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

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Old 10-29-2014, 09:55 AM   #1
Julian Vasquez
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Getting stronger one day a week

I work out at an affiliate which is great. They offer a once a week open gym. I go in there and just go heavy. No real plan though other than trying to beat my previous week's 1RM max.

1RM

Started on 8/6/14.

Back Squat - 240#, now at 280#.
Bench - 175#, now at 200#
Deadlift - 295#, now at 315#
OH Press - 165#, now at 200#

My focus has been on squats. I would squat and then do one of the other lifts, so didn't get too many weeks with DLs, or Bench. But just squatting seemed to make me stronger in everything else!

I've ready up on starting strength and 5/3/1. My goal is to get stronger. Much stronger but continue to workout at the affiliate with "random" workouts 3-5x a week. I could quit the affiliate and do just strength but where's the fun in that? And then it would just be powerlifting and not crossfit. Crossfit is what gets me in the gym so that's a non-negotiable component of my training.

Based on that, anyone have any suggestions to how to best utilize the 1 open gym day? Is just working up to a 1RM the best strategy, or is it better to perhaps do a 5/3/1 program but lifting two of the four recommended lifts every week and alternating.

I'm a 36yo male, 167#, 5'8" and would consider myself an intermediate lifter. Been doing Crossfit now seriously and consistently for the first time ever since February of 2014.

thanks,
Julian
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Old 10-29-2014, 11:17 AM   #2
Philipp Lendner
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Re: Getting stronger one day a week

Given your numbers, your main concern should be lower body strength. Your OHP for somebody with your weight is already really good, so no need to do a lot there. Your squat/deadlift numbers however could be higher. I guess these numbers limit you in several Crossfit workouts. Therefore I would recommend going after your lower body for the one day you have. If you could have another day with something like half an hour for strength training (maybe before your Crossfit class) that would be your upper body day. Ask at your box weather they would allow you to do something like that.

One day of strength training per week is not much, so using most strength programs, which were intended to be used as stand-alone programs for people working out 3-5 days a week, is probably not going to work.
Because your lower body numbers are a) relatively weak and b) have raised pretty fast considering the amount of time you are doing actual strength training, I'll go for one 3RM fast lift (Power Clean to Jerk, Power Snatch) and one 5RM slow lift (Deadlift, Back Squat, Front Squat) per day with 4-6 working sets (not including warm up, so 80 % plus of your final max of the day). Alternate the lifts each week. That would take you - with a decent warm up and cool down - something like 1 to 1.5 hours.
Using Jerks and Power snatches would also act as a kind of minimal upper body strength training.

Using 3RM and 5RM is based on the assumption that you do not have a problem adding a bit weight. If that was wrong, you might use 1RM and 3RM respectively, but then go for like 6-8 working sets.
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Old 10-29-2014, 11:42 AM   #3
Julian Vasquez
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Re: Getting stronger one day a week

So thus far any gains I've gotten have been on linear progression, adding about 5 pounds a week and going for the 1RM.

What are the advantages to switching to a 3RM, 5RM program instead of a 1RM. I don't care if I gain weight as I get stronger.

I could ask about the second day. That I guess would accelerate matters but is one day not enough long term? Thus far it has been but gains are getting harder now.

Thanks,
Julian
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Old 10-29-2014, 12:52 PM   #4
Richard Colon
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Re: Getting stronger one day a week

This answer would probably suffice for thousands of other similar questions. Things like "how do I?", "should I?", "how do I start?", "should I change to?" and "will this work for..?"

Pick a program - any program, that fits even remotely within your goals. If your goal is to be beast, powerlifter strong, you probably shouldn't be on a Triathlon program. That is a huge well duh thing but trust me, you would be surprised about how many people want to increase overall muscle mass but they do more Wall Balls and Rowing than they do Deadlifting, Squatting and Pressing.

So, pick a program (there are hundreds of thousands on the net), stick with it until its duration or on average 8-12weeks, then either continue on that program or one similar to it (things like Outlaw and Crossfit Football are long term until you reach the goals rather than 2-3months, etc.) OR - now here is the kicker...pick another program. Rinse and repeat for about a full year. Here is another important part. Just do the program. You can do something else later, but finish it first, as written. Don't try and re-invent your version of something that a person 5x stronger than you already put on paper regarding "getting stronger".

At the end I guarantee you will learn more about training, yourself and your fitness goals than any magic discussion will teach you. The 1st part is to pick one and do it. Even if it may not be the correct or best one, it sure as hell beats thinking about and talking about doing one. I mean, we are about 2 months from the end of 2014. If you started in January, you would probably not need to ask many questions by this point.

Every single person that has achieved the goals and success in fitness (and life in all honesty) that you might want - whether it is Mr. Olympia, Crossfit Games champ, Triathlon winner, Olympic medalist, etc, didn't achieve that because they did the best thing. They just did something for a much longer time and more consistently than others who are constantly being distracted by searching for the best thing.
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Old 10-29-2014, 01:21 PM   #5
Julian Vasquez
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Re: Getting stronger one day a week

I am with you that we need to stick with a program. I'm not looking for a best one necessarily, although that's what we all want right? The beauty of these forums are to glean from other's success and failures, so as to guide us in the right direction.

Now, with respect to picking a program, any program among the thousands out there, I haven't found any specifically addressing my question. I work out at an affiliate so doing my own programming daily is out. So, what programs have worked for others doing crossfit and getting in one or two days of heavy work. Pretty straightforward, but the more I research the more I find limiting crossfit is the answer most of the time. I'm not the only one around here that wants to have their cake and eat it too.

Thanks,
Julian
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Old 10-29-2014, 02:19 PM   #6
Luke Sirakos
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Re: Getting stronger one day a week

Maxing out every week is a terrible idea, it takes quite a toll on your system and really shouldn't be done that often.

I would talk with your coaches about a strength program, they might have something you could work on during the week as well instead of doing the planned WOD.
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