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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 07-04-2006, 09:53 AM   #1
Joshua Hass
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Hello-

I have always read the posts here and never posted any of my own, until now. I need some advice, and I'm confident I can get what I'm looking from the members here. Many here have been through similar situations and may have some insight on what works or doesn't work.

I just graduated from the Army's Ranger School, and need to get myself back into shape. In 62 days of 2 meals a day and anywhere from 30 mins to 3 hrs of sleep a night, I lost about 20 - 25 lbs, most of it muscle, as well as a majority of my cardiovascular endurance. I'm eating clean, and I've gained some weight back, but I'm pretty sure none of it is muscle. I'm feeling pretty lethargic and unmotivated, but for the time being I am concentrating on recovering from the sleep deficit that I developed while attending the course.

I was in good shape prior to starting the school, and was really starting to hit my stride with Crossfit before I left. I'd like to focus my efforts around Crossfit as much as possible.

What I'm really looking for is nutritional advice as well as how often/intense I should be exercising for the foreseeable future, also, any advice as to whether or not I should be focusing on cardio/aerobic conditioning vs gaining back the muscle I lost. I'm very leary of burning myself out or suffering an overuse injury. Any advice you could offer is greatly appreciated. Enjoy the 4th!!

Josh
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Old 07-04-2006, 10:04 AM   #2
Russ Greene
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Jeez, I thought those courses were supposed to make you in better shape.

I would say concentrate on getting your health back first through diet and sleep and ease back into Crossfit. Start by just practicing the movements regularly, then start adding intensity. You definitely don't want to go back into it too hard and get hurt or burn out, especially after what you've just been through.
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Old 07-04-2006, 11:52 AM   #3
Lynne Pitts
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Moving to Fitness.
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Old 07-04-2006, 03:29 PM   #4
Don Stevenson
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Those courses are designed to see if you've got what it takes to do the job and they can worry about your health later!

First up, congrats on making it through.

I would spend about two weeks getting lots of sleep and doing very scaled back versions of the WOD then take another couple of weeks to ramp back up to the full workload. You may be suprised at how quickly your body bounces back.

Don't focus on one aspect of fitness over the other, just keep working on the WODs and eating clean.
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Old 07-04-2006, 03:31 PM   #5
Elliot Royce
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Josh:

Congratulations - that's a real accomplishment! I don't think I'd have the guts to do it. I had some friends go through it and from what they said, it's more about testing your mental endurance and guts than the physical (although obviously the physical is tough).

You're obviously in great physical health, so I would give it 2-3 weeks without much more than short workouts (CF should be perfect). Give your body a chance to recover -- since you're young and healthy, it will happen quickly. Eat healthy. You've been in a catabolic state for a long time and your body is naturally going to want to start to build itself back. If you overdo it early, I think you risk suppressing your immune system and getting a cold. You may also prompt more muscle breakdown.

I think you'll be able to feel when you're ready to go more intense. I'd be surprised if it were more than 3 weeks but I didn't do Ranger school.

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Old 07-04-2006, 03:32 PM   #6
Matt Gagliardi
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I'm with Don. Eat clean and get 2 weeks or so of "active rest". Worry about the movements, not the loads. Go too hard right now (I'm assuming you just finished school) and you're asking for injury or sickness.

Long-term, you'll be better off easing back into the flow of things.
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Old 07-04-2006, 06:16 PM   #7
Chris Goodrich
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Josh,
Congrats on earning your tab! Ranger does take a toll on the body and screw with the metabolism, but you'll come back pretty quick.

Nutritionally, I think the two most important things are getting enough protein and avoiding high glycemic index carbs. Your metabolism is in famine-mode right now and will want to store any extra calories as bodyfat. I puffed up noticeably for 4-6 weeks after Ranger despite running 15-20 miles a week (this was before discovering crossfit), and it took me another month to work all the extra fat off. Sugars and starches are only going to exacerbate the problem. That doesn't mean you can't indulge some cravings (you earned it), but try to limit it. I would also advise trying to take in at least 1 gram of protein per pound of lean mass to promote rebuilding some muscle. Doing the zone full blown would be ideal, but may not be practical for you. Be prepared for it to take several weeks for your metabolism to readjust so you have more energy and start regaining muscle.

For workouts, I agree with the previous posts as far as ramping back into the WODs. Once you're back at full intensity you can always tweak it if you're not seeing the muscle gains you're after.
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Old 07-06-2006, 12:11 PM   #8
Orlando Alonso
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Congrats man.
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Old 07-11-2006, 04:59 AM   #9
Joshua Hass
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Everyone, thanks for all the advice. Unfortunately, I may have bigger issues: I injured my back on an airborne jump at Ranger School but pressed on, not wanting to get dropped from the course. I finally went to the doc yesterday and he sent me straight away to the hospital for xrays with MRI to follow next week. He was talking about it being a possible compression fracture. Keep your fingers crossed that it's only something minor. Again, thank you for all of your help!

J.
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Old 07-11-2006, 03:41 PM   #10
Lynne Pitts
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Yikes! Fingers crossed...keep us posted.
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