T Nation

Looking to Combine Strength & Crossfit

Hello All,

So, I have been researching this everywhere, and have come down to a couple of options, but was hoping to get some feedback. So I figured what better place to go than here.

I am looking to use a 5d/week program that combines strength training, and Crossfit style conditioning.
The caveat here, is that I’m thinking of something like a two week rotation. I have been running 5/3/1 for a while, only with full clean and snatch added, and conditioning. I feel like this is a lot on my CNS, no matter how I break it up. I realize this is modified, so in no way would I put that on the program. The split I am thinking of looks something like this…

Week 1
Monday: Squat & Assistance
Tuesday: Conditioning
Wednesday: Bench & Assistance
Thursday: Deadlift & Conditioning
Friday: Conditioning

Week 2
Monday: Clean & Assistance
Tuesday: Conditioning
Wednesday: Press & Assistance
Thursday: Snatch & Conditioning
Friday: Conditioning

Repeat in a Week 1-Week 2-Week 1-Week 2 fashion.

My thoughts as far as programs for the lifts are either 5/3/1, or the Juggernaut method.

I would love to hear any thoughts, criticisms, suggestions, and the like for something like this. Especially on program suggestions for the lifts, and what people think about technically only working the exact lift once every two weeks.

Thanks so much to anyone who even finished reading this! haha

If your CNS is burnt from 5/3/1, you are not following the program.

Combining is NEVER a good idea.

If you want to do crossfit, DO crossfit. Don’t half ass it. Don’t half ass anything.

Dedicate, learn, grow.

Like I said, I don’t put any of feeling burnt out on the program. I’m modifying it, so that’s totally on me.

Also, obviously you can’t combine two different systems and have optimal gain on both.

I’m okay with progressing slower strength wise, in order to keep my conditioning at a certain level, or making slower gains in both overall. If I don’t condition, I just don’t feel right.

I guess the bigger question is how the split would work strength wise. Chad smith mentions a split very similar to that for crossfit, but with less assistance and more conditioning. So I’m hoping it can work.

But thank you. Any and all input is a great help!

What makes you think you will not get strong with crossfit ?

If you did 5/3/1 properly, what makes you think you wouldn’t get the conditioning?

Seems to me you are looking for a magic routine. Good luck then.

5/3/1 has a crossfit template. Do that to the letter.

I didn’t say I wouldn’t get strong with crossfit, but I don’t have the resources to do a proper full out crossfit program at the moment.

Also, the the Beyond 5/3/1 Crossfit template doesn’t include full Clean or Snatch. Only Power Clean.

That does make a big difference. At least from my experience. Especially running them with the 5/3/1 numbers. That’s essentially what I was doing, but adding both Olympic lifts in their full form was a lot.

Hence the search. haha

Sorry, but you just need to get on a program. Train Olympic, 5/3/1, anything from Dan John, CT’s Built like a Linebacker, Waterbury, etc.

You have pre conceived notions that are flawed and have no merits.

Jim has answered your question many time (do a search) if you want to do 5/3/1 with olympic lifts.

Apart from that, you just need to trust the coach you will be following 100%.

I think your pressing strength is going to suffer quite a bit with the template you have. You have twice as many “lower body” days as upper. I’m guessing you don’t care about that.

I rotate 5/3/1 lifts also. I actually use the main rotated out lift as accessory on the other day. For example, something like:

Upper 1A
Flat Bench 5/3/1
Incline Bench 3x10-20

Upper 1B
Incline Bench 5/3/1
Flat Bench 3x10-20

(Upper 2A/2B would be my dip/shoulder press day. I do upper 2 after upper 1. Never upper 1 twice in a row.)

This helps me hit the lifts I care about, but not suffer from lack of frequency.

Your template has a problem with frequency, IMHO. Two weeks would pass before doing any of your main movements again. I recommend rotating the lifts similar to what I mentioned above instead of what you have, so your frequency is increased. This may also allow some additional room for upper body work.


Week 1, Monday 1
Squat, Clean as accessory

Week 1, Monday
Clean, Squat as accessory

You’ll have to play with this more to come up with something sane. If you do this, the intensity/rep/volume you use on the secondary accessory lift is very important. I’m not sure how the weightlifting movements would be programmed here. 5x10 BBB would be fine for using the powerlifts as accessory.

Even with your template, just labeling something as ‘accessory’ is not good enough. What you do matters: the exercise, intensity, rep scheme, rest time, volume, frequency etc

Also, keep in mind that you’re talking about doing quite a lot of work. Carbs will be your friend.

And what does this even mean?

Hey, if you say its out there, I believe you. I’m only using my own experience. Not saying it doesn’t exist. I appreciate the suggestios!

Hey sorry. To be more specific…I feel drained but notcmuscularly. That could very well be something with my diet. But I know it isn’t strictly musculature. So that wasxny guess.

I can’t thank you enough for the input! I should have been more specific on the accessories. I would do two exercises per main lift, 3x10.

Leg press, decline, incline, db bench and press, rows, stuff like that.

As for the pressing, I end up doing more with the conditioning. Thrusters. Push press. Dips. Hand stand push ups. Push ups. Kettle bell clean and press.

But that actually makes a lot of sense. I could do the swuat bench and dead with clean snatch and press as one of the accessories at lighter volume. Then swap. And repeat.

Not sure it thats what you meant. But that’s the idea it sparked.

Just reread. That sounds exactly. Like what you meant lol

Are you competing in Crossfit/going to a Box or just want to be fit and like their concepts?

This is the relevant question.

I know that 5/3/1 is used with excellent succes with CF, OP just need to be smart about it. You’ll do 5/3/1 like everyone, but all your conditioning/assistance is based on CF.

You MUST also separate strength phases and conditioning phases. There is no way to push both with full potential - considering how tiring CF-conditioning can be. All the Crossfitters I know (they’re competing) do strength training for their “off season” and only maintain strength while doing more “events” and conditioning when the competitions come closer.

Just fit and enjoy the concepts. Similar to how I’ve conditioned since doing bjj.

Hmm, interesting. Thanks for the input!

I wonder what the schedule is like for that.

Since you don’t compete scheduling does not really matter. I don’t know in detail how my CF-friends train, but they seem to do strength based work for 4-6 months and then change for conditioning for 3-5 months.

With 5/3/1 you should always have in your program some speed work, strength work and conditioning.

I would personally use 5 forward 3 back method and have always one major focus for these 5 cycles. What I mean is something like this:

5 cycles strength based templates while maintaining conditioning.
back of your TM.
5 cycles conditioning/wod/event based templates while taking it little easier with strength.

Speed work will come by O-lifts in CF. Just do them heavy in strength phases and lighter in conditioning phases. You must also think what movements you will push hard in your strength phases. Doing snatch, clean, dl, squat and pressing heavy simultaneously could be bad idea.

You could also have smaller goals and change focus every 6 weeks, but this is how I would prefer it.

PS. You must understand that I’m not expert in crossfit. This is just something that would make sense to me. I advice you to search how competitive Crosffitters periodize their training.

Try this then -will get you bull strong and plenty of metabolic work …

Hmm that makes sense. I’ll definitely see what I can find.

Thank you so much for all the input. Much appreciated!

I’ll have to check this out.

Thank you!

So, this is what came about. Using 5/3/1 %'s, but alternating with ABC [Squat/Bench/Clean] and DEF [Dead/Press/Snatch]. Thanks to goochadamg for that format idea. In total it would be 6 weeks before deload. Planning on trying this until stall, then back off the TM’s (thanks rattus) and switch to the conditioning cycle below that for a few months. I put examples of protocols that would be used on each metcon day. I understand I’m changing programs and making a monster here. Just curious what people think. Also, the order reads Monday-Friday from top to bottom. Saturday and Sunday off.

A: Squat 5/3/1
Clean: 3x5 @ 60%
Back Raise: 3x10
Leg Press: 3x10
Hack Squat: 3x10

CONDITIONING [A dominant - B/C light]

B: Bench 5/3/1
Press: 3x10 @ 60%
Bent Rows: 3x10
Decline: 3x10
DB Bench: 3x10

C: Clean 5/3/1
Squat: 3x10 @ 60%
Back Raise: 3x10
Hack Squat: 3x10
Leg Press: 3x10

CONDITIONING [B/C dominant - A light]

D: Deadlift 5/3/1
Snatch: 3x5 @ 60%
Leg Curl: 3x10
Seated Row: 3x10
DB Row: 3x10

CONDITIONING [D dominant - E/F light]

E: Press 5/3/1
Bench: 3x10 @ 60%
Bent Row: 3x10
Incline: 3x10
DB Press: 3x10

F: Snatch 5/3/1
Deadlift: 3x10 @ 60%
Glute Bridge: 3x10
Snatch Grip High Pull: 3x10
Seated Row: 3x10

CONDITIONING [E/F dominant - D light]

A: Snatch 5/3/1
Bench 5/3/1
Squat 5/3/1

Tueaday: Light Metcon (upper push focus)

Wednesday: Medium/Heavy Metcon (lower/pull focus)
15m AMRAP…21-15-9…7/7m Ladder

Thursday: Medium Metcon (upper push focus)
10m AMRAP…5RFT…10m Ladder

Friday: Heavy Metcon (lower/pull focus)
20m AMRAP…7RFT…15m Ladder

B: Clean 5/3/1
Press 5/3/1
Deadlift 5/3/1

Tueaday: Light Metcon (upper push focus)

Wednesday: Medium/Heavy Metcon (lower/pull focus)
15m AMRAP…21-15-9…7/7m Ladder

Thursday: Medium Metcon (upper push focus)
10m AMRAP…5RFT…10m Ladder

Friday: Heavy Metcon (lower/pull focus)
20m AMRAP…7RFT…15m Ladder