Should I do a strength training program to prepare for CrossFit?
Posted: 05 October 2008 06:39 PM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  10149
Joined  2007-01-08

GD sums it up beautifully here

Garddawg - 05 October 2008 05:46 PM

Improving strength first, then working on endurance and metcon is the fastest way to improve crossfit performance.  take a someone that is a strength athlete and introduce them to crossfit and they will have better performance than an endurance athlete that was introduced to crossfit at the same time.

This was posted today with a reference to taking time away from CrossFit to do a strength cycle and then bringing that new found strength back to CF.  I’m addressing it because to leave it out there as fact becomes problematic for new people reading the board.  I’ll be the first to admit that Brand X has only a small sampling of athletes trudging through over the past five years, but our experience runs counter to this statement.  Besides the fact that our experience runs counter to this there are several fallacies in the argument for doing this that I think are important to point out. 

Before we start, if you want to quit CF for whatever reason great.  If you want to do a strength cycle who cares.  If you want to run an ultra-marathon great.  That being said there needs to be intellectual honesty in the discussion, and statements need to be backed up by fact.

So on to my case and feel free to have at it all you want.

1.  Statement:
Power lifters and Oly lifters do better at CF than other groups. This may be true, but 6 months of power lifting does not make you a power lifter. It does not give you a strength background, no more than six months of running gives you a running “background”.  It makes you like any other gym guy that has lifted heavy weights and then come to CF it doesn’t make you Anthony Bainbridge or Josh Everett.  So what do we see with these guys who have not spent years lifting heavy weights.  They are like everyone else.  Often worse off actually.

2.  Statement:
A period of focused strength work is necessary because it is harder and takes longer to build strength than it is to build Metcon.  Now this may be true if you are talking about developing a 600 pound deadlift.  This takes years of specialization.  The strength it takes to do CrossFit does not take that long to develop.  A 95# thruster is light. A power lifter would laugh at your 225# deadlift. Why is it that the tri athletes coming into our gym seem to perform better than the powerlifters we have seen.  Because it is fairly easy to get them to build up the strength necessary to complete the CF workouts as Rx’d. The lifters and gym goers have trouble learning to function when their heart rate goeas through the roof. The will to continue when you are that uncomfortable is hard to develop.

3.  Statement:
By doing a strength only cycle I will be much stronger when I reenter CrossFit.  Yes you will.  But how much stronger would you be than if you continued doing CrossFit (Including the strength days which are plentiful in the mainsite wod’s).  Can you quantify a percentage strength increase that you will achieve above what would be normally gained through CF?  Is that percent gain enough to make up for the plummet in the other nine general skills?

4.  Observation:
I’ve posted vids over and over for the past few months.  Recently one of Connor working with in the CF protocol squatting 265 x 5 and turning around and doing Fran in 2:50.  I believe we have a vid of his 150# body squatting 300 for reps.  Gimpy who posts on this board, weighs 170#, working within the CF protocol last week deadlifted 445 x 3.  Front squatted 290 x 3, back squatted 330 x 3 and 235 x 20.  So, I observe that there is a way to get strong and not lose your metcon, and in fact proof of it is repeatedly given.  Why is this, because CrossFit is a Strength and Conditioning program.

So have at it!


Craig Massey

“The point of CF is to get better at life.  Being unable to workout tomorrow because you were pigheaded today is not in line with our goals.”
Garddawg - 22 March 2009

“CrossFit is not dangerous.
Bad coaching is dangerous, poor movement is dangerous. Ego is dangerous.
CrossFit, properly scaled to the individual is the safest and most efficient program available for strength, conditioning and movement.”
BlueBugofJustice - 18 August 2009