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

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Old 02-22-2009, 09:34 AM   #1
Bryan Back
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NOT another SS vs. CF thread sortof

This question is not meant in any way to bring up wether a person should do SS or just CF. We all understand that there are reasons to just do a pure CF or a pure SS. We all understand that the garage CFer must decide what they will want to do. That has been beaten to death. If a person has made the decision to do SS and you believe there is a better way within CF then the question becomes...

What programming (to keep them doing CF with a strength bias) would you suggest if a person is going to do SS before starting CF or thinking of taking a break from CF for a cycle of SS due to a need for increased strength in a faster timeframe than they believe CF can give them.

We have heard a lot of talk about people leaving CF for SS who are needing more strength to do the harder WODs. CFSB came out of that need. I am confused by this because it appeared to me that most of the people leaving CF for SS were novices who wanted/needed strength before CF. As SS is for the novice and not the intermediate I believed it would not be for the intermediate? I am guessing here because I am far away from that point (one day.)

I was interested in a program talked about by Ahmik Jones sometime ago.

http://www.board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=36345

After CFSB article came out it was interesting to see the similarities. It looked similar except the high rep stuff was missing and a suggestion was made to use the same movement in the CF wod as you did in the lift (higher rep inside a WOD.) This seems to me like CFSB lite? Put the high rep work inside a WOD thus giving lower volume of work overall than say CFSB which a novice would not fit into. Start slow to learn the lifts as Rip suggests in SS. Ramp up the weight and intensity of WOD slowly (which must be done with both SS and new CFers anyway.)

I understand many are doing this now under the MEBB and CFSB but it seems inappropriate for a novice to do this as those programs are not designed for them (or maybe they are?) There seems no program talked about that would give strength results over time between CF and SS. Much as CFSB gives to someone between CF and an intermediate weight program.

Or am I just wishing for pie in the sky? Is it worth it? Is it impossible for a novice CF and novice lifter to simultaneously:

1. Learn the lifts as described in SS
2. Learn the moves of CF
3. Ramp up the weight and volume over time
4. Get more/faster strength gains than CF but slower than just SS
5. Get to do just CF faster as rx'd or transition to CFSB as the lifts become intermediate.

Or is it better for those to still use SS but with the caution that they need to add in the one then two wods a week and to include the appropriate version (such as adding the pullups to the program as I believe Rip discusses.)

Let's face it many are doing some program such as this anyway. Might as well talk about it and make it an efficient program.
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:08 PM   #2
Steven Low
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Re: NOT another SS vs. CF thread sortof

Choose what YOU want to do based on your goals. If you don't have goals, you should get some.

I do think it is important to have a good technique base before trying to do CF but that can be gained somewhat quickly with lots of practice of skill work especially with the fundamental movements. It wouldn't be detrimental to have practice with them (SS) under heavy loads especially if you're PURELY new. But it doesn't seem like you are I think?

If your ultimate goal is to get into CF or "fitness" it would probably be best to do some sort of hybrid.... Gant's, CFSB, MEBB, etc.
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Old 02-22-2009, 02:03 PM   #3
Bryan Back
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Re: NOT another SS vs. CF thread sortof

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
Choose what YOU want to do based on your goals. If you don't have goals, you should get some.


If your ultimate goal is to get into CF or "fitness" it would probably be best to do some sort of hybrid.... Gant's, CFSB, MEBB, etc.
First I don't think this is stress enough...
Every newb should try really hard (no try harder) to find a way to afford a good coach (not as much beer drinking at the bar or whatever.) Your progress will be slower without one no matter how well you follow CF or SS in your garage.

Thanks for the input Steven. Do you think a person who is brand new should try to do a MEBB without a background of knowing the lifts?

My original question is a theory question to perhaps help guide the brand new person a bit better. I have already done SS. It worked just as Rip said it would for a skinny hard gainer of 40 years. Just wondered if there was a way of combining them.
I asked the question in the spirit of..."what I wish someone would have told me." If what works for me is to do CF but to find a way to more efficiently gain strength I will get more from the program.
We have all commented on the SS vs CF threads. You always have a non-biased input. But for a person who knows nothing about weightlifting (i.e. me) or fitness and doesn't have the $$ or access for a coach I believe our input could be a bit more directed than, "what works for you". I had no idea what would work for me. Most go to SS by default as I did. My question, is there is a way to explain a program of doing CF and the skill work (learning lifts w linear progression with the knowledge that the strength gains will be more efficient than pure CF but less than a pure SS.)
I know everyone is different but I'm exploring one option that no one talks about in detail. Someone saying something along the lines of: you could buy SS and learn the lifts on a 3 or 4 day schedule of one lift a day with an appropriate WOD thrown in. I think I would have ended up stronger and more fit than SS then CF. I.E. I would have done both.
Finding out what worked for me took months. I believe the discussion of staying in CF and HOW to focus on strength while learning the lifts and moves of CF will put more newbies on track faster and safer than totally telling them to experiment and find their own way. They will still have to use their brain, learn to listen to their bodies and use common sense. From being an instructor I understand that ultimately we have to take responsibility for our own progress and the coach is just a guide. Just wondering if we could guide them better.

I.e. 1. Go to a CF affiliate (they are professionals at CF!) 2. What is your background and goals. 3. Here is a few possible starting points to develop you personal track in CF. 4. Now that you have a bit of experience go adapt it to fit your goals exactly (make it your own program.)

It seems to me that #3 is missing from the board except for pure CF and pure SS?
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Old 02-22-2009, 02:23 PM   #4
Steven Low
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Re: NOT another SS vs. CF thread sortof

No, some type of MEBB/etc. would probably work well. Ramp up the intensity of WODs slowly while doing maybe 1 or 2 strength lifts beforehand... lots of technique work.

The problem is (1) having new people learn the technique work themselves and (2) having the motivation to DO the technique work especially with light weights as they need to get quality reps to have movement patterns down.

This is very hard to do without a trainer. Even within SS, new people tend to have form deficiencies.. although SS does make for cleaner lifting with all of the technique work inside it.

I would have no problem putting someone on Gant's, CFSB or MEBB provided that they spend at least a bunch of time doing skill work, then a strength lift(s), then properly do a metcon or whatever. The trick is getting new people to realize that they need to do ALL of those things. You can't skimp out on ANY the metcon, the strength or the technique work because they will leave deficiencies in overall fitness, strength or technical proficiency.
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Old 02-22-2009, 08:43 PM   #5
Alex Europa
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Re: NOT another SS vs. CF thread sortof

Jeff Martin has said that he is putting together an article describing exactly what you're looking for. I would assume that he's in the testing phase now.

Basically, a beginner could just do 3 sets of 5 (most likely accending sets, but in the spirit of SS) of one of each of the big lifts each day before hitting up their WOD. So, day 1 could be 3x5 Back Squat; day 2 - Press; day 3 - Deadlift. On days when strength work is prescribed, then the trainee can cherrypick a WOD from the archives.

There are many potential problems with a newbie doing this on their own without a trainer. But I think that the majority of them could be avoided if a person is disciplined enough and understands that there is more to all of this than just walking in the gym and working out - when someone is on their own they have a responsibility to themself to do the necessary leg work/research in order to make smart decisions.

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Old 02-23-2009, 12:49 PM   #6
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Re: NOT another SS vs. CF thread sortof

Alex,
Is the danger of the person learning this on their own any worse than just doing CF on their own? They are the same movements like doing pure CF but with an aim of increased performance early on in CF
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:56 PM   #7
Darrell E. White
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Re: NOT another SS vs. CF thread sortof

Bryan:

The danger is twofold for the Newbie:

1) CFSB is by definition a program meant to increase strength, so heavy weights are used. Poor form, and the safety aspect poor form, is therefore magnified. The risk of injury increases dramatically as weight goes up.

2) All CF programs involve the very special, unique intensity of Crossfit WOD's. One of our concerns in CFSB is the danger of a Newbie who is not acclimatized to CF intensity making things worse by doing CF workouts with heavier weights.

As of now CFSB is still exactly as we defined it, a strength biased version of classic CF for intermediate and advanced Crossfitters. We will, indeed, bring out a version of CF for beginners that involves some supplemental strength work in time, but for now Jeff and all of the CFSB CTD's recommend scaled WOD's for Newbies.

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Old 02-23-2009, 06:59 PM   #8
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Re: NOT another SS vs. CF thread sortof

Bingo,

I agree. I don't believe CFSB could be for a new person. I have done CF for a few months then SS. I still would not want to do CFSB. I have a long way to go.
I think there are some ways for a person to learn the lifts and CF movements slowly and safely then ramp up the intensity and weight. I don't pretend to know the most efficient way to do that, hence the original question. I think CF is over and above other programs but I also think it can be made more efficient. That is why I am always stirring the pot... :stir:
There are a lot of people who look at CF and say, "I could never do that." They move on and give their money and time to some other program. Finding a way to be more communicative about how the program progresses will put more folks in the pews. Also those people will efficiently attain their goals. Or at least they will have the opportunity to attain their goals.
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Old 02-23-2009, 07:15 PM   #9
Jagtar Mukhtar
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Re: NOT another SS vs. CF thread sortof

many CF's are too weak (mentally) to do a proper SS so they do a few weeks then run back to their WOD's .. at least that's what i've understood from reading the logs on the log board, or maybe they try to do too much, i dont know, but it seems most of them fail. I can sympathise i'm on my 2nd or 3rd attempt at SS but this time if nothing gets in the way i'm not stopping.

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Old 02-24-2009, 06:37 AM   #10
Michael Francis Romano
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Re: NOT another SS vs. CF thread sortof

on this: which aspect(s) of fitness would suffer the most if I went starting strength? i.e., if I kept practicing pull-ups, push-ups, handstands and the like, would I still retain my ability to do them/possibly get better?
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