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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 07-12-2006, 09:27 AM   #1
Barry Cooper
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Coach says in one of the introductory articles that the hormonal response created by our metabolic conditioning approaches that of "exogenous hormonal therapy", i.e. steroid use.

That got me to thinking: if I was juicing, what would that enable me to do? As I understand it, the primary benefit of, say Testosterone, is an increased work capacity. You can work out harder, longer. So what do people do with that?

It has long seemed to me that most of the published Periodization schedules--the Bulgarian Squat Program, or 6 weeks to a Massive Bench programs, or whatever--were intended to be done in tandem with steroids. Certainly, I think the Russians and others who developed most of them used them that way. However, it seems to me that a sufficiently high GPP ought logically to support a workload similar to that made possible by steroid use. GPP, by definition, allows you to work out harder, longer. A hormone control diet ought to function as well as an ergogenic aid.

This led to the thought, that you could "cycle" CrossFit, like a drug. Literally like a drug. You could do, say 4 WOD's one week, 5 the next, 6 the next, 7 the next, take a week off, then attack one of the periodization programs. Potentially, you could also cycle dietary protocols as well. The Zone, fasting, and Rob Faigin's (is that spelling right?) program all address hormones.

Taking it a step further, it seems likely to me that "tes" users test their own blood to check levels. You could do the same thing on different protocols, to see which ones have maximal impact. I don't know the biochemistry of that, but theoretically it makes sense, if it is possible.

Finally, I got to thinking about applying it to other modalities, such as running. It breaks down a bit there, hormonally, but as a general idea, it does seem likely there are "3 weeks to a better 10K" programs out there, and you could cycle those in as well. 3 weeks CrossFit, 3 weeks something else.

I think sometimes people lose sight of the fact, as Larry L. says on another thread, that you're supposed to do a sport of some sort, and that Coach says to learn new sports regularly.

To paraphrase the Art of War, "there are but two types of workout--the WOD, and something else, but they can be combined endlessly."
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Old 07-12-2006, 11:01 AM   #2
Steve Shafley
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The mechanical response to exercise needs to be considered as well. The body is just not a hormonal cascade, or a set of chemical reactions. There is actually physical work being done by the body, and this impacts the whole organism.

Delving into the exercise response of those with panhypopituitarism might be a very interesting avenue of research. I have done some initial searches (since my youngest son is panhypopit) but nothing's popped out, and I dropped that line of inquiry.
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Old 07-12-2006, 11:20 AM   #3
Barry Cooper
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If I'm understanding you correctly, you are pointing to the musculo-skeletal reaction to some form of overload. It seems to me, though, that that factor is in play with steroid users as well. It is fairly common, for example, for the dumber users to get joint injuries when their tendon and ligament support is unable to keep up with the muscular development. That problem would be largley obviated with the "CrossFit as drug" approach.

Now, I do know powerlifters who did some program or other--I'm not sure if they were juicing or not--who said they permanently screwed up their knees. It seems to me, though, that that just means that was a bad program.

You of all people know that people take these drugs for reasons. I guess since you're posting, let me ask you directly: what benefits do you believe accrue from taking anabolic steroids? Why would someone interested in increased athletic performance take them? How did they help you or your friends? I'm genuinely curious.
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Old 07-12-2006, 03:51 PM   #4
Motion Macivor
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Barry I think you're realy on to something! I think that cycling crossfit would build a better athlete but it is at odds with the concept of being prepared for anything all the time. I think if you applied crossfit in a 'bompaesque' style you could realize huge peaks in either strength or endurance or both If you're looking for a peak, then I think that's the way to go. But if you just want to be bad *** 24/7 then I think Coach has it figured out.
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Old 07-12-2006, 06:29 PM   #5
Steve Shafley
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You know, I've thought about this, and am not really sure what to say. There is a significant difference between optimizing NE Response and artificially putting the body into an enhanced NE response state...for example, popping a pill to improve it is much easier than hitting 7 WODs in a week, right?

When are you going to have time to practice your sport, since most WODs are going to negatively impact performances later that day.

I've thought about this very same topic, for example, how would it impact me to do a set of 20-50 breathing squats with my bodyweight each and every day, either to kickstart my workouts, or to end them with a bang?

I am really not at all convinced that optimizing the NE response naturally is going to lead to extraordinary things. For example, endogenous GH release increases achieved via exercise, supplementation, and diet don't really do a whole lot for performance.



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Old 07-12-2006, 07:05 PM   #6
Chris Brophy
 
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Barry...I am in no way on paar with the knowledge on here but my thought is that artificial stimulation of performance by steriods produce a state that can not be achieved by cyclying through crossfit 7 days a week...steriods just produce a state that is not natural or continual...crossfit will but at a lower level as your body will maximize the results to protect itself from overtraining....

So optimizing NE response will be greater by steroids by allowing you to work out much harder, in my, opinion, but it's results are in way a long term benefit...

Just my thoughts and I may be way off what your asking...if I am, sorry

chris
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Old 07-13-2006, 06:58 AM   #7
Barry Cooper
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I'm thinking about using this idea to achieve, say a 500 lb. back squat. It seems to me the smarter "users" cycle. They take the stuff when they are doing really tough, high volume/intensity work, then cycle off and maintain. Then do it again X amount of time later.

What I am proposing, I suppose, is that a sufficiently high level of GPP in some ways could functionally mimic the results of steroids.

It seems clear enough to me that most elite athletes in strength sports "use". At the same time, it's not clear to me that with sufficiently intelligent programming, and sufficient hard work, they couldn't get the same place without the drugs. Are drugs a shortcut, or are they uniquely efficacious, a sine qua non of elite performance on a global level?

I'm not committing to anything, but I'm pretty sure I have a 600 lb. deadlift in me. If I can get to a work/life situation where I don't feel like 200 boulders are dropping on me from out of the sky, I might try this.

Steve,

I had a question for you. You say: "endogenous GH release increases achieved via exercise, supplementation, and diet don't really do a whole lot for performance." Why do you say that?
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Old 07-13-2006, 11:12 AM   #8
Peter Kelly
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Your reasoning makes logical sense to me, but I believe you have missed an important premise: physiological efficiency is limited by genetics.

If the premise: "the hormonal response created by our metabolic conditioning approaches that of 'exogenous hormonal therapy'"; is true, my first question is, under what conditions? I believe that the premise is generally true, but it is modulated by the subject's genetic limit. It's a case of the law of diminishing returns. For example, for a novice athlete, who's physical capacity is quite distant from there max genetic capacity, their NE response would be quite different from an elite athlete, who is working near their genetic capacity. Our two athlete's relative capacity to perform work is on par with their relative capacity to recover. The use of 'exogenous hormonal therapy' causes the body to surpass the genetic limit.

Your reasoning is non-linear, where the sum of the outputs is greater than the sum of the inputs. When it comes to physiology, I do not believe that this is possible because the body always tries to maintain homeostasis. I can be wrong and I would certainly be interested if you pursued this problem.

And if I may presume:
Re: your question to Steve:
Endogenous GH release does not significantly effect performance because it is a homeostatic response to stimulus.

--PK
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Old 07-13-2006, 11:25 AM   #9
Steve Shafley
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Thanks Peter.

Barry...I don't think you can attain supraphysiological levels of hormones naturally, unless you are some kind of freak. Optimal levels are, well, optimal, and I am sure being optimal will improve health, but not necessarily performance.

I also think the older you are, probably the better results you might get by optimzing endogenous GH release. I tried arginine for GH release when younger, and noticed nothing, however, a while back I got interested in arginine again because of NO, and found that it seemed to improve my response to exercise.

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Old 07-13-2006, 12:52 PM   #10
Doug Mewhirter
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I think that your (original poster's) comments have more than a grain of truth to them, but the devil is in the details. There is a fine line between training hard and burning out.

This is a link to a olympic lifting program that does exactly what you suggest - cycles your testosterone levels. The author, Dr. Lon Kilgore, is a very highly respected oly lifting coach.

http://www.exrx.net/WeightTraining/Weightlifting.html

Here is link to the signs and consequences of overtraining:

http://www.exrx.net/ExInfo/Overtraining.html
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