CrossFit Discussion Board  

Go Back   CrossFit Discussion Board > CrossFit Forum > Starting
CrossFit Home Forum Site Rules CrossFit FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Starting For newcomers to the CrossFit methodology

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 09-26-2008, 11:04 AM   #1
Bryan Back
Member Bryan Back is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Tucson  AZ
Posts: 69
5 months LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES

If you are brand new then this post might help you. These are the things I would have done differently and the things that worked well for me. P.S. I'm no expert hence the title of my post. Some might get value out of what I did well and what I screwed up. I did ramble on a few points as to how I did it and what worked for me. The main point is in the first sentence so you can skip before you sleep on some.

I started out at 40 years old, 6'1 185# 16% body fat. I am a tall, lean, thin bones runner who doesn't run well due to an ACL tear 3-4 years ago. Read, out of shape skinny guy(looked like a snake that swallowed an egg.) I decided to skip starting strength (did some basic weight workouts for 2 months prior, tone but not strong) and go right into a very scaled WOD with the knowledge that my goal of increased strength was three to five years away. I was happy to scale more and get a slow, well rounded progression on strength while gaining on the rest of fitness (I was also worried about that ACL.) I am now 41 years old, 6'1 180# I didn't do a new body fat %. I am stronger, feel better and can see muscles where none were there before. WOW, I have full broadening shoulders and rounded biceps/triceps. I lost a lot of weight but the fat under my stomach muscles is almost gone, I have a four pack and the other two of the six pack are almost visible. The fat around my belly button is almost gone with some loose skin hanging on( I think the zone diet made me digest the egg the snake swallowed.) I would like to be around 190-195# so have a lot of muscle to add. I know if you want it fast do Starting Strength (which I might do since my knees are so much better and I am eating correctly.) I figure I can add 10-15# of muscle in 3-5 years as long as I eat a lot. See my screw up below. From past experience with losing 10# of weight in the hospital I estimate that I did in fact loose about 10 pounds of fat off the torso. As someone said before. The body fat estimates are not consistent or accurate but the mirror doesn't lie.

IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE, READ THIS:

This deserves a place above all else. While reading this board for two weeks prior to starting the WOD: GET YOUR NUTRITION PERFECT. Find out what kind of diet you want/need and begin perfecting it. I now do an eyeball zone diet with a lot of blocks to gain weight (not sure how many, over 20 easy, but I eat good stuff per zone then eat some more, almost 7-8 time a day with whole milk added in.) Wow, I feel great and have stopped loosing weight. Duh! I probably could have lost the fat and gained even more muscle if I had my nutrition correct the first 4 months. DO THIS FIRST!

.5 Hey I squeezed it in. Buy the CROSSFIT JOURNAL. I like to think of this as advanced research. Lots of good stuff in there that helped me do the exercises correctly. It is also a way to payback all the people who bring you this free site. The least we can do. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO MADE THIS SITE WHAT IT IS!

1. RESEARCH: Read everything on this board and main page twice before starting the WOD. It might take you a few weeks. Start slow and refer back to this page often while you learn. When you want something for your gym research the board/main page. There are pictures of every device you will need somewhere in here. New exercise? Look it up here for form perfection.

2. SCALING: Scale your workout to what you know you can lift, then scale it by half again. I started too heavy and had to start again due to bad form. I finally scaled back so much that the bar didn't want to stay on my shoulders because it was so light and I would laugh because it was easy(almost no weight sometimes. This is tough on even a skinny man's ego.) Yet, the form was good. At 40 years you should have heard the snap crackle and pop of my knees, just from an air squat. Now there is just a bit of a pop (maybe a loose non repaired ACL) and no more pain. Gonna have the doctor look at the knee this year prior to any heavy loads, just in case. I also wear a hinged brace just in case ( I think this is more psychological as I have had no pain other than scar tissue and I had experience enough to know what that felt like. If you don't then see a doctor. This is supposed to make you better not put you in the hospital) Not too worried as there is now no pain at all in my knees. Wow, no more scar tissue binding me up. Wasn't Physical therapy supposed to get rid of all that??? Hmmmmm?
When I started my wrists hurt from being stiff and I could not hold the barbell on the front of my shoulder. Now it is easy. Learn to listen to your body. Tight is not injured and will be better by slow steady work. Don't give up. If skinny man can do it, anyone can.

3. GOALS: Don't limit your goals. Make long term general goals and go from there. Short term goal should be to get better and better as the weeks and months go on. If there is a set back find out why. All my setbacks were nutrition related and grease the grooves type stuff (I still need to gtg on my pull ups. My energy was weaker than my skinny muscles. I envisioned doing body weight deadlifts max after three years due to that torn ACL. I passed 185# dead lifts a month ago and am only going slow to strengthen my lower back(form seems good but coaching will probably help.) Legs could do more. Go slow and make safe gains. You really don't know how far you can go. I now envision 2x body weight dead lifts but my goal is to go up in weight slowly over time.) I suspect my strength will increase more now that I am eating enough to actually build muscle. Those RX'd WODS no longer look impossible. I can see them in my future.

As I go up in weight I plan on buying my Oly set (using standard right now because I just don't have the money to buy a quality set) and paying for some coaching early next year to perfect my good form. I don't need any injuries.

4. EQUIPMENT: Buy what the main page suggests, oly weights and pull up bar if you don't have something now. Work out with what you have, learn what you need in accessories/upgrades. Think before you buy and take this boards advice. If you deviate from what is on the main page, think long and hard first. I have a dip/pull up station that is in the way. Should have listened. Now I have rings for dips and a pull up bar made from home depot pipe(you could buy a pre drilled/welded station online that just requires lag bolting into the studs but I'm cheap.) I should have made my pull up station first and started on the ring dips. Man those are hard compared to bar dips. My rings are pcv 180 degree elbow pipe with nylon straps hanging from by pull up bar. I plan on taking that dip/pull up station up to my vacation home, where I don't have a gym. Darn, with pull up/dip station and dumbbells what am I going to use as an excuse not to workout on the weekend? Nothing, well maybe the honey-do list! Not even Crossfit is bigger than the Boss(read Wife.) The standard weights will follow them up there when I get the bumper set. One day I will have an outside/garage gym there. Hey, I don't have a garage there yet.

I also made a set of barbell racks out of pipe (cost me almost $200 to make). I would buy commercial portable racks if I were to do it again as they cost about the same as making them and are adjustable. I like portable due to the small gym (see below). I may one day add a cage when I can use all the room. We'll have to see.

5. GYM: I have a 24x24 garage(22x22 useable.) I workout with weights/racks, pull ups/ring dips, warm up exercise bike, bench and a dip station in the way all in a 10x12 space. After cleaning up the mess I will have 10x20 to add hand stand/kick bag work. Wife has the treadmill and C2 rower in her air conditioned workout room(my den.) After insulating the garage ceiling/roof and the clean up, everything will go into the 24x24 garage space. Then I can have my den back. Until then I watch football in bed. Hey, that is kinda fun but no friends can come over for the games (unless they are really good friends.) Hey, let it go this is WFS.

6. Only use the treadmill when weather won't let you use the track. Like when it is 110 degrees here in Arizona and you have already spent 10 hours outside working in the heat or snowing (well not here in southern arizona.) Experiment with the incline if you use the treadmill. A few months of 100 degree heat pushed me inside and my legs suffered for it. It ain't the same as running boys and girls. With the incline up to 2% I do get a similar muscle burn as with running on the track but still not the same.

I hope some of these thoughts help the tall skinny egg eaters out there. Perhaps more experienced Cross fitters can join in and give even more advice. I can see others learning from different body types. I can talk all day about being able to do the running WOD'S as RX'd(even better with the pain free knees) but I sure can't talk about doing that with the lifting. Perhaps, others of weightlifting backgrounds could give some advice on what they did well and wrong at the start.

This is not the only way. Just my way. Some things that worked for me will not work for you. Overall, try to avoid wasting time by not eating a good healthy diet(this was the hardest part. Always start with the hardest part and work from there.) Try to avoid buying things that get in the way and slow down your progress. Do the hard exercise like ring dips instead of bar dips. Because you can't do a bunch of them shows that you need to do them. Often we reverse this concept to our detriment.

Bryan
__________________
Bryan
41/M/6'1"/187
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2008, 11:19 AM   #2
Peter Williams
Member Peter Williams is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Atlanta  GA
Posts: 144
Re: 5 months LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES

good post, sounds like you're all over it
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2008, 01:02 PM   #3
Robert Callahan
Member Robert Callahan is offline
 
Robert Callahan's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Zzyzx  CA
Posts: 1,626
Re: 5 months LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Back View Post
I figure I can add 10-15# of muscle in 3-5 years as long as I eat a lot.
You could add 10-15 lbs of muscle in a month or two if you eat a lot. Planning weight gain slowly, like 2 pounds a month over 3 years, is not very effective. I think if you eat clean but just a lot more, like 500-1000 kcal over maintenance, you will gain mostly muscle and in a reasonable time frame. Something to keep in mind is that you will never put on muscle without also putting on some fat, but that the fat is easy to take off later on.

I highly recommend doing the Starting Strength for both your knee and increasing your body weight btw!

Nice story though, good luck and keep working hard!

-Robert
__________________
"I swear by my life and by my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine"
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2008, 07:38 PM   #4
Herm Blancaflor
Member Herm Blancaflor is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Los Altos  CA
Posts: 158
Re: 5 months LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES

Excellent post bro. Nice to see you have such desire and dedication...and care enough to pass on your experiences!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Back View Post
...Do the hard exercise like ring dips instead of bar dips. Because you can't do a bunch of them shows that you need to do them. Often we reverse this concept to our detriment.

Bryan
Awesome quote! Can I rip this one off from you?
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2008, 07:52 PM   #5
Stephen R. Lampl
Member Stephen R. Lampl is offline
 
Stephen R. Lampl's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Twain Harte  CA
Posts: 4,965
Re: 5 months LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES

Bryan,

Wonderful post and thread! Your dedication and commitment show and all of us doing CF, regardless of our level are the better for it. I am a newbie (3 wks tomorrow) and while I may not have scaled back enough for these beginning workouts, I feel my body responding to the challenge. My energy level has gone through the roof, I've lost near the 20% mark of my "overweightness," and know that my health will do nothing but improve.

Thank you!
__________________
Steve 5'10"/197/60 yrs. My Log Perseverance through adversity
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2008, 08:28 PM   #6
Delita Wright
Member Delita Wright is offline
 
Delita Wright's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Sanford  NC
Posts: 779
Re: 5 months LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES

Great stuff! I think I get it. Thanks!
__________________
xfitgramma
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2008, 06:13 AM   #7
Bryan Back
Member Bryan Back is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Tucson  AZ
Posts: 69
Re: 5 months LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES

Robert,

You are correct. I didn't write this very well. I could gain muscle very easy. I am seriously thinking of doing Starting Strength for a few months and see where it takes me. My knee feels great. Better than it has in a long long time.
I don't see how it could hurt. If I eat like mad and make the slow weight gains I hope to come out of it around 195 pounds with significant gains in my lifts.
I will probably gain a bit of fat but as a married man of 41 I don't exactly need the chicks to think I'm a stud. Plus, as a skinny man I can drop the fat in a month. Literally easy as not drinking milk anymore.
I will study SS a bit more and decide while on my two week vacation. Don't want to start anything before that.

Herm,

I thought the quote sounded like a "Yogi'ism" from the Aflac commercial. HA
__________________
Bryan
41/M/6'1"/187
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2008, 04:39 AM   #8
Peter Yeates
Member Peter Yeates is offline
 
Peter Yeates's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Perth  Western Australia
Posts: 162
Re: 5 months LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Back View Post
Robert,

You are correct. I didn't write this very well. I could gain muscle very easy. I am seriously thinking of doing Starting Strength for a few months and see where it takes me. My knee feels great. Better than it has in a long long time.
I don't see how it could hurt. If I eat like mad and make the slow weight gains I hope to come out of it around 195 pounds with significant gains in my lifts.
I will probably gain a bit of fat but as a married man of 41 I don't exactly need the chicks to think I'm a stud. Plus, as a skinny man I can drop the fat in a month. Literally easy as not drinking milk anymore.
I will study SS a bit more and decide while on my two week vacation. Don't want to start anything before that. HA
Bryan, I also am happily married, 41 & don't need the chicks to think I'm a stud, But hey it's a great ego boost when my wife catches them checking me out.

I am about 1 yr in and also have a very wiry build, have put on 10kg of lean muscle so far from doing a hybrid starting strength program. I still need more strength / size but have recently swapped over to the wod's coz I just don't like to feel my cardio dropping. There is a similar thread to this one which helped me out lots, wfs http://www.board.crossfit.com/showth...rformance+menu

Hope this helps, Pete.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2008, 10:12 AM   #9
Bryan Back
Member Bryan Back is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Tucson  AZ
Posts: 69
Re: 5 months LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES

Pete,

Thanks for that old thread. It was much more comprehensive than mine. Loved it. It showed what I need to be doing in other areas as well. Good stuff
I guess we will always make mistakes while trying to find our own way. It is good to have these threads to help limit those mistakes. I have to tell myself that experimentation is good unless experimentation is really laziness! That just delays the inevitable

Thanks again
__________________
Bryan
41/M/6'1"/187

Last edited by Bryan Back : 09-28-2008 at 10:14 AM. Reason: added info
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Common Mistakes when starting The Zone Jonathan Greene Nutrition 0 01-21-2008 05:52 PM
How can I learn to do this? Paul Theodorescu Fitness 17 11-09-2005 12:32 PM
A good row gone very bad. (or, Calling all mistakes!!!) Frank C Ollis Community 27 03-23-2005 11:36 AM
3 months - Yes RESULTS in three months. Laura Rucker Testimonials 47 03-09-2005 08:02 PM
Common injuries and mistakes-newbie wishes to prevent elizabeth bradley Starting 11 08-19-2004 09:31 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:41 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.