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Old 09-23-2008, 02:37 PM   #1
Dan Morgan
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Help with my strength goals

Hi Everyone,
I'll start with a little background info: I'm 17 years old, 6'0 tall and weigh 180lbs. Before six weeks ago I was strength training 3x per week with a fairly standard 3x8-12 split routine using both isolation and compound lifts. I had been training fairly consistently and my bench was at 200lbs for a 1RM, my squat was something similar (not that great, I know) And I never used to DL. At this point I weighed just under 190lbs.

Then I went to central America for two weeks and long story short in the last couple of days I got very ill, and literally didn't eat a thing for 5 days straight, and after that I couldn't manage a lot to eat at all and as a result lost 20lbs.

Now I am ready and cleared to start lifting again and after coming across this great site have re-evaluated my goals.

They are three:
1. To be putting up good numbers in the squat, bench and deadlift (something like 260/220/330lbs) for 1RM, maximal strength.

2. To be able to do good weight lifts for ~15 reps. Inspired by videos such as the guys doing 15 2xBW deadlifts, and I saw one of a CF lady doing 15 BW OH squats.

And 3. To be able to do good numbers of BW exercises like push ups and pull ups and dips.

My query is how to arrange sessions to accomplish these goals. In the last couple of weeks I have been doing 3 sessions in the gym doing the big 3 lifts once a week with supporting movements like rows, OHS and OH presses, in 3x4-10, my theory being that to train to do big 1RMs and good 15RMs, I should train in between these numbers to get benefit for both.

I have then been doing 2 sessions a week on pushups, pullups and dips.

I have thought about maybe doing a program like SS to get my base numbers up lots then build on that, but a worry has been that maybe doing 5 reps wouldn't transfer to the higher rep goals.

Any input or suggestions would be greatly welcomed.
Thanks
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Old 09-23-2008, 04:39 PM   #2
Chris Scott
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Re: Help with my strength goals



Hi Dan! I'm very new to Starting Strength (4 weeks), but I've read my copy of SS several times and spent a lot of time on Mark Rippetoe's Q&A board, and can quote you some stuff that might be useful.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Morgan View Post
I'm 17 years old, 6'0 tall and weigh 180lbs.
If you're at those numbers with 8% bodyfat; I'd strongly suspect most people who know about this would advise that you'll need to gain some weight to get stronger. If you don't mind getting bigger (it's awesome IMHO), Starting Strength seems to be universally recognized as the best way to do this. It's worked for me (27 lbs in 26 days).
Quote:
[Goals] are three:
1. To be putting up good numbers in the squat, bench and deadlift (something like 260/220/330lbs) for 1RM, maximal strength.

2. To be able to do good weight lifts for ~15 reps. Inspired by videos such as the guys doing 15 2xBW deadlifts, and I saw one of a CF lady doing 15 BW OH squats.

And 3. To be able to do good numbers of BW exercises like push ups and pull ups and dips.
Those seem like great starting goals to me. If you're already at a 200-lb bench, you'll probably get to the 1RM numbers very quickly on SS. As for the programming for 1RM-15RM and BW exercises, Glenn Pendlay (whom Rippetoe consulted for programming) and Rippetoe address this directly in Practical Programming for Strength Training:
"Absolute strength is gained by using very low reps (1 to 3) per set, mass is increased with higher reps (10 to 12), and local muscular and systemic endurance is developed with even higher reps (20+). For the novice, a repetition scheme that is right in the anaerobic middle works best: 5 reps."

He goes on into more detail; synopsis would be that 5 reps/set is low enough for strength gain, but still high enough for muscular endurance and hypertrophy (mass gain). If you want both strength and endurance, it seems to be the magic number.

As for the pullups/chins, the novice progression in PPST incorporates them into the program (SS alternates deadlifts with power cleans). NOTE: Rippetoe and Pendlay define a "novice" as someone who has not yet exhausted their potential for "linear progression," that is, adding more weight to the bar every time you do a workout. According to them, the novice phase generally lasts 3-9 months, depending on how much you eat, genetics, how well the jumps in weight are managed, and several other things. Here's the PPST novice program:

Monday
squats
bench press/press
chinups

Wednesday
squats
press/bench press
deadlifts

Friday
squats
bench press/press
pullups

If you decide to go this route, I'd highly recommend you buy at least Starting Strength if not both books. SS alone is fine to begin with, but if you progress into the intermediate phase and need some more involved programming, PPST is great. They're both wildly underpriced for the info contained.

Doing a "Starting Stength cycle" to get the necessary strength to do the workouts of the day as prescribed (WODs as Rx'd) seems to be a very common thing around here. And it's hella fun.

Sorry if I got a little long-winded. Short answer to your question: buy Starting Strength and go from there.

All the best.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:44 PM   #3
William Stanton
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Re: Help with my strength goals

Yeah, I just got SS a couple of days ago, and I can tell you that it is a bargain. There are over 300 pages of densely packed info on barbell exercises (something like 50 pages on the squat alone) for about 30 dollars. Even I could afford it, and I'm a graduate student.
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Old 09-23-2008, 09:54 PM   #4
Dan Morgan
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Re: Help with my strength goals

Thanks for the replies! Chris, that was exactly the answer I was looking for, the longer the better

5 reps certaintly does seem the way to go! I have ordered both of the Rippetoe books but they are coming from the UK so might take a while to get here but I will start on my first workout in a few minutes

I think I will do SS until I can no longer make linear progressions, by which time I hope I will be much stronger than I am now, and then take it from there!

I think when I actually have the books lots of questions will be answered.
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Old 09-23-2008, 10:15 PM   #5
Chris Scott
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Re: Help with my strength goals

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Morgan View Post
Thanks for the replies! Chris, that was exactly the answer I was looking for, the longer the better

5 reps certaintly does seem the way to go! I have ordered both of the Rippetoe books but they are coming from the UK so might take a while to get here but I will start on my first workout in a few minutes

I think I will do SS until I can no longer make linear progressions, by which time I hope I will be much stronger than I am now, and then take it from there!

I think when I actually have the books lots of questions will be answered.
Glad to help. Also, everyone who's doing SS deserves to check out this forum: http://************.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=36 (most threads NOT wfs).

Wildly funny and even more informative. For a sample of some of the pithier quotes, check out this thread: http://www.board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=29437

All the best... by the way, what is a "St A Herts?"
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Old 09-23-2008, 11:29 PM   #6
Dan Morgan
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Re: Help with my strength goals

Yeah I've allready checked out some of the Rip quotes on the SS Wiki, hillarious! I'll check out that board as well.

It's St Albans, Hertfordshire. I just put abbreviations when I was signing up but I didn't know it would be displayed and I don't know how to change it

I just did my first SS workout and my starting weights are 115lbs for squat, 125 lbs for bench and 145lbs for deadlift. I guess I really did lose a lot of strength when I got ill...
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Old 09-23-2008, 11:51 PM   #7
Chris Scott
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Re: Help with my strength goals

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Morgan View Post
I just did my first SS workout and my starting weights are 115lbs for squat, 125 lbs for bench and 145lbs for deadlift. I guess I really did lose a lot of strength when I got ill...
Don't despair. Those weights are pretty normal for starting numbers, and it's shocking how fast they go up. You'll be back where you remember before you know it.

And I'm not sure where in England he's from, but there's a guy on the Rippetoe Q&A board who's in England. He posts under "Drewfasa." Funny guy, and seems nice enough; certainly enthusiastic. Maybe he's near you... wait, what am I saying? Of course he's near you! It's a tiny, wee little country you live in!

Congrats on the first workout! All the best.
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