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

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Old 05-04-2009, 11:01 AM   #1
Ryan Lynch
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When to stop adding weight...form or failure?

Hi Guys,

So doing Front Squat 3 3 3 3 3 today...

So did some warm up, then first 3x, next went up to old pr, then new pr, then for 4th hit a new pr, but form suffered (got on toes a little, back arched forward, etc) on 4th set.

So the question is, is there where I should stop? I could probably do another set at same weight or even a little more, but knowing my form suffers at this weight, is this where I stop?

-Ryan
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:04 AM   #2
Matt Schellinger
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Re: When to stop adding weight...form or failure?

Personally, I would be stopping when my form began to break down to the point where it did not feel solid or safe. A little form degradation and some straining are all good and well when maxing, but if I felt I was losing the curve in my back or some other unsafe measure I would drop the weight back down.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:32 AM   #3
Ken DaSilva
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Re: When to stop adding weight...form or failure?

I would have dropped set 5 down to the heaviest weight that you think you could have maintained form for. This may have been the same weight as set 3 or somewhere between the weights for 3 and 4.

I wouldn't have repeated the set 4 weight or gone up just because I felt that I'd still be able to move the bar. (Set 4 was your "move the bar" set. No sense in repeating that with set 5.)

I probably would have sprinkled in a little extra rest time before attempting set 5.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:33 AM   #4
Mat Frankel
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Re: When to stop adding weight...form or failure?



All the CFJ articles talk about slowly progressing into CF and that it's more important to get form then numbers.
Even if you have been CFing and are not new, the form still remains just as important. IMO.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:46 AM   #5
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: When to stop adding weight...form or failure?

FWIW, the trainer at my affiliate won't let people add weight until they can demonstrate good form with the current weight. Not squatting quite below parallel? Do it again. Breaking a three rep set up into single reps? Do it again. Rounding your back on the deadlift? Do it again.

It's annoying, but it keeps people from pushing themselves into a dangerous situation for the sake of moving bigger weights.

Katherine
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:51 AM   #6
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: When to stop adding weight...form or failure?

Depends on what you're doing. If you are trying for a new PR, some form degradation is expected (a high squat is not a squat, it's something else). If you aren't form should be near perfect. But what you mentioned doesn't sound all that bad.

Did it happen on every rep?
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:06 PM   #7
Ryan Lynch
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Re: When to stop adding weight...form or failure?

Thank you all. Very good info.

So my form was just starting to give on all 3 reps of set 4. Set 3 was good form (in my opionion anyway...). Set 4 was not real bad, but I noticed more pressure on my toes than heels and my back arching forward a bit. I think it would have been "acceptable" form for a 1 rm, but surely not 3 or 5 reps.

So next time once I notice my form start to give, I'll stop and lower the weight a little until form returns.

Thanks again,

-Ryan
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:24 PM   #8
Phillip Garrison
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Re: When to stop adding weight...form or failure?

Form

Studies have shown that training to failure isn't indicitive of improved performance. WL's and PL's rarely lift to failure and they are very strong
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:47 PM   #9
Steven Webster
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Re: When to stop adding weight...form or failure?

Some people actually avoid failure by attempting to get to a failing point. By that I mean they might skip reps by reducing range of motion or allowing other muscles to take over during a set.

If you work with form more I think you're more likely to fail. If you break up and a set stops then you've avoided doing more reps functioning below par. This is particularly useful with heavier sets, if you have a rough idea about if you're going to make it or not, you just don't know unless you try hard enough, but sometimes it doesn't work.

Failure in terms of a high rep set is going to mean something different because the weight is light enough to keep plugging away until you end up doing more breathing than work.

So basically you stop adding weight when you either fail, because you attempted and missed, OR you stop because you don't want to risk injury and feel to be in danger of breaking.
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