CrossFitters are always trying to make that next PB (Personal Best). Calling your bro out on the Internet ( smiles ). 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. But what about those muscle gains?? Sore? Now I am 160 and SQUARE! I felt it put me at a disadvantage—and also like I had to hide my diet from my fellow CrossFitters. All right, guys, this is where I’m going to lose you, so feel free to skip this section. Im stronger but not as cardiofit as before and worse is my shape. 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 tried it after he wouldn’t stop raving about it. ), 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. Thank you. I would love to see what their programming looked like because I started out as a lean long-distance runner (5’3″, 20%is bodyfat, in between sizes small and extra small) and got leaner after a little over a year of Crossfit (18% bodyfat, solid xs). What about building muscle with CrossFit?? My thighs and butt are even BIGGER — I have to wear a size 8/10 in pants now, but while they’re tight in the thighs and butt, they’re so loose in the waist area that it looks like I have an air bubble in my crotch area!!! I’ve started running more and more often, because I know that running (not intensely, and not necessarily HIIT) leans me out. I hate to loose muscle but I just dont know how to do this. Me, I’d be doing for MUSCLE MASS 10-12 reps and 5-8 sets … so you see the difference, yet we can do the same exercises. Despite this, I decided that I wanted to get strong, and signed up for a Crossfit program. Limit your Cardio sessions to 1-2x a week if you want to keep your boobs and butts. I don’t do box jumps to preserve my knees, and instead step up and step down. I did crossfit for 3.5 years and was getting really good at it. I don’t think so. I can slim down my legs easily, but for upper body its harder i guess. So, reading what everyone says here makes me feel sane again!!! same problem here? I enjoy the cardio aspect of crossfit (cause you won’t catch me on a treadmill, LOL) and the fact that the workout is already written out for me, but I am tailoring it for myself. But I naturally have fairly broad shoulders, and not surprisingly, CrossFit made them even broader. That’s a lot of time to devote to just exercise. Just because you feel exhausted or your muscles are burning doesn't mean it was a great workout. UGH. OMG! They are awesome! (It has been done however—see Susan Lacke’s vegetarian paleo experiment on No Meat Athlete to learn more.). I do the Fitness because I need to lose weight, and I know it will tone me down and shape me up better than the Performance. I hate that. You have postural issues. Jai, yes, the experience can be different for everyone. And I agree, a shame that you’re “Looked down on” if you chose to scale. I understand cross training. Do what makes you feel good, strong and confident in yourself. The concept of scaling does not apply to body weight exercises, and even scaled Oly lifting movements performed with bad form are dangerous in more ways than injury potential. with decent cardio/aerobic capacity, but lacking good muscle mass. Then I started to blow up and am now 10 pounds over the 10 pounds I had lost! Many women here seem to be surprised by this repercussion of crossfit training methods…it startles me. Yes, I lost a lot of muscle mass, but that was what I wanted. Although I’m still bigger than I’ve been in the past, I definitely feel more feminine. Thank you! 1. If you don’t want mass, but you do want strength gains you want to lift in the 4-8 rep range for 3-5 sets. I did quit cross fit training back in 2012 due to injury that pretty much stopped all my efforts for several months; without training and without cutting down to 1000cal? I have always been a naturally slim and trim woman, so bulking up was not an option (although the CF myth tells us that women don’t bulk up. I too was wys afraid to lift weights thinking I wouls get bulky. The CrossFit community is blessed to have the opportunity to be taught the great sport of weightlifting from Olympians, USA Team Members, and Team USA Coaches. When i was WODing alongside 20 other members, 1 coach was “directing” the class and did not pay attention to us individually. Women come in various shapes and sizes, I’ve seen petite women that have been doing crossfit for awhile and they do NOT become bulky and then there are others like me who DO get bulky over time and are not comfortable with it. I feel uncomfortable in non-workout clothes due to big shoulders, big arms, traps, thighs, you name it. Lifting heavy has broadened my back and rear, actually helping to create a more balanced appearance! I also started meeting with a personal trainer at a traditional gym once a week to focus on lighter weight more reps. Once or twice a month I make it to a Zumba class just to mix things up. You will hear instructor after instructor reassuring you that we won’t get bulky as a woman. Hey Meredith- I so feel you. Thanks for the information. Also I’m sure if u told the gym you had time constraints you could be there no more than an hour. Do try Yoga and Pilates I think CF can be great for lots of people, but it didn’t fit my specific chemical makeup. (All that fluid must have been making it high.) Also, be prepared that your body may be like mine – muscular – no matter what. 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? I have also had a lot of success with the Tracey Anderson method. I’ve always been in shape and in fact was a competitive gymnast for over 10 years. Real strength and muscle is build gradually over time in line with intelligent programming, but its always a good idea … 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). for the first time in my life (and i’ve tried different things) i have a nice proper female butt, you can see some nice definition in my legs and arms, my abs are starting to show a bit (i tend to carry weight around waist) and i still wear same clothes though i probably weight more (not checking it really, i’m relying more on what my mirror and clothes say). Nadah. But every time in the Box, we go 100% with heavy weight as fast as we can go. And if you’re so sore you can’t move for days on end AFTER being experienced with CF…. I am all for embracing the kind of body you want. And if it really starts to get to you, remind your coach that you pay them…not the other way around!!!! Etc. It just seemed like an awful lot of standing around. Not everyone recovers quickly (I’m a good example) but that doesn’t mean you’re not getting stronger. vegetarian paleo experiment on No Meat Athlete, Think You Can't Get in Shape? Does anyone have any recommendations or suggestions? It’s not a feminine physique in my opinion. Running / rowing everyday. Maybe it’s the coaches, maybe you were pushed to hard. I’m the biggest I’ve ever been in my life — almost 140#, which does not look great on such a short frame like mine. I gotta tell you this post has fallen from the sky in a very appropriate moment in my life. Finally. I am losing hope that is even possible to return to my previous shape. I’ve always wondered about this myself regarding CF. My knees still looked swollen, though, and my body still looked flabbier than when I started CF. Thighs rubbing. And for weights, only use 3-5 lbs free weights for their arms. Good luck! Someone is always complaining about how their shoulder hurts or their knee or elbow hurts.. I only did light recovery-style exercises for the first week after CF. First, most of the women were bulky and did not have feminine, enviable physiques. You can train on and enjoy your days when they are all injured and busted up! . p.s. I don’t do handstand pushups, to avoid falling and injuring my neck. There were a few things I noticed. I told the coaches I want to lean out not bulk up – like all of you guys I got the same thing – you won’t bulk. I’m just torn , while I like cf , the classes are just not long enough and I’m not paying attention to other muscles like biceps , triceps but my shoulders are broader and I’m at 165 pounds where when I started cf I was 150. There’s not a whole lot of posts like this out there for women — it’s all Crossfit dudes saying the same thing, that Crossfit doesn’t make you bulky, that it’s a myth, and that even if it does, why should you care because strong is beautiful, etc. So I’m on month three (or so?) As a former track athlete I what it means to train hard but these Crossfit women take training to a whole new level. Thank you for sharing this. and… ugh… I’m tired. However, the soreness is starting to get to me, we have worked our shoulders every day for 5 days and am starting to move like an old woman. It sounds like other people have the same experience. When you get fitter, losing weight is usually a by-product. !” I suffer from sciatica and radiculopathy, so my lower back is tender ALL THE TIME. I’m now much leaner (13% BF last time I was measured) with significantly more muscle mass and ability to move heavy objects. I just don’t understand how girls like Christmas Abbot are compete in Olympic lifting and are so small! Every time I see a competition on tv and the strength that these women have, I’m just blown away. They can as we all know that’s true. What I am about to say may be a little unpopular in the CrossFit community, but that's okay. I just focused on drinking a LOT of water, eating fresh foods, stretching, and walking. DNA girlfriend. Despite all this, it IS hard. I eat a very clean diet and carry more muscle than fat but my composition is hardly favorable to me right now. It seems like everyone has drank the koolaid and put aware the scales and mirrors. This one is a little complicated as CrossFit does focus on technique in general as a lot of their moves and exercises are very advanced and can be dangerous without proper technique. FAILURE. Learning expensive lesson from my own experience. Many boxes in my country just focus on basics and don’t pay attention to clients like me who are new to this and need more supervision in the first months. The BIGGEST problem with Crossfit that I never hear anybody really talk about is that the paradigm ITSELF does not distinguish between “Exercise” and “Training”. 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! But I also eat well. 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. As soon as one gets tired, the weaker muscles give up and the stronger ones take over. Women need to preform some form of weighted exercises to help prevent osteoporosis. Have just found your blog and i like it very much. I am trying to lean up as well by lighting my weight load. I just completely quit all explosive movements, weights, sprinting and anything with resistance which was most of the workouts. 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. 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. So my point is I understand you like to spend more time on other things but i don’t believe your reasons, but I respect them, I just wanted to write my opinion. This is why it is advised for most people, especially ectomorph body types (skinny), to not do any cardio work whilst trying to gain muscle size. I also think I’ve been inducing pretty regular inflammation in my body, because I feel bloated and puffy for a day or two after attending a class. You may be better off with MORE cardio …. I really either want to quit or just do body weight for the wods even though I love the challenge of Olympic lifting! … The amount of weight I lift in any given WOD, the modifications I make, and even whether I finish a WOD are MY choice. My cf friends barely talk to me and don’t agree with this at all. One thing you’ll notice about CrossFit classes is that you don’t hang around once you get … I went to the doctor for bloodwork, and everything seemed normal except my blood pressure, which was high. Not only do weights prevent osteoporosis but muscle mass also increases your metabolism and helps balance hormones. My husband does crossfit and he looks amazing now. And a dunk contest… I will do that! This hiit souns very interesting. Any sports can give you a nice toned muscular body (depends on your goals). That peeved me so I chatted with the head coach. Hmm 12 minute sister. We use Kettle bells, Barbells when it comes to lifting. I love the community aspect of it. Still do the olympic lifting classes, but its more because I love learning the proper technique and form and hanging out with my friends, not to nail a huge PR. Running doesn’t get me big but too make makes my arse huge! I stopped crossfit due to same situation, as i grow stronger so does the number of my plates. I’m 34. CrossFit injuries are very common and can impede your future workouts and muscle gains for a very long time. I stay at about 14 percent body fat and wear 2 sizes smaller in all my clothes now. I was trying to keep up with men who knocked out 20 pull-ups in one set while I was kipping 1/2 the time and using the band 1/2 the time. I, too, want to continue to look and feel feminine in my clothes. 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. I also do crossfit, 1 1/2 years now, but only twice a week. Great that you found what you like! – cutting back on calories obviously will help yo lean out faster I kept searching and searching for information on-line and thinking maybe I’m crazy and just doing something wrong, because everyone and everything I found said you will not gain weight or bulk up, just tone up. nobody puts pressure on me to lift more or be quicker with repetitions, what’s more, my coaches pay attention to me and my performance and try to help me improve the technique and avoid getting hurt. I did not knowingly change my diet, but gained both muscle and fat, and could no longer fit into most of clothes, particularly my jackets and blazers I need to wear to work. you. Some CrossFit gyms are more lax about diet than others, but the ones I’ve been to have all been pretty extreme Paleo. Oh my goodness, thank you for this post and all the replies. I just don’t get the same “high” from it that I once felt. Hey Jessica – the box I go to has a specific class on the schedule three days a week that includes everything except the lifting. HOLD UP... Before I get chased down by a mob of pumped up Crossfitters waving Olympic bars and battle ropes, allow this humble peasant one last breathe in which to explain himself - When you work out, you must decide what your personal fitness goal is. So sore that sometimes I could barely move for days afterwards. Hi. But modern beauty standards still don’t celebrate bulky-strong women… just skinny-strong women, and Crossfit just doesn’t give the majority of women that kind of body. Great post! Any insight or successes in this manner would be so helpful! As a weight lifter who is NOT a body builder but someone who DESIRES and strives to build Muscle Mass (so to get bigger / look fuller … NOT be long and lean…) (I’m also female – mid to late 40s…) I do lots of reps / sets … in other words I go for VOLUME. Just because you feel exhausted or your muscles are burning doesn’t mean it was a great workout. The main difference between my workouts and the Crossfit workouts is the Olympic style weightlifting they do in their workouts—including lots of heavy squats, shoulder presses, jerks, snatches, deadlifts and cleans. That’s great Jess! Ugh. She says that the WODs are so intense that she sees stars. Everything you speak of is what I’ve known would come from over training. I got fairly good at snatching and cleaning the bar, but noticed how my body started changing: my quads and my glutes got bigger. I’ve been doing it for close to two years. “Just scale”, “Take more Fish Oil”… yeah right.. that is not the Crossfit culture everyone tries to lie to themselves about. From my knowledge if you’re at a caloric deficit it’s next to impossible to build muscle especially if you’re on a diet with high protein and low carbs. Stretch and warm up at least 5 min. There are no exercises that will make your muscles smaller, because every form of exercise bar yin yoga or stretching will build some muscle and all the places you have too much muscle in now will be the first to gain, because of muscle memory. 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. Since I’m already bottom heavy (40 inch hips, 36 chest), this is not a flattering look on me. There were both men and women, and no one expected me to work less hard because I was a chick. I’m so glad I found this article! i definitely have hard time performing some movements: because of my body proportions proper squat is a challenge, i ‘m getting better but still it’s a struggle, lifting heavy weights with my long thing arms is very difficult, so i’m taking it easy and increasing weight slowly and when i feel comfortable doing it. The cellulite on the fronts of my legs was OUT OF CONTROL, far worse than it ever was when I worked out at the globo gym. CF IMHO is not worth it for $200 a month when the same WODs are given to 170 lbs men and 110 lbs women. The body does crazy things when it is stressed out and inflamed. 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. Crazy weights. I loved crossfit and I have always been in athletics and have an athletic build ( which is fine) but I could not stand being that big anymore. Thanks again for the blog. I have realized that I also began to have a lot more broader shoulder and thighs.Three years ago, I had very feminine looking body only to gain some muscle to have a tone looking fit body. I simply don’t want to carry another 5-10 kg of muscle around a marathon or long distance trail run. So doing crossfit 6 days a week with extra lifting and huge amount of protein I was huge! 80% comes from your diet and the number of calories your taking in. 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?????? I was following Mark Lauren’s book & app but just like CF, it caused me to start bulking up (and I never got past the novice/beginner level). Most people tend to have a combination of goals; When it comes to a combination of goals, CrossFit workouts are a great choice. The exercises and routine are also not specific to you and your body at all. In CrossFit's 'Workout of the Days' (WODS), your muscles get fatigued to the point where technique suffers and you utilize other body parts to make up for the muscles that is now exhausted. Good luck! If I’m going to work out, I want to work out. Lots of great stuff to be gained from the Crossfit philosophy and principles. Then I REALLY stretch. It turns out that I really was just swollen and bloated from Crossfit! Other wise its a good article and good insight. This is a great discussion and such a relief to hear from other women. I know that some women have had great success with heavy lifting, but I believe that inherent hormone levels play a huge role upon whether or not you will bulk up. After just under a year of doing Crossfit, and 2 local competitions under my belt, I’ve gained 10 lbs… and no, it’s not just muscle. If there were alternate wods that were only running/rowing/jumping/pushing/burpees/pullups/situps/toes2bar/light kb, I’d probably do Crossfit for the rest of my life. 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. 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! I’ve been doing crossfit for about 3 years and the soreness faded eventually as I became more consistent with my workouts. I’ve always been a long distance runner. Come on, be honest now. Healthily, of course. "Today, if you do not want to disappoint, Check price before the Price Up. I am struggling SO hard to undo the results of two years of crossfit. And if it had not been said from my mother, I would not have realized that my body composition has changed drastically. Try Dumbbell Circuits. If your workouts have you feeling constantly sore or too tired to do anything else with your day then it’s time to try another workout regimen because the whole point of working out is to improve your lifestyle & feeling constantly sore or too tired to do anything else is the opposite of that. 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. It all comes down to form and technique. I replied below about stopping because of bulkiness, but I want to say that I LOVED crossfit. Thanks Corrie, I’m so glad you enjoyed it and could relate . Easy, stop doing exercises for your upper back/traps and lats and the muscle will atrophy. I don’t know, but I quit and I feel like a quitter, but I just couldn’t handle hating my body. My legs are big – yup. In the 2ish months I’ve stopped, I immediately dropped around 7lbs and dropped a pants size without changing my diet. I want to stop going and try to get back to my old size 4’s – anyone have an opinion on maybe CF 2xs a week and doing running or longer bouts of cardio exercise the other days ? 2 years and started crossfit bootcamp last February much better after finding these posts, I! Crossfit affiliates are different – some do this better than the bootcamp version as... And still nothing fixes the degenerative mess I was huge sure running do... 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