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

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Old 09-04-2009, 07:42 PM   #1
John Devine
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Please Review My Program

Sorry for the lengthy expose but I wanted to provide enough background and specifics.
Quote:
Fitness goals:

* Health and longevity as evidenced by normal or improving health indicators such as BP/RHR/Blood lipids/etc.
* Remain injury free
* Improved upper body strength (able to do 5 deadhang PU, BW bench, .75X Press)
* Improved overall strength (CFT > 960. 2X DL, 1.5X BS and .75X Press @ 225 lb's)
* Improved running ability (5k in under 30)
* BF < 15% (that would put me at about 225)
* Improved performance in karate - particularly sparring
* Get better at Olympic lifts (not planning on competing anytime soon, I just like them
* Compete in a sprint triathalon


Fitness background:
Played high school sports (football, basketball, track). Not particularly active in college. After moving to CA I became a competitive beach volleyball player where I attained the highest level of fitness of my adulthood. Age = 29, weight = 206, 28" vertical jump, able to play all day. The usual adult priorities of family, work, business travel, home ownership, etc. took precedence over playing and training and I failed to compensate. In recent years, I started cycling, participated in a masters swim program and started martial arts training. My current formal activities are CrossFit and karate.

CF Background:
I discovered CF in February 2008 and was bitten. Quickly changed to Starting Strength as my strength was seriously lacking. (All my values were in the "untrained" category of Rippetoe's chart.) In July 2008 I went on a 3 week vacation, came back and became extremely busy with work yada, yada, yada...focused the little time I had on preparing for my brown belt test in October. In November I took a hiatus from karate and pretty much all training activity save the occasional bike ride.

Went in for a physical in May 2009. BW 265, BP 140/90. I started back on CF that day. 2 weeks later my weight was down a few lb's and my BP was 120/80.

Current Stats:
M/47/6'2"/240 (a/o 8/30/2009)
CFT: 715 - 335/265/115
I STILL can't do a pull-up
I can run about a 10:30 mile (as opposed to 12:00 a year ago)

I've been CFing consistently now for 2 months.

I train in my backyard gym where I have pretty much everything except a C2.

Programming Approach
In keeping with my stated goals, I'm implementing a program somewhat based on CFSB. I've included 2 presses (shoulder and bench) to address my specific needs of upper body strength. I will do the 5X3 lifts in ascending amounts as suggested by CFSB (135-145-155). I'm omitting the high-rep lifts and only doing heavy WOD's 1 or 2 times a week. This is to essentially make the program a bit easier and accommodate better recovery given my current fitness level. As stated in the CFSB Journal article, the program is designed for intermediate and advanced CF'ers which I am not.

Here's an example of the Metcon portion of the program for the first Tue and Wed workouts:

Tuesday - 4 Rounds for Time
10 RH Kb swings
10 LH KB swings
10 K2E
10 Burpies
10 Paralette Dips

Wednesday - 3 Rounds for Time
10-7-4 Power Clean/Overhead (any method) @ 95lb
Run 400m
(That's 10 PC's the first round, 7 the second and 4 the 3rd)

As you can see, both of these have a strong upper body components and obviously Wed included running. I'm hitting PU in the CFWU and adding gtg reps on other warm-ups and at other opportunities.

My Sunday Oly lifting session consists of:

* Burgener WU with PVC - 5 reps of each movement
* Burgener WU with Oly bar - 5 reps of each movement


Then sets of 5-10 reps of various combos of the following:

* Muscle snatch
* Hanging Power Snatch
* Snatch lands
* Snatch drops
* Snatch balance
* OHS
* Snatch
* Clean & Jerk
* Front Squats
* Push Press, Push Jerk, Split Jerk


I'm really trying to program to my weaknesses and goals. I want to do as much as I can handle and still allow for adequate recovery. My diet has been 99% strict Paleo as I'm just coming off the 30 day challenge. My plan is to be greater than 95% strict going forward. Your comments, criticisms or other constructive input is welcome. Here's the program:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday Rest plus karate class

Tuesday
WU: CFWU
Strength: BS 5X3 (ascending)
Metcon: 10 min BW

Wednesday
WU: Karate forms and heavy bag + PU's
Strength: Press 5X3
Metcon: 10 min Heavy
Karate Class

Thursday
WU: CFWU
Strength: DL 5X1
Metcon: 15-20 min BW/Run

Friday - Rest + Karate (private lesson)

Saturday
WU: CFWU
Strength: Bench 5X3
Metcon: short met con + skills
Karate Class - sparring (high intensity)

Sunday
WU: Burgener
Strength: Oly Lifts
Metcon: Longish Modal usually swim, run, bike or play

Note: In the karate classes on M-W we usually do a brief conditioning session consisting of push-ups, crunches, jumping jacks etc. The Saturday sparring classes are usually pretty intense and have a longer, more rigorous conditioning session.
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Old 09-05-2009, 05:33 AM   #2
Brian Bedell
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Re: Please Review My Program

Personally, I think you have a lot going on there. Seems to be overly complicated, and just too much work leading overtraining (esp. at your level).

Not sure why you are just not doing cfsb; with a good ramp up as described in the article. And no mention of the diet, which is going to be your biggest help, and is prob your biggest issue; esp. with a pullup
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Old 09-05-2009, 06:11 AM   #3
Daniel Higgins
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Re: Please Review My Program

I agree with Brian. Its good to see that you have set some goals. I think the problem some people have is in the scope of their goals; not all can be focused on at once.

Your first decision should be whether you want to get stronger (roughly maintain weight) or just lose weight (you can get faster, more stamina, etc). Its nice to have both, but that should be a long term goal as working on both at the same time is much more difficult than doing one then the other.
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Last edited by Daniel Higgins : 09-05-2009 at 06:11 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-05-2009, 08:41 AM   #4
Marcus Allen
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Re: Please Review My Program

I'll 3rd this. I think its too much. You really don't have a rest day at all, and that's bad.

If you want strength gains just do the program as written. Those guys are wicked smart and CFSB works. Well.

have fun!
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Old 09-05-2009, 09:18 AM   #5
Ryan Whitley
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Re: Please Review My Program

I don't know if CFSB would be your best bet...you aren't really very strong compared to your bodyweight. Don't take that the wrong way...I am not saying that you aren't working hard or making gains. Just that at your current bodyweight you are nowhere near what a typical intermediate lifter would be putting up at your bodyweight. And CFSB is designed for intermediate lifters.

It would be easier to break your goals into blocks. I essentially see your goals being able to be broken into two blocks: strength and endurance. It would make more sense to me to focus on strength first, simply because strength is a more persistent quality. Do SS until you can't add anymore weight, and then do TM. LIft until you reach your strength goals.

After you reach your strength goals, focus on conditioning. You will only really need to lift 1-2 a week to maintain your strength. Though this is a CF board, I wouldn't recommend focusing all of your time conditioning with CF METCON circuits. If you want to be a better runner, run. Regardless of what some may say, your Fran time is not indicative of your 5k time. Just run.

Pullups are simple to get better at...but not easy. You need to do tons of descents, band pullups, jumping pullups, etc. You'll get that first pullup in no time.

Good luck.
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Old 09-05-2009, 06:28 PM   #6
John Devine
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Re: Please Review My Program

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Bedell View Post
Personally, I think you have a lot going on there. Seems to be overly complicated, and just too much work leading overtraining (esp. at your level)....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Higgins View Post
I agree with Brian...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Allen View Post
I'll 3rd this. I think its too much...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Whitley View Post
I don't know if CFSB would be your best bet...you aren't really very strong compared to your bodyweight. Don't take that the wrong way...
I sense a theme.

That's really great feedback guys, thanks. I think this is just what I needed to hear. I will switch to SS and then TM if needed until I am solidly intermediate in all my lifts. This does make sense because my goals are listed in priority order and strength is my biggest weakness..so to speak.

Should I do any metcon work besides the Saturday sparring in my karate class? Also, does it make more sense to do SS on M-W-F and have no activities on Tu and Th?
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Old 09-05-2009, 06:30 PM   #7
John Devine
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Re: Please Review My Program

Oh and Ryan, I didn't take it the wrong way. I agree 100% with what you said. That's why I'm here
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Old 09-05-2009, 07:41 PM   #8
Marcus Allen
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Re: Please Review My Program

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Devine View Post
Should I do any metcon work besides the Saturday sparring in my karate class? Also, does it make more sense to do SS on M-W-F and have no activities on Tu and Th?
I would do SS with nothing besides your karate until your first big reset. Then reevaluate.
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Old 09-06-2009, 05:48 AM   #9
Ryan Whitley
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Re: Please Review My Program

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Devine View Post
Should I do any metcon work besides the Saturday sparring in my karate class? Also, does it make more sense to do SS on M-W-F and have no activities on Tu and Th?
I guess you would first need to decide how important karate is to you at the moment. If you do SS on the same days as your karate your karate will suffer if you do it AFTER SS. But, your strength would improve faster because you would have an entire day of absolute rest. Doing SS AFTER karate doesn't make very much sense because you will definitely suffer on you lifting. It's a balancing act, and for you it takes prioritizing your many goals and hobbies and focusing on one at a time.

As far as additional conditioning, just do SS for a couple of weeks by itself. After you get past all the initial soreness try adding a conditioning session. If you notice that your lifts suffer, then you know that you don't have the capacity to do additional conditioning with SS. If not, go with it. Just make sure you aren't missing reps and keep adding weight to the bar. Adding weight to the bar and hitting all of your reps is the most important thing right now.
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:50 AM   #10
John Devine
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Re: Please Review My Program

Again, thanks for the responses. So now I have an updated plan, some additional details of my program, and some diet related questions.

New Plan:
M-W-F Starting strength
That allows for complete rest days on Tu & Th. On Saturdays or Sundays I frequently do a bike ride, hike or body surf/swim but no programmed metcons.

I will be doing the SS workouts at 5 AM and fasted. My karate classes are in the evenings on M-W. Friday I go mid-afternoon and Sat is at noon. So I'll have good recovery time between lifting and karate.

Questions
Should I be eating a protein+carb PWO meal immediately following the lifting? I've been delaying my PWO for an hour in order to maximize fat metabolism. Since strength is now the primary goal, not fat loss, I'm assuming that needs to change.

Should I be doing GOMAD? (Remember I'm 47 and still overweight!) Are there Paleo compliant options to GOMAD?

I've been eating 200 - 220 grams of protein, is that optimal for muscle gain at my BW (240) and LBM (~194)?
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