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Old 07-30-2009, 12:58 PM   #1
Neal Quigley
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The obligatory "are my goals realistic" post

So I had written up a needlessly-long post when I realized that my question did not require a novel. As a martial artist, I inwardly cringe every time I hear a beginner (inevitably) ask: "how long does it take to get a black belt," and yet I cannot restrain myself from asking a similar crossfit-oriented question.

In a nutshell: Doing only WoDs (4-5 days/week), with 2-3 days of CFE thrown in after a few months, and eating/sleeping right, can one realistically reach the following benchmarks in under two years (the closer to one, the better):

- 25 lb muscle gain (currently 6'4" and a slim, soft, 185. Not looking to go much past 200)
- sub 6 min mile (barely cracking 9 min, atm)
- sub 20 min 5k (comfortably over 30 min, atm)
- Equivalent rowing goals to the listed running goals (don't know what that would entail yet, but I love my C2!)
- intermediate+ level on all lifts for a 200lb man (currently hovering around +/- 10 lbs at the untrained level for everything but squats, which are held back by my absurdly tight hammies)

Ideally, I want all of my goals to be a reach, but attainable. Yes, I have an endurance-bias, but I do want to be reasonably strong. If it matters, I'm 26, I crossfit solo (I have most necessary gear), I am pretty athletic (but deconditioned), and used to be in pretty good (albeit non-crossfit) shape, although I have never lifted heavy.

Any input is welcome, as is any urge to tell me: "relax, the results will come."

Oh, and, after 3 weeks of crossfitting, I am addicted and have no intention of looking back! I only wish I could afford to go to an affiliate...

Last edited by Neal Quigley : 07-30-2009 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 07-30-2009, 01:04 PM   #2
Kevin Thomas
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Re: The obligatory "are my goals realistic" post

25lb muscle gain does not seem compatible with your other, endurance focused goals. This result seems unlikely to me given your plan, though you are tall and underweight so maybe its possible.

You should reach intermediate level on your lifts if you make sure 1-2 of your WODs a week on average are ME days.

Given your build, you should not have a problem reaching your rowing goals.

Your running goals are ambitious and may require more specialized programming if they are even possible. I'd see what gains you can get from your current plan in 8 months and then reevaluate your plan if you aren't getting close.

Last edited by Kevin Thomas : 07-30-2009 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 07-30-2009, 01:05 PM   #3
Lawrence "Bo" Boland III
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Re: The obligatory "are my goals realistic" post

2 years? A reasonably athletic guy already? I'd be willing to bet its possible with dedication. Though, 25lbs of muscle is a rather arbitrary number. I'm not sure about that one.

One question though, why CFE? Doing mainpage WOD's will improve your times on any run up to 10k... without the added volume of CFE's long running.

If you're a novice to OLY lifting, this will be your biggest change. You'll need to focus on learning form, and being patient with it.

Relax, results will come
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Old 07-30-2009, 01:12 PM   #4
Neal Quigley
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Re: The obligatory "are my goals realistic" post

Thanks for the responses so far. 25 lbs is an arbitrary goal, I agree. Mostly, I just want to go from absurdly skinny to a muscular-sleek. I weight 185, but at least 10 of that is fat that needs to go. Mainly, I hope to gain some muscle without getting too bulky (which would indeed hinder my endurance goals). Maybe 10-15 lbs is a better goal there.

The running benchmarks are a stretch to be sure. I may adjust them to 6:30 and 21-22 mins respectively, but as I said, I want to aim as high as reasonably possible.

Thanks again! This really does help me feel more confident
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Old 07-30-2009, 01:26 PM   #5
Dimitri Dziabenko
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Re: The obligatory "are my goals realistic" post

If you are skinny to begin with, then 2lb/month seems doable, but you'll have to do some high volume workouts and eat to drive the growth. Intermediate level for 198lb is:
Press: 146
Bench: 213
Squat: 285
Deadlift: 333
Power Clean: 205

Unless you have a benching background, the WOD includes sufficiently few/light bench days that you might need to supplement with ME to reach taht goal, also not sure about Press since the maximum weight for the jerk I see on the MP is 155 with some singles here and there for strength days. Deadlift is very doable, as is the squat/ power clean. You'll be getting a lot of that in this program.

In terms of the 6minute mile, I think it's possible for a 26 year old, though I was 157lb when I ran my 5:50 and am now 186 due to SS, and haven't tried recently. Dunno how it would be for a 200+lb guy. Similar thoughts on the sub 20, 5K run.

The main problem is really the muscle gain, since Crossfit tends to really improve neurological efficiency without strictly following volume + recovery cycles. This translates into some muscle gain for beginners, and then a stop (and after that only an improvement in strength for a while, until something more structured is needed).
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:03 PM   #6
Joshua Refenes
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Re: The obligatory "are my goals realistic" post

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Originally Posted by Neal Quigley View Post
The running benchmarks are a stretch to be sure. I may adjust them to 6:30 and 21-22 mins respectively, but as I said, I want to aim as high as reasonably possible.
If it helps, I'm 6'4, 230lbs. Athletic, but somewhat out of shape until I started CF two months ago.

After a Max Deadlift (1-1-1-1-1-1-1) WOD, I went and ran a mile in 6:34 without really pushing myself for time. Since you're about my height, but about 50 lbs lighter, I would imagine your 6:30 minute mile will be easily reachable once you get into shape.
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:07 PM   #7
Jacob Cloud
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Re: The obligatory "are my goals realistic" post

I don't think it's reasonable, actually. You might hit either the strength/mass goals, or the running goals, but the chances of getting them all is pretty slim. I'd be a little more conservative.
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:38 PM   #8
John Devine
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Re: The obligatory "are my goals realistic" post

Neal, a couple of comments. Why do you have a weight goal for muscle gain but have performance goals for running? Do you care how much muscle weight you gain if you you can BS 2X BW and DL 2.5? (Those are my goals) Or are you just thinking that's what you'd need to meet your strength goals?

Also, as others have pointed out, gaining weight and improving run times are somewhat opposing objectives. If you really want to gain muscle mass, do SS, GOMAD and start eating...a lot. If you want to get strong and improve your running performance, do CF WODs.
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:48 PM   #9
Neal Quigley
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Re: The obligatory "are my goals realistic" post

Again, thank you all for the input! You definitely have my hopes up Joshua!

My strength and endurance goals 100% trump my weight gain goals. My running/rowing goals trump my strength goals, but to a lesser extent. I may end up almost exclusively focusing on rowing, however, given how addicted I am to my C2. I'm just tired of being so damn skinny! But I'd much rather be a fast, deceptively strong beanpole, over a slow, powerfully strong meathead (no offense to the slow meatheads out there! ).

If I had to choose, I'd sacrifice strength first, but I hope I can at least push close to that intermediate stage. Jacob (or anyone), assuming that I have to make this sacrifice, is it realistically possible to maintain speed while slowly building strength over the long-term?
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:49 PM   #10
Neal Quigley
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Re: The obligatory "are my goals realistic" post

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Originally Posted by John Devine View Post
Neal, a couple of comments. Why do you have a weight goal for muscle gain but have performance goals for running? Do you care how much muscle weight you gain if you you can BS 2X BW and DL 2.5? (Those are my goals) Or are you just thinking that's what you'd need to meet your strength goals?

Also, as others have pointed out, gaining weight and improving run times are somewhat opposing objectives. If you really want to gain muscle mass, do SS, GOMAD and start eating...a lot. If you want to get strong and improve your running performance, do CF WODs.
The weight goal was vanity based, I am forced to admit. You all already have me re-evaluating that misguided inclusion
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