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

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Old 02-21-2014, 06:22 AM   #1
Jennifer K. Albright-Tomlinson
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Abs

Hey there!

Does CF really give people those beautiful abs I see, or are most people working their ab area in addition to crossfitting?

Thanks!
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:14 AM   #2
Jeff Enge
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Re: Abs

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Originally Posted by Jennifer K. Albright-Tomlinson View Post
Hey there!

Does CF really give people those beautiful abs I see, or are most people working their ab area in addition to crossfitting?

Thanks!
Abs are more about what and how much you eat than how much core work you do.
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:21 AM   #3
Jennifer K. Albright-Tomlinson
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Re: Abs

Interesting! So like stay away from carbs, sugars and processed foods?
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:26 AM   #4
Jeff Enge
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Re: Abs

Always good to minimize added sugar and processed food just for health reasons.

You need to optimize carbs, enough to fuel everyday life and workouts but not too much that your body stores all the excess. Same goes for fats though.

If you want abs but don't have them you probably need a combination of continuing to build muscle and to lose some fat, which means eating at a slight caloric deficit while lifting heavy pretty often.
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:32 AM   #5
Jennifer K. Albright-Tomlinson
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Re: Abs

Sounds good! Thanks Jeff!
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:12 PM   #6
Andrew N. Casey
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Re: Abs

diet is key. and alot of those abs you see have alot to do with genetics. and probably more than a few have alot to do with help from PEDs
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Old 02-28-2014, 03:26 PM   #7
Bob Herald
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Re: Abs

all those front squats, cleans, jerks, deadlifts, toes to bar....

Just about all of the exercises included in crossfit require activation of the core musculature.

After heavy deadlift or front squats my abs are screaming for days. Crunches and sit-ups are the worst ways to work the abs. A strong core is built by stabilization (ie planks)

Correct me if I'm wrong
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:12 PM   #8
David Meverden
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Re: Abs

I actually think extra direct ab work can be very helpful (for performance, less for asthetics).

I used to do no direct core work just relying on compound exercises like squats to work my abs. Once I started an Ultimate Advantage program Rick Scarpulla had me doing regular ab work. After a few months I could definitely tell a difference. My back no longer was the failure point for back squats (the increased intra abdominal pressure from better core strength helped me keep my back in position), my front squat went up significantly (like 40#) because I could keep my torso in proper position with heavier weight (torso didn't fold in half). Strong abs also protect the back; important considering the number of CrossFitters I know who have hurt their backs.

So, anyway, don't do 20 minutes ab circuits every day the way a lot of globo gym goers think you should, but some regular HEAVY ab, and some occasional higher rep stuff can be useful.
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:22 PM   #9
Alex Thomas
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Re: Abs

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Originally Posted by David Meverden View Post
I actually think extra direct ab work can be very helpful (for performance, less for asthetics).

I used to do no direct core work just relying on compound exercises like squats to work my abs. Once I started an Ultimate Advantage program Rick Scarpulla had me doing regular ab work. After a few months I could definitely tell a difference. My back no longer was the failure point for back squats (the increased intra abdominal pressure from better core strength helped me keep my back in position), my front squat went up significantly (like 40#) because I could keep my torso in proper position with heavier weight (torso didn't fold in half). Strong abs also protect the back; important considering the number of CrossFitters I know who have hurt their backs.

So, anyway, don't do 20 minutes ab circuits every day the way a lot of globo gym goers think you should, but some regular HEAVY ab, and some occasional higher rep stuff can be useful.
I'm interested in this. What kind of ab work do you do? Can you give an example of some exercises you find helpful?
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:51 PM   #10
David Meverden
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Re: Abs

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Originally Posted by Alex Thomas View Post
I'm interested in this. What kind of ab work do you do? Can you give an example of some exercises you find helpful?
These are good for warmup or in a metcon:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX8akXYgp4I (WFS)

Rick covers a couple that are heavier here in a piece he did for STACK:
http://www.stack.com/video/263037230...core-training/ (WFS) (the reverse deadlifts can be done with a band hooked to a pullup bar as well. I usually do them kneeling if I do that)

Other exercises that are good: Strict toes to bar (keep legs straight)
Weighted situps (best on a decline board, though can be done on the ground too holding a plate or sandbag at your shoulder or on top of your head).
Band resisted situps.
Lying on your back leg raises and leg wipers (I hold a sandbag or 45# plate outstretched over my chest to counter balance my legs. Sometimes I'll strap 10 or 20# of weight to my ankles to make these harder).

3-5 sets of 8-12 reps is a good place to start for the resisted ones. Hovers, Bikes, V's you typically do for higher reps (maybe 15-25 of each in a set, 3-5 sets).

Start with once a week heavy (like heavy weighted situps and barbell side bends. If you think you're deficient don't be afraid to double up on the exercises) and light to medium stuff one or two other other times a week (maybe hovers, bikes, Vs in a metcon once and strict TTBs another day).

I have no problem with the planks mentioned earlier, but don't use them as much. If you do, you'll probably want some weight on your back to make it harder.
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