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bill brasky 01-30-2007 10:43 AM

Instinctive Training
Gentlemen and Ladies,

I read a short piece from MILO speaking about "instinctive training" or training more by how one feels as opposed to a set "program". I have been doing the crossfit WOD for 5-6 days per week, but I guess I miss doing workouts that are not included in the WOD: pushing cars, obstacle course near me, weird lifts, etc... What are the pros/cons to an instinctive style training?

This might be a trial and error type of thing, but I thought I would ask.

I also like how something like this applies in diet/nutrition. Instead of planning my meals, I just eat meat, veggies, fruit, nuts most of the time by second nature. Although, the caveat in this might be that I did follow "programs" for a couple of years in respect of both training and nutrition.

Scott Kustes 01-30-2007 11:29 AM

One con could be that if you always feel like doing things that you're good at, you're unlikely to address weaknesses.

Greg Everett 01-30-2007 01:41 PM

Instinctive training and programming aren't mutually exclusive. If you're doing something like CF with no specific goals, then there's no need for planning--you cook up training day-to-day essentially randomly. If you do have goals, programming is not just beneficial, it's necessary. That said, how you program can vary greatly. In the case of having a planned approach, the instintive part comes into play with loading and volume. For example, if you're weightlifting 'Bulgarian' style, you're just snatching, clean and jerking, and squatting. Your percentages will be based on your maxes for the day--so I may work up to a heavy snatch single, then drop to 90% of that for 2 singles, then 85% for 2 singles. The instinct is paying attention to how you feel that day and not forcing yourself to work heavier than you should be just because you have it written down somewhere. On the flipside, if on any particular day you're feeling unusually good, you train accordingly--these are the days you often make PRs, whereas if you relied strictly on a planned approach, you may not have attempted those numbers and essentially missed a window.

bill brasky 02-01-2007 07:24 AM


If my goal is just long-term health and having some fun while doing it, I think making up something to do every day might still meet that goal right? However, is there some sort of "skeleton" one might use to piece stuff together? I have different equipemnt available to me on different days, but sometimes I don't have internet and I struggle to find a good way to put stuff together.


Robb Wolf 02-01-2007 10:06 AM

there are years of archived WO's at Crossfit,the fitness conduit(http://www.coachrut.blogspot.com/) and some other sites. you can sift through these and select the WO's that fit with your gear. Loads of variety and usually some benchmark times to see where your performance is among the pack. Keep us posted on what you are up to!

bill brasky 03-12-2007 09:22 AM

I have been trying to do this style of training for a bit. I just notice that my "energy" levels are always up and down. I've got a alot going on in life lately: getting married, moviing, exams, work, etc...

This style of life makes the 3 on, 1 off, spread I envisioned pretty difficult to recover from. I guess I need to really figure out what is more important: sleep or training - many days I have to make that decision.

But I do like not being too mauch of a slave to a particular protocol.

Mike ODonnell 03-12-2007 11:02 AM

I would say find the workout schedule and protocol that fits your life, schedule, energy demands, recovery days, etc. No need to do too much if in the end all you end up doing is getting burned out and then sit on the couch and eat Cheetos all day. (Mmmmmm Cheetos...) Anyways...address the areas you want to work on and fun usually comes with any progress you see. Pick exercises and reps...make your own circuit and go through for time. Go to the track...run 400 meters and everytime you do a lap have another circuit to do..pushups, situps, burpees....whatever. It's not rocket science...so have some fun with it.

You could also have your days by workout goals....metabolic days with all bodyweight.....heavy lifting days.....whatever you want to work on. Then schedule it however you need to....such as 2 on, 1 off...or Mon-Wed-Fri Lifting, Sat metabolic....the key to health is doing enough stimulus to result in a positive effect on the body without overtraining yourself and creating excess damage and little recovery to the body.

Just be consistent...as that is the key factor in determining long term results.

bill brasky 03-14-2007 02:46 PM


I think that was what I needed to hear. That has just made working out something for me to look forward to. (I don't know if that sentence was grammatically correct)

Great wisdom.

Also, I wanted to know if anyone knows anything about Sayre Park in Chicago. Apparantly, there were, at one time, a great deal of quality, olympic lifters who trained there. I will move to about 2 blocks from there in a few weeks and just thought I'd ask. You never know where people are

Dave Winchester 03-19-2007 08:18 PM


Originally Posted by Scott Kustes (Post 4094)
One con could be that if you always feel like doing things that you're good at, you're unlikely to address weaknesses.

Yeah, if I only did what I felt like I'd honestly probably end up doing this.

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