Can you explain the difference of lifting for volume and the metcons involving weight lifting. People seem confused when I try to explain it.
Basically the question that coaches get all the time is: “can’t I just get strong from doing metcons? Why do I have to do strength?”
The short answer is no, no you cannot just get strong from Metcons.
There are dozens of psychological and physiological adaptations that occur during strength training that will NOT and do NOT occur when your major limiter is your breathing.
Here’s the long(er) answer from the exercise science perspective via Mike Bledsoe and the Barbell Shrugged Crew:
So, since that’s out of the way I’m going to approach this from a slightly different angle. Hopefully, my little story will help put this in a different perspective.
Getting strong requires not only an adaptation in your muscles (the fibers become capable of doing more work) and an adaptation in your Central Nervous System (your body’s ability to tell the muscles to do the work), but an adaptation in your psychological system (your brain’s willingness to let your body do something heavy and scary).
Do this little test: put 25lbs more than you’ve ever squatted on a bar. Then get under it and try to stand it up out of the rack. It feels like its going to crush you right? Of course it does. This is why things like rack holds and yoke walks are so effective.
Now, let’s apply my favorite nerd thing in the world to this conundrum.
The primary function of the human brain is survival. The thing that will keep you from surviving the quickest (ie kill you) is lack of breathing.
When you are conditioning, you are out of breath. When you can’t breath your body won’t make allow you to do anything else that is difficult (ie lift a heavy think that you’ve never lifted before).
So simply put, you won’t ever be able to put yourself in a situation to get stronger if the only time you ever try to get stronger is when you are in a metcon.
Now, the volume of what you lift in a metcon definitely needs to be taken into consideration for the next days work outs.
You shouldn’t try to PR your back squat the day after doing 300 air squats in Murph or 100 thrusters in Bull.
However, its never a replacement for actual strength training.
I was at your seminar at CF Lagrange yesterday and really enjoyed it- thank you for coming. My husband and I both crossfit 4-5x a week and we are participating in the 60 day challenge they just started there. Our goal is to do things “by the book” for this 60 days, be healthier, and hopefully adopt a few new eating habits forever. So we went shopping yesterday and a few questions came up.
1. If you buy anything that is not produce or meat, such as almond butter/milk or a even the most basic, organic, “all natural” salad dressing, the ingredient list (even if its a short list) includes corn syrup or some heinous 16 letter ingredient or whatever. Sweat it or not?
2. Second question is kind of along the same lines. My husband is a firefighter and they eat at restaurants a lot when he’s on shift. He can order meat and vegetables all day but chances are they dont fry their eggs in olive oil, etc. You dont know what they are doing to those meat and veggies to make them taste better. What is your view on eating paleo at restaurants?
3. Some paleo websites we looked at included “clarified” butter and stevia as acceptable. True?
4. Why is honey not paleo?
Thank you so much for the nice words and best of luck!
1. Don’t sweat it. Also don’t buy it.
It is not Paleo or otherwise good for you. These are precisely the types of things that we are trying to avoid at all costs!
2. In restaurants you just got to do the best that you can. They are usually cooking them in the cheapest oil possible and seasoning the hell out the them with whatever they can to make you keep coming back.
Do the best you can. Nobody is perfect and no diet is perfect.
3. Depends on who you are.
I don’t get wrapped up about clarified butter too badly. Try it and see how well it works for you.
I will say that you need to eliminate stevia completely. It is still an artificial sweetener. It will make you eat large quantities of questionable food (like Paleo Brownies) that are ok in moderation, but not good in a bender.
Don’t think of it in terms of letting you eat like you used to. How you used to eat is probably not that great. Use this as a motivation to push your taste pallet away from sweet and towards something better.
4. Honey is Paleo, but its not necessarily good for you.
Its just pure sugar. Yes, it has some good properties, but not enough to call it a true healthy food. Much like with stevia, it is a benign source of sugar. But you aren’t getting any real nutrition out of it.
Hey Yo Matt,
Wore the vest twice so far and here’s how I felt.
6 HPC @ 155
12 SDHP @ 2 pd
Finished dead ass last in the WOD with a time of 24:57RX, but felt ok.(or as good as one could while wearing a 25# vest) If I had to guess at least 5 minutes slower than I could’ve done without the vest.
First AMRAP I got 3 and the second one I got 2. This one totally sucked and I found myself stopping to catch my breath more than I did working. Was I missing the point of the workout by losing out on the intensity? I know I could’ve gone 4+ and 3+ without the vest.
Sooo..,I went back to the blog post:
Harder is not better. Better is better. Sometimes you need to make it harder for variety, a different challenge, or meeting a specific goal, but don’t think that upping the “suck factor” will necessarily lead to better gains.
I’m still thinking harder is better and guessing I should’ve left the vest in the car Thursday, right?
I honestly think you are spot on here.
The first WOD wearing the vest is fine. Yes, the vest will interfere with the normal movement patterns on both of the barbell movements, but the weight is not heavy enough that I am too concerned about it.
You said that you probably could have shaved 5 minutes without the vest. It took you close to 25 minutes. The difference between 20 and 25 minutes is not significant enough that it changes the intention of the WOD.
Now, if it was supposed to be a 7 minute WOD that took you 12, that would be a much different story.
You definitely should have left it in the car on Thursday.
Based on your rounds, you were not able to push at the pace that you would have been without the vest.
Also, the movements are not conducive at all to wearing a vest. Doing any sort of jumping motion with a vest on is generally more stress on your lower body joints and spine than I would recommend.
The quote you pulled summed it perfectly.
Yea you made the WOD way harder, but harder to the point that you missed the entire purpose of the workout.
Reducing risk of injury. I think I left enough time between events that my body won’t break down, what do you think?
Fitting in the cross training of cycling / running / swimming / erging in a way that will give me reasonable times for the events
As you know I’m a fairly good runner so I’m not overly concerned with finishing the Half Marathons. I would like to be able to finish them faster than I have before. The last half marathon I did was the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in which I sprinted out way too fast and ended up finishing in ~1hr 53 minutes (pretty much my usual pace, though I think I could have brought it down by 4 minutes if I hadn’t been so stupid). Ideally I would want to get sub- 1:40 for at least one of the half marathons I’ve chosen, but I’d be happy with sub-1:50.
Do you have any particular training recommendations? Currently I’m getting back into running shape, I did a 7.58 mile run in 1hr 5 minutes on a treadmill with no elevation. I’m also erging and did my last 10K in 44 min. and 12 seconds (a split of 2:12.6). I’m expecting those times to come down steadily over the course of the next month or two, with the erging 10K becoming a 2:05 split.
First off, year of the athlete is an awesome way to look at the new year. Its a lot better than having some nebulas weight loss or jacked and tan goal.
With the number of events and their proximity, there are really two season here: a late spring and an early fall. This means that for the next few weeks, you will need to ramp up your training and get “in season” shape. The summer months will be for taking care of any injuries sustained during the season, focusing on maintaining endurance, and trying to increase speed.
The late fall will be an off season. I would shoot for the erg around the end of October.
After the fall, you should be able to maintain the endurance you have with one long LSD session per week and little else. The rest of the week should be sprint and interval work.
Especially considering that you have so many long events, there should be no cardio issues anywhere.
You’ll get far more improvement by focusing on speed and strength work.
The best way to meet all of these goals is to kill as many birds as possible with a few stones available.
I would strongly recommend taking a look at CrossFit Endurance or B Mac’s Book Power, Speed, Endurance during your summer “off season” to provide a smartly programmed strength and conditioning plan to let you recover and actually improve during the in between months.
My big concern is that with so many events and so many repetitive motions you are basically dooming yourself to overuse injuries. The CFE program does a great job of getting you faster without beating you to shit.
Also, you come from a very strong endurance background. Distance runners may do it longer, but 10,000 “motions” with no power will leave anyone feeling a bit unsatisfied.
Get under some weights to improve your bone density, improve your muscle balance, and build some power so you have the ability to go fast.
The best prevent for an over use injury is not to over use something. The stronger everything else is, the harder it is to overuse something.
So I feel like I’m hitting a wall lately with Crossfit. It’s starting to frustrate me. Thoughts?
So people start CrossFitting and see these immediate huge gains in everything. It changes their lives and everything about them. Its huge. People go from hating exercise to junkies in literally a snap.
The unfortunate thing is that the level of adaptation for a beginner will quickly start to level off. Everything works for a while when you’re new. This means that if you are a couch potato and you start riding a bicycle than your bench press will go up.
New CrossFitters will experience the same thing.
This is especially true for a female who has never strength trained. After the first few months, your training will need to become more specific towards your goal.
After a certain point in time, randomness no longer will get you where you need to go.
So the plan of action is simple.
Identify your actual weaknesses.
Find someone smart to create a program or coach you (or jump in on a specialty class to meet those goals).
Work at those goals
This process repeats itself for the rest of your life.
The more trained you become the harder it is to adapt. The closer to your genetic potential you become the more specific work is required to train.
Even at the top level, you do not see Olympians in multiple sports.
That’s why Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders are so unique. They are literally the only two people in the history of ever how can be at that top level for multiple things.