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Jon Sikes 07-20-2008 12:30 PM

Jonathan's Combo Crossfit/SS Log
Preemptively, I am aware that I wonít be doing starting strength exactly as written. I bought the book, Iíve read it repeatedly, I respect the hell out of Coach Rip and immensely enjoy his posts over on ************.

So itís really a Crossfit/Weightlifting log but weightlifting takes a lot longer to type than SS, and Iím taking the workout basis from SS. Thus, Iíll refer to it as SS even if I donít follow Ripís plan correctly.

Iím certain he knows better than me... But Iím nothing if not stubborn, I'm gonna be doing Crossfit workouts 3 times a week at Crossfit Central in Austin (M,W, Th), and Iím planning to do SS workouts on Friday and Sunday at Hyde Park Gym.

This is certainly not optimal. I could be headed for burnout. Iím open to tweaking my program as needed, and all blame for any setbacks, failure to progress, etc will be entirely mine. But I'll see how it works because this is the way I want to do it.

Who knows, maybe Iím an athletic freak -- underneath some flab and lack of conditioning -- and will be able to handle the workload.

A Long-A$$ about me section first:

Although inexperienced and weak, I think I enjoy lifting as much or more than Crossfit, but I enjoy the hell out of Crossfit. Thus, I will attempt to have my cake and eat it too.

Except Iím not eating cake often. I grew up chubby (to say the least) and in college I used to weigh well over 250 pounds (I didnít step on a scale much then so I donít know exactly what my peak weight was). I worked it off with good diet and long, slow, muscle-eroding cardio. Diet was far and away the most important factor Ė I kept losing weight even on a couple occasions when I couldnít exercise for multiple weeks.

About a year and a half back I started eating healthy and counting calories. I discovered that I could eat larger quantities of food without consuming too many calories by eating more veggies (shocker!). Eating a lot is a priority of mine. But Iíve replaced the junk with quality. I started reading up on Crossfit back in March/April, and read extensively about the zone. I was pretty close to it already. I added a bit more protein and fat to my diet, cut back on carbs a bit (Iíd already largely cut out sugars and most starches), and Iím using blocks now instead of counting calories because itís easier.

Some days I go a bit higher carb and a bit lower fat than the zone really calls for, but Iím far more likely to overeat on fats like nuts and avocados if I have them around. Counting out 2 macadamia nuts and calling it a snack doesnít work for me. Doubling the fat to 4 whole macadamia nuts doesnít cut it either. The occasional extra apple works better for me.

Iím eating to maintain my weight for now. Iíve still got some extra fuel reserves on me right now that I hope to work off. When the fat is replaced with muscle and/or progress slows too much, Iíll look into eating more or adding milk (I spend a lot on groceries as is, eating right costs a lot more than eating junk!).

Some relevant info about me:

24 years old
202 #s Ė As of earlier this week, this after five straight weekends spent driving to visit friends, vacationing, and overeating. Iíve still managed to maintain my weight right around the 200 # area despite terrible weekend eating. Iím looking forward to eating healthy, exercising, and not traveling anywhere for the next few weeks.

Have I mentioned that Iím distressingly weak?

I lost a lot of weight, but also a lot of muscle (not that I had much to start with, but enough to lug my larger self around). I was running 5k+ on a treadmill about three times a week and playing tennis a couple more times a week.

I started Crossfit in early June after reading about it during an injury related layoff.

Iíll watch how Iím feeling closely to make sure I donít over do it again like I did with running and tennis. If overtraining/recovery is an issue I might scale Crossfit back to 2x a week. My wallet would certainly thank me. Crossfit Central is kinda expensive. Thankfully, Hyde Park gym is quite affordable.

I love the friendly competition and great community/socialization of my Crossfit classes, though. Also, Iíve no weightlifting background so the coaching is an immense help.

After a few weeks of Crossfit, Iíve identified a major weakpoint (strength!), and I intend to do something about it. I did my first SS workout today.

We did deadlifts earlier this week at Crossfit Central, and boy did I feel them. Iíve got a Crossfit class tomorrow so I want to hold off on the deadlifts until Friday so I have time to recover from them.

So, Iím starting with the second workout from SS. Prepare to be underwhelmed with the numbers.


Bar - 2x5
65# - 1x5
85# - 1x5
105# - 1x5
115# - 3x5
85# - 1x5

115# didn't feel real heavy but my form felt a bit shaky. Did another set at 85 to work on it. Toward the end I felt some shoulder pain/ache in the right shoulder with the bar on my back. Just uncomfortable pain, not injury pain. Probably pullup related from yesterday.

It was my first time going to Hyde Park Gym today. Theyíve got several power racks and a good olympic lifting platform setup, and plenty of machines to keep the other people at the gym occupied and out of my way.


Bar - 2x5
65# - 1x5
85 # - 1x5, 1x3 -- Too big a jump! Iíve pressed 100# at Crossfit Central but not for 3 sets of five. It was a struggle to maintain form. After a good rest, when I picked up the bar to start the next set at 85 it felt too heavy, but I tried anyway. I realized I wasnít getting a fourth rep on that 2nd set.
75# - 3x5

Workset seemed like a good weight. No pain in shoulder with pressing, so that's good, but I wasnít pleased with my form at first. I didnít have a good pattern to my breathing. I wasnít comfortable moving my head out of the way of the bar and then forward for lockout.


Coach Mike taught me the movement with PVC at my elements class, and Iíve done hang cleans on several occasions to rack the weight for front squats and thrusters. I hadnít done power cleans with weight yet, so I planned to take it light to work on form.

I practiced a bit with the bar from the rack position down, as per starting strength. Then I added ten pound bumpers

I made sure I did 5x3 at 65#, but I did several more singles and sets to try and work on form. I didnít count how many.

It was uggggly. Need to work on flexibility. Hook grip felt odd at first. Hang cleans feel pretty good, all things considered, but adding the extra movement and distance by starting from the floor for the power cleans makes the movement much more technically demanding. At 6'4", Iíve got a lot of arms and legs to sort out, and graceful Iím not.

I finished up with 3x15 situps.

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