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  1. #1
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    Crossfit Training.

    INTRO:
    In December of 2009, one of my co-workers (Lou) began doing a workout called Crossfit. He tried to get me and a couple of other co-workers to do it, but we were skeptical. I was running 12 miles a week in the morning (approximately 3 miles, 4 times a week) and muscle training in the afternoon for about 20-30 minutes. So initially, I didn't want to switch, but I was getting bored with my workouts and they were becoming time consuming. After watching my co-worker do a couple of routines, I decided to give it a try. This was in January and I've been doing Crossfit ever since.

    Lou started out at 230 LB's and he is now 190 LB's and in great shape. My other co-worker, Ray, who started doing crossfit at about the same time that I did, started out at 225 LB's and is now 195 LB's. I started out at 170 LB's and I have maintained that weight, but I lost inches off my waist, which is what I wanted to do, and I feel much stronger, faster, and have much more endurance.

    Why am I talking about Crossfit in a Weapon Forum? Very simple. A lot of the people that visit/post on this site are LE folks like myself or in the Military. One of the most overlooked aspects of our job is being in great shape. It is nice to be a great shooter and have great tactics, but the majority of times in my line of work, we aren't shooting at people. Most of the time we are talking with people and if things go bad, we generally move from verbal force to physical or mechanical force. Deadly force is last on the force scale. If you look in shape, a lot of times the bad guys will think twice about getting physical with you.

    WHAT IS CROSSFIT:
    Crossfit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide.

    Crossfit delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Crossfit's specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist.

    Check out http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/what-crossfit.html for more details.

    CROSSFIT WOD's:
    Crossfit WOD's (WORKOUT OF THE DAY), or routines, vary from day to day. Since January, I only remember doing the same routine 1 or 2 times. You never get bored. The great part about Crossfit is the time that I am saving compared to what I was doing before. Most WOD's take anywhere from 5-30 minutes. Most of them being in the 10-20 minute range. The longest WOD that I have done to date is the 4x800 meter run.

    Check Section 4 of the Crossfit FAQ Page for a list of all of the routines.

    CROSSFIT EXERCISES:
    Crossfit exercises include some of the following:
    Running, rowing, push ups, pull ups, sit ups, air squats, deadlifts, front, rear, and overhead squats, power clean, clean and jerks, sumo deadlift high pull, kettle bell swings, thrusters, and many more.

    Check Crossfit Exercise Page for details of exercises and videos on how to perform them.

    Some of the exercises look complicated and difficult to do, but they aren't. I recommend that you initially start out using low weight until you get the form down right. You will see on some of the WOD's where it will say 65/95 LB for the weight. That is the recommended max for females and males. I'm not a power guy, so I still use lower weight for my workouts. Scale as necessary. You have to start somewhere.

    What did in the beginning is I would go on You Tube and search for the exercise that I had to do, such as "crossfit thrusters", "crossfit pull ups", etc.

    GETTING STARTED:
    The easiest way to get started is to find a Crossfit Affiliate in your area. Check Crossfit Affiliate Page on the left side and click on the link on the left side with the state you are from. Lou knows Todd Katz from HammerdownCrossfit from high school so we get our WOD's from his site. All of the Crossfit sites are set up in the same general format. The trainers post the routines and you can comment on them like a blog. After finishing up the routine, I post my times and or comments on the page. Posting the times is just a way to track your progress. It isn't a competition, it is so you can compare your score to your previous one of the same routine that you did.

    I am fortunate to have a nice workout gym at work, so on my days that I work, I do the WOD's at work after my shift. On my days off, I have enough equipment at home that I can workout at home. I thought about joining a Gym, but I don't have a need for it. Some guys go all out and build their own Crossfit Gym in their garage.

    WILL I/CAN I GET BIG DOING CROSSFIT:
    If you train the WOD's hard, and eat right and get lots of sleep, you will definitely gain lean mass, lose fat, and yes, you can build muscle mass with the crossfit protocol. More specifically, according to Coach, here is a hierarchy of training for mass from greater to lesser efficacy:
    1. Bodybuilding on steroids
    2. CrossFitting on steroids
    3. CrossFitting without steroids
    4. Bodybuilding without steroids
    The bodybuilding model is designed around, requires, steroids for significant hypertrophy. The neuroendocrine response of bodybuilding protocols is so blunted that without "exogenous hormonal therapy" little happens. The CrossFit protocol is designed to elicit a substantial neuroendocrine whollop and hence packs an anabolic punch that puts on impressive amounts of muscle though that is not our concern. Strength is. Natural bodybuilders (the natural ones that are not on steroids) never approach the mass that our athletes do. They don't come close. Those athletes who train for function end up with better form than those who value form over function. This is one of the beautiful ironies of training.

    CONCLUSION:
    Crossfit is fun and addicting. Just like any other form of exercise, you get out what you put in. If your goal is just to get in great shape and not trying to get those six pack abs, doing crossfit and eating the average food will get you there. If your goal is to get in great shape and look it, then crossfit along with a good diet will get the results you want.

  2. #2
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    Very nice Paulo. Its good to see this becoming a part of our discussions. The importance of fitness is sometimes undervalued.

    My dept. has adopted CF as our PT program. Most of us went through an on ramp class put on by our local Level 3 instructor (we're fortunate to have them 10 miles away) and 5 of us received Level 1 certs shortly after. We earned our non-profit affiliate status in December and haven't looked back since. The program has really taken off and guys that weren't interested before, are now. Everyone is showing improvement and reaping the benefits. Prior to CF I had a similar PT regimen as yourself and couldn't stick to anything for longer than 6 months, I simply got bored and lost interest. As you stated, this isn't the case with CF.

    If I may add a couple of things I would recommend to anyone that is interested in trying CF that they attend a "free" day at an affiliate. Many "boxes", as they're often called, have a free day to give potential clients a taste of CF. The WOD's are usually simple exercises that most everyone is familiar with (so you won't be doing the power snatch during your first WOD) . This is a great way to introduce yourself to CF in a safe and supervised manor.

    I also highly recommend to anyone that wants to take their skills beyond the home gym to attend an on ramp class. These classes cover the 9 foundational movements as well as the basic theories behind CF and proper scaling. As is often the case with new comers, they're reluctant to try CF because of the technical movements involved in olympic lifting. An on ramp class will teach you how to perform these lifts safely and within your range of skill and ability. On ramp classes are generally offered separate from a gym membership so there may not be any commitment to apply once the class is complete.

    Another great resource is the Journal. It is packed with personal stories, videos, tips, and articles pertaining to CF. Its an invaluable resource with an impressive archives.

    Here's a link to our Affiliate Blog Highlands Fire Crossfit and another for our sister box, CrossFit Flagstaff, run by Headquarters instructors Lisa and Mike Ray.
    -Mitch-

  3. #3
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    Awesome info. I wish we had a program like you guys do..

  4. #4
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    It took a lot of work to get it started but its been worth it. The culture previously didn't push us to be better (just maintain) and many of us expected more out of each other. It took us making a conscious decision to do something about it to get the ball rolling. My brother introduced me to CF from his days at 1st Grp back when it was just Glassmans website and Pukey was the headlining mascot, so I knew a little about it from years past. Boy has it changed! I had no idea how much I really didn't know about it and hearing about it in passing discussion just doesn't do it justice, the best explanation is the experience itself. Once our Health and Fitness coordinator and the Chief himself got involved it took off and we had the support needed to get started.

    The hardest part of starting a dept. affiliate is the training for both the instructors and the students. Level 1 certs cost money and without dept. financial support (and who has that these days?) the instructors are left to shell out the cash themselves. Once someone has their cert. they can go through the affiliate process, which is fairly simple. After that its a matter of getting your "coaching" feet wet by instructing the other dept. members. As far as the students are concerned, once that Level 1 is up to speed he/she can put on an on ramp class for everyone and then start running WOD's.

    Equipment is the next challenging part, but most depts. have Globo Gym equipment which is a good starting point. All the equipment needed can be cobbled together, adapted, or done on the cheap. Hell, if Marines can do it in BFE of Iraqistan we can do it.

    Paulo - We're all about helping others get started so if you or anyone else needs help setting up a program feel free to contact us. I guarantee it will change your department in a positive way. It may start with just a few folks but its contagious, and not because its a fad but because it works and people enjoy it. Our local PD is getting started now, for example, as many of them experienced it when we lost a local officer serving overseas and did his "Hero" WOD to raise money for his family.

    My wheels are turning now with ideas of how to apply it to a PD schedule with several squads and shift changes...
    Last edited by Uglyduck; 22 July 2010 at 11:30.
    -Mitch-

  5. #5
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    We are lucky in that we have the 4 on, 4 off schedule with steady shifts. We have several starting shifts so at the most we only have 2 officers starting and finishing at the same time. If yu have any info on getting something started, I'd appreciate it. If you have something that you can E-Mail me, it would be great.

  6. #6
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    Thats a good consistent schedule. Even if your members only worked out before or after a shift and took 4 days off they would still benefit. The recommended work to rest cycle is 3 on 1 off. I do 4 on 2 off but try to go in for a WOD or do something active when my body is feeling up to it on off days. I've found that listening to what my body is telling me rather than sticking to a rigid schedule works best for enhancing performance. Group WOD's are another great CF experience. I always push harder when my brethren are watching and supporting. You guys could probably manage to arrange WOD's at a time when several members are coming on and off duty. If not, they can torture themselves in solitude which improves mental toughness.

    I just found a very pertinent article from the journal written by a Capt. with the 101st that discusses how he set up his program for small units within the challenges posed by Big Army. Very good information and references to other good articles. Its a good starting point. I'd post it here but you need a subscription to view it so I'll just email you the PDF and put together some more info.

    In the mean time, here are some links to a couple of articles available for free download for anyone interested.

    What is Fitness?
    "Our pioneering article on fitness..."

    Foundations
    The 9 foundational movements

    CrossFit PT
    "Evidence suggests CrossFit is more effective than traditional military and law enforcement physical training (PT)..."

    A couple of videos for mid-day entertainment...
    Firefighter Fran
    SWAT vs. Fran
    Last edited by Uglyduck; 22 July 2010 at 12:54.
    -Mitch-

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    No problem, I sent the articles to your WEVO email
    -Mitch-

  9. #9
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    I have been eager to go check out the Crossfit gym in my town and this provided a pretty awesome explanation of what it is..Thanks for the post!

  10. #10
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    Just an update:

    July 31, I changed my eating habits to the "caveman" diet (Paleo Diet). It isn't a diet, but more of a way of eating the right/natural things. I purchased the Primal Cookbook and began tracking my food intake on www.fitday.com. Since July 31, I went from 167lb to 163lb. I'm not necessarily trying to loose weight, I'm more looking to tone up. I'm happy to say that I'm starting to show more definition, which is what I wanted. And since I'm 5'7" tall on a good day, I know that I'll probably settle in right around 155lb, and as long as it is a lean 155, I don't care. In comparison, my co-worker is settling in at 185, but he is much taller than me.

    I just want go touch up on the "caveman" diet a little bit. The one thing that I have always hated about diets is that I was always hungry. With this, I'm eating 5 times a day and I'm not hungry. Here's an example of my typical day:

    Breakfast (07:00-08:00 AM):
    1. Eggs with vegetables. My wife makes me the egg muffins from the primal cookbook. or
    2. Egg whites with meat and vegetables. or
    3. 1 scoop of protein with water, piece of fruit, and almonds. or
    4. 1 scoop of protein with almond milk and a piece of fruit.

    Morning Snack (09:00-10:00 AM):
    1. 1 scoop of protein with water, piece of fruit, and almonds. or
    2. 1 scoop of protein with almond milk and a piece of fruit.

    Lunch (12:00-1:00 PM):
    1. Salad. Chicken/steak/salmon/tuna with light virgin olive oil and vinegar and a piece. or
    2. Chicken/steak/salmon/tuna with vegetables.

    Afternoon Snack (02:00-03:00 PM):
    1. 1 scoop of protein with water, piece of fruit, and almonds. or
    2. 1 scoop of protein with almond milk and a piece of fruit.

    Diner (12:00-1:00 PM):
    1. Salad. Chicken/steak/salmon/tuna with light virgin olive oil and vinegar and a piece. or
    2. Chicken/steak/salmon/tuna with vegetables.

    I have 1 scoop of protein with water 30 minutes after my workout, whether it is in the morning or afternoon.

    If I get hungry at night, a banana or a tablespoon of Almond Butter will cure my hunger.

    The key is to try to have Protein, Carbs, and Fat at each meal. The ration for the day should be somewhere around 40% Protein, 30% Fat, and 30% Carbs. Some guys use a 40/40/20 ratio, which is what I'm closer to.

  11. #11
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    I forgot to mention. There is nothing wrong with having a cheat day. Matter of fact, one of my co-workers who was a bodybuilder and who is one of the main guys that I go to for nutrition help, highly recommends a cheat day to throw your body off. And I'm not going to question his results because he is absolutely jacked.

  12. #12
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    This sounds like the Paleo, which is my next step to better performance and more energy, it seems we share similar goals. I'm interested so keep us posted. Many guys here are doing the "Zone" which is too regimented for me, if it takes me half an hour to weigh and plan a meal its not worth it. I prefer to just eat well and as necessary.
    -Mitch-

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uglyduck View Post
    This sounds like the Paleo, which is my next step to better performance and more energy, it seems we share similar goals. I'm interested so keep us posted. Many guys here are doing the "Zone" which is too regimented for me, if it takes me half an hour to weigh and plan a meal its not worth it. I prefer to just eat well and as necessary.
    It is the Paleo Diet. You will like it. Very simple and easy to follow. Even my wife loves cooking this stuff as it is very simple. And like I said, I'm not hungry.

  14. #14
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    I ran into some PD friends at the CF Level 1 recert test last weekend. They got approval from the Chief to pursue CrossFit as a dept. PT program. We may be helping them train their squads since we have enough equipment and instructors. I'll post as this project progresses to keep everyone interested, informed as to CF's implementation for PD's.
    -Mitch-

  15. #15
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    That is sweet. Our Chief approached my co-worker Lou about putting something together to get more guys involved with the CrossFit since he is impressed with how Lou lost 40 lbs since December.

    And I'm down to 160 lb.

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