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

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Old 10-05-2008, 10:26 PM   #31
Alex Europa
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Re: "The Pump"

My point is that if you look at CrossFitters that are able to pull 2.5x or 3x bodyweight and still kick *** on WODs like Filthy Fifties it makes it clear that increased bodyweight isn't absolutely necessary to increase strength. If I can train harder for a longer period of time and be able to lift as much as if I gained some weight and increased strength faster, I would personally choose the slower route.

One exception to this is someone that is clearly underweight for their size, but I'm referencing the typical CrossFitter, not the person that should be on SS and milk.

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Old 10-06-2008, 01:17 PM   #32
Ian McArdle
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Re: "The Pump"

Well that's fine for your individual aims, though deadlift is a poor example as it is the lift least affected by BW. But the debate was if training with high reps for muscle growth is useful for increasing strength, which I believe it is.
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Old 10-06-2008, 01:33 PM   #33
Greg Privitera
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Re: "The Pump"

Alex, I think you may be missing another point.

Some people are naturally going to be stronger for their weight due to factors like height, insertion points, muscle fiber distribution, body composition, etc.

What I'm personally doing is a 4 month program focusing on maximal strength.

I started at 184lbs at 5'10, went up to 202lbs at my peak, and am slowly cutting back in the final phase. Currently 194lbs at around the same bf as at 184lbs. Should have no problem cutting another 10lbs after it ends while maintaining my strength. Body composition will be much different, but I'm glad I did it this way rather than eating at maintenance and keeping the reps totally low.
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Old 10-12-2008, 06:38 AM   #34
Alex Europa
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Re: "The Pump"

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Originally Posted by Greg Privitera View Post
Alex, I think you may be missing another point.

Some people are naturally going to be stronger for their weight due to factors like height, insertion points, muscle fiber distribution, body composition, etc.

What I'm personally doing is a 4 month program focusing on maximal strength.

I started at 184lbs at 5'10, went up to 202lbs at my peak, and am slowly cutting back in the final phase. Currently 194lbs at around the same bf as at 184lbs. Should have no problem cutting another 10lbs after it ends while maintaining my strength. Body composition will be much different, but I'm glad I did it this way rather than eating at maintenance and keeping the reps totally low.
Greg, I'm not missing anything. I'm aware that there are numerous aspects other than weight that determine how strong someone can be. My point is that a "pure" CrossFitter shouldn't accept a change in one thing for a loss in another. If you gain weight to become stronger (again, I'm not talking about someone that NEEDS to gain 20-30 lbs), what does it do to your running, swimming, or bodyweight stuff? For some it might not make a difference, but for most it will. In your example, you are increasing your weight to lift more weight (therefore increase your overall strength) and then cutting back down and hoping that your strength gains remain (to be clear, I'm not saying that they won't). Not many people on these boards go this route, and this isn't what Ian is suggesting. He is advocating putting on more size (and keeping it) for the sake of more strength. I say that this isn't always necessary.

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Originally Posted by Ian McArdle View Post
Well that's fine for your individual aims, though deadlift is a poor example as it is the lift least affected by BW. But the debate was if training with high reps for muscle growth is useful for increasing strength, which I believe it is.
Ian, actually the original discussion was your statement that the CNS can only become so efficient. And I pointed out that very few people here have gotten to that point.

I then said that the gains from a typical BB program (sets of 8s and 12s and rarely-if ever-anything lower) were mostly sarcoplasmic. And sarcoplasmic gains do not contribute significantly to increased muscle strength - this has been proven, there is no argument here. Obviously, you'll get stronger if you lift more weight, but those strength increases come from the myofibrillar gains. You said that your best strength gains came in the 5-8 range, I would say that this isn't very surprising, considering that many programs recommend 5's for maximum gains across the board.

What do you consider "high reps?" I wouldn't consider 8's high reps at all. Like you aptly said, 8's are in the mid-range. So I'm really not sure what you were arguing about in the first place.

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Old 10-13-2008, 04:37 AM   #35
Ian McArdle
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Re: "The Pump"

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Originally Posted by Alex Europa View Post
Ian, actually the original discussion was your statement that the CNS can only become so efficient. And I pointed out that very few people here have gotten to that point.
Well the thread is called the pump and the original post was asking if training with high-reps is useful for crossfit / strength training, which is what I was responding to when I brought up training the CNS. I agree with this statement, I was then suggesting that this is not the most effective strategy if your main focus is pure strength gains.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Europa View Post
I then said that the gains from a typical BB program (sets of 8s and 12s and rarely-if ever-anything lower) were mostly sarcoplasmic. And sarcoplasmic gains do not contribute significantly to increased muscle strength - this has been proven, there is no argument here. Obviously, you'll get stronger if you lift more weight, but those strength increases come from the myofibrillar gains. You said that your best strength gains came in the 5-8 range, I would say that this isn't very surprising, considering that many programs recommend 5's for maximum gains across the board.
Who gives a monkeys if you're getting stronger through myofibrillar or sarcoplasmic gains? If you're getting stronger it's working so stick with it (provided you don't mind gaining muscle - and let's be honest, who really wakes up one morning and thinks "Oh crap, I'm far too muscular!") Yes, bodybuilders are often weak in comparison to other people their sort of size, i.e. strongmen and powerlifters, but they sure aren't weak. It's a way of getting stronger, just not the most effective. You can't just always lift in the 1-3 rep range for strength, that's asking for injury, CNS fatigue and overtraining.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Europa View Post
What do you consider "high reps?" I wouldn't consider 8's high reps at all. Like you aptly said, 8's are in the mid-range. So I'm really not sure what you were arguing about in the first place.
8-20, that sort of range. And I wasn't arguing, I was answering the original question of if higher reps are useful for strength gains (with a yes, if used properly).
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