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

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Old 02-11-2008, 09:24 PM   #1
Ben Kimmerle
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When to Switch Back To Crossfit

I'm on my third week of Starting Strength (sill early, I know) and love it. It's great to see some progress on pretty much every lift pretty much every workout! I've gotten my technique down and my poundage up.

I also play rugby, and we've started pre-season practices for the spring. We will start practicing regularly during the first week or two of March. Today at practice we did some conditioning (actually pretty similar to CrossFit stuff ) and I was gassed and got smoked by guys I normally beat. I've gotten stronger through SS, but definitely feel like I've lost conditioning/bodyweight strength through the process.

My question is, when should I switch back to CF workouts? I want to gain strength for the season (and to make CF workouts easier) but I don't want to start getting back into shape too early. I was thinking about continuing SS for this week (2/11/08) and next week, testing my maxes, then jumping back into CF the week of the 25. So:

2/11-2/15=SS
2/18-2/22=SS
2/24 and/or 2/25=maxes
2/26 or 2/27-2/10=serious CF, then taper during the season

This would give me a total of 4 weeks of SS (including the 2 I've already done) then 2 hard weeks of CF (3/1) then probably 2-3 WOD's a week when practices get into full swing.

Good? Bad? Ugly?

Thanks.
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Old 02-11-2008, 09:43 PM   #2
Alex Blum
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Re: When to Switch Back To Crossfit

For me personally, doing the WODs themselves has given me solid increases in strength. SS is good, but Crossfit does a great job of adding strength too, and doing the WODs is probably the best way to make them easier (specificity). I think I have read on here about people intermingling SS and metcon work, but I dont know exactly how I would go about it . . .
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Old 02-11-2008, 09:49 PM   #3
Jason Tanner
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Re: When to Switch Back To Crossfit

SS is an incredible program for strength training. I would say you can end the program when you feel that you have achieved your ideal strength.
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:05 PM   #4
Matt Thomas
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Re: When to Switch Back To Crossfit

I am curently trying to mix crossfit metcon workouts with some SS style stuff to pretty good effect. You can check my journal to see if it looks like something you might want to tackle. http://www.board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=26779
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:09 PM   #5
Ben Kimmerle
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Re: When to Switch Back To Crossfit

Matt: Checked out your log and it looks great! I don't think I have the energy/time do do 2 workouts a day though.

I'm thinking about fooling around with the Blackbox routine which I dabbled in a little this past summer. Or maybe doing a SS/CF/Rest cycle to make small gains in strength and fitness at the same time. When it gets closer to rugby season, I may throw in some rugby-specific drills to get my conditioning honed.
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:45 AM   #6
Elliot Fuller
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Re: When to Switch Back To Crossfit

imo if you're looking to mix things up with CrossFit, then a MEBB is probably the ideal solution.

SS is more of a specialization which many people will generally get the best results from, if doing it unaltered. I'd suggest you stick to strictly SS (plus maybe some light cardio/running/rowing/etc. if you really think you need it) until you reach your goals, and then if you want to continue strength training with CF, then to do a MEBB routine in its stead.

If you overwork yourself doing SS in conjunction with other intensive workouts, you won't see gains as quickly or in as big increments as you would if focusing only on SS. Don't alter the program and it will do what it was designed to do.

I did about 3-4 weeks of SS, and saw gains, but decided that my short-term goals were more fitness-oriented as opposed to strength-oriented, so I have ceased my SS routine, and gone back to CF.

Anyways... bottom line: don't mess with the SS programming. If you want to strength train with CF, then either do MEBB, or go more intensely into the WODs and eat to gain mass.

$0.02
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Old 02-12-2008, 01:44 AM   #7
Derek Weaver
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Re: When to Switch Back To Crossfit

Check this blog. I've been referring touting it for a short while lately and really like what Coach Rutherford's programming has been. I wish I knew about this when I was still playing.
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Old 02-12-2008, 02:05 AM   #8
Brandon Oto
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Re: When to Switch Back To Crossfit

I'm in a similar boat. Ordinarily I'd say to ride SS as long as the gains keep coming, but obviously the rugby season isn't going to wait.

ME might do you well, or you might find you have tolerable results with SS and maybe 1-2 metcons thrown in per week (insensity is up to you).
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:48 AM   #9
Alex Europa
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Re: When to Switch Back To Crossfit

I do a CF/SS blend and it has worked very well for me. My schedule is CF/SS "A"/CF/Rest/CF/SS "B"/CF/Rest.

While I think that following the main page WODs can definately increase strength, I've managed to drastically improve my strength and still make improvements on the daily WODs following this program in a relatively short period of time. I think it just comes down to the fact that I'm still a Novice lifter (as per Rippetoe's definitions) and I am benefitting greatly by focusing on the core lifts on a regular/linear routine.

My intention is to continue doing this program as long as:
1) I am continuing to make linear progress on a workout-to-workout basis
2) Not losing ground on the Metcons.

Imagine 2 performance curves, one for CF and one for strength. As long as both are continuing to go up, I will maintain this program, but once I reach a point where strength continues to go up and metcons start to level off or go down, then I feel I will be at the appropriate level of strength to return to doing strictly mainpage WODs and hopefully begin making gains in other areas which will in turn keep my metcons heading upwards.

Check out my blog for more details.

Of course you could just stay doing SS, and you would make much faster strength improvements, but in all reality, what's the rush? By definition, CFers aren't specialists, so why do a routine that specializes in strength? Especially given the fact that you are nearing Rugby season.

- Alex
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:57 AM   #10
Alex Europa
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Re: When to Switch Back To Crossfit

Elliot, is there a reason you don't feel doing a program as I've listed above is appropriate - aside from the fact that strength gains don't come as fast?

Basically, this really is just MEBB...emphasizing on the core exercises and the 3x5 rep scheme. Honestly, how many people can say that their squats/DL/press/power clean couldn't stand to be a few pounds heavier?

Could or should someone try to do 3 CF workouts and 3 SS workouts per week? Hell no, but the way I see it, the above cycle provides plenty of opportunity for recovery and therefore allows for continued linear progression...albeit at a slower rate.


- Alex
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