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Old 04-25-2011, 03:48 PM   #1
Reto Corfu
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Strength Bias Results

Just completed a strength-bias program (aka the 'Ginger Strength Program') a few weeks ago and thought I’d share my results.

Male, 36 years old
Crossfitting since Aug 2007
26 week program (6-Sep-2010 to 14-Mar-2011)
Weight - 177 -> 203lbs
1RM Back Squat - 315 -> 365lbs
1RM Press - 130 -> 145lbs
1RM Deadlift 335 -> 385lbs
Snatch/Clean TBD

THE DEETS:

This was a self-styled program I made up based on three basic reference sources:
- the Performance Menu Max-Effort Black Box (aka PMenu MEBB)
- The Crossfit Strength Bias journal article
- Brandon Oto’s AGT program (http://agt.degreesofclarity.com/ - WFS)

My goal was a standard linear-progression program that would minimize loss of conditioning (read: not severely impact my crossfit WOD times) while maximizing strength & mass gains. Also I’m getting pretty old, so I wanted to make sure I got enough recovery time in there.

It boiled down to this:
Back squat & press 1X per week
Deadlift & bench/weighted pullup (alternating) 1X per week
Olympic lift 1X per week
Crossfit WOD 3-4X per week (usually 3)

Strength days:
I used ascending work sets (increase weight each set to a pr – as opposed to straight working sets at the same weight)
Started week 1 at 80% of previous max
Tried to avoid WODs on strength days, unless I missed a day (even then, I rarely doubled up)
Generally stopped sets when a new PR was attained, but not always
Started with 3X5 for 12 weeks, then moved to 3X3 (with often only 1-2 sets of deadlifting)

WOD days:
I just did normal programming for CF Vancouver, although I tried to steer clear of the long grinders & focus on short/heavy WODS
If the CF Van WOD happened to be or include a strength element, I would do it anyways, but switch the lift in the strength day as required to avoid doubling up in a week.
Took two “deload weeks” with no lifting – weeks 14 and 26 (before testing)

Olympic days:
“Protocol for all lifts is the same: via increasing doubles and singles, build up to a heavy single, your “best for the day.” A PR is good but don’t drop a bunch looking for it. Then reduce weight 15% and take 2-3 more singles. You’re done.” (from B. Oto) Week 1 = snatch. Week 2 = clean & jerk. Didn’t mess around with any assistance exercises or drills. Always performed either before or after a WOD…for this reason I ended up skipping Oly days more than anything, especially if the WOD really sucked that day.

Nutrition:
Tried to stick to loose paleo (minimized grains, legumes, sugar) while still trying to eat A LOT, my aim was to never feel hungry. If someone brought in donuts, I ate a donut. If there was leftovers after dinner, I tried to finish the leftovers. If I was thinking about maybe getting desert, I got desert. If someone was going out for a burger, I went for a burger. I pretty much always felt full. Although it sounds fun, this turned out to be my least favourite part of the program.
Aimed for 180-200g protein per day, but pretty sure I fell well short on many days.
Around 0.5-1L whole milk per day, whey protein shake PWO, and probably half a tub of full-fat yogurt 4-5X a week. Just couldn’t do any more (sorry Rip).
Supplements were creatine (one spoon in the shake), 1 cap of fish oil, 1000IU of vitamin D a day.

Times slowed a bit on some WODs, especially gymnastics-focused ones, but not drastically. Ring dips, muscle-ups and HSPUs sucked before, now they REALLY suck. Still marginally faster on most WODs, probably in line with the standard improvement rate from just crossfitting. Strength-focused WODs are dramatically easier.

Pretty happy with my results, especially getting to over 200lbs body weight, my main goal. Happy to answer any questions if ya got em…
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:31 PM   #2
Robert Fabsik
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Location: Kildeer  IL
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Re: Strength Bias Results

Sounds like you got great mileage out of the program. What changes are you making now?

On your program, were you working out 5-6 days a week--2 strength days and 3-4 CFWODs?

On the strength days did you just do the 2 lifts or any assistance work?
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:26 PM   #3
Reto Corfu
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Location: Vancouver  BC
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Re: Strength Bias Results

Now just gone back to regular CF programming, no more strength emphasis, and eating normal proportions and a bit stricter paleo...new goal is to see how fast I can cut bodyfat. Already down 10lbs in 2 weeks, hoping I haven't lost too much stength but haven't really tested it yet. Still feeling pretty strong, feels way better not to eat so much, and be closer to what feels like my 'normal' weight. The last few weeks when I was >200lbs I definitely felt a bit slow on some WODs, especially running or bodyweight.

Yep, I was working out 5-6 days a week. I'd say most weeks were 3 WODs only, with sometimes something active like ski touring or a hike thrown in on a rest day.

No assistance work outside of my standard warmup which has a few GHDs and stuff in it. Come in, warm up, lift freaking heavy and leave. Done. That part was actually fun.
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