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

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Old 02-04-2010, 09:36 PM   #1
Joshua Morgan
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Here is what Wendler said

I finally got some questions off to Wendler. I italicized the questions I sent them. The only thing that was changed or omitted was the cursing.



1. To what degree do metcons replace assistance exercises? If you had a trainee and after finishing the main lift, would you have them do the assistance lifts (could be Triumvirate, big but boring, etc) and do a Crossfit type workout on a separate day or have them do 10-20 minutes of conditioning work after the main lift?



JW: Maybe have them do one assistance lift (supplemental lift) and then do the accessory work as part of the circuit (not sure why anyone would call it Met con…it’s a circuit!). Combine the assistance work FOR THAT SPECIFIC DAY with some type of conditioning work (can be something like jump rope, Prowler, sprints, treadmill, Air Dyne, etc) that does not interfere with recovery for the rest of the training week. TRAINING is not myopic – you must look down the road and periodize. All lifting and conditioning work must be done to the abilities and goals of the individual.



2. Do you see it feasible as using the assistance work as a metcon? Example-on the Boring but Big running through the 5x10 as fast as possible while maintaining good form? If they were to do this, would you tweak it so that it were burpee pull ups and push presses (as an example)?

JW: You could – but go ahead and do 5x10 with squats at 50% with 60 seconds rest and tell me how the burpees feel!



3. Squat day question-

Squat, followed by metcon that involves dumbell lunges or similar?
2) Squat, do a metcon that doesn't involve too much squatting, then do assistance exercises?
3) Squat, do assistance exercises, then do a metcon?
4) Something else entirely?




JW: Have no idea what you are asking on this one – clear this one up for me.





4. Lastly, if you were to draw up a rough sketch template, what would it and what would it not look like

Ex: training more than X amount of days in a row. How many conditioning/GPP days would you have in addition to the 3 days of basic lifts? Etc etc




JW: For me? For who? What level lifter?



There is a lot to consider here: for example:



Squat – 5/3/1 (630 training max)



Circuit:





Squat – 5 sets of 10 reps at 315

Leg Curl – 5 sets of 20 reps

Prowler Push – 5 sets of 80 yards x 250lbs.



Bench – 5/3/1 (405 training max)



Dips – 5 sets of 10 reps with 100 lbs.

Chins – 5 sets of 5 reps with 45lbs., hanging on to rope

Pushups –5 sets of bodyweight x 20

Treadmill Sprints – 5 sets of 30 seconds, 8-9mph, 15 degreee incline.





These are typical of what I have done in the past. Training days have to be done so that you are training OPTIMALLY not MAXIMALLY. This is something that seems to have been lost on most people. This is an art, not a science. So you have to be willing to work within yourself and paint YOUR PICTURE. YOUR TRAINING. What I did above greatly varies than what I do with the beginner lifters (not lifters that have to peak for a meet!! Ha!) do when they come here and they begin training.



How many days you train and what you do within those days are all dependant on what phase of training you are in – strength, conditioning, transition, North of Vag, etc. if someone just says “Do this template” that’s stupid – you have to know where it fits into the entire year long training program.



I like simple training man..but telling a football player, or military guy to do the same stuff as a housewife or beginner is retarded. Especially with NO PLAN. OR GOAL.



And the funny thing is this – if mobility is good, STRENGTH RAISES ALL LEVELS. I learned this when I was 13 years old. 13. It baffles me that experts and internet message heroes have yet to grasp a concept that a newly turned teenager grasped long before the age of misinformation.



That is all man…gotta go feed the family.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:55 PM   #2
Joshua Morgan
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Re: Here is what Wendler said

If there are anymore questions, let me know. I'll get them fired off to him early next week. I did my best to go through the previous thread I started to base the questions.
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:19 PM   #3
Rafe Kelley
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Re: Here is what Wendler said

I think its funny thats Wendlers advice for mixing 5/3/1 and crossfit is basically just do 5/3/1 north of vag and that crossfit as commonly practiced is ultimately not effective. At least thats the message I get from the need for long term periodization, and planning and the focus on individualized goals. It will be interesting to how long the EFTS/westside crossfit partnership lasts considering these are basically the same criticisms, that seem to have been behind previous splinters with guys like rippetoe, dan john and greg everett. As awesome as some of the stuff CF puts out is my experience would indicate the have a point.
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:48 PM   #4
Jacob Cloud
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Re: Here is what Wendler said

I think is all covered pretty well by the book, no need to bug the man unless you're getting stuck and can't figure out why. The whole point of the 5/3/1 is "hey, this stuff works, now make it work for you."
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:56 PM   #5
Mauricio Leal
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Re: Here is what Wendler said

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafe Kelley View Post
I think its funny thats Wendlers advice for mixing 5/3/1 and crossfit is basically just do 5/3/1 north of vag and that crossfit as commonly practiced is ultimately not effective.
I didn't get that from it. Yeah, he's saying you can't do a completely randomized program like CrossFit while your main focus is a periodized strength program and expect it not to hurt the strength program. He's saying you have to use some careful thought if you decide to do a WOD after the main set.

Quote:
Combine the assistance work FOR THAT SPECIFIC DAY with some type of conditioning work (can be something like jump rope, Prowler, sprints, treadmill, Air Dyne, etc) that does not interfere with recovery for the rest of the training week. TRAINING is not myopic – you must look down the road and periodize.
So, probably not the best idea to double up with high rep squats in a WOD if back squat was already the big lift that day. You have to take some of the randomness out and make sure the WODs are complimenting the strength work, because if you just end up sucking at both strength and WODs what's the point really?
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Last edited by Mauricio Leal : 02-05-2010 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 02-05-2010, 03:33 PM   #6
Donald Lee
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Re: Here is what Wendler said

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Originally Posted by Mauricio Leal View Post
So, probably not the best idea to double up with high rep squats in a WOD if back squat was already the big lift that day. You have to take some of the randomness out and make sure the WODs are complimenting the strength work, because if you just end up sucking at both strength and WODs what's the point really?
I believe you read Jim Wendler's response wrong. High rep squats can be used on the back squat day as assistance to back squatting. They would not be used on an upper body day.
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:10 PM   #7
Joshua Morgan
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Re: Here is what Wendler said

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafe Kelley View Post
I think its funny thats Wendlers advice for mixing 5/3/1 and crossfit is basically just do 5/3/1 north of vag and that crossfit as commonly practiced is ultimately not effective. At least thats the message I get from the need for long term periodization, and planning and the focus on individualized goals. It will be interesting to how long the EFTS/westside crossfit partnership lasts considering these are basically the same criticisms, that seem to have been behind previous splinters with guys like rippetoe, dan john and greg everett. As awesome as some of the stuff CF puts out is my experience would indicate the have a point.
Well, this is from the standpoint that the primary goal of strength #1 and conditioning/GPP #2. Absolute/limit/however you want to term it strength is primarily about neural efficiency. What he's saying in terms of strength training being #1, you have to have long term goals built by short term steps.
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:14 PM   #8
Joshua Morgan
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Re: Here is what Wendler said

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Originally Posted by Donald Lee View Post
I believe you read Jim Wendler's response wrong. High rep squats can be used on the back squat day as assistance to back squatting. They would not be used on an upper body day.
This is correct. In fact on his Boring but Big template, he calls for 5x10 on back squats at 50-55%. I know this isn't high rep to some but it is to me.
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:17 PM   #9
Joshua Morgan
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Re: Here is what Wendler said

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Originally Posted by Jacob Cloud View Post
I think is all covered pretty well by the book, no need to bug the man unless you're getting stuck and can't figure out why. The whole point of the 5/3/1 is "hey, this stuff works, now make it work for you."
This is a good point. I just noticed that there was a lot of disagreement and assuming what Wendler would say that I thought I would get some info from the man himself. If I hadn't chatted with him on the phone and through email already at various times on training prior to all this I wouldn't have bothered him.

We hadn't ever discussed Crossfit together. So I was also curious to see what he'd say. I had a pretty good idea, but I hate assuming and being wrong.
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:23 PM   #10
Mauricio Leal
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Re: Here is what Wendler said

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Originally Posted by Donald Lee View Post
I believe you read Jim Wendler's response wrong. High rep squats can be used on the back squat day as assistance to back squatting. They would not be used on an upper body day.
It depends how you look at it. You can 1) do high rep squat WOD after BS day, but your WOD is probably going to suck. This is the key difference between "assistance work" and actually trying to perform well in CF alongside the 5/3/1 program. Wendler lines up his assistance work directly focusing on the very same muscles that the main lift just taxed. If progress in your CF benchmarks is not all that important to you, then by all means, double up. OR 2) high rep squats another day, but if you're hitting each of the 3-4 lifts only every 10 days, you'd probably want it to be 2-3 days after the first BS day so that you get some recovery from the first BS day and a bit more time to recover from the WOD itself for the next BS day (which would be 6-7 days after the related WOD). A mini-cycle might go something like (starting with squat):

M: Back Squat 3x5, Pulling WOD
T: Rest
W: Press 3x5, Squatting WOD, no DL-like lifts though
R: Rest
F: Deadlift 3x5, Pressing WOD
S: Rest
S: Anything but Squats WOD, but be smart
M: Rest
T: Rest
W: Back Squat 3x3, Pulling WOD
etc.

Again, Wendler sees CF stuff as secondary, so if your priorities are the same then by all means do exactly what he says in his book. If you want to split top priority between strength and CF, then you're going to have to modify slightly.

Edit: Third option is to cycle priorities after each meso cycle, doing 5/3/1 by the book for 5 weeks (or 2x5 weeks), then switching to what I was saying where improving WODs gets more priority (although they are still done after strength work).
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Last edited by Mauricio Leal : 02-05-2010 at 04:28 PM.
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