Friday, September 28, 2012

Crossfit Start Date: August 27, 2012

After looking at myself in the mirror and seeing the rapidly expanding waistline, worsening dietary discipline, and general disgust with my physical fitness I decided to make a change. Well, in some weird way, 24 Hour Fitness made this change for me. I've had a membership to 24 Hour Fitness since 1999. I went 3-4 days a week pretty consistently during this time. I've experienced strength gains in every 24 Hour Fitness type lift. What is a 24 Hour Fitness Lift? Here are some examples:

  • Bench press (flat, incline, decline)
  • Pull-ups
  • Rows
  • Cable fly's
  • Bicep curls (preacher, hammer, barbell)
  • Tricep extensions (rope, single arm cables, overhead with dumbbell, "skull crushers")
  • Back squats
  • Leg press
  • Military press
I even spent time on websites, reading fitness magazines, and consuming pounds of muscle building supplements (whey protein, soy protein, BCAA, glutamine, creatine, Kre-Alkalyn). What were my results?

  • 315# bench press (7 rep max...never dared to attempt a 1 rep max due to the fact that people at 24 Hour Fitness aren't interested in helping you out in case 300+ pounds are set to fall on your esophagus)
  • 275# back squat (with poor form that resulted in numerous lower back injuries)
  • 165# military press (5 rep max)
  • 405# leg press (using a machine)
  • 15 strict pull-ups unbroken x 3 sets
  • 135# barbell bicep curls
  • 105# skull crushers
What where my final measurements: 72.5 inch height, 237 pounds, and 22% body fat. I could run for maybe 7 minutes on the treadmill at 6.5 mph. I was no longer able to move laterally or jump more than once per possession while playing basketball. So basically, my own lack of creativity, and interest in pushing my endurance capabilities resulted in my above average upper body strength, pathetic leg strength, and non-existent core strength. Now, earlier I wrote that 24 Hour Fitness is responsible for my decision to try Crossfit. Here's the reason why. After 13 loyal years as a member, 24 Hour Fitness decided to cancel my membership because my monthly rate was too low and no longer considered valid. After weeks of arguing with the arrogant pricks who call themselves "membership managers", I basically gave 24 Hour Fitness the middle finger and decided to see what happened when I truly committed to improving my overall fitness.

On August 27th, I tried my first CrossFit workout. I did not know what the hell a "WOD" was let alone a "chipper", "kipping", "Hero", or "benchmark". After my first class, I didn't care what the language was. I was absolutely destroyed. I had never attempted any type of high-intensity intervals. My heart was racing and my legs were shot. It wasn't even a particularly tough WOD. I barely did the L2 scaling for men.

3 rounds for time:
- Thrusters x 15 (135# rx'd, I did 65#)
- Run x 400 meters

After 2 weeks of CrossFit, I stepped back on the scale. My weight: 226 pounds. What? I lost 11 pounds in 2 weeks? I was like one of the contestants on Biggest Loser where they drop 10+ pounds of sloppy fat and water weight after only a few workouts. I've made some minor changes to my diet. No more fast food. Stocking the fridge at work with fresh organic fruits and vegetables. Swapping out Diet Soda for unsweetened iced tea or water. Bought some almond butter to make bland and boring celery like the snacks I would get from Mom as a kid...only with Paleo appropriate organic Almond Butter from Sprouts in place of mass produced Jif Creamy Peanut Butter.

Courtesy of CrossFit West Houston. WTF is kipping?
This blog will serve as my journey to physical fitness. I play basketball once a week. I hope to get back to the athletic player I was 5 years ago. I would like to be able to see my abs under my layers of stomach fat. I hope this will help keep me accountable. I'll share the occasional workout, the constant struggle, and any successes that occur along the way. For those who hate CrossFit and think CrossFitters are lunatics who look like they are having seizures while doing pull-ups, I was in your shoes. I scoffed at CrossFit "athletes" who would say "I did 10 pull-ups" because I wanted to know how many strict pull-ups they could do. Then I watched this video: Every Second Counts. When you see a 6 foot, 175 pound guy doing 500 pound deadlifts, you know that the strength and endurance gains CrossFit athletes experience are unrivaled. What's the worst that could happen with this experiment? My pee doesn't look like Coca-Cola. My joints are a bit sore but nothing that some ice and a few ibuprofen can't remedy. My pants fit better after only a month. My chest has improved definition and the only chest exercise I've done since starting CrossFit are push-ups (I haven't even seen the bench press). I ran a mile in 7:09...the fastest since I was 15 years old. It's working for me. I don't want diabetes. I don't want hypertension. Fitness is the best way for me to ensure a long and healthy life. Lets see where this journey takes me.

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