Robb Wolf says that you can't get as lean as you want to be doing Crossfit and can't get sweet abs. Is he right? Anybody doing Crossfit, eating paleo, and getting super lean and fit? What's your training like?
Two reasons that may contribute to crossfit impeding someone from getting very lean are:
1.) Cortisol: It is easy to over-train with crossfit and raise cortisol levels, even with the recommended rest schedules, causing your body to not want to give up those precious fat reserves.
2.) Muscle mass: The nature of most crossfit workouts prevent gaining significant muscle mass, and the more muscle mass you put on the easier to drop down to a low enough body fat percentage. Also, the more muscle, the more pronounced your abs (and your entire physique) will look.
I lost a lot of weight doing crossfit and paleo and I really enjoyed it, but I eventually burned out and injured myself. I'd recommend doing what I am doing right now, lift really heavy with compound movements fasted 3x a week and maybe add some sprinting on off days while making sure to get a lot of rest and keeping your eating clean (paleo will guarantee that).
Okay guys I did some dilligent googling and have found the "Sweet abs on paleo?" podcast. Check it out here: http://robbwolf.com/2010/10/26/the-paleo-solution-episode-51/
It's the first question up so you shouldn't have to wait too long.
My theory about crossfit and abs and cortisol (from experience) is crossfitters get used to beating the hell out of themselves and take it too far. I'm sure there are people following the 3 on 1 off strictly but there is a much higher percentage of people that will add in a little extra. It's the extra that bumps up your stress level. You can't beat down on yourself every day and get away with it.
In addition I have decided to follow crossfit.com by the book and will report on my success/failures in the future as far as body comp/performance.
Lean, defined as a goal, should probably be quantified by a BF% or some other means. My idea of lean may be a lot different than yours.
Some of us will never get past the cortisol issue, so a bit of "pooch" on the lower abs is certainly acceptable. At 200lbs and 10% bf I consider myself pretty lean, for me. Certainly as lean as I want to be.
I see guys at the gym everyday with "sweet abs". Six packs, eight packs, whatever. I'll keep my 315lb powerclean over their chiseled abs any day.
I don't do Crossfit or listen to Rob Wolf's podcasts so I don't have much opinion on the OP.
I'd like to put in my two cents though, which is mainly that ab definition is diet AND genetics. I was practically born with sweet abs (I have pics of me shirtless age 4 or 5 featuring abs of steel) and still had them when I was a 100% sedentary vegetarian. I'm sure they wouldn't suddenly depart were I to turn into a Crossfit maven. I am more active than I'd like to be right now but sadly, it's not leading to fat gain (I need to gain 10 more lbs to meet my goal, and I would like some of that to be fat/boobs, taking me over 20% body fat).
I'm a lean pear shape with good core strength no matter what. I also have a little 'pooch' right under the bottom third of my six-pack. Again, pear shape, it's hard to have hips and ass without also having a little padding in the lower part of the stomach. There is no way in heck I have elevated cortisol, I did use to have a lot of symptoms of low cortisol...
Defined abdominal muscles are over-rated, IMO. Yes they can look nice, I like my own, but there are so many people with beautiful bodies and impressive fitness who do not have them and would have to live a life of suffering and deprivation to get close. I really don't think that every man with low body fat and a little roundness to the lower belly has elevated cortisol.
Gyday and peace to everyone choosing their path with all this stuff....
my own results have been very similiar to doing just 3 to 4 sessions every 8 days...
doesnt sound like much does it...
but having seen the results in the australian army from guys and gals doing 'chronic crossfit' has led me to believe you can definetly get way too much of a good thing....
people i know have had more injuries from 'crossfit' only because they forget the 'technical' side to its foundations...the same thing happened in the american forces....
dont get me wrong....crossfit is great stuff......but you can easily burn out and injure yourself like any other exercise / lifestyle....
its really hard to get younger people to see this....the benefits of training 3-4 days every 8 days...and going for long walks or a lazy swim session in between....not exercising..just goofing around between proper sessions is a great way to recover...and its good for your 'head'
but; there is a time to push hard and a time not to.......everyone is unique...crossfit isnt the answer..its just 'an answer'....take what works..be unique.....
I've actually never heard Robb say that one. I think getting "sweet abs" is more dependent on your nutrition and when you eat.
I think you can obtain sweet abs doing Crossfit as long as you are eating lower carb and working out fasted.