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

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Old 07-01-2010, 06:53 AM   #11
Nolan Womack
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Re: Negative Reps

Jacob, it seems as though the OP hasn't been making anymore PRs in squats and pulls, hence he's looking for another way to get around the system by using negative reps, which the proper use may be even more complex to use then WSBB's template. Plus, if he's still hitting a new PR every ME day, is that not a successful program? He's changing his ME lift once a month, that doesn't really sound too complicated to me, considering most the program stays the same. And, a DE isn't that complicated of a task. Now, you can get into all the details about the strength curve for each lift, and working the reverse strength, sticking point, and all that fun stuff, or you can just stick to what it says to do, and not worry about making super complicated.

Personally, I like 5/3/1. The OP sounds like he likes negatives, and claims they've helped him in the past on different lifts, so why shouldn't he try some to bring up his lagging lifts? I'm sure he probably has some nutrition/sleep/stress problems, and that's most likely why he stalled, but if he has to just change the way he lifts, instead of the way he lives, well, that's a lot more comfortable change in life, so I can see where he's coming from.
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:58 AM   #12
Matthew Gogel
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Re: Negative Reps

Thank you for all the input and help. I greatly appreciate it.

All of the input has been valuable to me. I'm really not at a point where I've reached a plateau or a sticking point...I've literally never trained squats or deadlifts. However, I'm not really a novice with regard to all lifts...I trained bench press extensively. On bench I had trouble pushing beyond 2X bodyweight until I added negatives and reduced my training volume. Negative reps have helped me on pull ups greatly as well and got me close to being able to add my full bodyweight for a rep.

I've dabbled in crossfit over the past 6 months or so, but really haven't been full scale "on board" until the last month or so. I've been doing functional movements and training my cardio endurance...but I've done my own programming and have been admittedly focused on working my strengths. I'd like to participate in the sectionals/games next year and it's clear to me from the stats that people post that I'm extremely deficient in squats and deadlifts. If I want to be competitive, I need to bring my squats, deadlifts, overhead squats, and snatches in line with my bench and pull ups.

Based on the feedback you've provided...I'll plan to start pyramid type progression program and if I can get to a sticking point/plateau...I'll begin to incorporate the negatives or Westside methods to try to move to the next level.
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:32 AM   #13
Jacob Israel Briskin
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Re: Negative Reps

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Originally Posted by Nolan Womack View Post
Jacob, it seems as though the OP hasn't been making anymore PRs in squats and pulls, hence he's looking for another way to get around the system by using negative reps, which the proper use may be even more complex to use then WSBB's template. Plus, if he's still hitting a new PR every ME day, is that not a successful program? He's changing his ME lift once a month, that doesn't really sound too complicated to me, considering most the program stays the same. And, a DE isn't that complicated of a task. Now, you can get into all the details about the strength curve for each lift, and working the reverse strength, sticking point, and all that fun stuff, or you can just stick to what it says to do, and not worry about making super complicated.
Couple of things, Mr. Womack. That the OP hasn't been making PRs in his squats and pulls doesn't mean he has exhausted his novice phase in those exercises (according to him he is already benching double bodyweight, which is pretty impressive, and means that he is unlikely to be able to beat much linear progression out of his bench or press). By his own admission, he has "literally never trained squats or deadlifts", so to me it makes no sense not to take advantage of his ability to add weight every time he trains these lifts. Although he did also claim to be able to deadlift 405, so I'm a little confused myself.

Also, when I say "training complexity", I mean stuff like WSBB templates, incorporating ME and DE. Of course I realize that "do 10x1 deadlifts at 60% of 1RM and try to move the bar as fast as possible" isn't a "complex" idea, BUT...

For a novice, there is really no such thing as "max effort", because novices adapt to stress on a daily basis. So every time a novice tests his "1RM", for instance, the effort involved will increase the 1RM. Y'know, like Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.
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Old 07-01-2010, 04:09 PM   #14
Nolan Womack
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Re: Negative Reps

Alright, Mr. Briskin, well played. However, he only mentioned he hasn't reached a plateau after my post, knowing that instead of assuming the contrary, I would agree linear progression is the superior method. Now knowing he also wants to compete in a year would also make me suggest SS over 5/3/1, due to the more aggressive nature of adding weight opposed to the slower wave cycles of 5/3/1, GOMAD may help, too.
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Old 07-01-2010, 06:35 PM   #15
Chris Mason
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Re: Negative Reps

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Originally Posted by Jacob Israel Briskin View Post
I don't mean to get in your grill, but why do you feel that a novice needs that kind of training complexity? Or to put it another way, why DON'T you believe in taking advantage of a novice's ability to add weight to his squats, presses and pulls every time he trains?
No worries, those are valid concerns.

First, how complex is it for someone to rotate their main exercise by body part once every 3 weeks or so (conjugate system)? How complex is it to test a max and use a percentage load for speed work?

To address the second point, I think the same beginner will make even BETTER progress with a conjugate based system. Why would I not want to give them the best results?
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Old 07-01-2010, 07:28 PM   #16
Jacob Israel Briskin
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Re: Negative Reps

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No worries, those are valid concerns.

First, how complex is it for someone to rotate their main exercise by body part once every 3 weeks or so (conjugate system)? How complex is it to test a max and use a percentage load for speed work?

To address the second point, I think the same beginner will make even BETTER progress with a conjugate based system. Why would I not want to give them the best results?
I think the answer to your first question is "more complex than is necessary or ideal for someone still in the novice phase".

As for the second point, I'm a little hazy on the details of how exactly the conjugate method progresses weights. If it's not too much of a pain, could you outline how a totally untrained beginner would start off on a conjugate method? After learning the lifts, of course.
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:34 PM   #17
Chris Mason
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Re: Negative Reps

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Originally Posted by Jacob Israel Briskin View Post
I think the answer to your first question is "more complex than is necessary or ideal for someone still in the novice phase".

As for the second point, I'm a little hazy on the details of how exactly the conjugate method progresses weights. If it's not too much of a pain, could you outline how a totally untrained beginner would start off on a conjugate method? After learning the lifts, of course.

Your first statement is pure opinion. Have you properly trained beginners using both methods and observed the results?

Let's use ME day for an example. For the beginner I would recommend switching movements every 4th week instead of weekly. Beginners need the neural practice to optimize each movement and switching weekly precludes that in my opinion.

In terms of progression, it is pretty simple. You are going for a PR each week. So, if it were the overhead press you would work up to a max single weeks 1-3 each time trying to better your previous best. On the 4th week the exercise would be switched. So, for example, one might choose incline bench press and then repeat the process for 3 weeks. After the PR on the main exercise each week special exercises are performed to help address observed weaknesses and as assistance work (i.e. hitting the triceps hard).
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:37 AM   #18
Jacob Israel Briskin
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Re: Negative Reps

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Let's use ME day for an example. For the beginner I would recommend switching movements every 4th week instead of weekly. Beginners need the neural practice to optimize each movement and switching weekly precludes that in my opinion. Not switching at all could be even better neural practice.


In terms of progression, it is pretty simple. You are going for a PR each week. On linear progression, you go for a PR each time you train.

After the PR on the main exercise each week special exercises are performed to help address observed weaknesses and as assistance work (i.e. hitting the triceps hard).

But a novice doesn't need any special exercises or assistance work. He doesn't have any weak points to bring up, because he doesn't have any strong points; his whole body is one big "weak point". In other words, the best exercises that a novice can do to hit the triceps hard are bench press and press.
It seemed easier to respond this way; my comments are in bold.
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:42 PM   #19
Nolan Womack
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Re: Negative Reps

I agree that beginners, well true beginners, don't have weaknesses cause they don't have any strong points, however, they still can be benefited from assistance work if they have imbalances, which would help them get stronger by being more well rounded (powerlifters often use rows to offset all the bench training, though it is a stretch to compare beginners and powerlifters, it isn't a stretch to say that many people have postural imbalances).

As far as hitting a new PR every time on linear progression, this is false. On linear progression you have a set weight for set reps and set sets, your goal for the day is to complete those successfully (it may be a PR weight, but also may not be, depends where you're at in the program). With ME days, you use set reps and most the time set sets, but you are trying to push the limit with the weight, which is the difference between 5-5-5-5-5 and 5x5 (I'm sure you're aware of that though).
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Old 07-02-2010, 01:01 PM   #20
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Negative Reps

"it may be a PR weight, but also may not be"

Most of the time it will be

"it isn't a stretch to say that many people have postural imbalances"

Which are addressed by deadlifts and deep squats.
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