PDA

View Full Version : Starting Strength and GPP


R. Alan Hester
12-07-2006, 11:09 AM
Hello,

I have recently started focusing on strength, because, after a 10 year endurance fetish (e.g., long-distance running), I have lost every bit of it. I have been using Coach Rut’s workouts and some from Crossfit, but I lack so much strength that my times are horrendous. I am using Rippetoe's Starting Strength as prescribed, but I don't want to lose all my conditioning. Should I implement some GPP training on the off days in order to mitigate my losing the conditioning that I built using the Rut/Crossfit-based methodology?
I was thinking of using some of Ross Enamait’s stuff (e.g., ICT and minute drills). Any thoughts on my plan? Should I not worry about losing conditioning, thereby focusing all of my energies on strength?

Thanks

Alan

Greg Everett
12-07-2006, 04:30 PM
I would caution against dropping in GPP work on the off days--very quickly you'll find you have no more off days and your recovery and therefore progress will suffer greatly.

If you feel you MUST continue doing GPP work, I would instead experiment with doing it on the same days as the SS training--after it. Start easy to make sure you're not overdoing it and then add more if you can. But keep in mind that by and large, an individual can only make remarkable progress in one area at a time; that is, if your goal is gaining significant strength, you'd be well advised to really focus on that goal and not worry too much about a loss of conditioning. In my experience, not only will your newly developed strength actually contribute to your metabolic capacity, but that conditioning will return relatively quickly to high levels. Using myself as an example, I've done zero metabolic conditioning for around a year (o-lifting only). I got suckered into participating in the CF prostate cancer fight gone bad deal--immediately after working up to a max snatch and clean and jerk--and my score was only about 30 points lower than my best score when I was doing CF fulltime.

R. Alan Hester
12-07-2006, 04:41 PM
Thanks for your reply, Greg.

I assumed that my wanting to excel in one area would require my full dedication to it; I just needed some guidance from knowledgeable individuals. As long as I don't develop a happy-fun belt (read: gut), then everything will be ok--of course, that is predominantly diet driven. I will return to GPP stuff when I hit some of my relative strength goals.

Thanks a ton.

Alan

Greg Everett
12-07-2006, 04:45 PM
if you start seeing the happy-fun belt, you can drop in some quick intervals post SS work on a rower or bike (variety is good). neither of those movements have any loaded eccentric movement, so they shouldn't cause much if any muscle damage + soreness + recovery trouble, but don't overdo it. maybe 15-20 min max. mix up the interval periods too. but prob 1 min sprint max.

R. Alan Hester
12-07-2006, 04:51 PM
if you start seeing the happy-fun belt, you can drop in some quick intervals post SS work on a rower or bike (variety is good). neither of those movements have any loaded eccentric movement, so they shouldn't cause much if any muscle damage + soreness + recovery trouble, but don't overdo it. maybe 15-20 min max. mix up the interval periods too. but prob 1 min sprint max.

Good call on the post SS intervals.

Thanks

Alan

Mark Joseph Limbaga
12-07-2006, 08:49 PM
Remember you can't totally keep building GPP and absolute strength at the same time. if you want to have a decent level for both, that can be attainable, but if you want to focus on one aspect for a certain sport, you have to break down your training into periodized cycles

Craig Cooper
12-07-2006, 09:04 PM
I've done zero metabolic conditioning for around a year (o-lifting only). I got suckered into participating in the CF prostate cancer fight gone bad deal--immediately after working up to a max snatch and clean and jerk--and my score was only about 30 points lower than my best score when I was doing CF fulltime.

That's what I like to hear. That's motivation.

Russell Greene
12-07-2006, 11:16 PM
I do 4 rounds of 3 days on 1 day off power and strength-focus, a few days off, then 4 rounds of 3 days on 1 day off metcon focus.

During the strength and power focus I do 5-10 minutes of metcon after each workout for maintenance, focusing on rowing, running, and rope skipping which don't affect recovery much. During the metcon focus I do a few heavy squats on the first day before the metcon workout to maintain strength.

This works for me, though you may want to do something that's even more strength and power-oriented.

Coach Rutherford
12-08-2006, 03:35 AM
Hello,

I have recently started focusing on strength, because, after a 10 year endurance fetish (e.g., long-distance running), I have lost every bit of it(deadlift:250; Squat:225; press:120 at BWT of 210lbs--SUCK). I have been using Coach Rutís workouts and some from Crossfit, but I lack so much strength that my times are horrendous. I am using Rippetoe's Starting Strength as prescribed, but I don't want to lose all my conditioning. Should I implement some GPP training on the off days in order to mitigate my losing the conditioning that I built using the Rut/Crossfit-based methodology?
I was thinking of using some of Ross Enamaitís stuff (e.g., ICT and minute drills). Any thoughts on my plan? Should I not worry about losing conditioning, thereby focusing all of my energies on strength?

Thanks

Alan

If your relative strength is down your times on workout challenges will suffer. Build up your base BUT as Everett mentioned don't drop your GPP work. You can do the WOD's on alternative days while rotating ME focus OR a 5-12 minute mix at the end.

Everett (http://media.kansan.com/img/photos/2005/09/11/mangino_t450.jpg) is stronger but he fails to mention the new wardrobe and food bill.

R. Alan Hester
12-08-2006, 03:38 AM
Mark: I think you are correct, as was Greg, that one cannot build both at the same time--science and experience seem to prove as much. Therefore, I shall build my strength to a respectable level, so strength endurance will be attainable.

Russell: Interesting cycle. It seems your post-workout, maintenance metcon workouts remain in the same vein as Gregís suggestion regarding my fighting the happy-fun belt (above).

Thanks

Alan

R. Alan Hester
12-08-2006, 03:47 AM
If your relative strength is down your times on workout challenges will suffer. Build up your base BUT as Everett mentioned don't drop your GPP work. You can do the WOD's on alternative days while rotating ME focus OR a 5-12 minute mix at the end.

Everett (http://media.kansan.com/img/photos/2005/09/11/mangino_t450.jpg) is stronger but he fails to mention the new wardrobe and food bill.

Coach Rut:

I have read your articles on ME days and will transition to that plan after I attain some respectable numbers. I figured for now, I would focus on strength and sprinkle in some metcon post-workout (5-12 mins) to fight the happy-fun belt, as per your and Gregís suggestion.

Sweet pictureóI now have a goal to strive for.

Thanks

Alan

Allen Yeh
12-08-2006, 03:57 AM
I'm currently following the Strength workouts outlined in The New Rules of Lifting book by Alwyn Cosgrove and Lou Schuler. I also didn't want to give up completely on metcon and I have been adding in things after my workout that last like Coach Rut mentioned 5-10 minutes on average.
Here is an example of what I have been doing:
last M - heavy squat day - 5 minutes of kb swings
last T - heavy bench/row - nothing had to run out of the gym
last W- rest
last Th - heavy deadlift - 10 minutes of buellers and farmers walk
last Fr - heavy chins/overhead pressing - run/row
sat - rest
sun -rest
M - heavy squat day - I threw in tabata rows
T - heavy bench/row day - I did 1/4 Angie so I'd end up around 10 minutes
W- rest - only thing I did was some stretching
Th - heavy deadlifts - I did 1/2 Jackie (from Coach Ruts website)
Fr -Heavy chins and overhead press - Running/rowing

I'll see how I feel this weekend but at the least I was planning on doing mobility exercises from Super Joints and some foam rolling and I might join the CF DC crew for a workout Sunday.

Chris Forbis
12-08-2006, 04:08 AM
Geez, why did you have to post a picture of Mangino? Every time I see him I throw up a little inside my mouth...

R. Alan Hester
12-08-2006, 04:08 AM
I'm currently following the Strength workouts outlined in The New Rules of Lifting book by Alwyn Cosgrove and Lou Schuler. I also didn't want to give up completely on metcon and I have been adding in things after my workout that last like Coach Rut mentioned 5-10 minutes on average.
Here is an example of what I have been doing:
last M - heavy squat day - 5 minutes of kb swings
last T - heavy bench/row - nothing had to run out of the gym
last W- rest
last Th - heavy deadlift - 10 minutes of buellers and farmers walk
last Fr - heavy chins/overhead pressing - run/row
sat - rest
sun -rest
M - heavy squat day - I threw in tabata rows
T - heavy bench/row day - I did 1/4 Angie so I'd end up around 10 minutes
W- rest - only thing I did was some stretching
Th - heavy deadlifts - I did 1/2 Jackie (from Coach Ruts website)
Fr -Heavy chins and overhead press - Running/rowing

I'll see how I feel this weekend but at the least I was planning on doing mobility exercises from Super Joints and some foam rolling and I might join the CF DC crew for a workout Sunday.


Thanks for the workout ideas; I will use some. I will also have to modify some of Coach Rut’s workouts and get creative on my own in order to create some brief metcon workouts. Let me know how it progresses.

Alan

Craig Cooper
12-08-2006, 08:51 AM
This is a great thread. I too have been struggling with focusing on one particular thing. I definitely need to build a strength base, but I've always been scared of letting my conditioning slip.

By the way, where can I get a copy of Coach Rutherford's ME template/articles on ME days?

Russell Greene
12-08-2006, 09:16 AM
I wrote an article partially relevant to this subject on my blog a few days ago:

Training has been pretty lackluster for the last two weeks. Lack of sleep, stress, schoolwork, all combine to mean poor recovery, which leads to overtraining at first, and undertraining later. I miss the good old days of last year when I could train hard much more frequently since I was doing almost entirely metabolic conditioning workouts. Every workout was hard, challenging, and rewarding, yet I would usually wake up the next morning ready and raring to go again. With heavy lifting, gymnastics, and sprinting, which I am less used to, I am not able to train as hard, as regularly. Consequently my training is less psychologically rewarding. It is worth it however, because though last year I had great endurance, I struggled with 205 for 6 in the squat and my deadlift had gone nowhere for two years, in addition to flexibility and form problems. Now I am more flexible, much stronger, and my metcon has improved in some areas and stayed the same in others. Not a bad deal. But I still miss training all metcon all the time. Coach Glassman said "Optimal physical competency is a compromise, a balancing act; a compromise between not only conflicting but perfectly antagonistic skills. The manner in which you resolve this conflict defines the quality of your fitness and is the art of exercise prescription." This compromise is the essence of Crossfit, and it is also the essence of the problems that most people have with Crossfit. This includes myself. I am naturally predisposed to endurance efforts by both talent and taste, yet I know that progress comes through training my weak points. Training a weak point sucks. You're not good at it, it takes a lot of concentration, and because you are less skilled, you ultimately can't push yourself as hard, which means that it is less mentally rewarding. Furthermore you must cut back on training your strong points all the time. Effective training must be mentally rewarding, yet it also must address weakpoints. You must be strong and powerful, yet you also must have a high degree of endurance, if you want to be good at Crossfit, and also if you want to be fit for most physical challenges. Another problem is that I have this idea in my head that I must do a certain amount of volume of work to stay fit, regardless of whether my results are improving or not. Power training is so much less volume intensive than metabolic training, and thus when I do it I feel lazy even if I am making progress.

While my training this Fall has not been exemplary, I have done some things right. I got my overhead squat up to 155 X 6,5,5,4, got up to 90 lb. one arm snatches for a triple each arm, doubled 205 in the split jerk, improved my hip flexibility, finally cut the sugar and processed carbohydrates completely out of my diet, improved my rowing a bit, improved my front lever, got up to 75 X 5 in the weighted ring dip, rowed at 250 watts for 12 minutes, did triples with 265 in the back squat, and sets of 5 with 305 in the deadlift, ran 200's on 45 seconds for 7:30, and improved the grip of my left arm. I have no idea what I can do on the main crossfit workouts like Fran, Fight gone Bad, Mary, Grace, etc., and that thought scares me. On the other hand I know intuitively that the training that I've done will prepare me well for training in that style when I return to it. Maximal strength improves strength endurance, and I have been training my metabolic conditioning, though I have not been making it a priority and I have not been training it consistently enough in the crossfit fashion.

Eva Claire Synkowski
12-08-2006, 12:35 PM
jesus. i dont think 15 minutes on the rower will fix greg's new happy fun belt.

that was awesome, coach rut,

R. Alan Hester
12-08-2006, 01:12 PM
This is a great thread. I too have been struggling with focusing on one particular thing. I definitely need to build a strength base, but I've always been scared of letting my conditioning slip.

By the way, where can I get a copy of Coach Rutherford's ME template/articles on ME days?

Issue 3, April 2005 of Performance Menu has one of Coach Rutís articles. Also, one can find a lot of info in regard to ME days on the Crossfit board.

Alan

Greg Everett
12-08-2006, 01:20 PM
jesus. i dont think 15 minutes on the rower will fix greg's new happy fun belt.

are you calling me fat?

Ron Nelson
12-08-2006, 01:23 PM
I'm currently following the Strength workouts outlined in The New Rules of Lifting book by Alwyn Cosgrove and Lou Schuler. I also didn't want to give up completely on metcon and I have been adding in things after my workout that last like Coach Rut mentioned 5-10 minutes on average.
Here is an example of what I have been doing:
last M - heavy squat day - 5 minutes of kb swings
last T - heavy bench/row - nothing had to run out of the gym
last W- rest
last Th - heavy deadlift - 10 minutes of buellers and farmers walk
last Fr - heavy chins/overhead pressing - run/row
sat - rest
sun -rest
M - heavy squat day - I threw in tabata rows
T - heavy bench/row day - I did 1/4 Angie so I'd end up around 10 minutes
W- rest - only thing I did was some stretching
Th - heavy deadlifts - I did 1/2 Jackie (from Coach Ruts website)
Fr -Heavy chins and overhead press - Running/rowing

I'll see how I feel this weekend but at the least I was planning on doing mobility exercises from Super Joints and some foam rolling and I might join the CF DC crew for a workout Sunday.

I just started these same workouts this week. How are they working out for you, Alan?

Also, I see the final supersets of each workout as sort of a GPP thing. No rest between exercises and minimal rest between sets using single-limb and body weight movements. Got me huffing and puffing. I also add in the barbell complexes that Dan John and Steve Shafley have talked about lately as part of my warm-up.

BTW, I reviewed the MM DVD on that thread, per your request.

Eva Claire Synkowski
12-08-2006, 02:13 PM
are you calling me fat?

i would never. youre just big-boned.

Robb Wolf
12-09-2006, 07:09 AM
i would never. youre just big-boned.

I was going to say Full-Figured.

In general I'd encourage folks to not worry a huge amount about dropping metcons to a very stepchild status for a time. Once you establish that strength base you will rock the WOD's...after some painful re-acclimation.

Steve Shafley
12-09-2006, 08:23 PM
This is very manageable.

I often wonder, though, how much of an impact being so focused on endurance training will have on max strength.

One of the guys I know here decided to drop PL in favor of triathalons.

Talk about a swing from one end to the other.

Mike ODonnell
12-10-2006, 08:15 AM
I'd imagine it's a harder road coming from endurance to back to strength....than from strength back to endurance. If I stop squatting and run/bike for 6 months my endurance will be great...but chances are my squat will suck ass and it will take me a while to get back to where I was.....but if I do squats and heavy lifting with no running/biking for 6 months...my endurance may suck at first but it seems quicker to come back. Probably has something to do with fast and slow twitch muscle fiber conversions as I've heard that fast twitch can act like slow easier than slow to act like fast. So if you train to increase fast twitch, then you can still have endurance capacity.

Allen Yeh
12-19-2006, 07:30 AM
Thanks for the workout ideas; I will use some. I will also have to modify some of Coach Rutís workouts and get creative on my own in order to create some brief metcon workouts. Let me know how it progresses.

Alan

Update:
I've cut back on my lifting days per week to 3 this week, week 1 felt great, week 2 felt ok, week 3 was a terrible for deadlifts, now going into week 4 I'm going to cut it down to 3 lifting days per week and see if that feels any better. I'm still going to keep brief metcons after my workouts and possibly doing ESD stuff on my "off" days.

Robb Wolf
12-19-2006, 08:11 AM
allen-
You might consider cutting the volume of every 3rd WO by half. This is something Ido talked to me about and Ive found it very helpful.

Mike ODonnell
12-19-2006, 10:01 AM
Update:
I've cut back on my lifting days per week to 3 this week, week 1 felt great, week 2 felt ok, week 3 was a terrible for deadlifts, now going into week 4 I'm going to cut it down to 3 lifting days per week and see if that feels any better. I'm still going to keep brief metcons after my workouts and possibly doing ESD stuff on my "off" days.

Focus on nutrition too....play around with post workout meals. Like Rob said too, take a week at 50% and it should help recovery. If you don't feel stronger with each workout...you are probably overtrained and under recovered. It's really so basic, but we always tend to make it more complicated than it needs to be. Lift, Eat, Rest.

I lift 3x a week, no metcons and my endurance has not suffered when I go for a 1-2 hr mountain bike ride every few weeks....plus I keep lean, feel stronger and have more muscle. Sounds like a good plan to me.

Frank Needham
12-21-2006, 05:53 PM
Using myself as an example, I've done zero metabolic conditioning for around a year (o-lifting only).

Greg, during this year, how many times a week have you been lifting? Would you mind putting down a few words on what your program is, how long you intend to follow it, and what motivated you to stop Xfit and concentrate on O lifts?

I just started the SS program myself after realizing that "strength before strength endurance" is not just a cliche. One thing though, the 3X per week that Rip advocates seems a little light for me, not much, just enough to make me wonder if I should add to it.

R. Alan Hester
12-21-2006, 06:22 PM
One thing though, the 3X per week that Rip advocates seems a little light for me

I thought the above myself when I first started Rip's program some weeks back. Then I realized my folly after adding in metcon workouts too quickly. My strength gains stagnated and my mood soured. I have since removed all metcon from my program and my numbers have continued to rise. In short, be careful when stacking metcon on Rip's program if strength is your true goal.

Alan

Mike ODonnell
12-21-2006, 07:20 PM
I once heard that you should leave a strength workout feeling better than when you walked in.....not wiped.

I agree though, if strength is your goal....don't worry about metcon stuff. Focus on strength cycles...worry about the rest later. You will comprise your gains if you try to do everything at once.

Frank Needham
12-21-2006, 08:15 PM
Clarification, I'm not considering any metcon but instead adding a lift day for a total of 4 days per week.

Greg Everett
12-21-2006, 09:46 PM
Greg, during this year, how many times a week have you been lifting? Would you mind putting down a few words on what your program is, how long you intend to follow it, and what motivated you to stop Xfit and concentrate on O lifts?

I stopped CF because I missed competitive athletics, chose O-lifting, and CF interfered. CF is kind of cool, but I was frustrated by the lack of purpose.

I train 5 days/week, all olympic lifting. At times, I train twice a day on 2-3 of those days. I train 1hr BJJ 1X week, really only working technique, no conditioning.

One of the best cycles I've done I built around the Hatch squat cycle (12 weeks). Looked basically like this:

Monday
1. Hatch squat 1
2. Snatch pulls 3 x 3 (100%-115%)
3. Snatch push press 5 x 5
4. deadhang pull-ups, 30-50 total
5. core/neck work

Tuesday
1. alternate weekly between Snatch balance to heavy single, and snatch push press + opverhead squat
2. power clean 5 x 2, medium weight, working speed
3. weighted pull-ups 10 x 3
4. core/neck work

Wednesday
1. Rack jerk to heavy single
2. power snatch 5 x 2 medium weight, working speed
3. KB snatch some weeks
4. core work

Thursday
1. hatch squat 2
2. clean pulls 3 x 3 (100-115%)
3. push press 5 x 5
4. kipping pull-ups, 30-50 total
5. core work

Friday
Rest

Saturday
Snatch to max for the day
Clean and Jerk to max for the day
maybe some light core work/pull-ups

Sunday
Rest


Now with that cycle, when I could on Mon/Thu, I would squat in the morning and do the rest at night. Sometimes I would also do the push presses in the morning. Doing the hatch squats, pulls and presses all in one session was hellish.

That cycle was 12 weeks long and I made some huge gains in all my lifts. The Hatch program is a bitch, but it works extremely well. I plan to cycle back onto it soon.

For the last several weeks, Burgener and I have been experimenting with more of a Bulgarian approach. Still train 5X week, twice daily on 2-3 days. Basically just squatting, snatching and CJing. Some rack jerks and snatch balances, snatch push pres + overhead squats also. Typical format is work up to a max on the lift for the day, then drop to 90% for a single, then 85% for 3 singles. Sometimes do a bunch of singles, sometimes do a bunch of doubles. It's a very taxing approach--you're burned out neurologically most of the time, exhausted, and the joints take a beating (for me, the wrists and elbows in particular--knees have held up fine). I have made gains in my squats, cleans and push presses on this cycle, but have been 5kg short of my best snatch throughout, which is not surprising considering the workload. Keep in mind too I do a lot of recovery work, e.g. get into a freezing swimming pool every night after training (47 degrees last night) for 10-15 min, then hot shower, foam roll as much as possible, get soft tissue work on my calves, peroneals, forearms and ITBs 2-3 days/week at PT (I train the office manager, so I get to go for free), and chiro 1X week. Without that stuff, I don't know how well I would hold up.

I think it works well, but it will take a while for me to really adjust to it, and we'll have to wait until a peaking phase to really see what kind of results it produces.

Hope that gives a good idea.

Frank Needham
12-22-2006, 05:39 AM
Thanks for answering my questions. That looks like a tough program and the time it must take is scary. Its always interesting to see where othes are going with their goals. I'm going to stick with SS and toss in some other lifts, maybe on an extra day and monitor my progress. Rip says that the basic program he's put together should cover a novice up through about 6 months, which is good with me since I've not worked out seriously in several years.