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Old 04-11-2006, 08:17 AM   #1
Chris Wood
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I am relatively new to CF, as I just started the CF workouts over the past 2 months. I have noticed a great improvement in my fitness even in this short time. However, I have a few questions for the more senior CF'ers on this board.

First some background info: I am 34 years old, 5'11", and weigh about 195 lbs with about 15% BF. I work as an Emergency Physician, so my schedule is not a typical 8-5, M-F type of job. As a result, my circadian rhythm is constantly being challenged (and rest/recovery is a challenge!). I have trained very little throughout the past 10+ years of med school/residency and finally have time to get back on the road to fitness. I had some experience with powerlifting in college, with PRs of 425 lbs deadlift, 325 lbs squat, and 235 lbs bench. I have never done Olympic Lifts before starting CF. My current bests after starting CF are a deadlift of around 300, back squat of around 250, bench of around 180-200. After CF, I've done a split jerk of 155 and squat clean of 135. From an endurance/met con standpoint, I can run a 5K in about 27-28 min.

My goals with CF are to improve my general fitness (strength, met con, and flexibility) and lose body fat (goal < 10%). After starting CF, I've noticed a couple of things:

1) I am incredibly weak in in upper body (both strength and endurance) compared with my lower body strength/endurance. Pull-ups, overhead pressing exercises, and snatches are major weak spots for me.

2) Given my schedule, I tend to not do well with a 3-on, 1-off cycle. I have copied Chris Forbis' ME black box program from the discussion board and feel that a 2-on, 1-off (alone or alt w/ a 2 on/1 off, 3 on/1 off) cycle may be better for my recovery.

Here are my questions:

1) Pull-ups - what is the best way to develop my pull-up technique? I can currently do about 5-7 underhand pull-ups and about 3-4 wide-grip pull-ups with bodyweight, and I have access to a pull-up assist machine.

2) Overhead pressing exercises - what is the best way to improve my strength with overhead presses? My shoulders are probably my weakest body part.

3) Snatches/OHS - I can't seem to do the thrid pull of the snatch well enough to get even an olympic bar overhead in a stable fashion. In addition, I seem to have a lot of trouble with holding the bar overhead with OHS's. Any suggestions for developing my strength/technique?

4) For someone my age, with a schedule that is varied and limits rest/recovery, what is the best cycle to help allow adequate recovery time?

Thanks in advance for your insight!
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:28 PM   #2
Chris Jordan
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1. Do more pull-ups. Lots of them. Every chance you get. Grease the Groove. Look for places to do 5 of them wherever you are as often as you can. A common idea is to hang a pull-up bar outside your bathroom door and do 5 every time you go in there.

2. Handstand push-ups, ring dips, pull-ups and variants of the olympic lifts. Stick with the WOD shoulder strength will follow.

3. It made a big difference for me when Coach Kinney (local coach) said to put your hands wide enough that the bar is about 6" above your head. Suddenly I could stand straighter and lift more without feeling like I was about to fall over. Try that and work less weight. Maybe just a stick until you are more comfortable.

4. Someone your age? We're nearly the same age. Your sleep schedule sucks. With new baby and wacky work schedule, mine is not much different. I find that if I can keep myself in the Zone (diet) I can tolerate periods of missed sleep as long as I allow my body to recover fully at the next opportunity. I stay with the 3 on/1 off schedule.
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Old 04-19-2006, 06:45 AM   #3
Craig Van De Walker
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Chris,
I am with you on the schedule. I am a transplant coordinator and work up to 32 hours straight at times. Fit workouts in when I can.

Forget wide grip pullups. As stated above find a place (at work if possible as well as home) where you can knock of 3-5 reps (~shoulder width grip)at a time and do that 10-20 times a day. Don't go to failure on any sets.

Find a place to do partial HSPU (handstand pushups) against a wall go down as far as you can push back up from also don't go to failure. Do this mulitple times a day.

Do OHS with a stick/pvc pipe sets of 10 or so to get used to the shoulder position and groove.

I plan on working out everyday, when my schedule gets in the way it is then a rest day and I pick up where I left off. Works for me.

Zone diet works good even with an erratic schedule
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Old 04-19-2006, 06:52 PM   #4
Darrell E. White
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Chris:

3 on/1 off is tough for me, too. I operate on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I find that any upper body exercise more intense than a leisurely swim on Monday shows up under the microscope on Tuesday. I simply try to get as close to Coach's schedule as possible and catch up on rest days. As a newbie in my 40's (washed up ex jock ;=) !!) I'm scaling the WOD as necessary and taking an extra rest day whenever I feel beat up. Even with these concessions to age and infirmity the results since january have been astounding. Get in the Zone (don't let yourself get hungry no matter what the schedule) and fit in the workouts as well as you can. It's well worth the effort.

Darrell
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