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

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Old 08-29-2010, 10:46 AM   #1
Carl Amolat
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Programming Idea

As a military type I'm always keen on developing my physical fitness to meet the demands of my job or exceed them. It seems that soldiering requires the stamina of an endurance athlete, the speed of a sprinter (as per a Special Forces selection article written in a CrossFit publication I found on Google whereupon it said the CrossFit 'ideal athlete' is the 800m sprinter, and the strength of a weightlifter dependent upon the situation. The last is especially emphasized by a trainer I follow regularly - Rob Shaul of MilitaryAthlete.

The situations above I can think of readily are thus: endurance - long foot patrols - especially in rough and/or steep terrain, sprinter - running from covered position to covered position, strength - carrying heavy rucksacks, work details where I'm moving heavy and/or awkward shaped objects from one area to another, and carrying or dragging a wounded fellow soldier to safety.

I've thought of an interesting idea for programming CrossFit-wise (for when I move to a new unit where I have less time than I do currently for MilitaryAthlete PT). Its to work around the 5 days a week PT cycle my future unit follows (which is a lot of running and some tire flips and some muscle failure work). I've found a majority of unit level PT days for me rarely are that taxing.

Goals are:

- Increased and improved physical strength overall.
- Stamina for long runs/rucks (for running around a 7:30 per mile pace or faster/for rucking 15:00 minutes per mile or faster)
- Speed (for shorter runs (i.e. APFT 2 mile) a 14:00 flat or faster)

The idea is using CFFB or CFSB work and CFE work on a 3 on 1 off and 2 on and 1 off cycle with each cycle alternating between strength or endurance work. I wonder if this is a good balance (i.e. doing one three day cycle on strength and a two day cycle on CFE and then switching it over next week)? I also intend to mix in weekly ruck marches preferrably over trails into the endurance work.

My main goal is to avoid overtraining yet meeting the above physical 'specs' so to speak.

I could use some other inputs on this proposed scheme.
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Last edited by Carl Amolat; 08-29-2010 at 11:05 AM..
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:45 AM   #2
Casey Raiford
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Re: Programming Idea

Do you know what kind of equipment and facilities you'll have access to? Also, how large is the unit?
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:08 AM   #3
Carl Amolat
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Re: Programming Idea

The unit is 162 people, but this thread is about my after working hours PT program. I'll have access to the same training facilities I have now, I'm staying on the same base. The gym I use has a small room for kettlebell work, two pads for Oly lifts, benches, free weights, 2xC2 Rowers and a few machines (which I don't use, as I prefer free weights).

I'm considering a 3 and 1 and 2 and 1 or just a 3 and 1 cycle with each cycle focusing on strength (CFFB) or endurance (CFE).
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:06 PM   #4
Casey Raiford
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Re: Programming Idea

CFFB and CFE combos would probably get you where you want to be, that's a good choice. I'd do a 3/1/2/1 sked with:

- four days of base strength on keys lifts (bench, deads, press and squat)
- two speed days of intervals, a couple of miles or more once a week
- work in some body armor and ruck runs as well, once every couple of week
- light to medium oly lifting at a medium to high rep volume
- gymnastic work if you feel particularly beat up on any given day
- plenty of M/W couplets, say three in a seven day mesocycle
- a hard 20-30 minute triplet per seven day cycle

The strength work should be before the regular WOD, or several hours after. Shoot for a new PR each month. Wendler, WSBB conjugate and Bulgarian protocols are all good.

Play with the rest/work ratio on the intervals. Try set intervals for longer work but get inside your recovery period as well especially on shorter sprints.

That help or more detail?
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:38 PM   #5
Carl Amolat
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Re: Programming Idea

Casey - the inputs were definitely quite helpful. Here are my responses:

- Definitely gonna go for a number of body armor and ruck runs/marches.
- Regarding the 20-30 minute triplet what sort of exercises do you recommend. Regarding the CFFB website I was going to do the professional or collegiate WODs as recommended by their website with some modifications.
- Forgive the dumb question but what's a M/W couple (a met-con/work capacity effort?)
- Regarding Strength Work before WOD isn't CFFB generally strength biased due to the physical demands of football players?

Thanks for the inputs man.
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:42 PM   #6
Casey Raiford
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Re: Programming Idea

I'd only throw in about one long workout a week, something with a metcon and gymnastic bias. Moderate weight component if at all. Angie's a good one. Or you could do a metcon piece like a 400M run/500M row, medium weight snatch/OHS and then pullups. Make it either a time base (X rounds for time) or task based (AMRAP in 20). That sort of thing.

The M/W is metcon/weight. CFFB is heavily biased toward very heavy work capacity in very short duration so concentrating solely on that might be somewhat at odds with the potentially long oxydative pathway work you'll encounter in country. Good stuff without a doubt, but you will likely need a healthy chunk of endurance as well.
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:48 PM   #7
Carl Amolat
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Re: Programming Idea

From stories friends of mine have told I have no doubt endurance is vital - hence the reason why I am intending to include WODs and training on the endurance side from CFE and my own programming as well. My additions will be substituting one of the runs recommended for CFE's work with a ruck or body armor run.

CFFB seems to also have a good amount of heavy strength involved in it too. For instance the professional WOD had this:

5 x 3 Deadlift at 85% of 1RM

and then

As many rounds as possible in one minute of:

40 yard sprint
30 KB swings - 32kg

Also this CrossFit Affiliate (CrossFit40 out of Ormond Beach in Florida) has quite a few good strength biased workouts as well that I might add to my repertoire.
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Last edited by Carl Amolat; 08-31-2010 at 06:58 PM..
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:44 PM   #8
Casey Raiford
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Re: Programming Idea

As long as you're checking out programming, look at this place in central Maryland I'm familiar with:

www.crossfitfortmeade.com

Heavily CFFB influenced programming (hosting a cert in October) with supplemental Endurance and Strength WODs. The Strength WODs are differentiated by ability. Apprentice/Craftsman is Wendler 5/3/1. Expert is Westside conjugate and Elite is a hybrid eastern European hybrid.
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:50 PM   #9
Carl Amolat
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Re: Programming Idea

Hey thanks a lot for the recommendation Casey.

Just checked out your program. I assume with the DWOD SWOD and EWOD it's a three-a-day or two-a-day type program? How do you structure the program to avoid overtraining/injury? Or are the three workouts done one after the other?

I noticed that you guys use the 5/2 program.

My present idea is using 3/1 and 2/1 with each 3 or 2 day cycle having an objective of strength/work capacity or endurance/speed done in alternating cycles (i.e. if the focus of the 3 day cycle is strength/wc it'll have two strength days and a WC/MetCon event from a strength minded affiliate or CFFB or if it's a CFE cycle it'll be following the CFE website programming).
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Last edited by Carl Amolat; 08-31-2010 at 07:56 PM..
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:23 PM   #10
Casey Raiford
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Re: Programming Idea

There's not a huge amount of overlap between the SWOD and EWOD folks. For reasons I've yet to understand not everyone is interested in a 400lb deadlift. That being said, right before the PRT/PFT season, a lot of the lifters gravitate toward the EWOD for career reasons.

The programming is suited to a 5/2 sked, but we've got a few athletes that just put it on a 3/1/2/1 sked. That's mainly trainers for the time being, but in October we start games training and are opening up a Saturday session so it will probably grow.

As for over training, we closely track everyone in the box at every session for fatigue, soreness and general gimpy-ness. We incorporate BTWB accounts for everyone and track ability closely. That allows us to know who can lift/jump/run what and for how long. We also just know our athletes pretty well and use all of those things to scale accordingly.
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