T Nation

Incorporating Crossfit with 3 Day Split


Hey there,

Seeing plenty of 'CrossFit' hype around at the moment, and have seen some great results on friends physiques as of late...

I'm looking into incorporating it into my workout routine. Skeptical to go full time CF as I don't see enough recovery time in full body (most) daily training, but thinking adding 2 CF days a week on to my 3 day split program.

I've been using a 3-day split for ages: 3 days on, 1 off (5days weight training, 3-4 cardio-boxing/ week)... I like to hit the same body part every 4-5 days, and have had reasonable results.

My aim over the last 12 months was to lean up, and have dropped a max of 14kgs. From 90kg (10bf) down to 76kg (5.8bf). I now weigh 78kg at 7bf
I'm still want to stay lean and add a lil more lean muscle (as we all do) plus add to my fitness.

This is my proposed programme:

Monday- Push + Boxing PM
Tues- Legs
Wed- Pull + Boxing AM
Thursday- Off/ Light Cardio AM
Friday- CF Lower
Saturday- CF Upper
Sunday- Day off

I wonder if mixing up the CF in between weight sessions will be more beneficial than together? Or even add another CF day?

Also I wonder if this allows enough recovery time?

Any experience or results with this training mix would be greatly appreciated, any constructive criticism is encouraged.


Prepare to get slaughtered!!


x 1 million.

You've been a member here since 2008 and dont know not to post a crossfit post in the BB section?


I think you have too many off sessions.

You should incorporate the following crossfit programs in a randomized counter-balanced order after a 30-h starvation to fill out your program; Fran, jumbo egg, goliath, godzilla, super godzilla, monkey, monkeyballs, Jane, Tessa, Marie, Jumbo Gorilla Lion, Lion monkey, super-lion monkey, super liger godzilla kong bong wing wang, Aunty Sue Mary Nelly.........

(pretty sure those are all acceptable crossfit programs).

Good luck with your training goals

(yes, please turn your sarcasm detectors on prior to reading this post)


AS I said, I'm skeptical about this whole CrossFit generation as far as building muscle... Although I figured couldn't hurt to add a couple days a week to cut up, add more core work and get my fitness up.

Gregron, My motivation still lays in bodybuilding. Figure CF isn't too far off HIIT training, could be a worthy addition...?

Yes Gigantis, I train many times/ week... But I know my bodies limits, and I always have a day or 2 inbetween muscle groups.

As I said, any 'constructive' criticism is encouraged here...


Why not just add some conditioning 2 days a week to your 3-day split? Push a car, flip a tire, do some tabatas, complexes, kettlebell work, etc.


Nailed it!

Thanks for the insight jskrabac...

I'm a bit naive when it comes to this kind of training. I've never really branched out into anything too different from basic BB hypertrophy techniques...

Trying out a bodyweight (500 rep) CF session the other day left me unsatisfied, and body feeling like I had hardly trained?

Tabata and complexes looks brutal:



Perfect for what i'm after...

Would you recommend getting the 3 day split (compound exercises) out the way, have a day off then conditioning for 2 days? And split the 2 days upper/lower? Or is mixing up the training days a better option?

Thanks in advance!


Conditioning days are going to be total body. Most will usually put them in between strength training, not at the end of the week like that. Something like:


I wouldn't get too held up in labels. If you wanna call your conditioning workouts crossfit, go for it. If you wanna just call it conditioning, that's the same thing.


Amen! Spread The Word.


Nice one, that makes sense...

Agree, complexes, tabata, CF all have a similar principle... Incorporating all the variations I think will def give my body a jump start, and keep me interested at the same time!

Thanks again


Hey man - no offense intended, but I think you got a little mixed up here. In your first post you say you are at 7% bodyfat and wanting to add lean muscle. Then, you say you want to cut up? How much more cut do you want to be on a constant basis than 7% bf? Crossfit is definitely a conditioning program, but it sounds like you were having plenty of success without it. If you need to feed the hypemonster to see how you like it for yourself (which is really the only way to know, so props if you do it and formulate your own opinion), then just drop it into one of the slots where your conditioning is presently. Also, from the extremely vague outline of your routine, it doesn't sound like you have a foundation in bodybuilding. If you post up your actual routine, people might have some more inputs.

Disclaimer - I'm a relatively new guy, but I'm pretty sure I extrapolated the info from your post correctly.


No offense taken,

I understand the confusion, my bad.

Yes I'm currently 7%BF... Correct, i'm wanting to add a few lbs of lean muscle. But would also like to get back down and sit on 6%BF. I understand diet is the mother when it comes to cutting and size. I already have a sound knowledge on diet and nutrition...

I haven't done any conditioning training as of yet...
This is my current programme:

Day1-Push + Boxing PM
Day3-Pull + Boxing AM

I would have thought this is a typical BB routine?

This routine has seemed to work well for me. And if its not broken don't fix it right? But I'm keen for a change, and want to keep pushing my limits. I want to add more core work, and pick up my fitness too.

Below are a couple routines I'm toying with... Working around the program jskrabac posted up, adjusting it slightly to have Sundays off due to commitments.
I have also decided to change up my normal 3 day split combinations:

Option 1

T- Chest and back
W- OFF + Boxing AM
TH- Lower body
S- Arms and shoulders

Option 2

M- Chest and back + Boxing PM
W- OFF + Boxing AM
TH- Lower body
S- Arms and shoulders

I am unsure if these programs allow enough rest between compound and conditioning days... Trial and error will determine this. I'm pretty good at reading my bodies needs.

As jskrabac pointed out, most conditioning exercises are full body. However, I figure more emphasis could be on upper body exercises after a leg workout, and more lower body exercises before/after training chest/ back.
E.g Option 1.

Monday's conditioning could be front squats, bag tow/pull, farmers walk, box jump

Fridays- Deadlifts, pull-ups, kettle bell exercises, hang cleans, ball slams, dips, military press, good mornings etc

Does this sound crazy???

Hope this clarifys my goals and stats? Thanks for the pointers, appreciate your knowledge and time...


its a pet peeve of mine... but "lean muscle" is a little redundant. You're not going to gain fat muscle.

also, the difference of 7% BF to 6% BF is going to be very little (and IMO its pretty stupid to want to consistently be at 7 and want to go down to stay at 6... but everyones goals are different)


'Lean Muscle' as in I don't want to add any extra fat along with it. As it's often the case when putting on mass... I've managed to cut down 14kgs in the last year, unfortunately losing more muscle than I would have liked. Impossible I know to lose that much weight purely from fat. Worked out to be about 35% fat loss, 65% muscle. Hence why I'd like to build up more muscle, but still keeping as lean or even leaner.

Your right 1% is f*ck all difference! I figure If my goal is to become leaner, and then I fall short. I will be at where I am now. But with more muscle. It shouldn't be to hard if I can sit at 7% now without any HIT training.

Gregron, come back when you have something constructive to add. But yes, you sound very clever. Well done!


What are you really looking for? Seems like you have your mind made up and you know what you're going to do. You have a program that "works well" for you and you know you should stick with it but you want to change anyway.

Then you're not sure if you're gonna have enough recovery time but know trial and error is the key to figure that out.

I just don't see the point of this thread? You know what you're doing and what you want to do so get after it and see how it works.

Also, all muscle is "lean muscle." you're not going to build fat muscles you're going to build lean muscle. So you can just leave out the lean part. It's like saying "I'm gonna get money from the ATM machine"


As clearly stated in my first post, I was simply encouraging feedback and knowledge about adding conditioning days into my routine...

Where to place it and which exercises. jskrabac gave me an insight into exercises and where to place them. Since researching from that, I have managed to develop a routine I think will work.

As you can read, I'm still curious on wherever this will offer enough recovery time from 'experienced' trainers?

It's not that complicated gregon, I'm suprised your even bothering posting on this 'Conditioning' forum when your BF% on your profile states 'Who cares'...


^^in regards to this you already said that trail and error is the best way to figure out if you have enough recovery time and that you know you're body really well. I agree that trial and error is the best way to go. Thats why I was asking what more you were looking for since you have it figured out already (im not being sarcastic here either)

its not that complicated, and thats why I posted what I posted. You said you've got a plan and you're going to see if it works. (which i think is a great idea) so I was asking what exactly you were looking for.. make sense? (again not trying to be sarcastic. I am being genuine)

I am a firm believe that the actual BF% number is pretty pointless. What does it matter if you're at 8% or 6.5% or 15%? The way you look in the mirror is what's important (as i'm sure you would agree) What does the actual number really matter? I've only had my BF% tested one time before and that was by a friend who was a trainer. I only did it to let him practice because he needed the work. The actual number is completely worthless thats why I said "who cares' cause to be honest... who really cares what the % number is?


Its a way to gauge progression... Otherwise how do you set a goal to reach?

It's like a BB who wants to gain mass, they usually set a goal. 'reach 200lbs'. And the same principal to why trainers keep a log of the weights they're pushing. It's something to work towards/ better.

I use an infra red bodyfat device which determines fat% and water%, which from looking in the mirror is hard to gauge, spec when our water weight fluctuates as much as it does... And believe it or not I can tell the difference between 1-2%BF.