Name: Doug Delaney (a.k.a. “old guy”)
Crossfitting Since: January 2011
Attends Class: 5+ times/week including Barbell Club and Personal Training
Favorite Quote: “Do or do not. There is no try.”
HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT CROSSFIT?
I heard about CrossFit from a fellow endurance athlete. I wanted to start training using the CF Endurance model or a version of it. In December 2010 I made it over to CrossFit Hoboken and met Bennett M. Smith who was busy shoveling snow away from the front door. I don’t remember the workout anymore but it involved medicine balls, box jumps and thrusters. Even though I had plenty of stamina to make it through the workout I was barely lifting the medicine ball at the end. The next day my arms were fried. The session educated me on my massive strength deficits. After trading emails with Bennett I took the Fundamentals class at the end of January.
WHAT WERE YOUR GOALS WHEN YOU STARTED CROSSFIT?
In the beginning my goals weren’t very well formed. I was asked this question the first day of Fundamentals and the only thing I could think of was I needed to get stronger. I wanted to get stronger to become a better long distance runner and to potentially transition to longer races such as 50 milers and 50Ks. I also wanted to run in less pain. Though my goals were fuzzy there was plenty to work on and it would be an ongoing exploration. I had a marathon in California in June. I wasn’t sure if I will continue with marathons or devote myself to longer and weirder races like the Canadian Death Race. I’m planning on the Antarctic Marathon at some point in the future. I want to learn to better perform the olympic lifts, and complete WODs a lot better. Though it wasn’t a goal, my wife Teresa, took Fundamentals and has joined CFH. Now my workout stories actually make sense to her.
HOW HAS CROSSFIT DIFFERED FROM YOUR FORMER TRAINING?
The biggest changes were in strength training and running protocol. I’ve always belonged to a gym but never could get into a strength routine that lasted. The CFH workouts were entirely new to me. Also, I changed my running protocol immediately. I’m trying to learn good lifting technique but it’s a challenge. I was running between 35-55 miles per week prior to CrossFit, depending on my training cycle. Bennett finally convinced me to reduce my mileage and I decreased it considerably. Instead of 8 hours a week running it is now 1-2 hours at the most. I only run 3 times/week eliminating any run over 13 miles. I follow an approximate CrossFit Endurance model with numerous 2 workout days. It takes planning. I enjoy the challenge of the daily WODs along with my private strength sessions. I average about 5-6 of those workouts a week plus running. A major benefit is spending less time pounding the pavement on long slow runs. My legs feel a lot better. I’m still recovering from 4 marathons and 4 half marathons in 24 months but I physically feel much better than I used to feel.
WHAT TYPE OF RESULTS HAVE YOU SEEN WITH CROSSFIT?
Weight loss was not a big issue since I weigh 145 pounds. I probably dropped about 5 pounds after going paleo but I might need to gain weight. My body composition has changed significantly. Without having measured it I know my BMI is considerably less. I am much stronger than several months ago. I’m doing straight and kipping pull-ups and ring dips which 6 months ago weren’t part of my arsenal. My 1 RM lifts have all increased by a minimum of 10%-20%. My training intervals are getting faster from 800s up to 10K. In addition I ran a half marathon last April in major winds and improved my PR while winning my age division. The next day I had no significant soreness or negative after effects. It’s hard to get faster when you are 100 years old so I have to give credit to CrossFit.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE AT CROSSFIT HOBOKEN?
My experience has been exceptional. Last November I was getting very concerned about my training. I ran the Berlin Marathon and even though the race went well I didn’t feel I was recovered from it. I was experiencing a general muscle soreness that never disappeared. Coming to CrossFit was literally like walking into a new world. Every member of the staff is great and there are members who have come and helped me when they see me struggling with a particular lift. The Barbell Club has also been a great addition to the programming. The Burpee line rocks. I love the sound of crashing barbells.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH IN THE NEXT YEAR IN YOUR OWN FITNESS?
I have to make some decisions on what my running goals are for the next year. I’m not sure if I will stick with marathons, focus on longer distances, shorter distances or focus more on cycling. At the moment I have no long races on my schedule. I usually run a 10K and 15K in December. I will run a half marathon in late Winter or early Spring and I hope to PR using CrossFit training protocols. I’m also considering running a marathon on every continent to become a member of the 7 Continent Club so I have to get busy. My goals are to keep going at full speed. I need to get better at everything at CFH. My biggest deficit is strength and technique so I will be looking to continue to improve my 1RM and wod times and Rx more wods along the way. It is impossible to run out of things to work on at CrossFit. I want to see how much I can do and how well I can do it. I’m pretty driven. One thing I need to master this year is overhead squats, the bane of my existence.
WHEN DID YOU START EATING PALEO?
I started eating a Paleo diet last January. It was a bit of a transition since I had been following a traditional endurance diet that was about 3 to 1 carbs to protein. I had read Ferris’s book the “4-Hour Body” and was intrigued to start eating a more Paleo diet and that was encouraged when I took Fundamentals. It was a hard transition since I was so accustomed to carb loading and many of my favorite foods tended to be pasta, ramen, mac & cheese. Also, massive fruit and yogurt smoothies were part of a typical breakfast.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY OF FOOD LOOK LIKE YOUR YOU?
I’m big on eggs in some form in the morning. If not eggs I will eat something leftover from dinner. I like protein in the morning usually combined with blackberries, blueberries or some other fruit. When I arrive at an early morning workout I’m usually carrying a cup of coffee, but its black with no sugar. Midday I almost always have a large salad and either chicken or fish depending on where I am that day. I snack on almonds and fruit though I try to not overdo it. Dinner is usually the same, protein with vegetables. I like to make enough for the next day. We try to shop at Whole Foods or Farmers Markets at least once a week. If I have a problem it may be that I don’t take in enough calories sometimes. Working out twice a day can deplete me. If I don’t have food around that I want I probably won’t eat. So eating more calories is a goal.
HOW DID PALEO ACCELERATE YOUR WEIGHT LOSS?
Weight loss was not an issue. I think I may have dropped about 4-5 pounds. I don’t know how much lighter I can get. I know my body composition has changed but I still look like a weakling when standing next to most people at CFH.
HAVE YOU FOUND IT HARD TO ADHERE TO PALEO DIET?
I found it hard at first but after doing the Paleo Challenge it got easier. My favorite long run recovery food was ramen and I have not found a good replacement. However, I feel very good on a Paleo diet, I have energy, I sleep well, and currently I have no interest in going back to my former diet. I will be interested in seeing my test results next time I go to doctor.
OTHER THAN PALEO WHAT OTHER DIET TOOLS HAVE YOU USED?
I have never been big on dieting. If I need to lose a few pounds I usually just cut down on certain foods and stop snacking. I have experimented with fasting but I have not incorporated it into a routine. I don’t use specific plans or logs. Prior to going Paleo I just made sure I ate more carbs than proteins.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART OF GOING PALEO?
It hasn’t been very difficult but there are times in the morning when people in the office are downing bagels that I have to walk away. For me it is just the planning and thinking ahead. In the past I never had to plan too much about what I ate. Whatever was available would be fine. I can turn most meals Paleo without too much trouble but I need to create a bit more variety.
DO YOU PLAN TO CONTINUE WITH THIS WAY OF EATING PERMANENTLY?
Yes. And I bore everyone I know by urging them to stop eating grains and wheat.