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Old 10-02-2006, 06:24 PM   #1
Danny McCabe
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Hey all! I'm male, about to turn 54 and looking for some advice. I currently jog, roughly 3 miles or a bit more every other day. I downloaded Journal #9 with the beginning program. Instead of running the 400 meters between sets what can I substitute? I don't want to run, and I'm working out in my basement. Would running in place work? Situps? I'm certainly open to suggestions. I have about zero upper body strength since I've completely neglected that portion of fitness over the years.

Or, would I be better off just using the gravitron at the gym and do a pullup-dip routine? Currently I can do zerom that's right zero pullups. I'm horrified at myself. And I should lose about 20 pounds. Lots of questions I know. And thanks for any advice someone might give!
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Old 10-02-2006, 08:06 PM   #2
William Winger
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I haven't seen journal #9, but there are a number of options for substitute cardio (I'm assuming no equipment, though you mention a 'gravitron at the gym'):

-Air squats (tabata intervals 20 seconds work: 10 seconds rest: 8 times; a set number as fast as possible; or as many as possible in a set amount of time)
-Jump squats (as above)
-Burpees (as above)
-Running up and down your basement's steps
-Running on the street, out and back (most substitutes, and especially ones like this require you to estimate the amount of time a 400 would take you, and to run out and back a total equivalent to that amount of time)
-High pulls with very little weight ~45 pounds usually (this is a common substitute for rowing)

I would recommend all of the above before a substitute like running in place, or... say, jumping-jacks. But don't hesitate run in place to if you simply aren't ready to do any of the above.

And then there are more seasonal substitutes like:
Shovelling snow, or cleaning a sandbag in good weather, etc.

If you do have access to a gym, then they'll have cardio machines like a treadmill, indoor rower, elliptical machine, or stationary bike. Again, as long as you do a comparable amount of time, at an equally high level of intensity, you'll be fine.
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Old 10-03-2006, 03:45 AM   #3
Dan MacDougald
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Hi Danny,

I started CrossFit at age 56 and perhaps my experience will be helpful.

If you have access to a gym with a gravitron, I would definitely go there and do the CrossFit warmup, three times through, as your workout, and continue with that until you can get through it in under 20 minutes. Then add to it by starting the beginner's routine in issue 9, and if you are at a gym, you can run on a treadmill, or row, or stair step, etc between the lifting exercizes.

Once I got past the Gravitron for pullups and dips, I cancelled my gym membership and worked out at home. That moment can be advanced by buying rubber bands to assist the pullups and dips.

The CrossFit warmup is in the April 03 issue of the CrossFit Journal, and in the FAQ section of the webpage.
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Old 10-03-2006, 05:55 AM   #4
Danny McCabe
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Thanks for the advice/help. Dan, I looked at the warmup. Right now, the warm up is itself a work-out. Lots of work to do for me. Any advice on the gravitron as far as starting with reps/weight schemes? thanks!
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Old 10-03-2006, 06:39 AM   #5
Greg Hamilton
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danny, why wouldn't you just do scaled down versions of the WOD? i started 6 weeks ago and 3 days before my 44th birthday after neglecting cardio for years. i've lifted weights off and on for a few years (more off than on), but that's about it. i jumped right into the scaled WOD's and they have worked fine for me.

i use the gravitron all the time, but AFTER i can no longer do bodyweight pullups or dips, and the bodyweight numbers are slowly increasing. always try at least 1 pullup before you move over to the gravitron, and soon you'll find yourself doing a few pullups. how much resistance? you have to decide...maybe find whatever it takes to knock out the reps for the workout while keeping up the intensity. depending on the workout i may move from the pullup bar to the gravitron and use 25% of my bodyweight or 50% of my bodyweight. we had a wod a couple of weeks ago where i was using 70% of my bodyweight for the last few reps. the key is maintaining the level of intensity.

check out this link for daily scaled workouts: http://forum.brandxmartialarts.com/viewforum.php?f=16
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Old 10-03-2006, 06:30 PM   #6
Mike Griffith
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Danny,

Consider a jump rope, I had not used one in 30 years and now I use it regularly. It is great for cardio, balance and it is inexpensive; I picked mine up for $12.00. You can use it anywhere at any time.

It took me a little while to pick up the rhythm and become proficient but now it is a great workout. Check out www.rossfitness.com, he has some great information on using the skip rope. Make sure you get the correct length of jump rope.

As far as pull-ups go there are many ways to improve. Do a search on the board for “grease the grove”, you will get a lot of info on this method of improving pull-ups. Additional ways to improve your pull-ups are jumping pull-ups, negatives and static hanging. Persistence and practice are the only ways to improve your pull-ups.
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:08 PM   #7
Andrew G. Greenberg
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40 sumo deadlift high pulls might be one way to sub for running 400m. not ideal because the movement is so different but at least you can be consistent with the distance....
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Old 10-04-2006, 02:35 AM   #8
Dan MacDougald
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For the warmup, I would set the gravitron so that you can do a set of 10, struggling on the last reps. Your aim is to wean yourself off the gravitron eventually, and that requires you get to the point of being able to do one or two unassisted pullups and dips.

Every now and then, after the warmup, do singles on pullups and dips, using as little help as possible or no help at all. Also do a few negatives by jumping up into the top position and lowering yourself as slowly as possible. When you get to where you can do 2 or 3 unassisted then leave the gravitron alone.
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Old 10-04-2006, 10:12 AM   #9
Danny McCabe
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Ok thanks for the advice everyone. I do have one more question which I might ask in a new thread. Do I do the whole warm-up or just the gravitron? Would I do a set of pullups, the a set of dips maybe followed by situps for one round? Then repeat? On alternate days I plan on running 3 miles or so. My goal is a Half Marathon next spring. Or are the goals mutually exclusive?
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