PDA

View Full Version : A few questions


Randy Hill
06-29-2009, 06:56 AM
Hey, I just wanted a bit of reassurance about my ideas on me gaining a bit of mass, so if you have any input on this please let me know..

I'm 19 (almost 20),m,6'4",170#. I do the CFFB strength WOD in addition to the Crossfit Main Site WOD. I understand that the best crossfitters come from a strength background, and that is where I am lacking, hence the strength bias.

Back before I did Crossfit and was in to the whole bodybuilding thing, I decided I needed to "bulk up", so I started eating. Everything. And in about 3 months I went from around 177# to 195#. However, that weight was NOT lean and I didn't have the strength to back it up. I was not satisfied with the way I looked.

Fast forward to now after dieting (very unhealthily) down to 165 pounds of skin n bones. I realize the errors of my ways before (both the bulking AND the crash dieting to lose it all and then some) and here I am, wanting to and knowing that I NEED to gain some muscle and get bigger if I want to move bigger weights.

Now, I think I have my bases covered as far as knowledge of nutrition and training goes. The issue is something that might be a little more rare.. I am afraid to gain weight. I'm really hesitant about gaining any numbers on the scale at all, because of what happened to me before. Now logically I understand why that happened and why proper nutrition and training THIS time around will probably put me in a better position, but yet, I am still scared.

Is this something that is common, or am I just weird? I understand I am recovering from some disordered eating habits, before anybody mentions that.

Am I at a good age to be adding muscle as long as I am eating? Let me tell you, I can put away some food!

Anyways, just looking for some insight or motivation for someone who wants to try this whole "mass gain" thing again the RIGHT way.

Thanks for reading my lengthy post!

Derek Simonds
06-29-2009, 07:07 AM
You have a couple of things going for you take advantage of them. You are tall and young. You can put on lean mass just don't expect to put on 15 lb's in a month without fat gain. MOD has some great articles on mass gain and there Lyle McDonald has a couple of good ones also. Just know now is the perfect time to put on some size. The key is going to be pick a program eat healthy and a lot and stick with it!

Craig Brown
06-29-2009, 07:58 AM
Just to be clear, you are doing BOTH the mainsite and CFFB Wods?

Mike ODonnell
06-29-2009, 08:06 AM
Anyways, just looking for some insight or motivation for someone who wants to try this whole "mass gain" thing again the RIGHT way.

Dont' do the CF WOD.....you would be better served with a SS program and cycled in sets of 8-10s. Working out too much will not do it.

Peter Andersen
06-29-2009, 08:10 AM
Just to be clear, you are doing BOTH the mainsite and CFFB Wods?

I think he means only the strength portion of the CFFB WOD, and not the metcon. And then the CF HQ WOD on top of that.

Although his latest log update (http://board.crossfit.com/showpost.php?p=615592&postcount=31) shows both CFFB Strength and Metcon WODs and no CF HQ WOD.

*shrug*

Randy Hill
06-29-2009, 08:22 AM
To clear up the issue of my programming:

I am doing the CFFB Strength WOD and the main site WOD. However, sometimes I substitute workouts for obvious reasons, like today. The main site WOD was Crossfit Total, and why would I do Crossfit Total after squatting 3x5? So instead, I did the CFFB site WOD. So basically any time the main site has a strength WOD I substitute a metcon (either one of my choice or one from a different site).

I really don't want to do Starting Strength for fear of losing my CF metcon/gymnastics/oly lift edge.

Thanks for the responses thus far.

Mike ODonnell
06-29-2009, 08:25 AM
And in about 3 months I went from around 177# to 195#. However, that weight was NOT lean

also...have a more realistic expectation to putting on REAL muscle.....as people claiming to get 20-30lbs in a couple months are usually more fat than muscle....but you saw that for yourself. There is no reason that you can't put on another 20lbs of muscle...but it may take a bit longer.

See the chart on this post (with goals of 1-2lbs of muscle a month as more realistic for people just starting out):
http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/whats-my-genetic-muscular-potential.html

It may not be exciting....and come quick....but then again the people that are really carrying around muscle do slow and steady (progressing) training/eating year after year and put it on little by little.

Randy Hill
06-29-2009, 08:29 AM
I have read the article and it's very eye opening. As a Crossfitter I acknowledge that looks are secondary and performance comes first, but I think looking good is somewhere on everybody's list. I know, however, that I need the muscle to perform better AND look better.

Gavin Harrison
06-29-2009, 08:35 AM
I really don't want to do Starting Strength for fear of losing my CF metcon/gymnastics/oly lift edge.

Your metcon's aren't going to shit the bed completely if you don't do them hardcore for a little while...

BUT, YOU NEED TO PICK ONE SINGLE GOAL AND WORK TOWARDS IT IN A SMART WAY. If you goal is to do good at metcon, then well.. sure. If it is to gain muscle mass and get stronger, start with starting strength and milk with 1-2 SHORT metcons a week if you want to have some maintenance of metcon ability (on workout days so you have longer to recover..). Once that burns out and you've packed on some weight, either you can do whatever you want, continue getting strong, or go back to the metcon lovin'.

Garrett Smith
06-29-2009, 08:35 AM
If you want to gain mass, do little to no metcon.

Mike ODonnell
06-29-2009, 08:52 AM
If you want to gain mass, do little to no metcon.

+1. Train 3x a week max....eat, sleep and play Xbox...walking should be your fastest metcon. You can always easily get back endurance later...and will have better performance in the long run by taking time off metcons and making strength gains.

The day I see some skinny person come into CF to (naturally) put on real muscle with metcons everyday....I'll shut my trap (and then the people will rejoice).

Randy Hill
06-29-2009, 09:01 AM
I'd like to clarify my goal. My goal is for the end result of being able to perform CF WODs in a reasonable time without having to scale the weight. I want to do things as rx'd. Right now I am just trying to find the best way to do that and I am getting a lot of helpful advice on this site.

Randy Hill
06-29-2009, 09:17 AM
Doing straight CFFB is looking really interesting right now because it allows me to continue with linear progression, and it involves short, heavy metcons. To me it seems similar to CFSB which is what I have been doing (I only tried out CFFB for the first time today).

Steven Low
06-29-2009, 09:38 AM
Heavy lifting on linear progression is good.. and yeah little to no metcon. If any, do them heavy and fast.

Eat more.

Mike ODonnell
06-29-2009, 09:40 AM
Doing straight CFFB is looking really interesting right now because it allows me to continue with linear progression, and it involves short, heavy metcons. To me it seems similar to CFSB which is what I have been doing (I only tried out CFFB for the first time today).

Try it....eat plenty....rest plenty....judge gains in 4 weeks and see if it's working. Don't worry about the perfect program.....there is no such thing, just what works and what doesn't.

Peter Andersen
06-29-2009, 10:01 AM
Heavy lifting on linear progression is good.. and yeah little to no metcon. If any, do them heavy and fast.

On that note, something that has caught my eye recently has been the programming that Justin has been using over at CrossFit Wichita Falls (http://crossfitwichitafalls.com/). Back on the first day (http://crossfitwichitafalls.com/?p=409) he referred to it as "the experiment".

Monday: Starting Strength Workout A
Tuesday: Metcon
Wednesday: Off / Foam Rolling / Massage / Skill work
Thursday: Starting Strength Workout B
Friday: Metcon
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Off

The metcons seem to have been quite short in duration also.

Patrick Donnelly
06-29-2009, 04:23 PM
I really don't want to do Starting Strength for fear of losing my CF metcon/gymnastics/oly lift edge.

What edge? What's your SSST? What's your rings routine look like? How much do you total and how many meets have you been in?


All this nonsense about "biasing" CrossFit workouts is starting to piss me off. Specialization is how shit gets done. If you don't like that and you'd rather be mediocre at everything, that's cool too. Your choice. But this "biasing" stuff is saying "I want to be mediocre at everything, but just a bit less mediocre at a couple of things." Dammit, pick your side.

Mike ODonnell
06-29-2009, 05:34 PM
Bodybuilders do bodybuilding workouts
Strongmen do strength training workouts
Gymnasts do gymnastic workouts
Crossfiters do Crossfit workouts

pick who you want to be and move forward with no hesitation.......all the other confusion will just have you reading, researching, trying multiple random formats and asking the same questions year after year......the people who get results just pick one format and then don't question it for at least 12 weeks.

Gavin Harrison
06-29-2009, 07:37 PM
the people who get results just pick one format and then don't question it for at least 12 years.

Corrected that for you. Seriously, pick what you want to be good at, and do it. One of the best ways to get better at crossfit is to scale things to a weight at which you can get the workout done in a reasonably fast period of time, then do it.

Force = Mass * Acceleration. This is the basis of all strength training programs.

Weightlifters tend towards F = m*A. (Dynamic Effort)
Powerlifters tend towards F = M*a. (Maximum Effort)
Bodybuilders tend towards F = m*a. (Repeated Effort)

They all work at building strength up. With crossfit, I'd say, just pick a weight, sets, reps that allows you to get the workout done with little resting, then have at it fast and hard. That will get you the best progress towards "Crossfit as Rxed". It's been done many many times, most if not all of the time this gets people the results faster than trying to do WODs heavy and slow and slogging.

Randy Hill
06-29-2009, 08:52 PM
Corrected that for you. Seriously, pick what you want to be good at, and do it. One of the best ways to get better at crossfit is to scale things to a weight at which you can get the workout done in a reasonably fast period of time, then do it.

Force = Mass * Acceleration. This is the basis of all strength training programs.

Weightlifters tend towards F = m*A. (Dynamic Effort)
Powerlifters tend towards F = M*a. (Maximum Effort)
Bodybuilders tend towards F = m*a. (Repeated Effort)

They all work at building strength up. With crossfit, I'd say, just pick a weight, sets, reps that allows you to get the workout done with little resting, then have at it fast and hard. That will get you the best progress towards "Crossfit as Rxed". It's been done many many times, most if not all of the time this gets people the results faster than trying to do WODs heavy and slow and slogging.

Gavin, your post was golden! Thank you. I think I knew the force equation thing but never really thought about it that way before. I can still increase the amount of work done each time by manipulating weight or time, and keep scaling until I can get it done "as rx'ed".

So, I think I have my issue solved. My current plan is to just keep doing the main site WOD 3 on 1 off, while scaling but attempting more weight / faster times each time (like it's supposed to be done anyways).

I figure as long as I eat enough I should see increases in strength.

Nutrition-wise I can eat A LOT of food - so I don't think i'll have trouble eating enough. The only thing is that I am still "worried" about gaining too much fat, but that is another topic. I realize that my worrying is pointless given my stats. After all, crossfitters have been known to add an appreciable amount of muscle just from doing Crossfit, right?

Can't wait to tackle Eva after work..

Patrick Donnelly
06-29-2009, 09:46 PM
Nutrition-wise I can eat A LOT of food - so I don't think i'll have trouble eating enough. The only thing is that I am still "worried" about gaining too much fat, but that is another topic. I realize that my worrying is pointless given my stats. After all, crossfitters have been known to add an appreciable amount of muscle just from doing Crossfit, right?

No, they haven't. I think Mike already addressed that issue earlier in the thread.

Train 3x a week max....eat, sleep and play Xbox...walking should be your fastest metcon. You can always easily get back endurance later...and will have better performance in the long run by taking time off metcons and making strength gains.

The day I see some skinny person come into CF to (naturally) put on real muscle with metcons everyday....I'll shut my trap (and then the people will rejoice).

But if your goal is really just to do better at the workouts "as Rx'd," then you shouldn't even be concerned about gaining weight. 160-180lbs is the sweet spot for metconners.

Randy Hill
06-29-2009, 09:55 PM
The sweet spot for people who are 6'4" tall? I am concerned with gaining muscle to move more weight to be able to do the rx'ed weights.

Patrick Donnelly
06-30-2009, 07:26 AM
The sweet spot for people who are 6'4" tall? I am concerned with gaining muscle to move more weight to be able to do the rx'ed weights.

CrossFit is like cross country running as far as bodyweight goes. You'd think that having more muscle would make it easier to do the repetitive loads, but in reality, at those loads, it just makes you less efficient. Maybe in a short workout where efficiency is less important than speed (eg. Fran, where you crash through every rep at 110% pace), but once you hit the point where the workouts are long enough to cause people to take breaks and slow down, the extra bodyweight isn't going to be as useful. To once again compare it to running, it's sort of like how 100m runners are so muscular. Their event is much more similar to Fran than it is to Cindy.

Your height was just getting the genetic short straw. On the bright side, it does make rowing easy, and that's a fun activity.

Steven Low
06-30-2009, 02:49 PM
Or if you wanna get into strongman or powerlifting your height will help

Patrick Donnelly
06-30-2009, 09:53 PM
Powerlifting? How is height helpful there? With strongman, I can see it being advantageous in loading events like the Atlas stones, but I'm just not seeing it for powerlifting.

Randy Hill
06-30-2009, 11:43 PM
Your metcon's aren't going to shit the bed completely if you don't do them hardcore for a little while...

BUT, YOU NEED TO PICK ONE SINGLE GOAL AND WORK TOWARDS IT IN A SMART WAY. If you goal is to do good at metcon, then well.. sure. If it is to gain muscle mass and get stronger, start with starting strength and milk with 1-2 SHORT metcons a week if you want to have some maintenance of metcon ability (on workout days so you have longer to recover..). Once that burns out and you've packed on some weight, either you can do whatever you want, continue getting strong, or go back to the metcon lovin'.

Hey, ya know I have been doing some thinking and what you're saying here is making a lot of sense. I know I said that I was going to go back to the main site WODs, but I changed my mind.. I feel like I am in a perfect position to do some SS and it would be a waste for me not to.

For one, I am 19 so I will have an easy time with recovery and progress. I am also in the military and deployed to Afghanistan, so the 6 pack isn't so much of a big deal right now. I'm going to do SS and do it the right way.. Except with no milk. Can't get it out here!

I will be adding some metcon work in to keep that going and make sure I don't turn in to a blob. This is unrealistic but I have the fear of it still!

Anyways I appreciate everyone's insight here. I don't think I will regret the SS cycle.

Peter Andersen
07-01-2009, 06:20 AM
I will be adding some metcon work in to keep that going and make sure I don't turn in to a blob. This is unrealistic but I have the fear of it still!

I've heard people recommend doing a half-Cindy or something like that once or twice a week with SS if you're truly worried about maintaining some metcon ability.

And also to do it on your SS training days in order to keep your rest days as exactly that – rest.

Good luck with SS.

Randy Hill
07-01-2009, 08:27 AM
Thanks, Peter! Today's workout was awesome. How is your training going?

Ben Smith
07-01-2009, 01:12 PM
I don't think I will regret the SS cycle.

I don't think you will either, FYI. My plan is similar to yours - I did CF for about a year, got tired of scaling and have been doing SS for several months. I've put on almost 30 pounds now, and well over 20 of it is muscle.

I also would like to get back to a more well-rounded training plan (since my conditioning is BAD right now. Like really pitiful. And for a skinny guy, I feel fat being able to pinch so much belly flab), but it probably won't be much like CF mainpage training. It'll be something more like Gant's hybrid, I'm sure, but with more sprinting since basketball and Ultimate are the only two sports I play regularly.

Randy Hill
07-01-2009, 07:30 PM
What about Crossfit Football? There is a strength AND conditioning program to that.

Mike ODonnell
07-01-2009, 07:37 PM
No one ever went pro because they had good conditioning.....so pick what skill set you want to master and go after it first....and whatever you decide....make your decision final, unplug the computer and then come back in 12 weeks and let us know how great you have progressed.

Most people ask the same questions year after year and never make any progress....because they wander all over the place. Don't be that person.

Randy Hill
07-02-2009, 04:57 AM
Sounds great! See you after 12 weeks! :P

Randy Hill
08-21-2009, 03:57 PM
Well, a little update..

It's been 6 weeks and I am up to 191lbs. from 170. My squat (3x5) has gone from 170 to 225 and I have been having success in the other lifts as well. However, I am having trouble keeping my chest up during the ascent and tent to sort of collapse forward once I initiate hip drive.

Not really sure where I want to go from here. I have added a lot of mass for sure but it looks pretty flabby to me. We will see. I am considering transitioning in to Crossfit Strength Bias and cleaning up the diet to paleo.

Steven Low
08-21-2009, 06:04 PM
Any intermediate program is good like Bill Starr's 5x5. Honestly, you can probably milk linear gains more.

Post up a vid if you need cues or find a good coach.

CFSB is ok...... if that's your goal. Aka to do CF.