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Should I start CrossFit or lose more weight first?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 09, 2012 at 10:35 PM

I am 3 days out of my first Whole30, which was also my first full time venture into Paleo based eating. I am continuing to eat based on W30 principles and am currently following their reintroduction protocol (with the exception of gluten). I am about to turn 29 years old, am 5'10 and weigh 255 lbs. My bf is around 30-32%.

Prior to W30, I was on the diet roller coaster. Up and down and round and round, trying all the latest and craziest methods I could find. Nothing really worked, and anything did that failed in the end. On the W30 I lost maybe 5lbs, but eating this way made me feel GREAT. Now that cravings have truly subsided and I have a profound desire to continue to feel great, I want to take it to the next level and lose the spare tire I've been carrying for oh so long.

I am wondering if CrossFit is a good fit for me right now, or if I should lose more weight before starting. Prior to my W30, I had been doing regular resistance training (3x per work at home with a bowflex) as well as running on a treadmill for 10-20 min 2-3x per week. I have decent strength and endurance, but I am no performance athlete and my huge gut is really a hindrance to any athletic endeavors I pursue.

Will CrossFit be overkill for me at my current size?

If CrossFit is not the best approach for me right now, I plan on doing VLC/Ketogenic Paleo. I am also debating between doing the Leptin Rx or Bulletproof Fasting (IF w/ bulletproof coffee in the morning), but as you may have figured out, I am overloaded with information and not sure what my best bet is.

Thanks in advance for your insight and guidance.

C8976e6d769b80eb516858cbe254edad

(220)

on October 11, 2012
at 07:56 PM

@vossman will it be easier at less than 200lbs yes but everything will be including bowflex and cardio. Beyond the 6 months with my personal trainer when I was 170lb heavier crossfit is the best workout I have ever gotten. And many at my gym are varying sizes.

C8976e6d769b80eb516858cbe254edad

(220)

on October 11, 2012
at 07:53 PM

At the time I was not eating Paleo so I am unsure I was eating the reccomnded healthy version of SAD. It was suggested by my crossfit coach that I try Paleo but I didn't at the time. I am stubborn lol

2e3477a85563d4b7159814d5f4ea57d3

(435)

on October 10, 2012
at 04:12 PM

I hear what you are saying, but everyone I have talked to (on here and at my local crossfit gym) is saying otherwise. I am going to start crossfit next month when my local gym's on-ramp begins. If it doesn't work out for me, then I can revisit your advice and try something else. At this point though I am pretty tired of the bowflex and cardio routine.

2e3477a85563d4b7159814d5f4ea57d3

(435)

on October 09, 2012
at 11:20 PM

Thank you for sharing your experience. I really want to start so this is a great help. When you were doing CrossFit, do you recall what your carb intake was like?

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6 Answers

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C8976e6d769b80eb516858cbe254edad

(220)

on October 09, 2012
at 11:13 PM

I am 32 and started doing crossfit at around 240lb no diet change. I ended up stopping due to a nonrelated injurgy but I loved it. I am now a fews weeks into being Paleo and workout 5-6x week, 2-3x strength with alternating cardio. I am currently doing the bodypump classes at my gym. I enjoy these but I know in about a month I will want to restart crossfit. I am waiting not because of my weight but because I want to be consistently working out before starting back.

My suggestion from another bigger person and not an athlete:

  1. Visit a few crossfit gyms. There were two in my area I emailed both with my questions, lots of questions. I was worried about being the "fat" person there. After asking questions I set up in person meets with both places. One was nice but it was very much like a nightmare in that they didn't get many real people in just people already very fit. The other was great the owners mom was there getting her workout in. I will tell you at first I was so slow but everyone encouraged me (the athletes, the moms, the 15 year old kids).

  2. Do an onramp or essentials class. I believe most crossfit gyms require this.

  3. Don't fool yourself into thinking you can't do it. Take some time before/after each workout to ask questions if you have them. I would lookup things like thrusters online so I could watch videos. Even with the class it takes time to learn proper form so ask a lot of questions.

  4. Listen to your body. Push yourself but don't pass out doing it. I am horrible at cardio so the runs for me were slow slow slow jogs to start.

  5. Have fun :) crossfit rocks

C8976e6d769b80eb516858cbe254edad

(220)

on October 11, 2012
at 07:53 PM

At the time I was not eating Paleo so I am unsure I was eating the reccomnded healthy version of SAD. It was suggested by my crossfit coach that I try Paleo but I didn't at the time. I am stubborn lol

2e3477a85563d4b7159814d5f4ea57d3

(435)

on October 09, 2012
at 11:20 PM

Thank you for sharing your experience. I really want to start so this is a great help. When you were doing CrossFit, do you recall what your carb intake was like?

1
7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on October 10, 2012
at 02:11 PM

I would recommend losing weight first, with a goal of getting at least < 200 lbs before CF. You obviously don't have to wait.

  1. If you dial in LC/VLC, weight will melt regardless of exercise. If you're diet isn't dialed in, you probably can't compensate with enough exercise.

  2. You're young, but your joints aren't. You only have one set, so my philosophy is to take care of them.

Continue with low impact stuff. Not familiar with bowflex, beyond the commercials, but that looks good. As a general rule, I don't like running for individuals over median BMI (cue the wailing and gnashing of teeth). I guess the treadmill provides some cushion, but if you're flush, might want to check out a stationary bike.

On the stationary bike, get a heart rate monitor and a TV. I've taken to the Sisson approach of low intensity work, say 55% - 77%. I'll go for an hour at that pace maybe 2-3 times a week. I kind of consider these my "off" days. An actual outdoor cyclist refers to it as "active rest". I'll run sprint intervals on the bike once every 7 - 10 days and weight train 2-3x a week.

Do that, and there's plenty on your plate. You'll be < 200 lbs in no time. Not real familiar with CF, just know that if you go hard before you're ready, you risk an injury that could derail everything. Get (relatively) lean and mean, then go kill CF.

Disclaimer: not a pro, just some dude on the internets.

2e3477a85563d4b7159814d5f4ea57d3

(435)

on October 10, 2012
at 04:12 PM

I hear what you are saying, but everyone I have talked to (on here and at my local crossfit gym) is saying otherwise. I am going to start crossfit next month when my local gym's on-ramp begins. If it doesn't work out for me, then I can revisit your advice and try something else. At this point though I am pretty tired of the bowflex and cardio routine.

C8976e6d769b80eb516858cbe254edad

(220)

on October 11, 2012
at 07:56 PM

@vossman will it be easier at less than 200lbs yes but everything will be including bowflex and cardio. Beyond the 6 months with my personal trainer when I was 170lb heavier crossfit is the best workout I have ever gotten. And many at my gym are varying sizes.

1
8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on October 10, 2012
at 01:47 PM

At my husband's box, there and men and women of all sizes, ages, and skill levels. Teeny tiny women and large women, young and old! Don't worry about being the 'fat chick'. You'd be there busting your ass working out! It's an encouraging and supportive environment (obviously they're not all alike, but don't stay at one where you're not comfortable!).

1
6046f97cf600ca84ee934d9dad759001

on October 10, 2012
at 01:28 PM

I was about 220 when I started both crossfit and paleo, now I'm about 185 and its been 2 years. It was discouraging and still is in regards to pull ups and push ups, I know it would be easier if I lost more weight. However, because I have been caring my own weight around my whole life I am strong at dead lifts and weight lifting stuff(you will be too), so I'm not the worst at everything. I'm slow as hell and usually the last to finish anything, but the people at cross fit are great and you will feel like a bad ass after most work outs. So I say do it!

0
7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on October 09, 2012
at 11:53 PM

Me too! I'm starting next month (got 2/3 of the money saved to start!)

Most of them around here offer a free intro session!

0
2fe24042bded96ef32f65cca1ea6bebb

(0)

on October 09, 2012
at 11:09 PM

I'm in the same boat and am looking forward to seeing responses on your post. This is almost my story!

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