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Old 03-16-2013, 02:09 AM   #1
James Michael Lee Hill
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Programming questions

Hey guys,

Just a quick question. Why do most boxes program a mini strength session before a short little met con? I have been trying to find why people have been doing this. Does this benefit the athletes strength as much as a dedicated strength session or just increase their work capacity and threshold? Or, is it because the boxes clients show weakness in their strength and the head coach is address the problem?

I know this is a novice question but it has been bugging me quiet a bit lately.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:02 AM   #2
Micah Tanner
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Re: Programming questions

I can't speak for the boxes that do this, but I frequently do a "mini" strength session before a met con workout because I want to get the benefits of both. I want more strength gains than just the met con workouts alone provide, but I don't want to forgo the met con workouts entirely in order to perform a more complete, dedicated strength session.

So, no - I do not think the mini strength session before a met con workout provides as much benefit as a dedicated strength session, but it provides a measurable benefit for me. And yes - it does have to do in part with (relative) weaknesses, but I think it is a good general formula to follow no matter how advanced in strength I get as long as I continue to notice benefit from it and my goals don't become more specific where specialization would be required.

I tend to train clients this way too. If we aren't performing some heavy lifts before a met con workout, we are at least doing some kind of movement to address weaknesses, imbalances, injuries or pain.

A lot of this comes down to time and energy. If I had unlimited time and energy to spend in the gym and with my clients, I would perform separate, dedicated sessions more often.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:12 AM   #3
James Michael Lee Hill
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Re: Programming questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Micah Tanner View Post
I can't speak for the boxes that do this, but I frequently do a "mini" strength session before a met con workout because I want to get the benefits of both. I want more strength gains than just the met con workouts alone provide, but I don't want to forgo the met con workouts entirely in order to perform a more complete, dedicated strength session.

So, no - I do not think the mini strength session before a met con workout provides as much benefit as a dedicated strength session, but it provides a measurable benefit for me. And yes - it does have to do in part with (relative) weaknesses, but I think it is a good general formula to follow no matter how advanced in strength I get as long as I continue to notice benefit from it and my goals don't become more specific where specialization would be required.

I tend to train clients this way too. If we aren't performing some heavy lifts before a met con workout, we are at least doing some kind of movement to address weaknesses, imbalances, injuries or pain.

A lot of this comes down to time and energy. If I had unlimited time and energy to spend in the gym and with my clients, I would perform separate, dedicated sessions more often.
Thank you for your reply Micah, that makes a lot of sense. What amount of reps and sets have you found to work best?
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:38 AM   #4
Edward Miles Hughes
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Re: Programming questions

James, my affiliate Crossfit Lorton (from the Mid Atlantic) has always programmed strength work and then a metcon. We ran Wendler's 5/3/1 for a long time, and right now our owner/programmer has been stretching a longer cycle based off a few things.

We've also done a Dan John / Pavel inspired "30 days of squats" once a year and have seen crazy gains off of it. My own squat went from 285 - 365 from Nov-Dec 2011. I think we have over 20 women that can squat 200+ and at least 20 guys that can squat 300+. Our affiliate has been in the top 40 in the Open the past 2 years, and we're sitting in about 15th place right now after the first two workouts.

So, gym-pride aside, yes you can have plenty of success programming a strength / wod 60min class. Almost all of our workouts are 15min or less. About every 4 weeks we will deload the strength and hit longer metcons. The only thing I would mention is that your more competitive people will need to do a little more work on gymnastic elements on their own (HSPU, pullup volume, etc). But the strength is much more beneficial to your "normal client" than bodyweight volume.
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:59 AM   #5
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Programming questions

Because it works better to built strength then the less organized methods like mainsite.

Linear progression gains are so fast and easy for new folks I believe you are doing your people a disservice if you don't capture them right away.

We find most untrained people lifting 2 or 3 times a week, one lift a day can make steady increases for 6 to 8 months.

As strength goes up more people can Rx met-cons and times come down.

I think a better question these days is "Why isn't an affiliate programming organized strength work?"
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:34 PM   #6
James Michael Lee Hill
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Re: Programming questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Miles Hughes View Post
James, my affiliate Crossfit Lorton (from the Mid Atlantic) has always programmed strength work and then a metcon. We ran Wendler's 5/3/1 for a long time, and right now our owner/programmer has been stretching a longer cycle based off a few things.

We've also done a Dan John / Pavel inspired "30 days of squats" once a year and have seen crazy gains off of it. My own squat went from 285 - 365 from Nov-Dec 2011. I think we have over 20 women that can squat 200+ and at least 20 guys that can squat 300+. Our affiliate has been in the top 40 in the Open the past 2 years, and we're sitting in about 15th place right now after the first two workouts.

So, gym-pride aside, yes you can have plenty of success programming a strength / wod 60min class. Almost all of our workouts are 15min or less. About every 4 weeks we will deload the strength and hit longer metcons. The only thing I would mention is that your more competitive people will need to do a little more work on gymnastic elements on their own (HSPU, pullup volume, etc). But the strength is much more beneficial to your "normal client" than bodyweight volume.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan McNamar View Post
Because it works better to built strength then the less organized methods like mainsite.

Linear progression gains are so fast and easy for new folks I believe you are doing your people a disservice if you don't capture them right away.

We find most untrained people lifting 2 or 3 times a week, one lift a day can make steady increases for 6 to 8 months.

As strength goes up more people can Rx met-cons and times come down.

I think a better question these days is "Why isn't an affiliate programming organized strength work?"
Thank you very much guys, I know it was a simple question but I have no mentors to ask in my area. It makes sense to myself now. Most of the people that CrossFit in my area are 40+ women, would you suggest a linear progression system like the amateur SWOD at CrossFit Football? Is there any resources you would recommend myself to check out?
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:35 AM   #7
John Beddoe
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Re: Programming questions

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Originally Posted by James Michael Lee Hill View Post
Thank you very much guys, I know it was a simple question but I have no mentors to ask in my area. It makes sense to myself now. Most of the people that CrossFit in my area are 40+ women, would you suggest a linear progression system like the amateur SWOD at CrossFit Football? Is there any resources you would recommend myself to check out?
CFFB is fine Outlaw's program is also good for advanced. 5/3/1 is good for beginner/intermediate and Starting Strength is great for everybody.
I suggest that all Crossfitters start with a strength problem with a little Crossfit- CF is a lot easier when you are playing with baby weights relative to your max.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:20 PM   #8
James Michael Lee Hill
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Re: Programming questions

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Originally Posted by John Beddoe View Post
CFFB is fine Outlaw's program is also good for advanced. 5/3/1 is good for beginner/intermediate and Starting Strength is great for everybody.
I suggest that all Crossfitters start with a strength problem with a little Crossfit- CF is a lot easier when you are playing with baby weights relative to your max.
Cheers mate, I will look order Starting Strength and look at wendler once again.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:34 AM   #9
Dylan Forbes
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Re: Programming questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan McNamar View Post
I think a better question these days is "Why isn't an affiliate programming organized strength work?"
^ This with a capital T.

But I believe the answer to Brendan's question is that they don't know how to organise it into an hour, or are too ignorant to know that its what crossfitters need.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:01 PM   #10
Sean Dunston
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Re: Programming questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan McNamar View Post
Because it works better to built strength then the less organized methods like mainsite.

Linear progression gains are so fast and easy for new folks I believe you are doing your people a disservice if you don't capture them right away.

We find most untrained people lifting 2 or 3 times a week, one lift a day can make steady increases for 6 to 8 months.

As strength goes up more people can Rx met-cons and times come down.

I think a better question these days is "Why isn't an affiliate programming organized strength work?"
^^^that^^^

CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program. To be effective - you have to work on both.
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