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

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Old 08-13-2006, 05:52 AM   #1
Frank M Needham
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As I understand it METCON workouts are the WODs that tax you from start of workout to end without letup. In the last couple weeks I've just gotten enough equipment to actually do them, with subs, and I'm getting my butt kicked very well, thank you. Times are lousy, some I'm able to finish, some not.

Up till getting the equipment I was doing WOD-like workouts in the AM and GTG during the course of the day with BW and some odd objecting lifting. Jesting aside, I am concerned though since I'm feeling just a tad too worn out. I do not want to take time off though as just getting started was a major hurdle in itself so stopping for a rest now would not be good.

A number of factors other than just the WODs are likely at work contributing to my condition (lack of). Age (52), weight (192), BF (20%), LBM (155), newborn at home (only sleeping 6-7 hrs), and work (no stress there though) being chief factors.

Diet is ok except I haven't quite got the intake under control yet and am not trying too hard to do so as for now it is enough just to do the WODs. Eating lots of protein balanced with some carbs and fats. Drinking quite a bit of water. The heat here is enough to take it out of you all by its lonesome, usually about 80-90 at 0500. I take what probably equals 2-3 cups of coffee in the am only and have a drink occasionally (OMG!).

Anybody who's been there, done that, care to comment or make observations? It takes time I know, but any hints/suggestions about something I may be missing would be great. Thanks...
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Old 08-13-2006, 06:20 AM   #2
Nick Cummings
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Mix it up a little bit. Try going easy on days you feel a little beat or try 2 on 1 off. Or try modifying the workouts. Maybe do 100%, 75%, 50%, off as your four day cycle. The possibilities are endless.
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Old 08-13-2006, 06:53 AM   #3
Andrew G. Greenberg
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i had the same problem. now i go 1 on, 1 off. I'm rested for every workout and am hitting PRs pretty regularly.

CrossFit is potent medicine. Take your medicine, then let it work before you take it again. Just my philosophy, Hope it helps.
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Old 08-13-2006, 08:12 AM   #4
George Brothers
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frank
while i am not exactly in your situation i do have several anecdotes from my own crossfit experience. these are intense workout, more intense than most have done in their lives. recovery is therefore more important. that means taking some time off or at least lowering the intensity. i think the 3 on, one off rotation with wods at full strength works for those who have a very good to excellent level of fitness. i feel that an individual who falls into that category will be more than likely a competitive athlete or someone with a good athletic or conditioning base prior to starting. i would also scale the wods. a persistent high level of soreness is indicative that you are really pounding yourself into the ground. as you get conditioned the intensity can be increased gradually. you can go to the brand x website (a xfit affiliate off the main page) and go to their wod forum and they post scaled down wods. i found this helped immensely. you can also go to the fitness conduit, http://coachrut.blogspot.com/, that posts a mwf rotation of xfit like wods. and there is the mens journal article from a few months back that had scaled down wods in it. you could also try the following that i cut and pasted from another conversation on the boards and can be attributed to larry lindemann:
*Weeks 1-3: WOD as RXed.
*Week 4: 50% volume (either reps, time, distance, or weight or any combo which makes sense).
*Repeat
*Week 12: Rest week no WODs, just fun activities.
*Repeat
i turn 40 this year and while i feel good, i wish i was 21 again and doing this (you know the wish, 40 year old brain in a 21 yr old body). age definitely plays a factor here especially if you are starting out. you just are not as strong, flexible, fast or made out of steel etc as you used to be. that is why you have to be smarter. if you feel run down, then take a day off or lower the intensity. you will benefit from it. look at all the older athletes that are popping up that are competitive, many frequenting this site and boards. everything will happen but it will take longer.
i have a 2 year old, a busy professional life, work night shifts a bunch. i need more sleep, i need some peace and quiet sometimes. look at all the unnecessary crap in your life and jettison it. my big weak spot is tv. what a time waster. make yourself and your family your priorities and then let everything else line up and take a number.
diet is a tough one. really the only advice here is to enlist your families help. does no good if you want to eat lean and your wife is buying you yodels.
heat is tough. the only way you get used to it is to stay out in it. even after acclimization, it is still dangerous. work out late, work out early, work out in ac.
lastly, this takes time plus your genetics can be a limiting factor. i started doing this in 2005, had a hiccup with some knee surgery and now feel that i am back on track. keep up your good effort, be smart and it will pay off.
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Old 08-13-2006, 11:09 AM   #5
Frank M Needham
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hmmm, I come from a background of pretty intense conditioning and athletic activity, though not in the last 8 yrs. That statement scared the crap out of me. At various times in my life I've played, or participated in, several sports. Also trained for them separately. So, I'm not new to that aspect at all but CF is different for sure. Maybe I just thick but even at this age I believe that this program is doable. I'll try some of the suggestions guys. Thanks, I appreciate the feedback. Glad to hear that you're overcoming that knee blowout George.
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Old 08-13-2006, 12:19 PM   #6
Tim Triche, Jr.
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1) sleep more (go to bed earlier -- Letterman isn't really funny these days, anyways...)

2) get in the Zone, at least for long enough to figure out whether it helps you and your metabolism; also try working out before breakfast (IF-style) and see if that helps you recover better. Nutrition + training == baseline health.

3) take time off between WODs if you are not recovering. You don't get stronger by beating yourself to a pulp, you get stronger by allowing your body enough time to adapt to the stresses. This ties in directly to #1. You must rest adequately, especially when adapting to met-cons.


I started out doing 1-on, 1-off, then 3-on, and now I'm at 5-on, 2-off, with a climbing-specific workout in the evenings. If I feel like I skip a WOD (usually an "easy" max-effort WOD). If a WOD aggravates an injury (muscle pull, degenerative sports injury, whatever) I sub. I would highly recommend that you do the same.

Crossfit is (at least in my experience) an excellent means to achieving a strong base level of fitness for whatever sports you enjoy, and the demands of a healthy daily existence. But it takes sport-specific training to excel in a given sport, and (again in my opinion) you sometimes have to throttle back a WOD now and then when it interferes with either your performance in your sport of choice, or your healthy daily existence. Results are more important than regularity, and quality is more important than mindless quantity, in the long run. (Again, just my opinion here.)

Don't forget that you will lose progress if you push too hard and get injured. Avoid that if at all possible; instead, pursue a path that leads to linear improvement for *you*. Best of luck!
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Old 08-13-2006, 01:31 PM   #7
Darrell E. White
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Alright, Frank, here goes!

Stats: Still a newbie. Started in January. 46 yo. Non-physical job in comparison with LEO's, Firefighters, Military, etc here at CF. 5'8 1/2" (I NEED that 1/2":proud:). Former college DB, life-long jock. 155 lbs. 1/1/06, 155 lbs.8/13/06. BWF 18ish 1/1/06, 10-11 now. Very low fat diet heavy on complex carbs and lean protein 1/1/06, now "zonish" at around 17 loosely counted blocks in a 4-5-2-5-1 pattern. 7 1/2 hours of sleep then, 6 now if I'm lucky (I have teenagers--the lack of sleep is the same but the cause is different). Typical week is Monday rest, Tuesday WOD, Wed rest, Th-Fri-Sat-Sun WOD, although I will drop one of those four if I'm too busy or just beat.

Not the same, but not too disimilar to you. In the early stages of CF the met-con WOD's just rock you. There's just no way around that. Push yourself as far as you can, and make sure that you scale appropriately. Try, as best you can, to check your ego at the locker room door. The improvement in times and strength come naturally without too much thought as long as you don't get hurt. Need a day off? Give yourself permission! In the end the "elite performance" you are seeking is defined only by you. Matt G., Kelly, Tariq, DJ, Annie, Eva T., etc. are out of this world, but really, are most of us ever going to approach that level of performance across the board? Likewise, have you looked at Anthony B's log? You and I can have a very special result from CF, and earn the respect of all of the special athletes here on CF through our efforts and our improvement. Look for Larry Lindeman and Eugene Allen and their threads for helpful information. It's a cliche, but "stay within yourself" here!

Diet is key. Start to eat in Zone proportions at the very least. I made no effort to reduce caloric intake in the beginning, just changed the composition of my diet to the 40-30-30 of the Zone, and got leaner without losing weight.

Lastly, I agree with George regarding priorities. I do CF to enhance my ability to perform in the other areas of my life. With less sleep and more (work and parenting) stress I am able to give more of myself everywhere in my life because of the level of physical fitness and wellness that CF and the Zone have brought to me. And it's always a good thing to be included in a new group, especially one as fun and friendly as this one.

Hope this overly long post is helpful. Good luck.
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Old 08-13-2006, 01:45 PM   #8
Russ Greene
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"but really, are most of us ever going to approach that level of performance across the board?"

Yes, if you are willing to work that hard that consistently.
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Old 08-13-2006, 02:44 PM   #9
Frank M Needham
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Sleep more? Sorry Tim, no can do right now. I'll just have to learn to do on the 6-7 I get now and be happy about it. Diet is another that I'm working on. So far it is zoneish and I'm definitely consuming way more blocks than one with my LBM should. Almonds, Sam's has them cheap and they are tasty!

Taking time between WODs is something I'll consider. Almost as soon as I began reading about CF the logic of it struck me and I knew I was onto something good. That is still my opinion and it is born out in fact also. Like many here I've my share of injuries, the back being among them and doing OHS alone helped profoundly with that so if nothing else were to come of this it would still be worth it just on that basis alone. I've made physically measureable strength and stamina back also. My wife has commented a couple times already that my upper body has changed. Boy was she surprised at that.

I've checked out AB's journal and he is a pretty impressive athelete no doubt. We should all do our best to emulate the standard he has. I've been "unconscious" before and I aim to be again. The hard work is all good, I'm just starting over again and wanted to make sure there wasn't something glaringly obvious to others that I was missing and couldn't see.

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Old 08-13-2006, 05:22 PM   #10
Tim Triche, Jr.
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If you've got kids and that keeps you from sleeping more, or if your job is of the high-powered type, a solid 7 hours plus a 30 minute nap sometime during the day has the potential to accelerate your recovery *noticeably* compared to 6 hours. No joke, try it whenever it is possible within your lifestyle.

Diet is tough for me too, but the Paleo/Zone style of eating endorsed by the Performance Menu guys seems to work well for me, and even my wife (not real big on dietary discipline) has decided to play along. We both feel better and are less tired when we follow these guidelines; I am 185#, about 15-16% BF (yes, I know, it's pathetic; my LBM is probably the same as when I wrestled at 158#), and I consume about 17 blocks a day. My bodyfat seems to be declining without making me hungry at this "setting". If you eliminate grains and dairy from the "staples" of your diet (eg. breads become condiments for pushing your eggs and spinach at breakfast), and demote fruit to being a "snack" or "dessert", it is surprising how filling such a lifestyle can be. If you have a Trader Joe's near you, it's easy to get a lot of variety within this dietary lifestyle, too. (Farmer's markets are great, too)

If you haven't already checked out the Performance Menu, you might enjoy reading a free sample issue from their website. It's at http://www.performancemenu.com/freeissue/ and Issues #1, #3, and #6 might be of particular interest to you, based on this discussion.
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