only 41 inches (at the belly button). I'm now wearing the same 36" jeans again that I haven't worn in 4 years! I've come in a notch on my belt too, and some days I wonder if I should make that 2 notches. According to the Enter The Zone book, that's 4% body fat I've lost in 10 weeks (from 30% to 26%), only 6 of which were on the Zone.

As a double plus, my wife has joined me and started Crossfit about 6 weeks ago. At first she thought I was barking mad when I came back with tales of what exercises I'd been doing. But there was one single thing that changed her mind to come: my physique. In just a month she was able to physically see my body change: my waist get thinner, fat start to recede and muscles firm and tone. She could see AND feel the difference. Indeed I've even started getting my 6 year old daughter involved when I can, and she loves it.

If you'd like to read any more details or see my experiments with Zone Diet recipes, take a look at my blog:

Anyway, I've rambled on enough, I'd just like to say a big thanks to those that replied to my original post back in September. You helped me to make up my mind to try Crossfit. Crossfit will change my life and that of my family. Thank you.

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Old 04-16-2007, 01:00 PM   #2
Damien Del Russo
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That's a great result Colin - I hope my improvements mirror yours!

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Old 04-16-2007, 05:51 PM   #3
John Nolan
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:12 AM   #4
Jeff Martin
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I've enjoyed watching your progress, and I'm glad to see the boys are making an impact in Manchester.
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Old 04-17-2007, 02:33 PM   #5
Mark Beck
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Thank you indeed for the kind words and many congratulations on the outstanding progress you've made. It has been a pleasure to work with you and see the change in your performance. Your hard work, consistent effort and diligence are giving you the rewards you deserve.

(Given your measurements and belt shortening, it was obviously your rippling glute muscles rather than your waist that tore your shorts during those dumbbell cleans on saturday !!)

It is great to have you (and your family) as part of the Crossfit Manchester family.
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Old 04-18-2007, 10:07 AM   #6
Colin McNulty
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Cheers Mark, I'd opted to leave my short ripping episode out of this post for modesty reasons! It was enough that half the gym saw my 4rse hanging out of them, without spreading the story across the pond too. I still finished the set though! ;-)
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