Is Crossfit/P90X/Insanity worth it?

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    Oct 29, 2012 9:24 PM GMT
    I am almost underweight and when I take my shirt off I feel like I look like a giant 12 year old and that needs to change. I'd like to get back to being 175-or so-lbs of muscle again. But that came from basic training.

    After I snapped both ankles, which led to permanent damage, I have been taking it easy. (Any length of time on my feet over 30 minutes and my ankles begin to swell) But I'm at the point where I'm disgusted with how thin I am and I have been looking at various options.

    These options can be quite expensive and I'm only 23. I only have two kidneys and I can't really afford to sell one for a personal trainer. But I'm willing to save up the 1000 or whatever to get a membership at Crossfit.

    Do you think it is worth it? Or are there any other options? Also, will they work with me and my ankles? Plus, I don't want to go somewhere and get made fun of when I'm struggling to lift a tire or something creative like that.

    Suggestions? Advice?
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    Oct 30, 2012 1:46 AM GMT
    You should probably ask your doctor. Crossfit, P90X, and the others are very high intensity and high impact. You can easily aggravate your ankle injuries, or injure something else. If your main goal is to gain muscle mass, then maybe focus on weightlifting and muscle hypertrophy workouts.
  • squally

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    Oct 30, 2012 4:51 AM GMT
    I agree with Xrichx. With your injury it's best to start out light. Getting your body back to "your" ideal fitness level could take sometime.

    Perhaps start pushing yourself on upper body strength first by doing push ups or chin ups.

    I tried Insanity before, it's a lot of cardio to be honest with you. It will make you LOSE weight if you are not carefully actually.
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    Oct 30, 2012 7:11 PM GMT
    Yeah I definitely don't need to lose weight lol I'll talk to my doctor about it. Thanks y'all.
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    Oct 30, 2012 7:14 PM GMT
    Crossfit is scaled to you. There are all kinds of people doing it. It is the best way to get in shape quickly, and teamed with the Paleo diet, which they reccommend, you will drop weight quickly. If it is good Crossfit gym, the coaches will be sure that your form is correct so you do not injure yourself. Go for it, I am 53 and am doing it. If I can, you ure can.
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    Dec 27, 2012 3:05 PM GMT
    p90x is good if you are motivated and are alright working out by yourself in the room. It can be good for putting on a little mass. I got bored and only made it through 45 days and went back to the gym)

    insanity is good much like p90x, but it is more to tone. (I got bored with it after about 50 days and went back to the gym)

    crossfit is good because of the group settings, the equipment is all there and you can do it in almost any city. (I have been doing it for 8 month and love it). The downside is that it is expensive and you have to find a box that fits you, in that the people should be friendly and the workouts should vary from gassers, to strength, to flexibility.
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    Dec 27, 2012 11:34 PM GMT
    Crossfit is AMAZING
    But I agree with everyone else on here
    you should consult with your doctor before trying anything drastic
    every workout that you mentioned is high in intensity, so if you want to keep walking, then I suggest you either talk to your doctor or weight lift on your own
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    Dec 28, 2012 4:52 AM GMT
    FatFranklin saidAfter I snapped both ankles, which led to permanent damage, I have been taking it easy. (Any length of time on my feet over 30 minutes and my ankles begin to swell)

    How on earth did you snap your ankles? Do you have low bone density? Did you snap your ankles at 175 lbs or when you were much lighter? This is a red flag to me that veritably screams "stay away from Crossfit, P90X and Insanity!"

    I completely avoid Crossfit, P90X, stability/bosu balls & cardio bootcamp style workouts. For stability I do yoga; for cardio I swim or do LOW impact HIIT or steady state on the least invasive ellipticals I can find. For muscle mass I lift weights, and never heavy ones; I use light weights employing proper form which isolates the muscle I'm targeting, providing maximum results with the least effort.

    Look at my pictures; I think I'm doing pretty well for a 50 year old newbie with a host of physical issues who doesn't do fad workouts. The pictures taken in 2010 were after I'd lost 80lbs and put on a ton of muscle training only 18 months (actually just 12 if you subtract the six collective months I had to take off given injuries suffered trying to do just the type of activities you're asking about).

    When I join a new gym and get the free training session (designed to sell you workouts) I tell the trainers that I know my body and while I appreciate diversifying one's training there are certain things I could not and should not do like stability balls and lunges - yet they'll ignore me and make me do things like jumping lunges and stability ball exercises just as they do every new prospective client! At one gym I was laid out with a bad back for a week afterwards; another time I lucked out and didn't take out my knees, back or tear a muscle or ligament. Would I listen to those trainers again? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Any reward is far outweighed by the risk of injury and commensurate setbacks.

    If I were you I'd lift sensibly, focus on diet, do low impact cardio (swimming & elliptical), and work on your flexibility and balance to avoid injury (yoga and pilates). I don't believe in "Biggest Loser" style training (having the morbidly obese take their backs and knees out with running and those types of non-sustainable programs where they wind up regaining their weight within a year) and similarly I don't believe in Crossfit, P90X and Insanity except for those who are of normal weight (or less) with no pre-existing physical conditions that would preclude high impact, herky jerky moves.

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    Dec 28, 2012 4:53 AM GMT
    I am a personal trainer on the side and I don't recommend Xfit to anyone....
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    Dec 28, 2012 5:09 AM GMT
    FatFranklin saidYeah I definitely don't need to lose weight lol I'll talk to my doctor about it. Thanks y'all.


    After you talk to the doc, I would highly recommend Crossfit. You technically don't have to join a crossfit box. You can just do the workouts off their website - www.crossfit.com - and all the exercises and videos are there (and pretty good if you turn off the volume unless you are a huge heavy metal fan).

    They post the workouts of the day - and my gym also does different ones as do many... most of them post the workouts on their websites. You can also watch workouts of the day off youtube (links and workouts are posted to facebook as well if you "like" crossfit). And some vids are practically softcore porn since it's almost as if they encourage you to work out shirtless...

    I don't have the willpower to really push through the workout on my own but I know some who do. I was doing a crossfit bootcamp for a while and it's kind of inspiring to watch middle aged overweight women make it through the workouts and improve dramatically - though perhaps a bit alarming when some of your times get close to theirs. But like others have said, you can scale the workout of the day to your ability (less or more weight, less or more support, etc). Crossfit was designed with the intent that you should be able to do the workouts anywhere...

    I find Crossfit is far more affordable than personal training - but way more expensive than just a gym membership - but when it comes to results compared to personal training they have got to be at least similar and it can be a lot more fun with the people you meet.
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    Dec 28, 2012 5:43 AM GMT
    Oh and definitely part of the advantage of crossfit is that the guys who stick with it tend to look like this over time (h/t pgroove):



    And an example of one of the WODs:

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    Dec 28, 2012 6:15 AM GMT
    riddler78 saidOh and definitely part of the advantage of crossfit is that the guys who stick with it tend to look like this over time (h/t pgroove):




    Are those guys in the vid you provided, conditioned ex-military-turned-fitness models, truly representative of all men who do only Crossfit over time? I think that's about as likely as most people using only a Bowflex looking like the models for Bowflex ads.

    A lot of guys who don't do Crossfit, P90X and Insanity tend but lift weights, do cardio, follow similar diets and take similar supplementation probably tend to look like that over time too. I find it hard to believe that any of those four guys started Crossfit with brittle bones and permanent injuries.
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    Dec 28, 2012 6:33 AM GMT
    eagermuscle said
    riddler78 saidOh and definitely part of the advantage of crossfit is that the guys who stick with it tend to look like this over time (h/t pgroove):




    Some of the guys yes, but all of them? Every Crossfit gym has a decent percentage of members who look like that? Aren't those guys ex-military/fitness model/athletes?

    Guys who tend to stick with other exercise regimes who follow similar diets and take similar supplementation tend to look like that over time too. Even with just a Bowflex if those ads are to be believed. I find it hard to believe that any of those four guys started Crossfit with brittle bones and permanent injuries.


    You're right that not everyone does - but a lot do remarkably... if they stick with it. And many do tend to stick with it. And yes - that is a really selective sampling of guys who do crossfit. There are quite a few guys at my gym who look similar though - highly disproportionate to say the % of guys I see at the regular gym that I was going to.

    And I agree - you can get the same with other routines - but doing it in a group makes it a bit more palatable as it's that shared experience of suffering... I also find it's also interesting networking as everyone tends to be professional or does interesting things (I go to the 530am-630am class usually and you have to be somewhat dedicated even to wake up that early I figure).