Originally Posted by Roey Gilberg
In Gant's notes, he said to scale reps, rounds, and time before scaling weight (in fact it's in bold I believe). It seems like he's saying that if I can't come close to doing 21 reps of 95# thrusters in a decently quick amount of time for Fran, I should keep the 95# and just do less reps. Or is that what you're saying too and I'm just misreading...?
Originally Posted by Joey Powell
That is what I am saying based off of the principle and experience that moderate weight / moderate volume, is best suited for building mass through hypertrophy. If you don't need more muscle mass, then avoid this range. It DOES NOT coincides with FAST or HEAVY. It is moderately slow and grinding.
Jeff Martin the master of scaling... and who CrossFit trusts to scale for the CF main page through his website, Brand X, I would bet, would concur based on advice he has given and results his people see.
If you are turning those 21 reps into 3 hypertrophy sets of say 10-7-4, you are not doing yourself an favors in maximizing performance over time. The fastest times, that weight is moving explosively, and you can't do that effectively with <70-75% of 1RM. Needs to be closer to 40-50% and executed quickly concentrically and eccentrically.
Now if you are trying to build midline stabilization or, isometric strength and flexibility in the arm joints by moving a heavier weight, then go ahead. But know why you are doing it.
Better to start with say 65lbs and accomplish the first 21 thrusters in <35 secs and then add 5 lbs every time you can accomplish this. In by your 7th try you should be well with in the <4 min range, assuming your pull-ups are fairly strong.
Plus, with a heavier weight, you will vasalva, for the whole rep to protect your spine, but with a lower weight you can slip in two breaths per thruster, rather than one, because you will not need to protect your back as much. This makes a HUGE difference in thrusters. Breath exchange at the the top and in the hole.
This doesn't just go for Fran either. It goes with any MET-CON where you are grinding through high #s of reps per set.
The hypertrophy that accompanies moderate weight / moderate volume is not conducive to much that we consider athletic.
Gant's reasoning makes sense too in the sense that less reps you hopefully would try to move FASTER and for lower volume thus, perhaps, changing the type of hypertrophy.
I knew my comment would quickly bring us to this place. And I stand by it.
Joey's right. Jeff Martin is a fine man and a wonderful coach, and he would disagree with me (and has). A number of people--maybe most CFers--disagree with me on the scaling argument. That issue has been covered in several threads, some recently, and they are easily searchable.
I will say this: every time someone breaks a record, the community rushes to scale their workouts to achieve the new target time, and that's unfortunate. Most here will agree that conditioning is far easier to obtain than strength. If that's the case, why be so quick to scale? If a person can't do Fran as rx'd, he needs to get stronger. Scaling it down to the point where he can do it in 2 minutes does nothing for his strength; he is simply a fit person who is still too weak to do Fran.
Should AFT now scale his thrusters to 92.5# so he can shave 14 seconds off his time? Should Bainbridge scale to 85# so he can knock 40 seconds off? Is a 2:05 Fran what we should all be shooting for? I don't think so. Before 2:05 was 2:17. Before that 2:30, 2:42, and so on. If I recall, a sub-3 Fran is a fairly new thing. I imagine a sub-4 Fran was a big deal five years ago. My point is that the Speals, AFTs, OPTs, and Josh E's of the world didn't get where they are by scaling.
Of course, I don't advocate grinding it out a large weight that you can't handle. The metcons in this program are designed to have you lifting 1) heavy weights 2) as fast as you safely can 3) with little or no rest.
In the Fran example, the no-scale camp might have you do rx'd weights in 8 minutes. The scaled camp would suggest doing a light weight, say 65#, in 3 minutes with no rest. I'm saying you keep the weight heavy for you, maybe 80# for 15-12-9 with no rest in around 3 minutes. I think you'll get more out of doing it this way.
Like Joey says, under no circumstances should do weight that is too heavy for you for high reps. If you injure yourself you can't train. Then you're no good to anybody.
This is not a mass gain program per se, at least not sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. If someone wants to tweak the sets/reps/rest time schemes, then by all means...these are certainly the exercises to do it. In that case go with a little lighter weight on the metcon and some increased volume (still keeping the times low).
This program will net you some pretty good myofibrillar hypertrophy if you eat enough. You might only gain a pound or so, but it will be hard, firm, worthwhile muscle.
PS I hate Fran for the simple fact that it's overemphasized by the community. A quick check of logsitall tells the story. Too many people doing Frans, too few deadlifting.