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Old 12-13-2011, 02:21 PM   #1
Rochella Larue
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Crossfitting mom at whits end

Hello everyone. I am not new to crossfit, I have actually been doing crossfit for about a year and a half now but I have a question that I need help on. Perhaps should not be posting on this thread I don't know but here it goes anyway. I am trying to find some suggestions and direction on helping my 15 year old daughter. Due to my neglegence in past years (as a common American) my daughter has gone down a road that now will require alot of work and patience as she would be condisdered morbidly obese. In the past I have not pushed the issue of exercise as I have always felt that my ambitions are not the ambitions of my family nor have I felt they should be forced on any of them. After noticing how ashamed and embarrassed she is of herself I decided to enforce healthier paleo/zone options for my family as a whole (afterall I have done it for the past year and a half by myself and have benefitted greatly) so yes the diet is being changed and is priority #1.

The question here is not about diet though. See recently she has expressed the interest in exercising with me (surprisingly she volunteered to do WODS with me). Any thoughts on where I should start programming wise for her. Also should I incorporate any weight lifting? (with proper form) I want it to be hard enough to get her going but not so hard as to scare her away or irritate her. Yes again I realize this has been my error and cuss me out if you feel it appropriate believe me I already have but again any advice on where to start this awesome girl is greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:52 PM   #2
Sean Dunston
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Re: Crossfitting mom at whits end

absolutely - weightlifting, and strength training in general, should be a large part of the program.

You should start with some basic barbell (and kettlebell, if you have them) mechanics. Obviously, these are not easy moves and won't be something that is one-and-done, so it should be taught/coached at almost every workout, prior to the actual workout. Once she has some facility with the barbell (it could be a couple of weeks), then you can add some weight.

Since she has showed an interest, I would foster her interest by giving her some workouts that have a few "easy" elements, and then a few difficult ones. Try to keep them short (length of time) in the beginning so that she isn't overwhelmed and doesn't get crushed/discouraged.

If you don't have much equipment, remember that you can do a lot of workouts with just bodyweight - burpees, sit ups, push ups, squats, pullups, running, jumping rope, etc.

best of luck.
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:00 PM   #3
Rebecca Roth
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Re: Crossfitting mom at whits end

It will probably start off a whole lot slower than you anticipate. early workouts of something as simple as 3 rounds of 5 pushups, 10, squats, 15 situps will often leave someone who is deconditioned sore.
Things like weightlifting and kettlebell work tend to favor those who are larger, so definitely get her doing those things (focus on form over speed) right off the bat because it will give a great sense of accomplishment, and helps combat immediate defeat at how difficult endurance/conditioning will be.
The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will. - Vince Lombardi
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:04 PM   #4
Christopher G. Woods
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Re: Crossfitting mom at whits end

I'll second Sean, basic strength training plus some short, easy metabolic workouts. Start her with three days a week, and see how she reacts. Depending upon just how overweight/sedentary she's become, I would avoid anything with too high an impact on the joints (ie: box jumps) until she develops some competence with movement.
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:16 PM   #5
Boris Bachmann
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Re: Crossfitting mom at whits end

A focus on technique mastery should be a given for EVERY trainee. I think that should go without saying, but I know it does not.

Basic weight training and lots and lots of walking.

A simple food and training diary - I think it would be a good idea for you to help her structure this and put in entries until she gets the hang of it and it becomes a habit.

I think it's great that she's expressed interest in training with you. The walking time can be a fun time for the two of you to connect and do something healthy and low impact - don't try to make it power walking... I realize MANY in the fitness industry aren't into walking, but it is, IMHO, critical for the obese - it burns calories, gets people outside, is usually a positive experience, and keeps the mind and body away from other less constructive things (like junk food, watching tv, etc).

Good luck. I hope you post updates.
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:30 PM   #6
Mike Johnson
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Re: Crossfitting mom at whits end

Take a look at Luke's log for some ideas.
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Old 12-13-2011, 04:12 PM   #7
Andrew N. Casey
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Re: Crossfitting mom at whits end

sounds to me like you are on the right track. had you tried to force this on them before you had yourself in order it probably wouldn't have gone well. your daughter likely wants to do it because of what she has seen in your life. you have led by example and become a role model. so kudos to you for that.

as for your daughter, take it slow. be patient. and also give lots of praise and encouragement and very little criticism or correction. help her focus on the good, the accomplishments, on what she does and can do, and don't focus on what she can't do.

slowly introduce all the movements, including the weights. for upper body especially a barbell will probably be easier than bodyweight movments for now. she probably can't do pushups or pullups, so presses and rows will be the progression.

make sure you help her set realistic goals from the very beginning. she can't expect to be slender and fit by this summer. but if she takes it slow and steady she may very well be there by high school graduation. she has her whole life ahead of her, help her to think of it that way. lifestyles and habits, not quick fix and "short term sacrifice". it should be viewed as an opportunity to build an awesome life, not as a punishment for past mistakes
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Old 12-13-2011, 05:07 PM   #8
Pearse Shields
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Re: Crossfitting mom at whits end

Before introducing her to overly intense workouts, it would be favourable to build an aerobic base first, as it allows for better recovery between anaerobic efforts. It's also somewhat easier. Of course, she may not want to do any aerobic work- it isn't exactly glamorous, and people enjoy the intensity of anaerobic work. In this case, start off easily, and progress when able. A good strength workout will also do her a lot of good, especially if Crossfitting with you is her goal.
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Old 12-14-2011, 04:23 AM   #9
Steven Wingo
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Re: Crossfitting mom at whits end

Congratulations Rochella on getting her started. I've got two teenage daughters who don't exercise a bit. One eats healthy, always has, the other lives on chicken fingers and bread despite my admonitions. They are not overweight, but my wife and I would like to see them live more active and healthy lifestyles. Their lack of interest in health and fitness makes no sense to me because both my wife and I are pretty much health freaks, particularly me, but we've also never forced our lifestyle on them. I'm hoping they will change their ways.

Good luck. And anybody who is actually a parent will never criticize you. There is so much bad food out there, and the lifestyles of most are so sedentary and unhealthy, that it is hard to get kids to go down the right path in terms of diet and exercise. Your daughter is fortunately at an age where she can reverse trends more quickly and has now show the "want to" in regard to making changes.
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:47 AM   #10
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Crossfitting mom at whits end

All good advise in this thread. I'll add a couple of observation from my coaching experience.

1) Scale, scale and scale. Trying to avoid serious soreness.

2) Get her on an organized lifting program. It is a place people with extra weight can get better fast. Use a training log. Simple linear progression. Bench, squat, dead lift, shoulder press and power cleans spread over two weeks. She will see improvement fast. Seeing improvement makes the uncomfortable parts worth enduring.

3) The young women in my gym love to get strong. The combination of losings unwanted body fat and getting stronger at the same time is the best.
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