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Old 07-08-2008, 08:29 PM   #1
Steven Low
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Default CF Games & CF (mainpage) Programming

Okay, so I decided to actually make a new thread because I didn't really want to taint the congratulations thread. I have been thinking about this a bit over the past few days but here's something to think about:

Josh (if you read this) would you say that your CF games profile is an accurate representation of your training?

How am I preparing for the games? Nothing special really. My weakly schedule looks like this...

Monday: agility drills followed by either 30yd sprints with a sled or sprints on the track up to 300m... everything is with full recovery... no fatigue
Tuesday: about 45 min of O-lift training focusing on snatches and sn asst movements a few sets of light C&J. After this I do a wt room based Crossfit (no running)
Wed: Sprints: 40yds up to 150m again with full recovery
Thursday: 45min of O-lifting focused on C&J along with heavy squats. I follow this with a running based Crossfit
Friday: rest day
Saturday: heavy o-lift day sn, C&J, squat... I usually follow this up with either 3x10 L-chins or 1x40 regular chins

Basically I enjoy sprinting & O-lifting so it makes up the bulk of my training. I'm ignoring training for the distance run because I felt like doing that last year really wore me down and I couldn't have run any worse than what I did anyways. As far as being mentally prepared... mostly I'm just visualizing my self being successful...also thinking of any and all possible wods and how I would attack them. The toughest part for me will be convincing myself to compete on the run... I have no interest in running over 200m competitively.
If that's the case, then since Josh doesn't really do CF WODs either:

1. There is a flaw in CF programming (whereby people who don't follow mainpage can get good at FITNESS)

2. You can get good at FITNESS without actually doing "CF" (as in a majority of "metcons"). This may actually go along with Gant's hybrid thread and MEBB routines for those weaker individuals who need more strength "before" fitness... but that may be another argument altogether.

This opens another question actually which is were this CF games and last years an accurate respresentation of gauging "fitness" or rather "increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains." I would argue yes, they were an accurate respresentation but this could be another whole thread in itself.

Basically, if yes the CF games were an accurate respresentation, then we have an incident where [1] CF (mainpage) does not necessarily "optimally" produce fitness or [2] FITNESS may be derived from multiple pathways not just CF programming. Might be a combination of the two, but I'm leaning towards #1 at the moment just because I've seen the effect lots of strength can have very easily on metcon ability (aka Donnie's grace).


Edit: I realize prior training pre CF or athletic background is definitely a big one. One of the main problems with analyzing CF right now is most of the elite "CFers" have athletic/strength backgrounds. This may also play a factor seeing as how strength is harder to gain while conditioning is fairly easy to obtain. But I don't think this is a major factor in the argument above.
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Last edited by Steven Low; 07-08-2008 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:05 PM   #2
Steve Liberati
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I would say the CF mainsite programming is more for the slightly above average crossfitter/athlete, whereas the more advanced/seasoned athletes deviate from the mainpage favoring more strength and power work and less on conditioning. This seems to be more and more evident as you allude in your post.

However, I do wonder if the workouts selected for this year's CrossFit Games (Fran, Heavy Grace, Deads/Burpees) adequately represented the ten physical skills that define fitness. Hard to argue how much strength influenced the results of the event. Would the outcome be the same if "Angie" "Cindy" or "Murphy" was in there?

While someone who is really strong (like Josh) has a big advantage in a strength dominated event (as with a heavy grace or Fran), I wonder how of an effect strength has on met-con style workouts. Probably not nearly as much.

So IF we know for sure that future CF Game heats will strongly favor strength based workouts, then YES people can get good at fitness (and increase their odds of winning) without following the main page.

But if we assume there is the same chance of a metcon workout being selected as a strength based workout, I doubt training for strength alone will be enough come out on top.
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:14 PM   #3
Liam Dougherty Springer
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I am no where near an expert but I belive as good as I am at metcon wods I will improve more by strength training right now than if i follow CF main page. My gut has been telling me that for a while and the logic behind "the higher my maximum strength becoms the easier multiple reps of any lighter weights will be" really feeds into my intuition. Anyway I am gonna chance it. My goal is to get back into CF main page on a regular basis by march. i really belive I will have improved my Grace, Fran, and Diane through my strength training more than I would have otherwise, we will see what happens to my Cindy, Mary, and Angie.

Interesting thread can't wait to see what people say.
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:19 PM   #4
Patrick Donnelly
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Anyone who believes the CFWOD is the optimal fitness program is delusional. It's a cookie-cutter program, which works pretty damn well for a lot of people (like the Zone diet), but it's not specifically tailored to get everyone to perfection.
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:29 PM   #5
Steven Low
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Ah yes, the thing I forgot was the level of programming (how foolish of me). If the WODs are for an "above average" CFer or whatever since we already have scaled workouts should something be advocated in a novice/intermediate/advanced/elite format?

True, the hopper could have been much more interesting. But lest we forget lots of strength applied towards metcon/endurance lends itself to great increases in conditioning/endurance in a very short time. I would be willing to bet that most of the people within the top 20 would still be there albeit the standings would just get mixed around a bit.

And strength alone definitely not. As you can see Everett's training he does have some semblance of conditioning from "some" CF and sprinting.


This is true. Everyone is different and responds different to different methodology. For example, some people can't handle 3/1 even with optimal sleep and nutrition.

I would ignore this for now though since we can't tailor everything to everyone. Look at it from a general perspective -- what kind of programming for instance would get the majority (or most) people the fittest. Is that indicative of CF main page or should it be modified to something else?
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:53 PM   #6
Chris Salvato
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Originally Posted by Liam Dougherty Springer View Post
I am no where near an expert but I belive as good as I am at metcon wods I will improve more by strength training right now than if i follow CF main page.
This brings up an interesting point that I have been mulling around for a few months.

People who get into the metcon program of crossfit see the benefits but usually drop out of main page programming after 3-8 months. After this time, people USUALLY jump on their own sort of program to acheive other, more personal goals....like increasing O-lift 1RM/5RM or obtaining gymnastics skills like planche, iron cross, front lever, etc.

It seems like the WOD page is made just to hook people into crossfit. The real crossfit methodology, behind the scenes of the WODS, seems to be finding what works best for the individual to increase performance across all domains.

One flaw with this method is that it is understated. People can go on doing WODs for several months or years without ever identifying personal goals -- just continuing to metcon for no particular reason.

Another flaw, that is kind of off topic, is that the main page WOD programming fails to address some key skills that Coach puts into his "World Class Fitness in 100 Words"

Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.
Very few, if any, crossfit enthusiasts work their basic gymnastics including presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits and holds. Not only are these hard to test in something like the games but they are hard to explicitly program into a WOD for the masses.

My main point is that it takes the participant to realize that they will hit a point in their CF training where they will NEED to deviate from metcons and create/use a program that is more tailored to their personal goals.
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:25 PM   #7
josh everett
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Yes that accurately reflects my training. That program would not have your avg person prepared for the crossfit games or get them to their "peak" fitness level. I'm 33 years old and aside from recovering from surgeries I have never been out of shape since i was about 13 years old. Because of my consistant fitness levels and track background for over 20 years I need to do much less met-con than the avg joe.
Yes there were people who were fit (even by crossfit standards) before www.crossfit, yes there are people who are fit that do not follow crossfit. BUT i challange you to name another program that has gotten more people fit than crossfit, and that has improved the fitness of our military personell like crossfit. The program works... can anyone name someone that has done more for fitness than Greg Glassman?... Maybe bob hoffman?
Also my efforts this weekend killed me... I was on my back after each event from 20-60min... those that followed the wod were up and around within 5minutes.
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:29 PM   #8
josh everett
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don't forget I lost the last 2 years to guys that follow CF programing.
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:46 PM   #9
Steven Low
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Yeah, not arguing that CF has gotten people fit and is probably at the moment one of the best if not the best program in the world for that. I'm just wondering if a difference in CF programming can get people "more" fit in the same amount of time that it does now.

I mean, we've seen the tendency at the moment with bringing in Mark Rippetoe that there's more strength bias to the workouts. Would further biasing produce a better effect?

And also the guys you lost to also had backgrounds in athletics or strength so I mean focusing that especially strength towards conditioning/endurance is going to exhibit very quick adaptations. One of the other things I was wondering about is when someone with a non-athletic, non-strength background will be able to compete with the CF "elite" if ever.
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Old 07-09-2008, 05:34 AM
Leo Soubbotine
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Old 07-09-2008, 08:27 AM   #10
Gant Grimes
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Glad you brought it up, Steven. I've been thinking this since Josh was profiled after last year's Games. Any comments I would make here are in my log or related threads from the past six months.

A couple points:

1) Like Josh says, main page CF is the best out-of-the box program for developing GPP in the average person.

2) Being stronger gives you a greater metcon capacity, especially as the weights get heavier.

3) 155# C&J at 30 reps is not a pure strength workout. As Dale Saran said on the CF forums, it takes a terrible metcon toll on the body. Strength is necessary but not sufficient.

4) Finally, and most importantly, Josh and the people who are great at this stuff are exceptional athletes, not athletes in the "fitness as sport" sense, but in the actual do-something-athletic sense. If you took any all-conference D1 outside linebacker and had him CF for a year, he would finish in the top 10.

Besides football and track, I imagine Josh can hold his own playing softball, basketball, volleyball, soccer, or whatever else. Genetically, he is a better human than most of the others. Most won't get to be Josh Everett, regardless of the amount of training, supplementation, or whatever else they do. Sorry. That's life.
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