Monday, March 2, 2009 by Daniel

Getting Programmatic: 12 week strength hybrid

Six months ago, I started an open-ended experiment in Intermittent Fasting, designed to cut off all the fat I gained in a relatively unsuccessful "bulking" cycle. The IF was a great success, taking about 10 weeks to get down to ~10% bodyfat. It was also burning me out tracking everything so diligently, so I decided that I would just "coast" a bit with my CrossFit programming, going to my affiliate (CrossFit EastBay - CFEB) regularly but turning my focus to developing my climbing technique and trying to finish off the Level II skills.

Well, I'm now climbing 11a and finally got my lead card, and I've knocked off several more Level II's, so I think it's time for another change in direction. I feel as though the limiting factor in most of my workouts is still my strength, so I intend to embark on a 12 week hybrid strength cycle.

From past experience, I know that I don't like the rollercoaster methodology of weight training (ie, bulking and cutting). I hate feeling fat, I hate dieting, and I hate watching my climbing and met-con performance plummet from carting around a bunch of fat. In this cycle, I hope to achieve some increases in strength without gaining a lot of weight and losing a lot of conditioning. To that end, I will combine low-rep strength routines out of CrossFit Strength Bias (CFSB) with regular metcons, as well as combine a high-protein, high-fat diet with intermittent fasting.

  • A higher CFT: increased 1RM numbers in Deadlift, Squat, Press and Bench.
  • Five workouts a week. two strength, three affiliate, plus regular climbing.
  • Strength days: each day will either be Deadlift and Press or Back Squat and Press. The rep scheme can be either 5x3 or 3x5 (basically depending on mood), ascending sets with the goal of raising the max weight in each lift each week (2-10 lbs). These Max Effort sets will be followed by an unbroken, up-to-21-rep set of the same movement at a lower weight. Once I can do 21 reps at a given weight, I'll go up the following week. It's my hope that this will provide additional stimulus to the CNS and help translate the raw strength gains to the kind of volume you see more often in a CF WOD.
  • As time and energy allows, the sessions will finish off with gymnastic practice - primarily handstand and muscle-up progressions.
  • Affiliate days: whatever the scheduled workout with CFEB is. Typically a metcon, could also be strength. If an affiliate strength day too closely overlaps with a strength day, I'll do a short metcon on my own.
  • As much as is possible, I will avoid super-high volume metcons or chippers. My ideal metcon would be 8-20 minutes long and no more than three movements.
  • Sample schedule might look like this:
    Wednesday: CFEB - Helen
    Thursday: 5x3 Deadlift & Press, followed by campus board and forward rolls
    Friday: AM Climbing, PM CFEB - 3 rounds, 400m , 21 thrusters, 15 KB Swing, 9 Pullup
    Saturday: CFEB - 100 KB Snatches for time
    Sunday: 3x5 Squat & Bench, followed by false-grip pullups
    Monday: Climbing
    Tuesday: Rest day
  • Weeks 6 and 12 will be half-volume, back-off weeks.
  • Additional rest days as necessary to prevent overtraining.
  • Current 1RM numbers: Squat 190, Deadlift 300, Press 105, Bench 160
  • Current 5RM: Squat 170, Deadlift 265, Press 95, Bench 140
  • Based on these numbers, it seems like I should start here:
    Squat: 135
    Deadlift: 225
    Press: 75
    Bench: 130
  • Daily goal: 2500-3000 calories, 50% Fat, 30% Protein, 20% Carb
  • Not paleo, but all real food. Plenty of dairy, VERY limited grains and sugars
  • Meat.
  • Fast at least 16 hours, four days a week
  • Quart of Kefir a Day. Homemade from whole milk.
  • 4 x Fish Oil/day
  • 1 x Multivitamin, Glucosamine/Chondroitin, and ZMA
  • Creatine Monohydrate? I'm on the fence about this one. I'll try it and see what happens, since I have it lying around.


Jenn said...

Looks like a good plan - very detailed, with specific goals. I found Starting Strength to be an enormous help with lifts, although you have Max to give you coaching on those.

Good luck, and happy lifting!

Ynez Arce said...

Very interesting... Can't wait to see how it goes.

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