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Old 08-04-2011, 09:53 PM   #1
Bryan Deane
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5x5 w/wo CF - options

Whats up fellas, im having trouble figuring out what the best route to take in my current situation is. Im in the military but wont start training (most likely) for another 8-10 months. Right now my lifts are roughly:

5 rep:
Squat: 225
Bench: 190
Row: 165
Dead: 275
Press: 110

My lifts are probably a little higher as i havent maxed in a while, but those #s shouldnt be off by much.

As you guys can tell my lifts arent the worst but theres a lot to improve on. What i want to do is increase my strength dramatically but at the same time not neglect cardio/endurance (stuff i need in the military and training).

The options ive thought of at this point are:

Madcows 5x5 for a while, maybe transition to a combo metcon/strength later
SLs 5x5: Im afraid my squat #s are a little too high to handle the 5x5 every MWF volume, followed by the transition to the combo

Now im reading stuff on CFWF, and CFFB and more options are opening up. Reading this thread has me amazed: http://www.board.crossfit.com/showth...highlight=CFFB

Sorry for the long post, i guess my main point is: I want to dramatically increase my strength while improving or at least keeping my cardio/endurance levels.

If any military guys have any input id greatly appreciate it.
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:49 PM   #2
George Marrtinez
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Re: 5x5 w/wo CF - options

I'd drop squatting, and benching. You could keep the deadlift, and a push press, and probably get a lot more bang for your buck. You could also get some kettlebells, a 53 pounder for snatching, and pressing, and a heavier one for pressing. Or you could just lower your reps for maximum strength sets of triples, and doubles. But, if you're military you could always ruck for muscular endurance, and cardio as well. I'd say drop squatting, because 225 is typically barely over a person's bodyweight, and I wouldn't even consider it strength training. A lot of people dick around with strength training, don't follow a linear program, or any sort of sensible program, and lose muscular endurance, and aerobic capacity without actually building strength.
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:41 PM   #3
Chris Puckett
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Re: 5x5 w/wo CF - options

Follow crossfit.com wods and eat a lot of the right things for the next 8 months and you should be fine, you will be a totally changed guy. I wouldn't worry about strength training alone, dont make it complicated, just be consistent day in day out for months. People here may prioritize it, but strength training alone may not be right for you. By the time you get strong, you will be slower, then by the time you get fast, you will lose the strength. Doing both is tough, and I wouldn't recommend it to the novice. Just follow the daily wods consistently and eat well, you will get stronger and faster together, without neglecting one or the other. Crossfit.com is perfect for guys like you, it will touch on everything and bring you up in all areas. I would recommend joining a crossfit gym with a coach that can help keep you on track.
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:47 PM   #4
Paulo Santos
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Re: 5x5 w/wo CF - options

I'd do either Conjugate CrossFit or 70's Big. Both are pretty balanced Strength and Conditioning Programs. When I was in the Army, I was pathetically weak, but I could run very well. If I could do it again, I'd be more balanced.
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:10 AM   #5
Charles Talbert
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Re: 5x5 w/wo CF - options

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Deane View Post
i guess my main point is: I want to dramatically increase my strength while improving or at least keeping my cardio/endurance levels.

If any military guys have any input id greatly appreciate it.
Im not in the military anymore but...

This is exactly what CFFB is. Start out on amature so you can get on a good linear progression. My bench & press are going up 5lbs a week and my Deadlift goes up 10lbs. The conditioning is NO JOKE either. Just make sure you are eating enough because it will tear you up if you don't.
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Old 08-13-2011, 06:05 AM   #6
Eric Montgomery
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Re: 5x5 w/wo CF - options

I'm a little baffled as to why George would recommend that you quit squatting because your squat numbers aren't that high...all the more reason that you should be squatting at least twice a week.

I'd recommend 70s Big or GSLP. I did both programs while I was in active duty and recommended them to several other people in my unit or gym with good results in terms of strength gains while still maintaining or improving conditioning.
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:28 AM   #7
Andrew N. Casey
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Re: 5x5 w/wo CF - options

kudos to you for making the decision to join up. and good idea to show up in shape, too many show up way out of shape and it makes it a miserable experience. would be glad to offer some advice, but first i think it would be helpful to have some more info...

first - age, height, weight

second - what branch of service and what job

third - what are your goals for military? to just get through basic training, do your job, and get out after 4 years? or do you hope to go into some high speed unit or spec ops type of stuff?

fourth - what is your current level of cardio / endurance?


at a minimum, i recommend the following things:

- find out the height/weight/bodyfat standard for your branch of service and make sure you are within the standard

- find out the PT test for your branch and see how you do on it. work on the things you need to improve.

- begin to walk a few miles at a brisk pace with a backpack at least 2 or 3 times a week. if you start now you can start with a light weight and slowly work your way up. this is one of the hardest things for many people. running will not prepare you for this.

- talk to someone in your branch that went through the same training and find about about any specific things you might need to get ready for.


once you make sure you are working on some specific things to prepare you, then you can structure a program for strength that will work with your goals.
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Old 08-13-2011, 03:20 PM   #8
George Marrtinez
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Re: 5x5 w/wo CF - options

I think you can make gains in the squat with heavy workload outside of it, which is one of the great benefits of the exercise. But, if the average guy weighs anything between 150-200+ pounds, and he wears a ruck with a weight of 45 pounds or more, and walks for hours at a time. I think that would be a lot more beneficial than someone who is probably not attacking the squat with intensity.By that I mean they're not increasing the weight every workout, they're not working on their form, they're just going through the motions, which I see quite a lot. Then they neglect other areas of fitness, and eat a lot, and put on weight, and overall become less effective as a soldier. But, I think you can see a lot of strength gains and overall fitness increases with the front squat, back squat, and push press if they're properly implemented.
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Old 08-13-2011, 06:07 PM   #9
Eric Montgomery
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Re: 5x5 w/wo CF - options

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Marrtinez View Post
I think you can make gains in the squat with heavy workload outside of it, which is one of the great benefits of the exercise. But, if the average guy weighs anything between 150-200+ pounds, and he wears a ruck with a weight of 45 pounds or more, and walks for hours at a time. I think that would be a lot more beneficial than someone who is probably not attacking the squat with intensity.By that I mean they're not increasing the weight every workout, they're not working on their form, they're just going through the motions, which I see quite a lot. Then they neglect other areas of fitness, and eat a lot, and put on weight, and overall become less effective as a soldier. But, I think you can see a lot of strength gains and overall fitness increases with the front squat, back squat, and push press if they're properly implemented.
Well doing anything without focus and intensity is going to lead to minimal results. I wouldn't use people who go through the motions while lifting as examples of why the OP shouldn't be lifting heavy.

Boosting your squat and deadlift will strengthen all the hip, leg, and torso muscles and joints that are susceptible to injury from wearing a pack for prolonged periods of time. Once I started a strength program I stopped getting lower back and shoulder pains from wearing the same packs that had previously been heavy for me.
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:58 PM   #10
Damon Stewart
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Re: 5x5 w/wo CF - options

If you haven't done a linear progression you should. CFFB has one and a very little google-fu will find you one as well. Pair it with 3 CF.com WODs per week or just do CFFB and you're good to go.

Telling someone who wants to gain massive amounts of strength to drop squatting not good advice. Squats and their variations are pretty much king, especially for the novice.
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