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Old 09-13-2009, 07:28 PM   #1
Joe Bernard
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Strength Program Q's

I've searched, but unfortunately SS has alot of threads, I searched through the first couple pages unsuccessfully. I'm going to start a strength program most likely next week. Reason being because I want to reread SS again to make sure I have everything down, and because I've been losing weight. How do people gain so much weight in the first 4-6 weeks and have some of it be muscle (not all fat)? I ask because you are supposed to start out light and work your way up to your current 5RM in all the lifts in 4-6 weeks into the program. So how would lifting light weight provide the stimulus to build muscle? I know you add 10-15lbs per workout, but the weight doesn't get heavy until 4-6 weeks into the program.

Stats: 5'10 130lbs (yea I know, I lost 15lbs since May, I was at 145lbs at the start of the summer; this was not done intentionally). All of my lifts have gone down alot, performance in WODs have sucked, and I've been feeling tired and out of it. I don't know my 1RM, but my 5RM are:
Press- 80lbs
Squat- 120lbs (switched to low bar, so have to get used to it.)
Deadlift- 185lbs

Before all this weight loss, my stats were:
Press- 90lbs
Squat- 150lbs (I think)
Deadlift- 225lbs

So yea, I've lost alot of strength and I'm frustrated. I looked at the SS Wiki and I like the Practical Programming Novice Program, which is outlined as:

Monday
3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench press / Press (Alternating)
Chin-ups: 3 sets to failure or add weight if completing more than 15 reps

Wednesday
3x5 Squat
3x5 Press / Bench Press (Alternating)
1x5 Deadlift

Friday
3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench Press / Press (Alternating)
Pull-ups: 3 sets to failure or add weight if completing more than 15 reps

I like doing chin-ups and pull-ups, so that's why this program appealed to me. However, would I be better served doing just SS or would this program be effective as well? (Since you eventually add in pull-ups and dips for SS if you want) I'm looking to add strength and gain some weight back, at least to 145lbs (previous weight before this weird summer), maybe 150. So not looking for 20lbs in a month gain via GOMAD (can't do it, I get acne, bloating, bad bathroom trips, etc), just adding some weight and getting strong in the process. I've been doing CFFB for three weeks, but I figure the metcons were pointless when pure strength is what I'm aiming for. Sure, some metcon would be nice, but scaling the weight back alot is not, so I'll take strength right now over metcon. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Last edited by Joe Bernard : 09-13-2009 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 09-13-2009, 08:11 PM   #2
Joe Bernard
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Re: Strength Program Q's

Sorry, the time to edit my originial post expired. Would CFFB + alot of food = good strength gains? or would I be better served doing the above mentioned strength program?
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Old 09-13-2009, 08:29 PM   #3
Dave Winchester
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Re: Strength Program Q's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bernard View Post
I'm looking to add strength and gain some weight back, at least to 145lbs (previous weight before this weird summer), maybe 150. I've been doing CFFB for three weeks, but I figure the metcons were pointless when pure strength is what I'm aiming for. Sure, some metcon would be nice, but scaling the weight back alot is not, so I'll take strength right now over metcon. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bernard View Post
Would CFFB + alot of food = good strength gains? or would I be better served doing the above mentioned strength program?
Really, it depends what your goals are. However, you already stated that pure strength and weight gain is your focus, so why do anything but a pure strength program?

Regarding this:

Quote:
how do people gain so much weight in the first 4-6 weeks and have some of it be muscle (not all fat)?
They work hard and add weight to the bar. If you're continuously adding weight to your 5RM in the bench, press, and deadlift you can rest assured not all your weight gain is fat. Watch your diet, don't overdo it if you're worried about excessive fat gain; it won't happen overnight.
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Old 09-13-2009, 08:45 PM   #4
Graeme Howland
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Re: Strength Program Q's

You can do a 5x5 version of SS (like stronglifts.com novice program) to get more volume if you want to build mass faster, but the linear progression will top out sooner on the lifts. I'd just do SS, the reason you start at lower weights is to lock in technique before you get to your limit. After 4 or 5 weeks when you are near your 5RM and squatting 3x a week, you will grow a lot. At your size I would do GOMAD (gallon of milk a day) if you are serious about mass and strength, forget concerns about fat until you are at least 165lbs and have a 1.5X BW back squat. Then again I am 5'10 198lbs so maybe I am biased.
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Old 09-13-2009, 09:34 PM   #5
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Strength Program Q's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bernard View Post
Stats: 5'10 130lbs (yea I know, I lost 15lbs since May, I was at 145lbs at the start of the summer; this was not done intentionally). All of my lifts have gone down alot, performance in WODs have sucked, and I've been feeling tired and out of it.
You lost 15 pounds that you probably didn't have to lose. Yes, of course your performance is down and you're feeling tired. (Not to mention the effects of whatever caused the weight loss in the first place. Whether illness or stress, that wears you out, too.) I would say start eating and don't quit until you've gained at least 30 pounds. Even 30 pounds of fat -- which it won't be if you're lifting heavy stuff, too -- would be an improvement.

Katherine
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Old 09-13-2009, 10:27 PM   #6
Andrew Wilson
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Re: Strength Program Q's

Just a note. If you ever stall out or want to try something new Wendler's 531 & Oly lifting are definitely something to look into. I did starting strength, within the first 1.5 month, I added like 30 pounds to my press and bench and easily gained 10 pounds of muscle. Now I'm Oly with Tabata runs
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:21 PM   #7
Justin Ellsworth
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Re: Strength Program Q's

Joe,

You have over 1,000 posts on here, yet are 5'10", and weigh in at 130lb. Unless there is a underlying chronic condition we're not aware of...what the hell is going on?

GOMAD sure doesn't agree with me either - but if you want to ever be somewhat proficient, you don't have much of a damn choice other than to start drastically increasing your intake.

Digestive Advantage - Lactose Intolerance Therapy gets my wholehearted recommendation. Just take a tiny tablet in the morning, and you're good to go. The stuff is very inexpensive (like $8/box at Wal-Mart), and the difference is really night and day - it's that good.

Dave, Graeme, Kat, and Andrew are all on the right track...my only addition is, even with this being a CF board, you need to solely focus on the strength program (Starting Strength, PP Novice Program, Wendler 5/3/1, etc.), make progress through basic linear progression, down a bunch of damn food, and forget about the rest for quite awhile.
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:24 AM   #8
Nick Wilson
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Re: Strength Program Q's

I agree with the previous posts; you need to eat. Also, to address one of your questions: "How do people gain so much weight in the first 4-6 weeks and have some of it be muscle (not all fat)? I ask because you are supposed to start out light and work your way up to your current 5RM in all the lifts in 4-6 weeks into the program." That's not quite correct; the idea is to start with a weight that lets you complete the reps with good form. If your form is decent, this needn't be very light. You then add weight every single workout.

So say you started at a squat of 100lbs, deadlift of 160lbs and press of 70lbs (all of which are comfortably below your 5RM), and took a sensible progression of only 5lbs in the squat, 10lbs in the deadlift and 2.5lbs in the press; it would only take 4 more sessions to get your squat back up to 120. In 6 weeks your squat should be up around 190, your deadlift might be 250 and your press should be above 90. They're well above your old maxes.

It really shouldn't take long before the workouts are very challenging; by week 3 of SS I'm starting to wonder if I'll make every rep of every set (I have so far, touch wood). Provided you're eating enough, this is definitely enough stimulus to lead to muscle growth; you might put some fat on as well, but there'll be plenty of muscle too.
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:58 AM   #9
Joe Bernard
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Re: Strength Program Q's

Thanks everyone for the advice. This summer was weird. I tried IF and eating either two good size meals, or one big meal, at night at the end of last semester (April-May). I got so used to this that I would not be in the mood (or was too full) to eat anything until dinner time and then I would eat alot. I obviously didn't eat enough during that meal, which is what led to me losing weight. This went on until about the end of August, when I realized just how skinny I was (even though I already was to begin with). I am just now getting back into the habit of eating three meals a day, breaking the IF mentality that my body has gotten used to is tough.

Starting this past weekend I've been eating a whole lot more than what I have been. I'm forcing myself to eat three times a day, and it seems like alot of food. How do people who are trying to put on weight keep up with the food? It seems like the food intake is going to be harder than the actual lifting program. Do you guys eat clean or not care as much where the calories come from? I know Rip likes extra calories in any form, so junk food is his go-to. So should I not care as much if my friends want to go to a diner for pancakes, or burger joint?

I'm going to take this week just to have fun lifting heavy stuff and test my 5RM on the three lifts, then I'll start a program next week, either SS or PP Novice Program. I also plan on getting a camera from home and posting my form on here before I start lifting heavy (for me, heh).

@Dave- yea CFFB would not be good for pure strength then, time to ditch it.

@Nick- thanks for the clarification, is that how you scaled the weight for your current SS cycle? How is that going? How much food are you eating?

@Justin- yea I've been here awhile, but stuff happens.

Last edited by Joe Bernard : 09-14-2009 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:23 AM   #10
Steven Low
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Re: Strength Program Q's

1. You're definitely underrecovered. Probably from lack of food.

2. Where are the power cleans?

3. Rest at least 1-2 weeks. Then restart the program.

4. You MUST MUST MUST MUST MUST eat more, and sleep at least 7-8 hours if not a bit more. Ramp in where you should hit your 5 RM near the end of the second week.

5. Do not IF.

6. Eat multiple times a day if just snacking here and there. It seems like you're not one who can pound down 1000+ calories in a meal so you CANNOT do 2-3 meals a day to get all the cals you need.
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