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

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Old 08-04-2010, 04:44 PM   #1
Aaron Jorgensen
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Shorter strength workouts: SS? MEBB? 5/3/1?

Background: I'm a 30yo male, 5'10", 155lb. I'd like to put on some muscle and get stronger - currently squat 190-ish, DL 240, press 110, BP 150. I've done SS in the past, but didn't get enough food or sleep and didn't make much progress. I also spent a good deal of last year doing CF main page WODs, 3-4 per week. I enjoyed the CF workouts, but would like to focus on strength for now.

The problem: Between work, family, and other commitments, I don't have anywhere to fit in an hour-or-more workout. I liked SS well enough, but workouts were clocking in at over an hour. So, I've mulled over the following ideas, and would like some input on which 1)might be feasible in a shorter (40-45 mins?) workout, and 2)would be appropriate for a weakling (although I do know how to do most of the lifts reasonably well).
  1. Do a linear progression (SS-like) program, with only two exercises per day. I'm still weak enough that I think linear progression would work just fine. Something like (off the top of my head here)
    M: 3x5 Squat, BP
    W: 3x5 DL, Press
    F: 3x5 Squat, Weighted pull-up
  2. MEBB WODs on Rut's page (max effort + metcon on MWF). I've not done these, but it sounds like they might be easier to get through in 45 minutes than a full SS workout. For any who do Rut's WODs, any input on how long they take? Is MEBB good for someone as weak as I am? I like the idea of still getting to do CF-style metcons.
  3. Different MEBB schedule. From what I've read, the MEBB articles describe several different programming schedules. Again, for those with MEBB knowledge, are there any of these schedules that would be good for a weakling and take 45 minutes per workout? I don't have a problem with working out more than three times a week. Downside here is that I imagine I'd have to come up with some of my own metcon programming, which I'm not excited about.
  4. Wendler 5/3/1, same questions as MEBB. I only know the general idea. Not sure how much he prescribes for assistance exercises or anything else, so I don't have a good feel for how long workouts take.

Thanks in advance. Also in advance, yes, I could just get up earlier, but lack of sleep was one of the big problems I had when I did this last time. Just trying to be realistic here. And yes, I'm more than willing to buy the MEBB or 5/3/1 articles, but not if it's just going to end up being another 70-minute long workout.
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:52 PM   #2
Ken Weber
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Re: Shorter strength workouts: SS? MEBB? 5/3/1?

Hey have you checked out CrossFit Football? They post both a strength and metcon component for their daily WOD's. Head over to crossfitfootball.com and check it out.

The "Amateur" strength programming is basically a linear progression system emphasizing the major lifts with weight added each session. This is usually followed by a short/heavy metcon.

This would not only address your strength training needs but also allow to you to continue to progress on metcons. Plus the sessions usually don't take too long (~45 mins depending).
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:02 PM   #3
Jason A Smith
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Re: Shorter strength workouts: SS? MEBB? 5/3/1?

Second vote for CFFB following the amateur strength work. Been doing it sonce March. I am about your size and squat 280-ish for 5RM and DL 355 for 5 and have built up a llot more strength coming from a no-strength background. I did SS as well last year, and like this a lot better. Some days are a little over an hour, but I am usually done in about 45 min.

I have lost a few lbs doing it but strength keeps going up. Check it out, best part is all the programming is done for you.

Good luck
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:54 PM   #4
Jared Ashley
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Re: Shorter strength workouts: SS? MEBB? 5/3/1?

I've done CFSB and currently in 2nd cycle of 5/3/1, both take ~45 minutes most days, less if the metcon following is really short. I generally take 5-10 minutes between the lifts and the metcon.

CFFB and MEBB would probably be shorter yet. CFFB metcons are generally shorter and MEBB is either a WOD or a single lift. Probably could do it under 1/2 hour most days.

At your numbers definately stick to linear progression. CFFB, CFSB, and MEBB will all be slower than SS but if you stick to it you'll still make tremendous progress in a matter of months. 5/3/1 doesn't make sense.
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:04 PM   #5
Aaron Jorgensen
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Re: Shorter strength workouts: SS? MEBB? 5/3/1?

Thanks for the input. I don't know why I didn't think to look at people's recorded times for the WODs. CFFB looks cool, like a reworked SS with some conditioning thrown in - just what I was looking for. MEBB is still tempting, too, but I'm leaning toward CFFB.
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Old 08-06-2010, 03:20 PM   #6
Jay Xu
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Re: Shorter strength workouts: SS? MEBB? 5/3/1?

Just curious, but how were your SS workouts taking 70+ minutes? A typical SS workout is 3x5 Squat, 3x5 BP, 1x5 DL. With only 7 sets, you're averaging 10 minutes of rest per set? If you cut it down to 5 min/rest per set, you'd be easily done in 35 minutes.
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Old 08-06-2010, 04:15 PM   #7
Drew Cloutier
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Re: Shorter strength workouts: SS? MEBB? 5/3/1?

I'm dissapointed no one mentioned this, but no matter what program you pick, there's no magic bullet effect...you NEED sleep and food...and lots of it if you wanna gain, being 5'10 and only 155, you have plenty of room to grow...just pony up to the table, fork/knife in hand!
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Old 08-06-2010, 04:40 PM   #8
Rob St. Croix
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Re: Shorter strength workouts: SS? MEBB? 5/3/1?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Xu View Post
Just curious, but how were your SS workouts taking 70+ minutes? A typical SS workout is 3x5 Squat, 3x5 BP, 1x5 DL. With only 7 sets, you're averaging 10 minutes of rest per set? If you cut it down to 5 min/rest per set, you'd be easily done in 35 minutes.
Don't forget the warm-ups.

Takes me just under an hour if you include the warm-ups for the SS Work out "B", a little less for the work "A" since it's only (1) set of DL.
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Last edited by Rob St. Croix : 08-06-2010 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 08-07-2010, 03:20 PM   #9
Troy Becker
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Re: Shorter strength workouts: SS? MEBB? 5/3/1?

GOMAD if you can
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Old 08-07-2010, 03:35 PM   #10
Brent Eno
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Re: Shorter strength workouts: SS? MEBB? 5/3/1?

Heavy,(sometimes) quick metcons- http://www.board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=35062 WFS

Heavy lifts+ALOT of food+GOMAD+9 hrs of sleep each night
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