CrossFit Discussion Board  

Go Back   CrossFit Discussion Board > CrossFit Forum > Fitness
CrossFit Home Forum Site Rules CrossFit FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

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

Thread Tools
Old 06-02-2008, 11:02 PM   #1
Gant Grimes
Departed Gant Grimes is offline
Join Date: Jan 1970
Posts: 1,549
Hybrid programs

Several months ago, I had some conversations with Garrett Smith and a few others regarding the potential benefits of increased strength and gymnastics programming and shorter metcons sessions. I embarked on a 12-week project where I was going to do a mixture of gymnastics, Olympic lifting, and slow lifting with limited metabolic conditioning. All metcons were to be kept under 10 minutes, and most of them had a strength-biased. We suspected that 1) strength is the most important aspect of metcon, and 2) excessive metcon is unnecessary and possibly counterproductive.

Going into the project, I was a 33 year old trainee with a little over a year of CF. I was reasonably strong (total in the low 900s) and decently fit (upper quartile in most exercises in logsitall), but nothing special. I had enough “time in grade” to test the program without having to worry about skewed results due to the novice effect. In other words, I was a pretty good lab rat.

It didn’t take 12 weeks to see results. Within the first month I hit 7 PRs spread across several domains, strength, metcon, and mixed metcon (death by pullup). After 8 weeks, I had a cheat day because Murph came up. Despite only having run about 2.5 miles to date in 2008, and not having done anything over 10 minutes in two months, I ran my first sub-40 Murph. I “cheated” again two weeks later, setting a 2 round PR in Cindy although I had done very few pushups or air squats in the past weeks.

Over the course of the project, I ate mostly Paleo (I say mostly because I took substantial liberties with dairy, ice cream in particular). In Zone terms, I was probably consuming ~ 26 P, 12 C, 40-50 F. I didn’t measure.

I unofficially ended the project last week with PRs in the CFT and deadlift. Over a 10.5 week training period (45 training sessions to be precise), I hit 21 PRs in strength, metcon, and mixed workouts. Several of those broke long-standing PRs. A couple of them broke PRs set during this project.

I am making no conclusions beyond what worked for me. And what worked for me was a blend of strength, power, and gymnastics training with short, intense, and usually heavy metcons. I didn’t have to put up with sore joints like I did doing pure strength work, and I didn’t have to deal with a fried CNS like I did doing pure CF. It’s a nice blend that kept me interested and focused every training session. I also recovered well (Saturday was an optional training day; I often skipped it, giving me a 4 day training week). Incidentally, I dropped body fat and increased my LBM over the last several months.

I am attaching my results below for those that are interested in this sort of thing. I will also post three templates for hybrid training programs. For more detailed information, look at my training log (linked below) started on March 17.

I will continue to train like this because it has been extremely effective for me. It might work for some of you, too.


PRs @ ~186 lbs BW:
107.5 kg (236#) power clean
110 kg (242#) split jerk
Fran (4:17)
Grace (3:40)
Death-by-pullup (19 rounds + 7 pullups)
Helen (8:52)
100 kg (220#) hang power clean
Elizabeth (8:25)
305# bench press
120# weighted pullup
77.5 kg (170#) OHS
105 kg (231#) thruster
Murph (38:52)
Fran (4:03)
122.5 kg (269#) front squat
30 MU's (6:16)
Cindy (26 rds + 5 pulls)
82.5 kg (181#) snatch
125 kg (275#) front squat
1019# CrossFit Total
451# deadlift


I will attach three hybrid programming templates (along with commentary) tomorrow (I owe several of you an email; give me another day).
Attached Files
File Type: email Gant_WOD_project(1).xls (24.0 KB, 18679 views)

Last edited by Gant Grimes; 06-02-2008 at 11:05 PM..
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2008, 11:45 PM   #2
Charlie A Nilsson
Member Charlie A Nilsson is offline
Charlie A Nilsson's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Saffron Walden  Essex
Posts: 194
Re: Hybrid programs

Hmm... looks very interesting

Looking forward to the templates, might come in handy for my own programming for the summer.

Nice list of PRs
28/5.6/~150# DL: 419# BS: 330# Press: 155# "Mary" 16+2 "Angie" 15:29 "Murph" 34:15 "Fran" 3:42
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2008, 11:52 PM   #3
Steven Low
Member Steven Low is offline
Steven Low's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: silver spring  maryland
Posts: 12,221
Re: Hybrid programs

Great post Gant.

I've always been one of the proponents of higher strength = better applicability to fitness so I think it's great that your results are showing as such. Interesting that it's on a more strength biased program as well.

Hmm, well CF has indeed become a bit more strength biased anyway so we'll see.
Posts are NOT medical, training, nutrition info
Bodyweight Article, Overcoming Gravity Book
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2008, 12:05 AM   #4
Derek Maffett
Member Derek Maffett is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Castle Rock  WA
Posts: 3,544
Re: Hybrid programs

Very interested in this.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2008, 05:07 AM   #5
Ash Sinclair
Member Ash Sinclair is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Adelaide  South Australia
Posts: 33
Re: Hybrid programs

Hey Gant,

great post, thanks for sharing mate. I'm very interested to read more about it. I would love to have a crack at this myself
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2008, 05:22 AM   #6
Susie Rosenberg
Member Susie Rosenberg is offline
Susie Rosenberg's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Albany  NY
Posts: 1,530
Re: Hybrid programs

Gant, I just love reading about your "experiments"---first, your Tabata data, and now this.

You write that this experiment "ended." Do you have another direction in mind?

If nothing else, it shows that gains are made when we vary the demands we put on our bodies. Certainly, that's built into the daily structure of the Crossfit program. I haven't followed the sequence of WODs closely enough over the time I've been around, so I haven't perceived larger cycles imposed upon (emerging from) the WOD sequence.

One thing I do know is that really elite athletes have seasons in which they train to a peak, so there is seasonal periodicity built into their programming.

There are two ways to "go at" Crossfit: as a fitness program in progress is a side benefit, and as a sport in which performance uber alles.

For those folks whose sport is Crossfit, more attention to seasonal periodicity---larger patterns of training variability----might be useful. I'd be interested if you took on an endurance running or cycling program next!

Those who hear not the music, think the dancers mad.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2008, 07:39 AM   #7
Benjamin Walsh
Member Benjamin Walsh is offline
Benjamin Walsh's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Brooklyn  NY
Posts: 83
Re: Hybrid programs

Very interesting. Thank you.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2008, 08:11 AM   #8
Alexander Kornishev
Member Alexander Kornishev is offline
Alexander Kornishev's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Newmarket  Ontario
Posts: 1,617
Re: Hybrid programs

I was closely following your log Gant and was amazed at your results (congrats on joining 1000 club!). I was doing something very similar on my side. I started a bit earlier than you and used slightly different combination of heavy lift, gymnastics, Olympic lifts, KB, short metcons and different schedule (I think your schedule is more efficient though). But I can confirm everything you experienced, increased lifts, faster metcons times during long/short WOD (Murph is under 30 min, Fran is under 3 min...). I tried to switch back to Home Page WOD only and progress stopped almost immediately. And finally the most important it is much more fun to workout like that.
43/5'9"/180 SP: 195, BS: 425, DL: 500, Clean: 285, Jerk: 265, Snatch: 200, Fran: 2:19
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2008, 09:00 AM   #9
Tirzah Harper
Member Tirzah Harper is offline
Tirzah Harper's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Ashland  Ohio
Posts: 974
Re: Hybrid programs

Glad you posted this. I'm taking a month off of longer-than-five-minute metcon per consult with Dr. G (and doing some other things for my adrenal system), and it's good to hear that your metcon capacity increased, not diminished, with a similar pattern that I'll be working on this month.
food log: wfs
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2008, 10:21 AM   #10
Ben Moskowitz
Member Ben Moskowitz is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: St. Louis  MO
Posts: 756
Re: Hybrid programs

If we subtract endurance and aerobic conditioning from the fitness equation (which it seems like you did) we get...? Just curious, how long were your workouts?

I'm also curious as to how this compares to more focus on speed-strength a la CA WOD.

Last edited by Ben Moskowitz; 06-03-2008 at 10:24 AM..
  Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Warm up programs Matt Rodgers Starting 18 08-06-2007 08:56 PM
Various sqt programs Mike Burgener Exercises 6 12-14-2006 08:37 AM
Stretching programs Brooks Dennis Ross Starting 9 03-07-2006 08:33 AM
Jumping programs Kevin Roddy Fitness 9 02-11-2004 04:24 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:26 AM.

CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.