I’ve been following CFFB for a nearly a month now and like the variety, the rest day mid week and mixed up work outs. I have increased in strength and put on a small amount of weight, & according to my good lady wife I also look better naked too!

I have read some of the previous questions and answers on the web page and before I ask my question think it may assist you if i give you my background: I’m male, 44 years of age, 6ft tall, ecto-morph, weighing 179 Lbs / 81kg. I joined the army at 16 (1984) I have trained with weights since then trying to increase my weight and strength. I think its fair to say that knowledge of weight training here in the UK is geared more to bodybuilding and therefore gains are made illegally with odd exceptions! Rugby as a sport has been Pro for about ten years and some of this knowledge is filtering through magazines etc…but nowhere near like that of CFFB.

I have a history of back problems, being diagnosed at the age of 22 with a ‘mechanical’ back problem. Largely I think this is a bit of a cop out by the then military physical therapists as private treatment has pretty much sorted this out. I have also self-managed this by exercise, and until now have overdone certain exercises (your ‘Deadlifts & Viagra’). I tore a rotor cuff 10 years ago and my general shoulder flexibility is poor. I also use Mobility WOD and use daily stretches. I work on your equivalent of a SWAT team and our hours of work can be very long – so sleep is affected on a regular basis. This said i have stuck to your training plan and eat healthy, as I am gluten and lactose intolerance! I use supplements such as whey protein and meal replacements when working.

Finally, my question is, should i expect my body to feel like I’ve been in a car accident everyday? My back becomes stiff and very sore, which I can get rid of after a couple of days of Mobility WOD pain ball rolling. I spend as long stretching, as I do on the SWOD & DWOD. I have been following the Pro SWOD as it appears to offer a more varied plan; I appreciate that after 3 weeks I have no idea what is coming next on a daily basis on the other two? Should I switch, stay on the PRO and expect the car accident to go away or ease off completely and look for another fitness style?

Hope all this makes sense, and thanks for your time.



Hi John,

First, Thank you for the incredible programming (CrossFit Football).  I have been following your programming for about 14 months now and I can say with certainty it the most effective, well thought-out programming I have experienced.  A quick question about a deload. I am 35 years old and I do not recover like I used to.  You will have to trust me when I tell you that I eat the way I should and I get my sleep.  Those bases are covered.  I was a college athlete (D1 football) and I know how to take care of myself and I take it very seriously.  As far as your programming goes, do you expect people to phase in a deload period based on how they are feeling (i.e. take a week or two off) or are you explicitly programming a deload period through volume/intensity manipulation?  I have noticed volume come down during “CrossFit Football Total” weeks and I do feel slightly more refreshed the week after but there are times when my body (more normally my CNS) is screaming for a break.  During those periods I do what most sensible people do, I reduce intensity (i.e. instead of a true 3rm may 85-90% of it).  I understand that the majority of the people who follow you programming are less than 25 years of age where this is basically a non-issue (oh what I wouldn’t give to be 25 again) but, unfortunately, it is becoming more and more of an issue for me.  I have been making incredible progress and I am approaching the athleticism of my late 20’s so I am a little reluctant to make changes to the programming without first getting some input from the you.

Best regards,


These two questions are so similar it just made sense to answer them together.

First…if you are over the age of 35 and have lived a life that consisted of being a typical Neanderthal, college, drinking, fighting, loud music, driving too fast, lifting weights, playing contact sports, military, law enforcement, fireman, tattoos and have not lived your last 35 years sitting in your mom’s basement pretending you were a veal…then this is for you.

If you are 18 years old, training in a campus gym and are pissed because there are rest days on CFFB because you could do three of these workouts a day and still sprint home to have sex three times before dinner, then drink two cases of beer before 2 am and still get up at 7 am for an 8 am class…this is not for you.

If you are old and beaten up you will need extra rest days. I suggest to either cut the Friday or Saturday metcon or both. When it says RM, that means rep max. That is NOT the heaviest weight you have ever lifted, that would be a PR or personal best. An RM, or rep max, is the heaviest weight you can lift on THAT day. If that lift just so happens to be 80% of your lifetime personal best, then that is your rep max on that day. The program has built in deloads. It is designed so on the days you feel 20 years old and bullet proof you kick the doors in. And on other days when you need a tube of flexall, 2 hits of espresso and 3 Alieve to just think about getting going, you can still have a solid training day.

Most of the CNS issues come from efforts over 90% on either the 1-3 reps over from racing the clock. AMRAPs and workouts that are for time, have a way of frying people. So know when you can go 100% in your lifts and metcon and know when you should go 80% in your metcon.

Kenny Rogers sang, “You got to know when hold em’, know when to fold em’, know when to walk away and know when to run…”

The problem facing most of us is, even though our bodies are broken, injured and show the scars of a life well lived, mentally we are still 18 years old. And our 18 year old brains will get our 35 year old bodies in heaps of trouble.

Take Brett Favre for example, in his 40’s he is sending dick pictures to a hot 22 year old NFL intern. The girl was hired by the Jets because she is smoking (check pic above) and would wear low cut tops at FSU games. Favre, still mentally 18 years old, sees her and thinks, “I could totally pull her…picture messaging”


My dad is 73 years old this year. Over a shot of tequila a few months ago, he told, mentally, he still thinks he is 21 years old. And when he looks in the mirror and sees this old man with white hair he thinks, “Who is that old man?”. My dad has practiced law for almost 50 years, still goes to court 5 days a week and drives the Porsche Turbo I bought him a few years ago with a playoff check. He told me the secret to life is never stop believing you are 21 years old…even when you look in the mirror and see the white hair or heading to the gym feeling broken and beaten, never let it creep into your head. The day you admit you are old, you will be old.

Ted, keep doing what you are doing. Keep eating right, drinking water, doing Mobility WOD and the Pro level. Know what days you can push it and when you need to take day off. The car accident feeling is letting you know you are still alive.

Jacob, be smart. When i say be smart, I mean listen to your body and make the right choices when it comes to picking the weights and the programming. Take a day if you need to and come back roaring.

Remember what the Kurgan told Conner MacLeod in the Highlander, “It is better to burn out, than to fade away.”