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Richard Vaccari 12-13-2006 12:27 PM

O Lifting and Crossfit
Does anyone have any advice on how to incorporate O lifting and Crossfit training so as not to overtrain.

I am a UK Masters lifter with best snatch of 98kg and C & D of 138kg

However in order to compete i find myself cutting right back on my crossfit training

Any Advice?



Greg Everett 12-13-2006 01:19 PM

Honestly any dose of CF will interfere with your lifting in my opinion. The question I think that needs to be answered is where do CF and competitive weightlifting rank respectively on your priority list. That is, are you willing to lose some of your lifting ability in order to develop some CF style fitness? In my experience, the only people who continue to progress with the lifts while doing CF are those who have no previous experience with the lifts and therefore have an extremely entry level starting point. Seasoned lifters, however, see their progress stall or even regress as they add in CF to their training.

If you want to try to balance the two, I would suggest limiting your CF training to 2 days/week and reducing your lifting training to a lower volume, higher loading approach 3-4 days/week. Try dropping in some CF workouts after your lifting on those 2 days to give you a few genuine rest days. Unless you're from outer space or are related to Mister X, you'll find it pretty easy to do way to much work for your body to handle.

Ron Nelson 12-13-2006 02:22 PM

Good post, but it brings up something I'm curious about and I think you'll know the answer to:
How does a O-lift coach, like Mike Burgener, find a way to include CF in training his athletes? Better yet, does he include it at all?

Everytime I check the Mike's Gym site, his WOD's involve working the O-lifts to max's or some rep work on supporting lifts. Am I off base here?

I also found his silence in the whole Mike Boyle blow-up to be curious as he is a proponent of CF and O-lifts, and presumably high-rep O-lift workouts (like Grace).

I know you can't totally speak for the man, but any insights would be helpful.

Greg Everett 12-13-2006 02:31 PM

Burgener's lifters do not participate in CF training. It's 100% lifting, and he'll be the first to tell you that CF is detrimental to lifting performance (as would be any other non-lifting-specific training with any kind of real physical demands--not meant to pick on CF here). He really only uses CF-style training with his high school PE kids or non-weightlifter athletes. His WOD is a clear example of this.

I hesitate to pick on him, but Josh Everett is a good example of the effects of CF training on lifting. Josh is a remarkably strong guy (split snatches 115, split clean and jerks 160 or so I believe). But the more CF he does, the worse his lifts get. He's simply not able to hit the numbers he could before. It's a conscious decision he's made, of course, to place priority on CF over lifting.

Hopefully Burgener and Josh will chime in here so I'm not speaking for them entirely.

Steve Shafley 12-13-2006 05:27 PM

I've considered questions like this quite a bit.

For a strength-athlete, like a powerlifter, thrower, or olympic lifter, I'd like to think you need to tailor the XF style work towards accessory movement circuits...things that are going to complement your lifting, not erode it.

An example for a powerlifter who is weak at the start of the deadlift:

Deadlift: Up to maximal single for that day

Accessory Circuit:

Snatch grip high pulls from the floor
Zercher squats from pin
Glute/Ham raises

Sets of 3 for the SGHPs
Sets of 5 for the ZS
Sets of 5-8 for the GHRs

Start the circuit moderately light and work up until you are a few reps within your repetition maximums for those movements given the state of fatigue.

Rest about 1 minute in between movements in the circuit. Go for 3-5 circuits.

You get your strength work in. You also will get some systemic conditioning from the circuit, as well as work on the deficits you are interested in correcting.

As you get closer to competition, you start eliminating those movements that are either stale or you are no longer interested in.

mike burgener 12-13-2006 05:55 PM

I love crossfit!! i like what it does for my athletes and my students. but i do not use crossfit with my competitive weightlifters. now having said this, i will and have used crossfit with these athletes during the summer. for example sage will and h as done "dating sage" fight gone bad, etc, etc....but far enough away from a major competition that its not an issue. my lifters, snatch, clean and jerk, back sqt, front sqt....and work on any weaknesses they might have. hope this helps.

Mike ODonnell 12-13-2006 06:03 PM

I think Dan John said in one of his articles once "If you want to get better at throwing, then throw..." (pardon if I did not get the quote right). But that applies to anything from OLY, to Hockey, to Chess, to whatever. If you want to lift heavy....you lift heavy. Cross training is always good...but will not max out one goal...you may give up endurance for a while, but that is not your goal at this time.

Eva Claire Synkowski 12-13-2006 06:33 PM

richard, did you see this thread (re: strength vs gpp)?

a bit of a different angle, but likely of some interest to you.

Ron Nelson 12-13-2006 09:55 PM

Greg, Coach B, Steve,
All great replies. Not being a competitive lifter, I can easily use CF work as my metcon training while I continue to work on my foundational strength.

Thanks for answering my questions regarding these issues.

Allen Yeh 12-14-2006 05:33 AM


Originally Posted by Ron Nelson (Post 1913)
Greg, Coach B, Steve,
All great replies. Not being a competitive lifter, I can easily use CF work as my metcon training while I continue to work on my foundational strength.

Thanks for answering my questions regarding these issues.

Ditto on the thanks from me.

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