T Nation

My Crossfit Experience


Hey all. to give some background if you do not already know, i am 38 years old, 5'7" 250lbs, have been training and competing in throwing, and power-lifting for 20 plus years. have not been to a formal competitin since 1999 though(highland games).

my best lifts are dl 665 , squat 600(off a below parallel box, and i cant bench, due to various injuries, but i recently did 275x3 in the push press. these all are recent numbers, i see no reason to post stuff i did in my 20's.

well, injuries and health issues has led me to drop the westside style PL for a while and do something different.

my chiro and art guy who is also a mma fighter recommended crossfit norcal, and i started about a month ago.

i like the brief intense workouts, and simplicity of the system(go check out their website for more info) and intense metabolic conditioning their system has to offer.

but i felt they neglected absolute strength, which without improvement no other aspect of strength will improve. so i decided to change things up a little bit and see what happens.

i basically decrease the volume that they do and up the intensity, and or substitute movements that i feel are better for me, and/or occasionally work up to a heavy 3-5 rep set in one of the main lifts if i feel good and healthy that day.

i never know what i am going to do until i get there, which is sort of fun.

first i will give you all a general idea of hat i have been doing the last few weeks, then i will start posting my workouts, there probably will not be much interest, but it if i can get some feedback it might make things more fun for me and help with coming up with new ideas.


last few weeks i have been doing sort of a modified cross fit workout.

i basically, like i said before, up the intensity and decrease the volume, and substitute movements at times. and occasionally i dump their stuff altogether and just work up to a heavy 3-5 reps in a main "money" exercise.

example, one day the crossfit workout was 500 meters on a row machine, supersetted with no rest with dumbbell push presses for 30 reps for like 4 rounds. what would do instead, is 100 meters on the rower, rest one minute, then push presses for sets of ten.

another time, they did a 400 meter run, then push ups for 20 reps, then 20 d-ball slams with a 10-30lb ball. what i would do is drag the sled for 400 feet with 300lbs on it, do ten dips, then 10 d- ball slams with an 80lb ball.

another good one is where i start off with 10 barbell push presses, then do modified chad Waterbury dead-lift walks across the gym(about 25 yards), that is, i would load the bar up with 315, deadlift it, take two steps with it, set it down, deadlift it again, take two more steps, on and on until i made it across the gym. once at the other side i would do 10 chins. rest a minute, then go back the other way with the deadlift walks, and repeat.

one day i went in and worked up to 275x 3 on the push press, and 500x5 on the deadlift, did some abds and glute ham raises, and left.

some days i do nothing but gpp, like dragging the sled, doing light med ball work, or hitting and kicking the heavy bag.



conditioning "ladder"

did a circuit with 1 minute rest between circuits of 1.reverse lunges 135lbs, 2.push presses 135lbs, 3.chins

did sets with the rep pattern: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

pretty easy, probably need to up the load some.

2 sets of abds and back raises( 20 reps, ) and that is it.


It's good to see you posting again. I haven't seen much of you since before the format change when I frequently lurked in the strength forum.

I am less experienced than you and don't had advice to offer but wanted to show support for your log. I have benefitted from the advice you have given others. Most notably, my traps would not budge until I started doing snatch grip high pulls. Thanks.

I am curious why you chose to modify the crossfit parameters rather the supplement to program. For example, Charles Staley has an EDT for fat loss program that begins with a high intensity strength exercise which is then followed by a series of high volume movements.



thanks vic, and good question. my main reason is that i needed more than a set and rep parameters change. squats, deadlifts, benches, etc, are all i have done for years now, and regardless of loading i am getting hurt. so the different and "weird" movements crossfit does will change things up a little i hope and teach me how to move again. such as one arm alternating dumbbell overhead squats, tire flips, farmers walks, bent presses, kettlebell swings, and some of the gymnastic movements they do i hope will vary the motor unit firing pathways enough to teach me how to move again without hurting.


I keep toying with the idea of dropping barbells and dumbbells altogether and just using my Strongman implements for a few months. Then I figure I could throw in front squats, chins and dips. I just need to set my sights on ONE thing and actually follow through... My lack of dedication to one "method" is really holding me back.

By the way I would be using a sled, kegs, sandbags, flipping tire, farmers walk, atlas stone.


i do not think that is the best way to think about it. to me the strongest, best built, and best conditioned athletes today are professional strongmen. they have the abilities and look that i envy the most. they do a wide variety of training. barbells and dumbbells in the gym, strongman implements, and cardio.

so i think a varied approach probably is the best way to go unless you are ;looking to compete in a more specialized sport, such as bbing, PLing or OLing.

but on the other hand, when i first started highland games, for three whole months i stayed out of the gym and just practiced the 7 different events. got big and strong and felt great. did not lose any muscle either. food for thought.


hey heavy,

I don't have anything to suggest, but I like your ideas on the program. I enjoy reading other peeps ideas, so keep us informed.




Those are seriously impressive lifts. Please keep us up to date on how CrossFit is working for you.


Crossfit is excellent. Gpp is their main goal, to improve all aspects of fitness, health and wellness. I love their approach to athletic training as anyone can do it.

Keep us posted on your thoughts Heavy.



hey all, was backin bama all this week so not crossfit facility, so i made do with a "whatever" workout improvised as i went at a local "fitness center"

after dynamic stretching/mobility drills, did the following:

A1 snatch grip dl on 2 inch deficit 315lbs-10,10,6,6,3,3,3
A2 dips bw-10,10,8,8,6,6,5

B1 one arm dumbbell snatches 100lb-6,6,6,6,5,3,3,
B2 pushups with each hand on a basketball bw-15,10,10,10,8,6,3

the odd set rep breakdown was that i was doing this EDT style, i picked a load and did each superset for 15 minutes straight.

C complex/circuit with empty (45lb) bar 3 rounds 6 reps each movement:
1. dl
2. rdl
3. bent rows
4. pc
5.front squat
6.push press
7.back squat

D1 puke
D2 lay on filthy floor and piss and moan

2 rounds of each.


did a tabata(sp?) today. dumbell squat thrusters 25lbs

cant remember the reps. i started out with 12 or 15 or so, ended with 6-8 not too sure. no real muscle work done, all heart and lungs. quads were a little pumped about 5-10 minutes after the workout, but not much. probably need to get into better shape so i can up the load some more, but right now i think that is about all i could handle.

gonna take the weekend off, and monday i will test my right leg out a little(tore an abducter muscle doing heavy raw deadlifts about 3 weeks ago).


I do some of their workouts and just steal the rest. The ones where you run and lift are great. I never overly plan what I'm going to do, work has a way of changing things at the last minute.

Here's a little something Dan gave me. This was for my son to do on the back porch. Of course, I did it and he hasn't:

15 minute time doublet (Thank you Charles Staley)

50% of max deadlift and 20 inch box jump

sets go 5,4,3,2,1 alternating

example= 5 deads followed by 5 box jumps

Keep going back and forth, when you finish the single rep, jump back to 5.

Tip: Write out the numbers so you can put a mark to count the reps.

Really felt good and I'm making this my Saturday morning workout. Then, I throw in the afternoon.


haha, i steal form them too.



cool thread man ... i mean this is really some good stuff.

that lifting + running idea seems to be highly prized by people that know stuff.

i still get the feeling that a lot of people are put off by this because of the "i can't do that in my gym" excuse.

well, i'm not going to be able to pull it off in the gym either, but i'll figure something out.

perhaps i should start a thread simply naming heavy stuff that could be used: buckets full of rocks or sand or water, rocks, wheelbarrows, bags of sand, bags of dirt, old furniture, mattresses, televisions, cars, tires, etc.

keep posting!



I agree, great thread, keep posting!

There seems to be nothing worse in the world than to be an aging powerlifter...what's with all the health problems later in life for you fellas? Is it the workout itself or the extent that you push yourselves going for maximal loads?


not sure irish. combination of things. i think for one, that to be successfull in PL (unless you are a very gifted freak) you have to have a pretty large BMI. if you are over 5 feet 10 inches tall, you need to be well over 300lbs. me, at 5'6-7" and 245-250, i still usually am not the thickest guy at a meet, LOL. carrying around that kind of bodyweight in relation to frame i think is going to eventually cause problems even if you are very muscular. i am havin sleep apnea problems thqt seem to get worse every month. i am making a serious effort to clean up my diet, and eat only real foods, nothing refined, and stick to mostly lean meats and vegetables and fruit and nuts.

also, i think, many powerlifters neglect other aspects of fitness. if you are carrying around ax much weight as i mentioned before, well, lets say you probably are not playing tennis or kayacking, or rock climbing on the weekends.

you become so obsessed with numbers, and haveing to hit certain numbers for certain amount of volume each week, that you tend to get afraid to do ANYTHING that might hinder your performance in the gym, even if that means going on a bike ride with you kids.

now i know that there are a lot of successful PL who are in great shape, and are very athletic. without getting into the top elite guys, just look at erika, who posts here, she is very athletic and in good shape, and also a good lifter. but i am talking about the majority.

heck, maybe it is not even the majority. i guess what i am saying is that to be athletic, in good shape and successfull in powerlifting requires a lot of disipline, motivation, carefull and intelligent weekly planning, and a fair amount of good genetics. i am not one of those people.

so, to sum up, you have a lot of guys with a lot of body mass who do very little but squat bench and pull. injuries are inevitabel when you are constantly pushing limit weights, and as the injuries accumilate, motor pathways change to accomidate and compensate, and as you get older you run out of compensitory mechanisms and you find out you can no longer move without pain. go over to EFS.com and check out the article section and what dave tate is going through and you will see what i mean.

anyhow, i realize i have a problem, and i know i need to change some things, we will see how well i can stick with a plan.


thanks B.

i think you will do fine with the improvations you mentioned, the beauty of crossfit is the simplicity of there exercises, many are bodyweight only movements. i think it is probably the easiest routine to do at home without a gym.


I this doesn't come accros as a thread hi - jack but I was inspired by Crossfit to try some different types of training from my usual hypertrophy/strength work outs and came up with the following...

Run 500 meters
5 chins
10 dips
15 bodyweight squats
20 ab crunches
Repeat sequence as many times as possible in 30 minutes

Run 1 mile
21 reps bodyweight chins
Run 1 mile
21 reps bodyweight dips
Run 1 mile
21 reps 125lbs squats
Go for a good time

Alternate between running 500 meters and rowing 500 meters for as many cycles as possible in 30 minutes

Row 500 meters
10 overhead throws with 25 kg med ball
10 slams with same ball
10 squat push press throws with same ball
Repeat sequence as many times as possible in 30 minutes.

My work out buddy and I are taking it in turns to come up with similar challenges and alternate this with a one lift a day kind of workout on days in between - having a lot of fun doing it too!

Be interested in any crossfit style workouts you guys can come up with too.




WoW! I'm fascinated wtih methods of healing. Can you answer this?
1) Basically, if a person learns a variety of movements or sports, there would be less chance of injury? The Crossfit dimension is helpful because of the aerobic/anaerobic aspect?

2) Have you found Crossfit to be helpful for athletes for general conditioning?

3) You're incorporating new movements as a way to heal your body?

thanks so much. YOu're awesome!!