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Old 12-14-2006, 06:22 AM   #1
Steve Shafley
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Default The Crossfit Total

Great idea. The lifts involved are easy to perform, and could really be the foundation you could lay everything on.

However, what the results on the WOD blog comments are illustrating is:

1. You don't build strength accidentally (as in a random performance of the lifts, or similar lifts, for various rep loads, doesn't program for max strength)

2. There is a long road ahead of many here, even with Rip giving a lot of input on the programming of the slow lifts for the WOD.

3. In my opinion, you need to have some kind of gathering together for the XF total. Me doing it in my basement is going to significantly different than me doing it in front of other "competitors". This type of gathering would also help cement proper form and mechanics. Because a 1RM loaded squat is completely different than a "mature" BW squat.

Comments on #1:

Many have commented on this. It's really quite basic. There is a certain level of strength you are going to acquire going through the motions. After that, it takes a dedicated program to increase it. By dedicated, I am asserting that you will, indeed, need to specialize on these movements to the detriment of metabolic conditioning.

This is particularly applicable for those coming from a endurance background, marathoners, tri-athletes, etc.

Otherwise, you are going to plateau.

I really like that phrase. "You don't build strength accidentally." This is applicable across a number of different types of workout regimens, from your typical gym rat "curl and bench" routine, to the WOD. If you aren't focused on a goal, it's not just going to happen.

Comments on #2:

The continual evolution of the WOD. When you can encompass everything and call it XF, then when is anything not Crossfit? There seems to be a continual broadening of the types of training and activities that are included under the XF umbrella. When your personal WOD looks like a Westside Barbell routine, then it's not XF anymore.

Robb had a very interesting idea when he called for a WOD comparision, so I went back and looked.

There is still a focus on metcons. I do see more chippers in the last year or so, as opposed to some of the more focused WOD (less exercises, more rounds or reps). There is about 2x-3x the frequency of lower rep work, which seems to shake out to a roughly 2x weekly programming for 1-2 heavy lifts, which aren't usually repeated except on a monthly basis.

I seem to see less gymnastics derived movements programmed, at least in the last month.

Interestingly enough, Ernie Frantz' powerlifting routines kind of looked like this:

Monday: Squat Assistance
Tuesday: Bench Assistance
Thursday: Deadlift Assistance
Saturday: Total day for the powerlifts, fully geared up.

I might have the days wrong, but he did successfully use the "one meet a week" kind of situation to prep his PL club.
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Old 12-14-2006, 07:23 AM   #2
Mike ODonnell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Shafley View Post
The continual evolution of the WOD. When you can encompass everything and call it "Brand A", then when is anything not "Brand A"?
Going the route of not using names, but I was thinking that same thing as Steve mentioned. I don't think anyone can come out and say Brand B's program is not as good as Brand A's program, when Brand B may have a written down 12 week progression, and Brand A's program is not known day to day and can be changed at any time. It's just to open sourced.

It should say Brand B is good for X, and Brand A is good for Y. X & Y being different types of goals or performance endeavors (strength, powerlifters, rowing, bowlers..whatever). But again, was just a thought I had and don't want this to turn into anything more than that.
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:19 AM   #3
Steve Shafley
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I think for GPP "Brand A" is hard to beat. But, being able to crush the benchmarks in a Brand A workout does not mean things are going to translate to a particular sport, unless that workout targets the particular qualities for that sport.

Brand A.

Heh.

Good call, though, because you can apply the same kind of criticisms to inappropriate applications of the olympic lifts, WSB programs, 5x5, Hypertrophy-Specific
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:54 AM   #4
Mike ODonnell
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Originally Posted by Steve Shafley View Post
I think for GPP "Brand A" is hard to beat.
I agree on that.....no arguements here. But of course it's only as effective as how you apply it to your specific needs and goals. So if I use a workout from Brand A once a week and supplement the rest of the week with other Brand B..C..D routines, am I now only doing the Brand A workout? Are all my results all from Brand A? I don't see how. I also chuckle when I hear "Hey, look a functional workout in the magazine....or the movies.....they are doing Brand A...Rocky does Brand A....Olympians do Brand A....My math teacher does Brand A....everyone stole it from Brand A..." Ummmm....doing a pushup doesn't make it a Brand A copyrighted workout, or using a dumbbell/sandbag/pullup bar/oly bar doesn't mean that either. I think that goes back to having an open source ever changing program that can take credit for anything that is now applied.

I am glad there is a Brand A that brings excellent programs for GPP and unique combinations to light for the better off of the general public's fitness level. I am glad there are Brand As, Bs, Cs who publicly show and share their training philosophies on the internet for free so people like me can learn and learn and learn. Although I just someday someone will come see my training business and say "Hey you stole Brand A's idea" because I had a dumbbell in the room and it will probably send me over the edge. lol
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Old 12-21-2006, 08:56 PM   #5
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I think the great thing about Brand A, is that it being Open Source allows a revisionary model of advancement. The only issue I see is that we only have Brand A
and we need to have the same model applied within a
Brand B and
Brand C

or even sub brands maybe such as Brand A Rev.0.001A
The big argument these days is that Brand A is the only Brand doing what it is doing, which I have to agree it is. There is no alternative Brand B which uses the same open source operating model as Brand A.

I think in order for Brand A to improve significantly is to have Brand B competing with it in its own game!

Sorry for the giberish I'm stupid!

Secondly both Brand A and Brand B NEED to start using data collection, collation, and analysis rather than just opinionative analysis!!!

Anyway Merry Christmas I'm off to visit the famdamly for the weekend.
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Old 12-22-2006, 06:13 AM   #6
Neal Winkler
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I like the idea of the total too, but if the whole point is too test one's overall functional strength capacity, I'm wondering if the front squat would of been a better choice since far more likely to be found in nature. The past few years I've been an odd object lifter for my job (lot attendant at Home Depot), and the lifts that I have found are required the most are front squat, deadlift, hang clean and snatch pulls, presses, pushing and pulling that would be akin to sled pushing and pulling, farmers walks, and zercher type lifts where you use the knees/legs for assistance. I can't think of one instance where I've ever had to use a back squat, it's just not all that practical. Although I suppose since you can do more wieght it will make you able to lift more opposed to a front squat, and it's not like it's that far of a stretch just to use a front type squat when you encounter it in the real world.
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neal Winkler View Post
I like the idea of the total too, but if the whole point is too test one's overall functional strength capacity, I'm wondering if the front squat would of been a better choice since far more likely to be found in nature. The past few years I've been an odd object lifter for my job (lot attendant at Home Depot), and the lifts that I have found are required the most are front squat, deadlift, hang clean and snatch pulls, presses, pushing and pulling that would be akin to sled pushing and pulling, farmers walks, and zercher type lifts where you use the knees/legs for assistance. I can't think of one instance where I've ever had to use a back squat, it's just not all that practical. Although I suppose since you can do more wieght it will make you able to lift more opposed to a front squat, and it's not like it's that far of a stretch just to use a front type squat when you encounter it in the real world.
Neal-
Good observations. Another question I have, and I touched on this elsewhere, IF a foundational strength base is requisite to smoking CF WOD's is a randomized approach to strength development the best way to go? I'd argue no...so where does that leave CrossFit? Does one need a non-randomized foundational strength base to excel at "Constantly varied, if not randomized functional movements performed at high intensity..."?

Lots of fun stuff to play around with here.
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Old 12-28-2006, 10:26 AM   #8
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I'd say...keep it simple:

1) Lift compound movements heavy
2) Do sprint/interval work
3) Add in Sport/Activity specific training
4) Do consistently, monitor progress and increase volume

What more does one really need?
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Old 12-28-2006, 11:20 AM   #9
Elliot Royce
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Well, for what it's worth, my observation would be that there is nothing magic about CF but that it has 3 clear benefits for me:

first, the way the non-strength training WODs are constructed and with the time component, it forces you to go all out in a way that most, non-coached workouts do not. It's that intensity that creates growth. Now, I'm someone who needs his butt kicked so maybe for more hardcore guys it's not so important.

second, and related, the WODs are just damn efficient timewise.

And, third, the WODs continually surprise me by unearthing weaknesses. Again, perhaps if I were an elite athlete, I wouldn't have any weaknesses or have fixed them, but right now I've got plenty to work on. Case in point, overhead squats are a complete pain due to inadequate shoulder flexibility. Never was a problem just lifting weights.

Without the WODs, I'd be more inclined to just lift for strength. I find it so much easier to apply maximum effort to lifting a heavy weight than to rowing or pullups.

Not saying that this is true for everyone, and as I posted elsewhere I'm constantly supplementing with other exercises.
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Old 12-29-2006, 03:59 PM   #10
Craig Cooper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robb Wolf View Post
IF a foundational strength base is requisite to smoking CF WOD's, is a randomized approach to strength development the best way to go? I'd argue no...so where does that leave CrossFit? Does one need a non-randomized foundational strength base to excel at "Constantly varied, if not randomized functional movements performed at high intensity..."?
This is the question that plagues me constantly, and why I think it's silly that CF refuses to document results, insisting that the black box rules all. I think that CF is great, but it would be great to see what kind of results people are seeing from doing just the WOD on the main page. I think that it's pretty safe to say that if you take someone who is deconditioned and throw WODs at them as their main source of exercise that it will produce a level of overall fitness far greater than a traditional cardio + strength training program would, which is great if you don't have any specific goals, but what if you do? Even if your goal is to smoke as many WODs as you can, I think that some degree of specialization and organized programming is required. I remember Robb saying in a different thread that those who produce the best WOD times came to CF as an accomplished athlete, so the question once again is which program produced these results, CF or their previous endeavors?
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