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

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Old 03-22-2004, 05:47 PM   #1
Matt McManmon
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It has been said that Crossfit alone will bring a guy with a 800 pound squat down to a 500pound squat but give him much better conditioning.
Also that for a newbie training it would obviously take them longer to reach any particular goal in a lift . Example, you could much quicker reach a 400pound deadlift through just powerlifting as opposed to crossfitting.

So my question is this: when specializing for a specific sport should you powerlift and reach the requisite strength you want or need first and then begin crossfitting? OR should you just alter your lifting cycle and just take a slightly longer route to the strength while incorporating some crossfit.

Right now ive been doing the latter. My goal is to reach 435 in squat and DL. right now im at 315 DL and 335 squat, as of the last time i maxed. i've been doing crossfit approximetely two times a week. however, due to the fact that i do sometimes get sore even when watering down the WOD's it does effect my lifting. for instance i was pretty sore yesterday from the wod the day before, i DL'd 275 3 times for 2 sets. it felt like i was doing 305. Also being sore negatively effected my technique a bit. but the option was to rest and i didnt want to put off my lifting any longer. nor did i want to go down in weight for the day.

It could have a cumalative training effect combined however my lower back is now pretty sore, when normally i dont get sore at all except at 90%+, i think this is mostly due to being fatiqued and slightly sore from the WOD. my solution now is obviously only do the WOD two days any workout 80%+.

I was wondering if anyone on the board is doing a powerlifting/crossfit combo? How do you determine your frequency/ intensity and still fit in crossfit? I have been tinkering with a 4week powerlifting cycle and trying to stick with it at all costs, and squuezing in crossfit in the days off.
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Old 03-22-2004, 10:48 PM   #2
SHANE WERNER
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Matt,
for a while befor my last wrestling season i did combine powerlifting with crossfit workouts, and had great results. it really depends on the sport you are doing, but i feel that for the most part strength comes in second to all around fitness. i know that i beat kids much stronger then myself pretty regularly because i could wrestle harder for longer. i usualy did the crossfit 3 times a week (mon, wed, fri) and powerlifted (deadlift, squat, cleans) on the rest of the week, with sundays off. currently i am doing something similure except i have changed powerlifting to gymnastics workouts, and have been really impressed with my strength incress, especialy in my arms, and upper back.
really though go with what works best for you, or best meets the demands of your sport.

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Old 03-23-2004, 09:07 AM   #3
J. D. Hernandez
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Matt,

In my opinion it depends entirely on how your current powerlifting program is laid out. In your case, I think you could use the WOD as GPP work, and perhaps speed/dynamic strenth work. As your main priority is powerlifting, you must treat your program design that way, and all other work should be complementary to that. Choose the WOD's you do wisely, and in the case of the OLY lifts you may want to reduce the load significantly. However, if you are serious about powerlifting, and want to optimize your results, I'd adapt a Westside approach to powerlifting. That's if you want optimal results. Crossfit is awesome, but denies the ability to thrive in a specific sport by specializing in generalization. Powerlifting however is very specific, and if you want the best results you should make your training specific to your goal.

The body becomes it's function,
J.D.
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Old 03-23-2004, 09:30 AM   #4
Matt McManmon
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Shane- I am a wrestler also. I remember reading the crossfit FAQ and on it it said that through coach's experience powerlifters were the strongest athletes he's trained. I have been doing gymnastics alot now also, unfortunetely ive seemed to develop a case of tennis elbow.

J.D.- I agree- and have been employing a modified version of westside mixed with some ideas from PAvels PTP. You are right, picking and choosing WOD's is huge when trying to maintain a lifting program. i wouldnt want to deadlift the day after doing 21-15-9 of 225 with dips or something along those lines.
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Old 03-23-2004, 11:38 AM   #5
SHANE WERNER
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matt,
i am not disagreeing with you or coach about powerlifters being stronger then hell. all i was trying to point out is that, strength needs to be coupled with skill, flexability, and stamina, (ecpecialy in wrestling). if your elbow is giving you problems, try to work with it lightly everyday, also try and learn how to recruit your latts into all pulling/pushing motions. last year i had a real problem with push-ups, our team did alot of them, and it got to were just bending my arm really hurt, but i slightly changed the way i did the push motion, trying to flex my latt, and in about a week, the problem was gone, and my push-ups incressed dramaticaly.
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Old 03-23-2004, 02:30 PM   #6
Steve Shafley
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Matt,
I don't think you have a handle on Westside style training if you say you are incorporating it with Pavel's PTP program.

Why don't you throw your current program up, and we can offer comments.

Shaf
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Old 03-23-2004, 03:30 PM   #7
Robert Wolf
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Matt-
A few reasons Westside works so well includes these factors:

GPP- If one does not have a good fitness base it is impossible to attain elite level lifts. One simple can not withstand the volume and intensity.

Program- The conjugate method hits things from a very wide variety of stimuli. This is good obviously. Angelo Berarnelli (I think that is his name) used to be one of their "good" benchers. He started doing hand stand pushups on rings and is now one of their "great" benchers. I will elaborate this point later.

Coaching- They have excellent coaching particularly in the area of identifying and dealing with weaknesses.

Recruitment- They tend to take the best, most committed people possible.

As an aside- SDshafley- I do not think incorporating a PTP approach to a standard Westside protocol is missing anything at all. This would be an effective method for addressing a weak area...which is one of the criteria I mentioned above. Just another tool in the shed IMO.

So, back to the original question: will one make faster progress on a straight PL program or a mixed program? Key questions: Who are we talking about? What is their training background? Current fitness level?

Most good athletic training sources (I’m talking Zatsiorski and folks like that) make a point that a strong general fitness base is requisite to specific strength training and that without this base the strength training will be ineffective.
Neurological training takes years to develop and in the beginning broad non specific training is the prescription.

Even at these high levels it becomes necessary to alternate stimuli frequently. This is where we encounter people doing HSPU on rings. What if they were learning a few of the balistic/plyometric moves Coach Sommer has mentioned in another thread? Hyper-specificity becomes a liability after a time.

The only alterations I would make to a combined program is to dial back the WOD frequency/intensity when increasing the same in the PL'ing program....and perhaps add more gymnastics movements.

As a former competitive PL'r I am lifting more now, ten years later as a generalist than a specialist.

Sorry this is soooo long but one more thing. I need Coach to confirm this but I think that much of what happens when an 800lb squatter comes and does CF and drops down to a lower weight these people tend to enjoy their general fitness a great deal and consciously de-emphasize the PL'ing. This alone will change things quite a bit.
Robb


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Old 03-23-2004, 07:27 PM   #8
Jason Lauer
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Robb,
I'm in the same boat as Matt, but should we stick to our powerlifting schedule and alter the WOD/pick another WOD or should we alter our powerlifting schedule?
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Old 03-23-2004, 08:23 PM   #9
Robert Wolf
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Jason-

Perhaps a way to approach it would be to have a set PL schedule and follow behind the WOD about a week. This way you can shift the WOD if necessary while keeping in the mix of things.

After a time you will be able to go after both with higher intensity.

Keep us posted
Robb
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Old 03-23-2004, 08:58 PM   #10
Matt McManmon
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Thanks everyone for the ideas and discussion!

Rob-I agree, thats what i've been in the process of developing right now. A fixed PL schedule then working in crossfit around that. Been tampering with the best way to get off a 4 week cycle PTP style.

The westside element i add into my PL is dynamic speed days. As i hit 85%+ it can be tomuch to try to lift every other day so i split those workouts up by adding in a speed day. It serves to major functions, 1) improve my explosiveness and speed. 2)gives my body extra time to recover from the last heavy workout. this is especially important since i am trying to juggle, wrestling, gymnastics, running, WOD's and having enough energy to still do my school work.
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