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

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Old 10-08-2010, 12:06 PM   #1
David Csonka
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Question Explosive Movements, Rationale, Efficacy

I was reading Drew Baye's High Intensity Training blog and came across and article where he talked about functional fitness, explosive movements, and their efficacy/necessity. [WFS]

The actual bit is in the comments section, I'll quote the exchange here-

Question comment by one reader:
"There seems to be a mind set that in order for exercise to be productive or to be “real exercise” or “real training” ones has to be moving explosively. I’ve got caught up with the whole idea of “functional training” before. Or trying to mimic everyday movements while adding resistance. I can easily see how this type of training could sooner or later lead to injury, especially power cleans or clean and pressing type movements."
And Drew's response:
"Unfortunately there are still a lot of people who believe you must move explosively during exercise to develop the ability to move explosively during other activities, but doing so reduces both the safety and effectiveness of exercise while adding nothing of value. Getting stronger will improve your explosiveness regardless of your speed of movement during exercise, so it makes sense to use a controlled speed that is safer and provides more consistent tension over the full range of the exercise.

The only things that need to be done explosively are the specific skills you are trying to improve the explosiveness of, but only after learning and practicing them at a slow speed to ensure they are being performed correctly."
Any thoughts, or comments on this? It seems like a blanket dismiss of the CrossFit method, since it involves a lot of explosive movements like Cleans. Do football programs still do a lot of explosive strength training work? It seems like sports like football would be the most direct application of explosive training techniques.
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:30 PM   #2
Chris Mason
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Re: Explosive Movements, Rationale, Efficacy

As you said, he is a HIT devotee. I know a LOT about it as I once was as well (or at least was heavily influenced).

To make a long story short Arthur Jones, the man who essentially invented or popularized HIT style training was dead set against explosive movements claiming them to be dangerous etc. Explosive movements generate a LOT more force, so in that sense they are more dangerous, but if one works up gradually as essentially any trainee will, the body adapts and the movements become less dangerous.

Explosive, or fast movement DO also have benefit for the aforementioned force increase. In fact, the faster the concentric phase of a movement the faster the concentric phase. Increased speeds with near or maximal loads can be the difference between making and missing a lift.
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:25 PM   #3
Ted Apollo
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Re: Explosive Movements, Rationale, Efficacy

Originally Posted by David Csonka View Post
The only things that need to be done explosively are the specific skills you are trying to improve the explosiveness of, but only after learning and practicing them at a slow speed to ensure they are being performed correctly."


the idea of explosive movements have less to do with training the muscle then it has to do with training your central nervous system. by training your nervous system your muscles can contract more rapidly & more efficiently. this kind of development transfers over to many areas of physical performance.
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Old 10-09-2010, 05:36 PM   #4
Aushion Chatman
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Re: Explosive Movements, Rationale, Efficacy

This doesn't just fly in the face of Crossfit...

I believe most coaches will tell you to develop maximal strength first, then it is absolutely necessary to begin working on dynamic strength...

There is more to strength/explosiveness than just your muscles, neglecting any dynamic or ballistic work leaves your tendon strength sub-par IMO.
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