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Old 06-01-2011, 08:51 PM   #1
Mark Inge
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Wanting to gain weight and not lose too much conditioning

I've only been crossfitting for a couple months now and i love it but i am a skinny 18yo guy (6'5"/180lbs/10% bf) and would really like to gain some strength and lean muscle mass faster than i have been with just crossfit alone.

I was thinking of starting some sort of strength program but i have a few concerns:
1) im not sure which strength program i should go for
2) im not sure how long i should stay on the program
3) im afraid that if i drop the conditioning exercises via crossfit totally for a strength program then i will lose a lot of my baseline fitness and when i start crossfit back up i will be at the bottom of a giant mountain (metaphorically speaking) especially for the metcons

Any help on these three concerns would be greatly appreciated
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:06 PM   #2
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Wanting to gain weight and not lose too much conditioning

1) 70s Big, GSLP, or CFFB are good options.
2) As long as it continues to fit your goals. 2-3 months at an absolute minimum, combined with some serious eating to help you add about 30lbs.
3) Your conditioning in terms of CF benchmarks is probably limited at this point because you're skinny and relatively weak. Even if you lose a little bit of conditioning, the strength gains are likely to offset any metcon losses and will result in you becoming a better all around athlete. Check out this guy's story (WFS) for a real-life example.
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:09 PM   #3
Troy Becker
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Re: Wanting to gain weight and not lose too much conditioning

I have found this to be difficult. You might consider keeping some level of conditioning while accepting that you will not keep all of what you have now.

The cool thing is, a lot of your timed workouts will likely improve, despite the lack of "lung" power, just from the increase in strength that you will get, assuming you do it right and actually get stronger. Such was my experience.

Personally, I love the Conjugate CrossFit template, and am also a big advocate of CrossFit Football. Both are effective, allow for conditioning, and don't tend to over train.
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:10 PM   #4
Troy Becker
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Re: Wanting to gain weight and not lose too much conditioning

Oh, and eat more. You'd be surprised how difficult it can be to get a measly 3500 calories a day when you don't eat junk, let alone 4k+...
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:23 PM   #5
Mark Inge
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Re: Wanting to gain weight and not lose too much conditioning

what about Starting Strength? i hear a lot about that program. Also optimally i would only like to be on a strength program for a max of 2 months. Will that be enough time?
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:57 PM   #6
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Wanting to gain weight and not lose too much conditioning

SS doesn't include any conditioning. The programs I listed in my first post will allow you to get stronger while maintaining or even improving your conditioning.

Why only 2 months? If you're continuing to get stronger and faster on the program, why would you be in a hurry to quit? My guess is you have far more than 2 months of linear gains in you.
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Old 06-02-2011, 03:58 AM   #7
Adam Carlson
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Re: Wanting to gain weight and not lose too much conditioning

Getting stronger takes time and commitment, but the payoff is huge.

If fast CF MetCons are your goals, getting stronger will benefit you greatly. Get really strong, and you will blast your old times away. 95# thrusters are easier if you're stronger, as are 135# clean and jerks. While you may not specifically train muscle ups (you could still practice them), being stronger will benefit you in the long run.

In most of the programs that are listed above, it takes a good 4 weeks or more to build up to making good progress. You don't want to start these programs at your current 5 rep max, since it will make it really hard to keep going. The first month or so is spent at lighter weights, and around the 5th week you will start hitting your 5 RM weight. Things get really fun once you hit that second month and beyond

Seriously, don't rush the strength thing. Get ridiculously strong, and then reevaluate your goals.
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Old 06-02-2011, 05:12 AM   #8
Tamara Cohen
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Re: Wanting to gain weight and not lose too much conditioning

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Originally Posted by Mark Inge View Post
Also optimally i would only like to be on a strength program for a max of 2 months. Will that be enough time?
In order to not suck at life, you should always be doing a strength program of some sort.
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Old 06-02-2011, 05:43 AM   #9
Joshua Ruwet
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Re: Wanting to gain weight and not lose too much conditioning

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Originally Posted by Tamara Cohen View Post
In order to not suck at life, you should always be doing a strength program of some sort.
I wish Tamara would just say what she means. I can't stand it when people beat around the bush.

I appreciate this post as I am going through the same dilemma somewhat. I'm not the 5'11", 155lbs, near zero body fat guy I was in my early 20's...however, I'm "skinny weak". Prior to CF, I could eat crap and do nothing and I swear, I would not move beyond 178lbs (which is why my wife thinks life's not fair). The moment I get active, it seems I drop 5lbs pretty quick. Right now I weigh in at 173lbs (started CF in Feb @ 178lbs). I don't know what my BF% is (any suggestions on how to find this out - PCP?). From all I've read, my gut says the two things I need to improve on are my strength and my nutrition. Strength for sure...took all I could muster to do 3 reps of 85# press this morning. Turrible.

Our gym just started the hybrid Wendler Cycle last week, so I'm curious to see what results are by the end of week 6 (Can check it out @ www.crossfitmaximus.com). They've also got a Paleo challenge coming up that I'm debating on doing. I try to eat clean whenever possible, but my job (lots of travel) can make it difficult (Anyone know of a Paleo guide for road warriors?)

My gut says that I need to break away from the gym WOD's and really focus on strength for 2-3 months. Problem is I really enjoy the WOD's...and would hate to leave them for awhile. It's the whole group atmosphere, "CF family", etc...that would be sorely missed. Hmmmm....what to do?
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:18 AM   #10
Tamara Cohen
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Re: Wanting to gain weight and not lose too much conditioning

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Originally Posted by Joshua Ruwet View Post
Hmmmm....what to do?
In the interest of not beating around the bush, the answer to your question of what to do is:

1)Realize that both you and your CF community will survive if you spend a few months not doing WODs. It's actually a really good thing to learn how to lift by yourself like a big boy. Just you and the squat rack. You'll quickly discover if you have what it takes to not suck at life.

2)You don't even have to abandon your CF community. If you do something like Justin's S&C program, you can still keep some WODs, as long as they are non-stupid WODs that don't kill your recovery for lifting.

3)You should stop pressing what I press. Because I am terrible at pressing, since I rarely press, and I am a girl who weighs less than you do (which is quite a feat, since some days I think I weigh more than half the guys who post here). I actually decided last week that I should not suck at pressing anymore, so I started pressing again. Life is much better when you don't suck at things.
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