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

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Old 01-29-2010, 01:42 AM   #1
William Jackson
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CF as a strength and conditioning program?

prepared to catch some heat on this one.

i know this has been asked many times but....
shouldnt crossfitters be stronger?

now this is not an attack to any less-than-super-strong crossfitters or people on this board.
but crossfit touts itsell as a "strength and conditioning" program. when i see max lift wods posted and since the last time it was posted people only gained 5 pounds on their lift in 2+ months of training since the last time it came up, i question how little strength inprovements are factored into the program.
it seems like every metcon there are hundreds of people making huge leaps in their "IWCOBMATD" but when it comes to strength, there is little or no improvement.
im not trying to get into debates about the product being "sold" i.e get better at everything and lose weight and workout shirtless and all that.
i have been on the boards for several months and CF has definitely paved the path to where im at now but i think the lack of strength gain has marred crossfit's definition as a strength and conditioning program.
thoughts?
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:14 AM   #2
Alex Europa
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Re: CF as a strength and conditioning program?

Stronger for what? You didn't give any data (or even a reason) as to why CrossFit as a "S&C program" needs to refocus it's efforts and create stronger athletes.

Since CrossFit's claim is that no other athletes can exceed the work capacity and sustained power outputs of CrossFitters, then I'm going to assume that they don't feel that absolute strength is as important as is all around development (read: all 10 components of fitness).

I mean, for the average person to make considerable headway in strength (I'm speaking about moving from the intermediate to advanced levels and beyond) in a short amount of time, there will have to be sacrifices in other areas. However, if the person increases their lifts 5 lbs every 2 months, then that's still 30 lbs per year, and 150 lbs in 5 years (again, we're talking about seeing these small gains after said CrossFitter is already sitting on a 800+ CFT, which is not uncommon for an average male trainee). Obviously, the athlete will continue (in theory) to make considerable gains in the other 9 components of fitness concurrently as their strength slowly increases.

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Old 01-29-2010, 04:19 AM   #3
Alex Europa
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Re: CF as a strength and conditioning program?

Quote:
Originally Posted by William Jackson View Post
...but i think the lack of strength gain has marred crossfit's definition as a strength and conditioning program.
thoughts?
I'm not following you here. By this do you mean that the lack of strength gains has tarnished outsiders' perception of CrossFit's viability as an effective S&C program?

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Old 01-29-2010, 06:39 AM   #4
Trevor Shaw
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Re: CF as a strength and conditioning program?

I think this totally depends on what you are training for. My understanding is that for athletes and people without a definite season (ie. police, firefighters, fighters and the average person) who want to be in the best condition possible all year round then Crossfit is amazing and should be the primary training program. For these people the ability to be extremely well rounded in both factors (strength and conditioning) means they can afford to sacrifice being an extreme in one or the other.

However for athletes who have a definite season, meaning they know exactly when they will be competing and when they have to be at their peak then a more detained S&C programs is appropriate. For these athletes it makes sense to have such a program that is constantly evolving and based off of their particular strengths and weaknesses.

When I worked as a collegiate strength and conditioning coach it would have been very difficult to get my football or basketball players to succeed with the Crossfit program for many reasons, however my fighters do amazingly with it. I think there is a lot to be said for being sports and scenario specific.
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:51 AM   #5
Robert D Taylor Jr
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Re: CF as a strength and conditioning program?

Quote:
Originally Posted by William Jackson View Post
prepared to catch some heat on this one.

i know this has been asked many times but....
shouldnt crossfitters be stronger?

now this is not an attack to any less-than-super-strong crossfitters or people on this board.
but crossfit touts itsell as a "strength and conditioning" program. when i see max lift wods posted and since the last time it was posted people only gained 5 pounds on their lift in 2+ months of training since the last time it came up, i question how little strength inprovements are factored into the program.
it seems like every metcon there are hundreds of people making huge leaps in their "IWCOBMATD" but when it comes to strength, there is little or no improvement.
im not trying to get into debates about the product being "sold" i.e get better at everything and lose weight and workout shirtless and all that.
i have been on the boards for several months and CF has definitely paved the path to where im at now but i think the lack of strength gain has marred crossfit's definition as a strength and conditioning program.
thoughts?

You yourself are an n of one. How has it affected your strength?

I also think that perhaps when people read S&C they think gee it's a strength program, discounting the conditioning portion. SS 531 etc are strength programs, they should be good at that, Unbiased CF tackles strength and the other 9 aspects of fitness that make up conditioning. Who decided strength was the only thing that makes up a good GPP S&C program?

To me a 5 pound increase in say presses combined with obvious IWCABTAMD is impressive. That's just me though.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:07 AM   #6
Kevin McMahon
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Re: CF as a strength and conditioning program?

Also for those who are more "strength" oriented, by your terms anyway, there is CF strength biased, and CF Football. Both of which pour on a healthy dose of ME lifting to see biggers numbers in your "strength" lifts.

Really to each his own, but crossfit is more focused on the whole package not just one or two things.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:15 AM   #7
Tamara Cohen
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Re: CF as a strength and conditioning program?

Well, you also have to consider how long people have been training. If you're a novice, it's a lot easier to add 10-20 lbs to a lift in 2 months. I just brought my deadlift from 162x3 to 190x3 in less than one month. Exactly a month ago I used 100 lbs in a deadlift WOD with 30 reps. Today, I used 135 lbs in a deadlift WOD with 36 reps. 35% more in one month? I'm not really going to argue about CrossFit being an effective strength program. But, again, I'm a novice. It's a lot easier for me to make newbie gains. I'm not going to be able to sustain that growth. So, adding 5 lbs to a lift in 2 months could be a really big deal over time if you've been doing this for a while.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:26 AM   #8
Oliver Gould
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Re: CF as a strength and conditioning program?

Alex, didn't he use the same data (posts on the mainsite) that Crossfitters usually point at when asked for hard data points?
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:47 AM   #9
Brian Bedell
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Re: CF as a strength and conditioning program?

I don't think of cf as a 'strength and conditioning" program, and I think the official definition of cf is broader then that and included 10 domains, so pure strength would really only be 1/10 of what cf is.

Now, personally, like many others, I like the strength part more then other aspects and a lot of people agree. That is why there are so many variations of cf that include more strength work; starting with gant, cfsb, cffb, etc etc.

And I would agree with you that a high novice or intermediate is not going to get much stronger using cf mp. But i just think you are starting with the wrong defintion of cf.
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:03 AM   #10
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: CF as a strength and conditioning program?

Strength AND CONDITIONING.

CF is gpp. Strength is a component of gpp, but not the only one. This is the point of the "learn and play new sports". Each activity you want to do has different demands and while CF provides a great base, you will HAVE to do sport specific training.

Even if "CF is your sport" you still have to do sport specific training. You have not only the conditioning and strength but also have efficient and safe technique and it has to bee that way will fatigued.

CF is not the end all be all of training.
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