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Old 07-17-2012, 05:46 PM   #1
Tim Nissen
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How Many Times Per Week?

I've known about CrossFit since the early 2000's but never took it up. Any workout regimines focused more on squats, deads, rows etc. Your typical gym rat type of stuff. As I become more aware of my lack of cardiovascular shape and desire for a new challenge I would really like to start doing CrossFit routines. What I don't know is how often can they be done? Not sure if that's a simple question. Typically my workout routine consists of 4 days per week of lifting focusing on back, legs, chest, and a misc day were I target smaller muscle groups. How does this work if I trend more towards CF? Do I still need 2 or 3 off days for rest and recovery? How do I get this thing started?
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:46 PM   #2
Mark E. Wallace
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Re: How Many Times Per Week?

Totally an individual thing. I started with 2-3 days per week (2.5 years ago) and was sore/tired the whole week. After 6-9 months, I bumped it up to 4/week and again went through a period of bumpy recovery between workouts. After 18 months or so, I bumped it up to (depending on how I felt) 4-5/week, and I have stayed there ever since.

The whole time, I have gauged my transition points and how many WODs I do per week upon how well/poorly I recover between workouts, how tired/sluggish I generally feel, and whether or not I feel I am getting towards the point of overtraining/injury.

Also important is that sometimes I may do five workouts per week, but a few of those might be fairly light and short if I am feeling a little overtrained. There's nothing saying that every single workout has to be a balls-to-the-wall, give-em-hell, bloodsucker of a workout.

Moral of the story: Listen to your body. If it tells you to rest and recover, listen to it. If it tells you you can probably give-em-hell, then give-em-hell. But listen to it.

- Mark
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:02 PM   #3
Andrew N. Casey
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Re: How Many Times Per Week?

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Originally Posted by Mark E. Wallace View Post
Totally an individual thing. I started with 2-3 days per week (2.5 years ago) and was sore/tired the whole week. After 6-9 months, I bumped it up to 4/week and again went through a period of bumpy recovery between workouts. After 18 months or so, I bumped it up to (depending on how I felt) 4-5/week, and I have stayed there ever since.

The whole time, I have gauged my transition points and how many WODs I do per week upon how well/poorly I recover between workouts, how tired/sluggish I generally feel, and whether or not I feel I am getting towards the point of overtraining/injury.

Also important is that sometimes I may do five workouts per week, but a few of those might be fairly light and short if I am feeling a little overtrained. There's nothing saying that every single workout has to be a balls-to-the-wall, give-em-hell, bloodsucker of a workout.

Moral of the story: Listen to your body. If it tells you to rest and recover, listen to it. If it tells you you can probably give-em-hell, then give-em-hell. But listen to it.

- Mark
excellent advice. i will only add that it depends greatly upon your individual goals
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:01 PM   #4
Mark E. Wallace
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Re: How Many Times Per Week?

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Originally Posted by Andrew N. Casey View Post
excellent advice. i will only add that it depends greatly upon your individual goals
Yep, and any plan, supporting any goals, better darn well have "listen to your body" as part of it.


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Old 07-17-2012, 08:04 PM   #5
Mike.Phillips
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Re: How Many Times Per Week?

I did 3 times per week for the first two or three weeks.

Perfect advice above, you will need to listen to your body. Because Crossfit uses your entire body, it's going to take several weeks, maybe up to two months for all the muscles to "activate". This is a HUGE difference from typical gym workouts that focus on isolation (bench press, curls, leg extensions, etc), the Crossfit workouts tend to work your entire body at once. Kettlebell, thrusters, rowing, box jumps, it takes your body quite a bit of time to build up all that "surrounding" muscle that helps with those types of workouts.

A good muscle burn is a great thing, but if it "hurts" past a certain threshold, take the day off.

You truly need to listen to your body. Crossfit is the WORST place to let your ego get out of control. Trying to "tough it out" when you're muscles are blasted and shredded, is not smart.

Also, there is nothing wrong with showing up slightly sore, realizing the workout might not be for you, and doing something else OTHER than the WOD. Maybe spend the hour working on things like double unders, rope climb, snatches, while I don't recommend doing it often, but if you show up and the workout just looks undoable because of your soreness, speak to the trainer and see if you can do something else. Maybe make a "cardio" session, where you jog 1000 meters, row 1000 meters x 2 or something.

Soreness is normal, but ease into this slowly. Remember, fitness is a "marathon", not a "sprint". When in doubt, scale the workout, go light, live to fight another day :-)
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:52 PM   #6
Tim Nissen
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Re: How Many Times Per Week?

Thanks guys. Makes perfect sense. I'm still tied into my regular gym contract for probably 10-12 months so I won't be able to switch to a local CrossFit gym until then. I'm going to spend the time studying techique on new lifts/exercises and find WOD routines I can do with what's available to me currently.

If I'm doing 2 or 3 CF routines per week and my body is up for it, is it recommended or okay to have a few days in the gym for weight training, say squats and deads?
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:52 PM   #7
Stanley Walter
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Re: How Many Times Per Week?

It really depends on what your body can handle. Starting out, its going to kill you to even hit it hard 2-3 times per week.

Biggest thing for me was to figure out the difference between 'pain', and just being 'sore.'

That, and how much you can push yourself.
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:27 PM   #8
Mark E. Wallace
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Re: How Many Times Per Week?

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It really depends on what your body can handle.
Quote:
That, and how much you can push yourself.
But be careful. Those two statements can very much be at odds with one another. Many many people can and do push themselves beyond what their body can handle. And they pay for it.

Just because you can push yourself there doesn't mean you should.

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Old 07-19-2012, 09:00 AM   #9
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: How Many Times Per Week?

You could easily start off CF 1x/week, lifting 2-3x/week. 3-4 weeks.

Probably better to start out CF 2x/week, lifting 1-2x/week. 3-4 weeks, maybe 6-10.

Then progress to Cf 3x/week, lifting 1-2x/week.

There is nothing to say you can't just do a CF based program that lifts and does WOD's as well. There are plenty of those out there that do 531 and do CF or do Oly+conditioning or Strength lifts such as CFFB + specific conditioning for their sport/modality.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:47 PM   #10
Tim Nissen
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Re: How Many Times Per Week?

I was reading in the stickies for us noobs that a 1 day on 1 day off is a good start then progressing 2 on 1 off and so on. I think that's the route I will go. I might even spend some time on my off days to work on form for new movements using body weight or oly bars with no weight for olympic style lifts. Last night I looked at the Fran workout and spent some time in the gym working on my thruster form with the bar only. I did kipping pullups at the playground across the street on Monday and my upper body is still sore as can be. Feels good though.

I will probably take in my camcorder to record new lifts to make sure my form is where it needs to be and adjust as needed. One thing I've picked up on is learning form right away seems to be very important as it will be difficult to improve on if I spend too much time doing things incorrectly, not to mention risking injury.

All great info guys. Keep it coming if you think of anything else.
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