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Old 08-14-2010, 09:16 AM   #1
Janice Marie Ferguson
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Putting on weight

I need some input. Let me start with some info/stats/goals to give you a frame of reference.

Stats: Been CF since April 2010, 33, F, hovering around 120 lbs., 5'5". Since early June, my diet closely resembles the Zone. I'm not a freak about measuring anymore, since I can pretty much eyeball my portions now. I am taking in around 13-15 blocks daily. (Sometimes I miss the pm snack) I do eat dairy and some grains and starches--Ezekiel bread, ezekiel cereal, and sweet potatoes are the only starches/grains I take in. I have cut all pasta and rice. The only fats I eat are from nuts, avocados, and olive oil. Not sure of my present BF %. In May, I weighed 124 lbs., and it was about 19%. At that time, my diet was not Zone. I ate clean, though. I've been eating clean since January 2010.

Performance stats: I have only tried to max on two lifts. My first time max attempts were about a month ago on the DL: 205 lbs., and the C&J: 115 lbs. I haven't tried to max on anything else since then. 5k run: 21:28. Fran: 7 minutes (this could be better, I did it immediately after working up to my max C&J attempt last month and I was wrecked, should have known better!). FGB: 221 (three rounds men's RX weight). I follow the CF schedule of 3 days on, 1 day off. My training is a mix of strength and metcon. I follow the programming from my affiliate most of the time. Although, I will be starting to do strength training and some HQ wods more often in the coming months.

Goals: I want to compete.

Overall, I feel great. I have tons of energy, and I am progressing more and more each month. I have unintentionally lost about 6-8 pounds since starting CF, though.

Now for my concerns.

1. I am concerned that I am too small. I know I shouldn't be so caught up in other people's perceptions of my body composition, because I am fitter, faster and stronger than I've ever been. But, I get so many comments that I am so thin. I don't worry so much about what non-CF people think, but I recently had two folks at my box in the last week make the comment that if I want to be competitive, I need to put on some mass. What do you think about this? I don't really have a good picture of my body to show you, but I have attached two of the most "revealing" photos I have...not to worry, they're WFS. Not my best pictures, but they may help.

2. (A) If you agree that I need to put on mass, what is the best and safest way to do so?
(B) I have heard drinking milk can put on mass. What are your thoughts on this? Should it be whole milk? How much?
(C) Should I increase my blocks, or should I quit obsessing about Zone?

Remember, my goal is to optimize my performance ability for competition, not just to put on weight for the sake of doing so. I'm quite happy with the way I look and feel. If you believe that I'm getting too hung up about my weight and body mass, I want to hear about that, too.
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Old 08-14-2010, 09:33 AM   #2
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Putting on weight

I was just in biloxi and got a lift in at Crossfit Coastline at eFtiness.

I wouldn't do GOMAD if you aren't doing some dedicated strength work at least 3 times a week. Metcon typically doesn't provide the need stress to take advantage of gomad and you'll most likely just add fat.

If you aren't doing dedicated strength work, I would just eat more. Olive oil shooters are good, so are sweet potatoes. Just add a little bit more maybe 500 cal at a time and see how that goes for 2 weeks. THen re-adjust.
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Old 08-14-2010, 09:34 AM   #3
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Putting on weight

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janice Marie Ferguson View Post
I need some input. Let me start with some info/stats/goals to give you a frame of reference.

Stats: Been CF since April 2010, 33, F, hovering around 120 lbs., 5'5". Since early June, my diet closely resembles the Zone. I'm not a freak about measuring anymore, since I can pretty much eyeball my portions now. I am taking in around 13-15 blocks daily. (Sometimes I miss the pm snack) I do eat dairy and some grains and starches--Ezekiel bread, ezekiel cereal, and sweet potatoes are the only starches/grains I take in. I have cut all pasta and rice. The only fats I eat are from nuts, avocados, and olive oil. Not sure of my present BF %. In May, I weighed 124 lbs., and it was about 19%. At that time, my diet was not Zone. I ate clean, though. I've been eating clean since January 2010.

Performance stats: I have only tried to max on two lifts. My first time max attempts were about a month ago on the DL: 205 lbs., and the C&J: 115 lbs. I haven't tried to max on anything else since then. 5k run: 21:28. Fran: 7 minutes (this could be better, I did it immediately after working up to my max C&J attempt last month and I was wrecked, should have known better!). FGB: 221 (three rounds men's RX weight). I follow the CF schedule of 3 days on, 1 day off. My training is a mix of strength and metcon. I follow the programming from my affiliate most of the time. Although, I will be starting to do strength training and some HQ wods more often in the coming months.

Goals: I want to compete.

Overall, I feel great. I have tons of energy, and I am progressing more and more each month. I have unintentionally lost about 6-8 pounds since starting CF, though.

Now for my concerns.

1. I am concerned that I am too small. I know I shouldn't be so caught up in other people's perceptions of my body composition, because I am fitter, faster and stronger than I've ever been. But, I get so many comments that I am so thin. I don't worry so much about what non-CF people think, but I recently had two folks at my box in the last week make the comment that if I want to be competitive, I need to put on some mass. What do you think about this? I don't really have a good picture of my body to show you, but I have attached two of the most "revealing" photos I have...not to worry, they're WFS. Not my best pictures, but they may help.

2. (A) If you agree that I need to put on mass, what is the best and safest way to do so?
(B) I have heard drinking milk can put on mass. What are your thoughts on this? Should it be whole milk? How much?
(C) Should I increase my blocks, or should I quit obsessing about Zone?

Remember, my goal is to optimize my performance ability for competition, not just to put on weight for the sake of doing so. I'm quite happy with the way I look and feel. If you believe that I'm getting too hung up about my weight and body mass, I want to hear about that, too.
I wouldn't say you're underweight (though another 5-10lbs of lean mass definitely wouldn't hurt anyone), but you're definitely understrong compared to CF Games competitors. Without checking the stats spreadsheets, I'd say most women at the Games can pull 300ish for their deadlift and in the 180-200lb range on clean and jerk. Keep in mind those are the top 50 or so female CFers around, so you could have a good showing at sectionals or regionals without numbers like those.

The good news is that you can see relatively quick strength gains since you say you've only really gone heavy twice. You weren't real specific about your training, but if you train for strength you'll get stronger. There are plenty of good programs out there if you want to get stronger and still get better at conditioning--CFFB, CFSB, MEBB, CFWF, OPT (which I'm partial to), and any number of affiliates that program in strengthwork on an almost-daily basis. The main thing is that you pick a program and stick to it rather than bouncing around for a few weeks at a time.

As for eating, I would say keep eating clean, just eat more of it. More meat, good fats, and fruits and vegetables. It sounds like you have trouble eating enough to keep up with your metabolism so look for dense calorie sources--olive oil, coconut milk/oil, nut butters, etc. Milk is ok if your body tolerates it, and if you're going to drink milk drink whole milk....organic, grassfed, raw if your wallet allows it. Don't worry about the Zone if you're trying to gain weight--just try to get about 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight each day (~125g in your case) then eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and enough fat to keep you from being hungry. The Zone is good for portion control and weight loss for people who need it but that doesn't sound like your situation.

Hope that helps.
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:51 AM   #4
Arlene Abastillas
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Re: Putting on weight

Hi Janice,

I recently just joined a CF affiliate gym here in SAn Jose, CA. I was training with a CF Level 1 Certified trainer and asked her the same questions about putting on more weight. I'm a small-framed woman about 5ft, 2inches. I'm also a nurse with crazy off hours. I do alot of protein shakes, meal-replacement shakes, avocadoes, sweet potatoes, nuts, berries, and lean meats and fish for my diet. I drink also Almond milk and soy milk as well.

I applauad any women who train using the CrossFit Method. Strength and diet go hand in hand. If you are training to compete, then add more calories and add more weight to add muscle mass and get stronger.

Hope this helps and best of luck to you!
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Old 12-08-2010, 01:27 PM   #5
Michael Dries
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Re: Putting on weight

To echo eric's comments, if you want to get strong you have to train for it. The conditioning can take a back seat for a month or two, or use a hybrid model like CFFB to keep the conditioning up.

The key is, layering strength on top of metcon will require a boat load more calories. List to robb wolf (.com) early podcasts, he talks about zone folks who shifted to a unweighted unmeasured paleo diet and saw drastic improvements in strength and performance. I think it was jolie gentry who was zoning at like 12-14 blocks, and when unweighted unmeasured paleo. For fun they weighed and measured a typical day's meal and she was eating something like 24+ blocks of protein and 60-80 blocks of fat.
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Old 12-08-2010, 01:32 PM   #6
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Putting on weight

What Eric said. The CF Games don't have weight classes, so if you want to compete you need to get your lifts into the same ballpark as the competitors. Adding muscle mass will help facilitate that.

Katherine
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Old 12-08-2010, 01:56 PM   #7
Shannon Mullens
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Re: Putting on weight

From my own perspective (and I'm really great at adding weight, and not so good at taking it off) - if I'm doing strength training and not drinking milk, I'm absolutely miserable. How lactose intolerant people do it is beyond me. I don't GOMAD or anything, but 1-2 glasses a day makes a huge difference in how I feel and recover.

If you're feeling good about yourself, don't worry so much about what other people say. But if you're trying to compete, then what Katherine said - you need to get your strength up, and you have to make sure you're eating enough to facilitate that.
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Old 12-08-2010, 02:10 PM   #8
Sean Dunston
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Re: Putting on weight

Earlier this year, I decided I wanted to lose a few (8, actually) pounds to compete at 165# in a PL event. Of course, I was also trying to build (or not lose) any strength. A few weeks ago ( about 6 weeks after that meet), I decided i didn't want to go through the misery of cutting weight again - at 40, I feel like i am too old to have to cut 8 pounds for every competition, so I'm in the process of bulking for the 181# division. I've gained about about 3.5# over the last 3 weeks by adding 1/2 gallon of milk per day -- which is surprisingly easy to do: one 16 oz glass in the morning, 2 throughout the day, and 1 more at night.

I'm not sure you need to put on mass, but being stronger will definitely help you. Understand that with mass, you will likely lose a little speed. Expect your performance on bodyweight WODs like Cindy and Murph to go down, and your 5k time to be slower -- though it may not be that significant. At the same time, though, you should actually see your times on heavier WODs such as Grace and Isabel go down. I'd imagine your other numbers on medium weight WODs will improve too, like Diane and Fran.

Best of luck!
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