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

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Old 12-22-2006, 03:13 PM   #1
Josh Brehm
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I've been doing crossfit seriously for a few months now. I'm at the point where I can do maybe 75% of the WOD's (maybe more) as Rx'ed with relatively respectable time. But, for some reason, it hasn't transfered much to other aspects. I tried to learn proper swimming technique a week or two ago and try out a 500 yrd swim to see if I could make it through a lifeguard course. I was tired and going limp after a measly 25 or 50yrds! Also, I wanted to warm up today before my workout by using a stationary bike, I did it for about 5 minutes and it took a lot more out of me than I thought. Why am I not able to better in these areas considering the CF workouts I'm doing? Is it just that these are specific movements that need to be developed on their own?
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Old 12-22-2006, 05:54 PM   #2
Neal Winkler
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Are the WOD's the only exercising you do? Have you been sleeping well, and for about 8-9.5 hours per night? Has you diet been clean?
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Old 12-22-2006, 06:00 PM   #3
Josh Brehm
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No, the WOD is not the only thing I do. I'm also working on my press to handstand, L-sit, front lever, and planche. And I'm also doing 5x5 workouts 3x a week (CF is 3-5 times a week); and occassionally after a not-too-taxing of a workout I'll do 4 or so rounds of tabata sprints. I generally never sleep less than 8 hours per night, maybe once a week i'll sleep 6 or 7 hours, but i'll also often take naps when i can. I have to be honest, my diet is pretty much crap, but I can't see how if my WOD performance is going up, along with everything else I do regularly, how it's possible for me to have such poor performance on cardio type exercises (except for running, I seem to be pretty good at running).
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Old 12-22-2006, 10:50 PM   #4
Rob McBee
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Josh,

I don't think your fitness level or 'cardio' is lacking. Swimming is very skill specific. With practice your stroke will get more and more efficient meaning you'll go farther, faster, but with less exertion. I'm in the last two weeks of a 4 month Total Immersion swim program and the difference technique makes is dramatic. Using the freestyle stroke I can hit consecutive 50m on the minute for 5 straight minutes without using my legs, all arm pull/body rotation/no kicking. I had the same experience you had initially with gassing out in just one 50m set. The dive coach told me: "You're not swimming, you're just avoiding drowning". I'm 39 and had been following the WOD for over a year at that time btw.

Keep practicing technique for a few more weeks and as that improves I bet you'll be happy with how that general WOD-built fitness begins to express itself also.

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Old 12-23-2006, 02:20 AM   #5
Jason Lopez-Ota
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So are you saying that if you didn't work out as all, swimming would be cake?
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Old 12-23-2006, 05:06 AM   #6
Joe Luckett
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Josh,

The problem is that, despite all the wishful thinking here, crossfit really isn't all that transferable.

If you want to be good at something, do that. Train that. Don't expect crossfit to make you good at anything except crossfit.

(Message edited by jwl on December 23, 2006)

(Message edited by jwl on December 23, 2006)
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Old 12-23-2006, 05:39 AM   #7
Sean Harrison
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^^ I agree. Because CrossFit is general fitness, it helps develop...general fitness.
It's not entirely fair to expect it to help swimming without you doing some specific swimming a couple of days a week.
I do find it odd that 5 minutes of stationary cycling tired you though.
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Old 12-23-2006, 05:56 AM   #8
Larry Lindenman
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Crossfit prepares you to train, at a much higher intensity, in your sport of choice. You still have to work at your specific sport skills, to make you more efficient in your sport. Josh, respectfully, doing Crossfit 3 to 5 times a week at 75% will not give you the same impact as doing CF 3/1 at 100%. Joe, your wrong. Conditioning allows you to function at a higher level for longer, with fewer mistakes. Just look at the 5k times of people who only train CF to see a crossover. I have also found that CF has reduced adrenal dump during extremely high stress incidents. I think it is due to constant exposure to high intensity work.
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Old 12-23-2006, 06:24 AM   #9
Joe Luckett
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Larry, your logic needs some help. I'm not going to waste my time on it, but basically you're not supposed to use words interchangeably unless they really mean the same thing.
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Old 12-23-2006, 07:50 AM   #10
Elliot Royce
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I agree completely that swimming is a new skill that you just have to learn. Your YMCA pool is probably filled, like mine, with dozens of older, fat women who can outswim you for hours and probably even outsprint you in the crawl right now. Probably not one would have the stamina to make it through a WOD even at half speed. If your technique is sufficiently poor, even the best trained athlete cannot compensate through superior fitness.

As for a stationary bike, I would agree that it's odd but perhaps your expectations are too high. Did you measure your heartrate? Maybe it was just hard to pedal because a stationary bike is boring and was giving you resistance in a way that CF normally does not (there are not many resisted stepping motions in CF). However, your heartrate should not have moved up that much if you are doing the WODs at the appropriate level of intensity.

(Message edited by eroyce on December 23, 2006)
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