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

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Old 03-19-2007, 03:17 PM   #1
Celio Silva
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Greetings everyone

I've just been turned onto Crossfit by my brother-in-law a few days ago and I am really excited about it. In this first post I would like to request yall input into something crucial to fitness: overtraining.

For most of my teen years and early 20's I was very active in a variety of sports. Some were less strenuous like soccer, volleyball, surfing & snowboarding, while others were very demanding like kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (I am originally from Brasil).

During my late 20's my sports and fitness practices began fading away until I found myself rather sedentary. I am sure many people here have experienced the same, for whatever reason.

I am now 30 and ready to regain my fitness. So beginning in January I converted my garage into a Dojo/Gym for training Martial Arts & conditioning. I also began fully enjoying my membership at a local club, where I lift weights, take fitness classes, and swim.

The first month was great but hard, as my body began readjusting to working out. In february I found myself passing the initial soreness and tiredness from the first month back, and began pushing harder in everything.

In march I've been feeling great and continuing to push the pace. I've been lifting weights 6 days a week, doing Martial Arts 6 days a week, and cardio & core 3-5 days a week. I also do yoga a couple of days a week and strecth almost everyday.

By now, I thought I had a green light for training hard because I had endured the initial state of tiredness and because of my fitness level in the past, but these past few days I've been feeling really worked.

Am I overtraining? Do I need more time doing less before i can go full-blown? Is it just a matter of time before I get burn-out at this current riddim, or can I keep it up with propoer nutrition and rest?

I've been striving to eat 6-8 small meals packed w/ protein & carbs to stay fueled and keep the fire burning. I am also taking Cytogainer, Nitrix, a Multivitamin, and Glucosamine/Chondroitin.

I've been regaining my past shape and having a blast but don't wanna screw myself up by overtraining. I am in construction and can't afford to burn-out, but I am also really motivated and don't wanna miss out on getting back in shape.

What yall think? Any input is deeply appreciated!

I apologize for the long post. Thanks for your patience and congratulations for being here and striving to live fit.

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Old 03-19-2007, 03:33 PM   #2
Kevin Burns
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Welcome Celio. First off you might want to read the Foundations article about crossfit. There is little to no distinction between weight training, cardio, and core work. They are all one in the same. It sounds as though your following the standard body building methodology and by coming here I assume you are going to try and change that. If so you will most likely have to trim down your training a little bit as Crossfit is going to stress your body far more than a standard weightlifting program.

Everyone here mostly follows the 3on / 1off methodology of work/rest. I've been at CFit for a year and am still only able to do a 3/2 work/rest cycle. Your mileage my vary. The most important thing is to listen to your body. At least for the first month.

What Crossfit workouts have you tried so far ?

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Old 03-19-2007, 05:27 PM   #3
Jason Billows
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Welcome Celio.

Everyone is going to respond to varrying training levels in different ways. If you feel you are overtraining, cut back. Overtraining can manifest itself in difficulty sleeping, lack of focus, lack of energy, change in appetite or many other ways.

Keep in mind that once you overtrain it is often a long road to getting back on track. Therefore, if you think that you are overreaching at all (just slightly overtraining), stop. Take a few days off and eat/sleep well. Try a workout after that short break and see if you feel. If you feel rested and ready to go, then resume your training while keeping an eye on all of those overtraining indicators. If you still feel tired, take more time off and don't rush it. Your body needs to catch up.

One of the most important things I learned on this site is that there is no such thing as overtraining, just underrecovery. In other words, you can keep pushing your body as long as you can get the sleep, nutrition and time to recover properly. Of course everyone will hit a wall at some point, but you know what I mean. Be sure to learn as much as you can about recovery and diet and not only will you limit you chances of overtraining, but you'll also improve your overall fitness results.

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Old 03-19-2007, 07:12 PM   #4
Celio Silva
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Thanks Kevin & Jason.

Kevin, I couldn't find that article, but you're right. I've been lifting weights in bodybuilding style, which dosen't train my cardio and does little for my core, therefore I have to train those separated, by jogging, rowing & swimming, and by doing isolated core/abs exercises. Thus, you hit the nail in the head when you assumed that the reason why I am here is to change that. I don't want to spend time and energy just building muscles. I wanna a workout that will deliver strenght & endurance; power and agility; speed and stamina. Bodybuilding most definately does not deliver that and does not address them as "...all one in the same".

I have not yet tried any Crossfit workout. I am waiting to resume my current workout this month and start crossfitting in April. That will give me time to educate myself on crossfitting before starting it.

Jason, I am definately keeping in mind that "...once you overtrain it is often a long road to getting back on track...", and that's why i am concerned about it. I am not experiencing any of those symptoms. Quite the opposite. I sleep very well, am very focused, feel energetic, and have a normal appetite. My concern comes from feeling very worked hitting the bed and getting out of bed. My body just feels very worked, which it is, but as I rise and get going I feel fine, though still a bit worked. My strategy so far has been to not give up to that feeling and keep working, assuming that I'll keep getting stronger and stronger, and will endure it and eventually overcome it. You know, it's like when you're train really hard to the point where you're sure you can't possibly continue and then you work even harder, and then after all you feel exhausted but great. You've suvived and you're fine. Not only fine, but you're better. However, I am afraid that if I keep doing that it might back fire on me. I am just trying to find that balance between training hard and overtraining, and what makes it tricky is that I've gone a loooonnng time without exercising, so I am out of touch with my body.

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Old 03-19-2007, 09:49 PM   #5
Dan Ensing
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I relistened to the CrossFit Live episode regarding Oly lifting w/ Coach Burgener. In summary he stated that a person doesn't overtrain, they under recover.

Dan
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Old 03-19-2007, 11:37 PM   #6
Steven Low
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"I've been lifting weights 6 days a week, doing Martial Arts 6 days a week, and cardio & core 3-5 days a week."

Take a a day or two (or a few days) off, especially if you're lifting heavy for all 6 days a week. In my experience I only suffer from a few of the many symptoms that are part of what most people call 'overtraining' but not all of them. For you it could be similar as everybody's body is different. Getting back into shape in a month after being a few years out of shape is really a stretch.... it will take some time.

Managing the intensity of your workouts is going to be key in your ability to do so many in a week now and far into the future. Cardio besides HIIT is generally not very intensive so even if you do that everyday it isn't going to matter that much... but if you were doing HIIT everyday with heavy lifting and hour non-stop martial arts you're probably going to be overtraining. One of the most important things to working out that you can learn is to tell how to listen to your body to manage fatigue correctly. This will save you tons of time and effort.
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Old 03-20-2007, 06:45 AM   #7
Matt DeMinico
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I'm no expert, but I would start out doing a scaled down version of the WOD (50% maybe) for the first month. And I do mean the whole month. Get your body used to doing crossfit, it's more strenuous than anything you've ever done, no matter how you feel during and/or after, it's more strenuous. After that first month, you can probably start increasing the percentage by a little bit, but I would still take at least a couple months, possibly a year or more according to some people, to work up to 100%.
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Old 03-20-2007, 07:53 AM   #8
John Wopat
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Celio, Welcome. First, there's no question that you're overtraining. you wouldn't be asking about it if you weren't. I'm not sure where I saw it, but the general rule at CF seems to be take a week off after 12 weeks. Others will add to that by taking a 50% week every 4th week. Be patient; you haven't trained seriously for several years, and the last thing you need go overboard for several months and fall prey to sickness or an overuse injury. We want you to hang around with us for a while.
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Old 03-20-2007, 07:53 AM   #9
Leonid Soubbotine
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It's called "overreaching".
Very very few elite athletes ever get to overtraining phase.

If your performance comes back after a couple days of recovery - you're overreaching.

It takes months to recover from overtraining.
Great article on that here:

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1442461


Leo
www.crossfitevolution.com
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Old 03-22-2007, 03:53 PM   #10
Celio Silva
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Thanks everyone

Yeah, I am cutting back. It has caught up with me and I am worked. Not to the point where I can't workout, but to the point where I can't keep going at it as I have for the past 8 weeks. But I'll get there...:proud:

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