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

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Old 11-29-2006, 08:50 PM   #1
Joe Cloutier
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I have a few quick questions for all you knowledgeable people.

- Is it possible to design a program that would develop a high critical power?
- Is there a direct correlation between increases in critical power and increases in ability to sustain a maximum intensity effort?
- What is the best way to increase the ability to sustain a maximum intensity effort for the longest possible time?

This ties in with the training philosophy I am currently attempting to develop specifically related to parkour. My ultimate goal is to be able to design several programs geared solely towards the augmentation of PK abilities. This is obviously about the cardiovascular part of the training, and I have already established some relatively solid concepts as to what I should be aiming for in terms of strenght training.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 11-30-2006, 10:03 AM   #2
Motion Macivor
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-I'm not sure what you mean by critical power.
-Even though I'm not sure what you mean by critical power I'm pretty much 100% sure the answer is yes.
-The best way to train for high power a long time is to train like a cyclist. A good road roacer is capable of racing for three to four hours at just below AT with many sprints lasting between 2 seconds 20 minutes peppered throughout the race depending on the course and the tactics of the other racers. Road racing success is predicated on superior strength to weight ratio and the ability to produce that power on demand no matter what.
Now having said all that there are some caveats. Cycling itself contains no ecentric movements so it will not prepare you well for parkour. You can definetly take alot of the training philosophy from cycling though. I cant say for sure that you would maintain your vertical leap if you trained like a road racer because the high amount of lactate you would subject your muscles to would likely drop your abolute power while increasing your power endurance (but crossfit is no different in that regard).
If you want to maintain the highest power ratio for the longest time stay right at you're anaerobic threshold (92% of your max HR). if you dont want to wear a HRM use your ventilary threshold as a gauge. This is the point at which you start to breathe twice as hard. If you stay just under this point you will be able to sustain about 2-3 hours of very high output (if you're well trained). If you go above this point even by just a bit you will fizle in about 20 minutes without much real increase in power output. Those guys who run marathons in 2:10 probably couldnt run a 10k at a much faster pace (though I have nothing to base that on). Be careful about marathon training though because it is all about maximised efficiency at one power level.
I think the best resources for this type of training are the power running website for the theory, and "the cyclist's training bible" by joel friel for the aplication. another great resource for endurance training is the forum at FACT-Canada. The debate over there is fantastic but you might want to brush up on your biochemestry so you can understand what the hell they're talking about.
BTW I think the idea of ripping around for two to three hours jumping over fences and walls without stopping is way more bad than hanging out and sessioning.
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Old 11-30-2006, 03:18 PM   #3
Joe Cloutier
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My question was a bit unclear, sorry for that.

Critical power is the maximum intensity that you can maintain forever (theoretically speaking). In theory, critical power would be the intensity level that marks the border between eventually reaching VO2 max (and therefore having to stop), and ''never'' reaching it. I'm not 100% sure about it, but it seems like it is a synonym of the anabolic threshold you spoke of.

Also, the maximum effort sustainability didn't mean i wanted to dart across the whole town without ever stopping. Parkour is partly about being able to escape from dangerous situations unscathed (although there is a lot more to it), so I figured that the best thing would be to enhance sprinting endurance (which I referred to as max effort, sorry for the confusion). In other words, how to be able to sprint for extended periods of time without getting fatigued.

What I have believed would be that a highly anaerobic exercise such as tabata sprints would be an excellent way to develop this. Alternatively, I also considered doing some larger intervals (something in the order of 1 minute on, 1 minute off). If you have other ideas to throw in, I'd be more than happy to hear about them. I'm trying to find THE most efficient way to train for my sport, not just a good way.
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Old 12-04-2006, 06:44 PM   #4
Mike Yukish
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Here's a nice site with some info and references.

http://physiotherapy.curtin.edu.au/resources/educational-resources/exphys/99/pow er.cfm
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