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Old 06-06-2011, 10:27 AM   #1
Carl Frank
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question about how to scale/choose workouts day-to-day

I'm new to crossfit and really loving it after only a few weeks. At first I started with 3 days on : 1 rest, but I quickly found I was overtraining so I scaled back to roughly 2:1 and am feeling tons better. But now I'm wondering which of the workouts on the main website I should be doing (that is, there are always going to be workouts I'm not doing if I'm not on the full 3:1 schedule, so which should I skip?). Should I be choosing workouts to target my weaknesses? Or, the ones that are most appropriate for my current fitness level (and what would that even mean)? Or, should I just start from a random date and keep going forward in strict progression, always lagging behind the date posted?

I've heard from friends that the 3 workouts are planned and sequenced that way on purpose, but haven't read that anywhere, is that true?

If it's relevant, my main goal is just general fitness across as many domains as possible. Secondarily, if I had to choose something specific, I'm pretty weak (still doing assisted pullups) and would like to increase strength. But i'd be lying if I didn't say vanity/slimming down wasn't a big goal too. I've done a lot of (fairly advanced) yoga and that was my major physical activity for a long time, so I'm great on balance/agility/flexibility/mobility, OK on cardiovascular fitness, and very much a beginner otherwise, especially in weightlifting form.

Thanks everyone for the awesome resource, I've never felt better even after this short time.

Carl
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:59 AM   #2
Eric Montgomery
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Re: question about how to scale/choose workouts day-to-day

It's unlikely you were overtraining--overtraining is a systemic condition caused by months of running yourself into the ground without proper recovery. You were likely just experiencing soreness from trying to do too much, too soon, probably without scaling correctly.

Following them in order and inserting rest days when you need them isn't a bad option. It takes most people awhile to build up to the 3/1 schedule.

Yes, there is a theoretical template for how CF.com is programmed, but I've never been able to discern any sequence or progression to the workouts.

If you say that heavy lifting is your weakness, you may be better off doing a strength-biased program. You've probably got big potential for quick strength gains if you jumped on that regularly, and you'd find that's the quickest route to Rx'ing most CF.com workouts.
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:27 PM   #3
Brendan McNamar
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Re: question about how to scale/choose workouts day-to-day

My experience with new clients has shown they are better off scaling WODs way down but going more of them. 5 well scaled workouts will help you progress faster then 3 workouts that you struggle through in a week.

The Brand X scaling is good because they list multiple levels so you can move up when appropriate.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:21 PM   #4
Carl Frank
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Re: question about how to scale/choose workouts day-to-day

Thanks for the suggestions. Brendan - one quick clarification - by scaling WODs way down and doing 5 a week, do you mean sticking to the 3 days on:1 rest schedule and just scaling to where that's possible? Not more than WOD in a day, right?

Eric, a strength-based program is definitely something I'm considering, but for now my conditioning sucks too and I really enjoy pushing myself on a good metcon, so I think I'll stick with the regular programming until/unless i stop seeing good gains.
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:32 PM   #5
Eric Montgomery
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Re: question about how to scale/choose workouts day-to-day

You can continue to improve conditioning while on a strength program--programs like CFFB, 70s Big, and GSLP include anywhere from 2-4 conditioning workouts per week. And your conditioning will also improve as you gain strength, because adding 50lbs to your squat in a few months suddenly makes those 95lb thrusters or 20lb wallballs a lot easier.
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Old 06-11-2011, 11:10 AM   #6
Brendan McNamar
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Re: question about how to scale/choose workouts day-to-day

3 on 1 off equals 21 workouts in 28 days.

3 on 1 off, 2 on 1 off equals 20 workouts in 28 days and fits in a standard 7 day week. This can be helpful when things like a job and family influence when we can work out.

My client organize their live by weeks.

As you can see the work load is very similar over 4 weeks.

Two goals in scaling. One is to prevent soreness that is sever enough to effect the next workout. Yes you will be a little sore or better yet stiff and in need of a good warm up. Beyond that you are not helping yourself much.

The second goal is to keep the workout in the desired time domain. AMRAPs are great for this because you self pace. Task workouts (where the amount of work is know and the length of time is unknown) can be trickier. A two movement couplet with a 21-15-9 rep pattern is meant to be done fast generating a lot of power. So using Fran as an example I would cap the time limit at 10 minutes. You want to scale the thrusters and pull-ups so as to finish all reps in 10 minutes or less. If you accomplish this the next time you do it add some weight to the thrusters, remove some assistance on the pull ups, continue this until you can RX it then just go faster.

Hope this makes it clearer.

A good training log can be invaluable in this process.
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:12 PM   #7
Carlos Gato
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Re: question about how to scale/choose workouts day-to-day

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan McNamar View Post
3 on 1 off equals 21 workouts in 28 days.

3 on 1 off, 2 on 1 off equals 20 workouts in 28 days and fits in a standard 7 day week. This can be helpful when things like a job and family influence when we can work out.

My client organize their live by weeks.

As you can see the work load is very similar over 4 weeks.

Two goals in scaling. One is to prevent soreness that is sever enough to effect the next workout. Yes you will be a little sore or better yet stiff and in need of a good warm up. Beyond that you are not helping yourself much.

The second goal is to keep the workout in the desired time domain. AMRAPs are great for this because you self pace. Task workouts (where the amount of work is know and the length of time is unknown) can be trickier. A two movement couplet with a 21-15-9 rep pattern is meant to be done fast generating a lot of power. So using Fran as an example I would cap the time limit at 10 minutes. You want to scale the thrusters and pull-ups so as to finish all reps in 10 minutes or less. If you accomplish this the next time you do it add some weight to the thrusters, remove some assistance on the pull ups, continue this until you can RX it then just go faster.

Hope this makes it clearer.

A good training log can be invaluable in this process.
Good post Brendan. I've always had that question with the WOD's that don't have a time limit. I used to do them on a scaled level which I though i could compete it but found that some of the workouts are taking 35-45 minutes to complete. Since then I have found out through reading on the forums that it's better for me to scale down and complete the workout faster (with more intensity) than to drag it out.

My question to you is.... What is that magic number that I never want to past in terms of how long its taking me to complete a WOD?
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:52 PM   #8
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: question about how to scale/choose workouts day-to-day

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Originally Posted by Carlos Gato View Post
My question to you is.... What is that magic number that I never want to past in terms of how long its taking me to complete a WOD?
Depends on the workout. Murph will always take longer than Fran.

And it also depends on your goals. If you want to favor strength, you'll probably want to do shorter workouts than you would with an endurance bias.

Katherine
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:42 AM   #9
Carlos Gato
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Re: question about how to scale/choose workouts day-to-day

thank you Katherine. I did a little more research and i've come to the conclusion that one of the best ways to look at it is to compare my times to the times that others who are performing the WOD's as RX and try to get closer to their times.
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