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Jeffrey ariola 11-05-2002 02:46 PM

This is my first post to the message board. I have been training on crossfit for about 6 months now. Actually being able to complete the full WOD for only 2. Anyway, i have read in a few areas that aerobic conditioning is counterproductive. Why? Wouldn't an ultimate athlete have both anerobic and aerobic conditioning at their max. Please help me to clarify this point. i am an accupuncture student and MMA competitor. i want my training to be at its maximum, and what I am learning in Anatomy and Physiology i would like to incorporate into my training. i asked my professor / doctor and he told me that they will not be counter productive that i will actually be able to strengthen both types of fibers simultaneously. Please help with my confusion.

Robert Wolf 11-05-2002 08:05 PM

Hi Jeffrey-
Look over in the fitness section and look at the strength VS endurance thread and then read the "timecourse of training". That article is excellent and here is my understanding of it (and you will see where coach has said this) We want all of the first phase adaptations, some of the second and none of the third. One can have enormous endurance, strength and power by attaining the aforementioned adaptations. If one starts achieveing to many of the second and third phase adaptations power and strength plumet dramaticly...not what you want during a MMA situation! The body does have a limited ability to adapt and one could develop a greater aerobic capacity from doing non-crosfit training...but at a serious price. Following this "program" will give one the ability to be an average: sprinter, distance runner, gymnast, olympic wieght lifter...but an individual who is "average" in all of these areas could run circles around an elite athlete from any of these areas. From my own studies of chinese medicine ballance is stressed in all, sleep, sex, exercise. Ballance and moderation are great but one needs to be very careful what reference point is being used as a starting point. I have a paper pending publication in an acupuncture journal which adresses the fact that five element dietary thoery works much better if the grains and legumes are tossed out and a seasonal, local paleolithic diet is emphasized. Chinese medicine is incredible but it assumes agriculture to be "natural" when it really is not. Sorry...getting off topic. Read the timecourse article and we can get into the nitty-gritty of the adaptations if you'd like.
Keep your spleen chi strong!

Jeffrey ariola 11-07-2002 02:13 PM

Thanks for replying to my post. I have printed the thread and the links and i am in the process of reviewing them. Once I finish hopefully you , and anyone else, can help to clarify any other questions i have on it. As far as the diet goes i couldn't agree with you more, but I would like to read your article and hear your opinions. Let me know when it is being published so i can get the journal. Not to get too far off topic, but do you have formal Oriental Medicine training.

Robert Wolf 11-07-2002 05:17 PM

yes, I took 35 units of TCM classes at Bastyr university wheni was working in their basic science dept. The classes consisted of tcm fundamentals, tcm diagnosis, five element theory, tui-na, and a few others I am forgetting. I will try to get a PDF of the article for you.

Tyler Hass 11-09-2002 02:44 PM

Robb, every time I see you it's something new! I had no idea that you did TCM as well. I will be interested to hear about your Paleo version.
What else have you been up to?! You should definitely write a book about your approach to health, I would be the first to buy it.
I enjoyed reading the time course adaptation article. I agree that phases 1 and 2 can be met with pretty much any type of intense anaerobic training with some aerobic training included. However, I think phase 3 can be developed not just by focusing on one thing all of the time, but by doing many things, as in the CrossFit approach. By training your body with a variety of different movements, I think you will learn new skills more quickly. Obviously a swimmer will have great skill at swimming, but take this swimmer and put him up against a CrossFit trainee with a similar fitness level and test their performance in a skill they have never done before. I think the person with a wider training variety would be able to pick up the new skill more quickly and perform better. I would much rather be a good well-rounded athlete than a great one-trick pony.
I only have anecdotal evidence to support this, but since I started taking Kali lessons, my ability to pick up new skills has improved. For some reason, the flow drills in Kali enhance your hand-eye coordination more than anything I have ever tried before.
Thus, I would agree with Robb that a singular phase 3 adaptation would be undesirable, but I think the CrossFit approach develops a unique, multi-faceted phase 3 adaptation that is very desirable. Let me know what you think.

Robert Wolf 11-09-2002 09:24 PM

Hey Tyler-

I think you said it well and I agree with it. I also agree that the kali flow drills are incredible for eye hand coordination. I remember Art Devany talking about entering a motocross race in which he placed fourth. He was surprised at the performance of some of the higher placers considering they were not in as good all around shape as he. He felt that these guys did better due to very specific training but they were really limited in other arenas. Art by contrast could dunk a basket ball (at age 63!), hit golf balls out of site, and when I did a little investigating he could have come withing 5% of winning the national drug free powerlifting meet for his age weight group. I will certianly try to get down there to do some knife training.

Tyler Hass 11-10-2002 12:55 AM

Hmmm, I think there is a much greater skill component to motocross than say...roadbiking. I'm not calling it a video game by any means, the top motocross guys are great athletes, but to expect to win on pure physical prowess is a bit unreasonable. However, placing fourth is not to shabby!
Robb, on our road trip to California, let's definitely make our way down to Irvine and meet up with DeVany. Perhaps we could all go out and hunt or gather our dinner.
Definitely swing by for some knife training. Jim Keating is just incredible, you would enjoy working with him. In fact, we might be shooting a video soon, so perhaps you could make it up for that.

Jeffrey ariola 11-12-2002 02:12 PM

Hey guys thanks for the advice. I have read the articles and they make sense. My only further question is, " Shouldn't we also incorporate some longer durations of aerobics to this workout. I want to go the full length of the bout and still hit hard at the end. To prevent being fatigued and winded in the last round I would speculate (and I have been wrong before) that one would also need aerobic endurance. Help?" I do understand though that we have a limited amount of muscle fiber that can be used as either fast twitch, slow twitch, or intermediate. Is it all trial and error on the individual? Does the boxing, kumite, grappling, wrestling, and karate drills I do suplement the aerobics. Please excuse my ignorance, but I really wish to understand this idea. Right now in addition to the workout of the day I precede or follow up with anywhere from 15 min - 40 min of various aerobics. I assume you are against this thinking? This is not to mention the additional sport specific technique training and fighting practice I do. Thanks for helping me out guys.

Tyler Hass 11-12-2002 05:01 PM

I'm not sure what Robb's take on this will be, but he is more qualified to answer than I am because he has actual grappling experience.
My answer would be that any cardio you do, including high-intensity interval training, will give you phase 1 and 2 adaptations. Both of these will benefit you in your MMA fights. However, doing a lot of biking or jogging will not enhance your phase 1 and 2 adaptation beyond a certain point. You reach a point of diminishing returns with these activities. If you want to continue progressing, you will need phase 3 adaptation, which you can only get by spending more time on the mat.
What I would recommend is instead of doing continuous aerobic work, is to divide your workout into intervals matching or slightly exceeding the intervals of your matches. For example, if you have 5 rounds of 3 minutes, break up your training into 6 intervals of 3 minutes. Sometimes do 10 intervals of 1.5 minutes, but up the intensity. Occasionally do 3 intervals of 6 minutes at a lower intensity. By bracketing your target value, you should be able to get in the proper shape for fighting without sacrificing too much of the explosiveness that you will lose as a result of slow, long-distance cardio work.
Definitely keep doing the WOD with the highest intensity you can. This in addition to mat time should put you in great shape for MMA. One more resource I would look into is Steve Maxwell. He is a great trainer and has tapes available through Dragon Door.

Robert Wolf 11-12-2002 06:09 PM

I think tyler is right on understanding of all of this is to create structural/biochemical/neurological changes which provide enormous general fitness (strength, power, stamina...all of the things listed in the Crossfit foundations). We then achieve phase 3 adaptations doing our desired sport (which MMA is a difficult thing to do because the stimulus/demands are so variable) and this effeciency can be of importance...but something to remember is that we just need to be able to recover between bouts. Fred Hatfield illustrates this beautifully with his training of Evander H. In the beginning Evander was completely gassed after one three minute anaerobic bout...several weeks later he recovered nearly to his resting heart rate in the allowed rest interval. I just do not see steady state training providing these results. You could do a fairly easy experiment and do say heavy bag training...say a four strike combo (jab, cross, r.round kick, lrndkick, do a set number of these in a given time interval and monitor heart rate. Tweak your training variables and see how things change.

Hope this helps!
Take care

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