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Old 09-08-2010, 06:35 AM   #1
Andrew Lallos
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Question When to scale up in your own programming?

I realize there is no definitive answer to the question I'm about to ask, so obviously I'm just looking for opinions/schools of thought.

I'm following a CF Football-esque model right now. I use their amateur strength template, but I have been developing my own met-cons simply because my globo does not allow me to follow their conditioning programming verbatim.

I try to set up all of my met-cons to be quick and heavy.

Today was 15-10-5: 36lbs (that's 1 pood right?) KB swings and burpees.

Here's the problem: I ran through it at 4:07. While it definitely kicked my butt is that TOO quick to reap benefits? Perhaps I'd be better served using 1.5 pood KBs or upping the rep ranges?

While the 1pood KBs felt sufficiently heavy, it was really the burpees that were gassing me--almost felt like the swings were recovery time for me though I'm feeling them right now in the shoulders/rhomboids/traps.

Any thoughts or .02 much appreciated.

THANKS!

PS: I can post stats (h/w/1rms) if necessary AND my heart rate topped out at 192 (if that helps).

Last edited by Andrew Lallos : 09-08-2010 at 06:36 AM. Reason: spelling.
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:38 AM   #2
Ben Kissam
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Re: When to scale up in your own programming?

Not sure how strong you are, but 1 pood KB swings for a whopping total of 30 reps is not going to get you much stronger if you've got pretty much any experience. If your goal is to get bigger/stronger, you need to up the weights, eat more, sleep the best you can and take solid rest days. If I was doing that work out (I'm really not that strong compared to most people) I would without a doubt be using a 2 pood KB or 70# dumbbell.

As far as burpees go, you'll only get better if you do them. So if you're trying to improve on a movement, do them more. Do a 5-10min metcon then do 50 burpees for extra practice every once in a while.

Just my advice.
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:45 AM   #3
Eric Montgomery
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Re: When to scale up in your own programming?

How long have you been training, what are your numbers like, and what's your knowledge and experience with programming? Most people are better off following someone else's program--no need to reinvent the wheel and it's usually better to follow someone with a proven track record until you're sure you know how to program to fit your specific goals, whatever they are. 30 KB swings at 1pd is not a way to get bigger and stronger (which I'm assuming are your goals doing a CFFB-like program) so that leads me to believe you could be more knowledgeable about programming. Usually if you have to ask "will this work?" then the answer is no.
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:00 AM   #4
Andrew Lallos
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Re: When to scale up in your own programming?

I guess I should point out my main goal is strength. While I realize I could probably benefit best from a decent amount of time on a program like SS, I'm already as "soft" as I'll allow from a vanity standpoint so I'm willing to sacrifice faster strength gains for maintained BF levels. The met-cons (IMO) are in there strictly for that purpose.

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Originally Posted by Eric Montgomery View Post
How long have you been training, what are your numbers like, and what's your knowledge and experience with programming? Most people are better off following someone else's program--no need to reinvent the wheel and it's usually better to follow someone with a proven track record until you're sure you know how to program to fit your specific goals, whatever they are. 30 KB swings at 1pd is not a way to get bigger and stronger (which I'm assuming are your goals doing a CFFB-like program) so that leads me to believe you could be more knowledgeable about programming. Usually if you have to ask "will this work?" then the answer is no.
I've been training sporadically for 2yrs...never really sticking to any programming for a decent amount of time. Currently I'm coming from a solid 1.5/2 month layoff of no real gym work.

Stats (all 1RMs are as last test easily about 6months ago):

Height: 5'7"
Weight: 158
BF: ~12/13%

1RMs:
Bench: 165
DL: 295
Squat: 285
SP: 115

I don't know if this is specifically a "is this working?" question. It DEFINITELY beat me up (I had one of the "collecting my thoughts on my back" type moments immediately after the last burpee)...the question is more "did it beat me up long enough?"

Last edited by Andrew Lallos : 09-08-2010 at 07:10 AM. Reason: Adding info
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:10 AM   #5
Eric Montgomery
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Re: When to scale up in your own programming?

Feeling like you're smoked =/= good workout

I can make up a workout that will wear anyone out and make them puke or rip their hands up, the question is whether the workout does anything to get you towards your goals. 30 burpees and 30 KB swings at 1pd won't really do that--keep in mind the benchmark workout of Helen includes 63 KB swings at 1.5pd.

At least you say you're following the CFFB strength template--that should get you stronger, regardless of what you do for metcons. I would say try to do as close to the CFFB metcon as you can given the limited equipment and space you have available.
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:29 AM   #6
Kevin Shaughnessy
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Re: When to scale up in your own programming?

You dont need to get fat on SS. Theres an article on the starting strength website called "A Clarification" you should check out (under the resources section).

BTW A squat within 10 pounds of your deadlift max makes me think you might be cutting depth a little early.
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:56 AM   #7
Andrew Lallos
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Question Re: When to scale up in your own programming?

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Originally Posted by Kevin Shaughnessy View Post
You dont need to get fat on SS. Theres an article on the starting strength website called "A Clarification" you should check out (under the resources section).

BTW A squat within 10 pounds of your deadlift max makes me think you might be cutting depth a little early.
Thanks Kevin, I'll definitely give that a read. I was under the impression that one had to seriously up their calories (not necessarily through GOMAD) to sustain consistent linear progression day-in/day-out on SS. For me, and my metabolism, that would mean inevitable fat gain.

Oh, and I totally hear you on the BS vs. DL difference-- it's just an imbalance. I know I go deep enough because at my height I actually have to step backwards, completely out of the squat rack in my globo so that I can go deep enough to hit thighs parallel (or deeper). I always aim for ATG, though I know that's not required for proper/full ROM.
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Old 09-08-2010, 12:36 PM   #8
Eric Montgomery
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Re: When to scale up in your own programming?

You gain muscle mass on SS because you're doing compound movements that work your body's largest muscle groups, so fat gain isn't inevitable. You seem to be implying that your metabolism is slow--it's probably slow due to relatively low lean body mass, which will be fixed by putting on some muscle in your legs, hips, and glutes. SS is good at that.

Gaining more weight will help you sustain linear gains longer though. SS isn't likely to be successful if you're trying to lean out because a caloric surplus is helpful for getting stronger. Calories fuel muscle gain and recovery from workouts.
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:10 PM   #9
Jason A Smith
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Re: When to scale up in your own programming?

Andrew,

I am currently following CFFB and I would say that @ 1 pood for the WOD you did would definitely be too light. The idea of the WOD's from CFFB is to be quick and heavy which will increase power output. This is the goal of the program, to build strong powerful athletes. Most of the guys over there are also quite big. Myself not so much. I follow a Paleo-esque diet and drift in and out of whole milk. I am still making my reps and gains at BW of 165 and your size. I would love to gain another 10 lbs but I am a lazy eater. I know it'll add at least another 30-40lbs on my big lifts so I may start doing an all you can eat towards the end of the year. My suggestion is to go as heavy as you can with them all. Also read the FAQ in their site and follow it and see if you aren't happy 6 months from now. Any gains in fat should be quick and easy to lose. I would say 80-90% of Rx'd weights when doing the WODs. On the plus side being a smaller guy helps lots with the BW WODs.

Good luck !
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:40 AM   #10
Damon Stewart
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Re: When to scale up in your own programming?

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Originally Posted by Eric Montgomery View Post
You gain muscle mass on SS because you're doing compound movements that work your body's largest muscle groups, so fat gain isn't inevitable. You seem to be implying that your metabolism is slow--it's probably slow due to relatively low lean body mass, which will be fixed by putting on some muscle in your legs, hips, and glutes. SS is good at that.

Gaining more weight will help you sustain linear gains longer though. SS isn't likely to be successful if you're trying to lean out because a caloric surplus is helpful for getting stronger. Calories fuel muscle gain and recovery from workouts.
Fat gain on GOMAD is inevitable. The amount will vary based on age, metabolism, body type etc. I've put HS boys on it who added 150lbs to their back squat in 8 weeks and went from an 8pack to just being able to see a hint of stomach muscles. I've also seen middle-aged men go from a little soft to big thighs and a gut.
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