Making Conversions

“And how did I know what to say? (whispering) The words were written down for me in a script.”

Some of you may remember an article I posted around August of this year that was a combination of barbell training and general physical preparedness. I’ve decided not to post the original article because some of the terminology is not entirely accurate and it needs updating. However, the basic outline of the program included strength workouts on Monday and Thursday and conditioning workouts on Tuesday and Friday. It is designed for a novice who for some reason opts not to gain strength as quickly and wants to improve their conditioning (useful for folks in the military).

Monday — Squat, Press, Power Clean
Tuesday — Chin-ups, Conditioning
Wednesday — OFF
Thursday — Squat, Bench, Deadlift
Friday — Conditioning

This program can be considered the gateway from a conditioning-only exercise regime to a what more closely resembles a training program. Taking people who do not strength train and having them squat, press, and pull twice a week is incredibly important. For sports that require a conditioning base, this program would be useful, but it isn’t optimal for the general strength trainee. If we want to grow adult males and make people stronger, then they may need to be eased into a program like this. Conversions to useful training may not be automatic. More conversions means more strong people which means more defense against the inevitable zombie outbreak. Inevitable.

I mention this program because it is the basis for the novice Olympic weightlifting program we have been tinkering around with at the WFAC. There have been some questions about it, so we will talk about it tomorrow. Enjoy your Christmas Eve.


We also have a collection of really dorky videos ready for the site.

70’s Big: Short discussion on what’s to come . . . from 70s Big on Vimeo.

32 thoughts on “Making Conversions

  1. So, let””s talk about what””s going on at CrossFit the last two days.

    What””s up with this 1-10-1-20-1-30 rep scheme?

    More of the philosophy that if you make a weakling lift weights then they””ll get stronger no matter what? or something that might approach ””programming””?

    Uh, let’s not talk about it. There are plenty of other places to go to try and decipher or analyze what goes on over there.


  2. *looking at Crossfit while waving one hand*

    This is NOT the workout you were looking for…

    *Admiral Ackbar watching the embeded video*

    It”s some traps!

  3. This program is close to what I have been doing. Every Saturday, I have 4 hours of Ultimate or trail running(It””s no rugby or footie, but it is year round and I can””t live without competitive sports) and the recovery is a bitch. The conditioning that I do is usually a 3-5 mile run, then either sprints on the track (100m, 200m, 400m) or rowing sprints (3x500m) followed up with a plyometric routine. I occasionally work in a cross-fit type workout (I feel the same about the word “metcon” as Rip feels about “core.”)

    Because Saturday is my “game day,” I lift M,W, Condition T,Th, rest F, Sun.

    I am looking forward to the sequel for this article to see if I should be modifying my routine a bit.

    I wouldn’t consider it a sequel, just an updated version. And your considerations will be different sine you have a sport. How does your Wednesday feel after conditioning the day before?


  4. Justin, this is a topic that I am highly interested in. I have been following the WFAC crossfit model for the past two months. I chose this for a couple of reasons, but one of the main reasons is that it fits well with my schedule.

    Being married with a child, and working full time pushing pencils all day, I really do not have the time to spend more than an hour at the gym. It takes me an hour to just do squats, press, and pullups on wednesday. It like the fact that I can do my cleans on tuesday with a short metcon. Splitting the workouts between two days makes me feel like I””m not spending time in the gym that could be spent with my family.

    You mentioned in your original WFAC crossfit article that you would cover how the metcons are programmed. I have been programming my own metcons, and I think that I””ve been doing a pretty good job of it. But I””d be interested to see your take on this.

    And on a side note, I should be squatting over 300 pounds for the first time in my life starting next week.

    Good. Now it all comes down to how tall you are and how much you weigh.

    Gant and I may whip something up regarding conditioning for the strength athlete. I don’t know how much detail we will get into though.


  5. “What’’s up with this 1-10-1-20-1-30 rep scheme”

    Yeah I was wondering about that. I saw a couple of people asking ”whats the point?” in the comments, and getting various scientific replies like ”the point is to trash your legs!!!!!”

  6. Sweet write-up….I”ve been working with this programming for the past month, as I don”t want to completely forgo conditioning in light of lacrosse/BJJ. Been working well. Biggest mistakes I”ve made are not eating/sleeping enough, and stressing out too much during finals.

  7. What””s the reasoning behind changing from the programming that was in the original CFWF article (Monday squat/press/chins, Tuesday power cleans/metcon, Thursday squat/bench, Friday deadlift/metcon)?

    I””ve been following that for about a month and, combined with some impressive eating, have closed to within 2lbs of becoming an adult male for the first time in my life. Oh, and all my lift numbers are way up too. Haven””t done any benchmark metcons yet but I don””t think I””m losing too much there.

    And when would it be appropriate to add some front squats and OHS in there? I don””t want to make my own substitutions for now because then the program is no longer the program, but at some point I want to do things that””ll get me stronger for Oly lifting.

    This was the original program, but I moved the pulling movements (power clean and deadlift) to the next day in the week (Tuesday and Friday respectively) because people in the group training session I ran were not getting them done. For the sake of brevity (like bluecheese mentioned in these comments) you can move the pulling movements. I stated all of this in the original article.

    And no, it would not be appropriate to add the assistance squats to it. If your back squat is higher, not only will those go up, but it will increase the second pull of the snatch or clean. And I also stated that tomorrow I would be detailing a similar program that has an emphasis on the Olympic lifts.


  8. Justin, with the military guy in mind, which program would you recommend, the CF Football program (which has the strength training and about 5 conditioning sessions a week), or your CFWF program? Is more metcons better or would it hurt the recovery time?

    They are very similar programs, especially the strength part. It just depends on the individual and their training advancement, how far away their INDOC, PFT, or deployment date is, and a whole bunch of other factors. It depends. The farther out from an important date, the less conditioning someone would need since conditioning is an adaptation that is gained (and lost) quickly.


  9. This is (the) program I”ve been using successfully for the past 2 months. It is very effective and I think it”s the perfect program for someone who”s goal doesn”t involve a specific competition or specific sport.
    HT 5”8
    then now
    BW 175 205
    SQ 225 1rm 260x5rx3s
    BP 235 1rm 217.5x5rx3s
    PR 155 1rm 155x5rx3s
    PC 150 1rm 165x3rx5s
    DL 315 1rm 325×5
    Chins have kept up, sprints are faster, and i finally have an ass to hold up my pants.

  10. Get some more XL shirts!

    The shirts are ready to be picked up at the printing shop, but Wichita Falls is shut down currently with a crazy blizzard. And it happens when I leave the state…gah.


  11. I started out doing the program outlined in Starting Strength and made some serious gains. I then read PPST 2ed and changed up my programming to include pull ups and other useful assistance work. I ended up hurting myself a couple times either through being a drunk dumbass or being a dumbass in the garage gym.

    I reached out to John Welbourn and Max Mormont and they have since dialed in my form on the main lift plus spent some time teaching me the Clean and Snatch.

    The program I am currently doing and making efficient strength gains is is:

    mon- Squat,Press, relevant assistance

    tues- Deadlift, relevant assistance

    thurs- Squat, Bench, relevant assistance

    fri- Snatch, Clean, relevant assistance

    The weekends are spent getting smashed.

  12. completely off topic here guys, but i think i am on the verge of getting a sports hernia… i don””t have a bulge or anything yet, but there””s a dull ache in my abdominal wall, most lifts are core specific so i feel like i should take some time off, but they arent as specific as the GHD situps which i believed caused the problem in the first place, will squatting/pressing/cleaning/deadlifting irritate this problem? should i take a few weeks off? i””d rather miss a month than miss a year, but if i can lift through this ache i want to, any opinions?

    Being susceptible to a hernia is a genetic thing. Go to Rip”s Q&A board for more on hernias. GHD sit-ups should not be done for high volume, in case anybody was wondering.


  13. i think i””m going to do exactly that when i””ll be preparing for my high school combine, except i””ll replace conditioning for the tests.
    on these combines you don””t have to be in shape, just do good on the tests.

    Yes, but you have to be in shape to do good on the tests. I think basic sprint and agility work will be fine in your situation. You may not have to alter from the normal linear progression to practice this stuff. It just depends on how your technique is on things like the 5-10-5 shuttle, vertical jump, and 40 yard dash.


  14. Damn good website guys, really enjoy the content and learning heaps as well as Rip”s books….(except not too sure what to make with the homosexual jokes) :)

  15. Paean to Star Wars…classic!

    Imagine what kind of damage Yoda could have done if he was as 70”s Big as Darth Vader?? Scary!!

    I will refrain from making further Star Wars 70”s Big analogies, but Rip (aka Yoda) has trained you well, Obi Wan (Justin) and AC (Luke).

    Aaaaaaaaand, I”m out!!!

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