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

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Old 06-09-2011, 08:55 AM   #41
Paulo Santos
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Re: Crossfit's definition of health

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Originally Posted by Andrew James View Post
There's something to be said for the issue of hard exercise and wear on the body.

Professional athletes across many contact sports have shorter life expectancy than average.
Is that from working out or is it from the brutal toll the sports like football puts on their body, and from all of the supplements, legal and illegal, that they take?
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:39 PM   #42
Arturo Garcia
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Re: Crossfit's definition of health

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Originally Posted by Geoff Archibald View Post
Crossfit is based on doing movements that shouldn't be used for conditioning metcons. How long is the list now?
kipping pullups (don't even think about doing them with a weighted vest)
Olympic lifts
Deadlifts
KB swings to over-head
Sumo Deadlift High Pulls

What other risky moves are there?
Muscle ups (or anything on the rings for that matter)
I've seen a surprising number of injuries from box jumps including two torn Achilles and a sprained back
GHDs cause people all kinds of problems
I am genuinely curious, not trying to be a smartarse here... what is wrong with KB swings to overhead in metcons?
Edit: and why anything on rings? What about ring rows (feet supported somewhere, body straight) and ring push-ups, are they too risky?

Last edited by Arturo Garcia : 06-09-2011 at 02:41 PM. Reason: Edit: one more.
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:43 PM   #43
James Yates
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Re: Crossfit's definition of health

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Originally Posted by Brian Pressman View Post
I was thinking about something.

Crossfit's definition of health is the ability to sustain fitness. Mr. Glassman claims that any "disease, illness, or injury will manifest itself as reduced work capacity...therefore, the only way to sustain the highest levels of fitness is to avoid, or at least minimize, disease, illness, and injury."

Given this definition, wouldn't we need to know Crossfit's rates of injury to evaluate whether it promotes good health (compared to other activities)?

Does anyone have thoughts?
But how many injuries are PREVENTED in other facets of life because of improved balance or flexibility or knowing where your maximum is? Take this the other way.... it is not about what injuries happen in the weight room, it is about your quality of life outside the weight room. I have no doubt that continuing CF will be the best way to keep up with my son as he grows and gets involved in sports, camping, biking, etc...

Don't forget, crossfit is not just mainpage wods, it is also properly scaled to individuals. My grandmother would be properly scaled to nothing but walking, toe touches and such.... she would be much less likely to fall on the steps (or even get out-of-breath on the steps) even if she risks tripping during a walk.... the walk is the workout, going up the steps represents quality-of-life.

Also, many of us younger people are pushing ourselves pretty hard. Let's face it, CF is fun because we like to compete and look at other people's stats. In all honesty, though, we should only be competing with ourselves. We bring injuries upon ourselves when we get stubborn or simply succumb to dumb accidents.

I am reminded of a quote somewhere about how you need to push yourself, but not so hard today that you aren't able to be ready for tomorrow's workout. Wether it is muscle soreness or an injury, part of today is being ready for tomorrow.

Also, we have 2 very different types of injuries in training.... real training injuries (pulling a muscle during a heavy DL) and dumb injuries (dropping a plate on your toe). Very different reasons there....

Anyways.... think more of quality of life outside the gym rather than injuries in the gym.
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:10 PM   #44
Brendan McNamar
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Re: CrossFit's definition of health

They talk about the injuries in the Level 1. We expect a certain number of injuries based on the intensity of the activity. It is a simple trade off.

What is of more interest to me is avoidable big injuries. This is purely circumstantial at this point it time but it seems ring work and shoulder injuries go together.

As a coach I'm interested in holding my athletes back until they have built capacity to do something with a very low chance of injury.

Dead lifts and squats are easy to coach and hold someone back if I don't like their form. What about someone who wants desperately to join the big kids club by doing a muscle up?

On rockclimbing.com we have a section for incidents and accidents. Many of these involve serious injury or death. The write ups are a non judgmental look at the known facts of each accident. In climbing there is no one to sue, the problem in CrossFit is how do we collect the data without getting sued if a pattern emerges?

At my gym I'm quick to back people off if their is any question of possible weakness. Yes, yesterday I had a 200 pound guy dead lifting 95 lbs in a WOD because he can't hold lower back position. Until he can no more weight for him.
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:25 PM   #45
Geoff Archibald
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Re: Crossfit's definition of health

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Originally Posted by Arturo Garcia View Post
I am genuinely curious, not trying to be a smartarse here... what is wrong with KB swings to overhead in metcons?
Edit: and why anything on rings? What about ring rows (feet supported somewhere, body straight) and ring push-ups, are they too risky?
I was being facetious and playing on some of the criticisms I've read of movements used in crossfit.

A lot of KB advocates think that swinging to shoulder height is adequate and that going above the head is risky especially since a lot of people lose core tension and let their backs go into hyperextension.

Rings require a lot more stabilization so if those muscles are weak there is the potential for injury if someone new to them loses control somehow. I've seen some pretty scary muscle-up attempts where one arm takes off. If someone wants to criticize butterfly pullups then I think muscle-ups can be far worse. There can be a tendency to roll the shoulders forward to compensate for weaknesses in ring dips. I think I'm guilty of that and may have injured my shoulder that way. Ring rows are probably the safest of the ring exercises that I can think of.

Most of the injuries I've witnessed from crossfit I believe have been due to over-use and not due to the exercises themselves. I've seen people with horrible form not get hurt and people with good form go down. If I coached I would be tempted to tell people to take a rest week every so often with a focus on mobility. I know that doing so has helped me get over some chronic issues.
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:58 PM   #46
Brian Pressman
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Re: Crossfit's definition of health

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Originally Posted by Doug Lantz View Post
Note Glassman's use of the word "minimize" in your original post -

Mr. Glassman claims that any "disease, illness, or injury will manifest itself as reduced work capacity...therefore, the only way to sustain the highest levels of fitness is to avoid, or at least minimize, disease, illness, and injury."

He has commented that any program that's 100% safe is also by definition not effective.

So I look at it as "optimizing time lost to injury" which I think CF does however as you said we don't have the data.

I've also often wondered where is the optimum point of balance between safety and effectiveness.

One thing that made perfect sense to me when I read the article "What is fitness ?" is that too much of any one thing changes it from good to bad.

For example, running 400 meters repeats is probably far less stressful on your body than simply racking up the miles jogging as well as more beneficial (and less time consuming)
But doesn't crossfit need to provide some (any) injury data to compete the statement "Crossfit is better for your health than x" x could be running, walking, what ever. Again, since injury (or decrease longevity) results in downtown and thus, less work preformed. Keeping this question as narrow as possible.
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:00 PM   #47
Brian Pressman
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Re: Crossfit's definition of health

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Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
That is the assumption. Crossfit hasn't been around long enough to really test it.

The counter-argument would be that the more intense Crossfit workouts lead to chronic injuries, reducing lifespan and/or undermining quality of life. No evidence for that, either.

Katherine
Agreed. There is no data. Crossfit is what? 20 years old?
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:03 PM   #48
Brian Pressman
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Re: CrossFit's definition of health

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Originally Posted by Brendan McNamar View Post
They talk about the injuries in the Level 1. We expect a certain number of injuries based on the intensity of the activity. It is a simple trade off.

What is of more interest to me is avoidable big injuries. This is purely circumstantial at this point it time but it seems ring work and shoulder injuries go together.

As a coach I'm interested in holding my athletes back until they have built capacity to do something with a very low chance of injury.



Dead lifts and squats are easy to coach and hold someone back if I don't like their form. What about someone who wants desperately to join the big kids club by doing a muscle up?

On rockclimbing.com we have a section for incidents and accidents. Many of these involve serious injury or death. The write ups are a non judgmental look at the known facts of each accident. In climbing there is no one to sue, the problem in CrossFit is how do we collect the data without getting sued if a pattern emerges?

At my gym I'm quick to back people off if their is any question of possible weakness. Yes, yesterday I had a 200 pound guy dead lifting 95 lbs in a WOD because he can't hold lower back position. Until he can no more weight for him.
They talked about them in my level one too. I also asked

-do you keep track of the most common injury in crossfit?
-do you keep track of the numbers of injuries?

The answer was no in both questions. Just seems that we need to know these #s before knowing if crossfit is healthy (again, since according to crossfit, injury = less work preformed)
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:06 PM   #49
Brian Pressman
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Re: Crossfit's definition of health

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Originally Posted by Michael Dowling View Post
trying to track injury rates amongst crossfit would be impossible, too many loosely affiliated gyms and people doing it on their own. crossfit is also such a broad term, heck many of the posters here don't even seem to do crossfit anymore, but some strength program or hybrid program. if someone got hurt at an affiliate with back squats on a heavy 5-5-5 is that a CF injury?
It is impossible to track anything with 100% accuracy. Maybe you can only account for "reported injuries" or "injuries at a crossfit gym"... what ever. You could also track it by doctor visits. Lots of ways. Nothing is perfect, but you can always adjust your control (crossfit vs. x) to compensate.
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:10 PM   #50
Brian Pressman
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Re: CrossFit's definition of health

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Originally Posted by Brendan McNamar View Post
In climbing there is no one to sue, the problem in CrossFit is how do we collect the data without getting sued if a pattern emerges?

At my gym I'm quick to back people off if their is any question of possible weakness. Yes, yesterday I had a 200 pound guy dead lifting 95 lbs in a WOD because he can't hold lower back position. Until he can no more weight for him.
You can't get sued for having data. But, someone can subpoena the data if they think it will help their case (to sue crossfit). Maybe a reason they don't collect it? I don't know.
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