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

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Old 12-29-2005, 12:09 PM   #1
Ben Kaminski
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This is in reference to the article (http://jp.physoc.org/cgi/content/full/543/2/399) posted 12/29/05 on the main Crossfit page.

Some interesting things and questions I took away from reading this article:

1) Exercise is good for you.

2) Mice housed with a voluntary wheel will run 3-7Km per day!

3) Sedentary lifestyle is very bad.

One question that was not answered for me was: How active need we be to not be sedentary? Aside from climbing up maybe 7 flights of stairs in a day, and my warm-up/practice/WOD/stretching, I sit at a desk for 6-8 hours, drive another 1-2 per day, and relax or sleep for the remainder. I'm not out there hauling bricks or chasing deer - is this "close enough" to the activity levels of stone agers?

4) Stone agers were estimated by Cordain to burn (not necessarily consume) 3500 Calories per day.
Cordain also estimated up to 65% of their energy came from animal food.

5) Great quote: 'For those interested in the health and well-being of humankind, a basic understanding of evolutionary pressures that have shaped human physiological responses to the environment is a necessity.'
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Old 12-29-2005, 12:57 PM   #2
Robert Wolf
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Ben-

I mentioned this somewhere before but it was just blasted out of the water as crap...here goes again:

Cordain extrapolates the above mentioned energy expenditure via exercise in this paper:
http://www.thepaleodiet.com/articles...%20Article.pdf

What I have noticed is CF + a little more general activities necessitate a nutrient intake that is within 10% of Cordains recomendations. Folks following an athletes Zone tend to fall right into this range.

These are some theoretical numbers that point a direction and are verified by blood lipid and inflamatory stress pannels to name but 2 paramaters.

In simple terms we thrive on a very high (but varried) activity level and as we drift further and further from this "ideal" the probability for disease increases, our quality of life decreases.
Robb
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Old 12-29-2005, 01:09 PM   #3
Lisa Sorbo
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I was reading the JoP article and now have read the Cordain piece. The JoP article postulates a 72 kJ/kg/day exercise deficit. 72kJ = 17.2 kcal- so for a 80kg person, this is 1376 kcal/day deficit. The end of the Cordain article suggests a need for inactive people to add 1000-1500 kcal exercise per day. It looks like they are in the same ballpark for exercise/increased activity prescription.

the question I have is this: how does this really translate into daily activity?

If you are doing, for example, CFWU (all 3 rounds or 20 mins whichever comes first) and the WoD (scaled to complete in no more than 20-30 mins for us beginner mortals) -- any idea what the average kcal burn might be? Is it enough to make up that ~1300 kcal deficit or is much more activity needed on a daily basis? Do I need to pound out 2-3 hrs of exercise a day, or is this <1hr enough? At an average of 10 kcal/mile (walking or running - the difference is time spent not kcal burned for the work) it seems like you might have to pound out 7-10 additional miles a day just to make up the difference.

(Message edited by LisaS on December 29, 2005)
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Old 12-29-2005, 01:59 PM   #4
Roger Harrell
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Understand too that the WoD is a metabolic stimulant. Doing the WoD regularly will dramatically increase your resting burn rate as well, whereas running 7-10 miles a day will not. So even if the WoD doesn't burn 1,500 kcal in the session, the rest will be made up in body repair and basal metabolism during the rest of the day.
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Old 12-29-2005, 02:07 PM   #5
Russ Greene
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Would a combination of short, variable, intense exercise plus long easy exercise like walking 5 or 6 miles do the trick? It would seem to me that this would best simulate the activity patterns of our ancestors: long hikes plus short periods of very intense activity. The walking burns up calories while actually improving the recovery from the intense stuff.
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Old 12-29-2005, 05:32 PM   #6
Hone Watson
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"how does this really translate into daily activity?"

Lisa, Roger makes an important point here.

"Understand too that the WoD is a metabolic stimulant. Doing the WoD regularly will dramatically increase your resting burn rate as well, whereas running 7-10 miles a day will not. So even if the WoD doesn't burn 1,500 kcal in the session, the rest will be made up in body repair and basal metabolism during the rest of the day."

Its also important to note that many of the WOD help build fast twitch fibres which will also cause you to burn more calories even when resting.
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Old 12-29-2005, 05:49 PM   #7
Lisa Sorbo
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yes, I know all about the metabolic stimulant effect of the WoD - and the metabolic effects of body composition (though I don't think fast fibers vs. slow twitch fibers would contribute much to resting metabolic rate as they don't burn aerobically, for the most part - I'd have to think more on that).

but nothing (that I've seen so far) in the literature (e.g. studies of EPOC after intensive exercise) says there is anything like a 700-1000 kcal boost over a 24hr period. So I was inquiring about the difference between WoD+increased metabolic rate and the 1300 kcal/day the article would lead us to attempt to achieve. I think we would still have to make up some of that difference with some other activity.

(Message edited by LisaS on December 29, 2005)
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Old 12-29-2005, 06:26 PM   #8
Carl Herzog
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Studies of contemporary hunter gatherers as well as the experiences of those who have learned (re-learned?) how to live that way both show that the lifestyle usually involves lots of walking. According to these sources Russ's suggestion of 5-6 miles/day is likely on the short side. If so this would account for a significant percentage of the caloric expenditure.
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Old 12-30-2005, 05:54 AM   #9
Marc Moffett
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I can't answer Lisa's question (my ballpark figure would be that the WODs typically burn about half of those calories). But I wanted to comment on the walking suggestion. I spend a good deal of time bowhunting in August and September in the Rockies. And the sort of excercise one gets from this activity is very different than taking a five mile stroll through your local open space. First, there is a lot of up and down on fairly steep terrain, and this part of hunting has a fairly intense cardio effect. Second, there is a lot of very slow motion stalking. In a different way, this is often more physically demanding than just walking as well. This also involves a lot of squating motions in order to change perspective as you still hunt through an area. Third, I am usually carrying a bow and a pack--not a lot of weight, but not nothing either. Finally, there is the inevitable scrambling, climbing and bushwhacking through the forest. So, if hunter/gatherer activity is anything like modern bowhunting, I would think that those additional miles would be better spent mixing in some jogging, sprinting, jumping, twisting, lunges--whatever--in a kind of fartlek-style activity pattern.
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Old 12-30-2005, 07:08 AM   #10
Larry Lindenman
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We are not designed to sit around watching TV and eating corn chips. We should look at crossfit as one part of our very active lifestyles. Crossfit should allow us to live life more physically and fully. This means take up a competative sport or physical hobby. Ski, snowboard, crosscountry ski, snowshoe, trail run, swim, ride your bike and walk everywhere, surf, play sports. It kind of seems shortsighted to me to engage in Crossfit to gain elite fitness...and not use it for anything! It's like having a muscle car to drive 1 mile in congested city traffic every day. Your genes will be expressed well if you do the wod and lead an physical lifestyle...or you could mall walk!
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