How Quickly Things Can Go

berlin

Just like Lil Kim, I’ve been gone for a minute, but I’m back now.

I took a brief hiatus as I celebrated the holidays with my family in Germany. I tried to take this time to slow down and unwind. It was a three week period with no time table and no responsibilities. Unfortunately for me, I have a hard time with these situations. I desire schedules and routine, especially when it comes to my food and exercise.

Before we ever left for Berlin, I vigorously researched boxes in the area. I found one about 7 minutes away, Wild Side Crossfit, and contacted the owner. After exchanging a couple of emails, we had worked out a deal for my three week stay. I was enthralled to have the opportunity to keep on training, and hit the gym as soon as I could.

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Wild Side

The first class of the day at Wild Side Crossfit begins at 9 AM, a welcome change from my 6:30 AM class, scenically when recovering from jet lag. The programming reflected the same level of workouts I was accustomed to back home. We began with stretching and a warm-up, did some form of strength, and then the WOD. Most WODs were 20 or 30 minute AMRAPS, and I swear we did pull-ups every single day. I was amused to see that while few in the group spoke much English, the entire workout was written in the tongue, the only alteration being the use of kilograms as opposed to pounds.

I was certainly at a different level than the other box members. I have been doing Crossfit for 2 years, most of them only 2-6 months. Participation would range from 4-10, and frequently I was the only one who RX’d. I wasn’t intending to show off, it was just simpler to RX than try to convert the weight into pounds.

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Probably a contributing factor

In the desperate attempt to maintain my gains, I worked out nearly everyday and I tried to keep a close check on what I was eating. However, Berlin did get the best of me. I wasn’t doing my usual two-a-day workouts and with others cooking for me and frequent meals out, my eating slipped too. The changes to my physique came quickly. My biceps began to wither and my abs slipped into abyss.

This change just goes to prove a point I frequently argue: crossfit is great for building strength and endurance, but not for building, what I call, the “pretty muscles”. The flashy biceps and bulging quads. These muscles are formed through concentrated accessory work, which is why I always scoff at the women who say they don’t want to try crossfit in fear of “getting too muscular.” Bulky muscle does not just accidentally appear. It takes serious effort in the gym and dedication in the kitchen! I have learned how hard it is to obtain these levels, and now I have learned just how quickly they can go. . .

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