Etc. People can look at me and tell I “workout” but no one asks me if I’m on Roids!!!! I haven’t lifted any for couple of months, but still struggle with upper body hulk look. I was searching through some pictures of cross fit women after I had a reunion with my family and somebody commenting on my body. So I’m on month three (or so?) My body and I were friends. I’m here to tell you I was positively huge after six months. I don’t have any of the inflammation problems that I had when I was CFing, and my periods are even easier. That’s why eating the skeletal muscle of animals is the best way to get a dense whack of protein. I came into CF as a former gymnast and recreational runner (I’m not genetically “meant” to be a runner, if you know what I mean!) Secondly, you’re not sore, you’re injured. – Despite our conditioning to eat protein all day everyday, back off a bit and eat fewer meals, spaced wider apart. Other than this new clean diet and working out with cf, there is no other explanation for why my dresses are tight in the rib cage area! The people were cool. Also, be aware that you will feel a little out of place when everyone goes to set up their bars for the wod and you are just standing there. Leigh, I’ve been away from CF for just over a month now, and I’ve lost five scale pounds that I know must have been water weight. A few years ago I left that job to change careers entirely – to go from CrossFit coach and personal trainer to writer and editor here at Breaking Muscle… I cross-fitted for about a year and a half, but then stopped and felt like a shameful “quitter”, particularly since my husband continued on and still loves it. 1. Can you build and aesthetic physique (MUSCLE) doing just Crossfit? In fact, I did CrossFit for nearly a year before I decided to give it up. They grow when you are resting. The Press-Up is a chest exercise but executed with high rep ranges and fatigue enduring CrossFit routines, the force emphasis and muscle tension quickly migrate to the shoulders, delts, and triceps – whatever makes the exercise more manageable! Never go under 1200 k/cal. Lifting heavy has broadened my back and rear, actually helping to create a more balanced appearance! I have always been a healthful eater, but like others, I have never had to really think about what I eat – until now with the Paleo approach. “You’re stronger!!!! Well, first of all let me introduce some things, I’m a guy, I love strength and I love weightlifting, and I can understand you don’t like the physiques of top crossfit girls, but I don’t think the problem is heavy weights, you can see a lot of femenine powerlifters and weightlifters who doesn’t look so muscular, and I don’t know why you make crossfit and paleo as one only thing, I do crossfit I don’t do paleo (I don’t like it either) and I workout the heavies. and… ugh… I’m tired. A great workout targets specific muscles, specific actions, specific and PERSONAL goals! Um, I’m not skinny. Hence, the next problem with CrossFit… I was told to eat more because of the muscle, I did – healthy stuff, and that didn’t go well either. My friend who is still going to my old CF box is always sore, so sore that she can’t do much of anything else and she ends up sitting on the couch and snacking, so her weight is staying the same. I think there are genetically thin women who this will never happen to, but for those of us with an athletic build, it’s inevitable. (My knees can’t take the trail running anymore.) That’s it. (I hadn’t eaten or drunk anything out of the ordinary, so I don’t think it was an allergic reaction.) You can train on and enjoy your days when they are all injured and busted up! Don’t get me wrong, I really love crossfit and all of the people at my gym but I just don’t think it’s what is going to work for me long term. Hey Meredith- I so feel you. I’ve always had nice toned legs but now the front of my thighs are all lumpy and saggy….that’s a cf thing too?????? Thanks for sharing your story. I’m off crossfit two months since March and running with two days of circuit training(cardio with light weight). I build for muscle mass – to bulk up – to get bigger – the look looks great on my 5’2 physique. Well said, Mark. Very interesting post, I found this while looking for info on what is normal body weight for athletes in crossfit, I am very petite 52kg (114lb) and extremely lean, I find that I’m naturally good at most gymnastics work because I’m light, but I’m actually quite stong aswell compared to my size, I’m convinced genetics have a lot to do with if you will bulk out or not, I would love to bulk up and gain muscle and look stronger but I’m making very slow progress with body weight and still look very skinny, in some lifts I lift as much as some girls who are a stone heavier and have done crossfit far longer and train more than my x2 -3 a week! But if you are a woman who wants to be thin and lean and have decent cardiovascular fitness, it’s not the best thing in the world. Because human beings can and will break. So lots of reps / sets / 100 of this … 50 of that…. If that means Zumba to you or a jog with your pup, thats great. Try a Body Part Split instead of WODs. Also, as a side note, I noticed doing CrossFit would cut into my work time since I’d get so spent during the workouts (I couldn’t help but push myself as hard as possible every single time) I’d have trouble re-focusing for an hour or two after a morning or afternoon class. Nothing fits and I’m 25 years old so that’s quite depressing. Oh my goodness, thank you for this post and all the replies. But when I moved to San Francisco, I decided to give it up. Ever. 2 years later I HATE how I look. Doing CrossFit on a regular basis meant I rarely had time to do the other active things I love – hiking, various sports, and exploring the Bay area outdoors with my dog. There is a very competitive culture in cf and many people get injured! Essentially, you can absolutely focus on multiple goals at once, but just now your results be more gradual for both than if you just prioritized one. I know I naturally have an athletic build so its easy for me to put on muscle but I thought crossfit would help lean me out…I was wrong! It’s been a journey for me, for sure. And, like you said, all of the CrossFit affiliates are different – some do this better than others. Sore? If overall leaning up and getting stronger are your main concerns, CrossFit is your guy. Knowing yourself and scaling is key, don’t let everyone else’s ego get to you. I have been freaking out for months because my weight has been going up with my cross fit classes (not quite a year yet). Your perspective. So glad I read all of these comments! I have been doing crossfit for 4 years now and at first I felt amazing I was lean with some muscle but after about a year that’s when I started noticing mass gain. I completely agree that there’s a lot of great stuff to learn from the Crossfit philosophy, but that more focus could be given to recovery and longevity. Maybe I’m doing too much Metcon wods and cardio which keeps me thin? But every time in the Box, we go 100% with heavy weight as fast as we can go. I feel puffy and bloated, and the only way to alleviate that is to restrict carbs from what I understand. CrossFit has weekly sessions that anyone can turn up to. My waist measurement has stayed the same, and by BF% is roughly the same or maybe a little lower (depending on the method: BEI pegs me at 25, bodpod at 24). I’ve always been in shape and in fact was a competitive gymnast for over 10 years. . I fully agree that if you are working as hard as most of us do at the box, then you should absolutely be happy with the results you are getting – it’s definitely not for everybody! Vigorous yoga keeps my muscles long and lean and is more suited to my short frame and body type. more of this…. Within 3 weeks I was so injured it wasn’t even funny. Searching for more workout led me to your blog. zero.”. When I first started Crossfitting, I was 5″3, 125#s and wore a size 4/6 in pants. I went to the doctor for bloodwork, and everything seemed normal except my blood pressure, which was high. Just looking at all the rest and the format of the whole workout, it’s no wonder CrossFit isn’t really a great way to lean out. For example, if I took the classes but just didn’t do any of the dead-lifts, etc.? I feel uncomfortable in non-workout clothes due to big shoulders, big arms, traps, thighs, you name it. I love that my body is noticeably muscular its one of the best parts, feeling strong, i love being sore for the satisfaction that i did something and ill become stronger from it! Great that you found what you like! ), i compete only with myself, i listen to my body and don’t push it too hard when i don’t feel comfortable and i’m very happy with my results. I still lift weights, but I use a pyramid (12/10/8/6 reps with increasing weight) and I lift ONLY 2-3 days a week. Although I enjoyed CrossFit, I am starting to think that is a little overrated. Have you ever thought of doing that to slim down? – Work out on an empty stomach in the morning if possible Sharon, I’m in a very similar position. My coach is a games athlete and the fittest man goes too my gym. My cf friends barely talk to me and don’t agree with this at all. at first i was annoyed but then i realized that not every body was supposed to be the same. A lot of bodybuilders (who know a thing or two about increasing size! But every time, I’m always happy to return to my 12 Minute Athlete workouts that leave me stronger, more focused, and injury-free—with plenty of time and energy to do other fun things. This is really a tremendous web site. For me, the type of body I want is more dependent on the foods I eat (I eat primal) than exercise. I am trying to lean up as well by lighting my weight load. Hi Robin! I got told that the gym isn’t a free for all gym and that if I was peeved I can leave :/ Weird, crappy, but ok, I did (merely because of how it was handled and how I was spoken to). In the second month out of CF, I counted calories (which I HATE doing), and following my TDEE, tracked at around 1300/day. Did u go back to being lean after crossfit? Because while CrossFit builds (in my opinion) a pretty awesome male physique, as a female CrossFitter, I began to quickly hate the way my body started to look. I have to say, CF really did a number on me. I’m SLOWLY losing the extra bulk – traps, back, shoulders, quads…by doing NOTHING but cardio (running, walking, dance, elliptical). If you don’t see results, you can always go back to CF or HIIT. As a former track athlete I what it means to train hard but these Crossfit women take training to a whole new level. I didn’t go full paleo, but I did limit carbs to one serving and then usually a sweet potato. It’s very important to listen to your body and intuition! It’s genetically impossible to get bulky.” Guess what: I got bulky! Also I’m sure if u told the gym you had time constraints you could be there no more than an hour. 5 weeks in gained 5 pounds. You have postural issues. Hey Jessica – the box I go to has a specific class on the schedule three days a week that includes everything except the lifting. I look like a woman and would like to stay that way and enjoy the CF community and workouts but I don’t want to be told every day to go heavier!!! I’ve been doing Crossfit for three years now, and I’m feeling a little bit disillusioned. But really, this wasn’t the trigger for me leaving. It is such an encouragement! I currently crossfit 5-6x a week and still swim a few times a week but right now I am looking at easing up on the weights as I would definitely appreciate a less bulky look. Eh. It just seemed like an awful lot of standing around. Same is with, imo, the idea of “women are not built to bulk up ” concept- one does not fit all; just like some thin men out there have a very time gaining muscle mass which is found attractive-when they do; some women have super easy path to gain muscle mass without any stimulants; and that, imo, is not generally considered physically attractive. Since I’m not beating myself up 4 days a week, I have the interest and energy to do more recreational activities, like long walks in the sun and ice hockey, riding my bike, and trail runs. I’m 5’9″ and weighed around 165 when I joined, a solid size 8. And I realized how easy it is to go overboard doing exercises while the whole gym urges you on and demands “just another rep.” Personal responsibility no longer factors in, and pain signals are drowned out by the collective pressure to perform. FAILURE. Now I am 160 and SQUARE! I have been crossfitting for 2 years now and just in the last six months gained 9 lbs of pure muscle – with my lbs of fat staying the same. The only big thing I do like is my butt. Different training protocols will induce different adaptions. Learning expensive lesson from my own experience. i can see why crossfit isn’t for everybody and that it can give very different results depending on your genetics and body type. Even before starting crossfit, i had naturally broad shoulder. The muscles are made of protein. I’ve been Crossfitting for about 1 1/2 years now. 1.Lighten the weights and keep your workouts short, to around 30-45 min. I’m wondering now if it is the actual weight training… have you noticed a decrease in the bloat since cutting back? When they start to tell you to add more weight, just say you have a bad shoulder and you’d like to just stay at this weight. If you go extreme with anything you will get extreme results. I find these activities along with eating a balanced diet, and daily stretching have helped me obtain a strong, lean and feminine physique. I am a Muay Thai, Crossfit loving runner. CF IMHO is not worth it for $200 a month when the same WODs are given to 170 lbs men and 110 lbs women. Some months ago now I severed my last tie with CrossFit. Crossfit helps you to develop muscular endurance, not muscle mass. haven’t made any friends in the gym because i’m not there to make friends and i really have no interest in chitchatting with random people (that is actually my alone time! But I do like the intensity and feel of the crossfit workouts. You could try power walking for an hour to 1.5 hours at a time because long steady state cardio does burn muscle, plus yin yoga to try and stretch out those short tight muscles. Someone is always complaining about how their shoulder hurts or their knee or elbow hurts.. It’s a great way of doing CF without all of the heavy lifting. I never lost any belly fat or grew a nice round butt like I was hoping for when I started. I can not wait to learn much more from What about building muscle with CrossFit?? I got fairly good at snatching and cleaning the bar, but noticed how my body started changing: my quads and my glutes got bigger. Thank you so much for posting this and also for all of the comments. It was the community. Thanks for posting your view— it kind of gave me a like at both sides of cross fit. Thanks for sharing all the insight! Thank you. Hey there, not sure if you will read this but I have been where you are at at the moment. Now, I feel like I am so disconnected from my body. CrossFit weightlifting is also fairly advanced with the utilization of a lot of Olympic lifts. I go 4-5 times a week and I’ve never felt too tired to just sit around all day afterwards and I’m definitely much stronger and faster in general as well. I found it a huge psychological relief, besides the physical improvements, when I quit CF, but it took about two weeks to come back into perspective. For exercise, I’m lifting (low rep, high weight) twice a week and cardio (spin mostly) twice a week. Together we'll get you the body you deserve. Plus, an intelligent CrossFit coach can make all the difference in allowing for a huge spectrum of clients to find success with CrossFit. Yes! I Have been doing Crossfit since the summer of 4th grade.and i am now in 10th and FINALLY getting competitive! Maybe if they came out with an option for “lean” muscle workouts instead of a one size fits all routine? Despite spending more time working out, and eating cleaner, I’ve been getting bigger with increased body fat. I was introduced to crossfit after doing a half marathon that left me with severe IT band issues; I knew I needed something different. it was basically bashing females with muscle. Exactly my reason for not doing CF as a full time workout. Furthermore, compound exercises coupled with high rep ranges is a very bad strategy when it comes to hypertrophy. And now I am trying to incorporate a lot more cardio and eat even more clean so that I can achieve more fit and firm skinny look this summer. This is the first article I have read along with all the great comments that finally speaks to the concerns I have had. At this same time, some personal issues forced me to re-examine my priorities and mental state, and figure out how to incorporate emotional healing into my exercise routine. You are making it entertaining and you continue to take care But if increasing muscle size is your number one concern and you are ready to put in the work, there are much more effective training programs out there. . I’m in this for the long haul, I have time to catch up =). I loved Crossfit – really did! Plus, I’d need to be in a Crossfit gym 7 days a week for more than 2 hours a day to start looking like a dude, so I really don’t get those comments. If you do the prescribed CrossFit diet of 3 days on, 1 day off, your muscles are never getting enough time to really recover and grow. interesting post and comments. I don’t subscribe to the paleo/low carb diet anymore but I did for a good 10 months – which i thought was the reason for all my water retention and inflammation. And yes, I could have taken some extreme recovery measures… ice baths, weekly massages, etc. Jai, yes, the experience can be different for everyone. No such thing as “toning.). CrossFit gyms follow the Paleo diet, which if you’ve never heard of it includes mainly meat, nuts and veggies—any form of grains are frowned upon, and more extreme Paleo followers won’t even touch dairy, some fruit, and alcohol. The body does crazy things when it is stressed out and inflamed. So don’t let anyone poison the well by telling you only a certain type of exercise program or class is functional training. I’m 46 maybe that’s it. You would be best to stop the exercise when you just start to slow down–at that point, you have stimulated your neuromuscular system for adaptation, but you will not have days of soreness after. This is the blog post I’ve been looking for. Come on, be honest now. I’ve been weightlifting for 2 years and started crossfit bootcamp last February. I build for muscle mass – to bulk up – to get bigger – the look looks great on my 5’2 physique. . Then when you tell them you are purposely lifting less so you won’t bulk up, you get the same old line, “that’s a myth, you won’t…” Then there are the girls around you who think you are “cheating” a WOD by lifting less when they also know you can go heavier. I’s incredibly discouraging to have your jeans get tighter and tighter. If I’ve got all this muscle and I’m all strong and can do all this fancy stuff and, most importantly, I eat well, shouldn’t I be lean too? Wth? I couldn’t fit into my shirts! Also, be prepared that your body may be like mine – muscular – no matter what. I did reach a crossroad after 1.5 yrs where my coach sat me down and asked me about my goals at that point. Because I would get intense during WODS, I often got sore and had about 4 injuries requiring treatment. skinny legs big upper body. Time-wise I traded running/cardio for barbell lifting and that was not a good decision for me, in the body aesthetics department. But no actual loss. I do add some interval cardio on my off days. I love the fact i can do heavy lifting but what i do not like is that somehow im the type who gets bulky easily? Nothing fits right! Like you, I have broad shoulders and a broad back. "Today, if you do not want to disappoint, Check price before the Price Up. What triggered my decision to quit was the pain in my arms after performing a WOD that included 100 pull-ups and 150 push-ups. I do not want to look like some of the other women at my box who are getting bigger looking and some have muscles men would envy by lifting heavier weights. I knew I didnt because my clothes where tighter. And if it had not been said from my mother, I would not have realized that my body composition has changed drastically. I just want a smaller version of myself. Any advice would be very well appreciated . As for exercise, I’ve just been riding my bike (10k total, 5k to work and another 5k back at a moderate pace), doing some lightweight calisthenics exercises (lots of core workouts) and rock climbing three days a week. To avoid injury, I progress slowly. Also just my personal makeup- I’m someone who’s butt & thigh is not exactly in proportion with my waist measurement making it tough to get any of my pants to last a year without ripping. I found cross fit mentally and physically exhausting – beyond weekly recovery; when i stopped, i missed the camradery of people I trained with, greatly.It took 3-4 years to find a combination of cardio and strength to lean out and atrophy and lose the weight I regained in a post – injury phase. Then I hear “Don’t you want to get stronger?” Well, a couple of weeks ago we had to hold our handstand for as long as possible and I beat everyone in my group, both men and women. My traps and arms are huge, but not defined, giving me a bulky, hunched-over gorilla look. I started CrossFit 30 pounds lighter than I am now. Thank you all for saying the stuff that is taboo to say… I have been doing Crossfit for about a year and, while I have loved doing it and all the people at my box, I don’t like how my body is changing. There’s a reason there is no such thing as CrossFit bodybuilding. Perhaps also try a few days of juicing per week to lose further muscle. I hope this helps. Just my two cents. This is a great discussion and such a relief to hear from other women. Great to know I’m not alone! No matter how hard you try to focus when you’re in your last round of power snatch you end up sacrificing form and technique, specially if you’re just starting out and are nearly about to puke and pass out. Excellent presentation of your blog too. Curves are a good thing, and I like mine. Thank you for this post and for all the replies. I understand muscle confusion. I’m currently running 45-60 minutes each day and doing some very light weight training 1-2 days per week. CrossFitters are always trying to make that next PB (Personal Best). Me for example, I’ve been lifting for years and if you pass by me you wouldn’t think I could lift 80lbs. My knees still looked swollen, though, and my body still looked flabbier than when I started CF. Very modest approach in your writing on this subject. Despite the results that many have seen while working within the … I’m in exact same boat here- it’s been two years crossfitting- I was always a runner and circuit trainer. By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website. Running / rowing everyday. 3. Despite this, I decided that I wanted to get strong, and signed up for a Crossfit program. The best Crossfit workouts will most likely make you stronger, lose body fat and put on a little muscle.undefined. I’m 5’7. I do eat clean for most part – lean meat and clean carbs and greens- but it seems like on top of fat I am gaining muscles. I’m truly surprised to hear that people are “scolded” at their gyms for not going heavier – it would never ever happen at our box, unless someone wanted to be encouraged in this way. It’s extremely taxing on the bodies energy systems and can also put a lot of strain on one’s joints and connective tissues. That’s a lot of time to devote to just exercise. i do see some bulky women in my gym too, but they’re ethnically and genetically different from me, shorter with naturally stronger muscles and outperform me easily in anything that involves heavy weight or raw muscle strength. Every time I see a competition on tv and the strength that these women have, I’m just blown away. Despite all this, it IS hard. I portion everything to just about the same amount every three hours, never more than 3 oz of protein and always 2 handfuls of leafy greens, every meal. I’m in the gym maybe 4 hours a week. Yoga? So doing crossfit 6 days a week with extra lifting and huge amount of protein I was huge! I am so glad u am not the only one. 7. I do want to train that way eventually, but to achieve my immediate goal I believe we really need to stick with dieting and running/walking/dance… any cardio that doesnt give your muscles a “pump”. After I had gotten to a place where I felt happy and more comfortable, I started regularly going to spin classes, running (not intensely, just at a conversational pace), and moving back into weighted exercises. 3. Thank you for sharing this. Started bikram yoga and lost some of the bulk already. I wasn’t eating crazy amounts of food, either. At last, my clothes that fit LAST summer, pre-CF are starting to fit again! I quit crossfit at the end of 2014 because i was bulking up wayy too much! Plus, over time, “you’ll be building lean muscle mass which boosts your metabolism,” says Carvajal. I’d like to hear more from others about how long it took them to get back to “normal”. Then I REALLY stretch. I’ve never been a dieter and I feel like if I’m spending close to 9 hours a week on exercise between crossfit, yoga and jogging I should pretty much be able to eat what I want in modest portions… However I feel like I need to diet more than ever before.