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

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Old 07-24-2008, 03:02 AM   #1
Joe Birch
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Personal Training Profile

I'm going to create some training profiles for my self and my house mate during my masters in 2009 in order to provide to potential employee's. I have knocked up a first draft 3 month program for training with beginners (we will have been both been traveling for 6 months before our masters program and so both pretty badly out of shape!). The program aims to provide proof of my ability to carry out a range of training approaches (hence the quick progression through different rep ranges), using mainly exercises that would be traditionally seen in an English gym, hence I have not used any Oly lifts which are not often used by beginners and I am not yet qualified to teach them. There will also be a period of "hypertrophy" training using body building rep ranges to show my ability to train in this style as this is likely to be unfortunately expected from me by most employee's.

The weights will consist mainly of exercises featured in SS and also some others to show my variance in my training. The "cardio" will be done using a range of different activities in a CF style, using equipment that should be found in your average gym (hence no rope/bar work or use of tires etc).

I've decided not to go over board on the nutrition side of things as I don't want to start using IF or 100% paleo or anything as it's unlikely I would ever be able to get a real client to carry out those protocols properly (except in a CF gym!).

Considering these profiles are geared toward potential work in personal training, image is an issue, however the various fitness tests will be much better motivators for training and more tangible evidence of improvement. I've never carried out such a training program with multiple goals and thus any advice would be much appreciated, especially in terms of metcon planning for both short and long workouts (however i'm sure i'll be able to pick up loads of variations and WOD's from the website and forums).

Training plan is as follows:

Baseline Testing
Baseline photo, weigh in, BF%, testing including 1RM strength testing, 5km time trial, 30m sprint time, vertical jump - possibly wingate and VO2 max test if available.

Weeks 1,2,3 Hypertrophy
Work sets across, short rest periods, heavy barbell exercises (squats every session), 3 sets in 8-12 range except 1 set of heavy DL's every other workout looking for linear progression.
Train M, W, F with dietary emphasis on regular meals including red meats, good fats and low GI carbs where possible, with the main dietary goal being high caloric intake to achieve hypertrophy.
Weigh in once a week at the same time each week plus photo after 3 weeks

Weeks 4,5 Strength, intro short metcons
Strength work using same exercises as previously but in 3 sets of 6-8 range (sets across) and increased rest periods.
Metabolic conditioning kept under 10 minutes including a running or rowing section every time. Work on a 3/1/2/1 schedule of weights, metcon, weights, rest, weights, metcon, rest (Mon-Sun) - should be maintainable for a beginner as the metcon intensity will be kept low for these two weeks - fairly easily attained rep goals with appropriate loads will be used to ensure the subject progresses without overtraining when going into this harder schedule.
Weigh in once a week and photo after 5 weeks

Weeks 6,7,8 Strength cont, short high intensity metcon
Strength work at 3 sets of 5 range (sets across) and further increased rest periods to ensure sets across are achieved.
Metcon's will stay short (under 12min) but intensity will begin to become much more taxing.
Possibly adapt diet slightly to account for metcon introduction (ie, more carbs).
Weigh in once a week and photo after week 8.

Week 9 Testing
Weigh in, BF%, 1RM strength testing, 30m sprint time, vertical jump - carried out in same schedule as initial testing. Hopefully will be improved across all of these domains.
After testing is completed the rest of the week will be taken off for some well earned recovery time or possibly just some half volume sessions depending on how client feels.

Weeks 10,11,12,13 Strength and metcon
Strength work at 5 sets of 2 reps (working weight progressively increasing upto 2RM), schedule will be squats/DL + short metcon, push/pull, long WOD, rest, squats + push/pull, optional WOD (depending how client feels), rest (Mon-Sun). 5k runs will be done once a week during this period on tues or sat.

Week 14 Final testing
Testing as completed at baseline

* The quality of testing depends on what the university will allow me to use, at best I will be able to carry out hydrostatic weighing for BF%, and carry out wingate and VO2max tests in the lab, hopefully a force plate for vertical jump testing as well as time gates for sprint testing.

Any advice will be taken on board and much appreciated!
Thanks for your time, Joe.
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:46 AM   #2
Leslie Powell
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Re: Personal Training Profile

I'm not sure what beginner population you'll be working with, but a lot of people coming in off the street won't be able to run a 5K at all, much less for time...they'll end up walking. Also, not sure how helpful/safe it is to test 1RM's with a brand new beginner.
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:18 AM   #3
Joe Birch
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Re: Personal Training Profile

Yeah I understand that but while its designed for beginners it will be me and my house mate who are both experienced, so in terms of safety there shouldn't be any issues apart from some pretty bad DOMS afterwards.

I've included those tests because i need some benchmark scores in order to gauge the level of improvement from my training, I obviously wouldn't do that kind of testing straight away with an actual client. The progression is also quicker than I would do with a beginner but since I need to show a range of different training styles I can't really wait until we before stall in terms of linear progression else I could be taking data for years!
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Old 07-26-2008, 12:59 PM   #4
Sam Ser
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Re: Personal Training Profile

i agree with leslie, those initial tests are not appropriate for beginners. even if they're for you, you'll still need to devise something different for your clients: use something shorter than a 5k run (a mile -- or even a 2k -- is better) and definitely avoid 1RM tests. why not use a bodyweight exercise as at least one of your baseline tests, for example, number of squats in 1 minute?

also, why start out with hypertrophy instead of metcon? no one needs hypertrophy right out of the box! (besides, they won't get it in three weeks.) what they really need is metcon and functional strength. give them that, and they'll start to see immediately that you can get them in shape -- so they'll be psyched to continue with you. but after three weeks in which they won't see that much progress on bigger muscles or smaller bellies, and without much of an improvement in catching their breath when carrying the groceries up the stairs, they may well wonder why they should bother with the rest of your program.

finally, 3 sets of 5, starting in week 6?! i seriously doubt that any true beginner will be ready for that, that quickly. it just takes more than a month and a half to develop the neuromuscular efficiency, the strength and the confidence, to get the most out of that kind of work.

Last edited by Sam Ser; 07-26-2008 at 01:06 PM..
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