After 3 years of CrossFit training at an affiliate box I have come to the conclusion that I will be better served in the short term by doing my own programming. You see, CrossFit has a series of standard movements or exercises that form its core prescribed programming, such as handstand push-ups, pistol squats, muscle-ups, double-unders and the like. Lets be clear, I cant do any of these. A muscle-up is a chest to bar pull-up with a full ring dip, I have never in my life done a single pull-up. Same with the rest of these movements, well, I have managed a total of 10 double-unders lifetime, never more than 1 at a time.
Try as I might and with all of the encouragement in the world I could not do any more CrossFit without being able to do any of the core movements of the proper CrossFitter. I hate that the routine of going to the gym every morning and hanging out with my gymrat pals came to an end but hopefully the transition to home gymming will bear fruit and some substantial gains be made. Over the past several years I have developed a lot of love for Olympic lifting and would really like to see some substantial gains here so I am following the StromgLifts 5×5 training 3 days a week, M-W-F to grow and maintain strength with free weights. This program has a strict linear progression that I am going to try and follow about 5 months, the natural end of the beginner cycle. Then I will assess and see where I might want to go from there. On T-Th-S I am following the 50 Pull-up progression to finally get some dead hang pull-ups going. I have just finished the fourth week of this, still doing negatives but feeling really strong. My major hurdle to doing bodyweight exercises right now is my body weight, still hovering around 300#. On the plus side, when I do get some pull-ups I will be a seriously strong dude.
While doing the 5×5 and alternating the pull-up progression, I plan to work in some HIIT work as well, but slowly so as not to degrade my recovery. I am thinking of alternating tabata bike sprints with 5 sets of 10 shuttle runs first and then working in more and more variety. As the first two programs begin to mature I am looking to take on the 1st major hurdle, the benchmark workout Fran. 21-15-9 alternating pull-ups and thrusters, my target is to complete the workout rx in under 5 minutes. Then I will move to mastering double-unders and switching to a Bulgarian method lifting program to get my squat to around 1.25x bodyweight, this will make pistol squatting very easy once I get the balance down. Pull-ups can be maintained by adding to other workouts, so I dont lose any of the gains I have worked hard for.
All of this is far down the road but making attainable goals is part and parcel of moving forward. Slowly I am making gains and avoiding injury and I am OK with that. I would rather have perfect form than talk about making PRs will recovering from avoidable injury. Lift safe and recover, words to live by.
I really like the bike trails that we have here, today was a perfect day to ride, almost no one out fighting the wind. Just as I would expect it to be on the day of the ride, the wind quartered about half way through and I ended up fighting it about three quarters of the time. I will have to start riding in the evening as well to get in the amount of saddle time I want to work up to. One other thing, if you plan on doing any endurance riding at all, do yourself a favor and get your bike set up just for you. I cannot tell you how much more comfortable it is to ride a bike that fits. I have gone through 3 major saddle upgrades in the past three years and each one took about a month to get used to. You sure don’t want to make a major change in the way you ride right before a big event, you want to be really used to the bike when you are going to be spending a lot of time on it. The route I took today is becoming a favorite, it is about an hour long without wind and it favors the way I like to train, I never stop. 18.5 miles with two turnarounds and never came out of the pedals. That is the way I will ride in August, this jaunt is just about two rest stops worth, I want to add another thirty miles to this before the ride. Also need to work on speed, this tempo would get me 59.2 miles by 11:30, probably 20 miles short of Hells Gate, something to think about but then it is the first training ride of the season.
I like to think that I make pretty good decisions, I am not an expert on anything but I know quite a few and I am not shy about asking for help when I realize that I could use some. When I started into fitness I was really jumping into a big pool, I needed help with just about everything.
Thankfully the fitness community is a very giving, social group, there are plenty of resources if you take a small amount of time to find them. On my journey so far I have made a few friends and found out quite a bit of information that has really helped me.
Firstly, I am a CrossFitter, I drank the kool-aid and I will be WOD-ing until I drop. This community has some super minds working all the time and here is a short list: Olympic weightlifting, Mike Burgener, Diane Fu, Mobility, Dr. Kelly Starrett, Gymnastics, Carl Paoli, Strength, Rob Orlando, to name a few. On the web there is the team at California Strength, Littlest Lim, Shaheen, Scott Hisaka, Spencer Moorman and others, they post their workouts on Youtube on a regular basis, very cool to watch their progress and check out their programs. Mike Bledsoe and his bunch over at Barbell Shrugged does a weekly podcast that drops every Wednesday if memory serves, they have expert guests and a really entertaining and informative show, definite don’t miss stuff there.
Glenn Pendlay and the boys at MDUSA also post heavy on Youtube, that is where at least some of your future Olympic stars are coming from. One of my favorites is Jon North and the Attitude Nation (Attitude Nation Salute!!!) a super lifter and good freind of Donny Shankle. I hope this little list can help you at least as much as it has helped me, good luck and good lifting!!