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Thread: Crossfit

  1. #1
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    Crossfit

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    Have you tried it?
    A Crossfit gym is about to open in my neighbourhood, and I'm thinking about joining. But the costs are quite high, especially for two (dh would like to join too). I'm not sure if it would be worth it, but am itrigued by the concept. I'd like to do more weighted exercises and our home gym has reached it's limits in this regard - I don't want to have weight plates all over the living room
    I think training in a group would be motivating and if they provide a lot of personal support it might be worth the cost.

  2. #2
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    Hi Susan. I am quite familiar with Crossfit. Like all types of exercise it will work well for some people and not for others. Keep in mind that the Crossfit gyms here in the States might have a different vibe/attitudes and/or training of the affiliates. So what I'm saying here is from my experience with Crossfit gyms here in the US.

    I think Crossfit is great for people who are already quite active, have a strong core and good body awareness. I love the concept of changing the workouts continuously, using the whole body to do exercises (not just one muscle group), using high intesity activity for a short duration to stimulate growth and change. Especially in a body that is already fit and needs something a little extreme to push it hard enough to create change.

    What I don't like about Crossfit are the injuries that I see in my clinic. It seems like people get thrown into heavy and intense exercise before they are ready to do it or before they've learned the form. For example, I knew a lady go to Crossfit and after only doing 5 form practices she was asked to do box jumps to a height of 20 inches as many times as she could in a given time. She was being strongly "motivated", tried to do it and ended up straining a deep muscle in her hip. I've seen people at our Crossfit gym trying to pump out fast push-ups with terrible form, back sagging and no form correction given or adjustments made for their current strength level. I could give you pages worth of examples like this.

    If you go to Crossfit, be prepared to be pushed very hard. Be prepared to have a "drill sargeant"-type standing over you and using quite strong verbal encouragement. It is definitely not for everyone. But there is a population that it works well for and who seem to love it.

    I hope that helps.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for your insights. You are right it might be that Crossfit-training here differs from training in the US.
    Watching a few crossfit videos on youtube, I too noticed quite a lot of bad form. Generally AMRAP-type workouts seem to encourage bad form and personally I don't like them as much as having a fixed amount of reps/sets to do (I tend to lose good form "in a hurry").

    They offer a free trial day at the new gym and I think I'll give it a shot and see if I like it.

    Another question: Do Crossfit-gyms/trainers generally advocate a certain type of diet ("Paleo"-diet?)?

  4. #4
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    Around here they do. It's all part of the getting lean and mean thing. It seems like there are two types of Crossfitters. The ones that go to Crossfit to suppliment other training they are doing. They seem to not get sucked in to Crossfit as much, they use it as a gym and eat the way they feel they need to for their sport etc. Then there are the Crossfitters that have Crossfit as their primary mode of exercise. They seem to not do much cardio and are embrace some of the more cult-like aspects of Crossfit. I don't like to put it that way, but I can't think of any other way to get the idea across. They buy into everything that Crossfit preaches including diet.

    Don't get me wrong, I still think that Crossfit has it's place and most of what they preach in terms of diet etc is pretty good for most people. What I have a problem with is that they seem to think that there is one right answer for everyone and they are kind of pushy about it, it seems to me anyway.
    Living life like there's no tomorrow.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wahine View Post
    Hi Susan. I am quite familiar with Crossfit. Like all types of exercise it will work well for some people and not for others. Keep in mind that the Crossfit gyms here in the States might have a different vibe/attitudes and/or training of the affiliates. So what I'm saying here is from my experience with Crossfit gyms here in the US.

    I think Crossfit is great for people who are already quite active, have a strong core and good body awareness. I love the concept of changing the workouts continuously, using the whole body to do exercises (not just one muscle group), using high intesity activity for a short duration to stimulate growth and change. Especially in a body that is already fit and needs something a little extreme to push it hard enough to create change.

    What I don't like about Crossfit are the injuries that I see in my clinic. It seems like people get thrown into heavy and intense exercise before they are ready to do it or before they've learned the form. For example, I knew a lady go to Crossfit and after only doing 5 form practices she was asked to do box jumps to a height of 20 inches as many times as she could in a given time. She was being strongly "motivated", tried to do it and ended up straining a deep muscle in her hip. I've seen people at our Crossfit gym trying to pump out fast push-ups with terrible form, back sagging and no form correction given or adjustments made for their current strength level. I could give you pages worth of examples like this.

    If you go to Crossfit, be prepared to be pushed very hard. Be prepared to have a "drill sargeant"-type standing over you and using quite strong verbal encouragement. It is definitely not for everyone. But there is a population that it works well for and who seem to love it.

    I hope that helps.

    Interesting about the injuries. I do a high intensity functional fitness program that's run by real trainers** at our PT facility. They see a lot of crossfit injuries. It really makes me value the highly trained professionals that lead our classes. They are great at modifying for existing issues, building agility and strength and conditioning and definitely NOT one size fits all. WE ( DH and i) have been working out there for over three years and they are super in helping to build strength and agility, working around things we do to ourselves, working around on going issues and so on.

    **CSCS, MS, NSCA, etc none of this weekend certification stuff.
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  6. #6
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    I've been considering trying crossfit for awhile and I've been reading up on gyms (locally and not) and there appears to be multiple types. What you want to do is make sure your gym is run by people with more than just a crossfit background/certification. The most success I've seen long term (long term being the key idea) comes from trainers who not only follow the crossfit method, but also know how to use it progressively to promote long term change. Random workouts might be fun for awhile but unless you are progressing in your exercises, you won't progress in your fitness. Crossfit trainers with backgrounds in other areas (endurance coaching, PT, strength and conditioning, yoga, etc) appear to be more successful. They offer better form instruction, they offer MORE than just a canned WOD, they offer training plans and progression and they recognize that not everyone is exactly the same.

    And yes, as a group, crossfit used to preach the Zone diet and now they have embraced Paleo. This varies by group though and I would seriously question any gym that made a diet a requirement (unless you've signed up for such advice as part of a challenge or a package or something).
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  7. #7
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    Austria
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    Just to keep you updated, I still haven't gotten around to do the free trial.
    We had such nice biking weather and I will probably wait until fall until I give it a shot.
    The Paleo-part could be a problem if they are pushy about it - even if a lot of the priciples of the diet make total sense, it's just not for me.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Florida
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    452
    I loved Crossfit, and miss both it and the great community of the Crossfit Delray Beach box. Sadly, due to "end stage" arthritis in my ankle from a car accident in the 80s, even though they modified a lot of the moves for me (no running, jumping, etc.), I decided to take a break. I'm still thinking of going back.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Southern Utah
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    Hi ladies! I'm new here, and was skimming some of the topics when this thread caught my eye. I just wanted to give my two cents, because of my experience with CrossFit!

    I started "CrossFitting" about 2 1/2- 3 years ago, to help lose some stubborn pregnancy weight, and to help strengthen my core for backpacking. I was planning a mid-summer backpack, on a great elevated trail for two weeks, and felt like I needed some help with that, since my core was shot from the pregnancy. I wasn't that overweight, and fairly active, eating a balanced, mostly sugar-free diet. I was just a hair shy of turning 26 when I started.

    For the first year, I loved it, and totally bought into the Paleo diet and other CrossFit lifestyle changes. I felt stronger, healthier, and my muscle tone was incredible. Oddly, most of the remaining baby weight was still there (I only had about 10-15 pounds to lose), but I looked good, and felt good.

    After the first year, and part way into the second, the extreme diet that I was on starting doing weird things to my body. (I was eating the Paleo way; minimal fruit, lots of veggies and lean meats, what I thought was a balanced portion of healthy fats, and minimal dairy). Looking back, I really do think that I was undercarbed, and later blood tests would show that my healthy fat level had bottomed out. I felt lethargic, and my stomach started hurting almost every day. My hair started falling out, and I was so into the lifestyle that I pushed and pushed and pushed myself, often times injuring myself and feeling bad that I couldn't keep up with my fellow crossfitters. The trainers would often tell me that I was cheating on the diet, or that I was allowing myself to be weakened, or that I wasn't trying hard enough. In reality, I was over-training my body. I continued like that until I tore my left meniscus, doing a standard jumping lunge.

    And I've been out since, and couldn't be happier for it. I know that my experience is my own, and CrossFit can do a lot of great things for the right people. Looking back, there were a ton of red flags about the "qualified" trainers at the gym I went to. I'm pretty sure that there are awesome CF gyms, with great, qualified and knowledgeable trainers. Definitely go in with your eyes open, and take everything with a grain of salt. Take a look at the people working out there. Are they happy? Ask lots of questions, and don't be bullied into doing something that you aren't comfortable with!

  10. #10
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    The trainers would often tell me that I was cheating on the diet, or that I was allowing myself to be weakened, or that I wasn't trying hard enough.
    Wow. This underscores what I've heard about CF. I'm glad you got smart about it. Training is good, over doing it, or being told not to trust yourself, is not. This makes me love my trainers ever more.
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  11. #11
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    May 2012
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    Denver, CO
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    My experience with CrossFit was through law enforcement training, and the pseudo-military like approach they use seems to really resonate with some people. I have have friends who ran Xfit box for a couple years, but they just sold it to focus on a sepaarate business of health and nutrition. The coach part of the couple was really into paleo, but his wife was a doctor and nutrition adviser, and through her I got work outs that were more tailored to my lifestyle and goals (ie, I'm a vegetarian ballerina cyclist - extreme is fine, but I don't need to do box jumps and tire flips to build my core.)

    I agree with the other people that it's a good tool, when used in moderation.
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  12. #12
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    Nov 2009
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    The degreed trainers at my gym do use cross-fit exercises, but they don't call it "CrossFit", but metabolic training. They also don't do the pseudo-military like approach. One or two of the trainers approaches the latter, but I think that is just their own style. I DO like the metabolic style training, regardless of what it is called. It doesn't focus on any one thing and is a good cross-training for the bike - especially in the summer when I back off from higher volume weights as my riding increases.

  13. #13
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    What does "metabolic training" mean? Where I work out they call it "functional fitness".

    The thing is, cross fit didn't really come with anything new, they just packaged it. There is only so much "new" stuff that has been invented for fitness. Most of the new thinking on fitness pulls from the same new thinking: multi discipline, higher intensity. Much of it , including the training I do (so this is not meant to be disparaging) is glorified circuit training: multiple kinds of movement done at a higher intensity. By multiple discipline, I mean pulling from many different schools of exercise such as weights, cardio, plyometrics, yoga, balance work, Pilates and so on combined together.

    I think that the big thing is working with people who really understand what they are teaching,are knowledgable, and understand the differences in bodies, fitness levels, and abilities to help people get the most out of it.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irulan View Post
    What does "metabolic training" mean? Where I work out they call it "functional fitness".....

    I think that the big thing is working with people who really understand what they are teaching,are knowledgable, and understand the differences in bodies, fitness levels, and abilities to help people get the most out of it.
    Yes, this is what matters the most.

    They separate functional fitness from metabolic training. They refer to the latter as very intense exercises that utilize as many muscle groups as possible and they have different group training classes (paid and free) that focus on both functional fitness and metabolic training - though of course everything has elements of both.Your last point they focus on very much.

    No place is perfect, but they suit me. The cool part is they have free bike lockers outside, so on days I ride to work I can swing by on the way home, lock my bike up and get a bit of a workout in on my way home.

  15. #15
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    well you know me, miss "what is it anyway google is my friend"...

    Metabolic Training
    Sounds like a new name for circuit training.
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