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

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Old 12-07-2004, 05:59 PM   #11
John Frazer
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I second Jeremy -- I'm 6'2", 180 and would add that long arms (36" sleeve) are NOT part of the ideal physique. They just make you pull or push everything that much farther.
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Old 12-07-2004, 10:10 PM   #12
Myron Hensel
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im thinking more along the lines of someone like bruce lee's physique. A bit under 5'10", definately low bodyfat...was like 140lbs. The guy was a crossfit maniac.
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Old 12-07-2004, 10:11 PM   #13
Ross Greenberg
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Although it may be a disadvantage overall, having long limbs is good for several things in crossfit:
1. Running. You'll notice that the stubby people that are amazing at bodyweight exercises and have ridiculous power to weight ratios in weightlifting often are far less excellent at running. Having a long stride is a big advantage.
2. Deadlifts - long arms make deadlifts a lot easier.
3. Rowing - having a longer pull is a big advantage in rowing. Rowing is another exercise where you will see the stubbier people not doing as well as you would have expected giving their proficiency at other exercises.
In addition, having longer limbs can be an advantage in most/many sports, from swimming to boxing.
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Old 12-08-2004, 10:07 AM   #14
Ron Nelson
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I agree with both Ross and Jeremy. I'm 6'3", 215 and 42 y-o. I tend to work lighter weights in the oly lifts than the "studs", but some of that is from inexperience. Running and rowing are no problem for me as I've played basketball most of my life. Deadlifts are only a problem because of form, not body style. Now that I'm getting deeper on overhead squats, thursters, and cleans, I expect my overall fitness will improve, but not to the level of the shorter/stronger CF'ers. Maybe Jeremey, me and some of the other taller CF'ers can challenge them to a little basketball or volleyball game?:lol:
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Old 12-08-2004, 10:25 AM   #15
John Walsh
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The ideal body type seems to be that of a large gymnast respectively for women and men. Assuming that body fat is equal, larger people tend to be at a disadvantage with most of the bodyweight and endurance stuff. Smaller people tend to be at a disadvantage with a fixed weight. In general the most of the WODs favor the smaller people. So what? You may do a “Nancy” in under 10 minutes but all that means is that you’re fit and good at doing “Nancy”, no pun intended. Some of the best fighters and football players I played with and against couldn’t do squat in the gym but excelled on the field.
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Old 12-08-2004, 11:15 AM   #16
Mike Yukish
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I'm with you, Ron. I'm 6'3" and a few millimeters. Let the height-challenged do some deadlifts or cleans with the bar starting 3 inches off the deck, and see how they do all crouched up into a ball. :happy:
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Old 12-08-2004, 01:02 PM   #17
Jeff Martin
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I think the answer would be "the one that can perform the most work over the broadest range of tasks."
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Old 12-08-2004, 01:50 PM   #18
Paul Theodorescu
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Ross, I think long levers also help with throwing stuff, which is probably more useful in RL anyway.

I have a friend who squats and benches maybe twice what another one of my friends does but he can't run, throw, jump nearly as well.
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Old 12-10-2004, 12:40 PM   #19
Ross Greenberg
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John Walsh is on to something. Personally, I have and probably many other people here also have frequently made the mistake of thinking that crossfit is enough to be good at most sports. Yes you will be fit overall, perhaps extremely so. And yes that fitness will be a great advantage for learning new sports. Nevertheless, specificity is a lot more important than you think.

When I first started wrestling I could run under a 5:30 mile and had a double bodyweight deadlift and could do a fair amount of pushups and pullups. In short, I was in pretty decent shape. Guess what happened in my first match. I beat the guy up for two minutes, entered the second round, and gassed out. I was not in good wrestling shape. By the end of the season after I had had a lot more practice wrestling live, I was able to wrestle a full match without losing my focus or getting wiped out. I thought I was finally in good shape. Then I decided to go out for the swim team in the spring. I think you can imagine what happened when I tried to swim hard for the first time in two years.

Bottom line is, you will very very rarely be able to perform well at a certain task if you have never practiced it before, regardless of your gpp. What gpp does for you is it means you can adapt a lot more quickly to the newly imposed demands. It does not mean you will immediately be in great wrestling shape the second you step on the mat, or be invincible in the pool in your first swim practice just because you can overhead squat twice as much as everyone else and do a 30 minute +5 chelsea.

P.S. GPP = general physical preparedness, aka what you get by doing crossfit.
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Old 12-10-2004, 01:00 PM   #20
Tim Morrison
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Yes,Ross
GPP is the vast foundational work that is ignored by athletes 'specializing' .
I coached elite swimmers and would without doubt integrate this work in all my athletes programs....especially the young ones.
Crossfit is the best and I investigated a wide range of GPP programs for myself after finding myself seriously lacking in many crossfit fitness parameters after 'specializing' for years in powerlifting-bodybuilding type work.... then played in a volleyball league last spring and was shocked at my clumsiness.I decided to change things fast ...and found crossfit.
But crossfit will NOT maximize performance in any one sport/movement.You'd have to train it progressivelly.
Ex. scientists call it perifferal adaptations vs central (crossfit).
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