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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 03-11-2006, 08:07 AM   #1
Elliot Royce
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I started doing CF in earnest only about a week ago. I'm finding that my heart rate is limiting me as much as muscle strength. I'm 44, so my max heart rate is around 176 (I believe). Typically once I get above 170, I feel ready to die. With CF, I've been getting up to 160 and what I do is to actively rest (spinning on low setting or stretching) until my heart rate drops back to 140 (usually within 2 minutes). Then I continue.

Reactions? Am I wimping out?

Thanks.
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Old 03-11-2006, 10:21 AM   #2
Josh Briggs
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The only people I know who regularily train within heart rate zones, are long distance endurance athletes (ie. Mountain / Trail runners, XC skiers). If you are going to do this (and unless you are a full time endurance athlete there is no reason why you should), you will need to get your heart rate zones properly tested in a VO2 max / heart rate zone test (I've forgotten exactly what they're called). They cost ~ $200, and will tell you exactly where your heart rate zones are.

I have never had one done, but as an example of the varibility of zones... I am 29, so with a theoretical max of 191. But I can hold an average of 188/189 for over two hours, and can hold >190 for 45mins or so. Have tested consistently to 204 with the very unscienticif method of running uphill with the monitor.

In WOD's I'm usually in the 180's to 190's.

In terms of using it to determine your work / rest intervals for the WOD's, I would suggest that it doesn't do anything more useful than simply giving yourself rest time limits... ie. only 20 secs of rest, then back to work...

If you are resting for 2 minutes doing something like spinning, you can probably go harder, so if you are going to use it, maybe use a higher "back to work" cut-off, like 150bpm.

The most useful aspect of a HRM, IMO (other than being a geek), is to map your recovery, by the use of a morning, resting HR check.
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Old 03-11-2006, 11:45 AM   #3
Elliot Royce
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I'm just making sure I don't have a heart attack, Josh. At 44, I'm not quite as resilient as I was at 29, when I would climb Mt. Washington in winter with no prior conditioning and not think twice about it.
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Old 03-11-2006, 12:54 PM   #4
Skip Chase
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Elliot,

Without knowing your fitness level it is difficult to give you advise. I am 54, and by theory, my max hr is 166. However, at times, when hitting a hill on my road bike, my hr will rise to 195-205 and I keep pushing.
Ramp up slowly on the WOD's. Don't try to be a fire breather during your 1st couple of weeks or perhaps months.
If you are worried about having a heart attack, have a check up with your doc if you have not had one during the past 12 months.
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Old 03-12-2006, 08:35 PM   #5
Bob Pratt
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i'm 47 and regularly use a heart monitor, just to see how different WODs stress me. Josh is correct there are so many variables that the standard 220- age is almost meaningless. When i play ice hockey i'm usually in the high 180s for a Max. many WODs end up averaging 140-160 and maxing 160-180. Some exercises just can't raise my HR even at near maximal work; kayaking for example. Probably due to being predominatly upper body.
Get tested by a doctor, if you feel like your gonna die back off! i find that most WODs have a rythme to them and i've started looking for that rythme early in the workout. It's a pace that is very taxing but achievable.
Why did you choose 140 as your threshold to continue? If it's because that's what the "experts" say is your workout range, i'd suggest you decide when you "feel" you can continue then look at your HR monitor remember what it reads and use how you "feel" as a guide.
Xfit has me re-evaluating my ideas about fitness and pushing the envelope in several different directions.

As for HR limiting you as much as strength--that's the beauty of cross-fit. As you develop the endurance and lactate tolerance, strength will be your limiting factor, and as you get stronger you tax your aerobic capacity. Crossfit exposes our weakness and forces us to improve them.

good luck!!!!
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Old 03-13-2006, 01:05 PM   #6
Elliot Royce
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Bob:

I was playing hockey 3-4x per week until I had my hips operated on in November. Plan to be back on the ice in March. I measured myself one time and was at about 165 coming off a shift going down to around 125-130. I know from my experience over many years that my heart rate tends to run low (it was at 42 in college and I wasn't an endurance athlete). To give you an example, running hard in sand gets my heart to about 170 and it sticks there. So, 160-165 is a pretty hard workout for me. I chose 140 arbitrarily -- basically so I had enough "puff" to get back into the exercises.

I'm not worried about a heart attack, just trying to balance between passing out and hitting the exercises hard. I seem to be finding the balance.

Where and what position do you play? When are we going to get a "herbies" workout on CF?
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Old 03-13-2006, 03:35 PM   #7
Dave Rounsevelle
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No, your probably not wimping out, But only you can really answer that. I have used a HRM in the past and still do for my "easy/recovery "days.
Your statement "I'm finding that my heart rate is limiting me as much as muscle strength" is interesting., because isn;t that whats really holding us all back?? If you monitored your HR consistantly you will find a couple of thing (at least I did). You will reach a point where you have to work harder to get your HR to a certain point ie maybe now you can run a mile in 10:00 and keep your HR at 140. But with training you'll be able to run a 10:00 mile w/ a HR of 130-135, or run a 9:00 mile w/ HR of 140. You'll find if your train for it, you will be able to hold a higher HR (say 160-165 for you) for a longer period of time. In a nut shell, you're making the heart a better, stronger, pump. It becomes more efficiant at providing blood to muscles ( more blood from each stroke). So keep at it.
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Old 03-13-2006, 08:34 PM   #8
Bob Pratt
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Elliot,
i play defense for our fire dept. team in Michigan. Just a bunch of old hacks trying to relive past glory!lol
HOw about this:
after every shift alternate 15 push ups sit-ups and squats on the bench before your next shift.
That ought to get 'pukie ' involved.

Dave,
some workouts it's strength that holds us back. For example i did "Murph " today:
Mile run
100 pull ups
200 push-ups
300 squats
Mile run

My time was 61 minutes but my average HR was 140.
i started doing pull-ups in groups of 8 but quickly went to 5 then 3. My heart rate for this part was in the 120s. My arms just wouldn't work.
i wasn't winded at all during the pull-up portion it was my strength that was the limiting factor.

Like i said before the genius of crossfit is it works your weakness.

Take care,
bob
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Old 03-13-2006, 10:24 PM   #9
Elliot Royce
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Pretty amazing workout, Bob. You must be one of the fittest "old hacks" out there. I think my team would die of shock if I started doing pushups on the bench -- they scratch their heads when I do stretches afterwards. It's a beer league after all. Reminds me though of when I was preparing for Airborne School when I was in ROTC: I would do pushups on the floor of our college cafeteria and yell out "airborne." I guess I would have fit right in with Crossfit, although in retrospect I can only imagine what my classmates were thinking.

By the way, I played against Hoboken Fire Dept one time before they played Hoboken Police (this is New Jersey, right across from Manhattan). Usually at 6'3", 225lbs I don't worry about the other guys' size but those firefighters were huge. Let's just say I kept it clean.
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Old 03-14-2006, 07:45 AM   #10
John Messano
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I grew up with a few of the Hoboken's firefighters and police: Jimmy Wallington, Tommy Aligo, Frankie "Veal" Parmisano, James "Big Chickie" Peck. I fondly remember them being intensely loyal, extremely dependable, big, aggressive and competitive.

These days, with few exceptions, I bet they would prefer eating a cheesesteak with peppers and onions at "Biggie's Clam Bar" than running against a stopwatch unnecessarily.

In Hoboken, thankfully, most of the homes are made of brick and brownstone and the most of the crime has moved to Jersey City.
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