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

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Old 06-02-2006, 12:30 PM   #1
Kevin Burns
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I would like to get some commentary on something a friend of mine said.

She is a big fan of pilates and says that most athletes could replace 90% of their of their training with pilates and do just fine since pilates addresses all aspects of fitness and conditioning.

She won't listen to me so I'd like to get everyone's opinion on her beliefs.
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Old 06-02-2006, 12:59 PM   #2
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As a woman in particular, she needs to understand things like bone density require axial skeleton load bearing - that is, loaded structural movements such as squats, deadlifts, etc. Without those--particularly with the high-net-acid-load diet common to pilates practitioners--women are on a road to bones like swiss cheese.

In addition, the balance and coordination requirements of aforementioned movements is key--pilates is lacking here as well. It is also ultimately limited in terms of variation and progressive overload (although most Pilates practitioners would argue this vehemently).

That said, pilates is far better than nothing. It certainly won't kill you. But it unequivocally fails to addres "all aspects", and anyone who believes it to be the end-all be-all of fitness has not experienced enough training, nor do they have an adequate understanding of fitness.

I would be curious to hear how exactly she feels Pilates addresses all aspects of fitness and conditioning--and who the 10% of athletes are for whom it isn't adequate. Not to criticize, really, but out of genuine curiousity.
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Old 06-02-2006, 01:19 PM   #3
Kevin Burns
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She claims that you could take any athlete and replace 90% of their training regimen with pilates and they would do just fine.

Kind of funny isn't it ???
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Old 06-02-2006, 01:27 PM   #4
Matt Gagliardi
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That's perhaps one of the most amusing claims I've ever heard. Exactly what is her (and her instructor's) athletic background? I've done Pilates. I didn't dislike it...but the idea that it could replace the balance of my GPP/SPP prep for the sports I participate in is hilarious.
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Old 06-02-2006, 09:39 PM   #5
Blair Robert Lowe
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Pilates < Gymnastics...especially Roger/CF style. Perhaps though we don't work enough coordination stuff...beam/air acro. That can easily be fit in though on my own time.

With Pilates and Yoga, I felt I was doing just some basic calesthenics. Heck, I love calesthenics but it's not gonna be all I need to function at the levels I want to or do what I want to.
I think with Pilates/Yoga/other calesthenic systems it will probably be fine for the everyday person who just does other stuff-recreationally. For the HC or elite, I don't think it hits the mark. It won't make it for the MMA or somebody in the ****.
Pilates was formed from a former gymnast and yoga enthusiast. I'm not familiar with the pilates with machines, but heck it's probably fine for most of my friends who do jack nothing and screw around once in awhile.
Though many internal martial arts could be considered as a form of calesthenics, I do believe they have far more usefulness than these. There's a range here.

As for impact forces which then stimulate bone destiny, one of the gym coaches at our gym said Gymnastics ranks highest because of the impact forces on the extremities and limbs, as well as the spine. OLY lifting does obviously affect bone density stimulation; but apparently it was by Torquing forces, not impact forces.
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Old 06-03-2006, 02:34 AM   #6
Stephen Cork
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Funny - i recently told a pilates instructor i know that i had started gymnastics classes. Her response was that i better add some pilates training also to enable my core to handle the demands. She claimed the cirque du soleil as an example of people using pilates to keep themselves strong and injury free.

My take is that crossfit and weightlifting etc will do this more than adequately.

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Old 06-03-2006, 05:44 AM   #7
Darrell E. White
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Interesting timing for this thread for me! The Pilates instructor at my gym has been teasing me, telling me that I am afraid to try Pilates. This from a woman who once asked me before a CF WOD if I was back to "kick my own ***" again. Pilates, like all core strength builders, has value for most people. For inactive, essentially non-athletes, it's certainly better than nothing. I agree with Matt, though, that there is no weight-bearing aspect for skeletal strength. For more elite athletes it probably has a place as a "core-enhancer" to improve performance, or as an "active rest" activity.

I have practiced two of the internal martial arts for 15 years, T'ai chi (Yang style) and Pa Kua Chang (or Bagua). My personal feeling is that each of these is superior to pilates for several reasons. Once you know the movements they can be done anywhere, without an instructor, for free. They are performed upright, on your feet, and so involve weight bearing. They involve the small muscles of balance/proprioception, so the core strength is transferable to all of my other activities like CF, golf, skiing, etc. These last two points have been studied in elderly woman her in the US and in Asia. Woman who do T'ai chi are statistically less likely to break their hip, and are more likely to be able to move without the aid of canes or walkers (although once again I quote a study and can't post the reference...sorry:lame:).

Like all statements that start with something like "you could replace 90%", Kevin's friend loses a lot of her credibility by over-reaching. Pilates has a place, maybe for almost anyone, but replace everything else...doubt you could support that when we have athletes like Matt, operators, LEO's and Firefighters out there with a higher order of performance necessity.

Long-winded .02!
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Old 06-03-2006, 06:19 AM   #8
Kathryn Steen
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Stephen--check out the cirque du soleil thread that was on the message board not too long ago. according to one of the discussion participants, cirque athletes are FAR from injury free.
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Old 06-03-2006, 08:47 AM   #9
Rob McBee
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So if I practice(plug in sport) say golf 10% of the time and pilates 90 then I'll be making the Tiger Woods money? How about 90% pilates and 10% neurology. Want me to do your brain surgery for you? Didn't think so.

Take any devotee of pilates and/or yoga and see how they do in the Overhead Squat. That'll show what works and whats just theory.
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Old 06-03-2006, 11:36 AM   #10
Jeff Wright
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This reminds me of an article I found a while ago about whether yoga is all you need for fitness.

My yoga teacher once said that he wishes he knew more about Pilates so that he could be more knowledgeable while making fun of it.

It seems that advanced practioners of yoga, pilates, martial arts, etc. will often over-emphasize the benefits of their discipline, while under-emphasizing those of others. I suppose this is partly so that they can justify to themselves the amount of time and effort they have invested in mastering that discpline.

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