11

votes

Can you go from zero to sixty with Crossfit? What are realistic postpartum body comp expectations?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 23, 2011 at 1:49 AM

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?

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on October 27, 2011
at 12:10 AM

From what I can tell, it really depends on the box. The right coaches will be able to take anyone short of a quadriplegic and break them in safely and quickly.

Ab0369a70755bd07f44292b4ca8b2260

(1579)

on May 31, 2011
at 05:51 AM

Not at all! I love new people to CF and try to help them feel comfortable. Just go, have fun and do work, don't worry about anyone else.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on May 23, 2011
at 02:23 PM

What does that mean? Were you RX-ing inside of 2 weeks? If so that's astounding!

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on May 23, 2011
at 02:11 PM

Definitely not discriminating against RX-ers...more like, I'm afraid that I'd be a sloth by comparison and getting in the way of them enjoying their workouts!

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on May 23, 2011
at 02:08 PM

I've seen those amazing before/after pictures! They are nothing short of awe-inspiring.

149b995e86368f21dfa912f88dbaf12d

(289)

on May 23, 2011
at 02:11 AM

Great job, Stacey - isn't it wonderful when the scale goes down and the plate-weights go up!?

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on May 23, 2011
at 01:53 AM

such a great question! upvote!

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18 Answers

5
Medium avatar

(12379)

on May 23, 2011
at 03:13 AM

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.

5
149b995e86368f21dfa912f88dbaf12d

on May 23, 2011
at 02:08 AM

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!

4
A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on May 23, 2011
at 08:53 PM

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!!

4
590d68e0db94b6765a7029e3c158e06b

on May 23, 2011
at 02:01 AM

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!

149b995e86368f21dfa912f88dbaf12d

(289)

on May 23, 2011
at 02:11 AM

Great job, Stacey - isn't it wonderful when the scale goes down and the plate-weights go up!?

3
89c3ea91680410fe1216e2909fff7564

(30)

on May 23, 2011
at 02:10 AM

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!! :)

3
A6f0e0347322a18b2174a2fe72729b7c

on May 23, 2011
at 02:08 AM

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.

2
D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

I love it...39 yo mom of two here. Not much change on the scale overall 146 to 142, but boy am I harder and stronger!

2
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on May 23, 2011
at 01:57 PM

Go for it! I dabbled for a few months, and finally invested in a one month package at my nearest affiliate (about 40 mins from my home). It was pricey (there was a free assessment and then 1 free class), but it was worth getting help with my form, learning some new stuff, and the motivation of doing WODs with a group. Just take it easy and stay in your comfort zone; soon you'll be amazed by what you're capable of!

2
Cf5a9f26a193a938ad4ea7002e425069

on May 23, 2011
at 05:14 AM

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!

2
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on May 23, 2011
at 02:09 AM

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.

2
74d94474064fb2da27178f9657a611be

(20)

on May 23, 2011
at 02:02 AM

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

1
27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on May 23, 2011
at 11:22 AM

Visual proof that Crossfit can work wonders for some moms - see the banner photo of this mom with three kids here: http://everydaypaleo.com/about/

You can see a "before" picture of her a few months after the birth of her third son in Robb Wolf's book. She also describes how quickly she saw changes after starting Crossfitting and eating paleo. Wow. What a difference.

Not that every mother will experience the same results she did, but she essentially went from zero to sixty and did very well.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on May 23, 2011
at 02:08 PM

I've seen those amazing before/after pictures! They are nothing short of awe-inspiring.

1
C23ec4b85f3cbeb9ddf6bf78317d56e3

on May 23, 2011
at 02:54 AM

If you are disciplined enough, you can crossfit at home for little to no cost. If you're not familiar with lifting in general, I recommend you at least do an intro class. Most boxes have like a CrossFit 101 where they introduce you to the program and the basics and they will evaluate your form. Once you're comfortable with it, you can start working out from home. If you dig around a little on the CrossFit forums and the internet you can find lots of DIY equipment that's pretty cheap to make. You can CrossFit for very little cash, but some people work better in the gym environment... like the community keeps them coming back when they would normally quit. If that's you, the definitely make room in your budget!

Also, I've heard that CrossFit works very well in helping break up the fat stores in a woman's thighs (caused by estrogen problems). I heard this on Robb Wolf's Paleo solution podcast... one of the early episodes. He didn't get really into the science about it, but you can find some more information on the web... you just have to dig. Abdominal fat is Cortisol... get your sleep lined out (Standard Light Out! recommendations, if you haven't read the book, then I would do so!). Insulin issues caused by SAD also cause belly fat storage (fixed by Paleo diet).

1
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on May 23, 2011
at 02:48 AM

I'm just starting so I can't comment on results yet (5 months post partum) but I'm taking a boot camp class that is supposedly designed to get you ready for cross fit. Have you considered that? I had a c-section and I'm finding it manageable.

1
Ab0369a70755bd07f44292b4ca8b2260

on May 23, 2011
at 02:27 AM

I think the more out of shape, the faster and more results you'll see with Crossfit. Every gym has a wide variety of people who all started somewhere. Don't discriminate against the Rx-ers???they're nice people too who will encourage and help you along the way, you may want to go try a workout and talk to them???ask them where they were when they started.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on May 23, 2011
at 02:11 PM

Definitely not discriminating against RX-ers...more like, I'm afraid that I'd be a sloth by comparison and getting in the way of them enjoying their workouts!

Ab0369a70755bd07f44292b4ca8b2260

(1579)

on May 31, 2011
at 05:51 AM

Not at all! I love new people to CF and try to help them feel comfortable. Just go, have fun and do work, don't worry about anyone else.

1
07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on May 23, 2011
at 02:16 AM

My wife is 9 months past our second child, she's been eating paleo dinners (and lunch for leftovers, both thanks to me) for a couple of years now. I'd say she's got her rockin' body back, without crossfit, and without 'dieting'. (For the record, she's not paleo, so still eats SAD occasionally, but she's probably about 75% paleo thanks to my cooking).

She didn't workout at all the first 3-4 months postpartum, she just concentrated on healing, and being able to provide nutrition for our child. Then she's gone back to her every-other-day-or-so calisthenics. Basically the first 10 minutes of a Shaun T 'Insanity' workout.

So do you need crossfit? No. If you'll enjoy it? Sure, why not? 100% recovery? I think it depends on your genes, but it's certainly within the realm of possibilities.

0
A64167e5c9dc16f3fa34c833f898d20e

on May 23, 2011
at 03:55 AM

Crossfit changes people's lives. I went from couch potato to Xfitter in 2 weeks.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on May 23, 2011
at 02:23 PM

What does that mean? Were you RX-ing inside of 2 weeks? If so that's astounding!

-1
368712635a54d64a3464af89f67b2c47

(-28)

on May 23, 2011
at 08:43 PM

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