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Old 12-31-2008, 06:41 AM   #1
Lisa Gallagher
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Best Strength Program for Female

I am 28/F/5'4''/135 and I've been participating in endurance sports like marathons for the last couple of years. I thought I was in pretty good shape until I started CF three weeks ago and discovered how much I'm lacking in the strength department. My goal is to balance out the muscles in my body as I am very quad/calf dominant and gain enough strength to do the WODs as prescribed. Weight/mass gains are not what I am looking for. In fact, I'd prefer to lean out (just started the zone diet).

Right now, I do the CF WODs 3-4 times a week, along with some of the CF Endurance work outs and/or some running, swimming and biking. I've also been doing some weight training at my local gym (my CF gym isn't that close to my house) but Id like to get on a more focused program designed to achieve total body strength. I've read about SS and it seems like a great program to do along with CF. Of course, there seems to be number of good programs out there so I am not sure which one to follow. I'm also considering doing one of the new year's challenges and just doing push ups or pull ups or squats or deadlifts everyday for a couple of weeks.

Just wondering if anyone had thoughts on what would be the best program for me to do along with my CF workouts or if I should just keep pushing the CF Wods and wait for the strength to come.

Thanks.
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:50 AM   #2
Darrell E. White
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Re: Best Strength Program for Female

Lisa:

Welcome to Crossfit. Read your post back to yourself carefully. In effect you have not chosen ANY specific program but are rather dabbling in several.

What is the best strength program for you, especially since you have no interest in gaining size and would like to remain lean? Crossfit. Abandon your supplemental weight training and commit to 3 on/1 off Crossfit for 6 months. do the strength based WOD's like the SP/PP/PJ WOD from a couple of days ago with the same intensity and effort you apply to the met-con WOD's. Crossfit is a STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING program and you will get strong doing Crossfit (example, my DL went from 175 to 305, 2x BW, in 15 months on Crossfit alone).

It sounds like you really enjoy distance running. If so simply follow the EXACT prescription on CFE as your ONLY supplemental work.

Welcome aboard. Fasten your seatbelt.

--bingo

Last edited by Darrell E. White; 12-31-2008 at 06:54 AM..
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Old 12-31-2008, 12:09 PM   #3
Richard Doughty
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Re: Best Strength Program for Female

if you are looking to do one routine focusing on strength go with starting strength
but if you want to still do the crossfit WODs i'd just follow the 3/1 crossfit system
you'll get stronger following the crossfit system
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:55 PM   #4
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Best Strength Program for Female

Starting Strength would do it, but with what you are doing now, I doubt you would follow the program.

If you stick with the CF WODs, the strength will come.
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:57 PM   #5
Amber Mathwig
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Re: Best Strength Program for Female

Lisa - Although I have made a lot of significant gains since I started Crossfit, I recently decided that those gains were not enough for me. Part of the reason was because I was trying to get better at EVERYTHING at once, I wasn't focusing enough on any one thing. Therefore, I chose to start up Starting Strength a couple days ago. Simply due to my focus and someone encouraging me through the final set, I have already gone over my previous max on deadlifts - and that was just the first day.

Admittedly, I've never been an athlete. After this focus, I'm going to have to pick something else to focus on. I believe that once I am able to improve significantly in each individual area, my WOD's will just be that much better - form, strength, times, etc.
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:35 PM   #6
Jeff Martin
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Re: Best Strength Program for Female

Lisa,
Most of the people who recommend leaving CrossFit to gain strength are not trainers, and do so with faulty data. Stay tuned for Bingo's article.
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:20 PM   #7
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Best Strength Program for Female

Ouch, Jeff. Then again, I knew you were going to say that since I've seen you comment on this topic before regarding Connor, I think and your program.

Considering you are looking to slim down and strengthen up, CF really is the way to go. Putting in some work of the basic lifts as skill work before WOD's ( look up black box/ME ) would make a lot of sense, especially if you are unfamiliar with those lifts. Having technique down is a good thing in the presence of none beside it allowing you to lift more, safely.

If you do SS only, your strength will go up at the cost of your metcon ability. There isn't a need to do mass building ( GOMAD or eating calorically positive ) with SS unless you want to but it helps build total strength.

Dial your activity level within the Zone making sure you get enough protein and you'll still slim down or even out ( muscle being 3x as dense as fat ).

Doing SS only then switching back to CF or CFE would not make too much sense if you time concerns to your next competition ( though I don't think you necessarily do. this make more sense with seasonal sports ). Also bare in mind, doing SS takes quite a bit of time for your workouts especially with the minimum preferred rest periods and the volume and hitting all the lifts. If you have a time constraint during the day for working out, it wouldn't be the best fit.

You can do CF in about 30m with a WU and cool down ( just not much if any skill work ). Longer if you do WODS that take longer. Some days could be done in 15 or 20m of total time if they are short like Fran or tabata intervals.
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:34 PM   #8
Jeff Martin
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Re: Best Strength Program for Female

Blair,
When are you going to come down here? We need to meet in person. By the way, if you think I'm pointed on the board, wait till you meet me in person.
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:27 AM   #9
Lisa Gallagher
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Re: Best Strength Program for Female

Hi Everyone. Thanks for all the great information. I actually took sometime after my WOD yesterday to learn a couple of the CF lifts. Since I was fairly new to CF and had no experience with power & oly lifts, I was skipping these WODs until I got a little stronger. Now I can see that was probably a big mistake. Not only are those lifts fun, but I can see how they will strength my entire body if I really work at them. With that said, and based on what I am hearing from everyone, I think I am going to stick to the CF 3/1 program along with some CFE work outs. If I cant make it to the CF location, Ill just do the WOD in my local gym and/or practice technique on all the new skills I am learning.... and of course, Ill be working on my diet. After 4-6 weeks, Ill reevaluate where I'm at and make any necessary changes.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:09 PM   #10
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Best Strength Program for Female

Jeff,

Bingo's article? Where and when? When Jeff talks strength, I listen.
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