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

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Old 06-26-2010, 03:39 PM   #1
Ian Nigh
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5-3-1 in mini cycles?

So i'm liking Wendler's 5-3-1 program as a way to organize and periodize my lifting and continue making strength gains while still hitting sub 15min WODs.
The one thing I dont like about it is the infrequency of the exercizes, especially squats. I really dont feel like I need a whole week to recover before I squat again, especially considering that my squat is still only at 135kg.

I am thinking about adapting a 5-3-1 routine into my 3 on 1 off schedule like this:

day 1: back squats or front squats 5-3-1, press 5-3-1, short WOD
day 2: longer chipper/met-con/mono structural WOD
day 3: Deadlift or power clean 5-3-1, weighted pull up 5-3-1, short WOD
day 4: rest and recovery

On days the weights felt extra heavy (on the third cycle for eg.) I could drop the short WOD and do other assistance stuff instead as per Wendler's prorgam.

Would this be too much volume? I would still only be doing DL and PC once a week, and basically just squatting twice a cycle alternating BS and FS.
Has anybody done something like this?

My goals are to add 50kg to my squat and DL, and 30kg to my press and pull up by 2011, while maintaining a 20min 5k and a 4min Fran.
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Old 06-26-2010, 03:48 PM   #2
Brent Eno
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Re: 5-3-1 in mini cycles?

I've been doing 5 3 1 for a few weeks in a similar way. Here's my schedule:

Monday- back squat, one set of light, high rep squat, short metcon
Tuesday- press, high rep, short metcon
Wednesday- rest
Thurs- deadlift, high rep set, short metcon
Friday- weighted PUs or bench press, metcon
Satuday- olympic lifts or maybe a chipper, depending on how my body feels.
Sunday- rest

This has worked really well for me, and I'm very happy with the progress I've seen. What you could possibly do is use this schedule, but do squats on both monday and saturday. That way you're not doing heavy lower body days back to back.
We have the exact same goals, and I think this is helping me achieve those goals without overdoing it.
Hope this helps.
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Old 06-26-2010, 03:53 PM   #3
William A Cantrell
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Re: 5-3-1 in mini cycles?

Idk those plans are really ment to be followed to a t. it isnt about being able to get back in and crush it its the recovery/rebuild time. You dont grow muscle in the gym...you tear it down. Making sure it has fully recoverd and adapted to the load you put on them, so you can tax them again and repeat the process. I have had the most gains in strength taking the longer rests. Especially if you are hitting metcons and such it will be hard for you to get enough rest recovery in that shorter time period aswell as enough calories. Everyone is different though, but i think you should start with the program as it says, then incorperate your own stuff later.
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Old 06-26-2010, 04:04 PM   #4
Troy Becker
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Re: 5-3-1 in mini cycles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Nigh View Post
I really dont feel like I need a whole week to recover before I squat again, especially considering that my squat is still only at 135kg.
You do.

Remember- best to up it by 2.5-5 kilos every 3-4 weeks for a year than 5-10 kilos every 3-4 weeks for a couple months then stall out.
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Old 06-26-2010, 04:08 PM   #5
Brent Eno
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Re: 5-3-1 in mini cycles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by William A Cantrell View Post
Idk those plans are really ment to be followed to a t. it isnt about being able to get back in and crush it its the recovery/rebuild time. You dont grow muscle in the gym...you tear it down. Making sure it has fully recoverd and adapted to the load you put on them, so you can tax them again and repeat the process. I have had the most gains in strength taking the longer rests. Especially if you are hitting metcons and such it will be hard for you to get enough rest recovery in that shorter time period aswell as enough calories. Everyone is different though, but i think you should start with the program as it says, then incorperate your own stuff later.
I agree that I could be a little much for some and you definitely need to get the necessary calories, but its worked for me so far. Obviously, you just have to listen to your body and make modifications to your schedule accordingly. Every now and then I'll cut out a metcon, or I'll take an extra day off and push the schedule back a day. But if you listen to your body very carefully, eat enough quality foods, use active recovery and contrast hydrotherapy, and get more than enough sleep, you can do this.
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Old 06-26-2010, 04:36 PM   #6
John Jaeckel
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Re: 5-3-1 in mini cycles?

I do the following:

Day 1: Dead Lift (5/3/1 prescription for that week), short WOD with lunges and knees to elbows

Day 2: REST

Day 3: Bench Press (5/3/1 prescription), weighted pullups, short WOD with rung rows and ring dips

Day 4: REST

Day 5: Squat (or OHS— I switch from month to month, 5/3/1) with a short WOD consisting of box jumps and behind the neck push press

Day 6: Longer, outdoor WOD like farmer carrys, running stairs

Day 7: DL (again, next week's 5/3/1 prescription)

This way, I get plenty of rest (which Wendler prescribes— if you are hitting the money set hard and really working the "assistive" exercises after the main portion of the program hard— which I do in a WOD, you should need the rest).

Granted, I'm older, but I find this really optimizes it for me, plus I only rest 6 days between specific lifts, instead of 7.
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Old 06-26-2010, 04:40 PM   #7
Ian Nigh
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Re: 5-3-1 in mini cycles?

with regards to the weight increase, I am planning on adding 5kg a cycle to the squats and deads, and 2.5kg a cycle for the press and pull up. The power cleans are more dependent on technique and speed, so I dont usually use the same linear progression for those, it just depends on how Im doing. In fact I my not 5-3-1 the cleans at all, just do heavy triples and singles, and maybe do some snatches too.

In any case, if I'm back squatting 120 for max reps in the third week, then I will be front squatting 105 for max reps later that same week. Then I'll do a de-load week and add 5kg to my max and re-calculate the loads for the next 4 week cycle. I know, this will only add 30kg to my squat and dead in 6 months, but if I can maintain these gains and I achieve my goals by feb 2011, I will be happy. If I start stalling, I will reconsider.
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Old 06-26-2010, 04:44 PM   #8
Ian Nigh
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Re: 5-3-1 in mini cycles?

John,
Great to hear! How long have you been on this schedule, and what strength gains have you seen so far?
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Old 06-26-2010, 05:08 PM   #9
Jeff Binek
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Re: 5-3-1 in mini cycles?

Hey Ian - I completely agree, and our numbers are very similiar. I just finished my first cycle of 5/3/1 and re-configured my schedule a little bit. As my deadlift is pretty good for where I'm at in relation to time in the sport (410lbs) and my squat is relatively low (260x5) I have tweaked it a bit. I am doing a split like this:

Monday: Active Rest
Tuesday:Oly Tech Work, Oly focused metcon (15+mins)
Wednesday: OHS 5/3/1, Rowing / Running intervals
Thursday: Press 5/3/1, Short Metcon (Less than 8mins), Gymnastics Work
Friday: Full Rest
Saturday: Low Bar B.S. 5/3/1, Medium Metcon (8-12mins), gymnastics work
Sunday: Deadlift 5/3/1, Short Metcon(Less than 6mins), Supp Lifts

I will try this for this month and see how my recovery is in the squats, generally speaking though I always get 8+ hours of sleep, eat very clean, and rarely miss a flexibility session, so my recovery is pretty quick. This is obviously high volume and will require a lot of listening to my body. (Which really is the key to it all in my opinion, everyone handles things differently and everyone has different schedules, etc.)

If you try things for one cycle and you don't like it, then back off and go simpler next month. Whats the worst that can happen, you stall for one month? I'll take that chance at the chance of continually improving my OHS and B.S. with more efficiency.
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Last edited by Jeff Binek : 06-26-2010 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:04 PM   #10
Tim Nakashima
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Re: 5-3-1 in mini cycles?

I just finished doing CFSB off and on (had several freak injuries/setbacks) for the last 5 months or so and made great progress. I decided to switch it up and try 531 for a while. My split is looking like:

Day1: Press: 5/3/1; Split Jerk 3,2,1,1,1; Heavy MetCon
Day2: Power Clean 3,2,1,1,1; Deadlift 5/3/1; Med length metcon
Day3 Rest
Day4: Bench Press 5/3/1; Either weighted ring dips or pull-ups; metcon
Day5: Power Snatch 3,2,1,1,1; Squat 5/3/1; metcon
Day6: Longish MetCon
Day7: Rest

On the days where I'm doing O-lifting, I'm starting with the 3,2,1,1,1; then going to doubles the next week and triples the following week (keeping most of the sets under 90%). As far as before or after the main lift, it depends on how I'm feeling and how it will affect the lift.

About half the metcons will be heavy and I'm trying to include at least one additional day of heavy/med squats (front or overhead) in one of the metcons.

Just out of curiosity has anyone tried 5/3/1 making larger jumps each cycle? For example 7.5/12.5# or 10/20# for upper/lower body lifts?

Tim
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