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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, 11:05 AM   #11
Roelant Bergen
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Re: Hybrid programs

Hey Gant,

from what I remember, you also practice Intermittent fasting. Did you do so as well for this protocol?
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Old 06-03-2008, 11:27 AM   #12
Patrick Haskell
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Re: Hybrid programs

Good stuff, Gant. Thanks for putting this together. I'd been following your log since the end of the tabata protocol and liked the look of the programming, but I hadn't really integrated it to see how quickly you've been progressing. I've been leaning toward adopting this sort of programming myself, so it's interesting to see your results.

I question, however, whether you've really come out of the novice phase for all aspects of this. Simply the comparison of the OHS PR and the even heavier snatch three weeks later suggests a pretty solid case of CNS adaptation typical of a beginner/intermediate stage (using Rip& Kilgore's developmental categories, not reflecting on your athletic prowess). The gains on the CFT and Murph, on the other hand, where you're almost certainly out of the novice stage, could be somewhat more compelling. To shave 10 minutes off an edurance-based WOD without doing metcons of much more than 10 minutes is pretty strong support for your approach and is consistent with the CF approach to endurance training. However, Looking back at your CFT from last June, you jumped ~35#s in 11 months, progress which might have been there for you if you followed the main page WOD rather than treating yourself as a career lab rat.

Interesting stuff, and I'm not challenging your programming decisions, just trying to get your perspective on how you came to settle on this approach rather than some other. For example, have you given any thought to whether a programming routine closer to the main-page WOD (e.g., MEBB) might provide similar or better results at this point in your development. Care to experiment on yourself further?
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Old 06-03-2008, 12:00 PM   #13
Júlíus Magnússon
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Re: Hybrid programs

Gant,
It's funny... I'm experimenting with just about exactly the same thing these days. Or was, before I got sick almost a week ago (still just sucking it up at home).

My idea was a 3 days on, 1 day off cycle that consisted of 3 to 4 workouts over the course of the three days.

One, and never more than one, of these workouts would be a short metcon. (Nothing over 20 minutes.)

Another one of these workouts would then be a ring workout, working on the levers, muscle-ups, some push-ups or weighted dips, maybe, and stuff like that.

Then, one or two workouts in the cycle would be a strength workout, usually a ME one with three to four lifts, at least one of them being an olympic style lift (wether it's power cleans, clean and jerks, hang squat cleans, overhead squats, et cetera).

Then, something I've been slacking on is I was going to be working on handstands and planche progressions most days as well, while still making sure to make every fourth day an absolute rest day.

I haven't been doing this long enough to say if it's working or not but it's encouraging to see what something similar did for you.
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Old 06-03-2008, 12:03 PM   #14
Brandon Oto
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Re: Hybrid programs

There are additional interesting remarks in the parallel thread at Pmenu: http://performancemenu.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2560 wfs
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Old 06-03-2008, 01:01 PM   #15
Don Reynolds
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Re: Hybrid programs

Gant, what do you think of using alternating Tabatas for the metcon workouts?
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Old 06-03-2008, 01:35 PM   #16
Alexander Kornishev
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Re: Hybrid programs

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Originally Posted by Brandon Oto View Post
There are additional interesting remarks in the parallel thread at Pmenu: http://performancemenu.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2560 wfs
Thanks Brandon!
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Old 06-03-2008, 02:12 PM   #17
Gant Grimes
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Re: Hybrid programs

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Originally Posted by Susie Rosenberg View Post
You write that this experiment "ended." Do you have another direction in mind?

If nothing else, it shows that gains are made when we vary the demands we put on our bodies. Certainly, that's built into the daily structure of the Crossfit program. I haven't followed the sequence of WODs closely enough over the time I've been around, so I haven't perceived larger cycles imposed upon (emerging from) the WOD sequence.

One thing I do know is that really elite athletes have seasons in which they train to a peak, so there is seasonal periodicity built into their programming.
My experiment is over in the sense that the question has been answered to my satisfaction. I will continue training this way.

Yes, I have something very interesting coming up . It's more for someone else's experiment, and it's a little crazy. It will potentially be helpful to many people.

The evolutionary fitness guys like seasonal training, and so do I. Once spring hits, I'm on on the road, in the pool, and on the water. It's good for the body.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Moskowitz View Post
If we subtract endurance and aerobic conditioning from the fitness equation (which it seems like you did) we get...? Just curious, how long were your workouts?

I'm also curious as to how this compares to more focus on speed-strength a la CA WOD.
Total workout time averaged an hour and a half, mostly because I was bringing a new guy along. My time under the bar was much shorter. Since I was doing circa max weights, I often rested 4-7 minutes between sets.

You can view length of metcons in the attached spreadsheet. I didn't count Tabatas as metcons because of all the rest. Of course they have an undeniable metcon character which is hard to discount. So put it on my tab if you must.

I did the CA WOD, and it's a great program. However, I needed a little more variety, and I certainly needed more metcon. I'm going to talk to Greg about this; he may not have to write off metcon like he does.

To be sure, I viewed metcon and strength as 1 and 1a. I also viewed strength as the biggest contributor to metcon performance. I just approached metcon development a little differently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Haskell View Post
I question, however, whether you've really come out of the novice phase for all aspects of this. Simply the comparison of the OHS PR and the even heavier snatch three weeks later suggests a pretty solid case of CNS adaptation typical of a beginner/intermediate stage (using Rip& Kilgore's developmental categories, not reflecting on your athletic prowess). The gains on the CFT and Murph, on the other hand, where you're almost certainly out of the novice stage, could be somewhat more compelling. To shave 10 minutes off an edurance-based WOD without doing metcons of much more than 10 minutes is pretty strong support for your approach and is consistent with the CF approach to endurance training. However, Looking back at your CFT from last June, you jumped ~35#s in 11 months, progress which might have been there for you if you followed the main page WOD rather than treating yourself as a career lab rat.

Interesting stuff, and I'm not challenging your programming decisions, just trying to get your perspective on how you came to settle on this approach rather than some other. For example, have you given any thought to whether a programming routine closer to the main-page WOD (e.g., MEBB) might provide similar or better results at this point in your development. Care to experiment on yourself further?
Very good question! I remarked in my log a few months ago that I finally felt like I had moved out of the novice phase. Obviously that's very important to this experiment.

CNS adaptation is a good point, and I considered that. However, you'd realize the OHS<-->snatch PRs are a poor example if you actually saw my snatch! That 82.5 kg was a power snatch (75 is almost a muscle snatch for me). I have no balls and cannot get under a bar for the life of me. I called it snatch (instead of P-Sn) that day because I started out doing the full versions. When the weights get heavy, I drop out. Unfortunately, my power clean and power snatch numbers are lower than their full version counterparts.

OHS by itself was due to CNS adaptation and novice linear progression. I sucked at these--and still do--but the gains were incredibly rapid.

My CFT last June was due to three things, muscle memory (coming back from 8 years off the iron), Starting Strength, and a healthy appetite. Last summer I was 30 pounds heavier than I am now. Over the course of the last 11 months, I didn't get anywhere near those strength levels (my Jan. 1 CFT was in the 800s). So although my current CFT is only 30 pounds heavier that last summer's, it was more of a roller coaster than a progression. There's been quite a bit of body comp change, as well.

I've done the MEBB and a modified MEBB. This works better for me and my needs. Ultimately I do this because I really, really enjoy it. It's nice just to take your time, lift some heavy iron, and tear up a short metcon. Of course I'll still do the Filthy Fifties, Evas and other things that hurt so good because I'm a masochist.

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Old 06-03-2008, 02:24 PM   #18
Gant Grimes
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Re: Hybrid programs

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Originally Posted by Roelant Bergen View Post
Hey Gant,

from what I remember, you also practice Intermittent fasting. Did you do so as well for this protocol?
Yes. I credit IF with a lot of my body comp change and general happiness throughout this program.

My PM workout log (someone linked to it) has a few more comments on IF. I generally did 3-5 15-16 hour fasts per week. I usually ate before I worked out but not always. I believe I set the burpee PR 23.5 hours into a fast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Reynolds View Post
Gant, what do you think of using alternating Tabatas for the metcon workouts?
Depends on the Tabata. Obviously I like them, but I didn't count them as metcon because of all the rest (and my Tabata sprints were pretty weak after the first couple rounds). For purposes of this experiment I charged through every WOD with little or no rest.

If you look at my workout template, which I'll post this afternoon, you'll see that I don't do that much metcon. There were a number of weeks where I only did 3 metcon sessions. So yeah, if you feel like you need more metcon, you could certainly work some Tabata in.
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Old 06-03-2008, 02:42 PM   #19
Scott Allen Hanson
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Re: Hybrid programs

Gant,

Thanks for all the data. Maybe you should change your initials to "BB". Looking forward to seeing your programming template.
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Old 06-03-2008, 03:20 PM   #20
Gant Grimes
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Re: Hybrid programs

Program notes

• These programs will increase static strength, explosive strength, and limit strength. This increase in strength will lead to substantial improvements in metabolic conditioning.
• Metcon should be short and intense. Keep it under 10 minutes (usually under 5). Keep it heavy, and keep it functional. Select workouts that require very little rest. Scale reps, rounds, or time before scaling weight! (This might be the most important bit you'll read on this). This is key to the neuroendocrine response we’re looking for.
• Use KB’s, tires, farming implements, stones, boat chains, and sledgehammers liberally. Sprint often (Tabatas, 100s, 200s, 400s). Full body exercises (cleans, thrusters, swings) are great. Use couplets and triplets. NO chipper workouts.
• The exercise order and selection promotes increases in strength and, if you eat for it, lean mass. Everything you do on this program packs a substantial neuroendocrine wallop. Pick your metcon exercises accordingly. You should be shaving twice a day on this program.
• Eat more protein. If you’re Zoning, increase protein intake by 2-4 blocks and fat by 8-16 blocks. Do not increase your carbs (I have accounted for them in the fat increase).
• Go heavy, go hard, or don’t go at all. The volume is low enough, and the metcons are short enough that your CNS should be stable throughout the program. If you need a day off, take it. Don’t tear your body down while it’s trying to build itself up.
• Eat lots of red meat. It’s just better. Consuming large quantities of blood-soaked animal tissue puts you in a better frame of mind to train like this. If you eat eggs, eat whole eggs.

Programs


• There are three programs.
• The 3/1 program. I designed one for people who like the 3/1 CF schedule. Personally, I think 6 workouts in 8 days is a bit much. But you wanted it, so here it is.
• The novice strength-biased program. This is a 3/1/2/1 schedule. I got used to training like this doing the PMenu WOD, and I like it. It’s also an intermediate programming scheme discussed in Practical Programming. I wrote this program because I train with a guy who doesn’t need to do as much OLY lifting as I do. The power versions of the OLY lifts are done. There is also an extra day of push presses or rack jerks. If you train on Saturday, just do a regular WOD (this can be a little longer). If you train with weights, keep it light and drill some OLY lifts.
• The intermediate/advanced strength-biased program. This is my personal program. Saturday is optional. This is where I drill OLY by doing assistance exercises (snatch balance, tall cleans, etc.) and get on the rings. Or I get in the canoe, go mountain biking, or play a little judo. Saturday is not a hard training day for me. So yeah, I pretty much train 4 out of 7 days.

Other concerns


• Do other stuff. It’s summer time. Walk, swim, play softball, ride a bike. Whatever. Don’t pass a bar, set of rings, or rock ledge without pulling yourself up on it.
• Substitute if you feel the need. I refuse to miss Murph or Filthy Fifty. If one of your favorite WOD comes up, do it.
• Deadlift every week. They’re good for your soul. Cool down with reverse hypers 2-4 times a week. They’re good for your deadlifts and thus good for you soul. Your back will thank you.
• 5 minutes a week of KB long-cycle clean & jerks has profound effects.
• Read Christopher Sommer’s article on front lever progressions (also has planche progressions).
• Read up on the Bulgarian method.
• Squat low for training. If you’re a guy, try to tea-bag the platform. You’ll be amazed how much you’ll be able to lift in a CFT when you only squat to regulation depth.

Sets, reps, and exercises (sets x reps)


• Welcome back to linear progression! We’re going to get stronger every week. Linear strength progression works a little differently in a program with gymnastics and metcon, so pay attention to what’s happening. I have borrowed heavily from Rippetoe, Everett, and Louie Simmons in designing this.
• OLY lifts should be 5-8 sets (or more) of singles or doubles. Look to Coach B. or the PMenu for additional programming ideas. You have to be careful with your loads and volume on this stuff. It can sneak up on you.
• The slow lifts should start with 3x5 (including dips and pull-ups). Drop to 3x3 after 6 weeks or whenever the volume becomes too much. You may also want to mix in some 5x3, 5x2 or 7x1. It’s your program! Eventually you’ll almost exclusively be doing either 1) med volume/high intensity or 2) low volume/stupid intensity!
• Only do one work set on the deadlift if you’re working with max numbers.
• Mix sets across with progressive loading. You can do 3x3 across one week and 5x3 progressive (working up to a 3RM). Do progressive loading at least once every third time for each lift.
• Work in some ME/DE days as necessary. We’re all about speed and power. I mix in plenty of box squatting so I can squat frequently. It helps your deadlift, too. Reverse hypers help everything.
• Deadlift every week (it’s worth repeating). If it tears you up like it does me, mix in some rack pulls and halting deadlifts. I love 3x6 snatch grip deadlifts off a 4” box.
• Substitute OLY lifts as needed. Play with the full and hang positions to optimize results. If you’re on the advanced program, do the full version at least once a week.

Bottom line

• Go fast, go heavy, and go hard. If you're doing sets across, increase it every time. Don't reset if you fail at 5, just drop to 3. If you're doing CF ME work (5 triples, 7 singles), go for a PR every time. Metcons are short, heavy, and functional. Don't rest.

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