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

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Old 11-26-2008, 03:59 AM   #21
Gerhard Lavin
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Re: Opinions on Paul Chek?

When he was doing the pullups did I imagine it are was he kissing his "guns" WWE style on each rep.

I haven't read much of his stuff but from what I have Chek does favour compound lifts and likes Weightlifting. All good. However he does seem obsessed with doing some rather esoteric exercises. I sometimes wonder if Chek, Poliquin and the like just innovate purely to get column inches. Some of these exercise may be great for the advanced athlete, maybe. They may also be good for injury prehab or rehab. But the problem is that some people think that's all they should do, kind of like the routines of the stars in Musscle & Fiction. They forget these are the icing on the cake

Many moons ago I used to squat on one. I soon became quiet good a squatting on a fitball but didn't help anything else. It was fun though and it did impress the occasional gym user at least until I fell off. Same with balancing with the BodyBlade (the whippy thing) Challenging, yes. Fun, probably. Any application outside of the gym, I'm not sure.
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Old 11-26-2008, 09:22 PM   #22
David Meverden
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Re: Opinions on Paul Chek?

I'm another person that had never heard of Paul Check until I saw this thread. Certainly seems like he's real fit and has some good stuff (I especially like some of his nutrition stuff and his invocation of old timey strongmen and bodybuilders)

The only immediate problem I see with his stuff is trying to apply it to broader populations. If you don't have him personally training you what's going to keep you motivated? How will you see progress? How do you know your bosu-ball body-blade balancing is producing gains? I just can't picture myself being motivated to do those movements at high intensity just for the sake of doing them at high intensity (others probably could, he is obviously really pumped up and excited, but I couldn't).

As a side note, anyone else wanna see Ross Enamait and Paul Check square off in a CF games style smattering of benchmark WoD's? I would love to see how really fit people from other quarters would clock in on our measurements of fitness.
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Old 11-27-2008, 05:18 AM   #23
Justin Shipley
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Re: Opinions on Paul Chek?

My issue with Chek's philosophy and methodology is that he appears to be complexing things for the purposes of marketing his courses.

Crossfit has the runs on the board with it's scaleable approach that is applicable to everyone, yet Chek wants us to believe we are unique snowflakes with hidden physiological issues that can only be identified by an accredited Chek practitioner, and nursed carefully carefully carefully back towards normal parameters of physical health by said practitioner, before attempting even the most basic physical fitness training.

I think we all know better

I sat through a lecture from a Chek practitioner concerning how to determine whether a client is physiologically ready to be instructed in the deadlift.

Basically they were arse-about in their approach; presuming everyone to have issues and that consequently, it would be extreme folly to give the deadlift to ANYONE off the street without a thorough assessment of all of their ins and outs and postural foibles and lever lengths and ratios and blah blah blah

Maybe that sort of horsesh*t appeals to the uninformed and those who tend to be swayed by charismatic public speakers who spout selective half-truths intended to market an endless array of courses and certifications, but really he says little that we don't already know, and in many cases, we know a lot more, and a lot better.

He's unique, but ther's a lot he has in common with lots of other charismatic public speakers and salesmen of one persuasion or another
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Old 11-27-2008, 04:32 PM   #24
George Noble
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Re: Opinions on Paul Chek?

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Originally Posted by Shane Skowron View Post
CrossFit has a very specific goal: increased work capacity over broad time and modal domains, or improvements in each of the 10 physical characteristics through measurable methods.
How is that a specific goal? That's about as general a goal as it's possible to have.
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Old 11-27-2008, 09:08 PM   #25
Shane Skowron
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Re: Opinions on Paul Chek?

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How is that a specific goal? That's about as general a goal as it's possible to have.
Crossfit's goal is specific in the sense that it is measurable. The concept of increased work capacity over broad modal and time domains may sound general, but once you apply it to a workout, it becomes blatantly obvious how specific it is. Pick a modality - running. Now increase the work capacity. How to do that? Run faster than last time. Pick another modality - clean and jerk. Now increase the work capacity. How? By getting stronger.

The Crossfit methodology is very specific when it comes to its goal for fitness. Beat your last run time, deadlift more than you did last time, beat your last Fran time. If you're not doing these, you're not getting fitter. No way to argue that.

I just didn't see that sort of attitude in Paul Chek's methodology, unless I'm missing something. It just seemed like his goals were feel good, look good, workout hard. Sort of hard to track progress if goals aren't measurable, or if they're based on irrelevant metrics.
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Old 11-28-2008, 12:17 PM   #26
Phillip Garrison
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Re: Opinions on Paul Chek?

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Crossfit's goal is specific in the sense that it is measurable. .

That's every workout ever invented, they all have a measurable result.
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Old 11-29-2008, 04:35 AM   #27
David Meverden
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Re: Opinions on Paul Chek?

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That's every workout ever invented, they all have a measurable result.
How do you measure the results of water aerobics? You could measure physical body parameters but there is no objective performance measurement, which is, I think, what shane is getting at.

Many peoples workouts are not built or intended to have an explicit performance measurement, whereas CF is build around having those metrics. Most of the people I know that go to the gym feel they have had a good workout if they feel the burn, are sore later, or if the treadmill said they burned a bunch of calories. They don't actually write down their performance and if they improve, they only have non-specific notions of it. I, being a huge fan of Crossfit's methodology, feel this is inferior for the purpose of motivation, and doesn't give specific enough information for you to evaluate your progress or access what changes might be necessary.
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Old 11-29-2008, 07:48 AM   #28
Shane Skowron
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Re: Opinions on Paul Chek?

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Originally Posted by David Meverden View Post
How do you measure the results of water aerobics? You could measure physical body parameters but there is no objective performance measurement, which is, I think, what shane is getting at.

Many peoples workouts are not built or intended to have an explicit performance measurement, whereas CF is build around having those metrics. Most of the people I know that go to the gym feel they have had a good workout if they feel the burn, are sore later, or if the treadmill said they burned a bunch of calories. They don't actually write down their performance and if they improve, they only have non-specific notions of it. I, being a huge fan of Crossfit's methodology, feel this is inferior for the purpose of motivation, and doesn't give specific enough information for you to evaluate your progress or access what changes might be necessary.
Yes, that's what I mean. Of course everything is measurable, but that doesn't mean it's a useful metric. I didn't see anything about useful metrics on Paul Chek's site. Maybe it if were something as simple as "see if you can swing this arrow thing on this swiss ball longer than you did last time," that would be something somewhat useful. Otherwise, it just seems like it's workout hard but don't actually measure anything other than how you look in the mirror and how you feel when you wake up.

Every serious sport has metrics. A runner's metric is determined by how well his races are improving with respect to his age and any other extraneous factors. A bodybuilder's metric is the improvement he sees in the size of his muscles.

A lot of people will go into the gym and measure the quality of their workout by how much they sweat or by how sore their abs feel. There is no significant correlation between these extraneous factors and improved physical performance.

Last edited by Shane Skowron : 11-29-2008 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 11-29-2008, 11:01 AM   #29
Phillip Garrison
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Re: Opinions on Paul Chek?

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Originally Posted by David Meverden View Post
How do you measure the results of water aerobics? You could measure physical body parameters but there is no objective performance measurement, which is, I think, what shane is getting at.

Many peoples workouts are not built or intended to have an explicit performance measurement, whereas CF is build around having those metrics. Most of the people I know that go to the gym feel they have had a good workout if they feel the burn, are sore later, or if the treadmill said they burned a bunch of calories. They don't actually write down their performance and if they improve, they only have non-specific notions of it. I, being a huge fan of Crossfit's methodology, feel this is inferior for the purpose of motivation, and doesn't give specific enough information for you to evaluate your progress or access what changes might be necessary.

The goal of water aerobics is to get more fit, and better at water aerobics. If you can do the aerobics better, or longer, or are more fit, than it's worked. CF for most people is built around only one metric, getting better at WOD's which is just as abritrary as any metric.
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Old 11-29-2008, 03:17 PM   #30
Shane Skowron
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Re: Opinions on Paul Chek?

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Originally Posted by Phillip Garrisonq View Post
The goal of water aerobics is to get more fit, and better at water aerobics. If you can do the aerobics better, or longer, or are more fit, than it's worked. CF for most people is built around only one metric, getting better at WOD's which is just as abritrary as any metric.
Better is a vague term. What does it mean to do water aerobics better?
Longer deals with endurance, and endurance is merely an aspect of fitness. Additionally, since there is no metric, it is impossible to determine the quality of the longer session. If you run 1 mile longer than you normally do but you have to slow down to a crawl to do it, does that mean you are really getting fitter because you can run more? In running there is the metric of minutes per mile. That way you can gauge whether or not you are really getting fitter by going longer.

CF's metrics are measurable and specific. If you deadlift more weight than another guy, you are stronger at deadlifts, period. There is no way to dispute that. It is easy to make generalizations with regard to metrics in water aerobics, like Person A is ready to puke whereas Person B feels fine, therefore Person B is fitter. But when Person B and Person C appear the same, what is the metric to differentiate them?

Last edited by Shane Skowron : 11-29-2008 at 03:21 PM.
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