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

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Old 08-19-2009, 12:09 PM   #11
Andrew Wilson
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Re: Answering the strength interest in CrossFit

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Originally Posted by Cormac O'Connor View Post
just one niggle - I wonder why you have a higher proportion of 1RM for each round of Fran, etc? The reason for the lower reps in each round is ostensibly that each round feels progressively harder anyway...upping the weight would just compound this.
It's more the other way around in that the first & second rounds are lighter so you can perform more consistent in the later rounds. I worked on this with Fran for 11 weeks: a couple of years ago when I was about 137# I couldn't do Fran rx'd, started with 65# at 13 minutes to 80# in 6 minutes, to 95# in 3 minutes, to 110# in 8 minutes, then eventually with 140 pounds (body weight at the time). I found that as each Fran time got quicker with the most weight, my shoulder press, deadlift, squat in the CrossFit total would increase, so would my performance in other benchmark wods. After most of the Frans I was PRing Diane by 4 minutes, Murph by 10 minutes, dropping huge chunks off runs, when I hadn't ran in 6 months. Just blowing wods away. This was a huge turn around, in that after 2 years of following the mainsite wod, my shoulder press max only increased by 5 pounds; Fran for 11 weeks increased my shoulder press, squat, & deadlift more by 10 pounds, but after only a month of Starting Strength my shoulder press increased by an additional 20 pounds. So in my case the:
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Your essay is answered simple this is why the main site regular has, squat 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 or 3-3-3-3-3 that is the strength side of the strength and conditioning program.
For two years on the mainsite wod, respectively didn't work.

I also found that in each Fran whether Rx'd or scaled, what was consistent is that after a week or so with new weight I could complete the 21 rounds unbroken. The 15 round was always the worst at any weight or any time & broken, because after putting everything in the 21 round you're already wasted reaching 15. The 9 round is the easiest & just the final sprint compared to the 21 round & by the time you're on the first rep you're recovered. The 21 round is usually the marker of your strength & causes the most damage. So that's why it's broken so you can perform the most consistent in each round and have it properly loaded on the rep scheme in relation to your 1RM.

But it's something that has to be tested with a few athletes

Last edited by Andrew Wilson : 08-19-2009 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:36 PM   #12
Dave Taylor
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Re: Answering the strength interest in CrossFit

You have an interesting idea with adapting the scale of the weight based on rounds, but why not just adjust the scale of the rounds altogether. We scale workouts for beginners or weaker people lower but not higher, you can no one says you cant but remember strength is only one of the domains in fitness. Yes someone over all strength may go down but what are they gaining to replace that, the other could be said if you gain in one area what are you losing. Crossfit says you are only as fit as you are in the weakest one of the fitness domains.
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:50 PM   #13
Andrew Wilson
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Re: Answering the strength interest in CrossFit

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Originally Posted by Dave Taylor View Post
You have an interesting idea with adapting the scale of the weight based on rounds, but why not just adjust the scale of the rounds altogether.
That's what I did at first (1st paragraph above, then the last paragraph), I probably need to explain it better though.
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:39 PM   #14
Andrew Wilson
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Re: Answering the strength interest in CrossFit

Dave, another thing I should probably add about the theoretical max rep chart & breaking up the weight:

A common way to max out many college athletes in s&c, say like you have 30 players on one team that max out in one session, is to have them max out in reps with a weight (somewhere around 85% or so of previous 1RM), instead of slowy increasing their weight by 5kg multiple times, which with 30 athletes will take forever. Say someone's previous max was 95kg in back squat. They take 80kg and do as many reps as possible. Say their reps max is 15. With the theoretical chart 80kg x 15 reps is equivalent in doing 116kg x 1 rep. Or doing 80kg x 10 reps is equivalent in doing 104kg x 1 rep. The method I'm suggesting with addition to what I wrote above, is the chart backwards: say their max backsquat is 116kg, and I want them to do a wod with lots of reps, say 21-15-9.
The weight equivalent to 116kg with 21 reps is 71kg.
The weight equivalent to 116kg with 15 reps is 80kg.
The weight equivalent to 116kg with 9 reps is 91kg.
Or a weight with..
21 reps = 61% of 1RM
15 reps = 69% of 1RM
9 reps = 79% of 1RM

So in each round of effort, you're doing the equivalent work of the 1RM. Another reason in by doing this, is by not adjusting the reps like in Fran, which would completely change the workout like something in CFSB I believe, like in a Heavy Fran, or 12-9-7. The wod is kept the same, it's just the weight is changed, instead of changing the wod to meet the weight. The 3rd reason I guess you could say is to have that progressive build in the wod, similar to in a Starting Strength build up, and not be completely shocked by the first 21; this way each round has equivalent effort. The forth would be a type of periodization could also be applied because as you grow stronger, the weights in the wod increase as well. The fifth would be that it's applied to all weight classes, there isn't a 138# vs a 205# dilema in the wod, almost a pound 4 pound CrossFitter scenero.


Edit: Another thing is whenever I try to introduce one of my friends into CrossFit the most common reponse is "I can't do what they put on the site". I say "we'll scale it". They say "to what degree?". I say "to this ^ degree".

Last edited by Andrew Wilson : 08-19-2009 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:45 PM   #15
Dave Taylor
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Re: Answering the strength interest in CrossFit

There has been a huge weight class debate before and i see here and there for both sides of the argument. I really understand scaling because it is something i deal with as a trainer all the time, but the WODs are Rx to create a measuring stick. I am personally 160 lbs and hate fran, my Pull ups are awsome but i hate the thruster, now on the other hand guys i know that are over the 200 mark are the opposite they dont care about the thrusters but hate the pull ups. The key to Crossfit is in the movements, according to Greg Glassman that is where the magic is but intensity is where results come from.
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Old 08-19-2009, 06:18 PM   #16
Darrell E. White
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Re: Answering the strength interest in CrossFit

Andrew, we have proven in CFSB that one can increase both strength and met-con ability utilizing what is essentially a Crossfit program, just not the Main Page. Multiple athletes have placed top 10 at the Games by doing what is essentially a Crossfit program, albeit with greater than Main Page volume. There have been a number of theoretic alternatives proposed that "should be" superior to Crossfit in producing greater work capacity. So far, not so much.

We look forward to seeing the results of your theory in practice, hopefully with subjects who have done Crossfit or some Crossfit variation with full, true Cossfit intensity prior to crossing over to you theoretic program so that a valid comparison can be made. Perhaps you, or an athlete you train as outlined above, will prevail next summer. It's an interesting proposition and well-worth investigating.

-bingo
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:09 PM   #17
Andrew Wilson
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Re: Answering the strength interest in CrossFit

Thanks Bingo
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:26 PM   #18
Dan Andrews
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Re: Answering the strength interest in CrossFit

Very interesting idea. My opinion though is say "Fran" with 95 lbs your average person is either going to scale down the weight or just take longer too do it. Anyone that has to scale it is still going to make marked strength gains getting up to 95 lbs, or doing it slower at that weight, say 7 minutes and slower. I would think you would naturally increase the weight if your at a sub 3 minute fran, probably even sub 5 minutes if you have any large interest in increasing your strength/1RM. Scaling up should be just as readily used as scaling down if your that strong and looking to still make significant max effort strength gains. Though, I'm hesitant to say you won't make gains even doing sub 5 minute fran's at 95 lbs, because you probably are.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:05 PM   #19
Shane Skowron
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Re: Answering the strength interest in CrossFit

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Originally Posted by Andrew Wilson View Post
Fran:
21-15-9 for time
Thruster with 61%, 69%, 79% of 1RM Thruster
Pullups

Diane:
21-15-9 for time
Deadlift with 61%, 69%, 79% of 1RM Deadlift
Handstand pushups
Interesting idea, but how would you do the above without 3 bars? Having to change plates in the middle of a workout would defeat the purpose.
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:37 PM   #20
Andrew Wilson
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Re: Answering the strength interest in CrossFit

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Originally Posted by Shane Skowron View Post
Interesting idea, but how would you do the above without 3 bars? Having to change plates in the middle of a workout would defeat the purpose.
On one bar. In my case as an example:
My 1RM thruster would be 170 pounds

Fran:
21-15-9 for time
Thruster with 105 pounds (61% of 1RM Thruster)
Pullups
Thruster with 115 pounds (69% of 1RM Thruster)
Pullups
Thruster with 135 pounds (79% of 1RM Thruster)
Pullups

Just throw on a 5# or 10# per side & its a go.
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