I don’t like to say I was formally a bodybuilder because I was never on a pro or amateur stage, but that is how I trained. Constantly worried about symmetry and size…ugh. Just thinking about it makes me cringe. I am glad that was my background because it made any weight in CrossFit easy to workout with, but that style of working out had my mind warped.
It’s not like ripping off a band-aid, you can’t just pull it right off. You have to teeter and totter then finally make the plunge, or decide not to. Especially if you are suffering from body dysmorphia then this is a really difficult process. I would like to share how I made the transition.
How I Made the Transition
These were the steps I took (keep in mind this took about a year)
- Normal Bodybuilding Routine + CrossFit intermittently thrown in the mix
- CrossFit Strength Bias + Some Isolation Work
- My Modified CrossFit Strength Bias Program
- CrossFit Football
What I Learned. Pros and Cons
PRO: I fixed my brain. I was no longer obssessed with my body image and constantly wanting to gain weight. You really can’t understand how important this is unless you have been there.
CON: CrossFit is not a strength program. I knew this, but I didn’t realize how much I loved being “strong” (relative to CrossFit) until I wasn’t that strong anymore. Sad part is I didn’t realize it until I went through some old training journals. A combination of getting surgery and not being able to lift for a long time and solely doing CrossFit before took a 445lb squat to a 365lb squat. I hate a 3 at the front of a squat.
PRO: I didn’t lose near as much as I thought I would. For those of you wondering if you will just shrivel up if you start CrossFit, you won’t. I have maintained a lot of my mass and have actually leaned out quite a bit. So the weight loss is seen as a pro.
CON: Wasted time transitioning when I could have just been focusing on quality training.
Some Notes for You Bodybuilders
- Olympic movements are not necessarily muscle specific. They train specific muscles but do not break an Olympic lift down to muscle engagement. Meaning do not try to do them slow and controlled to provide the maximum amount of muscle hypertrophy. They are explosive power building movements, treat them as such.
- Once you quit having a bicep day you will realize how unnecessary it was.
- Strength is cooler than size
What Do I Do Now?
If you read my about page you will see that my current fitness goal is to complete Paul Smith’s Kong. I like this goal because it keeps me seriously strength focused and I have to focus on CrossFit general conditioning.
I am strictly adhering to Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 Strength Program and using CrossFit as my conditioning 3-4 time per week. So far I love the results.
Making the transition? Thinking about it? Let me know if you have any questions or comments.