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CrossFit to Weightlifting: Kicking the (metCon) Habit
Jocelyn Forest  |  General Training  |  June 14 2011

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CrossFit to Weightlifting: Kicking the (metCon) Habit, Jocelyn Forest,
The first step is admitting you have a problem. This article is about how I kicked my habit; my metcon habit. When transitioning to the sport of weightlifting, particularly when coming from a GPP addiction, it can be tough to let go. First, let me tell you how it all began.

HOW I GOT HOOKED

“You should be a weightlifter. You would be so good!”

These were the words spoken to me by my then CrossFit coach Aimee Anaya Everett. It was 2010 and I was on a CrossFit high. As most stories go, I had found CrossFit one year earlier (before meeting Aimee and Greg at Catalyst Athletics). After just one workout I fell head over heels in love with it- after all, I was good at it, and it left me on the floor in a pile of my own sweat (must be a great way to get into shape right?) Not to mention in those first 6 months I became stronger, leaner, more confident, and found out that I could use it as a competitive outlet since there was something called the CrossFit Games.

As a previously competitive athlete (College and Professional Softball) with experience in Strength & Conditioning I had a knack for the movements and enjoyed the general competitiveness of it all. Although I entered this new world somewhat out of shape (I mean I had only been doing heavy squats followed by sprint interval workouts on the treadmill- you can’t get fit on a treadmill right?), I vowed to make it to the CrossFit Games that year.

And I did just that. After just 6 months of doing CrossFit, leaving behind my heavy lifting and cardio interval workouts, I won the 2009 Nor Cal Regional with flying colors. I was off to the 2009 CrossFit Games.

In preparation for the Games I continued to educate myself on the CrossFit way. I realized I needed to be better if I were to do well. I attended every CrossFit Cert I could. I watched videos of Greg Glassman giving lectures on nutrition and Dave Castro talking about how important it was to work in the longer, 25+ minute time domains more often if you wanted to be competitive; and I complied. I began a Zone Diet, just 12 blocks per day, weighing and measuring my food obsessively. I made sure to take long runs every week and practice longer, high rep workouts with wall balls and burpees and air squats. I took my fish oil and sported my flair: tall socks, bandana, and tattoo art T-shirts (skins and kinesio-tape weren’t yet in style) like every good CrossFitter should.

But then I started having some issues. I was working harder than ever, yet my gains began to dwindle. I started to get pudgy around my midsection so I thought maybe I should drop my blocks down from 12 to 10 while adding even more running to my workout regimen, yet I was tired and hungry all the time. I began having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep and soon I found it difficult to lift my feet to walk upstairs or simply stay standing during the day. The answer in my mind was to work through it and simply do more: more running, more volume, more long metcons.
In retrospect, I can’t be certain if I was overtrained or simply overreaching. Overtraining syndrome is clinically recognized by reduced performance despite the same or an increased level of training. It is the result of an accumulation of stressors that exceed an athlete’s finite resistance (1). However all of the classic symptoms were there: Sudden drop in performance, decrease in training capacity/intensity irritability, insomnia, lack of energy and enthusiasm for the sport, a compulsive need to exercise, just to name a few.

Even though I was doing everything I thought I should be, I was feeling and performing worse than ever. I began to get nervous as the Games approached but I figured that once I got there my competitive nature would take over and things would be fine.

I was wrong. That was the last year the CrossFit Games were held at “The Ranch” and it began with a 7.2k trail run. I barely made it through the run and although I made it through all five workouts on Saturday (athletes were eliminated throughout the day) including a Deadlift PR of 325lbs, I did not make it on to Sundays final 16 which was far worse than I and many others expected. I was utterly disappointed to say the least.

A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

After spending some time practicing my Olifting with Greg and Aimee at Catalyst Athletics, and being inspired by what previous Games winner Jolie Gentry had accomplished, I asked Aimee to put together my new CrossFit program. I was upset about my 2009 Games defeat, was not currently getting better, but desperately wanted to be. Luckily for me Aimee obliged.

The program was quite different than what I was accustomed to. It consisted of a strength training and Olympic weightlifting progression followed by short, intense metabolic conditioning consisting of mostly non-technical movements (ie: sandbag shouldering, box jumps, pull ups, short sprints, etc.). Strength and technical work like the Olympic lifts, hand stand pushups, and muscle ups, were for the most part performed and developed separately from metabolic conditioning. However, they would be put in to the conditioning workouts periodically for testing under metabolic stress. Besides the strength training progression, rather than randomized training, one of the biggest differences in my program was the lack of endurance type conditioning. Most of the time my workouts were very short (3-12 min) and often consisted of unusual movements (think barbell carries or sand bag half-moons) and 400m, 200m repeats or 100m row sprints. Though every once and a while we would test my 5k run.

Another major change was my diet. Long gone were the days of starving my body of nutrients with low quality food while following The Zone. Instead I cut out all sugar (even in the form of fruit), anything processed or that contained gluten, and most dairy. Instead, I fueled with meats, veggies, and fat… period; and man did I eat. I wouldn’t be surprised if I ate 120+ grams of protein per day, 70+ grams of fat, and exceeded 3000 calories fairly regularly. But I don’t really know because I didn’t count. I simply ate all of the quality food I could get my hands on.

I have to admit all of this eating combined with tons of heavy lifting and such short metcons all the time worried me. I was somewhat leery and wasn’t totally sure how this was going to prepare me to compete in CrossFit. I certainly didn’t want to get any pudgier (which is just my nice way of saying fat). But just as Aimee had urged me to do, I put my faith into the program and did the best I could in whatever I was asked to do.

Then there was change. I started to get stronger than ever. Within a couple of months my Snatch went from 123lb to 153lb, C&J from 165lbs to 195lbs, and Back squat from 245lbs to 275lbs just to name a few. Yet I became leaner than ever. Because I was lean, comparatively light, and had extensively practiced my skills separately from metabolic conditioning, I could string together multiple muscle ups for the first time and complete 20 hand stand pushups without batting an eye. And though I was rarely doing long metcons when I tested my 5k it went from 30 minutes, to 25, to 21. I looked better, I felt better, and I my performance was top notch. I was becoming the fittest I had ever been.
At open gym one day, as I PR’d on my Snatch Aimee turned to me and said, “You should be a weightlifter. You would be so good!”

Greg enthusiastically agreed.

“Can’t I do both?” I asked hopefully? I was sure I could.

“No you can’t.”

Aimee was blunt. She went on to explain what most of us already know but somehow don’t let penetrate our skulls and secretly hope to defy. Strength and cardio endurance are at opposite ends of the fitness spectrum. Though you can be relatively good at both, if you train for GPP you will always have to compromise the extreme ends. In other words, although you can become pretty strong while also spending time getting metabolically conditioned you will never reach your maximum strength potential.

See, high intensity (heavy) strength training results in an increase of protein synthesis and accretion of contractile proteins, both of which are potent stimuli for muscle cell hypertrophy (2). Conversely, an oxidative endurance training stress (ie: distance running) causes the opposite response, breaking down and sloughing myofibrillar protein in order to maximize oxygen uptake kinetics (3). Yet even knowing this I was still somewhat skeptical that quitting GPP training all together to focus solely on Olifting could possibly vault me to the next level as a weightlifter as quickly as Greg and Aimee seemed to think. They made a good pitch however, because the conversation ended with my agreeing happily that I would give weightlifting a real shot as soon as my current CrossFit season came to an end.

The 2010 CrossFit Southwest Regionals came and went. I competed in the best shape of my life having balanced my abilities across a broad fitness spectrum: I could lift heavy, run, execute gymnastics and feared nothing. I truly felt that I was physically prepared more than I ever had been in my life for anything that could come my way let alone at a GPP competition. Yet with the heartache of my coach(s) recent and infamous fallout with CrossFit HQ and thus their forbiddance to be present at my meet, combined with my new excitement for a different future, my heart was already in a different place. The talent and competition was incredible and I simply missed the mark that weekend.
And so, it was time.

THE ROAD TO RECOVERY

As I started my new Olympic Weightlifting venture Greg took over my programming and kicked things off with a pretty intense strength cycle. I was excited to be involved in a new sport, one that both he and Aimee believed I had a future in. I decided that if I was going to do this right I would have to put all of my faith and trust into the program and simply do whatever was called for as best I could. But that didn’t mean I didn’t have fears. In fact I had lots of them.

My brain raced with worry and if you could have been inside it you’d have heard: “I know I’m going to get strong but what if I get fat? I really don’t want to get fat again, I finally just leaned out. How can I possibly stay lean without doing metcons? I swear, if I start to feel out of shape and I can’t do stuff anymore, or like I’m getting huge I’m going to sneak in some running. If I hate my body, I’m going to quit.” Even as I recount these initial thoughts it’s funny to see how aesthetically driven I was by my need for metcon even though both scientific and anecdotal evidence demonstrated that strength training and mastering quality movement provided better results in every way: performance, well-being, sleep, recovery- even aesthetics.

I was, however, excited about getting stronger and becoming competitive in the sport so I dove in to the training with a vengeance. The workouts proved to be very intense. I was regularly lifting heavier weight than ever before, and executing a substantial amount of repetitions in the technical lifts compared to anything I was used to. Metcon was not allowed. Greg also made me work to be strong in specific postural positions at different points in the lifts that at first seemed foreign to me and were extremely taxing. Rarely did I complete a workout in less than two hours and I often had to train in a gym (on non-Catalyst days) where no one understood what I was doing or why I was doing it. I was often told by other trainers “you’re just strong, but you’re not fit.” It was both physically and mentally demanding.

But then came even more change. My numbers skyrocketed. My snatch went from 153 to 182lbs, C&J from 195 to 227lbs, and Back Squat from 275 to 308lbs. In my first USAW sanctioned meet I qualified for both Americans and Nationals placing 7th at Americans (Nationals is coming up in July). Furthermore, while performing all of the heaviest lifting I had ever done, no metcon programed (or allowed) into my training schedule, and my continued unrestricted diet of un-weighed/unmeasured meat, veggies, and quality fat I became the leanest I had ever been while participating in exercise or sports competitions. My legs became thick solid muscle. I could actually see my abs.

RELAPSING

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to convince everyone that they should be a weightlifter (although you should, it’s awesome) or stop exercising altogether particularly if being a generally fit person is what you’re passionate about. Being able to do a lot of different physical things is just plain fun and I’ve had a few relapses of my own-mostly because I just wanted to see if I still could and also to silence the naysayers. Interestingly, during my relapses I found out that after 8 months of exclusive weightlifting I could string together 4 muscle ups with ease, perform 27 hand stand pushups unbroken, and turn in a 9:30 “Helen” with an extended 450m run (oh man, that last one might get me fired by my coach). I was elated that by getting strong and proficient in movement I could jump in without skipping a beat and in fact felt even stronger than before. I could easily envision being competitive in the CrossFit world again if I so desired.

The point is that doing more isn’t always better, if ever. Whether you are training for GPP and/or the CrossFit Games by running yourself into the ground day in and day out, sometimes multiple times per day, by randomly and regularly programming aggressive conditioning, distance running, heavy technical metcons, etc., chances are it’s going to eventually cause problems with recovery and worse, it won’t prove sustainable for your competitive career. It’s likely in your best interest to seek out a smart coach who can properly periodize your training and tailor it to your specific needs.

Weightlifters, masters of the Snatch and the C&J who aim to be as strong as possible, and often also as big as possible, arguably need to kick the habit all together. At Catalyst, us weightlifters joke about Greg threatening to fire us if word gets back that we’ve been doing “stupid shit” because he knows how much it will hold us back from making the strength gains he’s helped us work toward by creating specific programs with our ultimate strength potential and competitive interest in mind. It all comes back to the scientific fact that if you want to be your absolute strongest, you will be sabotaging your gains if you insist on also doing aggressive metabolic conditioning or cardiovascular endurance training.


1) Halson SL, Jeukendrup AE, Does overtraining exist? An analysis of overreaching and overtraining research. Sports med 34: 967-981 2004
2) Dudley, G.A., P. A Tesch, B.J. Miller and P. Buchanan. Importance of eccentric actions in performance adaptations to resistance training. Aviat. Space Environ. Med. 62: 543-550
3) Klausen, K., L. b. Anderson, and I. Pelle. Adaptive changes in work capacity, skeletal muscle capillarization and enzyme levels during training and detraining. Acta Physiol. Scand. 113: 9-16, 1981.
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Jocelyn Forest is a former collegiate and professional MVP softball pitcher and is now a competitive weightlifter for Catalyst Athletics.
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Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches
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Weightlifting Programming: A Winning Coach's Guide

50 Comments
wendy spies 1 | 2011-06-14
this is a brilliant post. thank you so much for sharing. i am totally going to try out the beginner's class on saturday!
Gerard Liddy 2 | 2011-06-14
So what you are saying is if you want to grow a pumpkin, plant a pumpkin seed. No use training for one thing and hoping to get a different result in another area. This does not sound like rocket science to me. If I want to get stronger and be a weight lifter (because it's awesome apparently) I should stop doing metcons. And if I want to win the Crossfit games I should mix up my training a bit. Thanks for your insight.
Luca Z. 3 | 2011-06-14
Great posting Jocelyn!
Greg Everett 4 | 2011-06-14
Gerard -

If that's really the entirety of what you took from the article, I suggest you give up on reading now and stick to the evidently voluminous knowledge of which you're already possessed. I apologize for being unable to adequately stimulate your staggering intellect. Thank you for gracing us with your own constructive insights and I hope you return soon to allow us all to learn more from you.
Joanna 5 | 2011-06-14
Jocelyn: it's great to hear your first-person account of this journey, as I've seen you from afar in both the CF world and at weightlifting meets. And your info and perspective is quite timely for me personally. Thank you for sharing!
Adam Rashid 6 | 2011-06-15
Wow, that was a great article. I had a similar experience, although I'm about five levels down from Jocelyn. I was an average CrossFitter for about a year, became interested in Olympic lifting, now that's all I do (only 3 days per week, but my workouts are also >2 hours each). I too was worried that the lack of metcons would make me pudgy, but I'm both leaner and more muscular now (just judging by the mirror, I haven't bothered to check body fat %).
Adam Rashid 7 | 2011-06-15
Also, I enjoyed reading about Jocelyn's numbers. Anyone can be blown away by watching Naim or Khaki lift, but it's impossible for me, as a recreational lifter, to relate to them. But reading about all the hard work Jocelyn put in, how she stuck with it in the face of obstacles, and how her lifts improved, that's even more inspiring. Keep up the great work and good luck at Nationals!
Garrett Smith NMD 8 | 2011-06-15
Jocelyn, great job of curing yourself of HYPERchondria (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=hyperchondria) and Anorexia Athletica (http://www.eatingdisordersonline.com/explain/anorexiathleticasigns.php). I will be sharing this!
Hagop 9 | 2011-06-15
LOLZ @ comment #4.
Phil 10 | 2011-06-15
Great read. Good to hear a first hand account on something that to me (a CrossFitter) seems both counter-intuitive but scientifically logical. Thanks! Phil p.s. I'll be putting a link back to the article on my blog: <a href="http://www.functhat.com>www.FuncThat.com</a>
Q 11 | 2011-06-15
Best. Article. Ever. Thank you, Jocelyn. I will be giving this to several female clients I'm currently trying to convert into weightlifters.
WildGorillaMan 12 | 2011-06-15
Great blog post!
Pablo Cordova 13 | 2011-06-15
Thank you for writing this. I've had a similar experience while trying to really stick to a 3 on 1 off schedule while working full time, having shitty sleep, and training MMA/BJJ 3+ times a week. I'm glad you wrote this, because I've had to deal with shit from people trying to convince me that it's not the relentless metabolic beat downs that were the problem. It was just me being lazy and not having enough discipline. I called bullshit on that a long time ago.
Jocelyn Forest 14 | 2011-06-15
Thanks for reading! I know itís not rocket science. In fact itís so simple itís almost laughable. But the truth is that even though most people are aware of the simple science I still hear so many of them talk about how they want to be as strong as possible and master the Olifts, yet they are afraid (or not willing) to do what is necessary to reach that goal. In my experience itís usually because they believe they will lose their fitness and there will be negative aesthetic repercussions.
Jocelyn Forest 15 | 2011-06-15
...Iím glad that some of you were able to relate and/or find some inspiration to go after your strength goals. I certainly didnít mean to offend or bore anyone nor was it my intention to suggest that everyone should stop conditioning and become a weightlifter. I suppose I was literally stating the obvious in the form of a personal account. It is, however, always interesting to see what kind of banter is struck from sharing stuff like this. Thanks for your comments!
Dara 16 | 2011-06-16
Thank you for writing this, it's dead on ... I am learning the same lessons myself and have gone from being a crossfitter to an olympic weightlifter. I appreciate that others are going through the same journey.
Tom Seryak 17 | 2011-06-16
Ditto...same story almost to the "T" except 2010 regional sparked a terrible bout of adrenal fatigue that is still lingering more than 1 year later! Thanks for the article. I believe that this same type of thing has happened to many of us and the story needs to be told.
Larry Palazzolo 18 | 2011-06-16
Jocelyn, great article. I really enjoyed reading it. You mentioned how you have an unrestricted clean diet, with no sugar (not even fruit). Do you still maintain that, or did you add fruit (and other sugars like honey, maple syrup, etc) back in at some point?
Jocelyn Forest 19 | 2011-06-16
Thanks Larry. I pretty much maintain an unrestricted meat, veggie, and fat diet(no sugar). I doubt this is best for most people, it's just what happens to work for me.
Rene Forestier 20 | 2011-06-17
Good article. It has a lot of good old school Glassman guidance that a CrossFitter would be advised to follow: if you are underrecovered try eating more; keep metcons short and fun (with very infrequent long ones to let you know you can still do it); lift heavy weights; practice skills in a relaxed environment, etc. I love how CF has introduced me to Oly lifting, powerlifting, gymnastics...they are all so powerful.
Daniel Larrow 21 | 2011-06-17
Excellent. Thank you
Adam Kayce 22 | 2011-06-17
Fantastic article; thanks for sharing your experience, it's very helpful. (I've also cut out metcons & sugar and focusing on strength, and lo and behold, I'm getting leaner, too. Amazing how this stuff works.) (And a side note: I love how Greg handles trolls. No taking a dump in his yard without getting smacked for it!)
Jennifer Conlin 23 | 2011-06-17
Thank you for this, I really needed to hear this..I knew it in my head but just have to be reminded once in a while. Jen
Juliana 24 | 2011-06-17
Great article! As a former cardio queen, I too have seen the light that less really is more.
Jordan 25 | 2011-06-17
I too have struggled with this. I love the O-lifts a lot but have had a hard time ever getting rid of metcons for extended periods. Here's my honest question. I'm 23, can snatch 85kg, c&j 120. To be competitive how am I ever going to reach that level? How can I, at 6'2, compete against 5'0 chinese lifters who were bred in an Oly facility? Honestly the nicest thing about crossfit is I can still compete in the open and at regionals if I'm half decent. The other thing is as a university student
Jordan 26 | 2011-06-17
in Canada there is no intercollegiate competitions for weightlifting so I can't even compete at an amateur level. Olifting isn't recognized in this country at all.
Katie DeLuca 27 | 2011-06-18
Great post Jocelyn! Thank you for hitting on aesthetics. I really think this is why most women are so scared of lifting. It is great to see articles like this, so women can continue to squash this idea of lifting making you look like a testosterone filled, oiled, vascular, tanned up bodybuilder. Keep up the great work, your quite the stud!
Adriana Brown 28 | 2011-06-18
Flipping rad article. It's so hard (esp. for women) to let go of the mind set of longer higher intensity workouts. I don't do technical WOD's, but I've been known to do count up/down workouts of things like kipping pull-ups, push-press, kettlebell swings, and sandbag get ups for time. This is a good reminder of how much you gain and how much your body has to work to perform good movements at heavy weight. Thanks for taking the time to write such a fantastic self account.
brian p 29 | 2011-06-20
Great (success) story Jocelyn. I know I can relate! You mention giving up the Zone and instead eating meat, veggies and healthy fats. Isn't the Zone diet "eat 1/3 plate meat, 2/3 veggies and add some healthy fat?" Sounds to me like you are still in the Zone! Just with more blocks (maybe with extra added fat and less carbs, but Dr. Sears does say that some people do better with less than 40% carbs) I think people have a misconception about the Zone. It doesn't need to be all weighed and measured like CF promotes (or used to promote...I haven't seen much nutrition talk lately on CF mainsite). You can use good food quality and estimated portions and get good results. The big takeaway for me on the Zone was avoiding mindless snacking on chips and junk/processed food (mostly carbs) that throw everything off. I'm not sure why you say the Zone had you "starving my body of nutrients with low quality foods" Zone pushes eating nutrient dense foods (meat/veggies/fats), taking fish oil and polyphenols, etc. I tell people when they ask me about nutrition to eat real food, get enough protein throughout the day, eat fat, lot of veggies, and avoid sugar as much as you can. If you want to lose weight, eat less starchy stuff. If you want to gain weight, eat more in general. To me, this is basically the Zone diet. btw, I love the idea of doing less and getting more out of it. In preparation for regionals this year I put a little notecard reminder on my desk that reads: Intensity > Volume
Kami 30 | 2011-06-23
Jocelyn, I really enjoyed this article! I find myself often training for conflicting things (a 10k race, lifting, a 400m run). I think I've been a little afraid about giving up the long running because I was worried I'd lose fitness or gain weight. Your inspirational article is exactly what I needed to make some changes to my training! I would love to find out more about what kind of oly lifting program would be good for a relative beginner. I'll poke around this site! Thanks so much!
Lenna 31 | 2011-06-28
Big help, big help. And superlative news of cosrue.
Tess 32 | 2011-06-29
Way to go on this essay, helepd a ton.
Daron 33 | 2011-07-05
Wow. Thank you.
Gleg Grassman 34 | 2011-07-06
CF with ReeBok is wack, wack, wack!
Ben 35 | 2011-07-27
It may be obvious to "practice what you want to do", but since CrossFit explicitly tells people "no matter what you want to get good at, do Crossfit", clarification is valuable.
Jamie 36 | 2011-07-31
Jordan: Olympic Weightlifting is present in Canada. In fact we are able to qualify and send a few athletes to the Olympics most years. My bet is you live in the maritime provinces, you need to live west of New Brunswick to find any coaching unfortunately. Check out http://www.canadianweightlifting.ca/ for the nearest training area.
nunhgrader 37 | 2011-09-09
Cool article!
Stephanie 38 | 2011-09-18
Jocelyn, thank you so much for sharing your personal story and transformation. I have been CF for a year and now do Oly 2x per week (and CF 3x per week) but am leaning in the direction of Oly only. Your article embodies a lot of the back and forth argument I've had in my own head.
Rachel Jones 39 | 2011-09-18
I'll bet money you'll need to change things up again. Fruits provide the majority of potassium in our diet and at a need of 4700 mg/day, I'm curious if you've thought about how to replace that need. If you begin to feel bloated and edemic, remember that potassium is essential for long term fluid balance and muscle recovery.
Justin Bowers 40 | 2011-09-20
This is a fantastic article! I completely relate. I take allot away from this.
Paul Dalton 41 | 2011-10-27
Hmmmm. That came across pretty strong w/ the CrossFit vs O-Lift. I mean, it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out that CrossFitters, O-Lifters, and everyone in between will need to apply some common sense & moderation into their training, nutrition, recovery...
Alex McRobie 42 | 2011-10-31
Umm i hate to argue with the not being able to do both argument but there are a whole lot of videos on youtube of the old Polish weightlifitng team doing cross country running, bounding, exercises in the snow and the gym, all to keep up their GPP and the video said something about getting fitness to be able to withstand the long weightlifting trainings. however one would obviously have to take a back seat to the other, some short power based metcons wouldnt be all bad for weightlifters IMO
joel 43 | 2011-12-15
Outstanding article, Jocelyn! Best of luck to you and congrats on NOT drinking the koolaid. Referencing comment 34, looks like greg glassman has hadone too many gins.
Jason 44 | 2012-01-01
Great article. Here is my situation. I started crossfit a little over a year ago and lost 50lbs and love it. Crossfit introduced me to O lifting which I think I love even more. I still need/want to lose more weight but have switched to primarily lifting with a few short metcons per week while training for a meet. I know you mentioned when eating properly and lifting heavy you became leaner than ever but it sounds like you were already pretty lean. How would this work for a person who is overweight?
Tommy M 45 | 2012-01-03
It would make more sense to title this article around strength training. It's not so much a knock on met cons but a real life experience on how a great athlete improved her strength training. It's no surprise that doing met cons or any consistent intense conditioning will keep you from max strength. As for me I don't want to be the strongest I can be, but the fittest I can be while maximizing my strength within that zone. It's not a knock on being a weight lifter, I just have no interest in being the strongest, just as jocelyn would rather find her max strength instead of max fit mark.
Matt O 46 | 2012-01-11
Great article. I am still a crossfitter, i know boo hiss, but my gym has gone the route of more oly lifts and super short met cons as well because it works. I am deployed so I havnt been keeping up on the apparently well publicized splits from CFHQ but I def feel like the old crossfit is kind of gone, the super intense and simple style that I initially enjoyed . I love this site though and it brings a lot of insight to my un-coached attempts to improve my lifts while in Afghanistan, especially the drag vs bump article ( i tend to bump). Thanks for all the great resources. All us lifters here in Northern Kunar love this site.
Erik 47 | 2012-02-05
I've gone back and forth. Started CF in 2005 and was committed to it until 2009 when it seemed just too random and I was looking for more quantifiable results. I quit cold-turkey and got into 5-3-1 for about 1.5 years. The conversion was interesting--I put on about 10 lbs. of muscle and for the first time in my life, had a layer of fat over my abs. While my squat, bench, military and particularly my deadlift went up significantly, so did issues with my lower back. It wasn't long before things like simple sprints were leaving me with strained hamstrings and I felt half crippled all of the time. At age 43, maybe this just wasn't the time to get into power-lifting. Anyhow, I went back to the CF main site, lost the belly fat within six weeks, and haven't had the back problems. I've since blended the two with CF Football and really enjoyed the results. If I take anything away from this experience it's this--don't be afraid to change things up. You'll learn a lot about yourself and the process.
Jon C 48 | 2012-02-24
Jocelyn, Thanks for the great article. I am currently suffering most, if not all, of the symptoms of overtraining. I have been trying to kick the habit for some time and you definitely gave me the motivation to do so. When you started out, how many days of the week were you doing the Olifting/strength movements followed by short metcons?
chris 49 | 2013-06-04
I don't know.. facts show that those who do cross fit are in great shape. Sounds like your problem while doing cross fit was a lack of proper nutrients. When you switched from cross fit to Olympic weight lifting you also changed your diet as well and maybe you overdid the metcons a little too. Then I guess it comes down to what you want to get out of it. If you wanna lift huge amounts of weight then Olympic weight lifting is probably the way to go.
Johnny 50 | 2014-01-12
very enlightening article. I've read a couple articles about how your body is affected going back in forward between Xfit and lifting. I feel like you finally brought light to the athlete's mental process. wish you the best.
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WEIGHTLIFTING TEAM

Catalyst Athletics is a USA Weightlifting team of competitive Olympic-style weightlifters with multiple national team medals.

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