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Old 07-17-2007, 06:39 AM   #1
Alex Grisham
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Hey everyone allow me to introduce myself. My name is Alex and I have recently become quite interested in CrossFit.

I have been weight training for the past 5 years off and on using a traditional bodybuilding style routine (legs one day, chest/triceps another, etc.). While this has been pretty successful for me, I am getting bored with my routine.

When I started weight training, I was 6'5" and about 175lbs. I am currently about 209 lbs. My bench has gone from about 150lbs to about 330lbs (at my peak about 2 years ago, I took some time off) and I was squatting near 350. I tweaked my back a while ago and I have had to take it very easy on legs/lower back.

Right now I feel that I need to get my core strength up. Way up. I think that CrossFit may help with this. However, I need to get past something here...I am afraid of losing mass. It may sound silly, but I have worked pretty hard to build mass on my skinny frame :lol:

I want to be in better shape though. I feel that right now I may have some strength and size (keep in mind that I am by no means a big guy) but at the same time I feel that I am not in great shape overall.

Has anyone experieced this transition from traditional weight training and if so, what were your results like after doing CrossFit?

Thanks for reading my story here and I hope to talk to you all soon!!
-Alex
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Old 07-17-2007, 07:15 AM   #2
Patrick Henry
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I had a fear of losing mass on CF, and after about 2 months on CF, I have maintained my body weight, upped my strength, and improved on the types of lifts that I can complete with good form.

I was 5'5" at 125 when I started working out. I worked up to 158 over the course of 10 years (yes, that is it- in 10 years!) while upping my bench from 135 to 315, my squat from 185 to 330, and my DL from 225 to 385(ish).

Now on CF, I have increased not my 1RM, but my rep strength. I am doing more weight for reps than ever before. I am doing NEW lifts with loads that I never would have thought to be possibe.

I have a huge fear of losing mass, and if I see that happening, I will supplement the CF lifts with isolation exercises. I jumped in full bore, and don't regret it a bit. My wife says that I look bigger than I did in pre-CF days.
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Old 07-17-2007, 07:20 AM   #3
George Mounce
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Welcome!

Mass doesn't equal strength. And strength doesn't mean power. You will find CrossFit is very much about power.

Core strength? Overhead squats, clean and jerks, snatches, and deadlifts for you!

Don't think of it as a transition. Think of it as the next step, a new start!

My guess is the bodybuilding routine has created some bad habits, you won't be the first to admit that I had them as well. CrossFit broke me of all of them because they were hindering my progress.

My transition from the common workout was:

Lost 20 pounds. (198 to 178 at 5'11").
Deadlift increased by 100 pounds.
Squat increased by 80 pounds.
Shoulder press increased by 65 pounds.
I can run a 5k in less then 20 minutes.
I have a six pack with 7% body fat.
I'm not hungry since I switched to Zone eating with 3x recommended fat.

Hope this helps!
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Old 07-17-2007, 07:25 AM   #4
Anthony Bainbridge
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Eat enough to support your activity levels and you'll be fine.
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Old 07-17-2007, 07:39 AM   #5
Alex Grisham
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It sounds like you guys have had good results!

I am definitely eating well now, so when I transition to CrossFit, I may find that I will need to eat even more, since the routines are more demanding. Diet is so key, I try to spread the word to everyone.

Another question that I had is should I ditch my gym membership at Gold's and join a CrossFit center (there's one right near me) or keep the Gold's membership and do the WOD's there?
The CrossFit center is twice as expensive per month, but I think that I could get some coaching, advice and comradery from others there, where at Gold's, I would probably be one of the only people doing the WOD's.
What do you all think?
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Old 07-17-2007, 08:07 AM   #6
Patrick Henry
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If I had the option (both geographically and financially) to join a CF gym, I would do it in a heartbeat.

I must say, however, that my local Gold's is very, very friendly to CF-type workouts and Oly lifts, including having space for MMA training (mats, bags, throwing dummies, etc.), but my Gold's is a franchise and not part of the corporate chain. They have climbing ropes and plyo boxes, allow chalk, have elevated lifting platforms and bumper plates, and even allow "circuit" training during non-peak hours (they have little signs that you can use to "reserve" equipment if you are working a circuit).

At any other box gym, I'd never try what I used to be able to do at my Gold's. My current gym (on-site at work) has a lot of law enforcement/fire and quasi-military presence, so heavy and oly lifting is no big deal, though space is at a premium.

Take home message: if you have the $$$ and the ability to get out of your Gold's contract, try the CF gym for a few months. You can always go back to the box if CF isn't worth it to you.

(Message edited by phenryiv1 on July 17, 2007)
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Old 07-17-2007, 08:16 AM   #7
Alex Grisham
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I was thinking about trying the CF gym for a month or so and just eating the extra $$ for that month, without ditching Gold's just yet. My Gold's has no ropes or rubber oly weights. It seems to be centered around bodybuilders. There is a bit of space for deadlifts and oly style lifts, but without the rubber weights (or whatever they are made of) I would be nervous attempting the snatch, overhead squats, etc. I wouldn't want to drop all that iron.

The gym is very big and spacious, but crowded at the same time. I would say that when I go there are between 100-125 people in there.

Here is the CF center near me: http://crossfitfairfax.com/joomla/in...tpage&Itemid=1

Looks cool, way smaller but functional.
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Old 07-17-2007, 08:41 AM   #8
Anthony Bainbridge
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No hesitation - join the CF gym. At least for a month to check it out. Guarantee you'll learn a ton and the competition and camaraderie will do more for progress than you can imagine. Even athletes in individual sports train in teams ... and there's a reason for it. ;)
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Old 07-17-2007, 10:58 AM   #9
Patrick Henry
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Alex-

I used to live in your area. Which Gold's do you attend?

None of the Gold's in that area were very welcoming of anything more than posturing and mirror-flexing. I worked out at nearly every one in Fairfax and Arlington County, and I only found ONE that was even remotely hospitable to heavy lifting.
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Old 07-17-2007, 11:13 AM   #10
Alex Grisham
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I work out at the Gold's in Alexandria, off route 1 near Mt. Vernon. As far as heavy lifting goes, they cater to that well. They have multiple squat racks and a deadlifting area, and a good array of free weights and benches.

I have looked all over the gym and haven't seen anything besides this that would cater to a CrossFit routine. Plus, it gets real crowded sometimes, and full of people that have no clue what they are doing. I just put on my headphones, turn up the music, lift, then go home. Not too many friendly people there.
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