Originally Posted by Robert Callahan
Listen, CF has done some very very very good things. Do you know how many people squat on a regular basis now that never would have before??? Or people that DL, or do pull-ups?
I'd add to that list: How many women are out there moving barbells and other heavy objects now who never would have before because they thought lifting would make them look like men.
As someone who found crossfit via a skiing forum reading this thread has been...interesting. I pretty much just read the CF FAQ, watched some demos and jumped in as best I could. Never been to a box. Thinking back I think I did read the article that started this thread, but at the time it didn't seem nearly as comical as it does now. Since Andrew wanted to hear from crossfitters (though I don't really consider myself one), here's my story:
Very unremarkable athlete in high school. I played football and ran track but I went to a very small school in a little hick town. I likely would not have made any athletic teams had I gone to a larger school. I didn't even like running at the time. I was on the track team primarily for the girls in short shorts and I sucked, like 75 second 400m suck. I got into trail running in college and have generally only become a better athlete as I've gotten older. Good skier, averaged 70-80 days per year '04-'09.
It was around early summer of '09 that I heard about the CF site and started trying out workouts, but I didn't have a barbell at the time and I did mostly just bodyweight stuff until mid november when I picked up a bar, plates and a rack off craigslist. I had gotten some rings a month or two previous to that. The BW stuff treated me pretty well. I developed a bursitis on one of my toes running the Grand Canyon double crossing in late May and ran very little afterwards that summer. When I started running again in the fall I was hitting near PR times on my favorite trails. Once I got the barbell setup I started following the CF.com workouts on the 3/1 schedule pretty consistently and scaled as needed. My first Fran was 13 minutes (97% of the time was spent on the thrusters, I had gotten pretty good at pullups over the summer).
As a ski conditioning program it worked out pretty well. My wife and I had a kid 1/13/10 and I skied a lot
less than I had in previous winters. In the 08/09 season I used my Alta pass 52 days, 09/10 I used it only 16 days but when I did get out I was charging just as hard as the previous season (here's my helmet cam compilation from 08/09 http://live.tetongravity.com/_Wasatc...912/75233.html
). Also, when spring mountain bike trips to Moab rolled around I felt far better than I ever had at the beginning of bike season.
I dropped the CF.com workouts in May in favor of CFE to train for a 50k I had planned for the end of July (Wasatch Speedgoat 50k, 12k feet of climbing at elevations of 8k-11k. Karl Meltzer designed the course and says it's the hardest 50k in existence. Since he's the current world record holder for 100-mile race wins I'll take his word for it). I followed their program closely, doing 4-5 of their S&C workouts per week, two interval workouts per week and hit the trails every saturday for a tempo on terrain similar to what I was going to find on course. When race day showed up I had the run of my life. I crushed my goal time (goal was <9 hours, I finished in 8:01. I placed 53/153 and there were at least another 50 who DNF'ed) and felt better afterwords than I ever have after an effort like that. I felt great, the rest of the day was just a typical saturday afternoon with the family. I had virtually zero DOMS the next day. Two days after the race I did my first Fran since my 13-minute effort back in November and finished in 4:48. I kept up with the CFE stuff through september and a friend and I did two other marathon+ runs in that time.
Never had rhabdo (though I have had some pretty severe DOMS a few times) and my shoulders seem
fine. I did have to take 6 weeks off in Oct-Nov to heal what I believe was a stress fracture in my lower right fibula. I started noticing minor pain just above my ankle in early September, maybe even before, but I mistakenly ignored it until I took my son on a hike in the backpack in late September and it became clear that something was definitely not right. I never got a bone scan as it was a 5-week wait to get in, but a PT friend of mine agreed that my symptoms were consistent with a stress fx and I have had no problems after taking the 6 weeks off. Maybe it was primarily CF related, but my guess is that the 3 ultras in 6 weeks were the primary cause.
Just for the hell of it I decided to do SS for awhile starting right after Xmas and my lifts are all up quite a bit. 3x5 weights:
I should probably be cleaning more, but my only coaching has been my video camera and I'm sure my technique could improve a lot. I saw most of my gains in the first 4-5 weeks. Since then some business travel, visits from family and a bout with the flu have stalled things out pretty good lately. My plan was to keep up SS until the end of February then go back to CFE programming.
So, my question for you guys is what should I be doing instead? I have no unflappable loyalty to CF. I'm a skier, a runner and a mountain biker and I only care about improving my performance on snow and trails and CF has worked better than anything else I've tried so far. I think I'm done following CF.com. I've had doubts about the programming before (when I was following CF.com I once saw Cindy, Barbara and Angie come up in one 3-day cycle
). CFE has treated me really well though and their S&C programming seems a lot closer to what you guys are advocating; a lot more heavy work and mostly short metcons. I realize it won't make me an elite ultra runner but I'll never be with my build and I'm quite content with my Speedgoat performance. I have fairly competing training goals. I need mass, strength and power for resort skiing and DH biking, but also CV endurance for backcountry ski touring (essentially walking around all day with 20 lbs on your back and 10 more on each foot), running and XC mountain biking.
That got pretty long, I look forward to hearing your guys' input.