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

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Old 02-11-2006, 12:11 PM   #1
Michael Forge
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I've been doing the WOD for about seven weeks now and, although I love it, I find that my performance is getting worse rather than better lately.

I'm also struggling to generate enthusiasm for the workouts and having trouble sleeping at night: the classic signs of overtraining from my former running/bodybuilding life.

Has anybody else had this experience with Crossfit? Are occassional layoffs recommended? I know seven weeks isn't a long time to go without a layoff, but I can't think of another explanation for my regression.

I've always been in good shape, but not Crossfit good. Maybe trying to complete all the workouts as RXd without gradually working up to them is part of the problem.

I'm grateful for any suggestions.
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Old 02-11-2006, 12:29 PM   #2
Curt Garner
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I think you've put your finger on the problem. I'm about 15 weeks into Crossfit and I still have to take a rest every third day, rather than every fourth.
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Old 02-11-2006, 03:04 PM   #3
John Messano
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many Crossfitters take a week off after training 12 (or fewer) weeks in a row.

Also, doing a half volume week (same intensity, but shorter WODs) is a common practice when one feels under-recovered.

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Old 02-11-2006, 04:24 PM   #4
Joe Miller
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If you feel overtrained, take a week off. Many people do.

If you find you are feeling overtrained too often, reexamine your diet. It's key to keeping you in top-performance shape.
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Old 02-11-2006, 05:02 PM   #5
greg bass
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I started almost four months ago and for the first two months my progress declined on several levels. For instance, when I started I could do 9-10 chinups and 6-7 pullups. But the wod's had so many pullups that after 6 weeks I could only do 1 unassisted chinup and no pullups.

Once my body got used to the workload and started recovering more quickly, my performance level increased dramatically. My pullups are now up to 11. But my times on some of the benchmark wod's are way down from what they were at 6 weeks in.

At 6 weeks, in late November, I took 13 minutes to do Diane and all my HSPU's were negative. Last week I did Diane in 3:45 and had 50% ROM on the HSPU's.

At 6 weeks in I took 10 or 11 minutes to do Fran using 80 lbs. Last week, at 15 weeks in, I did Fran in 3:45 using 95 lbs and jumped way less on the pullups.

So my suggestion is hang in there and keep pushing and your body will adapt soon enough. Good luck.
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Old 02-12-2006, 02:59 AM   #6
Andrew Cattermole
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As you said its wise on starting Crossfit to ramp up the intensity of the Workouts rather then have a "complete as Written at all costs" attitude.

I suggest taking 1per Wk(or all) WOD that you find especially taxing and reducing the Weight,Reps,Time or Rds.Use that workout to focus in particular on Form with set breaks(short breaks say 15-45 sec) between reps or exercises.Play with the above variables particularly on days of fatigue or DOMS.An indispensable item for this sort of training is a Countdown Timer to keep your breaks strict when not going "for time".
Hope thats Usefull..
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Old 02-12-2006, 02:45 PM   #7
Graham Hayes
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Scale for a few months...like 6 is a good idea. Start at stupidly easy. Slowly build up the amount of work you are doing, if you do this your times at the begining will be close to/faster than the best posted times. As you increment slowly your times will stay in this ballpark. 6 months later...well, you do the math.

It worked for me, but needs patience, and ability to plan long term.
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Old 02-13-2006, 06:54 AM   #8
Michael Forge
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Thanks for all the helpul comments. I think my mistake was jumping right from a pretty rigorous running/lifting regimen into full-blown CF without a break. I handled it okay at first, but it seems to be catching up to me now. The insomnia/restless sleep is killing me more than anything. I think I'm going to try laying off for a week to recharge both physically and psychologically.
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Old 02-13-2006, 12:05 PM   #9
Skip Chase
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Based on the 'symptoms', I have to ask, how is your 'fuel'? Are you doing the zone 100%? If not, get on it. You can't have 'high octane' performance with low octane fuel. Nutrition is critical and the zone is our 'jet fuel'.
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Old 02-13-2006, 01:13 PM   #10
Kalen Meine
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Thanks Skip, I was waiting for someone to bring that up. How many times do you eat a day? If you're not in the neighborhood of 5-7, with each of those including a chunk of meat the size of your palm, a few glasses of milk, things along those lines, you'll crash. Been there, it sucked, started eating like a beast, got better. Some people's stomachs recognize this, and for others, the insane demand for nourishment is so foreign, or they're so conditioned to 3 squares a day, and the first is just a bowl of cereal, that they don't feel it. The kid I train with has just plowed headlong into not eating enough of the right stuff, and he's finding his way out of that hole slowly but surely.

Also- sleep. 9.5 hours? Crazy, I know. But just recognize that anything less than that is less than total systemic recovery. If sleep isn't something you've placed a high value on (and most people don't- people brag about how little sleep they get, not how much) that could be a bottleneck as well.

Not that layoffs and such aren't a good and necessary idea, it's just that with newbie performance usually heading nowhere but up, and the 3on/1off working so consistently well, it might be good to examine other possibilities.
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