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Old 01-11-2008, 03:45 AM   #1
Mark Euse
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Experienced weight lifter - hesitant to start

Hello All,

Want to introduce myself, my name is Mark, and I am US Army officer on the tail end of a 15 month deployment to Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne. I have been weight training for 8 years, pretty much since I started playing high school football and track, and all through college. My current stats are - 6'0, 218 lbs, 10% BF.

I am currently on my second cycle of Bryan Haycocks "Hypertrophy Specific Training" doing a M/W/F full body split. I also do HIIT cardio on T/TH/SA. So far I love the routine, and I feel I am in pretty good shape. I also feel I have achieved a good balance between muscle mass and cardiovascular conditioning.

However, ever since I saw the video clip called “Josh vs. Greg do ‘Fran’" I have been intrigued by crossfit. Often wish I could just wipe my workout journal clean, and begin doing only crossfit. I am, however hesitant, because even though HIIT cardio is intense; I know I am still nowhere near the shape I could be… as I have personally seen folks get doing crossfit. My biggest concern is losing the mass that I have gained over the years.
I would love more than anything to dedicate all my training to crossfit, I am just nervous that if I stop lifting weights the traditional way I will lose size and definition. I am not sure why I am so convinced of this since I do hard cardio 3 X a week and I know that crossfit incorporates weight training. I just can't seem to shake this mentality.

Has anyone that has done or is currently doing crossfit been in these shoes before? What were your results? Have muscular defined bodybuilder types found success with crossfit? I do not believe that I will gain more mass doing CF nor is that my goal with it, I just don’t want to lose what I already have.

I appreciate any and all advice, and look forward to hearing from the CF community. Everyone I know that is into CF raves about it, and says what a great community of people you are. Thanks for your all your help and I look forward to talking to you soon.

-Mark
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Old 01-11-2008, 06:58 AM   #2
Emily Mattes
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Re: Experienced weight lifter - hesitant to start

If you're doing hypertrophy-specific training, you probably will see mass loss during Crossfit in the first couple months. You will also see incredible fitness gains. The mass may eventually come back in the form of stronger, denser muscles, but it will take time. Crossfit is set to build more functional muscles, not bigger ones. A hypertrophic program is going to build more mass, hands down.

Of course, you will be stronger, faster, and fitter on Crossfit. So it depends on whether you want big muscles, or whether you want to be healthier.
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Old 01-11-2008, 07:01 AM   #3
Davis Hart
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Re: Experienced weight lifter - hesitant to start

Mark - welcome to CrossFit. I can't say I was exactly in your shoes -- I had less weight training behind me, but was nonetheless looking for similar goals of muscle mass. I found the CrossFit only helped by giving me new and different routines which prevented my body from adapting. Furthermore, I believe that through CrossFit-style workouts, you'll develop a reasonable muscle balance. Think of all the bodybuilders you've seen that have huge arms and tiny legs; that won't happen under XFit. Overall, I can't say I've lost any mass, and I have experienced a fairly dramatic change in my body composition. If you are really worried, you can do XFit and some weightlifting, though I think you'll find you won't need it.

Keep in mind that the program mixes in a bit of powerlifting which is very effective at building mass. As long as you are going hard on the oly lifts, I think you'll be very satisfied.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-11-2008, 07:58 AM   #4
Sean Dunston
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Re: Experienced weight lifter - hesitant to start

Mark-
I've got no advice for you on this, but I just wanted to say welcome to CF and thank you for your service!
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Old 01-11-2008, 08:06 AM   #5
Gant Grimes
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Re: Experienced weight lifter - hesitant to start

Welcome to the forums, Mark.

You've summed it up well. You will trade mass for a harder, leaner, more balanced physique and outstanding fitness. It's not for everyone.

Did Greg and Josh strike you as small?
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:18 AM   #6
Brian Bedell
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Re: Experienced weight lifter - hesitant to start

I think as long as you keep your diet straight you should be fine. Try CF for a month and see how you like it. You are not going to lose any mass in that time frame. Just keep eating.
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:36 AM   #7
Steven Low
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Re: Experienced weight lifter - hesitant to start

You will only lose mass if you don't eat for mass.

HST is decent. Much, much better than most of the other split training out there. Possibly a better stimulus for hypertrophy than CF depending on how many big lifts you did.

As for size, what Gant said: Did Greg and Josh strike you as small?
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:42 AM   #8
Scott A Martin
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Re: Experienced weight lifter - hesitant to start

Welcome Mark and thank you for your service.

My advice is to try Crossfit for 3 or 4 months. You can then evaluate the results firsthand. If you're not happy, go back to your old program. It's not as if you're going to waste away doing Crossfit for a few months, so it shouldn't take you long to get back any size you might lose. On the flip size, you might find that your increased level of fitness outweighs some loss of size. You have a lot to gain and not much to lose.
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Old 01-11-2008, 11:31 AM   #9
Walt Carr
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Re: Experienced weight lifter - hesitant to start

If you continue to eat enough, you won't lose much size.

I am a USMC officer myself, and had been following a similar regimen to what you have described (heavy, full-body weght training & cardio) for maybe 11 years. I just returned from Iraq a couple of months ago, too. I was not quite as large as you are (I'm 6ft tall, weigh about 205, about 8-10%bf), but I was well-trained from a body-building standpoint. I switched over to the crossfit method a couple of months ago myself, and haven't experienced any losses. In fact, I have gotten stronger on the big lifts, i.e. bench, squat, deadlift, and I haven't lost weight.

Don't sweat it too much, in other words. You may not get any bigger, but you won't shrink up too fast either.
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:31 PM   #10
Gant Grimes
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Re: Experienced weight lifter - hesitant to start

I want to add something to the "eat to keep your mass" crowd. That is true if you keep working those muscles. Your appearance is a consequence of your fitness. Thus, your body is not going to maintain a lot of extraneous mass no matter how much you eat. Your body is smart that way.

Bottom line, if your physique is well balanced, you won't lose anything except softness. However, if you're one of those guys with freakish pecs and biceps, you're going to lose that. In other words, if it's not helping you sprint, row, lift something off the ground, over your head, or over a bar, your body will have the good sense not to keep it.
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