3

votes

Is crossfit optimal for fat loss?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 29, 2012 at 5:28 PM

I just moved to a new city and started my first office job after graduating college. I'm finding my life pretty sedentary during the week, so I'm looking to incorporate some activity so I can shed the last 20 lbs (already lost 50).

My ultimate goal at this point is leaning out. Is crossfit a good way to do this, or am I better off saving my money and walking more every day? I think I may have some leptin issues, as I have been overweight pretty much my whole life.

Some background: I'm a 22 year old female. 5'9" and 180 lbs. Right now I eat a high-fat, high-protein, low-carb paleo diet. I recently started Kruse's Leptin Reset to see if that would help. I feel like I've got the food stuff under control, I just want to make sure that whatever exercise I choose helps me lose fat rather than making things more difficult (because of cortisol or over-training or whatever)

I'd love to hear about your experience with this!

Bfd70bb38267fcc2d762063d691fa226

(723)

on February 25, 2013
at 02:52 AM

Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe is a great place to start with powerlifts and olympic lifts

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:32 AM

I started CrossFit with zero weightlifting/resistance training and did just fine. The coaches at my box were great at teaching. Although I lived a sedentary lifestyle, I was still able to train at CrossFit, just with a lot of work. All in all, I don't think it's necessary.

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:30 AM

Hi! I think @Kate has it right. If you aren't able to do CrossFit, you could at least incorporate the CrossFit fundamentals into your everyday workout routine, i.e. changing it up - springs, 5K, BODY WEIGHT strength training, walking. With that being said, yes CrossFit + Paleo will help you lose body fat. It's a great combination that is bound to give you results. If you can't afford to go to your local box, I would at least recommend making sure your routine is varied.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on January 29, 2012
at 08:36 PM

Push-ups, shoulder presses, squats, bicep curls, rows, swings, and lunges (in all directions) can be done with just a little space and a pair of dumbbells. You could start by putting them together and performing a "total body day" 2x a week. As you progress, you can start dividing up the sessions into "upper body/lower body" days as you may need more recovery time between workouts.

21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on January 29, 2012
at 06:04 PM

Mark Sissons has a good program - Primal Blueprint Fitness, downloadable from his website. Requires no equipment.

1dcfcebc5f36408d121f124a78292d42

(1295)

on January 29, 2012
at 05:51 PM

What kind of resistance training do you recommend? I don't belong to a gym currently, but I do own a pair of dumbbells...

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4 Answers

4
980acf31034fb9511e4a6027211866ee

(416)

on January 29, 2012
at 05:57 PM

Hi there! I'm a 24yo female, 5'8 and 130 lbs. I have lost approximately 50 pounds over the last year, settling at my current weight. I also work in an office, which means I sit for around 8-9 hours a day, so I understand where you're coming from.

I don't have access to a crossfit gym, so I have developed my own fitness regimen that seems to be working very well for me. I sprint 2 or 3 times a week, do a 5K run once on the weekend, body-weight oriented strength training several times and walk for around an hour a day during the week. That looks like much more that it is as far as time goes.

My strength favorites are pushups, squats (with a sandbag for extra weight), body rows and planks. I do these in varied forms and intensities probably...4 times a week. I'd be happy to go into more detail if you're interested, but I don't want to bore you if not.

In the end, I think it's pretty feasible to get the results you want without paying for crossfit and dealing with such intense training.

Cheers!

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:30 AM

Hi! I think @Kate has it right. If you aren't able to do CrossFit, you could at least incorporate the CrossFit fundamentals into your everyday workout routine, i.e. changing it up - springs, 5K, BODY WEIGHT strength training, walking. With that being said, yes CrossFit + Paleo will help you lose body fat. It's a great combination that is bound to give you results. If you can't afford to go to your local box, I would at least recommend making sure your routine is varied.

1
2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on May 07, 2012
at 09:16 PM

I agree with walking more COMBINED with basic weightlifting and body-weight training before trying Crossfit.

If you love working out in groups and being pushed to your limit, Crossfit could be great for you, provided you've got the cash and the box near you has good trainers.

If any of those pieces are missing, I would suggest skipping Crossfit for now. Walking, as long as you're getting your heart rate up around 55-75% of your max, is great low-stress fat burning. As for upping your fat-burning ability, lifting weights and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) may help you out big time. One of the most important things that Crossfit does is brings high-intensity for short periods of time, over and over. Doing 3 sets of 10 air squats and resting a minute between each set is not going to show the same results as a WOD-type workout with sqauts, pullups, situps, etc. done consecutively as quickly as possible.

Here's what I did, and it worked really well for me; between HIIT training and cutting out grains, I lost the last stubborn 15 pounds.

If you want to learn how to lift: I learned basic weight lifting by watching lots of Youtube vids and reading descriptions of the lifts. I used the mirrors at the gym obsessively to check my posture and had my husband help me with that too. I started with the bare bar and slowly added weight, watching myself like a hawk to use the correct posture/technique. (You could also pay for training sessions at any globo-gym to learn the basic lifts if that's better for you.)

If you truly just want to lose the fat: As I was learning about how to lift, I also started putting together body-weight "WODs". For instance, as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of: 5 beginners pullups, 10 situps, 20 squats. Or 5 rounds of 8 alternating leg lunges, 7-40# push presses, and 5 pushups, for time. Check out the "start here>Brand X forum" link on the Crossfit home page to see some scaled WODs and how you can incorporate things like the rowing machine, sprints outside or on the treadmill, medicine balls, and basic lifts.

2-3 days a week I'd go to the gym and do a Crossfit-style warmup with some stretching, then do my basic lifts. I'd do my ~10 minutes HIIT, and then I'd work some sort of skill- handstands, or flexibility, or core strength, etc. In and out in about 45 minutes. The other 2-3 days a week I'd just walk. One of those days each week, I'd incorporate 3-4 short (~100 meter) sprints in the middle of my walk. After about a month, I started doing the scaled WODs 3-4 days a week and less walking, because that seemed to be working for changing my body composition and I didn't appear to have any inflammation or cortisol issues. Weight lifting REALLY accelerated the fat loss where the body-weight exercises were yielding slower results. As soon as I got heavy weight, I saw results.

Hope this helps!

1
Medium avatar

(19469)

on January 29, 2012
at 05:44 PM

I would recommend that you learn some basic weightlifting/resistance training before jumping into something like Crossfit. Since you are relatively sedentary, any additional exercise is going to have a proportionally large impact.

Developing a good base of muscular strength, technique, and body awareness will give you the foundation for taking on something like Crossfit if you decide to ultimately go in that direction.

Walking more is always a good idea, and with 2-3 days a week of resistance training you'll likely reach your goal in no time.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on January 29, 2012
at 08:36 PM

Push-ups, shoulder presses, squats, bicep curls, rows, swings, and lunges (in all directions) can be done with just a little space and a pair of dumbbells. You could start by putting them together and performing a "total body day" 2x a week. As you progress, you can start dividing up the sessions into "upper body/lower body" days as you may need more recovery time between workouts.

1dcfcebc5f36408d121f124a78292d42

(1295)

on January 29, 2012
at 05:51 PM

What kind of resistance training do you recommend? I don't belong to a gym currently, but I do own a pair of dumbbells...

21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on January 29, 2012
at 06:04 PM

Mark Sissons has a good program - Primal Blueprint Fitness, downloadable from his website. Requires no equipment.

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:32 AM

I started CrossFit with zero weightlifting/resistance training and did just fine. The coaches at my box were great at teaching. Although I lived a sedentary lifestyle, I was still able to train at CrossFit, just with a lot of work. All in all, I don't think it's necessary.

Bfd70bb38267fcc2d762063d691fa226

(723)

on February 25, 2013
at 02:52 AM

Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe is a great place to start with powerlifts and olympic lifts

-1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 07, 2012
at 08:14 PM

Eat shit that will do it

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