View Full Version : Programming weightlifting and crossfit

Jamie Crichton
01-26-2010, 12:16 PM
I know this is a frequently discussed topic, but I just wanted some knowledgable people to critique my approach, which I'm going to be using for the foreseeable future.

I'm currently a medical student so training can be a bit sporadic depending on how things are at uni. I wanted to create a program with a fair bit of flexibility built in to accomodate my studies, as sticking to any set training week (eg 3/1 2/1) is a bit difficult.

I've trained Crossfit with a focus on getting stronger for the last 18 months or so, including competing in the 2009 Cf Games. Now though I find I want more of the strength and power side of things and less of the long grinding metcons. Whether this makes me better at CF or not I don't really care; I just want to be strong, powerful and well conditioned.

Here are my numbers in kg currently (and goals for this year in parentheses):
DL 200 (220)
Squat 160 (180)
C+J 117.5 (125)
Snatch 86 (95)
Press 70x3 (85x1)
Push Press 97.5 (105)

That covers the barbell lifts, which are my main focus. I also want to maintain my conditioning particularly on shorter metcons and maintain my gymnastic work.

My idea for a programme was to alternate heavy days, where I snatch up to a heavy single for the day, same for C+J, then squat variation up to a heavy 2-5, with light days, where I do technique work for the O lifts or alternate strength stuff and then a conditioning workout. Typically I train 5 days a week depending on schedule, though if I'm feeling run-down I'll take more time off.

Does this sound like a reasonable approach? Thanks for any and all advice.


Steven Low
01-28-2010, 12:43 PM

If you were to rate your Oly lifts and gymnastics on a scale from 1-10 where would they fall? What percentage of your core lifts like squat/DL can you put into Oly useful weights or stuff like handstand push et al?

Instead of maxing a lot you may need to buckle down and drop the weight and do technique almost exclusively while keeping maybe 1-2 heavy days to maintain strength. As soon as you get more proficient then you can integrate more heavier Oly/etc. programming in.

Jamie Crichton
01-28-2010, 02:48 PM
Do you mean rate them in terms of my ability? Or how important it is to improve them?

I'm not sure what you mean by the second question...

Steven Low
01-28-2010, 05:53 PM
Ehhhh, I meant how proficient are you in terms of being able to put up weight relative to your other lifts.

Like are your overhead squats and front squats much bigger than your ability to clean/snatch the weight up because you have crappy Oly technique?

If so, you need LOTS more technique work instead of going heavy. Alternatively, if they're similar, then going heavier with the Oly is going to be much better.

01-29-2010, 01:00 AM

That sounds pretty darn reasonable to me for a person in med school. Just keep your "light" days flexible. dont work the Olympic lifts if your tired, etc. Even just planning on metcon work on most or all of your light days would be absolutely fine. If technique gets ragged on the snatch or clean and jerk, just switch to a 20/20 or 10/10 workout that day on that lift, keeping everything else the same.

I have seen multiple people do almost exactly what you are describing, and it worked well for them.


Jamie Crichton
01-29-2010, 05:30 AM
Glenn - thanks for insight.

Steven - I think I'm somewhere in the middle of the two situations you describe. I have pretty reasonable technique I think, but I do have a strong front squat compared to my best clean: 140x2 vs 117.5. I don't often do heavy overhead squats but can't imagine they'd be much greater than 86, which is my best snatch.

I totally agree that technique is essential to improve - this is why I planned to train the classic lifts often.

Thanks again for your advice.

Steven Low
01-29-2010, 10:36 AM
Yeah, so do more technique work until they are similar and then phase in more heavier work. Or something along those lines.