I've always admired the results that Crossfitters exhibit in terms of body composition - enough that's it's causing me to reevaluate our family's schedule and budget to see if Crossfit could be included.
My question is: Does Crossfit work for somebody who is starting totally from scratch, as it were - who has been more or less sedentary for a few years? I know that culture can vary from box to box, but the prospect of joining and working out alongside RX'ing superfit specimens is very intimidating.
And for Crossfitting moms, what are realistic expectations for what dedicated Crossfitting and diet could do to bring a body back from postpartum status (without any supplemental surgery)? Is 100% recovery back to a prebaby body (especially the core, even for those who haven't done Crossfit before) an impossible dream?
Short answer - In my opinion, yes.
I have posted my story before, but in brief, I was completely sedentary. I work a full-time job and take between 4 and 6 classes a semester at night for my first Bachelor's (one more semester to go - yay!). I'm a 36 year old woman that started at approximately 220 lbs, about 80 lbs overweight. I will admit, I have not seen my weight go down and yes, mentally it's very disappointing, but in two months I lost 3.5 lbs and 3 DRESS/PANT SIZES. That is change, and it is very obvious to people who I see both daily and infrequently. My story may not be typical, but my answer is an emphatic yes - Crossfit will work for somebody who is starting totally from scratch.
It wasn't easy, and there are days I did not want to go back, but I have seen consistent, positive progression both in my performance and in my body composition. This past month, my 3rd month, I have lost an additional 5 lbs so I know my weight will drop to where I want it eventually, but the body that is emerging is even better than the number I have stuck in my head (which may help with your postpartum question, but I'm not a mother so I can't positively help you there). Good luck!
I started crossfit about 9 months before conceiving my child. I was just on the path of feeling and looking the best ever in my life. I had a complicated pregnancy (extreme morning sickness for 25 weeks coupled with placenta previa - which meant absolutely no working out). So I had to wait to get back. When I started back I attacked the WODs with the same intensity that I had pre-pregnancy. 3rd WOD back I had an epic fail - my hand strength was no what it was before, and I missed the bar on the way down on an assisted kip - and fell - elbow meets floor = broken arm. EPIC FAIL. So in my opinon - take it easy and watch yourself - carting around an infant that is exclusively bf'ing with a broken arm is both hard and stupid. Be carfeul, listen to your body and really impress upon the coaches that you are post-partum which can mean that your body is not cooperating the way it used to.
I was intimidated at first too, and started paleo & crossfit in March. I was eating a lot of carbs at the time and really didn't do much for exercise except walking. I'm 44 with 3 kids, and since I started I've lost 10 lbs. and definitely gained muscle, and feel great! I even added 30lbs to my deadlift 1 rep max. I'm pretty sure I'm one of the oldest, slowest there but I'm making headway and everyone is very supportive, as I'm sure they are at all boxes. Besides for all we know, some of the people there may have started out "from scratch" as well. Go for it!
I'm not a woman, and I don't have kids, so I'm REALLY not qualified to answer, BUT, my CF gym is probably 75% moms.
What I've noticed (from watching the ladies at my box, and my own experience) is that CF is all about what you put into it. We have some ladies that come in, glide through the WOD and don't really push themselves and they don't see results like the ladies who come in and work their tails off!
So, in my humble opinion (mucho respect to mothers!), whatever workout program you decide to try, you'll get out only as much as you put in! Good luck!!
I started CrossFit over a year ago at nearly 260lbs, I'm now at 185lbs eating Paleo and chasing 170 lbs or so. It's a process, it's supposed to be scaled, and any trainer that lets you jump in, 0 to 60, shouldn't be trusted if you are coming into this sedentary.
Just about every box has a beginner or on ramp program, find one near you, check out their website and call for your freeintro. Any gym worth their salt has at least one class for free.
I have just started doing crossfit two weeks ago and I was terrified! I'm a 25 year old mum with two kids under 3! I'm trying to get my body better than pre-baby shape so I have alot of work to do( I want to lose about 7 or 8 pounds). I am lucky that everyone at the box I go to is so supportive and full of encouragement! I can't recommend it enough!! It's worth it!! :)
I started at 200lbs and 25% body fat.I couldn't do any pull ups and could only run about 5k. Year and a half later I am 13% body fat and have run a marathon, 50k, and 50 Miler
From what I've seen and heard around, most Crossfits have a decent amount of women clientele. You shouldn't be surrounded by a bunch of superfit hard bodies. They are a nice cross section of age and ability. A good coach manages to alter the WODs to fit each persons ability.
You should be able to try out at least one class for free, so make sure you do that. If you love it, then it will totally be worth it.
Echoing some of earlier posts...judging by your profile name, you're already familiar with ancestral eating (primal, paleo, etc.), which is 80% of the solution. Crossfit is a great way to work the fitness side efficiently; the teamwork, camraderie, friendly rivalries, etc. are tremendously motivating, and can help you get the body you want faster than nutrition alone. It's also a huge confidence booster - breaking 200lbs on deadlift, getting your first kipping pullup, etc. are great for the spirit. As mentioned in other cases, they key is to find a good box with a good coach - someone who teaches safety first, via good technique, and stays on your case about doing it right!
Personal testimonial: I started with a personal trainer 2 mos postpartum after #2 when I stalled out, and knocked off the last stubborn 5 lbs or so in the next few mos (gained a lot of muscle too), but my performance REALLY took off when I started doing kettlebells regularly, and then Crossfit. The next big jump was when I finally kicked grains to the curb. 2.5 years into CF now and still making strength gains, and have my best body EVER at 37!
You can get similar great effects from kettlebells, or a mix of CF and KB; try 'em and figure out what you enjoy and where the people/community makes you happy and motivated, and go for it. Good luck!
Yoga + Crossfit - Schedule Hacking 7 Answers