I Do CrossFit. Why Am I Still Fat?

If your love handles are lingering, maybe it’s time you look at more than your diet.

Abi Reiland, CF-L1 March 19, 2015

While there are a number of reasons a person might start CrossFit classes, most hope for some sort of physical transformation. Some want weight loss, others want to make big muscles and many are just aiming for a leaner look. The problem is, unless you’re training like a Games athlete, CrossFit alone won’t take your tummy from a bulge to a brazen six-pack.

When new members join my gym, I tell them to expect some results. They can count on improved strength, speed and stamina with the right programming and commitment to attendance. But if they are looking for more than a great workout with some really rad health benefits — if they are looking for peak performance and a physique that reflects that — they need to put in time outside the gym. See, you can work out as much as you want, but if you’re not pushing yourself, if you eat crap, if you binge on beer and if you indulge in soda several times per day, you probably won’t get the results you’re looking for. It’s a common occurrence to hear people say they work out so they can eat whatever they want. And for some folks, that works well for their life balance. But if it’s the pooch that pains you or the lingering love handles that haunt you, your philosophy must change.

To trim down and get rid of the extra stuff you so dislike, you must examine your eating habits first. Food is fuel. The wrong things can slow you down, cause chronic health issues and create a body that won’t transform the way you want. Eating healthy and whole foods works wonders. Not only will your performance improve and your overall health benefit, but you’ll also sleep better, recover better and probably get rid of that stubborn spare tire. If you believe your food intake to be impeccable, maybe it’s time to look more closely at your carb, protein and fat breakdown and determine whether anything is in excess.

Now if food doesn’t seem to be the issue, consider your workouts. Are you really pushing past your comfort zone? Or are you hovering in the safe zone when it comes to weights, movements and modifications? With any athletic endeavor, your performance will plateau without change and progress, which means your body will follow suit. Give a little more gusto, come into workouts with a new strategy and mindset, and when you step your game up, you’ll see your body fat step down.

Finally, there are the occasional medical conditions, medications and restrictions that may be holding you back a bit. If that’s the case, you need to focus on doing what’s best for your body. If that means sticking to specific medical guidelines and rocking a midsection you don’t feel is stellar, forget about it for the time being and revisit it when you’re in a more appropriate circumstance to address it.

CrossFit is so much less about aesthetics than it is about hard work. But if you find yourself bitching about a belly, then get to work! At home and in the gym. Give everything you can to living a healthy lifestyle, remember that it’s OK to enjoy certain things in moderation and be happy with the work you put in. Finding satisfaction in giving 100 percent should always be the goal. Nobody is perfect, and that’s the beautiful thing about the sport of fitness and our CrossFit culture and community.


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About the Author

Abi Reiland

Abi Reiland

Abi Reiland, CF-L1 is the co-owner of and trainer at CrossFit 8035, and director of The MAT Games and The CF Circus. She is also the author of prettyngritty.com.