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Old 06-02-2011, 08:49 PM   #1
Gerald Diaz
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Location: Royal Oak  MI
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New to Crossfit - where to train for strength?

Hi all,

I just joined a local affiliate and I've been trying to digest a lot of the great advice on this board.

A lot of people seem to suggest that much of the typical metcon crossfit programming will make you skinny and that a dedicated initial strength program is important to make the bigger functional gains.

My question is, where do most crossfitters train for supplemental strength? At their crossfit box during off hours? Or do you also hold membership at a globogym? At home (not an option for me)?

I used to be an upper-body gym rat but I've never done any significant barbell training. I just ordered a copy of Starting Strength but I'm hesitant to train from a book out of a globogym without personal instruction.

Or would you recommend for a beginner to stick with the normal crossfit programming for a bit to gain basic functional and core strength and learn the basic movements before getting serious with a strength program? (I'm still doing intro classes so I'm not quite clear on the structure of the normal classes and the dedicated strength training provided)

As a background I'm about 5'7-5'8, 145 pounds. I'm not out of shape (can do pushups and pullups in bunches) but very weak in the lower body (squats etc) and my problem is I've been losing a lot of muscle in the past year since I stopped globo-gymming it so I'm worried about getting scrawnier.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 06-02-2011, 09:02 PM   #2
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: New to Crossfit - where to train for strength?

It depends on the Crossfit gym. Some are very open to people working out on their own during off hours. Some are not. Some have good strength programming during regular class times, some don't. Some have good coaching for the lifts, some don't.

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Old 06-02-2011, 09:07 PM   #3
Eric Montgomery
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Re: New to Crossfit - where to train for strength?

What kind of programming does your gym do? Lots of affiliates do strength work several times a week followed by a short metcon. If that's the case you'll be on the right track. If it's not, talk to your coaches about wanting to incorporate more strength work and less metcons into your own programming. A good coach will work with you to fit your goals. If nothing else you can work an extra 3x5 of squats and presses into things a few times a week.
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:12 PM   #4
Brendan McNamar
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Re: New to CrossFit - where to train for strength?

We have to know the programing.

At my affiliate we do dedicated strength work 3 times a week. Every member has their own old fashion pen and paper training log. Lifting work is recorded every time. Members who attend regularly will be squatting heavy at least once a week.

At least here in Arizona most affiliates have adopted a strength bias. For me it was the simple observation few of my clients were ever going to Rx WODs if they didn't get stronger.

Metabolic conditioning is the easiest skill in CrossFit. Strength, flexibility, gymnastics and Oly lifting for weight these are the harder issues.
Nomadic CrossFit Coach
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Old 06-08-2011, 04:02 AM   #5
Tamara Cohen
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Re: New to Crossfit - where to train for strength?

At this point, I would never recommend an affiliate that DIDN'T utilize or allow some sort of strength bias programming. So, like Eric asked, what does your affiliate's programming look like?

In terms of the lifts in Starting Strength, you are just as capable of doing those lifts on your own at a globo gym or at your house as the majority of CF coaches. That's what the book (and the DVD and the SS forums) are for. It teaches you to lift all by yourself like a big boy. Unless a CF coach has been to Rip's seminar, I have rarely seen anyone coach the lifts the way they are intended to be coached in SS. That's not to say that you can't squat or deadlift a different way, but what is taught at the CF L1 and what is taught at an SS seminar are not the same. Basically, if you choose to lift on your own without a coach instructing you, I am hear to tell you that you will be just fine. There is a Digital Coaching forum here for a reason.

At 5'7 and 145 lbs, I am basically begging you to do some dedicated strength programming.
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:32 AM   #6
John Rosevear
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Re: New to Crossfit - where to train for strength?

My local affiliate's programming varies widely (like everybody's), but there's one constant: We squat, press, and deadlift on specific days every week. On any given day there's generally a warmup, lifts (which are logged), sometimes followed by a session of what our trainer calls "assistance", which is typically a specialized exercise set related to one of the Crossfit movements (pullups have been a focus recently), and then a typical Crossfit metcon. The whole thing takes an hour, it's great fun, and after 6 months of this I've gained weight, not lost. I'm pretty lean, but I'm not in danger of being called "skinny".

For what it's worth, while my experience is not (yet) extensive, the hardcore Crossfitters I know personally tend to look like gymnasts or old-school shoulder-y strength athletes. It's a good look.

Last edited by John Rosevear; 06-08-2011 at 06:42 AM..
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:10 AM   #7
Dan Bosco
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Re: New to Crossfit - where to train for strength?

get the technique/mechanics down FIRST..that should help you with some gains...i was a 'strong' guy from a globo gym and it did nothing for my c&j's snatches etc...attack your weakness head a mechanics/strength component each day to improve!
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