I recently wrote how I need to cut back on high intensity workouts that are leaving me broken, long after the WOD ends. Therefore I am taking a brief sabbatical from CrossFit programming to give my body time to recover.
In the meantime I will be working on strength, mobility and flexibility. So I’ll still be in the Box, but outside the main stream of WOD-mania for a while.
To that end, I have been doing homework on various strength programs. I’ve been looking at many programs over the past few months.
A few I have looked at are:
- Medhi’s Stronglifts 5×5
- Jim Wendler’s 5-3-1
- Jason Ferruggia’s Renegade Strength
- Juggernaut Cube
- Jerred Moon’s One Man One Barbell
- Mark Rippletoe’s Starting Strength
I have downloaded these programs and killed a couple trees printing them out. I have also read them on my iPhone, my MacBook, and my Android Tablet. I read them on lunch break, at the coffee shop and in the bathroom. TMI, sorry!
All of these programs seem to have something that appeals to me. Some are simple, some are complicated, some scale more easily than others, some include Olympic lifts, some co-exist with CrossFit, some require access to a gym, others do not.
I was a bit overwhelmed, so I polled a bunch of new friends on a CrossFit Masters forum. Many leaned towards 5-3-1, but then others recommended even more choices. I thought I could narrow my choices and then something happened.
What happened? Coach Greg recommended yet another program: Dan John’s Mass Made Simple. I downloaded this six-week program and I consumed the 120 page book overnight. Now I am really confused. Why? Because Greg knows I like Squatting. Dan John is all about Squats. Need to learn how to keep your core tight? Squat! Want to build strong glutes? Squat! Want to end Global Warming? Squat!
As I read about this intense six-week program I learned that Dan John is such a no nonsense guy that he insists that if you can’t squat, then you need to Squat. Yes, for the neophyte such as myself, he has a prerequisite six-week program called Squats 101. During this program, you spend five days a week focusing on squat form using goblet squats with dumbbells. By the end of six weeks, your goal is to be doing high reps of goblet squats with a 100 pound dumbbell.
After six weeks of Squats 101, when you can do a dumbbell ladder of reps, up to 100# and back down, then you get to join the big dogs doing the real program. Greg also knew this program would appeal to me because I am looking to get bigger. I’m tall, but I’ve always been skinny. Skinny-fat, but skinny. This program is designed to put some meat on my bones. I get teased about needing to grow some pecs, so I’ll have a place to put a tattoo (I’ll welcome the pecs, but the tats ain’t gonna happen).
The more I read from each of these programs, the more obvious something becomes. They are all good programs, IF you follow them. They each have a place, IF you follow them as instructed. Don’t try to make a buffet of them, selecting an appetizer from 5-3-1 and and entre from Mass Made Simple and dessert from Stronglifts. Pick one and follow the recipe, for the entire length of the program. However, if you simply follow Coach Google throughout the interweb, all you will do is strengthen your “mouse finger”.
In an upcoming post, I’ll share what my evolving fitness regimen is.
Note: 2017 Update – my current regimen is three days a week of CrossFit, 2 Days a week of Olympic Lifting, 2 Days a week of Starting Strength. And I am not working out seven days a week, some days are two-fers.