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

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Old 12-09-2008, 09:12 PM   #1
Alex Coots
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Balanced Gains vs. Genetics

I've been doing Crossfit for a little over a year and have seen some gains, but it seems like I'm only noticeably stronger in certain areas.

For example, My shoulder press has gone from 120 to 150, but my deadlift and squat are still low (DL: 265 Squat: 205) when compared to other Crossfitters of comparable press/size (5'11, 180 lbs). I started with a deadlift at 240 and a squat at around 180.

I'm wondering if anyone else is noticing gains in some areas but not others? Is it just my genetics? Maybe my form is off? Maybe I'm just worrying about nothing?
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:56 PM   #2
Phillip Garrison
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Re: Balanced Gains vs. Genetics

As long as you're making gains, that's all that matters.
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:15 PM   #3
Justin Shipley
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Re: Balanced Gains vs. Genetics

Have you done a Starting Strength cycle, with the attendant dietary amendments? Guaranteed to up your numbers considerably if done as recommended, or as close as possible.

Doing the WODs will produce incremental gains in all areas, but nothing beats SS for focussing on, and achieving, strength gains in a steady upward progression
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Old 12-10-2008, 04:13 AM   #4
Christopher Day
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Re: Balanced Gains vs. Genetics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Coots View Post
I've been doing Crossfit for a little over a year and have seen some gains, but it seems like I'm only noticeably stronger in certain areas.

For example, My shoulder press has gone from 120 to 150, but my deadlift and squat are still low (DL: 265 Squat: 205) when compared to other Crossfitters of comparable press/size (5'11, 180 lbs). I started with a deadlift at 240 and a squat at around 180.

I'm wondering if anyone else is noticing gains in some areas but not others? Is it just my genetics? Maybe my form is off? Maybe I'm just worrying about nothing?
I don't have much constructive to add other than that your press is huge compared to your other numbers.
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Old 12-10-2008, 05:29 AM   #5
Alex Coots
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Re: Balanced Gains vs. Genetics

I have yet to do any SS work, I get mixed reviews about it. Some say its great because they get way stronger, some say its bad because it destroys their Metcon times.

Do people generally keep the gains they make when they switch back to CF from SS?
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:47 AM   #6
Darrell E. White
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Re: Balanced Gains vs. Genetics

Man...ANOTHER suggestion to leave CF and do SS given to someone who LIKES CF and LIKES the gains they have made. When will it end?

The OP is asking about the amount of gain in a particular fitness domain and asking if his gains are consistent with those of other similar Crossfitters. he is also asking, I think, how to get greater gains in this domain WITHOUT LOSING THE FITNESS GAINS IN THE OTHER DOMAINS.

Ok...once more...pay attention...

If you wish to get strong and that is your PRIMARY AIM then SS, Practical Programming, and virtually anything that Mark Rippetoe writes is your best option. Period.

If you wish to maximize your gains across multiple areas of fitness without sacrificing any, and specifically without sacrificing your met-con fitness, SS is NOT THE ANSWER. You will rapidly lose your met-con fitness. If you wish to gain broad increases in fitness in multiple types of fitness you need a GPP, and CROSSFIT IS THE ANSWER.

QED

Enough with the "leave CF for a SS cycle" already...

-bingo

Last edited by Darrell E. White : 12-10-2008 at 08:52 AM. Reason: added signature.
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:52 AM   #7
Darrell E. White
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Re: Balanced Gains vs. Genetics

Now, Alex, as to your specific question, your gains are typical of a Crossfitter who fits your parameters. You are continuing to gain strength in addition to your other fitness gains. If you are in a bit of a hurry to get stronger without leaving Crossfit and its other benefits there are at present a couple of reasonable ways to do so.

Are you approaching the heavy lift days like the C&J the other day with the same amount of focus and intensity as the met-cons? I warmed up with heavy front squats and lots of med-ball cleans prior to a 20# PR on the C&J. You need to push yourself (safety in mind, of course) on those days just like on a Fran day.

Alternatively, check out Anthony Bainbridge's log on a Crossfit Max Effort Black Box program. Basically one day devoted to max effort on heaqy lifts in each 3 day cycle.

Best of luck.

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Old 12-10-2008, 11:07 AM   #8
Tom Woodward
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Re: Balanced Gains vs. Genetics

+ 1 on Anthony and Jodi's journal. It's almost 200 pages but well worth reading. Great example of how CF + a bit of additional strength work can produce great results.
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:26 AM   #9
Darrell E. White
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Re: Balanced Gains vs. Genetics

Addendum to my posts above: All of my thoughts assume that one has a regular life with regular responsibilities. A professional athlete or sponsored athlete, or for that matter an indifferent college student with lots of time, could presumably devote the time necessary to do a focused strength program AND a more all-around program. Folks with jobs, families, and other time committments (or students who go to class!) would find it impossible to do both and devote the time necessary to recovery.

I wrote the original posts in the office--work mindset.
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:41 AM   #10
Dave Campbell
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Re: Balanced Gains vs. Genetics

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Originally Posted by Darrell E. White View Post
Man...ANOTHER suggestion to leave CF and do SS given to someone who LIKES CF and LIKES the gains they have made. When will it end?

The OP is asking about the amount of gain in a particular fitness domain and asking if his gains are consistent with those of other similar Crossfitters. he is also asking, I think, how to get greater gains in this domain WITHOUT LOSING THE FITNESS GAINS IN THE OTHER DOMAINS.

Ok...once more...pay attention...

If you wish to get strong and that is your PRIMARY AIM then SS, Practical Programming, and virtually anything that Mark Rippetoe writes is your best option. Period.

If you wish to maximize your gains across multiple areas of fitness without sacrificing any, and specifically without sacrificing your met-con fitness, SS is NOT THE ANSWER. You will rapidly lose your met-con fitness. If you wish to gain broad increases in fitness in multiple types of fitness you need a GPP, and CROSSFIT IS THE ANSWER.

QED

Enough with the "leave CF for a SS cycle" already...

-bingo
The OP said he came to Crossfit with a 240 DL and a 180 Squat. Over a year later and he's only up to a 265 DL and a 205 Squat. His strength hasn't progressed well on CF and he expressed concern. He is making progress, but very little. If some guy came to this discussion board raving about his program and he said his DL and squat only went up 25 lbs in a year, everyone here would question/ridicule the prgram. If you've been lifting for years and you have a 500 lb. squat, a 25 pound increase would be substantial. If you are 5'11, weigh 180 and can only squat 205, you need a lot more strength; to hell with met-con. I understand that there are many other factors to consider: diet, rest, etc, but the fact is - the boy needs to develop his strength. Having a 3-minute Fran (I know he doesn't claim that)and a 205 lb. squat is akin to having a perfectly developed 14-inch arm. What's the point?

Darrell also said: Now, Alex, as to your specific question, your gains are typical of a Crossfitter who fits your parameters.
I would disagree. I would expect strength to increase much more than that, even while lowering his met-con times.

Try out Starting Strength, get strong, come back to Crossfit.

Edit: I do realize that if a long-time Powerlifter started doing CF, his strength might actually drop a bit as he became more 'crossfit". When someone weighs 180 and can only squat 180, however, I assume they've done very little lifting and would expect that strength would increase dramatically the first year, regardless of the program.

Last edited by Dave Campbell : 12-10-2008 at 12:00 PM. Reason: Added a point
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