I'm still about 80 pounds overweight and over the last ten years lost 200. For many years, the 200 pound weight loss was 'enough' for me, I mean it was such a change for the better. fyi I achieved that with weight loss surgery, eating more toward hunger and reducing sweets. I only found out about Paleo Nov 2010 and have been eating Paleo for a month.
Now the 200 pound weight loss doesn't seem enough to me and I'd like to have the body that I really should have. Whatever that body weight is, it's fine, but would like to go lower, be fit and have high energy levels.
This is where cross fit comes in. I've heard a lot of great things, and heard that it's ok for beginners, but really how much am I going to get out of it when I can't even do one pull up and can barely do a push up when on my knees? I have been doing kettlebell short workouts with a 9 pound weight but not much else. I hate gyms with a passion (probably goes back to my super morbid obese days of trying to lose weight). I'm not sure if I'd like driving 15-20 minutes just to do a workout. I also am very attuned to when people are judging me for my size (another side effect of being huge at one time). Hence the rebelliousness.
I should also note that working out makes me REALLY hungry and tired. I have to be careful about not doing too much too fast. Just my sensitive nature, I guess!
If you think I should try cross fit - I have three crossfit gyms with 20 minutes of my house. Should I try each one? What should I look for? I am afraid that I won't make the right decision since I can't do much at this point.
thanks for your help!
First, no matter how you did it, congratulations on losing 200 lbs! That's just amazing! I've been doing CrossFit for 3 months now - I started at 230 and I'm down to 220 - about 80 lbs over my recommended weight. I could barely do ANYTHING and the first couple of weeks were so scaled down for me that I was sure everyone was laughing their butts off as I left the box (trust me, they weren't). Over the past few months I have doubled my weights on everything - realize that means I'm up to a whopping 30-35 lbs on barbells, 15 lbs on dumbbells, and my "heavy" workout the other day had me lifting a 30 lb kettlebell for the first time.
I still can't do a pullup - but I can now lift most of myself up using a modified ring pullup. I still can't do handstand pushups, but I'm on my knees on a plyo box everytime it's in the WOD and I'm going as low as I can straight down. My pushups, still on my knees, 3 at a time (up from 1 at a time (and barely that the first week)). Heck, I just made it through my first 200m run without stopping (and no, it's not up to a sprint, but I RAN 200m WITHOUT STOPPING!).
No, CrossFit isn't for everyone, but it is extremely scalable, adaptable, and conquerable. I doubt I'll ever look like or be able to do some of the things the gals do at my box, but in 3 months I'm already doing more than I've ever done in my life. I feel better at work, I don't huff up the stairs to my second floor apartment, and my clothes are falling off (I've only lost 10 lbs; but I've lost 3 dress sizes; I put on muscle like a fiend apparently).
Visit the boxes in your area - talk to the coaches, see if one will offer you a free week or even a couple of discounted days. I did 2x a week for the first two weeks and then moved up to 3x a week. I'm going between 3-4x per week now (while taking 6 classes and working a full-time day job). Because it's so "regimented" (and that's really a harsher word than I want, but is the best to describe it as) I know that the 1 hour I spend there is probably the most productive hour of my day; and the effects are obvious.
It will be hard, and it will hurt (even when you do it correctly - I never knew muscles got stiffer 2 days AFTER a good workout LOL), but even if you do it for a couple of months and then move to a gym or take it outside or do videos, you will learn more about what your body CAN do and that's probably the most important part; imagine being able to walk into any exercise situation and know that you can learn the movements and that you will be able to do some part of the workout and that you will improve as long as you keep at it.
Well, I consider myself very fit and athletic and I avoid CF because I feel it's too much. At the risk of upsetting the CrossFit people on here, I think it is cool and trendy right now, but I do not think it's necessary at all. Walk, hike, get out in nature, do some sprints, fuel your body properly and you should be just fine... a lot of it seems really complex and form is key. If you have all the right tools, with proper training and coaching, and you have serious fitness goals, go for it. Outside of that, meh.
I'm going to recommend some yoga for you, and here's why. If you are out of touch with your body and just getting started with reacquainting yourself with your own physicality, I think it's the absolute ideal place to start. It certainly is a workout too, but there is a lot of focus on form, and a lot of focus on paying attention to what is going on to your body, your center of gravity, your alignment, coordination of breathing and many other things which i consider the basics of good high level athleticism. In addition, you're prepping your body via flexibility and strength training with your own bodyweight that will be a nice foundation for anything you want to do later. I firmly believe concentrating on these foundations (and to some people they do come naturally) will make you a better athlete long term and help you prevent injury in the future no matter what you do.
I highly recommend Ana Forrest's videos because she's awesome and is one of the most highly regarded yoga teachers out there, having taught since 1975. She also comes from a history of personal physical setbacks and gears what she does towards western culture posture/lifestyle issues. And you can do it at home, no need for the gym. She is very specific in her teachings about form and you have time to think while you're in the poses. Check it out: http://www.forrestyogastore.com/Ana-Forrest-Yoga-c/MEDIA/DVD+CD
Edit: Portland, Or? great place to get a nice bicycle and start riding! (if you don't already) It's a lot of fun and no gyms involved, plus you know, you can run errands and work out at the same time.
I live by this couple: bodyrock.tv (Copy and paste the link)
For the following reasons: 1. Their workouts are short (usually about 20 minutes) 2. They will make you sweat! High intensity and muscle confusion gets you results. 3. You can do them sans equipment, or pick up the few pieces they use. 4. You can do the workouts in your living room, outside, on a boat, on beach, anywhere. 5. Zuzi is ridiculously hot (and so very sweet) and my lust for her rockin' bod makes me power through those last painful reps.
It might help you work up to crossfit if that's really your ultimate goal. But I found it was plenty to give me the muscle-definition and weightloss I was looking for. I swear - watch one workout and you'll be hooked.
I'm a firefighter so I feel CrossFit is perfect for me because it replicates the physical activity I do while on an incident. However, if I wasn't in such a physical profession I would still appreciate what it had done for my body. I know CF is meant to make you perform better, not look better, but the six pack I have developed and the total change in the size of my butt are side affects that I am very happy about. A CrossFit workout is scaled to each person so you're not expected to go all out right away. If you want to see you progress and understand how much stronger and healtier you're getting, I think CF is great. It is really hard for the first couple of weeks, but if you have the mental fortitude, it pays off in the end.
CrossFit is not for everyone.
However it works for a lot of people, CrossFit gyms greatly vary from one to the next. So experience at one will not be the same as another one.
People throw out that CrossFit is to much and (insert over training, and dangerous explanations here) However CrossFit when scaled, and done under the supervision of a decent trainer is very beneficial.
You may not what to be an elite athlete but you would greatly benefit from it, and with proper training and REST DAYS!!! 3on1 off is not the best for everyone, I do not even apply to that. When I feel like i need time off I take it. Sometimes I take 2-3 days off or more. All depends how I feel which a lot of people do not get though their head. CrossFit 3-4 times a week is more than enough for most people.
With that being said, getting outside and enjoying yourself its great too, go for walks, bike, hike, swim etc. Don't get hung up on the need to go to the gym to workout if its a nice day and you just want to relax.
I can honestly say that CF changed my life, if not the workouts, the people I met there. I enjoy the CF style of working out, but the two guys I now CF and lift weights with on a regular basis are two of my best friends. My point is that the group workout setting offers more than just fitness. It offers fellowship with good people with similar goals.
Crossfit is AWESOME. I'm 50-60 pounds overweight right now. Just had a body fat test done at my CF and it was 35%. :( I started CF about a month ago. Female pushups were very hard, my squats looked horrible, and I could barely do a CF situp. Now in just that short amount of time, I can do a regular push up 5-7 at a time, my squats are better (even better than my husband who is a Drill SGT! :p ) and I can do the CF situp without issue.
At first I was very intimidated about walking into the CF. I had been playing around with the idea for about 3 months and finally decided to do it. The great thing about CF is that it scales to you, NOT to the CF owner, the top CF in the box or the person next to you in class. It's all about what you can do and what you feel comfortable with it.
All Crossfit gyms are different so you can just go to one and say "it's not for me". Of the Crossfit gyms in my area, there are ones I'd recommend because they have smart trainers and good programming, and there are ones that just blindly follow the main site programming and don't think for themselves. So you have to check the gym out before you commit. What I love about crossfit (or at least my experience with crossfit) is the community. I can understand being self conscious being overweight going to a 24-hour fitness like place, but of everyone I know at all the different crossfit gyms, they won't care. Crossfit generally attracts the kind of people who are supportive no matter what you can or can't do and they don't judge your on your looks, just how hard you try. It's all about pushing yourself and getting the most out of it for you. I'd say, find a good gym with friendly people (it's easy to visit a gym and watch a workout or two), and adjust your training so that you're not overtraining and hurting yourself (maybe that means only starting out with 1 or 2 workouts a week, you just need to listen to your body). Just do what you can do and put your all into it and you'll probably find a great group of people socially in addition to a great workout.
That being said, I still argue that weight loss (and fitness) is 90% diet and only 10% exercise, so don't feel pressured to workout, just tweak your diet until it quits working, then throw in some working out.
I'm a huge fan of crossfit, and recommend it to just about anyone. But I think my gym is a really good one because the trainers are really smart and set up good programming and know how to adjust things for different abilities. So look around and see what you can find, it can't hurt to try it and if it's not for you, you didn't lose anything by trying it.