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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 06-03-2008, 03:59 PM   #21
Adam Budke
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Re: Hybrid programs

Great post Gant, and thanks for the templates plus instructions! It's nice to see something dumbed down to my level of understanding. I'm starting day three of the program I've been pestering you about.

Thanks again,
Adam
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Old 06-03-2008, 05:15 PM   #22
Roey Gilberg
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Re: Hybrid programs

Gant,

I've been following the mainsite WODs for a while now and I've definitely been looking to phase out some metcon work and focus more on OLY lifts and gymnastic strength, so first of all thanks for posting this.

I'm thinking about following your 3/1 strength template, and I have a few hopefully quick questions:

--In doing a WOD to finish off your program for the day, what do you typically do? Create your own based on things you'd like to work on? Or would you recommend just plucking one from the mainsite, as long as it satisfies your metcon conditions (short, heavy, functional)?

--For handstand practice and front lever practice, do you use the combined 60 second set format layed out by Coach Sommer? How much of this work do you do before moving on to the lift for that day?

--You say sprint often...where would this fit in with regards to the template? Into a WOD?

I realize that these templates are customizable in a lot of ways, but I'm just hoping to get a better feel for how you approach them before I embark.

Thanks...
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:03 PM   #23
Joey Powell
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Re: Hybrid programs

Gant, I want to echo some sentiments.

1. Reverse hypers...Do them Get to where you can do at least 1/3 your max back squat for 3 sets of ten. If you can only do them with body weight because of lack of equipment, then do them anyway.

2. Powerlifts- do them HEAVY (>90%) or do them FAST (<60%)

3. Medium intensity with medium weight (think BB style) equals increase muscle mass that can slow you down by body weight and slow you down by dampening your fast twitch.

4. Don't drag out the Met-Cons!! Suggestion for scaling: Watch the videos of the fastest guys and time the segments. Choose a weight that will get you moving at similar speeds. This will get you to the promise land faster than grinding pathetically with heavier weights doing sets of 8-10 to get to 21. See number 3.

Time Speal's thrusters on the 2:05 Fran for the first set. <30sec Now choose a heaviest weight that you can move that fast or within 10%. You will move up faster with less overuse injuries and safety errors.

If it takes you over 35 sec to do the first 21, then the weight is to heavy.

If it makes sense to use the RX'ed weight for some reason, atleast know why you chose to do this other than to do the weight "as RX'ed" and do it S-L-O-W!
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:21 PM   #24
Roey Gilberg
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Re: Hybrid programs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey Powell View Post
Gant, I want to echo some sentiments.

4. Don't drag out the Met-Cons!! Suggestion for scaling: Watch the videos of the fastest guys and time the segments. Choose a weight that will get you moving at similar speeds. This will get you to the promise land faster than grinding pathetically with heavier weights doing sets of 8-10 to get to 21. See number 3.

Time Speal's thrusters on the 2:05 Fran for the first set. <30sec Now choose a heaviest weight that you can move that fast or within 10%. You will move up faster with less overuse injuries and safety errors.

If it takes you over 35 sec to do the first 21, then the weight is to heavy.

If it makes sense to use the RX'ed weight for some reason, atleast know why you chose to do this other than to do the weight "as RX'ed" and do it S-L-O-W!
In Gant's notes, he said to scale reps, rounds, and time before scaling weight (in fact it's in bold I believe). It seems like he's saying that if I can't come close to doing 21 reps of 95# thrusters in a decently quick amount of time for Fran, I should keep the 95# and just do less reps. Or is that what you're saying too and I'm just misreading...?
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Old 06-03-2008, 08:02 PM   #25
Joey Powell
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Re: Hybrid programs

That is what I am saying based off of the principle and experience that moderate weight / moderate volume, is best suited for building mass through hypertrophy. If you don't need more muscle mass, then avoid this range. It DOES NOT coincides with FAST or HEAVY. It is moderately slow and grinding.

Jeff Martin the master of scaling... and who CrossFit trusts to scale for the CF main page through his website, Brand X, I would bet, would concur based on advice he has given and results his people see.

If you are turning those 21 reps into 3 hypertrophy sets of say 10-7-4, you are not doing yourself an favors in maximizing performance over time. The fastest times, that weight is moving explosively, and you can't do that effectively with <70-75% of 1RM. Needs to be closer to 40-50% and executed quickly concentrically and eccentrically.

Now if you are trying to build midline stabilization or, isometric strength and flexibility in the arm joints by moving a heavier weight, then go ahead. But know why you are doing it.

Better to start with say 65lbs and accomplish the first 21 thrusters in <35 secs and then add 5 lbs every time you can accomplish this. In by your 7th try you should be well with in the <4 min range, assuming your pull-ups are fairly strong.

Plus, with a heavier weight, you will vasalva, for the whole rep to protect your spine, but with a lower weight you can slip in two breaths per thruster, rather than one, because you will not need to protect your back as much. This makes a HUGE difference in thrusters. Breath exchange at the the top and in the hole.

This doesn't just go for Fran either. It goes with any MET-CON where you are grinding through high #s of reps per set.

The hypertrophy that accompanies moderate weight / moderate volume is not conducive to much that we consider athletic.

Gant's reasoning makes sense too in the sense that less reps you hopefully would try to move FASTER and for lower volume thus, perhaps, changing the type of hypertrophy.

Last edited by Joey Powell : 06-03-2008 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:07 PM   #26
Gant Grimes
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Re: Hybrid programs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roey Gilberg View Post
In Gant's notes, he said to scale reps, rounds, and time before scaling weight (in fact it's in bold I believe). It seems like he's saying that if I can't come close to doing 21 reps of 95# thrusters in a decently quick amount of time for Fran, I should keep the 95# and just do less reps. Or is that what you're saying too and I'm just misreading...?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey Powell View Post
That is what I am saying based off of the principle and experience that moderate weight / moderate volume, is best suited for building mass through hypertrophy. If you don't need more muscle mass, then avoid this range. It DOES NOT coincides with FAST or HEAVY. It is moderately slow and grinding.

Jeff Martin the master of scaling... and who CrossFit trusts to scale for the CF main page through his website, Brand X, I would bet, would concur based on advice he has given and results his people see.

If you are turning those 21 reps into 3 hypertrophy sets of say 10-7-4, you are not doing yourself an favors in maximizing performance over time. The fastest times, that weight is moving explosively, and you can't do that effectively with <70-75% of 1RM. Needs to be closer to 40-50% and executed quickly concentrically and eccentrically.

Now if you are trying to build midline stabilization or, isometric strength and flexibility in the arm joints by moving a heavier weight, then go ahead. But know why you are doing it.

Better to start with say 65lbs and accomplish the first 21 thrusters in <35 secs and then add 5 lbs every time you can accomplish this. In by your 7th try you should be well with in the <4 min range, assuming your pull-ups are fairly strong.

Plus, with a heavier weight, you will vasalva, for the whole rep to protect your spine, but with a lower weight you can slip in two breaths per thruster, rather than one, because you will not need to protect your back as much. This makes a HUGE difference in thrusters. Breath exchange at the the top and in the hole.

This doesn't just go for Fran either. It goes with any MET-CON where you are grinding through high #s of reps per set.

The hypertrophy that accompanies moderate weight / moderate volume is not conducive to much that we consider athletic.

Gant's reasoning makes sense too in the sense that less reps you hopefully would try to move FASTER and for lower volume thus, perhaps, changing the type of hypertrophy.
I knew my comment would quickly bring us to this place. And I stand by it.

Joey's right. Jeff Martin is a fine man and a wonderful coach, and he would disagree with me (and has). A number of people--maybe most CFers--disagree with me on the scaling argument. That issue has been covered in several threads, some recently, and they are easily searchable.

I will say this: every time someone breaks a record, the community rushes to scale their workouts to achieve the new target time, and that's unfortunate. Most here will agree that conditioning is far easier to obtain than strength. If that's the case, why be so quick to scale? If a person can't do Fran as rx'd, he needs to get stronger. Scaling it down to the point where he can do it in 2 minutes does nothing for his strength; he is simply a fit person who is still too weak to do Fran.

Should AFT now scale his thrusters to 92.5# so he can shave 14 seconds off his time? Should Bainbridge scale to 85# so he can knock 40 seconds off? Is a 2:05 Fran what we should all be shooting for? I don't think so. Before 2:05 was 2:17. Before that 2:30, 2:42, and so on. If I recall, a sub-3 Fran is a fairly new thing. I imagine a sub-4 Fran was a big deal five years ago. My point is that the Speals, AFTs, OPTs, and Josh E's of the world didn't get where they are by scaling.

Of course, I don't advocate grinding it out a large weight that you can't handle. The metcons in this program are designed to have you lifting 1) heavy weights 2) as fast as you safely can 3) with little or no rest.

In the Fran example, the no-scale camp might have you do rx'd weights in 8 minutes. The scaled camp would suggest doing a light weight, say 65#, in 3 minutes with no rest. I'm saying you keep the weight heavy for you, maybe 80# for 15-12-9 with no rest in around 3 minutes. I think you'll get more out of doing it this way.

Like Joey says, under no circumstances should do weight that is too heavy for you for high reps. If you injure yourself you can't train. Then you're no good to anybody.

This is not a mass gain program per se, at least not sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. If someone wants to tweak the sets/reps/rest time schemes, then by all means...these are certainly the exercises to do it. In that case go with a little lighter weight on the metcon and some increased volume (still keeping the times low).

This program will net you some pretty good myofibrillar hypertrophy if you eat enough. You might only gain a pound or so, but it will be hard, firm, worthwhile muscle.

PS I hate Fran for the simple fact that it's overemphasized by the community. A quick check of logsitall tells the story. Too many people doing Frans, too few deadlifting.
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:21 PM   #27
Gant Grimes
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Re: Hybrid programs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roey Gilberg View Post
--In doing a WOD to finish off your program for the day, what do you typically do? Create your own based on things you'd like to work on? Or would you recommend just plucking one from the mainsite, as long as it satisfies your metcon conditions (short, heavy, functional)?
Look at my log. My rule when I was doing this was "nothing over 10 minutes." Sometimes the main site WOD fit the bill (Elizabeth, Helen, Fran). Others you can cut down (half Cindy, 3 rounds of "Quarter Gone Bad"). Most I just made up with exercises that fit my goals (I happened to like most of them). Add some of the functional implements into your metcon and you'll see what I mean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roey Gilberg View Post
--For handstand practice and front lever practice, do you use the combined 60 second set format layed out by Coach Sommer? How much of this work do you do before moving on to the lift for that day?

Yes for front lever. I'm moving through the progressions. On handstands, I suggest spending some time holding a handstand and some time working on a freestanding one. I'm a long way away from that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roey Gilberg View Post
--You say sprint often...where would this fit in with regards to the template? Into a WOD?
Usually in a WOD. Because of my 10-minute rule, I used a lot of 200s (since 400s ate up so much time). 100s are nice, too.

Start walking to get more places. Than run. Jog to your car. Run to your mailbox. Take a soccer ball, kick the damn thing, run to it and kick it again. Just run, man.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roey Gilberg View Post
I realize that these templates are customizable in a lot of ways, but I'm just hoping to get a better feel for how you approach them before I embark.
I approach them by attacking. Keep it heavy, short, and intense. Lift heavy crap off the ground, over your head, or carry it for a distance. Listen to your body and feed it what it needs. If you do that, you can't go wrong.
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:46 PM   #28
Jeff Martin
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Re: Hybrid programs

Just a thought, everyone always argues about scaling, and the discussion usually involves scaling down. Scaling works both ways though. I would tell someone who went sub 3:00 on Fran that it was time to repeat that with 100#'s.
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Old 06-04-2008, 02:34 AM   #29
Joey Powell
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Re: Hybrid programs

Gant, The point of Met-Cons is not strength focus. No where did I say scale it down to a 2 minute Fran. What I am talking about is getting up to the prescribed weight and attempting, avoiding sacroplasmic hypertrophy the fastest way. Once bar speed is at its most productive speed and maintainable, increase the weight. So similar to Jeff chimed in, once you cannot move faster in order produce more force over time, then increase the weight. If you are moving light loads fast, like you mentioned in the above posts, then strength is being developed dynamically with starting strength, acceleration strength and even strength endurance, without the CNS mapping slow movement.

Guys that are more on the slow twitch to average end struggle with these kinds of events, and find it hard to improve rapidly without first lowering the weight and mapping the movement with quickness.

When you lower the reps you are then doing modified "Heavy" Fran, with "Scaled" weight. Totally, valid, but it is not meant to see the same result.


Either way, Gant, good work. You continue to lead the charge.
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:24 AM   #30
Brandon Oto
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Re: Hybrid programs

On the subject of reverse hypers, unfortunately there are very few of them around. Anyone think it would work to lie on a high bench and hold a dumbbell between your feet?
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