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 02-20-2007, 05:10 PM   #1
Shane Christopher Imbert
Member Shane Christopher Imbert is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Sydney, Hills District  NSW
Posts: 27
Hi there people,

I am not going to lie here, I am training for aesthetics as well as elite fitness and I thought it was about time that I post after lurking on these message boards (researching and researching) for about six months.

I am a 32 year old active male who is 6ft2(186cm) and weigh 74kg(163 pounds) and I have trouble keeping muscle mass on my frame via crossfit and ME workouts (DL, Front Squat, Squat Clean and Thrusters).

I eat 7 meals a day with a pseudo-paleo diet (high protein, nuts, loads of veggies and fruit at each meal) with the occasional pasta/ brown rice/ sweet potatoe/casava/ yam thrown in once a week "to keep the weight on my frame". 3 of those meals are protein shakes with flaxseed oil and glutamine. I get 7-8 hrs sleep every night so I am well rested.

I have been doing ashtanga yoga consistently for 6 years and now have turned to gymnastics, oly lifts, and crossfit to gain functional mass and elite fitness. I used to follow just a Body Building split weights routine but became "skinny-fat" (which means still skinny but with a high bodyfat percentage - 17%) and very unfit. I now vary my workouts doing rings, pushups, pullups, rows, Coach Sommer's Planche and FL progressions, HSPU, kettlebell swings as well as tabata swimming sprinting intervals and do the occasional flat-water rowing.

I have bought and read Stew Smith's Navy Seal BUDs workouts, Pavels books, Ross Enamait "Never Gymless", Arnold Swarzennegers books. I pay much deference to these guys with their generosity and achievements but I am a little overwhelmed with all this info. The fact is, they all say different things about gaining functional mass and additionally, I seriously doubt that any of these guys were ever hardgainers. I doubt Arnie the most because his physique was a result of steroids.

My point is Crossfit has made me lean and stronger but emaciated....... .my collar bone and ribs stick out, my face has become gaunt and all my clothes (especially jeans and pants) are so loose even a belt wont keep them on. I dont want to sacrifice crossfitness cause I love it, I feel great. I am not interested in taking steroids to get bigger however, as pathetic as it sounds, I would really like to get some size especially on my puny calves, neck and arms. I would love to hear from any other ectomorphs (hardgainers) who have had any success attaining and maintaining functional strength and mass with a high level of "crossfitness".

Thanks in advance guys.

  Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2007, 05:43 PM   #2
Mike ODonnell
Member Mike ODonnell is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Atlanta  GA
Posts: 1,566
Search the board for references to "Scrawny to Brawny" by Beradi.

This is a common question so I just keep it simple and let you look around for the answers.

If you want to gain weight you have to do 2 things....eat more and burn less calories through workouts. So if you are telling me that you are eating 4000 calories a day...which is frigin hard to do...then you need to cut down on the amount of workouts.

If you want size first...you will have to sacrifice your metabolic conditioning for now. (you can always get it back later) You lift heavy and reps 5-10. All compound movements. Get Rip's book Starting Strength....great read.

Again....if you really want to bulk up...you have to ditch the metcons for a while...they are burning up your calories...you cant gain if your body is always in a calorie deficit mode.

Look into Beradi's stuff...here's an example on his site on mass gain (link NSWF...just guessing)
http://johnberardi.com/articles/nutr...ating_rl_1.htm
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2007, 06:24 PM   #3
Shane Christopher Imbert
Member Shane Christopher Imbert is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Sydney, Hills District  NSW
Posts: 27
Thanks for that Mike,

I probably should have stated in my post that I have researched on John Beradi and Rippetoe's articles in the monthly crossfit journals as well as the other books I mentioned previously. I have not had success with the 5X5 routine or Beradis program either.

I guess I am interested to hear more about the hardgainer process and their success stories via crossfit and ME.

I have searched under "hardgainer", "ectomorph", "crossfit muscle mass" and there seems to be a common occurence on these posts. I mean no disrespect to anyone on these boards, but I have the conviction that (and from past experience) most people that write and give advice to hardgainers are not hardgainers and hence, have never had the problem of acquiring functional mass and do not witness the gargantuan amount of consistent healthy meals consumed from a proudly disciplined person as myself.

cheers and just wanted to say thanks for the wealth of free info on these message boards
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2007, 06:56 PM   #4
Mike ODonnell
Member Mike ODonnell is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Atlanta  GA
Posts: 1,566
Just know...I have seen the best gains on myself and clients with heavy lifting 2-3x a week, no metabolic work, load of calories including maxing out the PWO meal with shakes and food. Is this ideal for improving performance in sports? Of course not...but it serves the short term purpose of putting on the lbs.

CF is made ideally for getting lean, maintaining leanness and upping workload capacity through endurance and strength. Not ideal for gaining mass. You can always come back to metabolic work later.

Besides people that say they eat enough....never do. This includes upto 1-1.5g of protein per lb/bodyweight, 1-3grams CHO/lb of bodyweight and the rest in fat. There's no such thing as a hardgainer in my book, just someone going about it the wrong way. It can be done...but it takes alot of focus on nutrition. Just my experience. You should be able to get there with the right amount of food...and the right volume of training (including less metabolic work, more heavy reps)
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2007, 07:00 PM   #5
Steven Low
Member Steven Low is offline
 
Steven Low's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: silver spring  maryland
Posts: 12,221
Eat more.

Over my first two years of college I was 5'8" at 107 lbs... so I constantly increased my caloric intake so I gained about 10-15 lbs of muscle a year. It worked well, but I haven't been eating enough to put on more muscle mass so obviously I haven't been gaining weight since then. It takes an additional about +500-1000 cals it seems to gain about 5 lbs of muscle mass for me which sucks since I have a small stomach. I'm currently about 5'8" 133 lbs looking to gain a bit of weight myself...well, maybe not until I graduate cause I need the low weight for rings. :-) I know I have to eat more to do it though, heh. Lifting heavy, eat big, and the muscle will come.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2007, 07:03 PM   #6
Nick Cummings
Departed Nick Cummings is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2005
 
Posts: 1,023
PS. You are only a hardgainer until you start eating more.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2007, 07:44 PM   #7
Mike ODonnell
Member Mike ODonnell is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Atlanta  GA
Posts: 1,566
ironically this topic just on T-nation too....article on gaining weight. Link prob NSFW.

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1462142
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2007, 07:54 PM   #8
Shane Christopher Imbert
Member Shane Christopher Imbert is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Sydney, Hills District  NSW
Posts: 27
"You are only a hardgainer until you start eating more"

Thanks for your insight Nick, however, the added mass (primarily fat) wouldnt exactly be functional would it? Which is why I asked for the best process for functional mass gain with minimal bodyfat. I dont want to be "skinny-fat" again.

Let me reiterate, I eat copious amounts of lean protein, healthy carb, good fats at every meal till I am actually bloated in the stomach, 7 x a day including PWO meal and drink 2.5 liters of water a day. Ok? I hope that is now understood.....Its very frustrating when you eat and eat and eat and eat and people tell you you`re not eating enough. I researched extensively on the subject and have implemented it with unfavourable results.

What I will concentrate on now is ceasing my one crossfit workout per week for approximately 4 weeks and concentrate on the strength & hypertrophy workouts and go from there. Thanks for your input Mike and Steven.

"CF is made ideally for getting lean, maintaining leanness and upping workload capacity through endurance and strength. Not ideal for gaining mass. You can always come back to metabolic work later".

Fair Enough. I just wish it didnt state in the FAQ that the effectiveness for adding mass is:

"Crossfit without steroids" over "bodybuilding without steroids"

I hope you can see why I am somewhat frustrated at the contradictions that arise.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2007, 08:17 PM   #9
Mike ODonnell
Member Mike ODonnell is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Atlanta  GA
Posts: 1,566
Shane, give me a breakdown of how many calories you are eating per day, the % by carbs/protein/fats and any special meals such as PWO that you employ. I would be happy to give feedback once I know all those to answer more detailed.

Your muscle breakdown and fiber makeup also determine which rep range you need to be training in for heavy weights. I would suggest reps of 10 (heavy not light) and rest periods of 30-60sec as that is ideal if your goal is muscle size. Reps more in the 5 range are for more strength with some size. A great program is alternating workouts with reps in the 5 range and 10...to increase both strength and size. This can be implemented using a workout for say Mon - Fri (with Sat/Sun off) like ME (we will call for 5x5 or 5x10), CF, ME, CF, ME.....again it will require a ton of calories if you want to keep the CF metabolic work, as that is completely up to you.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2007, 07:19 AM   #10
Eric Cimrhanzel
Member Eric Cimrhanzel is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Houston and College Station  TX
Posts: 297
First of all, Google this exact phrase: "Secret Relationship Between Sex Hormones Productive Strength Training, Mike Mahler" without the quotes. Read that article, and see if this might just be talking about you. Do you know your Testosterone levels? If they're below normal, you may have to hire a trainer who specializes in dealing with people in your situation. Some people who have trouble gaining muscle sometimes have low T-counts. It's always good to check.

Assuming that's fine, we're going to play three games, and play them in order:

Game #1: Write down exactly what you're eating. You say that you're eating 7 meals per day, with two being protein shakes. I believe you. If you haven't already, though, start actually counting AND writing down what you eat and how many total calories you are getting per day. While you're at it, keep a workout log in the same book. Easy to track progress there. Include measurements and weight about once every 2-4 weeks, if you're so inclined. It's your body.

Game #2: Get a pump with heavy weights. Switch around different routines on different weeks. Some days, try 10x3 (10 sets of 3 reps), on others do 5x5, on others try 3 sets of 8-12 (ahhh! Bodybuilding!). You already know to use compound movements instead of isolation, so you can get away with that for a time. You can also take a couple of weeks and try Escalated Density Training (which CrossFit is a form of). EDT is basically fixed time workouts focusing on increasing the total number of reps every workouts with pairs of antagonistic exercises (example: Thrusters/Pullups a la Fran. Cleans/Ring Dips from Elizabeth, Handstand Pushup/Deadlift from Diane, etc). The two important things here are a) Use a weight that's around your 7-8 rep max, and try for 3-5 reps each set OR use a weight that's your 12-15 rep max, and do 8-10 reps, and b) Compress your rest periods to 30-60 seconds in between sets. For bodyweight exercises, do assisted or weighted movements that allow you 3-5 or 8-12 reps, depending on what you're doing that day.

Game #3: Lower the Met-Con work for now. Stick to 1-2 Met-Con workouts, and rarely do them at full intensity. Remember that CrossFit is great for fat loss because the Met-Con workouts activate EPOC (Extraneous Post-Workout Oxygen Consumption), which raises your metabolism for hours after you finish the actual workout (unlike typical cardio, where your metabolism goes back to normal pretty quickly after the workout).

Assuming your hormones are in check, after you start winning all three games consistently, it's just a matter of time. Personally, I'm "almost" a hard gainer, but I know that it's because I simply don't eat enough (I'm at ~170-176lbs on a given day). When I want to gain mass, I'll start playing and winning all three games I listed above.

There a library of information floating around here. Find what works for you, and just keep experimenting until you find what keeps working.

All the best.
  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
USMC and functional fitness Jeff Bearden Fitness 8 12-31-2006 09:56 AM
NEW USMC CONCEPT FOR FUNCTIONAL FITNESS John Hoffner Community 14 12-26-2006 09:43 AM
Successful Functional Mass Gain? Craig Cooper Nutrition 8 10-14-2006 05:24 PM
Sydney Fitness Expo Don Stevenson Community 3 05-01-2005 07:53 PM
Functional Fitness Tests Tyler Hass Fitness 0 04-08-2003 06:59 PM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:36 AM.


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