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

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Old 04-30-2011, 12:29 PM   #1
Jamie Hitch
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Consistency in Strength Programming

What are your thoughts on following a specific sequence for your strength programming (i. e month long intervals of 5x5, 5x3, 3x3, 3x1, 1x1) vs. just lifting heavy all the time? (sort of the Orlando theory)

At my box there is usually a 4-6 week focus on a few different major lifts, gradually increasing weight and decreasing reps each week until reaching what would theoretically be your 1RM for those movements - before moving on to a new set of lifts for the next 4-6 weeks.

The problem I'm having is making all of the scheduled days and being left behind... If I miss a day or 2 that means I'm an entire week behind the progression which more than often means I wont successful the following week.

My question is this... Do you think that planned progressions are required to make significant strength gains? Or do you think that going into the gym, picking a lift at random and going as heavy as you can, as often as you can, would result in any kind of increase in strength? I remember watching a video where Rob Orlando said something along those lines "just lift heavy every single day, thats how you get stronger"

What do you think?
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Old 04-30-2011, 05:40 PM   #2
Terry Gibbs
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Re: Consistency in Strength Programming

"the phrase just lift heavy every day", could be defined as 80% or even 70% by some, could be max effort, near max effort, or confortable effort ... and working out which is what YOU need is a very personal experience thing (yes I know if you take PEDS you just add 5 lbs each week)

If you are a noob, with less than a double bodyweight dead etc then again just add weight may be fine, but at some stage you need to periodise your training..

your body adapts to stress, and how to keep it adapting is the key ..go heavy too often too long, it adapts by just staying the same...

where are you in your lifts ???
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:40 AM   #3
Damon Stewart
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Re: Consistency in Strength Programming

My creed is always be squatting. I think people agonize over their programs way to much when they should really be lifting heavy 3x a week all the time. My usual template is 3 weeks on/1 week off or 4/1.
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Old 05-01-2011, 11:44 AM   #4
Chris Mason
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Re: Consistency in Strength Programming

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Originally Posted by Terry Gibbs View Post
"the phrase just lift heavy every day", could be defined as 80% or even 70% by some, could be max effort, near max effort, or confortable effort ... and working out which is what YOU need is a very personal experience thing (yes I know if you take PEDS you just add 5 lbs each week)

If you are a noob, with less than a double bodyweight dead etc then again just add weight may be fine, but at some stage you need to periodise your training..

your body adapts to stress, and how to keep it adapting is the key ..go heavy too often too long, it adapts by just staying the same...

where are you in your lifts ???
Well, not exactly Terry. If your statement was totally accurate, Westside lifters would be pretty darned stagnant.

For the thread starter, the answer is yes, assuming there is a plan behind it. The last description you gave is more or less Westside.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:18 PM   #5
Jamie Hitch
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Re: Consistency in Strength Programming

My background if it helps is:
Crossfitting for 8 months but am in no way a noob to the gym, have been weight training for 7-8 years now.
5'11
175lbs
DL - 365
BS - 320
OP - 160
C&J - 235
Snatch - 195



I completely understand the concept behind periodisation, and agree with it. In fact all of those lifts above are a direct result from a good organized month of work going into my 1RM attempt. My question is geared more towards the importance of making each workout... how do word this..
if my month looks like this (purely example dont get caught up on the details of whether or not this is a working program lol)

mon DL 5x5 @ ~60-65%
wed BS 5x5
fri OP 5x5

mon DL 5x3 @ ~85-90%
wed BS 5x3
fri OP 5x3

mon DL 3x1 @ ~95-105%
wed BS 3x1
fri OP 3x1

and somewhere along the way I miss the 2nd weeks BS workout (for example)... now I'm screwed for the following week because I haven't made any progress. This happens to me quite regularly because of my FF'er training takes me out of town for days at a time. By the time I get back I dont know where to begin, start all over again or..? Am I just s.o.l or is there a way around this? How do you guys balance your training w/ work when things appear like they run on a strict schedule in the gym in order to be effective?
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:34 PM   #6
Terry Gibbs
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Re: Consistency in Strength Programming

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Originally Posted by Chris Mason View Post
Well, not exactly Terry. If your statement was totally accurate, Westside lifters would be pretty darned stagnant.

For the thread starter, the answer is yes, assuming there is a plan behind it. The last description you gave is more or less Westside.
yeah I thought of Westside after I typed it, but think again that the people who can get something out of Westside are people who have been through the system, they have done linear, block etc. Think the OP is a long way off Westside. It is not just go heavy. it is very prioritised how they lift, with a big emphasis on building up through accessory movements. Work a weakness, improve, work a weakness improve. Think that that is more than just go heavy all the time, they are quite selective about what they go heavy in.

Other factor is that in one of the Westside versions (they seem to change) Louie was advocating picked your movements and going heavy for three weeks, then changing the movememt. Anytime you go to a new movement there is a learning, motor recruiting curve, or just plain groove, that ensures you that although the first worlkout feels max, the next will be over that 100% perceived effort. Repeat once more then move on and pick something else.

Also they do the repetition method which is not maxing, and they do volume several times a week, ie db bench for three minutes, or squat for three minutes, so also not max weight all the time. Also box jumps are significant as well. Sure not your usual periodisation , but not heavy all the time.

That said I am no expert on westside, and it may have been refined recently beyond my prior understanding

To the OP, sorry to confuse, was hoping to avoid it.
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Old 05-05-2011, 05:07 AM   #7
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Consistency in Strength Programming

To answer the simple question of your situation. Your real life prevents you from exactly following the programing at your box.

As a coach I would suggest the simple solution of keeping your own lifting log to keep track of sets, reps and weights. 3x5 heavy (over 80% 1 RM) is simple and will accomplish a lot. When the box lifts you lift just following your log to know your weights. Don't always do set across, if you can go up second and or third set do so. It shouldn't be at all disruptive because everyone is doing the same thing in class and it should allow you to have more productive workouts.

This is not the best plan for maximum strength gains. I am assuming you want to keep your job and will do what your boss tells you to do.

Run it by the trainers at your box and see what they say.

I ran Wendler 5-3-1 at my box once and ran into exactly the problem you are talking about. My solution has been to go to primary days and secondary/make up days. I have three primary workouts each week (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday's). I use Wed. and Saturday for make ups of those first then have an original WOD for those who don't need to make anything up. Friday is almost always a fairly long met-con or fun stuff like tire flipping in the park. Anyone who completes all 3 primary workouts each week will get well balanced lifting and not miss the once every 2 or 3 week long single modality met-con like row 5000m. It is not perfect but it keep everyone progressing fairly evenly.
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