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Rick Deckart
08-31-2007, 08:46 AM
Out of interest: What's considered good programing if the Crossfit Total is a main goal? What would be considered an optimal approach for somebody who would want to spend say 6 to 8 weeks training for it (3 to 4 sessions per week) assuming that the base performance in the three exercises are relatively balanced?

Thanks in advance!

Patrick Donnelly
08-31-2007, 10:20 AM
Wouldn't training for the CrossFit Total sort of defeat the purpose of it? It comes up at random, to get a general idea of your strength at any given time. If you train for it, then your strength won't be very general at all, nor will it give a good idea of how you may do on any random day.

josh everett
08-31-2007, 10:53 AM
8 week program: very simple...
Mon: squat & Press (as heavy as you can go)
Tuesday: DL (as heavy as you can go)
Wed off
Thursday: Squat & press (use the same wt as mon)
Friday: deadlift but always light
Saturday: alternate weeks between working up to a heavy single on squat & press..next week heavy single on DL. (take week 4 off)

Each mon & tuesday move up the wt if you completed the reps the week before

Saturdays: a heavy single may mean a pr...sometimes 85% may be all you have that day...listen to your body.

newbies would do "press" reps for all exercises

weeks 1-3: press 5x10, SQT/DL 5x5
week 4: press 5x5, SQT/DL 5x3 *** with same wt as week 3***
week 5: Press 5x5, SQT/DL 5x3 Back to as heavy as you can
week 6: press 5x3, SQT DL 5x2
week 7: press 5x1, SQT/DL 5x1
week 8: mon & wed light press/SQT/DL..sat total

example of 5x5...set 1 40k, set 2 50k, set 3 60k, set 4 70K, set 5 80K
IE: 4 warm-up sets 1 working set


add assistant movements as needed/tolerated

Mike ODonnell
08-31-2007, 11:06 AM
I'd google some Westside programs....cause that is basically what you are doing, heavy lifting. I know they do alternate between ME and Dynamic progressions. Also search for DJ's 21 program, that's a good progression as well. In all cases....you are lifting heavy.

Steve Shafley
08-31-2007, 11:18 AM
Crossfit total is basically raw powerlifting. Press instead of bench. Incidentally, the good Olympic pressers pressed 3-4x weekly, and had to clean their presses.

Patrick:

The Crossfit total is the brainchild of Mark Rippetoe, and he's had at least one XFT meet at his place. So, it's a competitive thing. It's not just something that gets tossed out there as a WOD every now and then.

One thing that is absolutely not built by accident is maximal strength. You can get by up to a certain point with random stuff, but that certain point is not going to be very high, especially if you are coming from an endurance background into Crossfit.

Getting and maintaining a high strength base is more difficult than maintaining a high level of conditioning. Arguably.

Steven Low
08-31-2007, 12:36 PM
I wouldn't really say it's arguable.

Building up a high level of strength does take much longer than a high level of conditioning as well as maintaining it. At least that's from my experience, and I'm sure many would agree.

Eric Jones
08-31-2007, 02:07 PM
yes, agreed.

I have really cut back my WOD emphasis and my training now centers around the CFT lifts. My conditioning is holding steady, but I am getting much stronger and am slowly putting on muscle.

I was just about to post a question very similar to this. Keep us informed on what you plan on doing and how it goes!

Patrick Donnelly
08-31-2007, 08:57 PM
... and the next day... the CFT is the WOD...

Que the Twilight Zone music.

Rick Deckart
09-01-2007, 12:06 AM
Thanks Josh, that plan looks simple and convincing.

Mike, I think Westside uses excercises similar but not identical to the contest lifts on ME days.

Steve, yes I thought so too but was wondering if bench and press are really identical in programming. From the interview with Ripptoe (http://www.elitefts.com/documents/crossfit_total.htm) :

MK: How would assistance training for the press differ from assistance training for the bench?


MR: Itís really just a matter of direction. Partials, rack work, and other assistance exercises for the bench can be adapted for the press by rotating them up overhead. That and lots of heavy abdominal work. And quite honestly, this all has to be generated pretty much from scratch because the lift hasnít been contested in 35 years, or actually, never from the rack. Of course, people still press, but as a competitive liftówith all the emphasis and attention that this entailsóthe press is quite new to most people training today. When itís all said and done, I probably wonít be the one who has the most valid opinion on how to train the press to a high level. Current Strongman competitors and old Olympic lifters like my buddy, Tommy Suggs, are far more qualified to voice an opinion about this than I am.

I am not sure if I agree what is more difficult to reach, high levels of endurance or strength, I think it depends on what you define as comparable high levels. For example a 70min half marathon is a relatively high level feat and to get there from scratch will take at least several years and many will never reach that level no matter how much work they invest or how smart there programming is.

Eric once I have finished my current cycle I may indulge myself with training for the Crossfit Total for six to eight weeks before I move on to something different. I never trained the deadlift and press and could use a little bit more horsepower there and with the squat. Besides it would be a nice break from olympic lifting.

James R. Climer
09-01-2007, 09:29 PM
I'd like to ask advice along these line
regarding the deadlift:

Should you do a lot of direct deadlifting
Or something along the lines of Bill
Starr's Heavy Good Morning/ Heavy shrugs
and Power Clean/ High Pulls method? This is
supposed to improve strength in the deadlift
pulling muscles without the whole body crash that
too much direct deadlifting can induce
(in my case anyway).

Nice simple looking prescription, BTW, Josh.

Allen Yeh
09-02-2007, 08:29 AM
I find it interesting that the same type of programming is recommended for the bench and for the overhead press. While I haven't had any huge shoulder problems or surgries for my shoulders I did find that a lot of overhead press training (2-3x per week) really put a hurting on my shoulders while I've done the same for bench and not had the same problems. Though on the same token I was also benching heavy and overhead pressing so perhaps that was the problem at the time. I've never just done overhead pressing and not some type of horizontal pressing motion also.

James R. Climer
09-02-2007, 09:59 PM
I would also have to guess that progressing toward the
freestanding handstand pushup (as complimentary to the
press) would take the pressure off the low back, teach
whole body tension and work the stabilizers. Comments?

Robb Wolf
09-03-2007, 02:51 PM
I would also have to guess that progressing toward the
freestanding handstand pushup (as complimentary to the
press) would take the pressure off the low back, teach
whole body tension and work the stabilizers. Comments?

James-
When I was doing capoeira 5X/week and training a mountain of handstand variations I had a 180lb standing press at 165. I'm not where near that level now. I find the HS work to be very productive for the press.

Allen Yeh
09-05-2007, 06:09 AM
Note sure about the date of this interview with Rip

http://www.elitefts.com/documents/crossfit_total.htm

Robb Wolf
09-07-2007, 06:37 AM
Has anyone messed with the combined CF/PL template Jason Bagwell put forward a couple years ago? Tweaking this to the press seems like a nice way to go.

Josh, do you remember this template?

James R. Climer
09-07-2007, 08:37 AM
James-
When I was doing capoeira 5X/week and training a mountain of handstand variations I had a 180lb standing press at 165. I'm not where near that level now. I find the HS work to be very productive for the press.

Bearing this in mind, I believe I remember seeing a picture of you in a free
handstand on parallel bars. I can get 10 good HSPU, or 3 sets of 5 doing the CF warmup with just a lite dab of my foot on the wall, but when I try to get a single with parallettes, my 205 lbs might as well be 2050, so I can see that I have a ways go in progression. It will be interesting to see how working the HSPU moves my 168-lb press into a more respectable % of bodyweight.

What variations are there? All I can think of is to press out of headstand,
or a 'frogstand', and negatives on the parallettes.

Jesse Woody
09-07-2007, 08:57 AM
Bent-arm/Leg press, bent arm straight-leg press, straight arm/straight-leg press, planche press, one-arm handstand, handwalking, cartwheel to handstand, hopping handstands....

That's just off the top of my head, and I've never taken capoeira, but they have a whole set of movements based off of defense and offense in the handstand!

James R. Climer
09-07-2007, 09:18 AM
Thx for the quick reply, Jesse.

Don't quite follow the leg presses, got a link?

James R. Climer
09-07-2007, 09:28 AM
Oh yeah, Beastskills tutorials, enough there
to last me until retire/expirement.

http://www.beastskills.com/tutorials.htm

Robb Wolf
09-07-2007, 09:30 AM
James-
Negatives on the paralettes were very productive for me. GTG style if possible, if not something like 10x1-2 two to three times in a week. Every 3rd WO cut the volume in half...Louie Simmons had a nice article on I think bench assistance exercises and talks about his guys working up to HSPU's on rings...like sets of 15. That is freaking strong.

The various bent arm/leg options are more for free standing press to handstands.

Pierre Auge
09-07-2007, 09:38 AM
Has anyone messed with the combined CF/PL template Jason Bagwell put forward a couple years ago? Tweaking this to the press seems like a nice way to go.

Josh, do you remember this template?

Robb,
yes I've played around with it quite a bit and it works very very well. One note I will make and this is right out of the mouth of Rip and into my programing which I've shown to be very productive is to keep your deadlifts down to 1 set of 5 per week. Or 5 singles once per week. That is the only modification I would make to what Josh posted at the beginning or to the Bagwell program.

While Bagwell due to time constraints places the lift immediately before or after the WOD, it is far more productive to have a fixed linear program performed say late afternoon to mid evening while performing the wod in the morning. So basically you end up doing a WOD then an ME workout later in the day. I recommend no more than 3 movements at a time and keeping the volume very low. Say 15 total reps or less - that's where I've seen the best results in programing. It also makes that the ME blocks usually takes less than 30 minutes. <20minute WOD + <30minute ME the volume stays low but the weight stays very high relatively progressing linearly week per week. Huge gains...

If people are looking to gain mass the high velocity, moderate volume WODs are best for promoting that. Eat a shit-load immediately after your WOD and you'll grow like a weed. That combined with the hormonal response generated by the heavy lifting in the evening can and does produce some wicked results if thats what you're looking for.

Dave Van Skike
09-07-2007, 10:17 AM
Peter, I know you like spreadsheets, here's one I tweaked form Madcow's Bill Starr 5x5 for novice/intermediate lifters.

Linkylink. (http://www.geocities.com/elitemadcow1/5x5_Program/Linear_5x5.htm)

Dave Van Skike
09-07-2007, 10:24 AM
Robb,
yes I've played around with it quite a bit and it works very very well. One note I will make and this is right out of the mouth of Rip and into my programing which I've shown to be very productive is to keep your deadlifts down to 1 set of 5 per week. Or 5 singles once per week. That is the only modification I would make to what Josh posted at the beginning or to the Bagwell program.

While Bagwell due to time constraints places the lift immediately before or after the WOD, it is far more productive to have a fixed linear program performed say late afternoon to mid evening while performing the wod in the morning. So basically you end up doing a WOD then an ME workout later in the day. I recommend no more than 3 movements at a time and keeping the volume very low. Say 15 total reps or less - that's where I've seen the best results in programing. It also makes that the ME blocks usually takes less than 30 minutes. <20minute WOD + <30minute ME the volume stays low but the weight stays very high relatively progressing linearly week per week. Huge gains...

If people are looking to gain mass the high velocity, moderate volume WODs are best for promoting that. Eat a shit-load immediately after your WOD and you'll grow like a weed. That combined with the hormonal response generated by the heavy lifting in the evening can and does produce some wicked results if thats what you're looking for.

Why ME later? Seems the opposite, morning ME, metcon later is more intuitive....lift heavy while fresh...

Rick Deckart
09-07-2007, 10:47 AM
Thanks everybody, lots of good advice! I just have to set my priorities straight...

Dave,

thanks for the example, although I only have the standard Acrobat reader and can't change that values... I will have a look into it, btw will you try that schedule? I remember you once mentioned that being good in the CFT was one of you goals.

Pierre,

I would agree with Dave, if the strength work is the focus of the whole project, do it first. Is your recommendation based on experience, i.e. did you or trainees try out both variants, and would you say that this sequence maximises the impact of the strength exercises or was the focus more on overall improvement, in which case I would probably go with your sequence as 'skill work' should always be done fresh.

Dave Van Skike
09-07-2007, 11:10 AM
Peter, send me a PM with your email, I'll send you an excel spreadsheet.

Yup. you're right, CF total comprises the base of thsi year's goal. I've had a good long break from the gym and am starting back on a linear progression, that example is my next 9 weeks. It's very similar to the texas progression I was one just a more basic linear 5x5, that's worked for a lot of people. I figure I hate 5's for a reason so I better work on them.

I'm interested in Pierre's rationale, I wouldn't be suprised if there is something at going on that I'm not seeing with metcon first ME after?

Eric Jones
09-07-2007, 11:12 AM
I did an almost identical mod to the Madcow template, but I have Overhead Squats on Wednesday instead of push press. I follow with a shorter WOD on Wednesdays and Fridays and have been loving it so far.

link to the original Madcow template:

http://www.geocities.com/elitemadcow1/5x5_Program/5x5_intermediate_v0.3.zip

Dave Van Skike
09-07-2007, 11:18 AM
I did an almost identical mod to the Madcow template, but I have Overhead Squats on Wednesday instead of push press. I follow with a shorter WOD on Wednesdays and Fridays and have been loving it so far.

link to the original Madcow template:

http://www.geocities.com/elitemadcow1/5x5_Program/5x5_intermediate_v0.3.zip

Nice! One thing I really liked about the Rippatoe, Heavy Light Medium thing is the front squats on light days, you can keep percentage high while still giving yourself a break...Overheads woudl work good for that too, maybe better dependign on where your weaknesses are.

Robb Wolf
09-07-2007, 11:40 AM
In the original piece Bagwell mentioned that some of the strength sessions were performed fresh and some while fatigued. Part of work capacity development if I recall.

Steve Shafley
09-07-2007, 11:55 AM
I thought the Bagwell piece was nicely done. And he seemed to also have proven it in competition with his HS lifters.

The press can be approached in the same fashion as the bench press, or, really, as any other lift.

The one thing that seemed to jump out though, while looking at the training regimens of old OLs who contested the press, was that the press was trained more frequently than the other contested lifts. I would also hold this to be true when compared to the bench press.

A concurrent or conjugate approach to training the press would work just fine. In my personal practice, I've noticed the press stalls out fairly quickly, but it's extremely easy to switch exercises and keep on making improvements.

My list of special exercises for the press include:

-parallel grip press (log bar or shrug bar)
-dumbbell press (1 or 2 dbs)
-the side press (as described by Tsatsouline in PTP) - one armed barbell press
-push press
-push jerk
-jerk
-rack presses from various heights (chin level, eye level, top of head level)

Etc

I found the press ->push press combo worked very well

Also, I found press "starts" worked well. Keith Wassung has a good article about training the press somewhere.

Rick Deckart
09-07-2007, 12:00 PM
Also, I found press "starts" worked well. Keith Wassung has a good article about training the press somewhere.

Thanks Steve,

actually I believe the article is on P&B, wait a sec, here (http://powerandbulk.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=579)

Pierre Auge
09-07-2007, 12:13 PM
Robb,
I'm no scientist (yet) but all of my observations have told me that this cycling back and forth between working fresh and fatigued is quite successful at improving work capacity. Biggest observation - lifting heavy after Helen sucks ass!

My rational when I started cycling the lifting later in the day post WOD was that most of my people (those who were doing this, as well as myself) were noticing a second wind effect late afternoon to mid evening when they worked out early morning. In fact I noticed superior performance in everyone while lifting later in the day post WOD than early in the morning doing Bagwell style training. I've no guess as to what is going on but it works.

One thing I can tell you is that while the lifts go up the metcon stays high as well. That rest period between sessions mixed with the moderate to low volumes seems to be key.

Those are my observations as a coach.

Keep the WODs less than 20 minutes in duration but use relatively heavy weights. (I like to use % of BW) Keep the lifting sessions as heavy as possible but with a minimal volume as I said previously.

I think the issue is the thing that most people forget in their training regime, rest management. I'd have to say it's probably the most important aspect of ones performance and the least considered.

I also believe that there is a correlation between mean and peak power output during training sessions but I have no compiled numbers to make any valid arguments toward this. Theory is that there is more correlation between peak and mean daily power output vs rest activity during athletic performance than there is vs. say something like absolute/potential or maximal strength.

Steve Shafley
09-07-2007, 12:16 PM
There's also the well documented effect that you tend to be stronger later in the day.

Pierre Auge
09-07-2007, 12:50 PM
There's also the well documented effect that you tend to be stronger later in the day.

Again I think this is almost certainly due to a combination of endocrine response relative to rest management. Gymnasts and Weightlifters alike tend to train hardest in the morning and leave the more demanding loads in practice until later in the day.

This is where I contend that where power output is minimal I use the term practice rather than training. Which I why I say that a morning WOD is training and the afternoon session practice. The volume and the velocity just isn't there, it's not enough to produce any kind of significant systemic fatigue but enough to make one strong mother*#&#$ person.

And if you are to look at most PL workouts they look alot like practice sessions rather than balls out training hence the low work capacity on average. OL training very similarly and gymnasts also similarly. This is why I think they are very good at their elements (or modes/modalities) but poor at others. Though gymnasts and Weightlifters due to the skill requirements of their activities adapt faster to alterations in training than other less skill dependent athletes.

Dave Van Skike
09-07-2007, 01:18 PM
Interesting observations. I wonder if part of this can be attributed to the relative training "age" of the subject. Someone who is a "novice" by the Rip definition woudl be able to mix and match probably with no ill effect. A more advanced lifter who is more sensitive to training overload would not be able to mix it up as much.....

I'll have to give this a try.

Dave Van Skike
09-07-2007, 01:23 PM
Thanks Steve,

actually I believe the article is on P&B, wait a sec, here (http://powerandbulk.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=579)

Love that article.
Take away message....anyone that can bench 225 should be able to get 300 overhead......... Hmmm. ok. .

Robb Wolf
09-14-2007, 06:54 AM
GREAT thread! Pierre...really interesting stuff. Only a week into this but here is how I've parcelled things out:

Day-1 DL 5 heavy singles, Press variant- 3x5. WOD-Ol emphasis with either DB or BB. When we went to CF San Francisco over the weekend we did 1-10-1 BB snatch (95lbs) and pull ups. Adrian is a BASTARD!

Day-2 Light gymnastics-handstands and HS walking...practice for 1 arm PU. 1-2 hrs of fairly easy, technical BJJ.

Day-3 Back squat and weighted Pull up both at 3x5. WOD


Day4-same as 2

Day-5 power clean-thinking speed pulling here 5x2, press variant 3x5. WOD.

Since we are at the gym M-F no matter what it's nice to just run with a format that lets me take advantage of that but that keeps me out of the gym on the weekends. Many of the WOD's have a Power Bias...2-4 min rests, really hard on the runs and an inclusion of OL variants and assistance exercises.

So far it looks fun, not too much volume/intensity. Along that line I am thinking about keeping the WOD's the same but using a stair step process of increasing and decreasing the volume. For example I did 3 rounds of frellen last Friday (400m run, 15 thrusters, 15 pull-ups). today I'm going to cut that volume in half (400M run, 15 thrusters, 15 pull-ups-1 round, 200m run, 7 thrusters, 7 pull-ups). Next week I'll shoot for 4 rounds...the following week 2 rounds etc.

Not sure how that will work but it gives me a little structure and it plans in what are comparatively easy days/weeks. Thinking about doing something similar on the strength work once i get my numbers back up.

Thoughts and inputs are welcome. I'm going to start posting some of this at my blog. Accountability and a nice experiment.

Pierre Auge
09-14-2007, 12:13 PM
Robb,
as per your volume loading one thing I've played with is time:load relation which seems to work.

Ie:
<20min 25% BW - <15min 33% BW - <10min 50% BW - <5min >75% BW

Cycling through this type of orientation seems to keep the intensity up all the while training every energy system and organic component. Seems t work well on a M-F schedule.