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

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Old 10-04-2011, 05:09 AM   #1
Dave Traeger
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6 month review

This is fairly long, and I'm unsure if it's a testimonial or a complaint but I give plenty of others advice, maybe I can get some myself.

The short version is, I'm wondering if I'm where I should be 6 months in and what direction I should take for the next 6 months.

I began crossfit with 3 weeks of foundations classes in March this year. So according to my log (link in sig), 6 months ago to the day today was my very first group wod and I've done 83 wods since.

Prior to crossfit I had never touched a barbell before, or done any real working out. I played basketball in highschool and univ, then in a social league at a rec centre for a season or 3 afterward. For the past few years I've been sedentary.

I'm 29, 190cm and 95kg - up 15kg from 80kg - (from 176 to 209 for you Americans) from when I began due to advice from these forums and colleagues saying I needed to eat more to succeed. I'm comfortable at this weight, but would like to improve it's composition, but this is a secondary goal.

Moving forward, I want to play basketball again, even if only socially. My main goals align with this - I want to improve my short burst sprint, vertical leap and have the strength/size to prevent people getting in my way

My current training regime is 4 mornings a week at an affiliate here (wfs). The coaches and programming there both seem good to me. We do a modified version of Wendler (using Shoulder Press, Deadlift, Powerclean and Backsquat as the four 5/3/1 lifts, one each day), which I'm in my 9th week of. This is then followed by a 10-15min wod, but there's been a couple of 5's and 18's, too.

My current lifts as of last CFT 9 weeks ago before starting Wendler were:
Deadlift: 102.5kg (225)
Shoulder Press: 45kg (100)
Backsquat: 80kg (175)
Powerclean: 65kg (145)

I've reason to believe these are all about 10-15kg higher now, due to the number of reps I've been doing in the Wendler 'money set' but will do another CFT at the 16th week (4 cycles).

Are they where they should be for 6 months in? For novices, it's hard to distinguish the difference between strength gain and just learning how to pick something up correctly. Given that I didn't know what a deadlift was this time last year, I'm fairly happy with where all those numbers are but next CFT will tell more of the story. Seem to be going in the right direction at least.

In terms of wods, I don't feel like I've made much progress there. I still scale them heavily - still do pullups with a band, reduce weights to nearly half, sub HSPU & MU for something else, do progression rope climbs, etc. And looking through my log, it doesnt seem like the times are improving either. Eg Fran in June in 5:34 with 20kg (45#) vs Fran in September in 5:42 with 25kg (55#).

My sleep quality/quantity is generally pretty good and aside from a couple of incidents at work in the past 6 months, I'm stress free. My nutrition was strict paleo when I first began crossfit, until someone taught me that eating for health and max performance were 2 different things. I added oatmeal and gomad to paleo, then more and more things til it slid into solely fastfood for a little while there. Now that I've reached weight goals, I'm back to eating paleo + dairy, which has me feeling a bit better.

I do really enjoy the training and the people I train with, but am having trouble finding the affiliate fees in my budget each month. I guess the advice I'm looking for is either:
A) "You're doing fine for someone who's only been at it for 6 months, dig deeper to keep doing what you're doing!"
B) "Save the money and go work on X for a while" (I'm considering CFFB from a globo)

Last edited by Dave Traeger : 10-04-2011 at 05:15 AM.
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:47 AM   #2
Scott Walters
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Re: 6 month review

Hey Dave. I have no real answers, except you have gone from sedintary to active in six months, so don't be too hard on yourself. It took you years to get where you were, so time buddy. Eat well, keep training hard, and see what happens. Ask your coaches, and keep challenging yourself to improve. I'll bet it comes
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:52 AM   #3
Bill M. Hesse
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Re: 6 month review

An increase in weight by 15kg is probably a little much in 6 months, but then again since you said you were novice level, that may be acceptable. Someone like Chris or Eric may have better insight into that. Your lifts seem to be on par given the length of time you have been lifting. I think when I started really incorporating the big three in my training I ended up at a 265 squat, 300-ish deadlift and and 160-ish bench. My squat and deadlift now seem to progress at a rate of about 10kg per 6-8 months. You are probably on track. Crossfit has been something I have done for 2 years now; I stalled out on most strength movements about a year in and have gone to strength alone for awhile until I get to my goals. Don't sweat scaling, it is gonna happen and you may want to consider (like myself) going for strength for awhile so you can come back and hit the target weights and work more on your conditioning levels at that point. Congrats on your progress and don't get discouraged. As you continue, I firmly believe crossfitters find what they are weakest at and tackle them if they are serious about it, so will you. I wish I could gain weight like you. I have been doing it at a rate of about 10-15 lbs a year maintaining just slightly more fat than I started with. Good luck whatever you decide!
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:54 AM   #4
Scott Walters
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Re: 6 month review

Oh and for what it's worth, you have changed from one gym, to another, to strength bias, from paleo, to paleoish, to junk, back to paleoish. That's a lot to adapt to, especially in six months. Give it time to sink in and "work". May not be the answer, but maybe is part of the puzzle
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:26 AM   #5
Paulo Santos
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Re: 6 month review

That's actully good programming. Most people progress steadily on the Wendler program, so be patient. Once you get stronger, you will RX your WODs. I was very weak when I started CrossFit and even after a year, I still couldn't RX some of the WODs, nor do I care. If you like the affiliate, stick with it. If money is an issue, then that is another story. You do great workouts in a Globo.

What exactly are your goals anyway?
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:33 AM   #6
Dave Traeger
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Re: 6 month review

Thanks.

Bill: Despite gaining 15kg, I don't think I look any different though I've gone up a clothes size - both top & bottom halves.

Scott: I mostly drift away from good nutrition because I suck at cooking. Get bored of steak and veges after a while.

Paul: In the post I mentioned wanting to be better at basketball, specifically improving short burst sprinting (I dont know how to quantify this), vertical leaping (I'm 6'3-6'4 and cant dunk and get in trouble for blaming it on my skin colour) and strength/size (1000# CFT should do the trick).
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:24 AM   #7
Mike Johnson
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Re: 6 month review

I would find out what basketball players do to train and focus on that, use their conditioning as well. Add in some solid lifting and scratch the met-cons. Just my opinion.
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:14 AM   #8
Aushion Chatman
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Re: 6 month review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Traeger View Post
Thanks.

Bill: Despite gaining 15kg, I don't think I look any different though I've gone up a clothes size - both top & bottom halves.

Scott: I mostly drift away from good nutrition because I suck at cooking. Get bored of steak and veges after a while.

Paul: In the post I mentioned wanting to be better at basketball, specifically improving short burst sprinting (I dont know how to quantify this), vertical leaping (I'm 6'3-6'4 and cant dunk and get in trouble for blaming it on my skin colour) and strength/size (1000# CFT should do the trick).
Yep your vert will get better when you are stronger. You said you just started Wendler, stick with it. It will be slow and steady but works. If you want to specifically work on burst/vert you can mix some plyo work in AFTER your strength work.

In your specific case I think it's impossible to say where you "Should Be"...You are only 6 months in, have jumped around programs and diet too much to say where you should be. If you had been doing the same program for 6 months progression could be projected...but at this point I think you are starting Wendler from scratch (at the 9 week mark) as a novice lifter...just go with it until you need resets.
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:18 AM   #9
Matt Haxmeier
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Re: 6 month review

Mostly your strength is what's limiting your Rx'ing of wods. Keep working on that, even sacrificing a wod or two a week in order to do it. And eat enough to get stronger.
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:20 AM   #10
Paulo Santos
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Re: 6 month review

You can also contact a Strength and Conditioning Coach that works with sports athletes, like DeFranco, and see if he can help you with some programming.

For your conditioning, the Metcons will help, but you can also do short sprints (back and forth on the BB court), 200 meter sprints, and some 400 meter sprints. To increase your jumping, get stronger and do some box jumps, especially the ones where you start sitting down and have to jump on the box (don't know exactly the name).
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