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

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Old 06-25-2012, 09:01 AM   #1
Andrew Fischer
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Who is the Author of this Article? Just for fun.

A compound exercise is one that involves more than one muscle – the standing press is a good example,
involving the major muscles of the shoulder girdle and the upper arms, the trapezoids, the deltoids, the upper
(minor) pectorals, and the triceps; the bench press is a bad example –although it too involves several muscles,
the deltoids, the triceps, and the pectorals.
The standing press is a good example because it provides good – if not quite direct – workloads for several
major muscles; the bench press is a bad example because it provides reasonably direct work only for the
anterior portion of the deltoids, and a lower order of even less direct work for the triceps and pectorals – the
primary problem with the bench press apparently being that of direction of movement, the resistance is being
moved in a direction that is almost never encountered in any sort of normal activity –and thus the body has
never developed great strength for movements in that direction.
But if that is true, then why is it possible for a man to press more on a bench than he can in a standing position?
The average, untrained man can't – on the contrary, the average man can press considerably more in a standing
position than he can on a bench. In fact, there is actually very little difference between the strength levels of
trained individuals if they have been following a well rounded program; an Olympic lifter can usually press
about as much one way as he can the other, and it is not uncommon for a man to be able to press more in the
standing position than he can on the bench.
In the case of power lifters, it is not surprising that the bench press shows a higher level of strength – since such
men specialize on bench presses for years, while doing little or nothing in the way of standing presses.
At the moment, the existing records are approximately 450 pounds in the standing press and 600 pounds in the
bench press – a ratio of four to three in favor of the bench press; but such a comparison is actually meaningless,
because the range of movement is so much greater, and the speed of movement is so much faster in the standing
press. In order to measure power, three factors must be considered – resistance, distance, and speed; and in a
comparison between standing presses and bench presses, two of these factors – distance and speed – are totally
ignored.
But even a rough estimate that takes all of the necessary factors into consideration will quickly show that far
more power is being generated in a standing press of 450 pounds than in a bench press of 600 pounds; which is
not surprising, since the body is then working in a far more efficient direction.
The bench press is primarily popular simply because it is far easier than the standing press – and because a man
can handle more weight in this movement, especially if he employs "cheating" methods, which are more
difficult to do and impossible to conceal in a standing press; but insofar as its ability to develop useful strength,
the bench press is an exercise of very limited value – the returns are not in proportion to the effort required.
An equal amount of time and energy devoted to the practice of standing presses will result in at least three times
as much benefit – useful strength will be built in a direction of movement that can be employed in almost any
sport, especially putting the shot and boxing.

While it might be thought that bench presses would provide the proper direction of movement for boxing, a
moment's consideration will make it obvious that this is simply not true – in the last few inches of movement
just before landing a heavy blow, a boxer is leaning far forward an his upper arm is in approximately the same
position that it is in during the last part of a heavy press. Almost exactly the same position is used in putting the
shot.
Many coaches recommend the practice of presses on an incline board for building power for the shot put – but
this is a mistake, the direction of movement, the angle involved, is almost exactly the same in a standing press
as it is in an incline press – at the point where the greatest power is being produced. Thus standing presses and
incline presses both develop power in almost the same direction; but standing presses do so in the performance
of a natural movement, much in the same way that the strength will later be utilized in putting the shot – and
this is not the case with incline presses. Secondly, standing presses involve all of the muscles of the body –
causing the development of balance and muscular coordination, this is not the case with the incline presses.
Quite frankly, the author considers incline pressing a dangerous practice –especially if this exercise is practiced
in conjunction with leg presses; to the exclusion of standing presses and squats. It is easily possible to build
great strength into the shoulder girdle and upper arms by doing incline presses – and leg presses will also build
great power in the thighs and buttocks; but if such power is built in this fashion, a literally dangerous situation
has been created – because a man with such development will have created a chain with a dangerously weak
link, his lower back. If he attempts to use either or both forms of strength in the performance of a normal
activity, he is almost certain to injure his lower back – and it is not impossible to literally break the back if such
effort approaches a maximum effort.
Bench presses, incline presses and leg presses are all useful exercises, but they should never be practiced to the
exclusion of standing presses and squats – and stiff-legged deadlifts, for the lower back, should always be
included in any sort of training program.
Up to this point in this chapter, all of the exercises that I have mentioned are compound exercises – some good
ones, some fair ones, and some poor ones; but in most cases, even a poor compound exercise is better than a
good isolation movement – because a compound exercise, in addition to developing strength, also leads to great
improvements in muscular coordination and balance – a result that does not come from the practice of isolation.
An isolation movement is an exercise that involves only one muscle – or one isolated part of the body;
examples are – concentration curls with a dumbbell, thigh extensions, triceps curls and wrist curls. Such
movements have their places – especially in the field of restorative surgery and in bodybuilding; but they are of
almost no use in a training program designed for athletes – especially football players.
Brief treatment of minor injuries by the use of isolation movements is acceptable practice but only if such
treatment is very brief, and only if it quickly leads to the practice of compound movements; otherwise, in almost
all cases, such movements will create a situation where additional injury or re-injury is almost certain. This
happens because the prolonged employment of isolation movements will lead to the development of isolated
areas of strength that are badly out of proportion to the strength of the surrounding tissue.
As supplemental exercise to the employment of compound exercises, isolation exercises are frequently justified
– but only in that capacity in the vast majority of cases. There are exceptions, of course; one such exception is
the wrist curl – an exercise that will build size in the forearms and strength in the wrists, and without any
slightest danger from too much strength in an isolated area. But such exceptions are just that –exceptions; and
most isolation movements should be avoided like the plague by athletes during their normal training program.
As a general rule, exercises should be selected that involve several major muscular masses of the body in a
compound movement – and where a choice exists, such exercises should involve the greatest possible range of
movement. That is one of the main faults in the bench press, the range of movement is too restricted.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:29 AM   #2
Dimitri Dziabenko
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Re: Who is the Author of this Article? Just for fun.

Must be this guy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oavMtUWDBTM (WFS)
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:15 AM   #3
Andrew Fischer
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Re: Who is the Author of this Article? Just for fun.

LOL! That song is awesome! I'm envious of his stage presence!



Seriously though You guys might be suprised by who wrote that article though..... or maybe not.
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:03 PM   #4
Dimitri Dziabenko
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Re: Who is the Author of this Article? Just for fun.

Given how the answer is easily found through Google, is there a specific purpose to your post?
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:29 PM   #5
Andrew Fischer
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Re: Who is the Author of this Article? Just for fun.

Yes. I just thought it was interesting that this article from nautilus bulletin 1 by Arthur Jones, a man who gets loads of crap for what he did to the fitness industry, actually has some pretty solid information as does much of the nautilus bulletin's do. He talks about the superiority of compound movements vs isolation exercises and in later chapters of the bulletin's he talks about the indirect effect of performing heavy compound movements performed at high intensities with short rest intervals( neuro-endocrine response). I was merely noticing the similarities between his early training philosophies ( apart from the use of machines) and crossfits training philosophy. But also at the same time I understand that his philosophy was aimed towards a different goal than that of crossfits and of course the modalities were not nearly as broad as crossfits. But I think in general there is some good stuff that Arthur Jones did and I think he gets alot more flack than he deserves. The Nautilus bulletins helped me greatly when i first started training and it taught me the importance of intensity. Im definetely not a hit practitioner but I do give credit where credit is deserved.
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Old 06-25-2012, 01:35 PM   #6
Andrew Fischer
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Re: Who is the Author of this Article? Just for fun.

Yes. I just thought it was interesting that this article from nautilus bulletin 1 by Arthur Jones, a man who gets loads of crap for what he did to the fitness industry, actually has some pretty solid information as does much of the nautilus bulletin's do. He talks about the superiority of compound movements vs isolation exercises and in later chapters of the bulletin's he talks about the indirect effect of performing heavy compound movements performed at high intensities with short rest intervals( neuro-endocrine response). I was merely noticing the similarities between his early training philosophies ( apart from the use of machines) and crossfits training philosophy. But also at the same time I understand that his philosophy was aimed towards a different goal than that of crossfits and of course the modalities were not nearly as broad as crossfits. But I think in general there is some good stuff that Arthur Jones did and I think he gets alot more flack than he deserves. The Nautilus bulletins helped me greatly when i first started training and it taught me the importance of intensity. Im definetely not a hit practitioner but I do give credit where credit is deserved.
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:01 PM   #7
BMH
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Re: Who is the Author of this Article? Just for fun.

All I have to say is:
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:34 PM   #8
Dimitri Dziabenko
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Re: Who is the Author of this Article? Just for fun.

Ah yes, Mr. Arthur Jones. I consider his Colorado experiment to be way ahead of its time when it comes to false advertising. Ferriss used the same trick to sell his i4 hour body nonsense. This was how people did things before photoshop.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:49 PM   #9
Andrew Fischer
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Re: Who is the Author of this Article? Just for fun.

Oh yeah I know he was out to make some money and he distorted a lot of things but the early basic premise that he implemented had some truth to it. You cant tell me Greg Glassman hasn't made any money? Actually I find a lot in common between Arthur Jones and Greg Glassman. Both very authoritative teachers kind of the same personalities kind of like cult leaders. Im not saying I don't like Glassman or Arthur Jones I like them both a lot and I think they have both contributed a great deal to the fitness community, or should I say Industry!
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:56 PM   #10
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Re: Who is the Author of this Article? Just for fun.

21 gun for Dimitri I guess?
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