1

votes

Some advice on crossfit please.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 27, 2012 at 6:47 PM

I've been looking at some of the Crossfit Games stuff that is out there and I quite fancy giving it a go. Ideally I'd do MovNat but the courses are nowhere near where I live and ridiculously expensive. I haven't done any formal exercise in a while although in the past I did a lot of caving/pot-holing - surely the ultimate paleo sport! - and rock-climbing. I've also been through a phase of short triathlons although I wouldn't call them sprints in my case, about 10 years ago. Upshot is I'm 46 and although not overweight feeling soft and saggy. My problem is two-fold. The nearest Crossfit box is an hour's drive away so it would be something I would only do once a week - is that enough? And, I can't even do a single proper push up. At the moment I do a version of the Primal Blueprint workout 3 times a week and do a skipping (jump rope) sprint tabata once a week. I'd like to see more progress though and I'd really like to have some social element and external support. Would Crossfit be a good idea or has someone got any better suggestions? Some of the older women on the Crossfit Games Facebook page look amazing and have inspired me.

C0152dd71ab77c1228f74b4a1b78a66c

(115)

on April 28, 2012
at 02:00 AM

...and the fitness base will be built there. We often work with people who literally can't even do a single air squat, and in no time they completely transform. All that said, I can't recommend driving for an hour to make it to a box.

C0152dd71ab77c1228f74b4a1b78a66c

(115)

on April 28, 2012
at 01:58 AM

If that was the case they unfortunately went to one of the "bad" crossfit boxes. At the crossfit gym I attend we have dozens of elderly members who have been with us for a number of years, and we continue to get more. A good crossfit gym will ensure that people are resting when they need to and not pushing it too hard. And the notion of needing to have a good base fitness before starting crossfit is completely false, and good location will start beginners off in a completely seperate class or group where they will start with the very basics and only do what they are capable of...

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5 Answers

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2
21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on April 27, 2012
at 08:24 PM

I'm a 46 year old not terribly fit woman who has taken up Crossfit recently and I love it - the way it challenges me in multiple ways, the careful coaching, the emphasis on good form, the variety and the social element. I'm really noticing a difference even just a couple of months into it. And no, I couldn't do a proper pushup going into it either.

I used to also do a PB type workout by myself but it's very hard to kick your own butt the same way they'd do it in a box. For a relative beginner two times a week would be better than just once, but if you do just one Crossfit workout a week and then maybe buy a kettlebell, a jump rope and continue to do PB-type exercises I think you'd probably see a lot of progress.

3
6481788df76f391ba2746d9f1ad1e8f1

on April 27, 2012
at 08:48 PM

I'm a 47 year old female CrossFitter and while I absolutely love it and also very deeply believe it can be infinitely scaled to anyone's ability, I do think it comes with caveats. I think people who make the best fit for CrossFit are those who enjoy a slightly competitive group setting, won't feel emotionally crushed because they couldn't complete a WOD or had to scale parts of a WOD way down (e.g. some people feel energized when they are "crushed by a WOD," some people feel demoralized; demoralization is not the best response), and are good at reading their bodies' responses to challenge.

The major critique a lot of people have with CrossFit right now is that your individual experience with it is highly dependent on the trainer/owner of the affiliate and how they program. I think this is a valid critique because it puts a greater onus on the consumer to research what is available to them and if it suits their individual needs.

I personally don't think you "need to be a certain level of fitness" to start CrossFit, but you DO need to be really clear on what your goals are, whether the affiliate available to you is compatible with your goals and you are comfortable with their programming and personnel, and you need to be able to take a high amount of ownership in knowing when you're challenging your body or just pushing too hard.

Bear in mind that CF is "open source," that is, workouts are posted daily on the CF mainsite and almost every affiliate in the world posts their daily workouts. There are many CF athletes that workout solely in their garage gyms. If you are fairly motivated, you can start by cherry-picking all the WODS that are solely bodyweight oriented or use only minimal equipment, like a jump rope or single kettlebell. You can then see if your nearest affiliate would allow you to drop in to get additional form training on the more complex movements.

All that being said, I always say that the best workout regimen for YOU is the one that you will DO REGULARLY and STICK WITH CONSISTENTLY. I don't do well by myself, I have to have the push the group setting provides. Just find what works for you and get to it! :)

1
C116f7e54620c6003b67cd4450a298cd

on April 27, 2012
at 08:11 PM

I think Mark's PB program is great! Try lifting "heavier" things if you're really looking for a challenge. At the end of the day, it's about feeling happy about what you're doing and hopefully not 'killing yourself' trying to get there. Enjoy the life long ride of staying as fit as you can. There are LOTS of bumps along the way.

1
B958be1f3a4a9743998ab2ea51d9c945

(205)

on April 27, 2012
at 08:10 PM

It sounds like you're just getting back into exercising. You've found inspiration and want to obtain some goals. Good for you! :D As someone who has tried CF and still does it on occasion. I don't really recommend driving an hour to train anywhere when just getting into training. First we must build habits or we'll burn out. Not to mention, most crossfit gyms charge an expensive amount by the month.

Make it easy on yourself. You mentioned not being able to do a pushup. So make it easy on yourself. Do workouts that you can do at home. Try body weight exercises. I can recommend some training stuff, but I've found bodyrock.tv is awesome for just starting out. They have minimal equipment and you can modify for no equipment. They also have an awesome community to keep you motivated.

If you're still interested in CF, I'd check around at local gyms to see if they have any specialized trainers. This way maybe you can get in more than once a week.

If you want that specialized CF gym, I recommend calling the boxes and telling them your situation.

Ask if you can pay a fee to come once a week? I know a guy who owns a CF box and they charged $20 a visit (after fundamentals of course).

1
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on April 27, 2012
at 06:59 PM

Waving to a fellow MDA'er!

Personally, at 49 and a former personal trainer, I wouldn't recommend Crossfit at your level of fitness, unless that's the only way you can get motivated to move. I know lots of folk would not agree, and that's cool--I'm just speaking from my own experience.

I've known too many older, relatively sedentary 40-50+ adults who injure themselves trying to keep up in a group setting--even when the exercises are individually scaled to their ability. Often, they came to me for personal training after rehab for their injuries.

At the very least, I would suggest getting up to Level 4 of the PB Fitness workout before starting Crossfit--then you would be in better shape and less likely to injure yourself.

Maybe get a workout buddy to do PB Fitness with you?

C0152dd71ab77c1228f74b4a1b78a66c

(115)

on April 28, 2012
at 02:00 AM

...and the fitness base will be built there. We often work with people who literally can't even do a single air squat, and in no time they completely transform. All that said, I can't recommend driving for an hour to make it to a box.

C0152dd71ab77c1228f74b4a1b78a66c

(115)

on April 28, 2012
at 01:58 AM

If that was the case they unfortunately went to one of the "bad" crossfit boxes. At the crossfit gym I attend we have dozens of elderly members who have been with us for a number of years, and we continue to get more. A good crossfit gym will ensure that people are resting when they need to and not pushing it too hard. And the notion of needing to have a good base fitness before starting crossfit is completely false, and good location will start beginners off in a completely seperate class or group where they will start with the very basics and only do what they are capable of...

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