1

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Fitness noob/Skinny fat - Trainer or Crossfit?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 24, 2012 at 3:53 AM

So I'm in horrid shape... I'm 5'6, female, 138... and my saltler scale says I have a 23% body fat (LIES)... I did a vague tape measure test, (neck 13, waist 28, hips 38) and it said I was 25.something... ANYWAYS....

I can't run because I lack the dedication/interest/cardio ... Also I just graduated university and am on a tight budget (but I understand I must invest in my health)... I haven't done consistant physical activity since I (successfully) did a 40 day yoga challenge in February.. I've been slacking... basically I'm 'skinny fat'

SO my question is, what is the best route for me to get 'fit'...

I've always been interested in cross fit, but honestly I struggle with even doing a solid push up :S... but I have this burning desire to try it haha

So crossfit, or would you recommend a personal trainer?

Bfd70bb38267fcc2d762063d691fa226

(723)

on February 13, 2013
at 08:55 PM

+1 for mentioning Starting Strength! Rippetoe's book has greatly helped my learn how to put together a great lifting routine on my own.

D0758405cf046be256f3f35519170886

on January 27, 2013
at 04:46 AM

PS its a closed group so a admin like myself would have to approve your request to join, which isn't a problem after your in take a look chat if you like. If it isn't your cup of tea you can leave the group, no hard feelings :) I think this group has tremendous potential especially if you stay and participate. Thanks for your time.

46bee6b93ee79082ea1094f26c2da5a4

(837)

on January 26, 2013
at 08:11 PM

link? Why do facebookers never provide a link?

E0906a9701c5c51eb2627be0af841cee

on January 26, 2013
at 09:22 AM

Ps the group icon is a dumbbell and we currently have 20 members they tend to be a bit shy as well, I'm working on breaking that!

Medium avatar

(195)

on May 25, 2012
at 01:11 PM

I LOVE how you prioritize that Cross fit is more than just 'losing weight'... it should be about happiness... your story is so inspiring! :)

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on May 25, 2012
at 01:05 AM

Yes, I should've qualified that. A lot of personal trainers at commercial gyms like to run the gauntlet. At least, the ones I've seen in the gyms I've been in. But I KNOW that there are AWESOME trainers/coaches out there, but you need to find them. Excellent point, Lindsay.

2f83028f9830b25f7c21109197176d9e

(328)

on May 24, 2012
at 08:27 PM

Yes, I taught myself lifting form, and I've been told it is very good. That said, when I get tired my form starts to suffer. I recently hired a trainer and it is nice to 1) be able to do heavier weights since I have someone to spot me and 2) receive form correction reminders when I start to fatigue. If you have the money, a trainer is the way to go. Not all trainers "put people through the gauntlet of isolation exercises and machines." You need to ask questions about their training style and have an initial assessment before making any decisions.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 24, 2012
at 08:20 PM

Are you starting with knee pushups? You can work your way up to toe pushups.

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on May 24, 2012
at 07:29 PM

Came here to say this. I taught myself the lifting forms as well as I could. If I had the money I'd definitely find a coach to get my form better, but it seems to be working for me so far (and I haven't blown out a knee...yet, or had any joint pain whatsoever).

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 24, 2012
at 03:47 PM

Not trying AT ALL to discourage you from getting leaner and stronger. Just wondering...I was under the impression that 23% fat for a female isn't all that high. Can someone correct me if I'm wrong? (Again, not saying it's "ideal," but it's not far off the mark, either.)

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on May 24, 2012
at 01:06 PM

How could I forget Nerd Fitness? I love that site.

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13 Answers

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9
5c94900002a867dfa2a8fcd91a576c5e

(456)

on May 24, 2012
at 05:24 AM

Crossfit. If I had to name one of the best adult decisions I've made thus far, starting crossfit would be at the top of the list. My only regret is that I sat on my ass for two years occasionally visiting the crossfit website thinking that I could never do it, but how awesome it would be to try.

It's amazing how my overall fitness has improved in just three months. During one of my first sessions I could only step onto a box instead of box jumping. Last week (after having not done them since) I started to do the step ups, but my coach told me to just jump. I was amazed at how easy it was when just three months ago I struggled so much. I think that's a true testament to crossfit's success. Even without doing that movement for so long I still improved immensely in that area because my overall fitness is so much greater.

As Kent said above, everything at Crossfit is scalable. You can scale push-ups until you have it down. If you can't lift the dumb bell, use a dowel until you have solid form and feel comfortable with the movement. I'm incredibly uncoordinated and consistently finish towards the end of every WOD, but once I got over myself and only measure my progress against my own previous performances I don't care that my name is in the last spot on the whiteboard. At least it's on there! A lot of crossfit boxes have trial classes for people to test it out. Find one near you that offers that option and see how it works for you.

It's not easy, but so so rewarding. In terms of quantifiable results, I haven't weighed myself in over a month and have never tested fat percentages or anything, but I am down a clothing size and a lot of my "softness" is gone. Even my abs are getting hard! I'm 5'1 and was 142 at last weigh-in so I clearly had some weight to lose (still do), but it's not about that. It's about being stronger, healthier, and frankly, much much happier.

Medium avatar

(195)

on May 25, 2012
at 01:11 PM

I LOVE how you prioritize that Cross fit is more than just 'losing weight'... it should be about happiness... your story is so inspiring! :)

8
07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on May 24, 2012
at 04:07 AM

You could do crossfit, heavily scaled down to match your current ability.

You could also check out Mark Sisson's Primal Fitness ebook, whose price is giving away your email address: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/subscribe-to-blog/

I would personally avoid a personal trainer - they tend to put people through the gauntlet of isolation exercises and machines. I'm of the opinion that compound barbell exercises are your best bet - squat, deadlift, bench press, shoulder press. You could follow a structured program like Starting Strength, for example. Lots of free info on that program here: http://startingstrength.wikia.com/wiki/Starting_Strength_Wiki but unless you're a proprioceptive wizard, you might need help from someone to make sure your form on the exercises is good.

2f83028f9830b25f7c21109197176d9e

(328)

on May 24, 2012
at 08:27 PM

Yes, I taught myself lifting form, and I've been told it is very good. That said, when I get tired my form starts to suffer. I recently hired a trainer and it is nice to 1) be able to do heavier weights since I have someone to spot me and 2) receive form correction reminders when I start to fatigue. If you have the money, a trainer is the way to go. Not all trainers "put people through the gauntlet of isolation exercises and machines." You need to ask questions about their training style and have an initial assessment before making any decisions.

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on May 24, 2012
at 07:29 PM

Came here to say this. I taught myself the lifting forms as well as I could. If I had the money I'd definitely find a coach to get my form better, but it seems to be working for me so far (and I haven't blown out a knee...yet, or had any joint pain whatsoever).

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on May 25, 2012
at 01:05 AM

Yes, I should've qualified that. A lot of personal trainers at commercial gyms like to run the gauntlet. At least, the ones I've seen in the gyms I've been in. But I KNOW that there are AWESOME trainers/coaches out there, but you need to find them. Excellent point, Lindsay.

Bfd70bb38267fcc2d762063d691fa226

(723)

on February 13, 2013
at 08:55 PM

+1 for mentioning Starting Strength! Rippetoe's book has greatly helped my learn how to put together a great lifting routine on my own.

1
D3694f763957257a8f1e793a7fdad9ca

on May 24, 2012
at 06:53 PM

Sounds like we have very similar body types. 5???5??? and about 40 days ago I was dunked in a tank and learned I had 23% body fat (???ideal??? for a woman of my age and measurements, but still disappointing to someone who work out so much and is always trying to eat well). I can give you both perspectives because for the past two years I did personal training 2-3 times weekly plus independent workouts another couple times a week. I joined cross fit a couple months ago due to moving and was sad to leave my trainer (not all trainers are using weight machines and fit into the ???globo gym??? stereotype that some would have you believe). If you???re not very self-motivated to exercise I would recommend personal training to start (there???s nothing like someone waiting for you to get you to the gym). Crossfit has been fantastic because I???m competitive and I have no problem getting myself there, and to be honest training helped build my confidence to walk into an intense environment like crossfit. With that said, since going strict paleo over a month ago and seeing major transformation I learned that its 85-90% about nutrition. I don???t care how hard you work or exercise, if your diet is not dialed in all the sweat in the world won???t help.

1
77fcbf8bece61c60e3ff430d4bb5de66

(383)

on May 24, 2012
at 11:55 AM

i got into amazing shape by doing kettlebells at home, i bought a kettlebell dvd and did at home, it has really sculpted me, i have 6 pack abs, feel much stronger and lean, and i don't have to leave the house which is a bonus when u have 2 young kids to look after, good luck!

1
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on May 24, 2012
at 11:33 AM

Yea, I'm working on the skinny fat too. I dont have the interest or dedication to do crossfit or any other program. I'm a free spirit when it comes to that kind of thing, if I'm exercising I want to be doing something fun to avoid knowing i'm exercising!!

Walking and stairs have helped me, but you do need some resistant training. That said, you can learn the things you need to do and find things around the house to do them with. I like the option of spontaneous fitness when it strikes me, so I'll use large cans of tomatoes for arm workouts, bottled water, etc.

Find what works for you and go for it, don't loose anymore fat and start moving!!

0
D0758405cf046be256f3f35519170886

on January 27, 2013
at 03:51 AM

D0758405cf046be256f3f35519170886

on January 27, 2013
at 04:46 AM

PS its a closed group so a admin like myself would have to approve your request to join, which isn't a problem after your in take a look chat if you like. If it isn't your cup of tea you can leave the group, no hard feelings :) I think this group has tremendous potential especially if you stay and participate. Thanks for your time.

0
E0906a9701c5c51eb2627be0af841cee

on January 26, 2013
at 09:14 AM

Hi ladies and gents I've read over all these posts, I like the input there are some wonderful ideas here so I'm wondering if any of you are interested in joining a NEWLY created Facebook group all about fitness, tips healthy eating recipes and all things related. I've been working out off and on(mostly on, some football injuries have slowed me down but im back) for a few years now and I'm looking for people who are as passionate about fitness as I am. I'm sure we all have learned a thing or two that would be beneficial to the group, please join my group it's called FIT FOR LIFE. At least take a quick look if you don't like it you can leave anytime.

46bee6b93ee79082ea1094f26c2da5a4

(837)

on January 26, 2013
at 08:11 PM

link? Why do facebookers never provide a link?

E0906a9701c5c51eb2627be0af841cee

on January 26, 2013
at 09:22 AM

Ps the group icon is a dumbbell and we currently have 20 members they tend to be a bit shy as well, I'm working on breaking that!

0
C9109c7e0d495ff997c70e0a6b3ba6ef

on January 21, 2013
at 04:37 PM

Regardless if you are 23 or 25% bodyfat please... PLEASE do NOT become a cardioholic to try to get down to less bodyfat... (First because that is average, and second because you will end up too skinny and looking sick with no muscle) You need to lift weights!!! I promise this will not make you look like a man and building muscle will make your metabolism sky rocket so it will eat at your muscle for you.... when you do cardio do short and intense intervals if you have issues running do it on the bike.

Eat clean, train dirty, and your body will thank you for it :)

0
20ee1530e5efb5a0691730bf31ab30f7

on January 21, 2013
at 03:40 PM

23% body fat for a female is actually excellent! Not sure you need to lose that much then. Crossfit will be tough if your fitness level is not great, so you may be best to find a personal trainer who can guide you for a few sessions and give you a program you can do at home. Investing in your health is important but doesn't need to cost the earth.

0
870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 24, 2012
at 08:17 PM

Wait. What does "fit" mean to you? There are a lot of different components to fitness, and CF and trainer potentially work on different aspects.

I'd vote for the trainer. I started using a trainer because I wanted a customized program tailored to my specialized needs, including working around my existing activities. We use almost 100% free weights. I still need the assist on dips, so we do use the dip machine.

You can also do pushups (and inverted rows hanging from your dining room table to offset) all on your own without trainer or CF box, if by "fitness" you mean "upper body strength." Plus it feels pretty badass to be able to drop and give yourself 20 outside a gym, just for the hell of it.

0
F0a3e3f17d9a740810ac37ff2353a9f3

(3804)

on May 24, 2012
at 05:29 PM

I have an obvious bias, but my opinion is that working with a good trainer one-on-one is better than joining any gym.

A trainer can adapt an exercise program to your specific needs and goals rather than forcing you to adapt to an exercise program already in place, and the cost of a trainer can be offset by avoiding gym membership fees.

Anyway, it's not like Crossfit or a trainer are you're only choices. For an absolute beginner, as long as you don't get carried away, anything is better than nothing. Walking 20 minutes every other day will get you started.

0
10cadc0a2dff90c849c6d088832be324

(741)

on May 24, 2012
at 11:02 AM

Crossfit- if you can afford it. I was doing CF at 312lbs and though it was a struggle I made it through every wod... I can't afford it anymore but it's a dream of mine to make my own crossfit set up at home and pull the local gym"s wod from their website to do on my own.

0
82f845ca8c3d663777d939cd38083b96

(20)

on May 24, 2012
at 05:46 AM

I do CrossFit I've never had a personal trainer so I can't really compare the two. Your choice would really depend on a number of factors -- among them budget and proximity to the nearest CrossFit affiliate in your area.

CrossFit boxes offer trial sessions, so you could make your decision after having tried it. I realize it's not for everyone, but personally, it's the best health and fitness-related decision I've ever made.

You could also start by doing body weight exercises at home. Here's a routine for beginners by Nerd Fitness: Beginner Body Weight Workout: Burn Fat, Build Muscle.

Good luck!

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on May 24, 2012
at 01:06 PM

How could I forget Nerd Fitness? I love that site.

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