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

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Old 09-01-2008, 08:40 AM   #31
Ahmik Jones
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Re: best combo. starting strength and crossfit

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Originally Posted by Jeff Martin View Post
Ahmik,
I understand about the sample size and the anecdotal nature of what you are doing. Still the data presented would be more relevant with certain markers. The first being a delineation between newbies and long time CrossFitters.

The point you bring up is an interesting one. Are you saying you had committed CrossFitters coming to your classes for over a year, following the mainpage WOD or a similar prescription of 7-10 strength/heavy days and mixed with typical Metcons and your people were unable to do the named WOD's as Rx'd. That would be shocking. Or are you saying you had longtime clients coming who were spending most of their time doing Metcons who began having committed strength days.

This is really interesting and important data point. My belief and experience is that when I bring in person and they follow our program which includes committed strength days they are fairly quickly able to do the WOD as Rx'd. The strength required to do the workouts just isn't that hard to build.
It has been my experience that most people will be able to do the workouts as written within a year while following website. However, there are some who just don't make it there. For example after a year of CrossFit I could do most, but not all of the CrossFit workouts as written. I was fine on most body weight exercises and could do full weight on some of the lifting exercises. At that time, the heavy lifting days were less common than they are now. One of the issues was that when I first started I did not have access to all of the equipment and the second was that I had no strength background. I had a middle distance and long distance running background. I hurt my elbow doing pull-ups and talked to Rippetoe about getting stronger. While my elbow healed I did a modified Starting Strength program with one CrossFit workout a week. Within a few months I was able to do every workout with full weight, and dropped minutes off of my PR's within a month or two of going back into CrossFit as written on the website.

We have a few clients who were very weak when they started. Some were older, some just did not have much natural strength. Most of them are now able to do the workouts as written. It makes sense that getting stronger helps people who can't do the workouts as written. However, it has been our experience that even when someone can do the workouts as written, getting stronger will help them make huge gains.

You will get strong doing CrossFit, but you will get strong faster using a linear progression. I believe that this leads to faster gains overall.

We had a guy who started at our gym in March after doing CrossFit for over a year somewhere else. He was good, he could use full weight, but I could consistently beat him. The only thing we changed was adding the linear strength building program. After a few months he would beat me about half of the time, and now I can't beat him in anything (except muscle-ups).

I have a friend that was a powerlifter. He is 6 feet tall and weighs 240 lbs. After going to our gym for about a month he did the CrossFit total. 1189 lbs. The next week we had him do Fran and Helen. He got 3:09 and 8:30. Strong is good. We didn't give him the strength, but by having that extra strength reserve it did not take him long to get his metcon up and become a monster.

After my radiology physics boards next week, I will look through my data and see if I can better deliniate who was new and who was experienced.
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Old 09-01-2008, 08:43 AM   #32
Ahmik Jones
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Re: best combo. starting strength and crossfit

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Originally Posted by Trent Justice View Post
Ahmik,

I like the look of your template. But could you describe or give an example of a "short high power CF workout". Are these workouts more strength or just extremely intense and short metabolic workouts?

These workouts usually use the muscles that we were using for the workouts, but with weight light enough that you can keep going for the whole workout and keep the power output high. I did not come up with this, this was mentioned in one of the journals a while back.

There is somewhat of an art to coming up with workouts that are doable after lifting and fit with time constraints.

An example after 3 sets of 5 squats would be. 21, 15, 9 20 lb wall ball shots and pull-ups, or 75 burpess for time.
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Old 09-01-2008, 08:46 AM   #33
Ahmik Jones
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Re: best combo. starting strength and crossfit

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Originally Posted by Brian Solar View Post
I am also 16 but weigh around 165 lbs. I have also been wondering if I should add more strength work to the WODs or not, since I am young.
My answer is yes. At your age you can make huge strength gains that will last your whole life. How much easier do you think it is to do Fran if you add 200 lbs to your max squat? I added a hundred pounds to my squat and Fran became a whole different workout (Although you wouldn't know it if you saw me at the games)
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Old 11-14-2008, 08:24 AM   #34
Arturo Garcia
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Re: best combo. starting strength and crossfit

Very interesting read. What I found strange is that Mr. Ahmik's program has people working out 4 days in a row. Don't some people have trouble even keeping up the 3/1 schedule?

Where I can read more about the "art" of coming up with the WOD's that can be done combined with lifting?
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:42 AM   #35
Mark Cheney
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Re: best combo. starting strength and crossfit

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Originally Posted by Ahmik Jones View Post
The week after next we are going to try a different experiment.

About 8 guys are going to stop CrossFit and do Starting Strength exclusively for 8 weeks and drink a gallon of milk a day. After that we are going to do 4 weeks the current program as described above while going back on the Zone and then reassess. The rest of our clients will be a control group this time.
How did this experiment end up?
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Old 12-07-2008, 04:05 PM   #36
Chris Misciagno
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Cool Re: best combo. starting strength and crossfit

Same question.. How did the experiment go with the 8 XFers who did SS for 2 months? I'm doing something like this now myself, but am only 2 weeks in...
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:45 PM   #37
Noah Marble
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Re: best combo. starting strength and crossfit

I was going to make a similar thread to this but hey, this one asks my exact question! I have been doing crossfit for 18 months or so, I really want to get to work on my lifting but without sacrificing too much of my metcon... I guess I really dont want to specialize in any one thing, but I feel like my lifts / brute strength is way behind the rest of my athleticism and holding me back.

My outline for the next month, a plan I have followed for a week now.

SS as RX on monday, wednesday, friday

Saturday, Tuesday, or Thursday are crossfit days. I am going to try to work on my lifts these days as well, but with lower weight / more reps. For example I did the bear last week at a reasonable weight and also did a thruster / double under workout. I plan on doing a mini-murph angie of 1 mile run 100 pullups pushups situps squats 1 mile run next week. The idea is that i will have 3 or 4 pretty standard WODs that I can do over the next month at the same weight and see how the time improves along with my lifts improving.

Sunday I am going to do cardio... long slow distance jogging / biking / or swimming. I am planning on doing a few more triathlons next summer and this whole exercise is moving towards getting me in shape for those.
Every 3 (or sometimes 4 depending on the timing) days I will take a rest day on saturday, tuesday, or thursday. this ensures that I dont have a rest day on my SS or Cardio day.

As for diet I am shooting for 25 blocks, which works out to approx 3250 calories when I tracked it for a few days on fitday. I am drinking a lot of milk... well a lot more than before, maybe 1/2 gallon a day now which is included in the above blocks.

Any thoughts on this plan? I am 26, 6'4" ~198 at 16.5% bodyfat. My one concern now is rest time... I dont know if I have enough scheduled, but I guess my body will tell me that. Upon reading this post it may make more sense to combine SS and WOD into one day as Ahmik laid out? Like Squats and WOD one day, then Deadlifts and WOD etc etc.

Last edited by Noah Marble : 12-10-2008 at 07:53 PM.
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