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Old 03-21-2012, 11:04 AM   #1
Larry Soscia
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Location: Aston  PA
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Questions about how to handle the w.o with weaknesses in a particular arear

I am new to crossfit but not to exercise. I weight train and run and hike occasionally.

I am 60 yrs.old,5'6"and 170#
Presently, I do a circuit weight training with various stepper ex. in between each weight station( Planet fitness) and also do some pushups,pullups and dips on the weight training days.3x's/ wk I also do aerobic exer the other 2 days-treadmill,elliptical and mountain climber with occasional runs and hiking.
Running has recently created a problem as I pulled a calf muscle. Additionally, I am nursing a slightly sore elbow which I think is a result of doing weight assisted pullups(70#). I can also do 4 dips with no assist and I run a 10 or less min mile with moderate exertion and run 3-4 mi.from a stamina standpoint.
I point all of these out in order to give a clear picture of my fitness level.

My goal is to be generally fit, have good flexibility,stamina,strength, and balance.

I am confused by the crossfit w.o.'s as I am not sure what to do in relation to my weaknesses vs perceived strengths. eg- in a ladder w.o that i found that consists of air squats,Pushups and pullups Rung1 3,2,1 respectively rung2 6,4,2 respectively rung3 9,4,2 The confusion is that I can do the Pushups(I can max out at 1set of 40);can do the air squats but can't get low enough w/out bending my back:but can't do 1 pullup How do I progress when some parts of the w.o are so deficient?

Also, how does one balance the w.o's. What execises to combine(strength,stamina,flexibility,etc) In weight training, the common practice was not to train the same muscle groups in 2 consec. days. This doesn't seem to be true in crossfit as you do pullups, and pushups indefinitely.

Lastly, I am looking for substituions for running until my calf heals and pullups until my elbow heals. I would greatly appreciate any guidance out there. I have combed your website for far too many hours in the last few days and have not come to any clear plan of how to incorporate your methods on a daily basis within the limitations and info that I have laid out.
Thanks again
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:30 AM   #2
Jason Wallis
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Re: Questions about how to handle the w.o with weaknesses in a particular arear

On crossfit's main site, there is a link to brand x. They will give you a good idea of how to scale the workouts. As far as "balancing the workouts," you don't. You do whatever comes up that day (scaled to your fitness level). Swimming and rowing are good subs for running.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:48 AM   #3
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Questions about how to handle the w.o with weaknesses in a particular arear

There is a general principle to apply to CrossFit workouts to adjust them to each individuals abilities. In this order:

1) Preserve the range of motion to the best of your ability. So if a workout calls for pull ups you will want to do the pull up motion with some sort of assistance. If you are in a gym like planet fitness then you probably have access to a pull up assistance machine.

2) Pick an appropriate load. This can be the amount of weight on a barbell or the amount of assistance your getting. In general if it is a lower number of reps then it is meant to be heavy and hard training strength, if it is a high number of reps the it is light and fast training endurance.

3) Adjust intensity. Intensity in this sense can mean number of reps, length of time you are work, distance and so on.

So in your ladder example the workout usually is work your way up the ladder as far as you can in a set amount of time. This would be brutal but lets say the workout was:

20 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible)
3 Squats, 2 push ups, 1 pull up
6 squats, 4 push ups, 2 pull ups
9 squats, 6 push ups, 3 pull ups
and so on

1) Preserve range of motion. Maybe Squat to a medicine ball to insure proper depth (these might be slow like a stretch), Push ups are good, Pull ups use assistance machine.

2) Load in this case is the pull up assistance machine. Your elbow is sore so we want to take it easy so #90 of assistance.

3) Intensity, a full 20 minutes of this would leave an experienced CrossFitter sore the next day. A new person would be walking funny for days if they could finish the full 20 minutes at all. So we will cut the time to 10 minutes or 5 rounds which ever comes first.

Brand X Scaling is an excellent place to see this applied to W.O.D.s.

When I tore my calf I did a lot of rowing.
Nomadic CrossFit Coach
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:38 PM   #4
Larry Soscia
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Location: Aston  PA
Posts: 6
Re: Questions about how to handle the w.o with weaknesses in a particular arear

Thanks for the response.
I did the suggested scaled w.o. but after 10 min, I decided that I needed more challenge and went the 20 min and about the 7th rotation.
I felt fine the next day and wasn't particularly wiped out, although the elbow is still a concern.

I am trying to use crossfit on my cardio days(t,th) until I understand it better. Especially the subs for the pullups and running due to calf and elbow.
I'm not sure if this is the best approach.

I am still confused on the balance of a w.o. in order to do the proper substitutions. Does it make a difference about the combinations of ex. in a w.o.
I think the wod's are problematic to perform at my gym as I 'm sure the availability of equipment would be sporadic when I need them in a circuit.(too much lag time)
I've looked, but do the scaled wo's have a non equipment alternative?or something with just dumbells as they would be more readily accessible?

Also, I tried a wo today where I combined some ex. on my own
It consisted of:
4rounds in about 20min
15 squats against a wall(facing wall to keep from knees from going over toes)
15 kettlebell swings-15#
15 walking lunges(15 actual steps)
15 Burpees(they kick my butt)
15 pushups
3 rounds each of :
10 squats
10 kettlebell swings-25#

I'm trying different skills on various days,hence the kb's

Lastly, is it harmful to perform the same wo's on a daily basis? eg.-similar to the one above if it is a rational combination of movements?
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