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

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Old 05-15-2008, 02:47 AM   #1
Jon Knutsen
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Does a WOD after a "pure" strength session dilute the strength work?

So I just finished reading Barry Ross' book, Underground Secrets To Faster Running. The title sounds a little infommercial-ish but it appears to be based on a lot of sound concepts. In general I think most CrossFitters would subscribe to 90% of what he has to say... assuming they keep in mind that his goal is specifically to make athletes sprint faster.

The premise of the book is that in order to run faster, you have to apply more force to the ground. Sounds simple enough but as an assistant track coach I can tell you, everyone has a gimmick to sell you that promises to deliver more ground force and very few do.

Barry's answer for increasing mass specific force (MSF): The deadlift.

I won't go into all of the reasons he gives for choosing the deadlift over squats, o-lifts, etc. but he covers that in the book and he makes some interesting arguments. Personally I'm trying not to get caught up in the O-lifts vs. power lifts debate that his book brings up, but rather look at the big picture.

The big picture: Deadlifts never exceed 5 x 5, all loads are at 85% max effort or greater - constantly going after new PR's, and rest between sets is a mandatory five minutes. He goes into the physiology to support his lifting protocols but I don't think many people would argue with his logic. It's similar to what o-lifters do to ensure maximum strength gains with minimal (if any) mass gains. He also has several supplemental lifts as well but the main focus is the DL.

Ross says that in order to ultimately sprint faster and get the most out of your strength workouts, athletes want to avoid the build up of lactic acid (the burn) and thus all lifting efforts are kept to 10 seconds or less in duration (5 x 5 or lower to achieve this) with the long rest between sets - this is all focused on phosphagen pools and replenishing them.

HERE'S MY QUESTION: Can a CrossFitter take advantage of these lifting principles and also make strides in increasing work capacity where feeling "the burn" from lactic acid is an everyday event? I would like to add in a strength set as Ross prescribes before my WOD's (similar to the workouts found on Performance Menu) but will I just be undoing the "pure" strength work after the WOD leaves me toasted?
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Old 05-15-2008, 04:04 AM   #2
Anthony Bainbridge
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Re: Does a WOD after a "pure" strength session dilute the strength work?

You'll be fine.

Make sure you gradually build up to your max. Jumping into a +85% set with no build up will reduce your chance of making the set and increase your risk of injury.

And I wouldn't do this before every wod - heavy lifting may not leave you drenched like a metcon WOD, but it does hammer the central nervous system and will require a lot more recovery.
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Old 05-15-2008, 08:03 AM   #3
Gant Grimes
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Re: Does a WOD after a "pure" strength session dilute the strength work?

I enjoyed his article and refer to it from time to time. How is the book?

http://www.dragondoor.com/articler/mode3/269/ wfs
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Old 05-15-2008, 08:29 AM   #4
Aaron Moburg-Jones
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Re: Does a WOD after a "pure" strength session dilute the strength work?

I recomend that article a lot as well. And I have toyed with the idea of using the same strategy.

I would agree that I wouldn't do it more than once or twice a week in addition to whatever strength WODs are Rxd. The only problem is that after warm-ups, sufficient rest, and 5 minutes between sets, I'd be at the gym for a LONG time. I'd almost rather do one in the morning and then the WOD later.

Any other thoughts, though? Someone should try it out and post results.
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Old 05-15-2008, 08:39 AM   #5
Steven Low
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Re: Does a WOD after a "pure" strength session dilute the strength work?

Yes, metcon after a pure strength work dilutes the strength session. If it were the opposite, wouldn't you say it would be the case? Metcon first and strength second and the strength is diluted? In fact, they tend to dilute each other because they are on opposite sides of the lifting spectrum -- strength vs. conditioning/endurance.

In the overall scheme of things a bunch of workouts won't matter. But they will matter if you're trying to get your strength up as fast as possible (and you don't care about your GPP ability or vice versa). Well, the best way is to separate them ~6 hours or more is fairly good namely because it allows your body to adjust phsyiologically to each workout, post-workout and hormonal flux. If you can get a nap between each then all the better.
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Old 05-15-2008, 08:47 AM   #6
Anthony Bainbridge
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Re: Does a WOD after a "pure" strength session dilute the strength work?

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Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
Yes, metcon after a pure strength work dilutes the strength session.
For elite levels. For the rest of us, it won't make a noticeable difference provided the big picture nutrition/recovery is in place.
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Old 05-15-2008, 10:32 AM   #7
Jon Knutsen
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Re: Does a WOD after a "pure" strength session dilute the strength work?

Gant, - Thanks for the Dragon Door article. I saw someone make reference to it on BearPowered.com (Barry Ross') site. It's worth mentioning that Barry has since modified the workout that appears in that article. I emailed him and he wrote back saying that cleans were the last element that he dropped before coming to his final workout that appears in the book. He said that cleans were his favorite lift and he had a hard time parting with them, but hasn't missed them at all (keep in mind that his goal for those workouts is very specific unlike out broad CF goals). If the article grabs your interest I think you would enjoy the book. For me, as an assistant track coach trying to figure out how to simplify a lifting routine that I can't always supervise, Ross' material could be the answer.

Steven - I was hoping that you would chime in on this topic. Thanks for the input. Your answer (separate the two workouts by 6 hours) is basically what Everett recommends for the Catalyst Athletic workouts if possible. Typically this would be seem inconvenient or undoable but in my case, with gyms at home and work, I might be able to pull it off.

Even if I can't separate the two workouts, all I want is to give some attention to my strength gains and it sounds like even "diluted" efforts will help to a degree.
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Old 05-15-2008, 10:34 AM   #8
Chris Walls
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Re: Does a WOD after a "pure" strength session dilute the strength work?

Well diluted results > no results
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Old 05-15-2008, 10:39 AM   #9
Steven Low
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Re: Does a WOD after a "pure" strength session dilute the strength work?

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Originally Posted by Anthony Bainbridge View Post
For elite levels. For the rest of us, it won't make a noticeable difference provided the big picture nutrition/recovery is in place.
Agreed more or less. It's a small incremental cumulative thing.

Separated is best though if possible.

----------------------

If we were to look at something like strength training vs. endurance vs. both on a 1-10 scale it would probably end up something like:

1. strength only: 9-10 gains in strength, ~1-3 endurance gain (decreasing towards elite levels)
2. endurance/conditioning only: 9-10 gains in endurance, ~1-3 strength gain (decreasing towards elite levels)
3. strength + endurance/conditioning: 5-8 for both (decreasing towards elite levels)

So while you gain overall a greater "percentage" in both strength and endurance points as it were, your gains are non-optimal towards both. Everything in the body is more or less regulated in logarithmic returns (diminishing gains).
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:17 PM   #10
Jakub Kruhlik
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Re: Does a WOD after a "pure" strength session dilute the strength work?

Steven- How would my gains be affected if I were to do WODs on M,W,F and Ross's program T,TH and maybe even Sat (followed by agility work). Reason I ask this is because this summer for my soccer program i wanted to include Ross's program to get faster.

Jon- I know it's probably foolish asking but any chance you could post Ross's modified workout as I only have his article and was going to use it for my summer program, thanks!
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