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Old 08-25-2008, 01:53 PM   #1
Dean Jones
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First time tonight

I've been challenged to give Crossfit a shot. Specifically, the WOD Fran. My wife and I are going to do it together tonight and I have a few questions.

For a little background, I'm relatively in-shape. I workout 5 days a week but tend to do compound movement exercises in sets such as push-ups, handstand push-ups, deadlift, chin-ups, bent over rows, etc... and I even add some isolated movements in every now and then when I want to specialize. On Tuesday's and Thursday's I train in Muay Thai complete with sparring. Some days in Muay Thai are less intense than others when I'm learning a new skill, however, most Muay Thai sessions are super intense and vomit inducing.

My wife is relatively in-shape as well. She was a gymnast for 15 years of her life until getting a nice spinal and knee injury. She then stopped gymnastics and focused on ****o-Ryu and received her blackbelt after 17 years. She works out regularly with me doing similar routines or HIT style routines and until lately would practice Muay Thai with me.

We're both Ok with our diet. Although, we do allow ourselves our cheat days and we both seem to do much better with higher carb diets than low carb. What I mean by that is that we've both tried removing grains and complex carbs and our bodies did terrible. We both suffered from over training and my workouts went to pot. I couldn't lift nearly as heavy and I'd be overly gassed. I think our weak point in our diet is actually having more than one sweet tooth! However, we keep it in check and we've recently both changed up our diet to eliminate all simple sugars except for a once a week scoop of ice cream.

We're ready to give Crossfit a try and I'm both excited and nervous about trying out Fran. I get this feeling when I know it's sparring night because I know I may get my butt beat, but I'll enjoy the practice if I don't do good and also enjoy the moments of that "good shot" you get in every now and then.

Ok, so on to my questions... I have read the FAQ and even peeked around the BrandX forum. My first question seems to be slightly covered in the FAQ, but not to my satisfaction so I'm hoping to get some clarity...

1) Is the WOD all I should do for that day? Say, if I finish off Fran in around 10 minutes, am I done? My weight lifting routines usually consist of about 20 - 30 minutes of exercise due to the multiple sets and exercises. I know I'll bee pooped after Fran, but may have some lingering "Should I do more?" thoughts.

2) Is anyone here doing a mix between a BB and CF? If so, can you suggest some ideas of dabbling with both? I'm not a bodybuilder, per se, but I like to keep some mass on myself for aesthetic reasons. I'm not a big guy, but I've been around 120-130 lbs my entire life and over the past couple of years I put on about 20 lbs of muscle. It's not a lot, but it's nice to be bigger for my own reasons. I'd actually like to put on another 10 lbs of muscle over time and so I'd like to find a way to mix CF with BB and my Martial Arts if possible.

3) My wife may struggle a bit with Fran on the thrusts. So we're going to have to scale the weight probably pretty significantly, which is fine. However, I'd like to get some suggestions on the pull-ups for her. She can get one pull-up in with a lot of struggle and that's it. Would doing Jumping pull-ups, full negatives or assisted pull-ups be better for this particular workout?

Thanks for reading and thanks for any help!
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Old 08-25-2008, 02:17 PM   #2
Justin Shipley
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Re: First time tonight

Hi, welcome!
Fran.. jeez; looks deceptively light on paper, don't it....?

As for being enough, do the official CF Warmup 2 or 3x through, then the WOD at maximum capacitywhilst still maintaining SAFE if not PERFECT form( qualification- aim for perfection, but rest or adjust loads or whatever if form deteriorates into hazardous movements) should definitely be enough.
And i think it's Gaaarrrddddawwwwgg or similar on brandX who provides the appropriately scaled workouts, from as rx'd down to buttercup level.

Now i want you both to go and give Fran 110% and post your thoughts here a little later.....bon voyage!
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Old 08-25-2008, 02:35 PM   #3
Dean Jones
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Re: First time tonight

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Originally Posted by Justin Shipley View Post
Hi, welcome!
Fran.. jeez; looks deceptively light on paper, don't it....?

As for being enough, do the official CF Warmup 2 or 3x through, then the WOD at maximum capacitywhilst still maintaining SAFE if not PERFECT form( qualification- aim for perfection, but rest or adjust loads or whatever if form deteriorates into hazardous movements) should definitely be enough.
And i think it's Gaaarrrddddawwwwgg or similar on brandX who provides the appropriately scaled workouts, from as rx'd down to buttercup level.

Now i want you both to go and give Fran 110% and post your thoughts here a little later.....bon voyage!
Hey now, don't get me wrong. I know it's not a walk in the park! That's why I said I'm both excited and nervous. I've seen a few video's on YouTube of people doing Fran. I'm not expecting to get anything under 10 minutes on my first try, I'm sure.

I will definitely post my thoughts on it later on though.

Thanks for the insight.
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Old 08-25-2008, 03:09 PM   #4
Shane Skowron
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Re: First time tonight

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Originally Posted by Dean Jones View Post
1) Is the WOD all I should do for that day? Say, if I finish off Fran in around 10 minutes, am I done? My weight lifting routines usually consist of about 20 - 30 minutes of exercise due to the multiple sets and exercises. I know I'll bee pooped after Fran, but may have some lingering "Should I do more?" thoughts.
Yes, pretty much. If you still have some energy after Fran, go run a mile, do some pushups, practice a handstand and some other gymnastics, work on your splits. Doing some situps, flutterkicks, and leg levers is a good idea too, because chances are you'll have some energy left in your core.
But if you're tired, stop. Stretch, eat, shower, done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Jones View Post
2) Is anyone here doing a mix between a BB and CF? If so, can you suggest some ideas of dabbling with both? I'm not a bodybuilder, per se, but I like to keep some mass on myself for aesthetic reasons. I'm not a big guy, but I've been around 120-130 lbs my entire life and over the past couple of years I put on about 20 lbs of muscle. It's not a lot, but it's nice to be bigger for my own reasons. I'd actually like to put on another 10 lbs of muscle over time and so I'd like to find a way to mix CF with BB and my Martial Arts if possible.
Search through the forums. There have been people who have done this. I am not one of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Jones View Post
3) My wife may struggle a bit with Fran on the thrusts. So we're going to have to scale the weight probably pretty significantly, which is fine. However, I'd like to get some suggestions on the pull-ups for her. She can get one pull-up in with a lot of struggle and that's it. Would doing Jumping pull-ups, full negatives or assisted pull-ups be better for this particular workout?
Do jumping pullups probably. Much better than doing pullup singles.

Scale the thrusters down to just the bar, or lighter dumbbells if you have them.
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Old 08-25-2008, 03:39 PM   #5
David Wood
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Re: First time tonight

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Jones View Post
1) Is the WOD all I should do for that day? Say, if I finish off Fran in around 10 minutes, am I done? My weight lifting routines usually consist of about 20 - 30 minutes of exercise due to the multiple sets and exercises. I know I'll bee pooped after Fran, but may have some lingering "Should I do more?" thoughts.
Generally, the answer to this is: "Yes, you're done. If you feel like you could / should do more, then you didn't go hard enough."

That said, I'm nervous telling that to anyone on their first time through, especially if they've picked Fran as their first WOD. Fran is tougher than she looks, and generally wins any poll for most-hated WOD.

It's also true that *most* CrossFitters will do a warm-up, the WOD, and some specific skill work (either before or after the WOD) on any given training day (as well as play various sports, train in martial arts, or do physical labor). So, saying that the WOD is all we do is sort of an oversimplification.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Jones View Post
2) Is anyone here doing a mix between a BB and CF? If so, can you suggest some ideas of dabbling with both? I'm not a bodybuilder, per se, but I like to keep some mass on myself for aesthetic reasons. I'm not a big guy, but I've been around 120-130 lbs my entire life and over the past couple of years I put on about 20 lbs of muscle. It's not a lot, but it's nice to be bigger for my own reasons. I'd actually like to put on another 10 lbs of muscle over time and so I'd like to find a way to mix CF with BB and my Martial Arts if possible.
There are various threads out there on combining Bodybuilding and CF (although, generally, bodybuilding for "aesthetic" reasons gets no respect). There are lots of folks, however, who just want to be bigger and stronger (funny how that's ok, but bodybuilding isn't) . The
"Starting Strength" program is very popular for basic strength and mass, although it is generally aimed at a beginner (untrained) population, which doesn't sound like you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Jones View Post
3) My wife may struggle a bit with Fran on the thrusts. So we're going to have to scale the weight probably pretty significantly, which is fine. However, I'd like to get some suggestions on the pull-ups for her. She can get one pull-up in with a lot of struggle and that's it. Would doing Jumping pull-ups, full negatives or assisted pull-ups be better for this particular workout?

If she's just at 1 pullup, I wouldn't even do jumping . . . just use an assist (bands, graviton, or husband). I woudn't do full negatives for this workout . . . 21 + 15 + 9 = 45 negatives would likely leave her with significant DOMS tomorrow or the next day.
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Old 08-25-2008, 04:17 PM   #6
Dean Jones
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Re: First time tonight

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Originally Posted by David Wood View Post
Generally, the answer to this is: "Yes, you're done. If you feel like you could / should do more, then you didn't go hard enough."

That said, I'm nervous telling that to anyone on their first time through, especially if they've picked Fran as their first WOD. Fran is tougher than she looks, and generally wins any poll for most-hated WOD.

It's also true that *most* CrossFitters will do a warm-up, the WOD, and some specific skill work (either before or after the WOD) on any given training day (as well as play various sports, train in martial arts, or do physical labor). So, saying that the WOD is all we do is sort of an oversimplification.
I understand. Do you guys suggest a better starter than Fran? The only reason Fran was picked was due to a challenge from someone. I've always been a fan of short, intense workouts and tout that mantra quite a bit... so someone was like "You want short and intense, try Fran." Haha! However, if there is a better one to start with and then work up to Fran over the next few weeks, I'll do that. Just don't say Murph.


Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wood View Post
There are various threads out there on combining Bodybuilding and CF (although, generally, bodybuilding for "aesthetic" reasons gets no respect). There are lots of folks, however, who just want to be bigger and stronger (funny how that's ok, but bodybuilding isn't) . The
"Starting Strength" program is very popular for basic strength and mass, although it is generally aimed at a beginner (untrained) population, which doesn't sound like you.
Yeah, I've read the forums a bit and see how some talk about BB on here and it's a bit disheartening. However, that's fine... everyone has an opinion on it.

I currently use HIT like routines and Push/Pull style routines where I work everything around compound movements such as Deadlift, Chin-ups, Squats, etc... I do very little isolated movements except when I create specialization routines to give a specific muscle group a little kick that seems to be lagging. However, those routines are typically only last 4-6 weeks and then I move back to a more full body or Vertical/Horizontal split routine.

So, I've been using it for fitness, strength and hypertrophy. However, if I get into Crossfit, it seems like the fitness end will be covered and I could maybe specialize a bit more in BB. I don't know, I haven't gotten into it yet, but that's just what it seems like so far.

I've also been working on a few gymnastics things like the handstand, elbow lever, l-seats, etc... It's my goal to be able to go from a handstand into an elbow lever and back.



Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wood View Post
If she's just at 1 pullup, I wouldn't even do jumping . . . just use an assist (bands, graviton, or husband). I woudn't do full negatives for this workout . . . 21 + 15 + 9 = 45 negatives would likely leave her with significant DOMS tomorrow or the next day.
Yeah, I'd have to assist her since we don't have bands or other assistance machinery. I'll definitely have to go first and then rest and let her go then... I try to assist her sometimes when I'm working out and on her 8th one she's really needing my assistance, so that's going to be tough.

We had her doing Smith Machine pull-ups (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbzb6...eature=related) which wouldn't allow her to do kipping, obviously, but it's as close to a pull-up as she can get without me helping her out a lot. Maybe these would suffice?
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Old 08-25-2008, 06:16 PM   #7
Dean Jones
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Re: First time tonight

Ok, so I played around with it tonight and holy crap...

I didn't go at it full on since this is the very first time I tried anything Crossfit and I usually take it a little easy at first just to see how the routine feels and such so I took longer breaks and played around with how much weight to use on the thrusts. However, I took 16:50! Incredibly terrible even for "playing around".

Two things I need to work on. Cardio is the first and foremost. My anaerobic conditioning is quite simply terrible, obviously. My muscular endurance seemed up to par and I felt I could finish much, much quicker if I had the cardio to back it up.

The second is to find a better pull up area. All we have in my gym is one of those wide grip pull up stations that is also a leg lift station. So, you can't do kipping pull ups at all. So, I had to do straight up and down pull ups which were tough after about 15. So, I went over to the Smith Machine and lifted the bar to the top position and tried those, but i had to keep my knee's up in order to keep from hitting the ground so do a good kipping pull up was not easy either. So, this slowed me down.

Anyway, even if I had the perfect set up and I was going full on, I think I would have only been able to shave off maybe 5 minutes which is still higher than I would like. I'll have to try it again in a couple of weeks and get everything I need in order and give it a good full on try now that I know what to expect and post my "real" time.

However, it's definitely a killer workout. Much more intense than a sparring session in Muay Thai... I mean, if you start crapping out in Muay Thai, you can just push kick the guy and keep moving to keep him off of you for 30 or so seconds in order to have a bit of an active rest then you get a 1 minute rest in between each round, but this is hard core anaerobic involvement with no rest. Good stuff.
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Old 08-25-2008, 06:42 PM   #8
David Wood
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Re: First time tonight

Dean: Welcome to CrossFit! Very few workouts will seem quite so bad as an all-out Fran, so it should be good from here on in .

Yeah, a good pullup station is pretty much a requirement to do CrossFit.

As far as the bodybuilding stuff goes, look, no one is ever going to track you down and banish you from the club because you were doing curls (as long as you weren't in the squat rack at the time). You can do isoloation exercises as much as you want. But you may find that your interest in those goals wanes as your overall fitness improves.

Coach Glassman was once asked what a trainee should do to improve his upper arm size, curls, or triceps pushdowns. His response (paraphrasing a bit) was: "Funny, I never get that question from guys who can do 20 pullups".
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:52 PM   #9
Jason David
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Re: First time tonight

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Originally Posted by Dean Jones View Post
I think our weak point in our diet is actually having more than one sweet tooth! However, we keep it in check and we've recently both changed up our diet to eliminate all simple sugars except for a once a week scoop of ice cream.
I have fantastic news!!! you can eat ice cream every night! Seriously though! Search for the Breyers every night (seriously) thread in the nutrition forum...
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