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Old 10-28-2013, 12:41 PM   #1
Jason Bosch
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Should I take a break from Crossfit?

Hi everyone. I'm looking for some advice on where to go from here. I've been crossfitting for about 6 months now and I love it. It's the first exercise program that I've ever really stuck with for any length of time. I actually look forward to my daily challenges.

I started off at a local box for a couple of months. I enjoyed it, but I couldn't continue longer for financial reasons. I have a fairly well equipped garage gym. So, I decided to do what I could at home. I followed Brand X "Pack" scaled programming for a couple of months. For the last couple of months I've been doing my own programming to train for the upcoming South Carolina Spartan Beast obstacle race. I needed to mix some extra running in. My programming has been fairly generic. A strength WOD like 3 x 5 back squats or 5 x 5 hang power cleans before a relatively short but intense metcon three times a week. I also run 3 - 6 miles a couple times a week and once a week I get in some 50 - 100 yard sprints.

Anyways, once my race is done I won't be needing to run as much. I'd like to spend a few months working on one of my most glaring weaknesses: strength, or lack there of. I've been reading Starting Strength and it seems like a great program. However, I really don't like not being able to do any conditioning or anything in addition to it. I've also been looking into GSLP. It looks a little better in that it seems like you can do some mild conditioning work while doing it. I'm also looking at CFFB. Should I take a break from crossfit and focus purely on a strength program? Let me share my stats as of right now.

35 year old male
5' 6"
148 lbs
9 % body fat

Back squat - 205
Deadlift - 275
Military press - 125
Bench press - 180
1 mile run - 7:24
5K run - 25:47
Cindy - 17 Rounds

As you can see, I'm not really good at anything. I would say I'm average or even below average on any measure of fitness. What would be a good place to be at for my size, strength wise? What do you think would get me to a reasonable level of strength, while still allowing me to perform decently at obstacle races? Would there be a program that would help me to maybe compete in a crossfit open or something in a year or two? I train much better if I have a goal to strive for. I think I need to try and gain 10-15 pounds of lean muscle mass. Any advice from you good folks would be very much appreciated.
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:33 PM   #2
Jason Denny
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Re: Should I take a break from Crossfit?

I focused on the 5/3/1 but SS is great too. I would do short WODs here and there and especially on my deload weeks. You will lose some endurance but that is easy to get back once you are at the strength you want. You will need to change your diet a bit when focusing on building muscle. Eat more, lots more. Drink lots of milk. You will gain some fat along with the muscle but you can lean out once you get to your goal.
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:40 AM   #3
Steven Wingo
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Re: Should I take a break from Crossfit?

Instead of totally giving up metcons, why don't you just minimize them to 1-2 a week and make them shorter in duration and focus on heavier lifting within the metcons? That will allow you to maintain some base cardio but still focus on strength.

Here is an example. If you want to do Fran, raise the barbell weight from 95 to a weight which is more challenging for you for a thruster (105 or 115 maybe?), put on a 20 pound vest for the pull-ups, and cut the work down. Instead of 21-15-9 you could go 12-9-6 or a similar pattern. You can play with most any workout and adapt it so that it has more of a strength focus but still gets you some cardio conditioning. You don't have to totally give up metcons to bias toward strength. Just bias everything to strength and don't do as many metcons for a while.

9% body fat is really low for a 35 year old. I tend to think you can afford to go on a heavy lifting and more important heavy eating schedule for a while to train to gain muscle. You will most likely lean out again fairly quickly once you've gained the muscle you want.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:11 AM   #4
Jason Bosch
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Re: Should I take a break from Crossfit?

Thank you very much for the advice Jason and Steven. That is pretty much what I'm looking at doing now. I think that I'm going to try GSLP or CFFB instead of Starting Strength. I was wondering if I should take a break from Crossfit metcons because from what I've read if you do SS, you can't do anything else with it. Can anyone else help me narrow between CFFB and GSLP? Would I get better results from one? Is there another program I should be looking at? 5-3-1 maybe? Thanks!
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:22 AM   #5
Jeff Enge
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Re: Should I take a break from Crossfit?

CFFB and GSLP are both linear progressions, so it would be fairly similar for the big lifts. GSLP leans more toward the strength bias, CFFB has a more defined conditioning program.

I think if you are at the point where you know what you need to work on in terms of assistance, conditioning, etc, GSLP would be a good choice. It is much more customizable than CFFB. Also, you could conceivably use your high-intensity conditioning days and do a CFFB MetCon if you wanted.

If you just want to follow a program and not have to think about it at all (which is not a bad thing by any means!), CFFB would be a good choice.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:36 AM   #6
Scott Kraatz
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Re: Should I take a break from Crossfit?

I'm doing GSLP (I like the max reps on the last set; it gives you a lot more bang when you're stating out with lighter weight) with 2-3 short heavy metcons a week, as the others have suggested. Google short heavy metcons for some good ideas.

It probably doesn't matter which strength program you do, just pick one and stick with it for a while (at least 12 weeks) and you'll get results.
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Old 10-29-2013, 06:15 PM   #7
Jason Bosch
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Re: Should I take a break from Crossfit?

I'm liking the sound of GSLP a lot. I'm going to give it three months. Hopefully I'll gain some size and strength. Thanks a bunch guys!
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:47 PM   #8
Corey J Smith
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Re: Should I take a break from Crossfit?

I definitely agree with those who say you should up your eating/caloric intake..just make sure it's not with junk! One option that may be similar some of what has been posted is the lascek S&CP ver. 2.0. I have done a few other programs including just main site wods. I've made some incredible gains on this program and I am only on my 7th week. It's also includes 2-3 days of heavy wods,which you pick yourself. Always try to keep the weights heavy even if it means adjusting the reps...weight is most important. I use the Wednesday "rest day" to do a good length body weight circuit and mobility. For ideas on the heavy metcons, look at the hybrid programming wod list at the top of the "workout of the day" forum. Sorry if this is long winded..hope it helps and good luck!!
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