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

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Old 04-20-2007, 04:44 PM   #21
Eric O'Connor
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My take on the whole gpp vs. no gpp.

In my opinion, GPP will be beneficial to OL if done at the appropriate time of the yearly or multi-yearly training schedule, and if the specific type of activity is not detrimental to performnace in OL. The main reason why i think this is beneficial is for an increase in the athletes work capactiy. A lifter with a higher work capacity has the ability to do more total work/lifts. Also, the ability to recover is higher, either between lifts or the ability to recover between workouts. This could lead to an increase in performance. One only needs to look at the former soviet and eastern bloc countries training regimens to see what i'm saying. During certain parts of the year they would perform GPP, activites and games (volleyball, etc.).

So, in my opinion, GPP needs to be controlled and managed to be utilized most effective....some GPP when far away from a competition, little to none when getting closer to a competition.

This is just my 2 cents.




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Old 04-20-2007, 06:01 PM   #22
Aimee Anaya
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Anthony-
As an elite weightlifter, ranked in the top ten of the united states, i have to strongly disagree with your post. first off, powerlifters are strong as , but they are not fast. It is not a speed sport, nor is it a neurological technical sport. this is why they (may) benefit from GPP. totally different from o-lifting. While I think crossfit has its place in a gym, and is a wonderful form of conditioning and gpp, if anyone wants to be a strongly competitive weightlifter, he or she cannot do crossfit. metobolically, it will destroy you. neurologically, it will floor your technique. while you still may maintain your strength, you will be taxed when it is time to hit the platform. you mentioned that there are national record holders who perform crossfit... who?
I can nearly guarantee that no male or female in the top twenty of the united states does crossfit workouts. if you are primarily speaking of eva, i don't think that she displays a generalized view of the o-lifting athletes. first off, she has been an athlete her entire life, and she holds the record in the masters division. i think she is doing an awesome job, but i can assure you, her lifts would improve immensely if she nixed the crossfit workouts and stuck to o-lifting only.
you mentioned that o-lifters can beneift if there is a right balance between the two. i don't think there could possibly be any correct "balance" that won't directly affect my lifts to some degree. what i need to do is snatch and clean & jerk. if crossfit was so beneficial to o-lifting, i am sure we would have adopted it in some form into our workouts. the way i see it is crossfit has adopted o-lifting into their workouts because it kicks . and it makes you hella strong.
eric has a good point regarding doing crossfit at certain times during the year, perhaps when you don't have a meet coming up. Further, he states that a lifter with a higher capacity (due to gpp) has the ability to do more total work/lifts. However, even then, o-lifters condition with an increase in reps and loads. no way could an elite weightlifter have a higher recovery ability by performing gpp. it is difficult enough to recover from training twice a day 5 days a week, throw in a little metcon and i would never be able to train at a 85-95% range daily.
it just doesn't work.
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Old 04-20-2007, 06:07 PM   #23
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Eric -

Increases of work capacity need to be specific to the sport. CF will certainly increase work capacity--in performances that resemble CF training. Will it improve a lifter's ability to snatch and C&J 80% and higher 6 days/week? It may relative to worse training, but not nearly as much as snatching and CJing heavy and frequently.

Using the soviet countries as examples is questionable... activities and games such as VB are not at all taxing like CF. Also, we need to figure in the immense increase in recovery ability and work capacity of the anabolic drugs that were and are being used. The crackdown in the US on drug use coincides nicely with our ceasing to be a legit player on the world stage.
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Old 04-21-2007, 10:22 AM   #24
Anthony Bainbridge
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I thought about this last night and I'm wondering where the notion that "Crossfit" or "GPP" automatically means "metcon" ... GPP could be anything from hypertrophy to strength to flexibility to active recovery to rehab to "prehab" to relieving physical or mental stagnation. I made the link from CF to GPP to illustrate that certain elements of CF could be incorporated into any routine. Does that mean from one extreme (nothing) to the other (all the time)? No. It means that at certain stages of a training program, almost all athletes are going to benefit from incoporating elements that are not part of their sport. Could be physical reasons, could be mental, could be any number of reasons.

To say that elite athletes, I don't care what sport, never partake in some form of GPP is bonkers. I never said elite level strength athletes would be doing tremendous amounts of metcon. I played devil's advocate looking for studies (which I doubt exist), but that really wasn't my main focus. Unfortunately it seems like that's what people latched on to ... so let's be very clear - I am NOT saying elite level strength athletes should be doing tremendous amounts of metcon, nor am I saying elite level strength athletes should be doing tremendous amounts of GPP. But there are too many variables to say they would NEVER do it or NEVER benefit from it. That's what I'm arguing against.

THIS is my main focus:

SPP = sport
GPP = everything outside of that sport.

In the example of weightliters, C&J and Snatch = sport. EVERYTHING ELSE is GPP. Good mornings, back squats, mobility drills ... all GPP.

Show me ONE athlete at the world level that NEVER incorporates training elements outside of their sport.

Not being disrespectful, but let's look at the big picture over the course of a career and not the 10-12 weeks leading up to competition.
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Old 04-21-2007, 02:59 PM   #25
Andrew Cattermole
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This always seems to come up when someone applies Specialization to CrossFit.
It has always been apparent to me anyway that CrossFit is a broad conditioning program with for most involved a far bit of skill learning and equal amounts of mental conditioning.
Will that aid many people?
Yep

Then the elite sports specific argument steps up, Specialization at its paramount, certainly not the average person in terms of physicality and mental discipline.
Why doesn’t CrossFit answer all my needs??

The goal of such people is not really broad increases in efficiency across a variety of movement patterns but to win at their event.
Sports Science will continue to debate which is the most correct way to achieve such wins.
I suspect more and more will be focused on the psychological side when the physical has had exhaustive analysis.

Such athletes at their core are not interested in Health” or even “Fitness”. Winning a specific event at a specific time is there over riding goal.

Perhaps we should consider changing the motto of “forging elite fitness” to “forging elite fitness for every body”

It seems as usual people are arguing for elite Sport Specific Training (nothing new here) when others are talking about GPP "General Fitness Training" for Life/Work/Health (also nothing new).
In general the Sport Specific Community is very Small, O lifting even smaller. And while many which to align themselves with the elite in truth, “Fitness”, “Health” and "wellbeing" are more a target of their training protocols.

This may require some home truths and self reflection on goals for the majority of individuals
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Old 04-22-2007, 04:34 AM   #26
Don Stevenson
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I'd like to agree with Andrew, Aimee and Greg and thank them for saving me from having to write all that stuff!!!!!
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Old 04-22-2007, 10:42 AM   #27
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Anthony -

“I thought about this last night and I'm wondering where the notion that "Crossfit" or "GPP" automatically means "metcon" ... GPP could be anything from hypertrophy to strength to flexibility to active recovery to rehab to "prehab" to relieving physical or mental stagnation. I made the link from CF to GPP to illustrate that certain elements of CF could be incorporated into any routine.”

In addition to the facts that with the exception of max effort days CF always has a large metabolic conditioning component, and the statement that started all this was Josh’s “I would think all lifters would benefit from doing CF style workouts on top of lifting,” this is where I got the idea:

“I'm going to go against the grain and say that anyone, regardless of sport or level, can benefit from some GPP. And really, isn't that what Crossfit is? A great GPP program ... ??”

So I read that as equating CF with GPP. And:

“Take this one step further, can the same drawbacks to strength and power be found by doing anaerobic conditioning (sprints, etc)? If so, at what frequency? See what I'm getting at?”

So now we’re talking about metabolic conditioning.

“It means that at certain stages of a training program, almost all athletes are going to benefit from incoporating elements that are not part of their sport.”

Of course—I’ve said that while weightlifters contest only the snatch and clean & jerk, many do and should perform movements other than those—but they’re not far from those and are direct supporters of those (e.g. pulls, push pressing, snatch balance, etc). And the higher the level of competition of the lifter, the less they stray from the snatch and clean & jerk on average.

“To say that elite athletes, I don't care what sport, never partake in some form of GPP is bonkers. I never said elite level strength athletes would be doing tremendous amounts of metcon.”

Your reference to aerobic conditioning/sprinting confuses me then. And again, we’re not talking about strength athletes---we’re talking about Olympic style weightlifters. This distinction needs to be made.

“I am NOT saying elite level strength athletes should be doing tremendous amounts of metcon, nor am I saying elite level strength athletes should be doing tremendous amounts of GPP.”

OK. I’m saying that elite level weightlifters should be doing NO real metcon at all. So IF a weightlifter is say pulling a sled or doing sledghammer work, one, it would be near the early part of his/her career, and two, the potential metabolic element should be avoided as much as possible. And that the closer a weightlifter gets to the elite classification, the more he/she should be snatching and clean & jerking and the less he/she needs be performing assistance exercises, which you’re including with what I call GPP.

“In the example of weightliters, C&J and Snatch = sport. EVERYTHING ELSE is GPP. Good mornings, back squats, mobility drills ... all GPP.”

Well then a big problem with this thread is that we’re arguing over something we each have different definitions of. I do not classify exercises like good mornings, back squats, sn/cln pulls, push presses, etc. as GPP—I consider them assistance exercises.

“Not being disrespectful, but let's look at the big picture over the course of a career and not the 10-12 weeks leading up to competition.”

I am—that’s why I’ve specified elite level and not novice. The novice will almost always need to perform exercises other than the snatch and clean & jerk, but only because he/she comes to the game with deficiencies. Once those are shored up, he/she can progress to less and less work away from the competition lifts. But even from the very beginning, eliminating metabolic conditioning will benefit his/her lifting. And in I think my first post I said there may be a very brief time in the season when a lifter does this kind of training, but in my opinion, it's not necessary or even beneficial at that level.


So to summarize concisely:

1. In the training of an elite weightlifter, metabolic conditioning has no place, nor does any high volume 'strength' work. Since these two things are essentially what CF is, CF has no place in the training of an elite weightlifter.

2. Exercises other than the snatch, clean & jerk and squat may continue to be used at the elite level, but these exercises are very specific support movements for the competition lifts, and the higher the level of the lifter, the less they are needed.

3. Finally, weightlifting is a very unique sport with very unique demands and training for it differs greatly from powerlifting, strongman or any other seemingly similar sport.
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Old 04-22-2007, 12:12 PM   #28
Veronica Carpenter
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"So to summarize concisely:

1. In the training of an elite weightlifter, metabolic conditioning has no place, nor does any high volume 'strength' work. Since these two things are essentially what CF is, CF has no place in the training of an elite weightlifter.

2. Exercises other than the snatch, clean & jerk and squat may continue to be used at the elite level, but these exercises are very specific support movements for the competition lifts, and the higher the level of the lifter, the less they are needed.

3. Finally, weightlifting is a very unique sport with very unique demands and training for it differs greatly from powerlifting, strongman or any other seemingly similar sport."


Nice summary Greg.
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Old 04-23-2007, 06:13 AM   #29
Anthony Bainbridge
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Greg,

I don't consider Crossfit to be "metcon" ... I consider it to be a GPP program that builds the 10 elements of fitness - 2 of which happen to be metcon. But that doesn't mean all GPP programs are going to be like Crossfit or include metcon at all. DESPITE THE CONNECTION BETWEEN CF AND GPP, if you read my original posts, I spoke almost exclusively of GPP and assumed we had the same definition. Obviously not, and that's okay.

I consider accessory movements to be GPP. It's funny how sled dragging is considered GPP but a back squat is not. Makes no sense to me. Either way, let's assume GPP is something outside of sport that will benefit sport. That seems fair, no? Will an elite lifter use less GPP than a novice? Of course. Never said otherwise. Will there be periods during an elite lifter's career where no GPP is used? Probably. Never said otherwise.

The funny thing is, we agree on principles and disagree on semantics. I'm sure if we had this conversation in person, there would be a lot more nodding and a lot less nitpicking arbitrary examples.

Anyway, thanks for the discussion. Before you decide to quote and reply to every sentence in this post, read your original posts, read my original posts, take into account our differing definitions, and realize we are saying almost the exact same thing.

:-)
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Old 04-24-2007, 09:18 AM   #30
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OK.
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