Since September, I’ve been on a mission to gain ten pounds. As you can see from the picture progressions, I started out with CrossFit pretty underweight – and with some seriously sissy squat, press and DL numbers. I had a rockin’ six pack, but that was mostly because I was 5’ 10” and 123# - not because my core was truly strong. You can go ahead and say it – in that ring picture (from May 2008), I was SKINNY.
Not to mention, my DL was stuck at 165#, and my squat was non-existent, and I could do one pull-up, maybe two. So I started eating more, but not enough more, because in my old profile pic (taken in August) I was still hovering around 125#. I might have appeared more muscular, but my strength hadn’t increased much… and what good is that?
The next pic was taken just a month later (during our Fight Gone Bad park workout). Still sporting the six pack, but I was sucking wind on the thrusters, and couldn’t push-press the 55# bar more than five times in a row. I barely broke 200 on that workout, which I decided then and there was completely Not Cool.
So I started eating. More. Lots more. More protein, but mostly more fat, because that had the most caloric bang for the buck. My Trainer told me to just keep eating until I started getting soft. So I covered my Lara bars in coconut oil, started cooking in butter AND olive oil and stopped weighing, measuring or counting. I just ATE. At the same time, I cut back on the chippers and long met-cons, and focused more on lifting heavy. Slowly, I started putting on weight. And despite my more than occasional deviation from a strength-focused program, damn if my numbers didn’t start climbing too.
In late October, I pulled a 205# DL. In November, I back squatted my body weight for the first time. In December, I hit 13 consecutive pull-ups. By New Year's, I had put 10# on my shoulder press. Of course, I had a few months of sub-par workouts due to the mono, but I can’t even imagine how my former scrawny self would have handled that episode. Thank god I had some extra weight on me, and had some significant strength gains already under my belt. Those extra pounds (on me AND the bar) have made my return to the gym so much easier.
But my abs are gone. Not GONE gone, because my core is stronger than it’s ever been, but I’m definitely nowhere near as six-packy. I’ve put on those 10# (I’m up to 134#), and it shows. My pull-ups ALL feel “weighted” now, some of my suit jackets are in danger of being Incredible Hulked and my six pack is down to maybe a two pack, in the right light on a good day . And that is more than okay with me. Sure, sometimes I miss them – it’s nice to be able to whip off your shirt and flaunt a washboard. But I don’t miss them anywhere near enough to trade all the strength gains I’ve made - or how fantastic I feel in the gym these days. Because while the abs are pretty, I’d much rather have a set of gorgeous 3x5 deadlifts at my previous 1RM under this CrossFit t-shirt.
- 3 x 12 KB swings, 20K
- Squat warm-up with 45#, 75#, 95#
- 3x5 HBBS @ 115#
- +/- 0# from last week
On another note, today was Day Four "on" - yesterday I missed my rest day to do two hours of KB demonstration at the Lakes Region Fitness open house. Showing off (one leg RRs, double KB windmills, heavy TGUs) for two hours straight apparently DOES count as a workout, because today I was feeling it. Tomorrow I rest.
- 3x12 KB swings, 20K (video'd to help out a long-distance trainee who asked for a critique on his KB swing form)