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Andres Diaz 08-23-2006 12:05 PM

The following lines describe my prospect for a lifelong training:
I've been lifting for 6 months of which 2 are SS. My long term goal is ~400kg on the squat+bench+deadlift. That should take me from 6 months to a year. After that, i'm going to switch to crossfit till i die or find something else.

My reasons:
- I think wearing a belt and straps for the lifts, once i reached an intermediate level, makes the whole thing artificial and not real life suited.
- I would like the cardiovascular and other parameters being enhanced by such a multifunctional training schedule without losing strength.
- SS and crossfit 3/7 are not compatible.

Am i somehow wrong for choosing crossfit given the requirements i set?

Jeremy Jones 08-23-2006 02:50 PM

Welcome to CrossFit!

I have been incorporating SS with my CrossFit and my sport training (martial arts).

For a couple weeks, I have been doing SS 3x per week per the book SS. I then do CF on the in-between days, taking every 3rd or 4th day off.

If I really feel drained, I may take an extra day off of CF, but I really try to stay consistent with the SS stuff (absolute strength is my weakness).

Granted, I have been doing CF for over two years fairly consistantly so I know how I respond to overtraining/under recovery. I feel comfortable tweaking my program.

If I were starting from a pure lifting background, with a goal like yours - I would be more likely to incorporate more CF as my body could handle it. Maybe do CF at half intensity (half reps, weight, time, or all three, etc). On your off days, or hours from your SS lifting workouts. You will have to be careful if you haven't been doing CF workouts before, the intensity is deceiving.

My point: CrossFit is great for General Physical Preparedness (GPP). If you put it off completely you could be neglecting many parts of your overall fitness. Use CF for your fitness foundation, then SS for your "strength lifting" goal.

I would also be curious to see what Mr. Rippetoe has to recommend. . .

Steven Low 08-23-2006 06:37 PM

Hmm, 6 months is around borderline beginner and intermediate.

If you absolutely want to work towards your goal first, it would be much quicker to reach your strength goal by doing SS and then probably something like Bill Starr's intermediate 5x5 routine while putting CrossFit on the side. If, however, you are not worried about time constraints, then I would say do CF with SS on the side. I think what it boils down to is if you want to be fit while gaining strength (e.g. CF with SS on the side) or if you want to gain the strength before working to be fit (SS with CF on the side). I mean, each will get you towards one a bit faster and slow up progress on the other (between fitness and strength) in a sense.

Andres Diaz 08-24-2006 02:28 AM

Oh, thanks.

I'm not sure i could do crossfit "instead of cardio" on a daily basis because of lack of technique and equipment (i train in a 30m2 basement!). I'm just getting the SS book shipped soon. So i think a compromise'd be start doing a WOD a week after my swimming session on saturdays, while keeping SS progressing. I hope not to "overtrain" :-)

One thing i have not got clear, are all the WODs equivalent? I mean, can i skip the ones i cannot do for some reason and just pick another nearby? Like the girl named WODs, which seem to be the more demanding.

Roger Harrell 08-24-2006 07:55 AM


You can do CF with anything, anywhere. CF is a workout construct concept. High intentisty functional movement. There's nothing in there about equipment or space.

Caz Berkowitz 08-24-2006 07:47 PM

I've been doing Crossfit for about 6 months now and am interested in incorporating SS into my routine as well in order to gain some basic strength and muscle.

My question: SS seems to recommend lots 'o calories to help build muscle mass. Most crossfitters seem to recommend the Zone, which seems to be on the low calorie side.

Which dietary strategy would you use if you are combining SS's program with Crossfit on your off days? (I'm also assuming you get plenty of rest, both through sleep and rest days to prevent overtraining).

Don Stevenson 08-24-2006 08:28 PM

If you want to get big you need to eat lots, if you are aiming to maintain a lean bodyweight then you need to eat less.

If i zone I end up at about 82kg and fairly lean, if i eat like a horse I can easily push that up to 92+ but with a bit more bodyfat.

It depends on your goals. I want to compete in strongman against guys that weigh 100kg plus, i'd be shooting myself in the foot if i tried to do that at 82kg. You might decide that a lean physique and overall good health is your goal.

Caz Berkowitz 08-25-2006 10:53 AM

Thanks Don.

I should have included more about goals so everyone knows what I’m trying to achieve.

I’ve been happy with the progress I’ve made doing the Crossfit WODs for the last 6 months and plan on continuing with them for the rest of my life. I’m not interested in any type of competition or working out to look good. But I want to start building some muscle so I have something to work with.

On 8/9/06 my body weight was 180 with 26% body fat. I started the Zone diet.

I want to start the SS program as RXed. Incorporate CrossFit WODs as I am able. Do this until I am able to bring up my raw numbers up on deads, squats, presses, etc. Then I will switch back to Crossfit’s WODs and Zone diet exclusively.

While I’m doing SS should I stay on the Zone since it’s relatively lo cal and I’m relatively chubby? Will my stored body fat feed the new muscle I'm trying to build? Or will doing the strength training without eating to support it defeat my goals?

Mark Rippetoe 08-25-2006 12:05 PM


It has been my experience that the people who make the best progress on CF come from a strength training background. It will be very hard to get your deadlift up to 500 on a straight CrossFit program. It will be quite doable to get a 16 round "Cindy" if you already have a 500 lb. deadlift. Strength is a good base for everything else. GPP is important, if the lack of it is a problem. My point is that if you're a 25-year-old male with a max squat of 150 lbs., max deadlift of 200, and max press of 100 at a bodyweight of 150, then GPP should not be your first concern. Your CF workouts should be designed around, and should defer to, your strength program until such time as your strength and lean body mass are up high enough to make you a more efficient athlete. In my opinion.

It is also my opinion that anyone with 18% bodyfat or lower that is really, really worried about it is more interested in aesthetics than performance. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Patrick Paul 08-25-2006 12:24 PM

what is SS? i am totally new here so excuse my ignorance. i want to get started but lack equipment and general flexibility for some of the o-lifts which will be new to me so i want to develop the form first and the strength later for higher weights. is this the right direction?

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