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sofrgr 06-23-2003 03:57 PM


Just wanted to let everyone here know that this program stinks. I cant stand it.

I am a US Army Special Forces officer. With this type of career top fitness is a must. Over the years I have tried a multitude of fitness programs have always taken fitness seriously.

I just found this program a little while ago and finally decided to give it a try. I have been doing this program for about a week. Actually I am a week behind so that I can have a weekly schedule in advance.

Now for why I don’t like this program. 1. It showed me that by body weight to strength ratio is pitiful. 2. Demonstrated that my functional strength is also pathetic. 3. I thought I was in good shape but the WOD for the last week have put a hurting on me (I am ashamed to even post the scores). 4. This program completely blew out of the water all the old misconceptions I had about fitness and the shape I am in.

I am returning from a long deployment and I chalk some of my current fitness level to that, ie less than optimum nutrition, limited ability to work out, etc. But that only explains part of it, I also realized today that I have been kidding myself for years about my fitness and the programs I have been using.

All I can say is, Coach where were you and this program 6 years ago when I was getting ready to go through Special Forces Assessment and Selection. SFAS is a physically demanding three weeks and hard to prepare for. SFAS requires a lot of functional core body strength, endurance, stamina, cardio fitness, and flexibility. You need these elements not only to pass the course but also to remain healthy and survive during this three weeks of pain. Without a doubt your program is the best way that I have found to to get in condition for this. So everyone I run into now who is getting ready to go to selection I tell them to use this program to get them ready. Actually I am telling everyone about this program.

So I am going to stick with the program and as far as nutrition I am following the Body for Life nutrition program, six meals a day, protein and carb at every meal and at least two portions of vegetables daily. I had great success with this nutrition program a year ago. I am expecting to see some great results over the next months. Also I am looking at doing a 6 on and 1 off routine. I like to save Sundays for church. Does that sound okay or should I attempt to take two days off a week?

Coach thanks for an excellent product. The WOD a couple of days ago didnt look that hard on paper but by the end of it I was on the floor certain that I was going to die. I have been humbled. Keep it up.

Any advice for a newbie besides suck it up and drive on.

De Oppresso Liber

Mike Minium 06-23-2003 05:05 PM


Welcome to CrossFit. I'm just a couple months ahead of you. CrossFit has been the best thing to ever happen to me in terms of fitness.

Regarding the 6 on/1 off routine--that's pretty hardcore. If you can do it and continue to get the results, then I'd say go for it. However, I think in one of the CFJs (CrossFit Journals), Coach said that if one can't do the 3 on/1 off schedule, then he recommends the 5 on/2 off (generally Saturdays and Sundays off), which has produced favorable results in Crossfit practicioners. Something to consider...

Hope this helps,


Jon Pappas 06-24-2003 07:42 AM


Welcome! I know what you mean about wishing you had heard of CrossFit years ago.

Coach recommends for newbies to 1st establish consistency, 2nd intensity. These workouts will chew you up and spit you out. Guaranteed.

Here's a great post from Coach -

We have seen the world’s toughest men with tears running down their faces at the prospect of another workout. That is neither our intention or desireable. Sorry.

The WOD is designed to exceed the capacity of the world’s best athletes. If you go at it 100% every day, you will not survive. I can guarantee it. The workouts are tougher than flesh and blood.

The design of the workouts owes much to maximizing the breadth of stimulus and consequently fitness while simultaneously minimizing orthopedic and metabolic debilitation. Though certainly related, this is for me, still distinct from engineering designed to avoid overtraining.

You, Robb, Derek have learned how to modulate/moderate your efforts to survive and benefit from these workouts. Many won’t.

I wish I knew how to formalize and systematize an approach to optimizing return on effort (fitness) and eliminate the possibility of overtraining. I don’t think it’s possible. The art of intuitive moderation still trumps the science of peridodization (I’m being very generous in referring to the “science of peridodization.”)

My recommendation is to establish consistency then gradually increase intensity. I’d suggest someone “cruise” through the workouts for the first month with the goal being to just survive then gradually, incrementally turn up the heat.

Derek 06-24-2003 02:55 PM

Hey Sofgr,
Its good to see some SF guys coming into the CrossFit light! I am trying to get the 20th group to take a look at using the CrossFit program as our full time PT course.

sofrgr 06-24-2003 08:44 PM


without a doubt crossfit is the way to go for SF and like I said before this program is tailor made for those guys getting ready to go to selection. I just wish I had known about it before I went.

Derek 06-25-2003 05:31 AM

When you get a chanc e-mail me @ [][/email]

Alexander Karatis 06-25-2003 05:48 AM

Sofrgr, I just stumbled on crossfit today, referred to me as an excellent program for any high speed SOF school preparation.

I will be attending my country´s counterpart to the USN´s BUD/S (almost exactly like it) and crossfit really seemed like the universal training regiment that I need. To top that off it just smells to me like an adrenaline rush! (Kinda like what hapenned to me with Guerilla Cardio!)

I wanted a way to put more power in my workouts and more range to the stimulus I´m giving my muscles with simple calisthenics. My approach was to create a custom progrm for myself centered around Resistance/Calisthenic supersets 3x week, and Long Cardio/High Intensity Interval Cardio 5x week.

Crossfit seems like more than what I wanted to do. It sounds intense which is a big turn on for me. However I fear that I will not be able to do it correctly. I run at a track, and the continuous exercises utilising several equipment just aren´t available to me. Sure you can substitute a kettleball with a dumbell, but what about exercises like muscle-ups?

Sir, I hate to tire you with my endless rant, so my questions to you are:

A. Do you feel it is the best approach considering my goal in performing well in a BUD/S-type program?

B. Is it a practical approach that can be tweaked with various substitutions, whilst providing the same results?

I am aware that you too are new to this, but your backround assures me that you know why I´m working out, and how I should work out. It´s my first browse through these boards and when I saw an SOF operator saying good things about the program, I said to myself «I just have to ask!»...

Thanks a lot in advance!

David Werner 06-25-2003 10:16 AM


If I may jump in here, I was a SEAL and am convinced that what Crossfit has developed is the best fitness training possible.

If you persue this path you will be as prepared as you can be for your military training. The largest component of succesfully completing such a program is mental - the determination to finish. You can start to develop this in your workouts by pushing your limits. When you think you can't go faster - go faster anyway. When you are sure there is not one more rep in you, do two more reps. In good form.

Yes, substitution will work. Use your creativity here, for instance rings are easy to cobble together in some form and hang from anything, a tree branch if neccesary.

Good luck, keep us posted.


sofrgr 06-25-2003 11:20 AM


Without a doubt crossfit will more than prepare you for the rigors of BUDs. In any special operation selection program it does not matter how much you can bench or how much you can curl. What counts is your functional strength, lifting heavy odd shaped objects, ie telephone poles, water cans, ammo crates, etc. Crossfit will prepare you for this plus the types of exercises that are done here are great for increasing your grip strength. You will find out that a lot of the events in a selection process require a tremendous amount of grip strength and endurance.

I would definitely advise using crossfit as your primary program to prep for selection. The gym I workout doesnt have some of the equipment that crossfit calls for either so I substitute different exercises as best as possible. Also like Dave said you can build a lot of the equipment that you need literally for a few dollars. I am getting ready to build my own home crossfit gym and get out of the gym I am going to now.

As far as substitution ask some of the guys who have been doing this for a while they will know what the proper subs are.

The only thing I would add to your training program is some pool work. Dave Werner who also posted to this thread is a former SEAL and he could probably give you some great training tips and techniques for your pool work.

To reiterate what Dave said the selection process is 90% mental. The workouts done here are very demanding and Coach sets some very high goals each day. If you follow the program and put your heart into the WOD it will increase your mental toughness as well as your physical toughness. CF will teach you to push yourself past what your mind has set as your physical limit.

One other thing you should check out the webpage that michael rutherford has. take a look at the section on functional exercises. when i saw that section i said man this looks just like a selection event.


Give it a try and definitely keep us posted on your progress and dont hesitate for a second to ask questions.

De Oppresso Liber

Alexander Karatis 06-26-2003 12:36 PM


Thanks a lot for «jumping in»! Any advice I can get from people like yourself and Sofrgr is advice I can use! About the mental aspect of it all it’s what everyone with any experience o the matter keeps telling me. To the point however that its overemphasized. I’m sure that being stronger, faster and with more endurance will put less strain on me mentally. Less pain, better results, and less likely to injure myself, which is what I fear most, being that it is almost completely outside my control.

My workout up until now has shaped me in what I believe is a good state. I do find it lacking all of a sudden however. People won’t understand why I’m not impressed with myself just because I can outperform some lazy folks at the track or in the gym. They see my quest for «weird forms of exercise» as superfluous. I can sense however that Crossfit is what I need. It’s crystal clear philosophy, its diversity, its methodology, and most of all its attitude and intensity just get me fired up! It’s like having discovered the truth after endless searching…and this, without having committed to it yet, just reading about it!

What worries me however, is the fact that although I will be getting «fitter», I won’t bee practicing what I’ll be asked to do in the school. No four-mile runs in the sand, no long ocean swims etc. Am I expected through a program like Crossfit to be able to tackle these just because I’ll be so well rounded that I can take on anything? Is that the idea?


Thank you for your reply! Yes grip strength was one of the few «odd» things I was taught to work on for any SOF training. «Odd», because as usual, I was the only guy wrapping towels around the pull-up bars in my gym!

What troubles me with Crossfit isn’t finding a way to do every single exercise, but the random factor in matching these exercises. Let me explain….

I can substitute a dumbbell for a kettle ball, and I can bring the DB with me at the track...but there’s no bench there… I can build rings in my house, and I have a pull-up bar in my room, but no medicine ball or place to use it…I can find a lot of this stuff in my gym, but I’ll really be missing out on a lot of others, like a place to run (that’s run, not hurry because the moving rug will throw you down!), the rings, or other types of gymnastic equipment.

So what do I do? Do I mix and match these existing exercises as I see fit and as they fit my schedule? (Like having a track day, a gym day, a home day etc.) Does Coach mix them randomly, or is there a reason he puts push-ups after a run or squats after pull-ups? I seem to understand from the limited routines I’ve seen this far that they are entirely randomly matched…Is this valid?

Thanks a lot in advance and sorry for the long post, I just wanted to get my homework done before I go full-speed into this!

sofrgr 06-26-2003 04:47 PM


Couple of things. First, I started a week behind the actual workout of the day. This allows me to lay out a week's worth of training and prepare for it. Prep the battlefield.

Second, as far as the running portion. Instead of running at a track or on a treadmill I got in my truck and drove around the gym marking off a 400m distance. What I do is conduct the run around the course that I have laid out and run right into the gym to the exercise equipment that I need for the lifting exercise.

As far as mixing and matching or having a gym day, track day, home day, etc I am not the best person to answer that question. One of these other guys who has been doing this a while or Coach himsel will have a better answer. I am no expert but I am sure there is some reason for the order and the combination of the exercises.

If you build yourself a set of rings build a set that is transportable that way you can carry them to the gym.

As far as the mental part you are exactly right. The more fit you are, the better shape you are in and the more prepared you are for selection it will be a lot easier mentally. You will find that the better shape you are in the less you have to tap into those mental reserves. Also, survival (aka staying healthy) is one of the other keys to passing a selection. The more functional strength and core body strength you have the less likely you are to get injured. I feel that CF will definitely help in this area. I saw a lot of the guys in my selection class who were strong in the weight room or fast on the track not make it through selection because of injuries. Before I went to selection I did a lot of the functional exercises like those in the link I provided, especially the farmers walk and the sandbag walk.


what is your take on Alexander setting a track, gym or home day, basically breaking up the wod to accomodate the facilities? any suggestions?

De Oppresso Liber

John King 06-28-2003 08:51 AM

That is a brilliant idea of driving around your gym and marking off 400m! Sometimes if I get to the gym at an hour when everyone else is off from work I cant get near a treadmill because all the middle aged women are walking on them for an hour. They wonder why they are still fat!
Well, it figures a SF guy would be more clever than me I was just a Marine grunt!! Im definetely going to do that. Great to have you hear and appreciate any and all comments you have!
John King

Alexander Karatis 06-30-2003 02:20 AM


The week for preparation is something I think I´m going to follow. I just wish I had a homy gym with everything I need inside but I don´t.

The run (when asked to mix it with other stuff) will most definately be around the gym too. (Your approach is the only one I know that works too)...Of course, running into the gym will mean no chit-chat with the pretty girls in the front desk:-) The treadmill is a definate no-no in my case especially for HIIT runs-That´s a fast track to getting injured!

I see what you´re saying about the rings, and it seems I´ll have to be carrying more stuff with me since my gym as big as it is, doesn´t have medicine balls, ropes, etc. I´ll have to find all the practicalities however, like what room do I do each, where I´ll be hanging the rings and rope from etc.

I suppose I´m still a bit sceptical about attempting Olympic Lifts for the first time, or getting the attention of 200 people by bouncing a ball on the wall. (I think I´ll start bringing some music with me so I can just crank it up and zone out)

Anyway Sir, thank you for the reassurance and the advice, and I hope I can start commeting on the WODs themselves ASAP!



Derek 07-14-2003 01:15 PM

Hey Alex,

Your worries are well founded and noted, and with that said trust in CrossFit!
Yes, to mixing up your routines. As a mater of fact the routine is the enemy of your workouts productivity. Your body will adapt to new stimulus (WODs), this adaptation will allow you to perform at a higher level, thus you make progress with your workouts. The catch 22 comes in when the body becomes strong enough to deal with the stimulus, then the athlete plateaus and makes little or no gains in his fitness. This CrossFit deals with this by randomly introducing new exercises and challenging the body to over come new workloads with the old exercises! We use an infinitely varied array of intervals, loads, and exercises to keep your body guessing as to what it may face next (just like in BUDS or real life), this allows for a broad rang of adaptation to occur.

Try to stay away from Running one day and Lifting the next day this will only lead to gaps in your fitness! Say you run on Monday and lift on Tuesday, and lets say you can run a 5 min mile, and you can bench press 400lbs. Sounds very impressive right, but what if you have to sprint 800 meters then bench, could your body handle this kind of exertion if you trained the running separate from your lifting? I can tell you from my own work that the answer is a resounding no! The workout of the day when approached with intensity is crippling to all who attempt it. You will have to learn how to modulate your intensity to just survive the work out, but this is just as valuable as the workout. You are going to have to learn how to do it at BUDS as well!

Alex, you will get stronger, faster, and increase you flexibility with Crossfit witch is what you need to physically succeed in BUDS. Please note some will inevitably be faster than you, some will be stronger than you, but very few will be faster and stronger than you!


Alexander Karatis 07-16-2003 03:12 AM

Thank you for the response Derek!

I can safely say that I´ve never been as excited as I am now about starting a fitness routine. As I keep my regular weight training and HIIT for the moment, just so that I can prepare for Crossfit, build my knowledge base and get everything in order, I must admit that I feel some envy for you guys already well into the program!

Well, I have no doubt that this is the training for me I´m just taking it easy and jumping full steam because:

A. My gym´s subscription means that I´ll have to make a list of the stuff that I bring with me, and plan the practicalities of everything (where to do this that and the other).

B. I´ll need to find someone to show me the Olympic lifts and some of the other more technical exercises.

Routine is the enemy. I am certain of that, not only from the trust I have developed in Crossfit´s viewpoint, but also from personal experience. Anyway, I just hope I´ll be able to do as mamny of the WODs as possible (due to practicalities again)...

Thanks a lot for the guidance guys!
(Now imagine what a Crossfit franchise of training centers would do to the fitness world!!!)

Tony King 09-08-2003 04:46 PM


I am looking to go to SFAS after the new year. I was wondering if you can tell me if need to adjust my training any....Mon-Sun I do a body part in the morning before I go to work. (Mon Chest, Tuesday Back, Wed Abs, Thurs Delts, Fri Tri's, Sat Bi's, Sun Abs again) After work I do the best I can with the WOD. Then on Tues, Thurs, Sats and Suns I run, after the WOD. Am I doing too much? Should I concentrate on something? I have read the recommended work out for attending SFAS. Should I do that? From what I have read, in past discussions, is that CF's WOD is the way to go. It's not that doing all of this is killing me, someday's are definitely harder than others, but I want to work smarter not harder to set myself up for success. Any input you or anyone has would be appreciated.

John King 09-09-2003 08:02 AM

If it were me I would forget about the one body part per day, and concentrate on the WOD. On the days off, I would swim or run.

F 09-09-2003 02:30 PM

Yep...forget bodybuilding garbage...obstacle courses, sandbag workouts, carrying people, running with equipment on your body, running with equipment in your hands, rope work, wall climbing, heavy ruckmarching, gasmask work, swimming with and without weight, etc.. If you're going to try to add anything to the WOD, that's the stuff, not a bodybuilding routine.

Tony King 09-09-2003 03:38 PM

John and F,

Thanks for the advise. I think I am really gonna miss the body building stuff though. Since going to the one body part a day routine I have started to notice a lot of growth. I don't want to give that up, you know?

mark a. blakemore 09-09-2003 03:42 PM

Yea, but look at the functional fitness you'll gain. Years of training like a bodybuilder won't come close to what you'd gain in weeks with this. You're making the right choice.

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