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Old 02-24-2011, 12:57 PM   #1
James Chambers
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CF Strength Bias/FB Questions

Howdy from Russia all,
I'm very, very new to the CF game; I have yet to even try a WOD, and I'm still trying to decipher how it all works. Unfortunately, here in StPB, RU, we don't have CF gyms, we have incredibly silly trainers that teach wealthy fat kids how to do bicep curls with their backs.

After doing some sniffing around, I've heard about differetn CF approaches: I take it that there is "mainsite", "strength bias", "football" and "endurance". I'm coming off of Starting Strength, and am mostly concerned with strength, but as I'm entering Orthodox Lent (a very intense fast), am a little over my ideal BF%, and have sports to play in a few months, I figured it'd be a good time to do some more dynamic training, and I've wanted to try CF for a while.

1) Can Strength Bias or Football be successfully done at a caloric deficit?
2) Even if so, is it useful to do so, or am I better starting with something else?

Thanks!
Jim
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:21 PM   #2
Craig Massey
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Re: CF Strength Bias/FB Questions

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Originally Posted by James Chambers View Post
Howdy from Russia all,
I'm very, very new to the CF game; I have yet to even try a WOD, and I'm still trying to decipher how it all works. Unfortunately, here in StPB, RU, we don't have CF gyms, we have incredibly silly trainers that teach wealthy fat kids how to do bicep curls with their backs.

After doing some sniffing around, I've heard about differetn CF approaches: I take it that there is "mainsite", "strength bias", "football" and "endurance". I'm coming off of Starting Strength, and am mostly concerned with strength, but as I'm entering Orthodox Lent (a very intense fast), am a little over my ideal BF%, and have sports to play in a few months, I figured it'd be a good time to do some more dynamic training, and I've wanted to try CF for a while.

1) Can Strength Bias or Football be successfully done at a caloric deficit?
2) Even if so, is it useful to do so, or am I better starting with something else?

Thanks!
Jim
I can't comment on CFSB on a calorie deficit, Jeff Martin, it's creator, just did that while preparing for the ASAPL California State Powerlifting championships and it wasn't fun, but he made it work. He has however been training CFSB for 3 or 4 years and has been CrossFitting for at least 7.

Instead I would say it doesn't matter because if you want to try CrossFit and don't have an affiliate nearby, you're far better off to start with scaled mainsite WODs. Do those for a while, see what level you're at, what you need to work on and if what you need is best delivered by CFSB or CFFB, then change.
But if you're not doing CF right now, you need to acclimatise to it and the best way to do that is scaled mainsite WODs. I would recommend the CrossFit Brand X forum, http://www.crossfitbrandx.com/index..../viewforum/16/ (wfs) as source of those scaled workouts, but I'm associated with that forum as an admin so I have a bias.

Last edited by Craig Massey : 02-24-2011 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:44 PM   #3
James Chambers
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Re: CF Strength Bias/FB Questions

That's fine; I'm happy to find someone with a bias, it means they have advice!

How does scaling work? Where/how does one find ones self on a given scale?
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:08 PM   #4
Craig Massey
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Re: CF Strength Bias/FB Questions

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Originally Posted by James Chambers View Post
That's fine; I'm happy to find someone with a bias, it means they have advice!

How does scaling work? Where/how does one find ones self on a given scale?
That's a bit harder, takes some trial and error and differs from WOD to WOD.

In that forum I linked you'll see a bunch of topics/threads which are names to approximately match the WODs posted on the mainsite.

Each day someone, often me, copies the WOD from the mainsite and starts a new topic on the CrossFit Brand X forum. Some time later Jeff Martin, who is one of the owners of CrossFit Brand X posts a scaled version of the workout.

The scaled versions have names like "Big Dawgs", "Pack", "Puppies" and "Buttercup" with Big Dawg being the hardest version (often just as prescribed on the mainsite) and Buttercups being the easiest. For some WODs Jeff declares that everyone is a Big Dawg and/or that the WOD is self scaling, so he doesn't need to post anything.

We suggest that you take each WOD on an individual basis, assess what you can do,what you can't what you're good at and what equipment you lack and make a call on how you'll do the WOD. Some WODs you may be a Big Dawg, others you may be a Buttercup. It happens.
We also suggest that you deliberately pick an easier scaling than you think you'll need when you're starting. The WODs are deceptive both individually and collectively. Even if you cope with one, a steady diet of them can grind you into overtraining faster than you might think. If you pick a scaling that's too easy, make a note of it and next time it or something similar comes up you'll have a record to base a better choice on. Likewise if you pick one that's too hard.
How do you know if it's too hard? That's not as silly as it sounds. Yes you'll be all tired and puffed, but that's normal. "Too hard" in the context of a CF metcon means that you've used too much weight or too many reps and you're having to stop and rest too often. The point of CF metcons is to produce as much power during the WOD as possible and that means working and and fast and ideally, non-stop. As a rule of thumb, which has become controversial lately, take a look at the times posted by the top performers for the WOD and scale the WOD so that you finish in the same general time. Most days the mainsite has times posted with the WOD for elite athletes and those form a useful guide. There are other factors to consider when picking a scaling, but that gives you a very useful start.

More suggestions:
For a start, be safe. Learn to perform the exercises well before you push for intensity. The golden rule is; Form, Consistency, then Intensity.
Follow a few days behind the mainsite. A week is good. That gives you 7 days from when the WOD is posted until you're scheduled to do it to pick a scaling, try the moments, practise them, ask questions and find substitutions for equipment you don't have etc.

You're welcome to join up over at Brand X where we do a lot of this sort of thing or ask away here where there are also many very knowledgeable people who can help you.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:38 AM   #5
Ramon Gomez
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Re: CF Strength Bias/FB Questions

I personally think it's easier to follow mainsite CF on a calorie deficit than it is to follow CFFB. Since there's a strength component to every CFFB workout, you'll be sore a lot, and cutting back the food will result in slower recovery.
Most of the CFFB folks would probably tell you they eat a lot of food.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:38 AM   #6
Lee A Koboroff
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Re: CF Strength Bias/FB Questions

I have unintentionally done CF FB on a calorie deficit - I was trying strict paleo and just couldn't fit in enough food. I was able to keep it up for 4 weeks before I crashed and burned.

Now I'm doing CF FB with paleo + dairy and find it much easier to recover
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Old 03-29-2011, 01:49 AM   #7
James Chambers
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Re: CF Strength Bias/FB Questions

Sorry to bump my own 1-month old thread here, but I wanted to seek some further input!
I've been CFing (mainsite, scaled) for that month now, and I love it. Thanks everyone for telling me to just learn the ropes off mainsite WODs.

Totally awesome, but I do miss some of the focus on strength movements that has always been the bread and butter of my training. I've read up on both CFSB and CFFB, and I'm really intrigued by both, but CFFB looks tremendous, and right up my alley. I'm super game to get on board with it, so I'll repose my original question:

Now that I'm familiar with the CFstyle WOD, and very much want to give CFFB a go, would I be better off to wait 3 1/2 weeks until after Pascha (Easter) to begin CFFB, or would it still be useful to begin CFFB right now, while I'm fasting (No meat, dairy, eggs, oil, and generally less to eat) for Lent.?

I intend, no matter when I start, to start super low on all of my lifts and build up, as is suggested at CFFB, as I've had success with this approach doing SS, Madcow, etc.

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 03-29-2011, 02:11 AM   #8
Joshua Gritton
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Re: CF Strength Bias/FB Questions

I would not suggest any strength bias or strength programs on a caloric deficit such as a fast but some people seem to be able to do it and get results. You can always try it and listen to your body I am sure if it can't handle anymore it will gladly tell you so.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:28 AM   #9
Toby Edison
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Re: CF Strength Bias/FB Questions

Agree with all posters. If you want to get strong you must eat a ton. Every strenght trainer will support this. Many would also agree that you cannot eat 100% clean and eat for a long term strength cycle. Check out 70sbig for a quick rundown of the philosophy.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:35 AM   #10
James Chambers
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Re: CF Strength Bias/FB Questions

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Agree with all posters. If you want to get strong you must eat a ton. Every strenght trainer will support this. Many would also agree that you cannot eat 100% clean and eat for a long term strength cycle. Check out 70sbig for a quick rundown of the philosophy.
Right. I'm totally on board with this philosophy, and have been for a while. I'm not asking if i can get bigger/stronger while not eating much, I'm asking if it's useful to transition to strength-style training a couple of weeks before I'm actually eating again, because
A) I like the style of training more
B) It could help me establish my current maxes, off of which to build...

Basically, I want to know if even that would be untenable...
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