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Old 07-09-2009, 02:19 PM   #1
Dimitri Dziabenko
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Crossfit For Beginners?

This question has probably been discussed ad nauseam (in which case you could post the related threads).

It is undoubtedly true that beginners can do crossfit. We can scale the weights, we can use bands to do kipping pull ups, jumping dips, etc... The question really though, is whether this is the best way to go for long term elite fitness. I have a few friends, and they have expressed the desire to get fit. They have no lifting experience, but don't want the bodybuilder look (so I assume they simply want to be strong, well-rounded individuals). Is Crossfit right for them? Long-term, I think the answer is yes. But short-term, with no strength base?

When I look at many of the contenders at this years games, most of them fall into the "strongman/gymnast/weightlifter/strong guy turned Crossfitter" category. That is, most of them were really strong to begin with, and then maintained that strength while adding the metcon component. Khalipa won the games after about 6 months of Crossfitting, since he was probably pretty strong to begin with. Sure, his beginning Fran was 9 something, but that wasn't your typical beginner's fran, and in 6 months nobody had any doubts about whether he had cardiovascular endurance. Josh Everett has weightlifting, others have gymnastics, yet others were football players and so forth.

Should I recommend to my friends to do the SS cycle (this way get the body composition right as well, one of them needs to lose, the other to gain weight), then maybe the Texas method or some intermediate level program and accumulate a lot of strength (and some strict pull ups/dips) before venturing into the world of Crossfit? Or will just Crossfit get them there. There was an article stating that doing a strength cycle and going back to Crossfit doesn't work (the CFSB article I think), but there appears to be a lot of evidence to the contrary so long as you can maintain your muscle mass/strength.
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Old 07-09-2009, 02:25 PM   #2
Ted Apollo
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Re: Crossfit For Beginners?

yes. they would benefit from a cycle of starting strength. have they been lifting? if not then start with the beginner program. they will get best results from that.
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Old 07-09-2009, 02:32 PM   #3
Dimitri Dziabenko
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Re: Crossfit For Beginners?

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yes. they would benefit from a cycle of starting strength. have they been lifting? if not then start with the beginner program. they will get best results from that.
No, they have never lifted before. I have some lifting under my belt, but I have realized that I haven't fully exhausted the SS program, and am now trying to eat/sleep/rest as much as possible to milk as much out of the program as possible (no pun intended) before moving on to something else. There is so much evidence that going into Crossfit with a 450 deadlift produces great athletes, whereas the ones that try to build strength with Crossfit alone have enough problems to warrant variations like CFSB and to a lesser extent, CFFB (I know it's designed for football specifically).
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Old 07-09-2009, 02:45 PM   #4
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Crossfit For Beginners?

*shrug* Someone who's never lifted before will probably make big gains on any program. That's certainly been the case for me. Starting Strength will get them strong faster. Crossfit will bring up all the aspects of fitness roughly in parallel.

Katherine
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Old 07-09-2009, 02:58 PM   #5
Dimitri Dziabenko
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Re: Crossfit For Beginners?

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Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
*shrug* Someone who's never lifted before will probably make big gains on any program. That's certainly been the case for me. Starting Strength will get them strong faster. Crossfit will bring up all the aspects of fitness roughly in parallel.

Katherine
As a realistic question, how strong can you get on Crossfit alone (as opposed to maintaining strength you have developed elsewhere)?
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:09 PM   #6
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Crossfit For Beginners?

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As a realistic question, how strong can you get on Crossfit alone (as opposed to maintaining strength you have developed elsewhere)?
Probably not as strong as a strength specialist, as should be obvious: that's why it's called specialization. Intermediate level? (Per standards at http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLi...Standards.html WFS) Definitely: I'm already there in several categories and I'm barely six months in and not a particularly dedicated Crossfitter. Advanced or better? I'm not there yet, but I'm still gaining fast enough to think I could get there.

Katherine
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:23 PM   #7
Dimitri Dziabenko
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Re: Crossfit For Beginners?

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Probably not as strong as a strength specialist, as should be obvious: that's why it's called specialization. Intermediate level? (Per standards at http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLi...Standards.html WFS) Definitely: I'm already there in several categories and I'm barely six months in and not a particularly dedicated Crossfitter. Advanced or better? I'm not there yet, but I'm still gaining fast enough to think I could get there.

Katherine
I am sure that you can get to the Intermediate levels. I myself am between intermediate and advanced on the 1RM, except for Bench press due to its scarcity in CF (though I am approaching intermediate fairly quickly). I do wonder though if a strength-specialist switching over to Crossfit will eventually be the better performer than the person who sticks with CF throughout his exercise career.

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Old 07-09-2009, 03:57 PM   #8
Ted Apollo
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Re: Crossfit For Beginners?

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Originally Posted by Dimitri Dziabenko View Post
I am sure that you can get to the Intermediate levels. I myself am between intermediate and advanced on the 1RM, except for Bench press due to its scarcity in CF (though I am approaching intermediate fairly quickly). I do wonder though if a strength-specialist switching over to Crossfit will eventually be the better performer than the person who sticks with CF throughout his exercise career.

that is kind of the philosophy around here. its easier to metabolically condition a strong person then it is for a weaker, well-conditioned individual to adapt to crossfit.
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Old 07-10-2009, 01:49 PM   #9
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Crossfit For Beginners?

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that is kind of the philosophy around here. its easier to metabolically condition a strong person then it is for a weaker, well-conditioned individual to adapt to crossfit.
That may be true, but that wasn't the question. What about the likes of Kallista Pappas and other teenagers starting out as Crossfit "specialists?" I think we simply don't know enough yet to know what their ultimate limits will be, and how they might compare to people coming to Crossfit from other disciplines.

Katherine
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:03 PM   #10
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Re: Crossfit For Beginners?

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Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
That may be true, but that wasn't the question. What about the likes of Kallista Pappas and other teenagers starting out as Crossfit "specialists?" I think we simply don't know enough yet to know what their ultimate limits will be, and how they might compare to people coming to Crossfit from other disciplines.

Katherine

that is true. more needs to be researched. the cfsb guys believe you can still make linear strength gains while still making metcon gains. i was reading in the journal that a possible reason for lack of 'strength' gains from just doing main page CF is the lack of effort on strength days.
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