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Old 06-15-2014, 06:49 PM   #1
Shane Atkinson
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I Need Help

I feel as if for some reason I am confused. I have been around CrossFit since 2009. I have done Main Page, CFE, CFFB, 5/3/1 and others. Currently I am trying to see where I want to go in my life. I am no bigger then I was in 2009. I am actually much smaller and not much stronger then 2011 when I was CFFB exclusively.

I want to be strong, gain some more size, and run 7 min miles for 3-5 miles. I've been told this is almost impossible. I am an active duty Army 1SG so I get PT in the am then hit the weights at night in my garage.

I am leaning towards SS because I can get my conditioning in the am with PT. However this does not prep me for our quarterly "Brigade Games" which consist of air squats, burpee pull-ups, 100s of lunges, etc.

Why am I so confused....because I want size, strength, and power but the Army wants endurance and speed.

What would you recommend?

Currently untested considerations are an OPT style program.

Stats:

31 yrs old
6' 195lbs
Dead: 405, Squat: 350, Bench: 250, Clean: 215, and Press: 155
Olympic Lifts untested
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:01 PM   #2
Chris Jones
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Re: I Need Help

coming from a guy your size and weight, and only 2-3 years younger, your #s sound pretty good to me man. What is your reason for wanting to get bigger/stronger(other than just WANTING to, which is perfectly fine)? Sounds like youre plenty fit enough now to do what you need to for your military training/competitions, so out of curiousity would just being more explosive or having a faster run time satisfy you maybe? Just throwing out ideas...
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:33 PM   #3
Kenneth Cheung
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Re: I Need Help

(just did my L1, chuffed, so this is good practice for me)

looking at the keywords -

size, strength, and power, endurance and speed

only size is not a part of the 10 general physical skills. so what this means is that Crossfit basically covers strength, power, endurance (cardiovascular/respiratory endurance -or- stamina) and speed.

By size, i assume you mean get more muscle, which is basically a result/consequence of both your training and your Diet.

Power and speed are a result of "training" and "practice". the rest are all a result of 'training'

so what all this means is that
1. you would look at your training - are you training effectively?
2. you would look at your diet - “Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.” (glassman)


so, if we consider based on your job and the requirements you listed, we lower the priority for 'size' and we just focus on the other attributes first - then based on the above, you would probably have a look at your programming first, and see if you're getting enough intensity, and balance in your programming (ie. no specialisation/ bias) - i would think of size as the consequence of your body adopting to the stresses it faces...by this logic, you might find that you develop a body shape you 'need' rather than one you 'want'

i was in the TA in the UK for a number of years, and i had some pals in the Paras, they were all skinny twits, but strong as Oxes - my belief is that with all the rucking they had to do, their body shape simply adjusted to these external stimulus.... (bring this back to your preference for size) had they been body builder sized, that would have meant they'd be rucking more weight than they needed to... that additional muscle would not have meant they could haul or move in running, climbing etc etc THAT much better (diminishing returns)

the point i'm suggesting is (aside from not eating enough, which might be a possibility) maybe the body size you have is a result of the adoption to your line of work.
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:43 AM   #4
Shane Atkinson
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Re: I Need Help

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Originally Posted by Chris Jones View Post
coming from a guy your size and weight, and only 2-3 years younger, your #s sound pretty good to me man. What is your reason for wanting to get bigger/stronger(other than just WANTING to, which is perfectly fine)? Sounds like youre plenty fit enough now to do what you need to for your military training/competitions, so out of curiousity would just being more explosive or having a faster run time satisfy you maybe? Just throwing out ideas...
I believe I am ok. I just like lifting heavy things. Now my muscular endurance does need some work. I struggle to hit multiple reps of BW movements with good pace. Now I can push through the pain and finish.

And yes, I would really like a faster run time. I may need to sit down and list a true set of Long term and short term goals to figure out where I need to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth Cheung View Post
the point i'm suggesting is (aside from not eating enough, which might be a possibility) maybe the body size you have is a result of the adoption to your line of work.
Thanks for all the input. I do believe there is a level of size that comes with the job. Seems as I gain size I move to a position that requires more mobility (deploying unit vs stable unit) therefore I lose weight to accommodate. Its a vicious cycle.
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:43 AM   #5
Shane Atkinson
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Re: I Need Help

One thing I know I have slacked on before is consistency. This was for both work input and diet. I have started to move away from a 90% paleo to more of a 75/80% paleo diet. I have added steel cut oats to my morning meal.

I also started to truly count calories. Hate doing this but it forces me to be consistent and keeps me from cheating to much.
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:53 AM   #6
Brendan McNamar
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Re: I Need Help

I would suggest with the length you have been doing CrossFit, your numbers and your size you simply have gotten all the easy gains. Going forward from here will take more dedication, discipline and a very goal focused program.

Being active Army may hinder your ability to accomplish these goals. The Army has a different set of goals for you then you have.

The best you can do is rank your goals from most to least important. Train for the most important and scarifies the less important. Are you willing to do just good enough at the Army stuff to stay out of trouble?

Don't believe you can't get bigger, stronger and run a 21 min. 5k. A 21 min 5k is not that fast. Now a 16.5 min 5k plus big and strong might not be doable.

Most likely the lifting will need to be a slow gain intermediate program like 5/3/1 with accessory work, Texas method, CrossFit conjugate or Westside for Athletes.

Whatever you decide you will have to stick to it. Programming for intermediate and advanced athletes becomes a long term project. Cycles anywhere from 3 to 12 months at a time.

There are more and more of us in the same boat. Basic CrossFit seems to have about a 4 year life span at which point people peak on regular programming if they have been working out 4 days a week or more, done a strength program and have their diet inline. We can continue regular CrossFit and stay in great shape but don't expect many PR's. This is not a criticism of CF it actually is proof CF has done its job.
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:50 AM   #7
Shane Atkinson
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Re: I Need Help

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Originally Posted by Brendan McNamar View Post
There are more and more of us in the same boat. Basic CrossFit seems to have about a 4 year life span at which point people peak on regular programming if they have been working out 4 days a week or more, done a strength program and have their diet inline. We can continue regular CrossFit and stay in great shape but don't expect many PR's. This is not a criticism of CF it actually is proof CF has done its job.
Thank you for taking the time to spell all of this out. I like your advice of ranking my goals. I have been working on what my goals are since posting this thread but have not racked and stacked them just yet.

I trully enjoy 5/3/1 however I also like good conditioning afterwards. Back when I did 5/3/1 I did my own "CrossFit" following Wendler's advice on his accesory lifts from the book. I often found myself training only those exercises I was comfortable with and was not pushing myself since I made the program. The math of 5/3/1 was easy once I plugged it all into Excel.

May I ask what method you follow now?
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Old 06-16-2014, 12:21 PM   #8
Adam Shreim
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Re: I Need Help

Barbell Shrugged has a 26+ week program that is designed to increase your lifts while maintaining conditioning. Chances are pretty good that some of the MetCons they program will be harder than what you are used to doing, unless you do A LOT of Mainsite WODs.

They provide daily video coaching that kind of explains diets and go over a lot of useful information about each lift/movement, all the time.

It is weightlifting focus, though. Meaning the strength gains are also designed to increase your Snatch and Clean & Jerk.

The premise of the program was to gain 26 pounds in 26 weeks, then change into a conditioning-heavy phase for a few weeks while altering the diet to support fat loss.

Here is a sample (today's workout), Week 3, Day 1:
Weightlifting
Snatch 2 @ 50%, 2 @ 60%, 2 @ 70%, 2 @ 80%, 1 @ 85%, 1 @ 90%
Clean 2 @ 60%, 2 @ 70%, 2 @ 75%, 2 x 1 @ 80%
Barbell Walking Lunge 5 x 5 @ 5 lbs heavier than last week; rest 3-5 min
Conditioning
4 Rounds:
15 Box Jumps (24")
5 Toes to Bar
16 Pistols

Because I am in the Navy, I add some extra (timed) runs and if the MetCon has something programmed that I can't do in my garage (which for me is Rope Climbs, Rowing, GHD-anything & Ring Muscle-ups), then I sub those parts with calisthenics.

Another part of the puzzle is diet. You could look into something like Eat to Perform (I decided to give it a shot, yesterday). It is tough to follow a structed diet when deployed, but when you're at home, I would try to make it count - at least 6 days out of the week - until you reach the "size" you are looking for.

I can give you an update in how it goes for me every 2 months, if you actually want one.

Also, I will offer a simple warning... be careful wanting to express lane "size." I decided I want to weigh at least 195#, at 5' 6". I ended up grossly over-shooting into 215 and am still trying to figure out how I need to eat. My Lean Body Mass has gone from about 128# to 166# since I started and the large majority of that bulk was put on in about 8 months. I tried to zone out and diet like I was my former-self and just ended up under feeding myself, while constantly striving to get stronger.

Don't let chasing a weight, also let you get fat. Our limit is 22% and I am too lazy to Google the Army's, but you can go from 15% to 22% pretty quickly if you are not careful.

You should probably try and make some very clear-cut goals about strength and endurance numbers and speed times. Then try to program your workouts to achieve them. Stuff like 5/3/1 won't be "enough," most likely, unless you are doing the full program (e.g. "Boring But Big"). If you don't want your endurance to suffer, you will want to program your MetCons specifically around the areas you want to maintain or improve.

Doing 5/3/1 and then looking up a MetCon from a website may not be your best bet, anymore. YOUR specific goals will be different from CrossFit.com vs OPT vs Outlaw vs Invictus vs Local Box A, B, C. So you have to find one that aligns with your goals and exclusively follow them, or program for yourself. Not to say that you can't steal/borrow/perform WODs others have made up because they have some movements in a time/rep domain you like, but YOU have to determine WHEN you are going to do them.

It will also be slow moving to get better in both arenas, but it has to be doable. If you aren't trying to get better at weightlifting (snatch, c&j), then it wouldn't make a ton of sense to hit 5/3/1 Bench and Squat and then go do "Grace" because it popped up on wherever you get your program.

If you are doing your programming for yourself, you have to avoid only doing what you like. Inversely, you don't want to program stuff that is so hard you're always feeling super beat-up. I would just find your definition of "mid-range" and shoot for that on a regular basis. Most MetCons would consist of 5-15 minutes with 5-20 reps of particular movements.

Apologies for the long post. I am in a similar boat to you and after I finish this program and head to my next duty station in January, I need to have a lot of this figured out for myself, too. Good luck.
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:39 PM   #9
Shane Atkinson
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Re: I Need Help

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Originally Posted by Adam Shreim View Post
Apologies for the long post. I am in a similar boat to you and after I finish this program and head to my next duty station in January, I need to have a lot of this figured out for myself, too. Good luck.
I've looked into the Barbell Shrugged program but a) didn't like the price and when I finally realized the price wasn't all that bad I b) decide after they started.

Do you have a log. I'd be interested in seeing the progress.

Our BF standards are about the same. I have fallen into the trap of gaining to quickly. Thats where I am now. I have to zone in a slice down a little. Granted I know some BF gain is needed to increase size but we have to walk a thin line here....especially since I am getting older and running at 6300+ feet each day. A pound to me adds seconds on my run.

Taking your advice and the advice of others in this thread and combining that with my love for 5/3/1....I think my current plan of action will be to rack and stack my goals and weakness then create some WODs that focus on these items in accordance with Wendler's template and rotate these through my 5/3/1 work for a while.
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:48 PM   #10
Chris Jones
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Re: I Need Help

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Originally Posted by Adam Shreim View Post
I can give you an update in how it goes for me every 2 months, if you actually want one.
If you dont mind, id be very interested in updates to see how your diet/body composition goes with Eat To Perform. Ive heard a lot of back and forth on the subject, but the people they "feature" always have good results so im curious to see what average, real world results look like.
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