Get Some More

By Michael Houghton

In CrossFit, Rest Day/Theory

March 14, 2010

PDF Article

Former NFL player Michael Houghton found CrossFit and then went back to strength training. Now he’s come full circle and believes CrossFit is the best program for him.

Over the past year. I have been experimenting with all sorts of programming besides CrossFit.

I started off going to the CrossFit Football Certification. At the cert, I got an itch to try some Olympic lifting. I got some shoes and started off into this new world. After this, I looked at the CrossFit Strength Bias stuff and Mark Rippetoe’s stuff. I decided I wanted to work on my strength once again because it was lacking. I put together an eight-week program and got two whole weeks into it before I was wrecked again. The heavy lifting day after day was just killing me. I kept with it because I thought being strong was the single most important aspect of being fit.

I also figured that if I continued, my body would get used to the pain again. Maybe it would have, had I continued long enough. All I know is that during this time, I was irritated and hurting. The whole time I was doing this, my wife kept saying to me, “Just do CrossFit. That’s when you were the happiest.” I didn’t listen, of course.

I finally came to the realization—just yesterday after Tabata This—that the only thing that works for me and will work for me in the long haul is CrossFit. I am back down a few pounds, my body has been changing in the two weeks that I have done programming, and I feel great.



9 Comments on “Get Some More ”


wrote …

Interesting article and a testament to the value of crossfit. Quick question: you had mentioned that you had taken the CF football cert. at the beginning of the article. Did you follow that programming for a while as well and how do you compare it to regular CF?



wrote …

I didn't use the CrossFit Football programming, but I used it for my players at the High School I was coaching at. They all showed huge increases in strength, and were more fit and ready to play than people who just did their own thing. The programming is solid. If people want to specifically work on strength and fitness at the same time, it's great. There is a major difference from the programming on mainsite though. The CF Football wods have sprints in them sometimes. I think the mistake people make is that they end up jogging the whole way through, trying not to stop during the workout, like a mainsite WOD. The point of the sprints is to work on sprints on those workouts. John Welbourn stated that during the cert. You have to sprint in order to get faster at sprinting. As much as the clock counts on WODs, sometimes you have to take the clock out of it to get the benefit of the workout. For example, on the shuttle runs during a wod, you need to reset every time and sprint as hard as possible instead of just pacing through the entire thing. I hope that makes sense.


wrote …


Really liked your article, I think its great to try and emphasise different aspects of CF and find out what works for your goals.

I especially liked your comments on the end about every 4th week being lower intensity and having a week off after 8...

That should be in bold and big letters :-)

Keep up the fine work, from one PE teacher to another!


wrote …

good article, this was my experience too after doing a few of the above programs. I got strong quickly, gained a lot of weight, got injured, quit everything for while and found it very hard to lose the weight. It was a good learning experience to know exactly what program I want to do in the future. Following .com 3 on 1 off indefinitely, progressing toward rx & PR's leaves me more fit than anything I have ever done. There are hard cycles and rest cycles(like this one we're in). I learn a lot of new skills and stay healthy with sensible scaling. I am left with more usable fitness to apply anywhere, feel good and see quick progress. I can add extra deadlifts, but most of all my goal is just to consistently follow the program for as long as possible. Its fun to lift and drink milk and gain many new lbs of LBM in few short weeks, but I to have found myself coming back to crossfit for the very same reasons I began originally in 2007.


wrote …

Speaking as a kid who couldn't make the high school football team years ago, I will be very interested to see how CrossFit Football changes the game.

We just saw the documentary about the Arden Hills swim club achieving tremendous results while scaling back from the sheer scope of conventional training. CrossFit is still so new that I'd have to imagine that only so many coaches and players know about it, but wouldn't it be interesting to follow the progress of an entire team that trained exclusively in CrossFit for an entire off season, pre-season, and season?

(I can just imagine it; that'd be a lot of kettlebells spread across the field.)

Would teams then be able to scale back on conventional captain's practices, two-a-days, or three-a-days? If they're handling the conditioning so efficiently, they'd be able to spend a better portion of their practice time on skills and the game itself.

How would CrossFit players compare in coming off the ball, blocking, and tackling to the more conventionally trained bench pressers and squatters?

How many kids of marginal size and ability could transform themselves into formidable athletes and have a chance to play, when it would have been impossible otherwise?

Damn. I wish I knew about this stuff decades ago.


wrote …

I was interested to hear about your rest cycles too. I have been an avid CrossFitter for nearly 2 years now without doing any rest cycles. I think I would have benefitted from resting more. I'm 43 and think I probably need more rest than the younger guys but I haven't known how to structure it. I haven't read much on the site about resting though. Did I just miss it or are you presenting something new?


replied to comment from Thatcher Cardon

I don't think it's anything new. It's something I heard a couple of years ago when I first started CrossFit. I can't really remember where though. I never thought I would need it, but the longer I do CrossFit, the more I am in tune with my body and the need to rest. At first, people tend to get very addicted to CrossFit, and don't take proper rest cycles. I think people tend to overtrain because of this. CrossFit is always different, so it doesn't get boring, and people tend to overwork themselves. Any program has rest cycles, so it makes sense to take them with CrossFit too.


wrote …

I'm going to insist that my 15 year old son reads the part about rest and recovery. He likes CF so much that he is actually looking forward to the end of lacrosse season so he can hit CF with everything he's got. Oh man to be 15 again!


replied to comment from Thatcher Cardon

Thatcher, the basic rest/recovery cycle that Michael references comes from Larry Lindenman.

Weeks 1-3 Full on CF
Week 4 half-intensity
Weeks 5-7 Full
Week 8 half intensity
Weeks 9-11 Full
Week 12 OFF. Rest. Nap. Walk the dog. Get know.

Programming in recovery is sometimes the only way to make yourself do it.

Great article Michael. Thanks.


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