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-   -   Training for the Crossfit Total (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1536)

Rick Deckart 08-31-2007 08:46 AM

Training for the Crossfit Total
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.


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.

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