CrossFit or Traditional Weightlifting

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  • Dec 9, 2013
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    This one is pretty cut and dry. For loosing weight and getting stronger overall, would CrossFit or a traditional weight-lifting program with cardio added in help with said goals?
     

    jaywhite97

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    70%-80% of your results are going to come down to nutrition. I have cut out all sugar. For me, that meant no condiments(ketchup, barbecue sauce, ranch) not just sweets in general. Hell, even tomatoes, Vidalia onions, and too much fruit are on the list. If you are trying to lose weight then you need to do something major to shock your body into a fat burning mode. 2 weeks should be sufficient enough time to see progress and make changes. I started writing down what I eat. I can't afford to do 6 meals a day so I do 2-3 meals a day. Breakfast is one I will skip and that may become my fasting time. If you have questions about something don't be afriad to ask. SO many people are too prideful to ask someone for help or suggestions.

    I feel like Crossfit people are stronger then I am and probably a little more fit, but a lot of the exercises they do in my honest opinion are injury prone. I am not trying to get hurt; nor will I risk getting injured to get that max or weight. Its just not worth it to me. I don't like the fact they lift a lot of weight above their head. That's going to be a no for me.

    One can lose weight either way how much you lose depends on body type, nutrition and work out. HIIT vs just straight heavyweight plays a role in it. I just started to come down 20# so far but I am trying to keep my maxes up 350# bench and 415# squat. DOnt want to lose muscle in the process. It took me a while to figure out nutrition. Got to find out what works for you and whats your goals.
     
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    Gregor.Samsa

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    I did CrossFit before my kids were born and lost quite a bit of fat, got into great shape and increased strength. That being said, there’s a lot of technical Olympic weightlifting moves thrown into the mix without being coached by people who are necessarily proficient at it. Factor in all the random WODs and AMRAP, fast as you can and as much as you can stuff, I always seemed to have tweaks and strains and pains. Recovery started to be a bitch and I Felt like I was headed towards injury city. Lots of good stuff to CrossFit but wasn’t for me.

    I’ve gone back to lifting heavy. Ran a couple different programs but the best two I’ve used were Staring strength and my favorite which is 5/3/1. Heavy lifting with an emphasis on proper form, consistency and slow steady progress has been fantastic for me. Just make sure that you focus on including plenty of mobility work, conditioning and prioritize recovery. I have made a ton of progress on this path.

    Whatever you do, you’ll find the most success with the program that you believe in and stick to. Don’t program hop!
     
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    clcustom1911

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  • Oct 23, 2017
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    I've done traditional weights and crossfit. I enjoy weights for long term and crossfit for a 2-3 month period when I'm looking to switch things up. I'm just starting a 2-3 month crossfit gig to get in better shape for a career change coming up. I also enjoy the peer pressure and competitive drive when I do crossfit vs. Working out solo.

    One thing I personally do is I will absolutely do less weight or fewer reps, or otherwise modify the prescribed exercise to better accommodate my level or strength. It's called fitness, not brokeness. Doing 20 kipping pull ups while tearing your hand callous apart is stupid if I Can do a little more strict pull ups, but only do 12-15 or so.
     
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    Simia Dei

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    Instead of either option, take a look at the Hybrid Performance Method training plans. It’ll get you stronger and is better structured than CrossFit. There are subscription plans or you can find some of their plans on places like the /fit boards at 7Chan or Vola.
     

    reynja

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    I have changed from mostly crossfit to a powerlifting program based on the Westside method and I am happy about it. Training sessions usually take a good bit longer, every bit as hard, and the group has the same sort of community aspect which I like.
    Monday - heavy legs (max effort - ME)
    Tuesday - volume upper (dynamic effort - DE)
    Wednesday - time under tension day - something like a 1 mile sled drag about 200-225lb
    Thursday - DE Legs
    Friday - ME upper
    Sat & Sun - range, scuba, run, etc

    So far:
    - Less joint soreness/issues
    - Stronger
    - No burpees :D

    I add in some cardio on the side and may drop in to a crossfit class here and there.
     

    brianf

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    I did CrossFit before my kids were born and lost quite a bit of fat, got into great shape and increased strength. That being said, there’s a lot of technical Olympic weightlifting moves thrown into the mix without being coached by people who are necessarily proficient at it. Factor in all the random WODs and AMRAP, fast as you can and as much as you can stuff, I always seemed to have tweaks and strains and pains. Recovery started to be a bitch and I Felt like I was headed towards injury city. Lots of good stuff to CrossFit but wasn’t for me.

    I’ve gone back to lifting heavy. Ran a couple different programs but the best two I’ve used were Staring strength and my favorite which is 5/3/1. Heavy lifting with an emphasis on proper form, consistency and slow steady progress has been fantastic for me. Just make sure that you focus on including plenty of mobility work, conditioning and prioritize recovery. I have made a ton of progress on this path.

    Whatever you do, you’ll find the most success with the program that you believe in and stick to. Don’t program hop!
    this times 1,000,000
    you can get a crossfit license by taking 2; 4 hour classes over the weekend
    so 8 hours of training to do Olympic lifts.
    crossfit is the number one cause of injury for non sport (football, soccer) injury over the past 6 years.
    proper lifts (relatively strict non compound movements) and low impact cardio (rowing, bike, elliptical) are what you should focus on.
     
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    hafejd30

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  • Feb 27, 2019
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    This one is pretty cut and dry. For loosing weight and getting stronger overall, would CrossFit or a traditional weight-lifting program with cardio added in help with said goals?

    I think you should try both. I prefer weightlifting but that’s because I enjoy it more as a hobby. Try each one for a bit to see what you enjoy most. If you enjoy it you’ll put more effort in and it won’t seem like a chore which most give up in under 2 months.

    If I need to loose weight I lay off the heavy weights and go to more cardio and less weight with higher reps. IF wanting to add weight I increase weight and decrease reps.

    Started 10 years ago with a variety of both at 6’3” 175 lbs. Currently 260 lbs.

    I was faster/more agile at less weight. Definitely stronger right now tho
     

    Wormydog1724

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    I've been lifting weights up and putting them down for 16 years since HS. I'm a skinny bastard so I'm not doing it for weightloss, more for weight gain. I weighed 109lbs as a HS freshman, and 140lbs by the time I graduated HS. Now I'm just shy of 170lbs but as strong as I've ever been, still not saying much compared to some of these oxen out there but pound for pound I think I hold my own.

    Anyways last year my wife got into crossfit so I tried it with her. The first week was amazing and I loved it. The grunting, the throwing weights, the encouragement. Fuck the running. I hate running, but I put up with it. After two weeks I didn't feel like I was getting the 'pump' I usually got from my normal weightlifting so I started going to the gym AND crossfit. Two weeks after that and I was burned the fuck out. I'm 32 years old, who the hell am I trying to impress? I quit crossfit, felt like a complete puss but I'm not injured and I'm not burned out anymore.

    I plateau on my weight lifting every year, then I have a break through and go up a bit. I've been doing that since I started lifting. Two months ago I switched my routine to Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 and I am loving it. Before I'd go in and just do as much as I could in an hour, doing a chest/should/back/trap routing for days 1 & 3, and a bi/tri/legs/abs routine for days 2 & 4. Basically doing 6 reps of heavy ass weight for 3 to 5 sets, 3 or so exercise per muscle group. I think I was over doing it to be honest. Now I'm doing the 5/3/1 with a set program and gradual increase in weight after each cycle and I am seeing results already. Just one low rep core lift each day with two high rep accessory lifts. Some days I'm out of there in 30 minutes if I bust my ass. Sometimes I work on my typer sniper phd and it still takes an hour but the results are what I'm liking.

    I don't know what the rules are on this site for linking to other sites but if you google "5/3/1 workout" and look for the "5/3/1: How to Build Pure Strength" from T-Nation, it explains it the best. I created an excel spreadsheet to take my 1 Rep Max (1RM) which then converts it to my Training Max (TM) (90% of 1RM) and then it breaks down each day on percentages of my TM for the programed lifts increasing in percentages with week one being 5 reps, week two being 3 reps, week three being 5/3/1+ reps, and then week four being a deload week of light weight. After week 4 add 5lbs to upper body lifts and 10lbs to lower body lifts. I've only just completed the first cycle but I've already noticed an increase in strength, which is my main goal. Why do I need strength, I'm a banker that sits at a desk most of the day... it's nice to have goals and being strong has never been a bad thing.

    Wow sorry for the long read, this really got away from me.

    TL/DR... Jim Wendlers 5/3/1 on T-Nation website.
     
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    shields shtr

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    I've been doing CrossFit going on about 6 years now. I certainly don't drink all the Kool-Aid though and modify the WODS as needed to scale to my ability. Good CrossFit gyms will recognize your abilities and help you scale as necessary. All gyms are not created equally however, so try a few out before you commit. Sometimes I take breaks from CrossFit as well and do other things. Also, as an earlier post said, a huge part of it is diet. Lean meats, veggies, no sugar. Enough carbs to keep you energized for day to day and working out. It's not that hard fundamentally, but for me diet is the toughest to adhere to...I'm gonna go eat some ice cream now.
     

    WtxShooter

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    I guess I'll go against the grain a bit here. Me personally, I did weight lifting pretty strict for years and never really got into "shape" the way I wanted to. I switched to crossfit after my brother recommended it to me, and absolutely fell in love with it! Did it for about a year and a half. Were there injuries? Yes. One mainly. And the sad part is that it was 100% caused by me going past my limits and not paying attention to proper form. My coach was right next to me barking at me that my form was wrong and to focus before it causes a problem. One rep later....it did. But the lesson I learned? I'll never be the next Rich Froning, so make sure that you're doing it for the right reasons. I became obsessed with pushing harder because the results were the best I had ever had. I'm 39 years old, and after a year of eating right, and doing CrossFit, I was back to my high school weight, but even healthier. So for me, I was convinced I could be better than I was in high school again. WRONG! I pushed harder, even when my body said stop. And it bit me in the ass. I took some time off to recover, ended up being promoted at work, which in turn ruled out my CrossFit schedule, thanks to the new hours. But I'll be honest, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss it. It was stated above correctly. If you research it, and find a gym that actually has skilled coaches, I truly believe it's one of the best forms of fitness there is. But you do have to listen to your body and know when enough is enough. Knowing what I know now, I truly wish my schedule allowed it, because my previous "box" was amazing. And it was worth every penny to me. I wouldn't hesitate for a second to do CrossFit again.
     

    Lkwoolsey

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    I stick to powerlifting with cardio (ie, circuits and runs) mixed in. Seems like the crossfit gyms I see/ have been to emphasize speed rather than proper form. Too easy to get broke flinging weights around. I try to focus on perfect form. More muscle mass=more calories burned, which will translate to greater fat loss. That said, jaywhite97 hit the nail on the head; nutrition is the most important part. There's lots of ways to up the nutrition game, from macros to cutting out various foods. Some of the fad diets are dumb and simply not worth it. eat veggies, good carbs, and protein, cut out the bad fats and sugars (which are just bad carbs) and work out alot.
    One more thing that I think is worth mentioning, which do you enjoy more? Crossfit or weightlifting? people tend to stick to programs they like more, and since consistency is the name of the game, I'd go with the one, or mix, or what you enjoy more. I like powerlifting, so that's what I do.
     

    olive drab

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    My wife has been doing crossfit for the past 5 years and has been happy with it. I tried it out and found it too cultish and didnt like the vibe so I stick with cardio when i wake up and weights 3x a week in the afternoons/evenings. the one thing I did take from crossfit is the gym I went to for a bit was very focused on the nutrition and some people there were doing that nutrition coaching for a few bucks a month (I thought it was a rip off). I searched around on the internet about macro eating and found that my results with cutting weight, and getting stronger were better when I tracked my food. When I paid more attention to macros then calories, and consistently slept 7-8 hours I felt better and more energetic throughout the day and while working out. Apparently I was undereating by a lot without even realizing it.
     

    500grains

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    If you decide on crossfit, go with light weight and very strict form until you are confident you can increase the weight without injury. The crossfit metcons really do help cardio. But I hate snatch and clean and won't do them. I do substitute exercises.

    And I have to do to yoga to reform my body after too much crossfit.
     

    White Mamba

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    For what you describe Crossfit would be a better and quicker option. Dont try and keep up with everyone and youll be fine, after a few months add traditional weightlifting to fill any voids that you gym is lacking
     

    W54/XM-388

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    If you are trying to loose weight FIRST attack the diet, you can work out for half an hour or more just to take care of a piece of bread.

    I'd suggest cutting most of your carbs out as well as all your sugars.
    Go to Proteins, vegetables, fats etc. with a very small amount of carbs in there.
     
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    chiroz

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    You can't out exercise a bad diet.

    All exercise should be fluid and controlled if you want to avoid injury.

    Crossfit easily puts more patients in my chiropractic office than any other form of training. All of the olympic form lifts have a safer and equally effective alternative.
     

    THEIS

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  • Nov 27, 2017
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    Hi,

    There is an app called NetDiary or something like that. It allows you to track EVERYTHING you eat and drink. You scan bar code of the item, enter the amount and it inputs grams of protein, carbs, fat, etc. for that meal.

    Keep carbs under 15gram for the day.
    Keep total calories under 1200 for the day.
    Keep protein above 100gram for the day.
    And you will watch scale go down every single day.

    Bonus Tip---You will be shocked at the amount of calories you drink per day right now.

    Sincerely,
    Theis
     
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    hafejd30

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    What you should strive to be in the new guy in the gym that everyone loves!

    1) Slam weights around while screaming and grunting prior to ever attempting the lift

    2) Warm up with nothing but bicep curls when attempting to deadlift. (Remember the girls are watching)

    3) Give someone in way better shape than you about 10 minutes worth of pointers that you just read in a magazine while waiting for your pre workout to kick in

    4) When you finally deadlift remember to use nothing but your lower back (the more muscle groups used the more muscles you have a chance of injuring!)

    5) The whole goal is to shock your body right, so get at least a 10-12” running start when attempting the deadlift, believe me your body won’t see it coming!

    6) All the popping your hearing while doing this is just your joints making room for all that new muscle!!

    Lift heavy my friends!!!!!
     
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    Gregor.Samsa

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    Hi,

    There is an app called NetDiary or something like that. It allows you to track EVERYTHING you eat and drink. You scan bar code of the item, enter the amount and it inputs grams of protein, carbs, fat, etc. for that meal.

    Keep carbs under 15gram for the day.
    Keep total calories under 1200 for the day.
    Keep protein above 100gram for the day.
    And you will watch scale go down every single day.

    Bonus Tip---You will be shocked at the amount of calories you drink per day right now.

    Sincerely,
    Theis

    I am going to have to respectfully disagree with the 1200 calories a day. You certainly will lose weight, however a lot of it will be muscle and you absolutely will not gain any muscle at all and can risk metabolic damage. 0.8 to 1 grams of protein per estimated pound of lean body mass is perfect for building and maintaining muscle. There are various calculations to determine your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDE). Many agree that a slow, methodical and consistent weight loss (FAT LOSS, not muscle) is best in terms of your health, maintaining muscle mass and your ability and willingness to stick to the program. This is best achieved by consuming about 20% less than your TDE and if your are focusing on gaining muscle, eating 10-20% more than your TDE. Your TDE can be roughly estimated using available formulas online. These are based on your age, weight, activity level etc. This will give you a good base. Do the calculations and apply them to your daily eating regimen for a couple weeks. if you are still not losing weight, reduce consumption by about a hundred calories or so until you find your groove. You may need to increase your caloric intake as well. Everyone is different so a cookie cutter calorie number is not optimized for the individual. I've gone fat to fit and back a few times in my life. A good book to get you on track is Bigger Leaner Stronger by Michael Matthews ( https://www.amazon.com/Bigger-Leaner-Stronger-Building-Ultimate-ebook/dp/B006XF5BTG ). It's nothing revolutionary but all the basics are spelled out and are common sense. You'll grow out of his program as an intermediate lifter but its a good starting point. A lot of his lifting program borrows from Starting Strength etc. hope this is helpful
     

    Gregor.Samsa

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    What you should strive to be in the new guy in the gym that everyone loves!

    1) Slam weights around while screaming and grunting prior to ever attempting the lift

    2) Warm up with nothing but bicep curls when attempting to deadlift. (Remember the girls are watching)

    3) Give someone in way better shape than you about 10 minutes worth of pointers that you just read in a magazine while waiting for your pre workout to kick in

    4) When you finally deadlift remember to use nothing but your lower back (the more muscle groups used the more muscles you have a chance of injuring!)

    5) The whole goal is to shock your body right, so get at least a 10-12” running start when attempting the deadlift, believe me your body won’t see it coming!

    6) All the popping your hearing while doing this is just your joints making room for all that new muscle!!

    Lift heavy my friends!!!!!

    Make damn sure you do those curls in the squat rack!!!
     

    Fatorangecat

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    If you are inexperienced enough in the gym to ask this question you do not have the fundamental grasp of technique needed to execute a lot of the lifts used in crossfit. You should absolutely take the time to build a foundation with strength training and learn those fundamentals first. Any of the basic strength programs like 5X5 or 5-3-1 will lean you out while building muscle if combined with good nutrition. Learn to squat, deadlift, and press before doing crossfit. Also focus less on overall caloric intake and more on consuming enough protein. if you lift heavy you will always be nutrient starved as the body repairs itself.
     
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    shields shtr

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    If you are inexperienced enough in the gym to ask this question you do not have the fundamental grasp of technique needed to execute a lot of the lifts used in crossfit.

    A reputable CrossFit gym will make sure your technique is on par to be executed at the intensity required to achieve the desired stimulus. If it isn't there are plenty of scaled options to use if you aren't there. Scaling is not a bad word. Finding a good gym with coaches who actually coach and give a shit can be the hardest part.
     

    5RWill

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    I'm not a fan of crossfit but it works. My former roommate is a big crossfitter. It's so form intensive that it scares me about fucking my body up. So i lift. But the reason crossfit works is because it combines cardio and lifting/strengthtraining. Which you can easily do just integrating in lifting. My current roommate is 5'7ish smaller than i am. Dude is running 5Ks in a weighted vest, doing muscle ups, doing murph on a regular basis, Cleaning 285lbs, etc. He has a ton of natural strength but since we started summer he has completely transformed himself. He does so by keeping his heartrate high while lifting. Dude went and did a crossfit circuit at our local crossfit place in Jackson. Goal was to do the circuit in under 35min. He did it in 33, something like 90% of the people in that gym that had done it didn't complete it in that time.

    I prefer lifting. I try to do integrate cardio every day though and obviously as mentioned you have to eat properly. There is no eating like shit and looking great. Not past 25 at least. I'm not in great shape or anything but am working on it and making some pretty big strides doing just as i've mentioned. Have found the gym to be incredibly therapeutic to the point where i'm going 5 days a week despite my dental school schedule.
     
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    Fatorangecat

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    A reputable CrossFit gym will make sure your technique is on par to be executed at the intensity required to achieve the desired stimulus. If it isn't there are plenty of scaled options to use if you aren't there. Scaling is not a bad word. Finding a good gym with coaches who actually coach and give a shit can be the hardest part.

    I'm not against crossfit but a person should absolutely spend at minimum 6-8 months lifting first and really focusing on perfecting form. I don't care how good a crossfit coach is if they don't agree with this stance they care more about your money than your health.
     
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    akg102

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    For losing fat, consistency with nutrition/diet is the only thing that's going to give you results. You can't outwork a bad diet. Add low-impact, steady state cardio when you feel like it, but primarily focus on traditional volume training. (Weights @ 60-70% of 1RM w/ strict form and full ROM) You need to stay injury free.......I wish I would have trained like this when I was younger. Power lifting or Olympic lifting will get you stronger, but those can be technical, psychologically/systematically fatiguing, and more prone to injury when dieting.

    If you're just getting started and can afford it, buy a training template. Renaissance Periodization templates are my favorite -- customizable, straight-forward, and efficient.
     
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    feelinducky

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    I was very strong for me when I was doing crossfit. Here is the problem. Cross fit gets you to a fatigue point then your form goes out the window. As soon as the form is gone that is when you get injured. I don't care how long you have been lifting or how good your form is. CrossFit is designed to work you after fatigue sets in. I was 43 when I was doing crossfit and I just didn't recover fast enough. Ended up hurting my wrist and knee so I stopped.
     

    Trigger Time 23

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    I really enjoy the competitiveness of Crossfit. I have been doing it for about 2 1/2 years. I go Monday, Wednesday & Friday and do other stuff of Tuesday & Thursday. You need to be careful because you can get hurt, but that has been the case with most sports I played. I am 42 now and can keep up with most the guys, but I do take longer to recover than I used to.
     

    Frgood

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    Regardless of whichever you choose... Just don't forget the first rule of CrossFit....Tell everyone as often as you can that you CrossFit.
    Within 2 weeks of starting Crossfit I could not stop myself from bringing it up to everyone. Sadly, my particular gym turned me off to it as they would blame every issue on bad diet.
    6 knotted muscles - Not eating a proper Keto Diet
    Getting dizzy and winded - Not eating a proper Keto Diet.
    ...

    I have to find a new gym. The results were pretty startling in my case. But I don't want to talk about it. ;)
     

    benchmstr

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    when yall ae right you are right!

    These top professional crossfitters are really showing their perfect form lol

    get the hell out of here with the joke that is crossfit.

    bench
     

    User08239040

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    I gained 4.2lbs of muscle and lost 10lbs of fat over the past 50 days, lifting three times a week and doing HIIT in the lap pool. I've been running a mild caloric surplus on lifting days and a mild caloric deficit every other day. 170 grams or more of protein every day. Almost no sugar, limited carbs, no alcohol. The best part is, all of my joints feel great, and not once did anyone yell in my ear. Lifting weights works and it's almost 100% bullshit free.
     
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    Delicatessen

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    Either can work but it really depends on your experience, form is important to avoid injury and many CrossFit places are really not good at maintaining good form. If you have the form down and are looking for something to keep interest it definitely might be a good option. For most people really it’s good to do basic weights (focus on complex lifts like deadlift etc) and do cardio (mix up pace and type so you avoid injury). The greatest factor is controlling nutrition. Once you go for a while start looking into ways to change things up (muscle groups/heavy weight vs power/grip angles) that way you don’t plateau as much.
     

    Delicatessen

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    Also do yourself a favor and do things like rotator cuff exercises with shoulders each week to save your shoulders when you do chest etc.