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Old 02-22-2007, 08:52 AM   #1
Kim Graves
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Hi Gang,

Would someone tell me about the XFit standard 3:1 work/recovery day ratio? What is its origin and rational?

My issue is injury. At age 50 I injure easily and heal slowly. I first started CrossFit over a year ago by taking a "ramp-up class" with CrossFitNYC. I ended up injuring both my ankles and was out for 8 weeks.

I'm a rock climber and find that if I climb more than one day without a recovery day between or more than 3 days a week I'll get hurt.

When "The Black Box" opened in NYC six weeks ago, I wanted to come back to XFit, but I was determined not to get injured again. So I've been going M/W/F and deliberately doing lower weights than is called for in the WOD: e.g., using the 1 pood versus the 1.5 that the other men are using. In addition I'm trying to work in two sessions of climbing on two off days. Climbing is not cardio intensive like XFit, but it is hard on your joints - hands, shoulders, elbows especially. The problem of course is that without adequate training you just don't acquire or maintain the necessary hand and finger strength needed for high level climbing: 2 days is really not enough – it should be 3 (maybe 2 one week and 3 another with a complete break every 8 weeks)

Through trial I think I've found a schedule that will keep me healthy, but maybe not lead to fitness. I need some theoretical underpinning before I start messing with my schedule.

Finally, let me just talk about my motivation. My priority is my health and to be able to use the high “fitness level” gained from Crossfit for other things – rock climbing and alpinism. I don’t do XFit just for its own sake (though it’s fun and I enjoy it).

If anyone has any advice about how to think about this issue or work/recovery/schedule and incorporating climbing, it would be appreciated.

Thanks, Kim
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:41 AM   #2
Elliot Royce
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Kim:

I think you have somewhat answered your own question: you need more rest than some others, you have sport-specific needs that aren't trained directly by CF, but you welcome the cardio and other fitness aspects of CF.

I'm no exercise expert but I share certain characteristics with you: I injure easily due to muscle imbalances and inflexibility, I have limited time, and my primary sport is hockey.

For a while, I was doing everything: CF a few times per week, hockey 3x per week, weightlifting a few times per week, boxing, etc. And guess what, it limited my progress and increased the risk of injuries.

For now, I've decided to get my cardio and sport-specific training from hockey 3-4x per week and to focus on the O lifts. While this is not exactly CF, the CF ideal of intensive anaerobic workouts with resistance (bodyweight or weights) fits perfectly with hockey and O lifting.

My hockey is improving. I've taken my squat clean from nothing to 87kg and my push press from 85lbs to 180lbs in about a month by concentrating.

I've also been using Magnificent Mobility each workout.

Can I do burpees, turkish getups, box jumps, pullups and a lot of the other CF standards well? No. I'd love to be able to, but just don't see how I can fit them in with the other priorities. But you know, it's amazing how much squat cleans will improve your flexibility and ROM.

My suggestions for you:

- find activities that are complementary: a day of rockclimbing specific work followed by a day of CF is probably not going to tax you too much
- when in doubt, give your primary activity the priority. If the WOD is going to wear you out and reduce your performance in rockclimbing, skip it or reduce it.
- keep things simple...this is important: I focus on one lift now, the Clean, and I'm adding in the Jerk. The Snatch is on hold. Similarly I use the Starting Strength 5x5 workout to fill in the gaps: back squats, front squats, DB BPs, and deadlifts. That's it. With the O lifts, this is working almost all of my body.

Good luck!

(Message edited by eroyce on February 22, 2007)
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:58 AM   #3
Jerimiah Childress
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Great advice Elliot.

I would like to add that I would suggest going to the folks at your affiliate and talk with them about it. Let them know what you have done and the results and what seems to be working. They can help you know how and when to progress. Part of the Crossfit principles is learning new sport and if that increased activity means you have to decrease your number of "WoD"'s then that is perfectly acceptable.
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Old 02-22-2007, 01:54 PM   #4
Kim Graves
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Thanks for the responses so far. Anyone know of any literature about work/recovery ratios?

Thanks, Kim
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:03 PM   #5
Craig Van De Walker
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Kim,
My pessimistic thought is that anything you read will be from the "white coats" you know the ones that take 20 year old healthy untrained college men put them on a program and publish the results.

I think you are probably going to need to go the black box approach and start slowly like it appears you are doing. I also have recovery issues I am struggling with.

I have a suggestion.
1-climbing workout
2-crossfit
3-rest
4-climbing
5-crossfit
6-climbing
7-rest
8-crossfit
9-climbing
10-rest
11-crossfit
12-climb
13-crossfit
14-rest

3climb, 2cf week one / 2climb, 3 crossfit week two
might be worth a try. No more than 3 climbing workouts in a week plus you get your crossfit in.
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Old 02-27-2007, 09:00 AM   #6
Kim Graves
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Craig,

Thanks for your sample schedule. That maintains the 25% rest ratio as well. I've been playing with schedules too, but I hadn't come up with this one. It's good.

Best Kim
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Old 02-27-2007, 09:31 AM   #7
Daniel Miller
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Kim,

All the advice is good so far. I myself was a pretty keen climber for a long time and found that scheduling rigorously fit a piece of my personality well, but in the end was not something commensurate with health in the long run.

If health is your priority I would suggest a less planned and more organic schedule. Most of the best climbers become fit by climbing a lot and by scaling their work in terms of how they feel. Since most of us have reals jobs, this doesn't work perfectly so we must choose some way to train in addition to the plastic. The crossfit template maybe what you want but the precise choice of exercises you should choose to support you in well rounded aspects of fitness, for climbing this would be antagonist muscle group training since climbing is so lat, shoulder, forearm, specific. In addition, climbing tends to be very static and controlled. Some quick exercises that challenge your balance might be good, such as Olympic lifting.

I think the schedule Craig gave is close to ideal but if your elbow feels tweaky at all after a climbing day, then skip the rx'd WOD the following day.
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Old 02-27-2007, 07:09 PM   #8
Craig Van De Walker
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I have the guts, drive, and body composition I did when I was 18. Unfortunately my recovery ability is that of a man well into his 5th decade. I got to the point where my nagging injuries were really setting me back. I realize now more than ever if I am to remain active I have to balance my stress and recovery (like a game), if I am to remain fit and fuctional as I age.

I strugle often with my recovery ability and am trying very hard to balance my phychological need to push hard with reality!

Daniel is correct in telling you to rest if you feel "tweaky", I am getting a little better at listening to my body, but still not as good as I should be.

I have for the first time integrated a "deload" week (<1/2 volume)once a month which I have never done. I am also going to try and make myself take a week or two off and do only light activity three times during the year.
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