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-   -   Using The Mass Gain Program To Improve Benchmark Scores (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=66)

John Daniel 10-13-2006 10:40 AM

Using The Mass Gain Program To Improve Benchmark Scores
I am 6 foot, 174lbs at 9% bodyfat. My goal is to complete all the benchmark WODs. My limiting factor is the required strength, for example I cannot DL 225lbs 45 times. (It is about my 1RM)

Do you think the Mass Gain program would be a better way to advance me to my goal than to continue doing the WOD?

Greg Everett 10-13-2006 10:47 AM

The mass gain program would be a step in the right direction in terms of spending more time directly working strength, but it's not the best way to go for you if your goal is not actually gaining weight but improving on specific workouts. A more effective method would be to simply add some direct strength work while performing modified benchmark WODs.

For example, your training schedule may look like this:

Day 1
Back Squat 10 x 3
Light WOD component work (e.g. pull-ups, deadlifts, thrusters)

Day 2
weighted pull-up 10 x 3
standing press 10 x 3
Light WOD component work (e.g. pull-ups, deadlifts, thrusters)

Day 3
Benchmark WOD

Day 4

Stick with the same strength movements for about 3 cycles, then switch. For example, the second cycle you may do front squats or deadlifts instead of back squats, rope climbs instead of pull-ups and weighted dips instead of standing press. Try to increase the loading on each of these each time you do them. Every few cycles, cut back the weight and volume to let yourself recover a bit.

On the light WOD component days, this is basically taking one part of a WOD - say thrusters from Fran, deadlifts from Diane, ring dips from Elizabeth - and training it at a relatively light load with fairly high volume. This should be hard work, but not so hard that you're not recovered and ready for your max effort on the WOD on Day 3.

On the Day 3 WOD, perform the workouts modified however necessary, e.g. for Diane, lower the deadlift weight to one you can manage for the full 45 reps and do negative handstand push-ups or assisted HSPUs if necessary. This should be performed as fast as possible (with proper form, of course) to get the metabolic component of the workout.

Bottom line is that to develop that strength, you need to spend some time working it directly. At the same time, performing the benchmark workouts regularly will get you accustomed to them and develop some metabolic conditioning, which, when combined with your increased strength base, will allow you to perform the benchmarks as prescribed with a competitive time.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!

Robb Wolf 10-13-2006 10:47 AM

Gregs' advice is awesome. Scotty Hagnas of CrossFti Portland has taken some of the benchmarks and worked them in the way Greg described and has produced some blistering times...and a load of strength. It works!

John Daniel 10-13-2006 10:48 AM

Thanks for the advice. Should I mix up the light WOD component work on each day, or stick with moves for a few cycles? I noticed you listed the same group for both day 1 and 2.

Also, on the light WOD components, I assume I should include all components, like air squats and wall ball? (In other words, more metcon)


Greg Everett 10-13-2006 10:48 AM

John - on the WOD component days, I would pick one movement, e.g. wall ball OR pull-ups OR thrusters, to focus on. Maybe drop that at pretty high volume into a metCon workout with other exercises, of which the volume is comparatively low.

Craig Cooper 10-13-2006 10:49 AM

On the days where you are combining strength work with metcon work, do you separate the two, or combine them into the same workout. For example, do you perform your three sets of 10 BS by themselves, with the appropriate rest inbetween sets, or do you throw the metcon inbetween sets?

Greg Everett 10-13-2006 10:49 AM

Separate them. Take the time to work the strength element alone - if you mix it with metCon, your loading will be limited.

PS - 10 x 3 is 10 sets of 3 reps

Kathryn Steen 10-13-2006 10:49 AM

When you say use the same strength mvmt for 3 cycles, that's 3x through the 4 day pattern you have mapped out. Then a bit of recovery. Then change up the moves for the next 12 days. Is my interpretation correct? Thanks.

Greg Everett 10-13-2006 10:50 AM

You are correct

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