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View Full Version : when to shift back from oly. WL only to CF only


Torsten Hauptmann
04-30-2009, 04:42 AM
please move this thread if it should have fit better in the fitness forum...thanks!!



as i wanted to improve my WL i found a WL club and started exclusively training it for one month. WL but as my goal is overall fitness i wondern when to go back to CF. I found one very good WL coach with whom i am training now. He said that in one year i would possible snatch 110kg (240lbs) and c&j 130kg (285lbs) but recently the coach was surprised with my fast progessions.
i am about 200lbs and 6'2" i wonder when i should go back to CF training? esp. as it might happen that i have to move in the next three month and thus having to find a new coach/training alone.
Due to improper form i had to re-lern the lifts and snatch now 60kg (130lbs) and c&j (80kg) 175 lbs but i did not do a 1 rep max for my c&j.
so what you think?

Brian DeGennaro
04-30-2009, 06:20 AM
Learn the lifts then, learn them well and get strong at them. Get as strong as you can possibly be in weightlifting and then go back to CF if you so desire. CrossFit will become a joke at a high level of strength and power developed from weightlifting. Also, don't completely drop weightlifting, do some med-heavy snatches and CJ's in your warmups to stay in the groove.

Justin Algera
04-30-2009, 06:28 AM
Why would you stop either one? If you enjoy both, why not do both? Remember, following the mainsite WOD is not the only way to "do crossfit." Why not Oly 3 days while following some of the CF Football WODs, for example or doing a CFSB program for a while? And I would say focusing on Oly lifting is following that whole "regularly learn and practice new sports" part of crossfit. I dont know, I just dont see one being at odds with the other, especially when the lifts are such an important part of the CF methodology.

Torsten Hauptmann
04-30-2009, 08:09 AM
brian, your posts are always enlightening ;)
but how do you define "get as strong as you can?" that means when is CF to be considered as a joke in terms of WL?

I asked my coach about it and he said provided that a lifter starts at the age of 14 and is somewhat suitable to WL he is bound to two 7 year cycles which will lead that athlete to the best condition he can reach. the first 7 years are about learning the technique in depth and obviously get the strength. In that time some serious competetive results can be achived. the (competetive) progression in the next 7 years is bound to the need to move up in the weight class. on the third 7 years there is usualy no significant improvement if not any regression...
but as i am 25 there is no chance to fit into that description even as i have no competetive WL intents

Justin Algera: i now go only for WL because CF or related activites do shorten my regeneration time i have for WL thus i did not get that much back from my training as i could at least in terms of WL. so i think it is a better idea to do WL for some time only.

Garrett Smith
04-30-2009, 08:50 AM
Do mostly WL. If you get very strong at WL, you will have a ton of reserve strength for CF, if and when you ever feel the need to go back to it, all of your workouts will be better either to begin with or in a very short time.

Fitness is relative. Metcon "fitness" is specialized and is built on a base of strength first.

Torsten Hauptmann
04-30-2009, 09:10 AM
Garreth, is there somewhat of a number either as total number i.e. 110kg snatch 130kg c&j or relative number i.e. when i improve only 5kg at one lift in two month i stop WL (not completly of course) and go back to CF.
The thing is that the CF fitness works for me as a soldier very well and if my endurace is that much down that i can not perform my duties without (subjectively judged) serious effort i need to do more CF but until then i can WL. But that is not the way i want to measure because that would be not a measurement but an emergency plan. But again Metcon fitness is the one i need so i have no intent in becomming a good competetive WLer thus i need to find a way to measure my WL progress in terms to get more out of metcons...of course i would ever do a hybrid programm with WL and CF....

Brian DeGennaro
04-30-2009, 09:52 AM
When your technique is spot on and your snatch/CJ is relatively close to your front squat max.

Garrett Smith
04-30-2009, 10:03 AM
For military-type fitness, you don't need WL at all. The military-type fitness stuff can fill in the blanks in a hybrid program easily. Doing WL only will NOT really help your "military fitness" in terms of their typical tests (which are more endurance and calisthenics).

Torsten, you really need to decide what your goals are and what type of training you WANT to do. Let us know that, then you can get a lot more focused advice.

Brian Lawyer
04-30-2009, 10:24 AM
Have you considered Everett's mainpage WOD's. He puts a lot of thought in his program, much more so than most crossfit mainpage WOD's. His program includes metcons.

Torsten Hauptmann
05-01-2009, 08:52 AM
thank you for your replys.

of course i know that i do not really need WL (neither CF) for the military but as my military-fitness is very high compared to the average soldier i have different goals then just being a soldier. i want to excel as a soldier and my aspirations are towards special forces.
i now should add that i am european and that the "normal" european infantry soldier is different in training and operation than the US infantry. just take the fact that the US does spend relatively more money on the military than countrys in europe do hence there are other options to provide support and deployment for the infantry on the battlefield. but as my aspirations are towards special forces there are no (important) differnences in training and operations compared to the US.

regards army fitness tests: just recently i had to do a test on a stationary bike (which is a basic test for the infantry). i had to hold 70 r.p.m for time while resistance was linear increased. the start was at 50 watts resistance and then every minute the resistance was increased by 50 watts for eight times thus the full score was acheived after 8:50 min whereas the last 50 secs ended up with a resistance at 450 watts . i completed the test easily and could have continued.

besids WL i do a litte bit gymnastics which i started some month ago. i did that in order to increase my core strength and general mobility. in addition i have a background in martial arts and a litte bit in climbing but i stopped both because it does not provide me with the borad fitness gains i seek.

i hope my goals became clear as i avoided to write something like run 400m under 60 sec. snatch 130kg, etc....


edit:
i am now really wondering if there are some definite numbers when strength (maybe endurance) for the military is to high. for sure no one needs a 800lbs DL or 1000lbs squat in the military but are there some other numbers besids the "freaky" ones as the equipment for the small and big soldier is still the same provided they serve in the same unit.
army fitness tests do not help here because they are designed for recruitment or selection (in fact selection tests for special forces are much more complex and last over weeks or months) or for fitness maintenance but they always only insure the bare minimum requirements.
the thing is i do not have a problem with army fitness but i just like sports but like the army even more therefore i want to combine fun with something really useful (i.e. training for army fitness) to still get better

Garrett Smith
05-01-2009, 09:44 AM
I think something like this would work for you:

2 days WL

2 days gymnastics strength training

1 or 2 days of CF metcon, one workout 5min. or less and heavy, the second one 5-20min. long

How does that sound?

Emily Mattes
05-06-2009, 01:31 PM
Torsten, my goals are very similar to yours, and I started Oly lifting for the same reasons--I was going to do it for a while to learn the lifts, and then transition back to Crossfit.

However, two things happened: One, I fell in love with Olympic lifting. And two, I found out that doing Olympic lifting 4-5 days a week, with short, heavy metcons 2-3 times a week, improved my strength, conditioning, and overall fitness at a rate that was DRASTICALLY quicker than Crossfit. I cannot over-emphasize exactly how much more effective the combination has been for me than mainpage WODs. I have been doing this regularly for over six months and don't see myself ever looking back.

If I were you, I would do Oly-lifting mainly. Then, after your workouts (ideally four hours after, but I always do mine immediately after due to time constraints) pick a metcon that's on the short-and-heavy side, 10-15 minutes or less. I pick mine from the Performance Menu/Catalyst Athletics WOD. There's a "Short, Heavy Metcons" thread on the CF forums that has more ideas, and I heard the metcons on the CF Football site tend more towards the short and heavy end as well.

If you are feeling your endurance suffering, then make one of your 2-3 metcons a week one of the longer types. But give that programming a try for a couple of months and see how it works for you.

(I also see now that you're interested in gymnastics, so maybe throw that in a couple of days a week in lieu of the lifting if you so desire)

Justin McCallon
05-10-2009, 11:05 AM
I like Emily's advice.

The Plandomization article that Everett released recently is pretty spot on here, too. You want to do just enough metcon type stuff to keep your current muscle/cardio endurance and stamina. The rest of your workout should be focused on developing your strength.

I am a similar height/weight and I have pretty similar goals. Looking at the events from the regional competitions and the previous years of CF, I decided that I want a 300lb C&J, 225lb Snatch, 500lb deadlift, 375lb deep squat, +150lb pull-up, and 205 lb strict overhead press. After that, I planned to mostly focus on cardio and muscle endurance, and do just enough strength work to keep my strength from regressing.

You could also do this more cyclically if you wanted. i.e. strength-focus for 4 months, cardio/muscle-endurance (etc) focus for 2 months, and repeat. I'm debating which method is better and having trouble making up my mind.

Either way, spend the next 3 months working with this guy. Good Oly lifting coaches aren't always easy to find.