the spaz of fitness has arrived

Back to Butt Basics

In Training, WOD on April 6, 2012 at 2:42 pm

First of all, thank you for all the helpful responses to my post yesterday. After too much research and  evaluation, I think I’m going to experiment with Justin’s Strength and Conditioning program from 70’s big:

(I attribute my discovery of this program entirely to a friend, who for the sake of our blog, shall be nicknamed The Archeologist — partially for his actual profession, partially for his ability to excavate and inventory every CrossFit article/video on each training topic, and not at all for his dashing resemblance to Indiana Jones*)

I like that this program prioritizes strength but also acknowledges that CrossFitters can’t be kept from their metcon tendencies and accounts for that. As much as I do want my strength gains, I think alot of this fitness fun would seem futile if it disallowed me from participating in the activities I enjoyed most. I also like that it’s modeled off a 5×3 structure, since I’m not a major fan of the reps-to-failure scheme of Wendler’s 5/3/1 template.

True to my geekish self, I spent last night mapping out a training plan that would allow me to use gym “rest days” to do my heavier strength days, the lighter strength days will go with short, strength-emphasis metcons, and I can still incorporate some O-lift skill work (more for technique than strength), and participate in occasional classes– and have a full rest day in there as well. What I disliked about doing my own strength routine for so long was that it kept me from being able to hop in with the normal CrossFit classes because my strength work was actually the bulk of my workout and I couldn’t speed through it at the pace that most people blaze through their 5/3/1 stuff. This way, I’ll have a day or two to do a class if I want, or on the lighter strength days, I might be able to come in five to ten minutes early and participate in the metcon. I think I’m going to avoid chippers for a while, though I love them.

The Archeologist was also kind enough to watch and comment on my abysmal squat form. A note: I’ll be dropping my weights significantly when I first start this program, paring everything back down to the basics. I think my back squat has been so inconsistent lately (I could do 1.2x bodyweight for 20 reps one week, and then barely seven the next)   largely due to really shitty form. So I’m going to start at ~85% bodyweight and add accordingly, going as deep as possible. Not sure why, but I never thought about pushing my butt back on the way up, only the way down— which seems silly now because it’s as if I were disregarding the lifting portion of the lift.

So instead of looking like this:

I should look more like this:

(don’t we all wish we could look more like Camille?)

… which bears close resemblance to, but is not actually this:

(photo from– and I’m serious– polekittenfittness.com)**

I’m fairly certain that the success I saw with the doubled-up 5/3/1 routine could be attributed to the higher amount of overall reps. Not only did I repeat each set, but– because I designed my own workouts instead of following the classes– I tended to do WODs that worked the same movement or muscle group with lower weights. I think my body responds better to more reps rather than more weight, and this new routine will account for that, but still hopefully leave me a little wiggle room for normal WODs.

Speaking of WODs. Today’s was pretty damn fun. Possibly the only thing I enjoy more than burpees: partner WODs (a partner WOD with burpees would almost be too much happiness– almost). I think the “team”/”community” aspect of CrossFit comes out best during team and partner WODs. I sometimes find it difficult to motivate myself when training alone, or working alone amid a “competitive” class, but I always want to push harder if I’m part of a team. It’s just impossible to whine or feel sorry for yourself when your buddy is pounding through his deadlifts right next to you.

WOD:

AMRAP 20

Partner 1: Deadlifts (185/115)

Partner 2: 1 round of Cindy (5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 air squats)

Count number of deadlifts.

Good times 🙂

At any rate, I’ll probably take it light on the weights for the next few days and start fresh on the new training routine next Thursday. I actually can’t wait and wish I could start sooner, but this works best with my schedule. It’s normal to feel childishly giddy about starting new strength programs, right?

—-

*Actually, I’m pretty sure The Architect could squat the boulder that chased Indy through the Temple of Doom.

** Yesterday, after Striking, we discussed the potential marriage of the newest fitness fads: CrossFit Pole Dancing. The Cyborg demonstrated; truly, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a Marine veteran/CrossFit coach treat a Rogue rig as a stripper pole 😉

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