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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 11-21-2011, 12:33 PM   #1
Dave Michael
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crossfit making me weaker?

Started crossfit 3 months ago and have noticed considerable improvement in may aspects of fitness. Unfortunately, these have primarily involved areas I have no interest in - running endurance and a lower weight. I care about strength and joined crossfit primarily because it was the only gym in the area that would let me do the olympic lifts. Main reason for this was I was never strong as a kid but very very skinny. While powerlifting at my local Ballys for the past two years (which I hated) earned me a 225 atg squat and a 135 OHP, now I am humiliated to admit that I cant get near these already-pathetic numbers. I thought doing all the kettle bells, prowler pushes and high rep deadlifts and push presses over the last 3 months would make me stronger but I maxed out this past week with a 195 squat and 110 oh. What am i doing wrong? I know how to eat and rest so this cant be the problem. Should I stop going to any cardio days whatsoever? Getting so frustrated that I am considering not renewing and just going back to heavy squats twice a week at Ballys.
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:38 PM   #2
Paulo Santos
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Re: crossfit making me weaker?

What kind of strength work are you guys doing at your box?
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:46 PM   #3
Chris Mason
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Re: crossfit making me weaker?

Right, Dave, if all you don't do some strength specific training, or at least some heavy WODs, you will compromise absolute strength. By definition, training with sum-maximal loads for many repetitions will not build absolute strength in those that are already strength trained.

The nutshell is you want to so some strength specific work in addition to your WODs.

I have written a program called Conjugate CrossFit that addresses this and there are other programs that do the same.
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:59 PM   #4
Andrew N. Casey
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Re: crossfit making me weaker?

what is your age and weight? what was your previous training schedule? what is your current crossfit schedule?

you say you know how to eat but then say you are losing weight and don't want to be?

what is your primary goal? strength, size, looks, performance? what is your plan to get there?
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Old 11-21-2011, 02:07 PM   #5
Jared Ashley
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Re: crossfit making me weaker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Michael View Post
What am i doing wrong? I know how to eat and rest so this cant be the problem. Should I stop going to any cardio days whatsoever? Getting so frustrated that I am considering not renewing and just going back to heavy squats twice a week at Ballys.
What is your height/weight/age?

What have you been doing for 2 years that got you to 225/135, and what was your strength & size like when you started lifting?

If you're a small guy (under 150) then you have (or rather, had) a solid press and a pretty weak squat (no insult intended).

Chris is correct that CF metcons won't make somebody stronger if they are previously strength trained to a high (or even moderate) level, but I find it unlikely that you're at a level of strength where this should be a big problem. Back when I was doing 2-3 mainpage WODs a week and nothing else, I maintained at about BS 240, DL 285, OHP 110, at a bodyweight of 135. I wasn't getting any stronger, but I wasn't getting weaker either. This makes me question if you're really getting the food and rest you think you are, especially in light of your recent unintended weight loss.

As to what you should be doing, I don't think you need to cut cardio completely, although you don't really need more than 1-2 cardio workouts per week to maintain that area of fitness (or even gain depending on your current level). Since strength is your primary interest, it should obviously be your focus... you need to get back on an organized strength program, and make that first priority. I would be very careful with metcons; they tend to trash recovery for a strength program, especially if you're trying to do them with weights that are heavy enough to slow you down. You may need to cut back on weight and/or volume on those workouts.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:02 AM   #6
David Meverden
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Re: crossfit making me weaker?

Sounds to me like you are going to the wrong gym. CF is for general fitness, if you don't care about many aspects that come with general fitness, then just do strength work. You could do a hybrid with more strength work, and if your CF gym will help you do that well it might be a good idea, but it sounds like you'd be happier doing just strength work, in which case you need to buy a barbell for your garage and start doing a real lifting program (if you are only squatting 225 after 2 years of work then you are not doing the lifting part right. Buy the book Starting Strength, make sure you are doing your lifts right, and find someone else's lifting program, Starting Strength, Grayskull linear progression, 5/3/1, etc and stick to it exactly for a while while eating lots of food.
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:45 AM   #7
Tony Sutton
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Re: crossfit making me weaker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Michael View Post
Started crossfit 3 months ago and have noticed considerable improvement in may aspects of fitness. Unfortunately, these have primarily involved areas I have no interest in - running endurance and a lower weight. I care about strength and joined crossfit primarily because it was the only gym in the area that would let me do the olympic lifts. Main reason for this was I was never strong as a kid but very very skinny. While powerlifting at my local Ballys for the past two years (which I hated) earned me a 225 atg squat and a 135 OHP, now I am humiliated to admit that I cant get near these already-pathetic numbers. I thought doing all the kettle bells, prowler pushes and high rep deadlifts and push presses over the last 3 months would make me stronger but I maxed out this past week with a 195 squat and 110 oh. What am i doing wrong? I know how to eat and rest so this cant be the problem. Should I stop going to any cardio days whatsoever? Getting so frustrated that I am considering not renewing and just going back to heavy squats twice a week at Ballys.
Have you told your trainers this? At our box, we don't mind adapting our programming to meet our clients needs.

It could also be something else that's impacting your performance, which some of these other posts are getting at. Sleep, diet, activity level, and so forth.
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:35 AM   #8
Thomas Sayle
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Re: crossfit making me weaker?

Can you tell us what your diet consists of?

How many calories per day? What types of food are you eating?

Be honest about this. There is a reason why CrossFit has a base that consists of nutrition first. It means everything.

We have several athletes, especially females, that believe a calorie restrictive diet is the best thing for them. What happens is that they put their body in starvation mode. Body burns muscles, leaves fat stores alone. This does not allow growth or weight gain. They end up in a size 2 or 4, with 25% body fat. "Skinny fat" is what we call it.

Post your diet so that we can make sure this is not your problem.
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