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

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Old 05-31-2008, 08:27 PM   #91
Dale F. Saran
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Re: Alternate approach to broad fitness

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Originally Posted by Brandon Oto View Post
Judging by the WoD, the CrossFit interpretation of GPP seems to be increasingly about improving your metcon.
I disagree. When Rip came on board, there were a lot more strength-centric workouts than there were 2 years ago. I think more of the WoDs require greater strength. Look at yesterday and today as examples - 135 lb thrusters, for many, are a very real strength improving workout, while also involving a metabolic component. Same with 135 lb cleans. That's not a "gimme" for a lot of people. I think what happens, however, is that people scale down mainpage WoDs too much in an effort to consistently have a fast time, rather than slogging through and pushing the limits of their strength and thereby improving their strength, while still obtaining some metabolic (and mental) benefit from the workout.
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Old 06-01-2008, 03:50 AM   #92
Brandon Oto
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Re: Alternate approach to broad fitness

Fair enough. So the problem may be in the other direction -- some of the WoDs are now DEMANDING higher strength but are inefficient at developing it? I'd be curious to hear from anyone (not a firebreather) who's been strictly following the WoDs for the past couple years, both before and after Rip's contributions. How much faster has your strength improved since that conversion? And how much has it affected your WoDs?

By the way, this came up (in the context of potential benefits of a strength focus) over at the BrandX forums and Jeff Martin and co. gave the opposite position -- scaled WoDs will get you everywhere you need to be -- fairly clearly. Worth a read http://forum.brandxmartialarts.com/v...?p=55597#55597 wfs.
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Old 06-01-2008, 08:07 PM   #93
Alex Rosch
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Re: Alternate approach to broad fitness

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Originally Posted by Brandon Oto View Post
I'd be curious to hear from anyone (not a firebreather) who's been strictly following the WoDs for the past couple years, both before and after Rip's contributions
How could you not breath fire after following the WOD for years?!
Interesting thread...It's all about what's 'useful' to you in developing your own GPP and functional fitness.
For me and my GPP, CF works fine...but you need to 'add' to Coach's design like you add salt to food (poor analogy as I'm sure there aren't a lot of food-salters here). It's expected that you're getting CFWU 15 x 3, working on gymnastic skills, playing new sports...that's all part of the CF rx as well...only it's not posted on the main page just like that (you gotta look around). Evidence of this is in the directions to make parralettes in the FAQ. I have yet to see a main page WOD that calls for paralettes or sandbags...Yet, we all love our equipment. The CF rx is about working that 'weak link' until it's not holding you back. Everyone precieves thier weakness differently...a BB might not think about his grip, for example, whereas a firefighter's grip could cost "mission or life"...
But...great thread...losts of great ideas. Liking Garret's approach to the whole thing (now extremely serious about doing gymnastics with my 4 year old...if they'll let me!)
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Old 06-02-2008, 06:37 PM   #94
Garrett Smith
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Re: Alternate approach to broad fitness

I don't have all of my saved CFJs on the computer I'm working at today, so I'll have to do all of my quoting from the free CFJs. All links WFS.

One major thing that has guided my program design in terms of the vaunted "work capacity" idea is that I believe if absolute strength (and its cousin, applicable power) goes up through proper training, then work capacity goes up. Therefore, a relatively small amount of metcon will keep the necessary metabolic pathways active and functional enough for my tastes. Ergo, my program has more strength training (which I enjoy) and less metcon (which I do like, I simply do better with less, which fits with my "Earth" type according to Poliquin).

So, here's the general outline of my current program, which includes specific strength-training work a la Rippetoe-ish programming, specific gymnastics training, joint mobility, and flexibility/yoga. I'll add where the influences came from (or are coming from in the near future).

Wednesday:
AM - If I get enough sleep the night before (I arrive home late Tuesday nights), I'll do my Z-Health joint mobility and general flexibility routine in the morning. If I need my sleep, I take it.

PM - My adult gymnastics class at Old Pueblo Gymnastics, there is no formal class set-up, I'd say this is one of the "varied, if not random" training stimuli during a week.
Thursday:
AM - SS-inspired program, done on two non-consecutive days per week, same weights used for all work sets noted

Typical warm-up includes jumping rope (progressing towards Coach Davies' 3 minute Renegade rope routine WFS as it is only text), basic Z-Health high-payoff joint mobility work and extra thoracic work, and a modified/extended version of Coach Burgener's OL warmup done with 15kg for snatch version and 20kg for clean version, then right into the weights.

Typically these sets are done on a 4 minute interval, taking 2 minute intervals between A1/A2 sets:
  1. Back squats OR Front squats, 5 x 3
    Back squats done low-bar
    Front squat included to maintain OL-specific strength and neuromuscular patterns
    Either type of squat sets done landing stance (set 1) then "B" stance non-dominant aka non-jerk--my right--foot forward (set 2), then the other foot forward (set 3). I learned about "B" squats through the CF site, I think they are severely underutilized and extremely valuable and functional.

    Quote on the "B Squat" from the CF.com WOD entry 5/29/05:
    Quote:
    The "staggered stance" is ubiquitous in sport. Its advantages to forward mobility and forward and lateral stability are obvious. If an athlete found it tactically advantageous to lower his center of mass, i.e. squat, from that strong position would he need to square his stance before squatting and then reassume the staggered stance on rising to action? Common sense suggests not.

    Trainer Bryce Lane of Visalia, California may have provided an answer to that question with his "B-Squat". Bryce's The Power Endurance and Flexibility Page whose tagline is "This is a place for people who don't just want to do one thing well but are interested in improving all areas of physical performance" nears a parallel evolution of CrossFit concepts.
  2. Upper body exercise sets alternated

    A1: Assisted full-ROM HSPU on parallettes 5 x 3 OR handstand holds for time, 3 x up to 60 sec.
    I want to be able to do free HSPUs on parallettes, so both of these exercises are working towards it, one from the bottom up and one from the top down
    A2: Weighted pull-ups OR weighted chin-ups (sternum touches bar or it doesn't count), 5 x 3 for either
    I'm doing weighted pull/chin-ups based upon reading Jim Bathurst's aka Beastskills.com guy's article in the Performance Menu on "Bodyweight Skill Integration" where he said that he had witnessed folks who were very strong in weighted pull/chin-ups and/or dips being able to do a front and/or back lever their very first try. So, I made the weighted pull/chin-ups a regular part of my rotation. The dips will be added later, after I get to a good spot on the handstand stuff.
  3. Normal deadlift OR Sumo deadlift, 1 x 5; OR Power clean OR Squat clean, 3 x 5
    Too many DLs fries my adrenals. Too many squat cleans makes me notice my knees, besides the fact that the front squat is already a regular part of the rotation. I have my doubts about the longevity of OL lifting, considering that there are only 1-3 men per weight class per age group in the National Masters OL comps--not a good sign IMO, so I err on doing less rather than more. Sumo DLs are more applicable to real-life lifting situations. Normal DLs are the foundation of all good lifting mechanics. Hence I include all of them. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but with the rotations I have above, I believe that I would go through 2 x 2 x 2 x 4 = 32 workouts before I repeated the exact same one? IMO, that would fulfill the "varied, if not random" CF tenet.
Friday:
AM - Parallette workout created from the www.american-gymnast.com parallette training guide with some additions from the CFJ article on "Combat Gymnastics". Sets done on 2 minute intervals. Bucket circles (another CFJ article) added as possible if time allows. Exercises are modified/changed as strength levels improve. While these are very low "power output" workouts, their addition to my program is irreplaceable IMO. See the statement from "What is Fitness?":

Quote:
Our use of the term “gymnastics” not only includes the traditional competitive sport that we’ve seen on TV but all activities like climbing, yoga, calisthenics, and dance where the aim is body control. It is within this realm of activities that we can develop extraordinary strength (especially upper body and trunk), flexibility, coordination, balance, agility, and accuracy. In fact, the traditional gymnast has no peer in terms of development of these skills.
[...]
Every workout [my emphasis] should contain regular gymnastic/calisthenic movements that you’ve mastered and other elements under development. Much of the rudiments of gymnastics come only with great effort and frustration – that’s O.K. The return is unprecedented and
the most frustrating elements are most beneficial - long before you’ve developed even a modicum of competency.
Noon - Basic Anusara yoga class (every class is different--"varied, if not random", besides, how can I pass up a $4 yoga class?!?)
Saturday:
Early AM - Some sort of metcon, usually picked from the previous week's WODs, I feel the most benefit when I keep it less than a half hour maximum. As these are usually done at a park, they tend to be bodyweight exercise (we have parallel dip bars, a sit-up bench, and pull-up bars, among other things) and running-based (2/3 mile loop). This workout is where I do my kipping pull-ups, I'm looking forward to learning the butterfly kip--I recently experimented with the butterfly push-up (that was fun). I enjoy the small group that shows up for this weekly event. It's more camaraderie and less competitive, which suits me just fine.

While I do enjoy the group workout, I am heavily considering doing a ring-based workout analogous to the parallette workout on this day. I believe it would be easier on the adrenals to do even less metcon, get more "arboreal" type training in, and be able to sleep to whenever I want on my Saturday morning.

Later AM - In a nod to Art Devany's Evolutionary Fitness and because I like spending time with my parents while walking the dog (she gets in her interval training chasing bunnies and quail), we go for a 2-3 mile hilly walk around their neighborhood. Sometimes I'll do hill sprints then wait for the family to catch up and walk to the next hill. A hearty breakfast for everyone usually follows.
Sunday:
Early AM - Another walk with my parents. This may be followed by a short rowing-based metcon at their house (they own a C2, unfortunately, I do not as of yet).

Later AM - The second SS-inspired workout of the week.
Rinse and repeat.

My training journal, a work in progress. I also highly suggest checking out Gant Grimes' training journal for those of you who like these ideas and want to keep more metcon around than I choose to.

I take easy weeks as determined by my general fatigue (typically gauged when I wake up in the morning), desire (or lack of) to train, residual soreness lasting longer than it should, and global stress levels (family, travel, work, etc.). This last week was an easy week where I only did the two walks and took two yoga classes.

Basically, I feel that my program encompasses all of the CF tenets (variety, randomness, functional movements, gymnastics, weightlifting, metcon, nutrition, increasing work capacity, and "relatively" high intensity) while working for me and my goals of solid fitness with longevity to my training and little/no injuries. The daily homepage WOD it is not.
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:57 PM   #95
Derek Maffett
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Re: Alternate approach to broad fitness

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Originally Posted by Brandon Oto View Post
I'd be curious to hear from anyone (not a firebreather) who's been strictly following the WoDs for the past couple years, both before and after Rip's contributions. How much faster has your strength improved since that conversion? And how much has it affected your WoDs?
Unfortunately, there's an unknown variable in there because of the fact that strength gains are much more significant earlier in a person's training career, leveling off naturally over time. So a person may have made better strength gains the first year than the second or third despite a somewhat improved programming.
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Old 06-03-2008, 08:43 AM   #96
Garrett Smith
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Re: Alternate approach to broad fitness

Gant Grimes' post WFS on his progress with his "hybrid" programming over on the PMenu board...
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:00 AM   #97
Kevin Moore
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Re: Alternate approach to broad fitness

For someone that has athletic ability and function in mind, underground/caveman style of training would be more beneficial as well as time friendly. I can take 10 minutes out of my day and get a grueling workout in my garage via odd object tools.If I want a little extra conditioning, I can adjust. If I feel I want more max power, I can adjust that as well. With crossfit, I have to run a mil, do sprints, do endless reps of pushups etc. My garage workouts have and will prepare me for anything life will throw at me. With all that said, the thought process behind crossfit is sound, and great for the "average" person with the time and drive to get in general "shape". I feel time could be used a little wiser though. JMO I do incorporate different crossfit ideas into my workouts.
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Old 06-03-2008, 04:56 PM   #98
Steven Anderson
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Re: Alternate approach to broad fitness

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Originally Posted by Kevin Moore View Post
For someone that has athletic ability and function in mind, underground/caveman style of training would be more beneficial as well as time friendly. I can take 10 minutes out of my day and get a grueling workout in my garage via odd object tools.If I want a little extra conditioning, I can adjust. If I feel I want more max power, I can adjust that as well. With crossfit, I have to run a mil, do sprints, do endless reps of pushups etc. My garage workouts have and will prepare me for anything life will throw at me. With all that said, the thought process behind crossfit is sound, and great for the "average" person with the time and drive to get in general "shape". I feel time could be used a little wiser though. JMO I do incorporate different crossfit ideas into my workouts.
Eh, I agree with your statement that the "thought process behind crossfit is sound," but I diagree when you state that it is for the average person. Now, most of the folks that have posted in this thread, such as Brandon, Brian and Steven (not myself) are quite possibly in the "above average" category and have found ways or are incorporating different ways of obtaining certain results that they so desire in an apparent non-crossfit style. But the average person, either trained or untrained can't just embark on crossfit and call it a day. I work with firemen who "think" that they're fit because they can curl or bench X amount of weight. When I put them through a workout, they either love it, hate it or find it humbling but almost ALL always suck at it their first few attempts. Like someone stated earlier, the top finishers at the crossfit games almost exclusively do the WOD's and they are by far not average.

However, I do like your caveman style training. I do a lot of the same myself.
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:53 AM   #99
Kevin Moore
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Re: Alternate approach to broad fitness

Steven, I don't mean the "average" person could complete WOD fully. What I'm saying is the average person that has the desire to truely get "fit" will benefit greatly from a scaled down version of the WOD to meet their individual abilities. I think this is where crossfit is at its strongest. The abilityy for someone to get off the couch, start WOD, albeit a scale down version and progress through the crossfit WOD. Adapting, and molding along the way. For the person that is just wanting to get healthy and fit, its gold. For the person having special goals in mind, I believe there is stuff out there a little better for that.
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Old 06-04-2008, 08:59 AM   #100
Steven Anderson
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Re: Alternate approach to broad fitness

Agreed.
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