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

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Old 02-14-2005, 12:53 PM   #1
Theron Mathis
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Alot has been written lately about sports specificity of Crossfit and how to incorporate into training.

My questions relate more to Powerlifting/Weightlifting.

I have been doing Crossfit for about 6 months now, but would like to focus more on increasing pure strength. As a result I have though about cycling 6 weeks of a powerlifting/weightlifting routine to increase strength.

How do those who are competitive in those sports cycle? Do you do the WOD and then your heavy cycles?

Theron
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Old 02-14-2005, 02:53 PM   #2
Matt O'Donnell
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I second this request.

Personally, I'm way too tiny, and weak. I've working some heavy lifts (deadlifts, presses, etc) outside the WOD, but I've been struggling to improve my physique and strength.

Anybody with experience out there?
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Old 02-14-2005, 03:38 PM   #3
Graham Hayes
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Probably not what you're looking for, but I do 5 reps of light OHS, squat cleans and squat snatchs in my warm ups. I find this almost daily practice has made my technique feel pretty good. At an incredibly slow pace I add weight to this warm up (June 04 - 30kg; Feb 05 - 45kg). Because I'm only 70kg dripping wet I find that doing the WOD with prescribed weights is plenty good for strength. This and munching on good food gives me enough strength (and physique) to do some decent lifts.
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Old 02-15-2005, 07:57 AM   #4
Ryan Atkins
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Hi Theron,

I like this approach:
http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messa...html#POST16302

I used it to increase my maxes in both of the O-lifts in relatively short time.

Hope this helps,

Ryan
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Old 02-15-2005, 08:08 AM   #5
Brian Gibson
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Thanks for the link, Ryan.
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Old 02-15-2005, 07:19 PM   #6
Theron Mathis
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Ryan,

Thanks, here's my stupid question.

Michael said he rotated the load 70/75/80% of max. Does that mean he did 8 sets of 70% and then the next time he did 8 sets of 75%? Then eventually he will push past his max and then reset the cycle back to 70% of his new max?

If that's the case, I will start on after tonight snatch workout. Also, I guess you could choose any two exercises: dl's, squats, bench, ohs, etc.
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Old 02-16-2005, 07:09 AM   #7
Ryan Atkins
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Theron,

I had the same question when I started the program. You have the right answer. For the first triplet, both lifts are done at 70%. Then 75% for the next WOD set and 80% on the third set.

I'm starting to reincorporate this system back into my workouts. I usually play around with the order of the workouts depending on what the WOD throws at me. For example, yesterday was a heavy snatch day for the WOD. Because of this, I decided to make yesterday the rest day (alternatively I would have done the C&J warm-up). I'll do snatches either today or tomorrow. I guess what I'm trying to say that as long as one day is snatch, one day is C&J and one day is rest; you can still make progress, even if you're not following the order of the 3-day cycle exactly. Usually I'll reset the percentages if I hit a PR when that lift comes up in the WOD for heavy singles.

I'm also throwing a day of OHS (usually takes the place of the rest day), increasing the weight by 5# every triplet - currently at 145#. Initially I thought this might be too much shoulder work, but things are going OK so far (although my shoulders did complain a little after yesterday's snatch work, so we'll see).

Also, I guess you could choose any two exercises: dl's, squats, bench, ohs, etc.

I'm not sure on this point. IMO, the WOD gives us enough hip/leg extension work that I don't think adding low skill work like squats or deads will be adding a whole lot of benefit. Those lifts are primarily focused on strength. Because the snatch and C&J hit so many of the general skills, it's possible to increase one's max by working on characteristics besides pure strength (i.e. flexibility - getting under the bar further, balance - stabilizing the bar overhead, accuracy/cooridnation - finding the right catching point for the bar, etc.). During my warm-ups with these two lifts I could focus on one, two or more of these characteristics. Because there's such a variety of things to work on and improve with just these two lifts, I think there's a lot to be gained by regular practice of them in the warm-up, much more so than with regular practice of squats or deadlifts (I'm leaving out OHS here so I won't look like a hypocrite).

Hope this helps,

Ryan
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Old 02-17-2005, 02:56 PM   #8
Theron Mathis
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Ryan,

Thanks again. This is the second time you have been a big help to a direct question I had. Previously you helped on a handstand question that has allowed me to improve.

I don't have bumper plates at my gym. As a result would you recommend the power movements rather than the full squat catch. Last night I maxed on cleans doing the full squat version, but it got a little shaky toward the end.

Theron
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Old 02-18-2005, 06:09 AM   #9
Ryan Atkins
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Theron,

Glad I could help.

In your situation, I'd do both the power and squat movements. I'm going to borrow here from two people who have worlds more experience in the O-lifts then I do.

Lincoln once posted, "Lift the light weights like they are heavy and lift the heavy weights like they are light." (http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messa...html#POST20082). He was talking about technique, but I think in your case you can apply it to your overall training situation as well. Because a failed power clean can (in my experience, anyway) usually be 'saved' in the hang position before hitting the ground, you can probably go pretty heavy on these without fear of disapproval from the gym owners (maybe).

If you stick to 50-70% of your max for the squat cleans, there's minimal chance for failure, IMO. I feel this is a great zone to train in anyway in terms of learning/developing technique. Dan John, who (along with Rutman) influenced me to train primarily within or near this range has posted:

"Can you be a great lifter by only attempting 50-60%s of your max? Well, define "great," but I would love to see us take two teams...one does the standard O lift method of periodization and big lifts in practice and my team doing crossfit and perfect reps with 60%. Now, I am bragging...I doubt I ever get as heavy as 60%." (http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messa...html#POST16681)

Your overall strategy may be influenced by your gym (i.e. do they at least have rubber matting?) and the tolerance of the owners. Ultimately you'll probably want to find a place where it's OK to dump a failed lift. Here's an interesting way to accomplish the goal from Frank Ollis:

C&J and Snatch pit: In my back yard. Built
platform 4'x6' first. Out
of 2x6 & 4x4. Filled in with
"acquired" beach sand. Works
Great! total cost $21.00

Cheap concrete weights: I used an old flat round
pan with a 2 1/4" piece
pvc super glued in the
middle. I cut up some old
metal 1/8" wire and laid
it in for strength. Cost
per weight: $ not much
(http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/26/55.html)

Hope this helps,

Ryan
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Old 02-20-2005, 07:21 PM   #10
Theron Mathis
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Ryan,

Are you waiting the full 60 to 90 secs b/n sets?

I did the C&Js today and only waited about 10-20 secs. Although I have a feeling that once the weights get heavier, 60 to 90 is a long time.

Theron
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