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Old 03-11-2011, 08:06 AM   #1
John McCord
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New to CF - Starting Strength

So, of course, I'm new to CrossFit, hence the newbie thread. Unfortunately in the location I'm "deployed" to the gym lacks a few things like medicine balls, kettlebells, etc. They do however have a power rack and standard barbells/plates. I plan on joining a local box back in NM when I return (black Box Fitness/CF Caliente).

Anyway the question is, I've started Starting Strength (why is that so hard to say). This seems to be the best way to build up my weaknesses (ie. barbell work) prior to returning home and joining the box. Any thoughts on this? Good starting program, pros/cons, any thing else I should be working on?

I also am running in 5K Intramural Cross Country so I do runs/speed work regularly and am fairly proficient in the majority of B/W exercises, at least those that are beat into us by the military.
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:58 AM   #2
Latham Fell
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Re: New to CF - Starting Strength

The BEST thing you can do for yourself right now is to get strong on the basic lifts. Depending on diet/sleep (tough when you're deployed I know), you can get very strong, very quickly on Starting Strength. A gain of 60 lbs per month on your squat and deadlift adds up. I would recommend getting to Rippetoe's "advanced" level (Google "Rippetoe standards") on all lifts before you worry about anything else.

The only caveat with Rip's standards is that it's not necessary to develop a huge low-bar back squat. Instead, get your high-bar squat to 80% of Rip's "advanced" standard, and then get your front squat there as well. At that point, you can consider your high-bar squat and front squat to be "advanced". Low-bar squat is not very important for Crossfitters. Front squat is.

Getting this strong will yield huge dividends for you once you get into metcons. Fran is a lot easier when your front squat and press are "advanced" level.

Of course, there are many ways to combine strength and conditioning (CFSB, CFFB, MEBB, etc), but to me, the simple solution is to just get your specific strength work out of the way up front.
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:04 AM   #3
John McCord
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Re: New to CF - Starting Strength

Thanks for the info. Good to know I'm getting on the right track.
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:05 PM   #4
Tamara Cohen
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Re: New to CF - Starting Strength

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Originally Posted by Latham Fell View Post
The BEST thing you can do for yourself right now is to get strong on the basic lifts. Depending on diet/sleep (tough when you're deployed I know), you can get very strong, very quickly on Starting Strength. A gain of 60 lbs per month on your squat and deadlift adds up. I would recommend getting to Rippetoe's "advanced" level (Google "Rippetoe standards") on all lifts before you worry about anything else.

The only caveat with Rip's standards is that it's not necessary to develop a huge low-bar back squat. Instead, get your high-bar squat to 80% of Rip's "advanced" standard, and then get your front squat there as well. At that point, you can consider your high-bar squat and front squat to be "advanced". Low-bar squat is not very important for Crossfitters. Front squat is.

Getting this strong will yield huge dividends for you once you get into metcons. Fran is a lot easier when your front squat and press are "advanced" level.

Of course, there are many ways to combine strength and conditioning (CFSB, CFFB, MEBB, etc), but to me, the simple solution is to just get your specific strength work out of the way up front.
While I agree with you that building up a strength base is very important, I disagree on some other points.

How is a low bar squat not very important for CrossFitters? A strong low bar squat makes EVERYTHING better. I personally don't tell anyone to high bar unless they are specifically doing Oly programming. Even then, it would be situation dependent.

Rip removed those strength standards from the subsequent edition of Practical Programming for a reason. There is no reason to pay attention to those designations in terms of deciding when strength programming needs to be altered. People should just exhaust their novice linear progression before they worry about anything else.
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:19 PM   #5
John McCord
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Re: New to CF - Starting Strength

So I made this thread fully knowing that it would drawa Tamara's attention. I've seen many..MANY of your post around the forums and generally respect your opinion. I could say that Rip owes you 20$ for convincing me to get the DVD along with the book. (your advice to another beginner..."Do. Starting. Strength.")

I will be sticking with the programming layed out by SS while overseas. (not that there's much of a choice)

Thanks for the help.
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:53 PM   #6
Eric Montgomery
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Re: New to CF - Starting Strength

Sticking to the program=not doing the 5K Intramural Cross Country Team.

Seriously, any significant amount of running will mess up your recovery.

Is that optional, or mandatory fun kind of stuff?
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:35 PM   #7
John McCord
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Re: New to CF - Starting Strength

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Is that optional, or mandatory fun kind of stuff?
Is there a difference in the Military? Its only 4 runs, once a week for 4 weeks.
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:40 AM   #8
Andy Gann
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Re: New to CF - Starting Strength

I'm going to throw in another option for a strength program for a novice (linear progression). The Greyskull Linear Progression (aka 'GS LP) has been doing great things for me for the last 2 months. I've made great gains and haven't gained any fat.

You can google 'greyskull linear progression' to find the program outlined as well as find a forum with great info on it.

in addition - as an alternative to drinking a gallon of milk a day, might I suggest a diet with at least 1.5 g protein per bodyweight with a 1:1 protein/carb ratio until 1 or 2 in the afternoon and then low carb the rest of the day.

I eat three meals with three protein shakes per day with a PWO shake of 50g carb/25g protein that doesn't count and am seeing good results both in the weight room and in the mirror. When I did SS I had great gains in the weight room but the mirror didn't lie!
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:16 PM   #9
Jason Wallis
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Re: New to CF - Starting Strength

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Originally Posted by John McCord View Post
Is there a difference in the Military? Its only 4 runs, once a week for 4 weeks.
You'll be fine. Gains might be a bit slower, but the world will continue to spin properly.
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Old 03-14-2011, 04:04 PM   #10
John McCord
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Re: New to CF - Starting Strength

Yea, Yes it will.

Actually i was able to get a lot of info from the SS forum on programming for the military and around military pt schedules...life goes on...
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