CrossFit Discussion Board  

Go Back   CrossFit Discussion Board > CrossFit Forum > Fitness
CrossFit Home Forum Site Rules CrossFit FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-22-2005, 03:53 AM   #1
Fraser Auld
Departed Fraser Auld is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jan 1970
 
Posts: 21
Being a tall, naturally bony guy...I've always had issues gaining strength. I'm sick of it...having finally read Nicole Carroll's article about her experience with the Zone in the CFJ (Oct 05), I'm willing hit the Zone straight up with food scales, lunch bags, feed bags, whatever! Aside from losing unnecessary weight, has anyone had strength gains using the Zone strictly? (absolute strength gains, not relative gains that factor in body weight)

Thanks in advance.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2005, 04:44 AM   #2
Graham Tidey
Member Graham Tidey is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Lisbon  Alameda
Posts: 393
It's hard to say for me, and probably most, because I started the zone pretty much as soon as I put serious effort into CrossFit. Therefore is it crossfit that's improved my bench (Without ever doing bench presses) or is it the zone?

Probable answer is "both".

I've lost weight on the zone (not intentionally), but am also eating more than before. All that protein has to be doing some good for your muscles, thereby making them stronger. From a completely "makes sense to me" unscientific viewpoint.

"The Zone: Try it, today!"
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2005, 06:47 AM   #3
Mark Beck
Affiliate Mark Beck is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Manchester  England
Posts: 107
Fraser

I've been doing the zone for just over a year and Crossfit for almost 2. My strength gains have been as much if not more in this second year (the year on the zone) than in the first. I am pretty skinny and so these absolute lifts are meagre but relative to my 132lb bodyweight (which has remained pretty consistent while on the zone despite the considerable loss of body fat) they are less feeble.

I suppose the unknowable is how much the improvements are down to improved skill levels and technique, but immediately prior to starting the zone I was doing:
5 reps OH Squat with 105lb
now I am at 10 reps with 135lb

my jerk was a feeble 135lb or bodyweight.
now it is 180lb

my deadlift was 245lb
now it is 275 (more than 2x bodyweight)

thruster 1RM was 125lb
now in the region of 155lb

pullups were 28
now I hope to get the 50 on Eugene's birthday challenge this sunday.

Clean was 150lb
now 180lb

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2005, 10:01 AM   #4
Larry Lindenman
Affiliate Larry Lindenman is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Chicago  Illinois
Posts: 2,769
I don't know if there is a direct correlation between diet and strength gain other than having enough protein for muscle mass to repair and grow, and enough carbs to fuel intense efforts. One of the main advantages of dietary disipline is the loss of body fat. Body fat is useless. The more you have, the more you have to move through space and since we use functional exercises which involve the full body, high bodyfat is a huge disadvantage. At 175 lean body mass and 20% bodyfat, you weight 201. At 175 lean body mass and 5% body fat, you weigh 183.75: A 26.25 pound diffrence. Think it doesn't matter, strap on a 26.25 pound weighted vest and crank out Tabata squats! Don't get me wrong, I think diet plays a huge role in health and fitness, but in terms of direct strengh, hang around with a large power lifter for a couple of days and pay attention to his diet, you will be appalled.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2005, 01:10 PM   #5
Steve Shafley
Banned Steve Shafley is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Saginaw  MI
Posts: 508
It's always been my experience that it was way easier to get stronger with a calorie surplus.

I don't remember getting weaker when I did the Zone, though, but I did get leaner.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2005, 02:05 PM   #6
Lincoln Brigham
Member Lincoln Brigham is offline
 
Lincoln Brigham's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Kirkland  WA
Posts: 3,987
I'm with Shaf on this. Crappy surplus calories makes me stronger than a quality calorie deficit. Now I just need to work on getting a quality calorie surplus...
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2005, 05:53 AM   #7
Jesse Woody
Affiliate Jesse Woody is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Orange  Virginia
Posts: 915
Why the focus on absolute strength when relative strength is the only true measure of overall ability? The way I see it, you might be able to bench 500, but if you can't do one pull-up, that strength is somewhat useless...perhaps it's the crossfit conditioning that's fried my brain...I dunno'...

That's why I've only had passsing interest in heavyweight powerlifters and olympic lifters, they can lift huge amounts of weight, but I've always been more impressed with the lighter guys who can lift 3 times their bodyweight, a much grander feat in my opinion.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2005, 09:00 AM   #8
Fraser Auld
Departed Fraser Auld is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jan 1970
 
Posts: 21
In the purest sense I think you're right...the problem is, my job requires one to optimize both absolute and relative strength.

It intuitive that if you can maximize the ratio -[absolute strength gain / weight gain] ... one will have become stronger "pound for pound." This ratio clearly correlates directly to changes in relative strength.

Feedback about the Zone on this board makes it clear that the diet is a star at reducing "waste-weight" (ie- non-work producing flab) while maintaining absolute strength. This clearly results in greater relative strength. That's great for someone with 20-pounds to lose...but for someone who's naturally thin (ie - me)...it's not the way I want to go. So for a person in that boat, what's required to improve relative strength if you don't want to lose bodyweight?

The answer lies in the correlation between relative strength and the ratio [absolute strength gain / weight gain]...

maximize absolute strength while minimizing weight gain.

This rationale is what generated my original question about using the Zone to increase absolute strength.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2005, 10:20 AM   #9
Chris Goodrich
Member Chris Goodrich is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Puyallup  WA
Posts: 129
Here's my experience as a naturally skinny guy after 2 months on zone/crossfit: My bodyweight went from 183 @ ~13%BF to 162 @ ~6%BF and I've had to go to quadruple fat blocks to keep from getting even skinnier. My performance has improved steadily on WODs as well as DL, squats, and bench. My lean mass hasn't increased at all, which is the one area I'm kind of disappointed. I'm not a bodybuilder and I'm after performance, not size, but I would have expected to pack on a few pounds of muscle, especially considering I came to crossfit from more of a high-rep bodyweight exercise/endurance running background. I still do some suplementary endurance work which may be limiting my gains, but I still expected to see something. I've started doing more strength work after the WOD and I may experiment with upping my protein intake if that doesn't start to make a difference after a month or so. Chris (Edited for typo)

(Message edited by ChrisG on November 23, 2005)
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2005, 12:00 PM   #10
Larry Lindenman
Affiliate Larry Lindenman is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Chicago  Illinois
Posts: 2,769
Fraser, excellent clairfication! The Athlete's Zone is the way to go. Like Christopher related, Start the Zone with the standard 40-30-30 ratios. You will maintain lean mass and lose some body fat. When bodyfat levels get too low, your feeling crappy and performance levels start to drop, add additional fat blocks per meal/snack (x2 seems to be the way to start). When weight loss stops (bodyfat stablizes) and performance improves, level off fat blocks. For some this may be X4! Because fat is so calorie dense, you will be getting a calorie surplus, of healthy food. The protein will support muscle mass. Barry Sears recommends adding 1 block of protein per day if you want to gain muscle mass. That's ONE block Per day. So a two block snack would contain 2 blocks carbs, 3 blocks protein, and 2 blocks (or your athlete zone RX) fat.
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Not gaining MM Joe Gasparre Nutrition 19 07-06-2007 07:39 PM
Zone diet and gaining weight when I need to lose it Lauri Michelle Zucker Nutrition 11 06-01-2007 07:07 AM
Maintaining/Gaining mass with zone diet Albert Carr Nutrition 4 05-21-2007 11:02 AM
Can I keep gaining strength while losing 100 lbs of fat? Chris Lampe Starting 9 03-01-2007 04:25 PM
Gaining weight on the zone Tony Young Nutrition 39 01-20-2006 11:28 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:04 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.