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Old 03-22-2010, 03:05 PM   #1
Connor Thane
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Crossfit and Strength/Muscle Building

Ok guys so heres the deal. I'm new to crossfit.

I heard about it a couple years ago and thought it was complete hogwash, but after going to a sectional, watching the athletes, and interacting with a few affiliates, did a few works outs, it actually looks like something I could get in to.

Here's the deal though.

I like lifting. and I like lifting heavy.

But I also like the idea of having well-rounded metcon and gymnastic capabilities.

So this is my question.

What type of crossfit/supplemental programme do I need to follow in order to continually build strength and size, while maintaining a healthy metcon/gymnastic capabilities?

Now I know "Mass gaining" is sort of taboo around here, and I'm not actually looking to put on a TON of mass. My eventual MAX goal would be to add 20 lbs of lean mass, while trimming off excess body fat.

Here are my current stats for reference.

Height: 6'1"
Weight: 201lbs
BF%: 14%

1RM for the following -
Deadlift - 300lbs
Back Squat - 250lbs
Press - 160lbs
Bench Press - 230lbs

I'd like to add 200 or so lbs the deadlift and squat, atleast 50lbs to the press, and probably about 100lbs to the bench (I know it's not a "functional" exercise, it's just something I enjoy doing).

And before you get all "LEARN TO USE SEARCH" on me, I've searched just about every term I can think of and read up extensively on the following programs:

Rippetoes SS
Rutherfords MEBB
CFSB
CFFB

All of the topics go back and forth, but there is no definitive evidence either scientific or anecdotal to persuade me exactly what to do, but I am toying with the following routine

3 days on 1 day off doing the following

15 minute warmup
15-30 minutes of MEBB based strength/skillbuilding
WOD


Will the above routine be successful in helping me reach my goals?

Also, I was thinking of going on either the Paleo or Zone diet, but regardless, what protein/caloric intake do you think would be healthy for a slow-but-clean building of muscle?


Any input is appreciated, I look forward to all responses.
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:13 PM   #2
Michael Ingley
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Re: Crossfit and Strength/Muscle Building

"Mass gaining" isn't really taboo, if gaining mass will improve your performance in the wods, then go for it. As far as getting stronger is concerned, you can't really go wrong with 5x5 before wods of whatever lifts you feel you need to work on
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:19 PM   #3
Connor Thane
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Re: Crossfit and Strength/Muscle Building

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Originally Posted by Michael Ingley View Post
"Mass gaining" isn't really taboo, if gaining mass will improve your performance in the wods, then go for it. As far as getting stronger is concerned, you can't really go wrong with 5x5 before wods of whatever lifts you feel you need to work on
Well in that case, do you think 2 or 3 MEBB type lifts before the WOD three to four times a week would be overly taxing on my body?

What kind of caloric intake am I looking at for a clean-bulk (I don't really consider a long term goal of 20lbs of muscle a "bulk" per-say, but you get my point).
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:31 PM   #4
Júlíus Magnússon
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Re: Crossfit and Strength/Muscle Building

The people who do the best with CrossFit are people who come into it strong already. It would be wise of you to dedicate the next year or so to increase your strength and don't worry about "WODs."

The numbers you mentioned are going to be hard (and slow) to come by. If you add a healthy amount of CrossFit WODs into the mix, you can easily double or triple the amount of time it'll take you to reach your strength goals.

Do SS for 3-5 months. Do Wendler's 5/3/1 for 9 months+. Maybe then you'll be where you want to be strength wise.
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:42 PM   #5
Brian Bedell
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Re: Crossfit and Strength/Muscle Building

Conner, you have a lot to learn...and not in a bad way. But recognize that and take some advice. First, you can't do everything, or better said...you can't do everything well. You can not add those numbers and at the same time maintain "healthy" Metcon (depending on that definition i guess). You can gain strength easily, you can gain MC easily, but to do both at the same time successfully while trying to reach those bs/dL goals will be near impossible. You just will not have the recovery and rest necessary to do it. I would take the advice above and build my mass and strength base first. That does not mean you can't do some MC, but just recognize that it will come at the expense of your mass/strength gains.

Secondly, you can't gain 20lbs of mass, and cut fat. Technically and scientifically you could, but it is very very hard unless you know your body VERY well and know even more about nutrition. It would be significantly easier to gain 25-30 lbs of muscle & fat and then lose 10lbs of fat, IMO. Moreover, gaining weight will be more a function of your diet then anything else. I would not do zone if you are looking to gain muscle, you can paleo if you wish, just make sure to eat plenty. There is a tendency, esp. with the new paleo eater, to not eat enough just b/c it is hard at first to find paleo choices.

BEst of luck.

Oh, do a well established program. They are designed by people with more knowledge then you and I. Don't make up some program. There is nothing wrong with those programs you mentioned. Pick one, and do it.

FYI, the program you described sounds a lot like cfsb and cffb, don't ya' think? I would do those before making up something.

Last edited by Brian Bedell : 03-22-2010 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:45 PM   #6
Diego Sommariva
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Re: Crossfit and Strength/Muscle Building

Hey Connor,
Your planning is sound, but it needs you to go through it for a few weeks to fine tune it. I do a strength workout before every WOD and so far I've been gaining ground nicely. Recently I began adding a second strength exercise and so far so good. I follow a hybrid 5x5 going for max number of reps on last set (could be just 5 or could be as many as 10 or 12), similar to Wendler's 5 / 3 / 1 programme, and I've found that last set has given me a small edge over the simple last set to 5 routine. I hope I'm not confusing you too much here :P
I would recommend you start slow, CF is tough and strength work is very demanding. I rest for 10-15 minutes after my strength work out before hitting the WOD, and I do 3 on 1 off, unless I feel extra tired in which case I take an extra day off. Getting stronger happens when you rest, and this is the approach I've been taking.
Food wise, if you follow Zone, add a couple blocks onto the number you get. This will help you add mass. The Zone is a muscle maintenance diet, and allows for little room to grow. Adding strength into your routine will blow your calorie requirements through the roof (or thereabouts :P) so you need to bear this into consideration.

Good luck! Feel free to continue picking our brains, but I suggest you go out there and try for yourself. But remember, easy does it at first because you could easily start overtraining and having to take many steps back.

Diego
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:47 PM   #7
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Crossfit and Strength/Muscle Building

I would do 1 or 2 of the main lifts (press, bench, squat, deadlift, snatch, clean, j). Then a metcon, I like them short and heavy, but whatever you want. I would keep the long chippers to no more than 1 a week.

Whoever things the bench isn't functional should be made to fight a 400 lb bencher.
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:16 PM   #8
Wayne Riddle
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Re: Crossfit and Strength/Muscle Building

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Originally Posted by Jamie J. Skibicki View Post
I would do 1 or 2 of the main lifts (press, bench, squat, deadlift, snatch, clean, j). Then a metcon, I like them short and heavy, but whatever you want. I would keep the long chippers to no more than 1 a week.
I would second this. Do squats and press one workout, followed by a me-tcon, next day do bench and dead lifts, followed by a met-con. Or whatever lifting works for you. Mix up the met-cons, sometimes just sprint drills, other time things with light weights and lots of reps, etc.

Decide your goals, develop a plan to meet those goals.
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Old 03-22-2010, 05:36 PM   #9
Charlie Karnick
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Re: Crossfit and Strength/Muscle Building

Like a lot of people your bench is comparitively higher than your squat and deadlift and you should be able to add the extra 200lbs to each mostly by following linear progression such as SS. You're gonna have to face the fact that gaining 20lbs of muscle while decreasing bodyfat % just is not realistic, most people have to cope with this fact. I can tell you that it's much easier to lose fat and gain a decent amount of METCON capacity than it is to put on 20lbs of muscle and add 200lbs to some of your lifts. In my opinion I would go balls out on a linear strength progression and worry about METCON after you get your numbers up. You don't have to eat pure garbage or even do GOMAD as long as your lifts are still progressing. You will gain bodyfat along the way but like I mentioned after your lifts get right then you can cut back some calories and just eat for maintenance and slowly add in a METCON or two until you feel your METCON level is acceptable. Depending on where you want your METCON level to be at you probably will only have to do one or maybe 2 per week. I also just want to ask is there a particular goal you have in mind for wanting to get on a program like this?
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:15 PM   #10
John Jaeckel
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Re: Crossfit and Strength/Muscle Building

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Bedell View Post
Conner, you have a lot to learn...and not in a bad way. But recognize that and take some advice. First, you can't do everything, or better said...you can't do everything well. You can not add those numbers and at the same time maintain "healthy" Metcon (depending on that definition i guess). You can gain strength easily, you can gain MC easily, but to do both at the same time successfully while trying to reach those bs/dL goals will be near impossible. You just will not have the recovery and rest necessary to do it. I would take the advice above and build my mass and strength base first. That does not mean you can't do some MC, but just recognize that it will come at the expense of your mass/strength gains.

Secondly, you can't gain 20lbs of mass, and cut fat. Technically and scientifically you could, but it is very very hard unless you know your body VERY well and know even more about nutrition. It would be significantly easier to gain 25-30 lbs of muscle & fat and then lose 10lbs of fat, IMO. Moreover, gaining weight will be more a function of your diet then anything else. I would not do zone if you are looking to gain muscle, you can paleo if you wish, just make sure to eat plenty. There is a tendency, esp. with the new paleo eater, to not eat enough just b/c it is hard at first to find paleo choices.

BEst of luck.

Oh, do a well established program. They are designed by people with more knowledge then you and I. Don't make up some program. There is nothing wrong with those programs you mentioned. Pick one, and do it.

FYI, the program you described sounds a lot like cfsb and cffb, don't ya' think? I would do those before making up something.
If his BF was like 34%, not 14%, he could gain LBM while losing overall poundage. EASILY. Don't know if you intended to make a blanket statement or just applicable to him.

I've lost 30-40 pounds of fat since August while gaining 5-15 pounds of muscle. But my BF% was over 25 when I started.

I agree, pick a program and roll with it. If I were him I would go Paleo with a decent daily caloric/protein intake, and CFSB/Wendler, something like that.
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