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

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Old 08-20-2006, 11:31 AM   #1
Charlie Reid
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I read an interview Mike Mahler, RKC did with Dr. William Wong, and came across an interesting tid-bit of info from Dr. Ken Cooper (Cooper Institute...the "Father of Aerobics"). Here's an excerpt:

"Ken Cooper (who used to advocate marathons until his running patients began to die off) has found that the heart stops conditioning at around abut 24 to 26 min. of work! Exercise beyond that point no longer strengthens the heart but contributes to the inflammatory process. He now says that anything over 3 miles 3 times a week or it's equivalent is "done for reasons other than fitness". So much for getting on a treadmill or stair climber for an hour! One note: with seniors we now know that they will condition at only 50% of max h.r." -Dr. William Wong

Full interview found here:

http://www.mikemahler.com/wong2.html
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Old 08-20-2006, 11:58 AM   #2
Scott Clark
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Interesting. It's known that over 30 minutes of cardio throws you into a catabolic state, hence the reason fat loss CV work is suggested to be kept < 30. I never would have thought that CV work over 30 would have a negative impact.
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Old 08-20-2006, 12:44 PM   #3
Frank M Needham
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This is the same Wong that penned "The Care and Feeding of the Penis"....ahem

Not that I would find everything he had done wong, er, I mean wrong, but I would find it suspect of someone who titled a book as above.

(Message edited by fmn on August 20, 2006)
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Old 08-20-2006, 01:35 PM   #4
Charlie Reid
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I agree with you frank, that Dr. Wong is a bit "eccentric", to say the least. However, i do trust Ken Cooper, although i need to do some digging in regards to concrete evidence. I'll post some more info on Cooper's statements when i get ahold of the literature to back this up.
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Old 08-20-2006, 01:38 PM   #5
Jay Hanewinkel
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I have no doubt about this. As an army officer, running produces so many injuries and most people don't get good at it by simply doing it. I think it has more to do with natural ability than fitness.
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Old 08-20-2006, 02:04 PM   #6
Mike Neill
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I'd like to know more about this supposed inflammatory process caused by CV work beyond 30 minutes. Is the purported inflammation in the CV systems or elsewhere? How long does it take to subside? Is the inflammation a condition or a syndrome?

I did a quick look at Cooper's website inasmuch as Wong attributes the inflammatory remark (ha!) to him but I saw nothing about the topic.

I have been around bicycle road racing and alpine climbing for a long time; if breathing hard for more than 30 minutes is bad for you, I know a lot of people who should've had no end of problems. They haven't. I have my experience with a pool of people that calls B.S. on the assertion. Show me the money.

Jay, I know that running beats up people but I am not sure your comment exactly dovetails into the sweeping assertion/condmenation that CV work beyond 30 minutes causes inflammation. There's no reference to running, to what category of inflammation is being claimed, nor in what tissue(s).

Perhaps if your people had been taught how to run correctly they would not have suffered injuries. Telling modern people to "just go run" is not much different than telling someone to "just go snatch." You present two options: that some people have natural ability or that people just go do it. There is a third possibility: running is a skill that can be taught and learned.

The more I think on Wong's/Cooper's comment the more I wonder what exactly we're being told. Would appreciate any leads on this topic.

thanks
Mike

(Message edited by a7u on August 20, 2006)
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Old 08-20-2006, 02:29 PM   #7
Frank M Needham
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I don't have the credentials to comment scientifically on whether or not CV work causes inflamatory problems or not. But commenting on my own experience I will say that running never bothered me (I'll even say I loved it) until my arches completely fell at around 35. Till then I could, and did, run as much as 50-60 miles/week without problems. As for my heart? I took up swimming, doing a couple miles/day hard, and never noticed any problem there.
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Old 08-20-2006, 04:31 PM   #8
Charlie Reid
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I think from a mechanical and physiological standpoint, certain people are better suited for running than others. However, i must emphasize that there is a difference between "health" and "fitness". Health implies balance, and the body only needs enough of a stimulus to induce adaptation. Most training injury occurs from chronic overuse/over-exercising. More is not necessarily better. However, "Fitness" is the ability to do a task, with no necessary regard for what is healthy. If your occupation, sport requires a higher level of fitness, recovery, etc. then you obviously will need to run more, train more, etc. I wouldnt tell a Navy SEAL to run 3 miles only 3 times a week, because his job requires him to do much more than this. Dean Karnazes, the ultramarathoner, runs countless miles a week (marathons on back to back days) and supposedly does 200 pushups, 50 pullups and 400 situps twice a day, seven days a week. Is that healthy? I dont think so, but that isnt going to stop him from doing it and he clearly holds an extreme endurance level of fitness that would crush most people.

Ultimately people are going to do what they want or need to do, but when arguing from the standpoint of overall health recommendations, running over 30 minutes may not be the most valid, according to Cooper. However, i'll have to get the literature in my hands before making any concrete statements on this.
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Old 08-21-2006, 08:27 AM   #9
John Seaburg
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I've seen several competitive distance runners with serious health issues like heart disease, exercise induced hypertension, and low bone density. When they cut down on their running and do more anaerobic work (weights/intervals) they usually see big improvements.
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Old 08-21-2006, 11:36 AM   #10
Mike Neill
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Well, that's a start. Hope I can find some studies too. "Exercise-induced hypertension" sounds mighty spooky. Low bone density isn't an inflammatory response, though; it comes from not doing weight work.
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