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Old 01-14-2010, 01:28 PM   #1
Evan Anderson
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‘Functional’ Cross Training vs. Specific Training

I thought this was interesting.

-- This link is 99% WFS. I think there is one curse word in it.
 
Old 01-14-2010, 01:42 PM   #2
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: ‘Functional’ Cross Training vs. Specific Training

I thought it was a good article, Siff is the man. But no new ground covered, SPP and training weakness will make you better at a specific goal than GPP.
 
Old 01-14-2010, 01:53 PM   #3
Evan Anderson
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Re: ‘Functional’ Cross Training vs. Specific Training

Is GPP a "specific goal"?
 
Old 01-14-2010, 01:56 PM   #4
Rafe Kelley
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Re: ‘Functional’ Cross Training vs. Specific Training

I find Siff's defination of fitness far more cogent then the crossfit standard and find it amusing the original crossfit papers proposed there was no satisfactory definition of fitness. The other critiscms, health not part of a fitness spectrum, strength the most important quality and not adequately focused on, the danger of highly technical movement performed while fatigued(with 20% slop), the lack of individual programming understanding of mobility development or exercise contraindication have all been pointed out before and are fairly obvious and well supported. Its up to the individual to decide if the want to listen to those voices outside the crossfit community or excommunicated from it or not. I doubt this thread will convince anyone.

Last edited by Rafe Kelley : 01-14-2010 at 02:09 PM. Reason: Spelling
 
Old 01-14-2010, 02:43 PM   #5
Evan Anderson
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Re: ‘Functional’ Cross Training vs. Specific Training

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafe Kelley View Post
I doubt this thread will convince anyone.
I wasn't trying to convince anyone. Just providing some perspective for the new people for whom Crossfit is their first introduction to "real" training.
 
Old 01-14-2010, 02:46 PM   #6
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: ‘Functional’ Cross Training vs. Specific Training

"GPP" isn't a goal. Neither is "SPP".

I want to be fit for judo. WHat the hell does that mean?

Goals have numbers.
 
Old 01-14-2010, 03:43 PM   #7
Mauricio Leal
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Re: ‘Functional’ Cross Training vs. Specific Training

There are some flaws in his arguments.

First of all, he acknowledges CrossFit is a GPP program and even cites Glassman's definitions of CrossFit and "fitness," then mangles that definition by claiming:

Quote:
"it just says ‘train to get in shape with a lot of different activities.’"
He then adds:
Quote:
Ultimately, you can only go so far towards any specific goal with that ideology
Which isn’t necessarily bad, so long as you realize that and as long as you have no specific goals to chase.
Glassman’s definition of fitness is actually a statement that he seeks to improve general work capacity. Nothing more. That’s well and good, but it does require that we analyze the rest of their claims and their practices in that light.
CrossFit is GPP by definition!

Quote:
The point has been made time and again that this concurrent, complex method of training – where you train ‘everything’ in the same week and the same session with mixed workouts – is just not going to cut it when you’re talking performance at the highest levels.
Performance at the highest levels of what? CrossFit doesn't claim it will make you the best strongman, olympic runner, pole vaulter, or table tennis champ. It simply claims it will do the best job of increasing compentency in all of its skill domains as per its own definition of fitness. Now, he claims CrossFit's definition of fitness is inadequate because it's just a list of skills ("a checklist of goals to achieve"), and then offers an alternative (for which fitness is just a sub-bullet of "athletic performance") that is incredibly vague and tells us nothing about how to practice improving fitness. The parts of it that do have any rigor to them are in agreement with Glassman's definition ("Work capacity is ‘the general ability of the body to produce work of different intensities and duration using the appropriate energy systems of the body’.") He then complains about fatigue/preparedness and how CrossFit doesn't acknowledge that real athletes need to rest, taper, etc. in order to perform maximally for an event. Straw man.

One thing he has a good point about (IMHO) is highly technical movements being performed in a metcon and fatigued state being detrimental due to injury risk and bad habit development. He then goes on to criticize the absence of thought in programming:

Quote:
They ignore the basics of programming with the haphazard WOD structure, which ignores the adaptations and residual fatigue effects of said workouts. That’s not just exercise-science wanking either; if you’re wiping the floor with yourself five days a week and trying to do train up everything at once, you’re going to pay for it one way or another. If you’re lucky, you’ll just get overtrained. Worst case is you get hurt, or get a case of rhabdomyolysis.
Which basically presumes that the WODs are just plucked out of thin air each day with no regard for the previous day or week. Wrong again. Main Page is quality because it isn't completely randomized. Why don't we ever have the same punishing WOD two days in a row?

He claims CrossFitters are injury prone. Citation needed.

So many other misrepresentations of CrossFit, so little time. A few more:
Quote:
Tudor Bompa’s periodization system does basically the same thing. His early-stage Anatomical Adaptation phase is a lot of circuit training and has the athletes all over the place with different kinds of training. Importantly, this only happens at the early off-season phases of training – and most telling, it vanishes entirely once the athlete is at a certain stage of advancement.
Apparently the best in the world – that is, the real best, the people that actually compete in sports – don’t need GPP functional fitness. [emphasis mine]
Where in the CF literature does it say perform CF year-round regardless of the demands of sport/life? Where does it say GPP is superior to SSP for improving sport-specific performance? Add a pinch of "real athlete" elitism, and you have his argument.

Another gem, and an ongoing argument in this community as well:
Quote:
Here’s the example I always use. If you take a strong athlete that’s done little to no conditioning, like the stereotypical example of the fat, out of shape powerlifter, how long would it take to get him in shape? In comparison, how long would it take to get a skinny, weak guy with excellent work capacity (in the ‘broad modal domains’ sense of fitness) as strong as the powerlifter?
Apples and oranges buddy. His definition of "in shape" is totally qualitative, while his comparison to a powerlifter is quantitative ("as strong"). If his quintessential powerlifting is the paradigm of elite raw strength, then shouldn't the elite CE comparison be something like running a sub 3-hr marathon? I don't see the "fat, out of shape powerlifter" accomplishing that in any less time than his hypothetical skinny punk getting powerlift-y strong.

He takes Rippetoe's line of Strength being the most important skill period, which is a funny claim for him to make, because while he criticizes CF basically for its negligence in providing abundant asterisks with a lot of its sweeping statements, he believes that a statement like that can come unqualified.

Lastly, my overall feel for the article was that he doesn't really disagree with a lot of CrossFit's core premises, just with some facets of its implementation and programming details, but then gets all hyperbolic in his criticism style. A lot of his criticisms have already been voiced in these forums, and been addressed with different hybrid programs.

I don't agree with everything about CF's implementation either, but if I did decide to criticize it publicly I would try to get my facts straight a lot more carefully than this guy did.
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Last edited by Mauricio Leal : 01-14-2010 at 03:47 PM.
 
Old 01-14-2010, 04:57 PM   #8
Tom Seryak
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Re: ‘Functional’ Cross Training vs. Specific Training

some people don't understand the difference between a mutt and a pure breed...or, it bothers them that some people would rather have a mutt. that being said, I agree with what he had to say about strength and haphazard programming.
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