Complementing Crossfit and Tracking Training Goals
April 20, 2014 7:12 PM   Subscribe

How should I complement my crossfit workouts with strength, cardio and plyometric training? What are some ways (templates and or forms) that you use to track your progress in the gym?

Coupled with regular crossfit and watching my diet over the last couple months, I am finally seeing results - yay me! I am doing crossfit 5 days a week in the evenings and the 30 day paleo challenge (with intermittent fasting) at my gym has really helped.

I want to take the positive reinforcement from the progress I have made and help me kick things up a notch and get back to the fitness levels I was in my 20's (I turned 30 last December).

Part I

So, how do I best complement my Crossfit training with a more structured workout plan?

I have signed up for a regular gym and can take out an hour at lunch to go workout (in addition to my evening Crossfit workouts)

My goals are as follows (strength goals listed as a multiple of body weight, with a goal body weight of 150 pounds, height 5'7''):
* Squat - 1.75*BW
* Deadlift - 2 * BW
* Benchpress - 1.5*BW
* 500m row - Sub 1:40 (current time is 1:55)
* 5K - Sub 20 minutes or faster (fastest I've run is 30 minutes)
* I am running my first mud run on Saturday (MuckFest in Boston) ( on a side note, what should I know about my first mud run? Any recommended gear that is a must have?)
* I have signed up for a Tough Mudder in September

I'd like some suggestions for organized programs (such as starting strength) where I can clearly track my progress. Ideally I'd like to alternate strength and cardio/plyometric training and I don't want to spend more than 5 days working out.

I like running, rowing, HIIT, kettlebell workouts and have access to a pool at the gym. I want to make use of as large a variety of these as possible.

Part II
How do you track your progress in the gym? Are there any templates/apps/open-source forms that you really love and that can be easily modified to track both strength and cardio exercises? Bonus points for templates that contain training progressions as well as help track progress - Here is an example of a training log/tracker I really like - courtesy of Concept2

posted by rippersid to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I remember your last question along similar lines, and you still sound kind of at odds with yourself.

It's reasonable that you don't want to train more than 5x/week, but I don't understand why you'd want to do multiple workouts per day, and I don't think that would be productive in your situation. Continually adding work eventually leads to diminishing returns, then regression, then injury.

CrossFit is not really about easy to track, clearly structured progress, it's about constant variation. Although these days there are plenty of CrossFit gyms that do periodized blocks of more specific training. Personally, I know that if I were paying $150/month or whatever your CrossFit charges and I felt like I had to go ask the internet for advice on additional workouts to do, I'd think something was amiss.

Having said that, if you want to look over some strength programs check out the FAQ at /r/weightroom. 5/3/1 is popular because the basic progression is simple and low-volume, so it leaves room for conditioning work.
posted by ludwig_van at 8:50 PM on April 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'm confused. Why aren't you doing structured strength training in your CrossFit sessions??? Perhaps it's time to shop around for a new box. Look for workouts that are posted on the site that show that the programming includes cycles (progressively heavier stuff weekly for around 6 weeks and culminates with 1RM testing) and conditioning. This will help you get better overall at CrossFit workouts (I read your frustration regarding 14.5 this year from your last question.

The best way I found for workout tracking is just a notebook with every day's weights/times for different lifts. Fitocracy, if I remember correctly, will let you choose the exercise and enter weights. It then displays your progress with graphs once you logged enough stuff. You can always set up a spreadsheet to transfer your written stuff down so you can look at progress or have everything in one place. I just haven't because I can't be bothered.

If you're doing crossfit 5 times a week, I wouldn't do anything on top of that. Resting is just as important as working out.
posted by astapasta24 at 10:00 PM on April 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Your CrossFit workouts should already include structured strength training and if it doesn't your coach is doing it wrong. Doing strength work at lunchtime and CrossFit in the evening is not going to allow your body enough rest and recovery time. You will stall your strength gains or worse, injure yourself. Consider supporting CrossFit with active recovery and mobility such as yoga or Pilates instead.
posted by bimbam at 11:31 PM on April 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Your fastest 5k is 30 minutes and you want 20? And also a 1.75xBW squat? Well...what are your squat/bench/deadlift numbers now? And how often do you work on those lifts?

My advice is to focus. CrossFit is all the cardio you need right now--stop thinking about a benchmark 5k and 500m row because crossfitting and strength training should handle improvement in those areas. Stop thinking about "running, rowing, HIIT, kettlebell [and pool] workouts" because crossfitting should provide more than enough variety and conditioning work. Think instead about one very basic low-volume strength program that you can do while also crossfitting...and think strongly about doing those strength workouts *instead*, not in addition to, that day's CrossFit workout. Otherwise the very likely result of adding serious strength training to crossfitting 5x/week is an injury.

As for a tracking app, try a marble notebook and a pen.
posted by daveliepmann at 3:55 AM on April 21, 2014

I agree with others that you should not be doing additional strength training with crossfit. You will hurt yourself. I second bimbam, above, in saying that mobility training is a better complement and you should look into yoga (NOT power yoga or hot yoga, something low-intensity).

Personally, I do crossfit five days a week and then add a day of climbing and bouldering. In May my class will be switching to a 90-minute crossfit/MoveNat combination 3x a week, and I'll add more climbing.

As for tracking: I like fitocracy, it's highly functional and social, and good for logging everything at once. However, I switched to the fitted lifts app, which is a bit more no-frills. I use that only for lifting, as it's a simpler, cleaner interface that lets you more consistently track weights, reps, and sets.
posted by nickhb at 8:30 AM on April 21, 2014

No opinion on crossfit but The Squat Rack is a great strength training tracking site (not sure if there's an app, I assume in 2014 there must be). I like it because it tracks my 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 and 10 rep maxes, whereas fitocracy and the others don't, and I find that quite encouraging. I enjoy the graphs and macro and supplement tracking and things too. The guy running it is adding features all the time. I just use paper and pen in the gym.
posted by jamesonandwater at 9:39 AM on April 21, 2014

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