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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 06-10-2007, 09:26 PM   #1
Peter Dell'Orto
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Hi folks.

I'm thinking about adding crossfit-style exercises to my exercise routine. One problem is running. I have severe exercise-induced asthma, and running beyond a very slow-paced jog triggers an attack. So running and similar exercises like stair-climbing or box jumping, are right out. I can cycle but I don't have a stationary bike at my gym, and getting outside and biking during a round isn't very practical.

I decided that bag work might be a good substitute for running and the FAQ agrees here:http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/faq.html#Substitutions1. So far so good. But the FAQ suggests that you substitute by taking your time for a given run - 400m or 5k, to take recent WOD examples - and just cycle, row, whatever for that length of time.

Now, given my abyssmal safe running pace, this is going to be one long bag routine. Checking these forums, the common suggestion seems to be that for distance, cycling:running is 2.5:1. Is it reasonable to cycle 2.5x the WOD distance, take that time, and then use that to determine how much time I should spend doing bag work? A double derivation like this seems kind of suspect.

If I do sub in bag work, is it reasonable to break it up into 3 minute rounds with 1 minute rest? I fight amateur MMA, so this is how I normally train - 3 minutes hard bag work, 1 minute off (same timing as a fight). I'm concerned if a 5k run equals 12.5km biking, and my 12.5km bike ride is around 30 minutes, I'm going to have a hard time doing a 30-minute bag round with anything beyond minimum intensity. At the same time, 10 x 3 min rounds with a 1 minute rest between is hard but I do that regularly. 400m = 1 km = about 2 minute 15 seconds or so seems way too short, even at a full-intensity attack on the bag.

Subbing for time also seems to undermine the goal of doing the routine faster as you improve.

Can anyone suggest a better way to derive the amount of bag work I should do? Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-10-2007, 10:44 PM   #2
Andy Rogers
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Hmm... it really doesn't seem like 'substitution' to swap out the run for bag work. It smacks more of replacing. Which I would imagine is totally fine. It's your health at risk and I seriously doubt that elite fitness is waiting for you at the end of an asthmatic episode!

I don't know your age/weight/fitness-level/etc, but a respectable 5k time is in the 20 to 30 minute range you mentioned. So yah, your math is probably correct there. If 10 three minute rounds is how you normally train, great! Have at it! =)

However, it seems that the tennants of CrossFit (and you more experienced folks please jump in here) are such that the WODs grant you general physical preparedness to increase your performance in your sport/activity of choice. Replacing a cardio WOD with bag drills doesn't seem like a substituion, but I don't think you're doing yourself any diservice by exercising while avoiding running if it's hazardous.

All that being said. If you want to sub in for the run and rowing is also not an option for you, I'd try and figure out a way to get the biking in. If not... just get some exercise! Enjoy it. =)
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Old 06-12-2007, 05:58 AM   #3
Peter Dell'Orto
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Well, my dictionary uses "replace" to define "substitution" and "substtution" to define "replace" so I figure I'm on safe ground. Plus the FAQ listed it as a good substitute.

As for my age/fitness/etc. I'm 35, 193cm, 82kg. I think I'm fairly fit. I'm just asthmatic, which ironically makes running more dangerous and strenuous for me than actual MMA competition does.

I'm still concerned about the method of determining the time - double converting like I did. Maybe it's better just to find some benchmarks for runs - is there a place people can recommend to see a range of times for various runs normally included in crossfit workouts?
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:52 AM   #4
Connie Morreale
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how about going with heart rate? most people run easy at 70-75% theoretical max heart rate. they sprint around 95% or more. if you need a heart rate formula that calculates personally for you utilizing your resting heart rate, let me know.
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Old 06-12-2007, 10:46 AM   #5
Andy Rogers
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Good suggestion from Connie there.

Tons of times(many with sex/age/weight/etc) can be found in the comments section on run days. The most recent 5k comments can be found here:

(w/f safe)
http://www.crossfit.com/cgi-bin/move...?entry_id=2771

Touche on the semantics. =P My points really were not to meant to debate the language but instead to:

1) Note that you're not really subbing in something similar to a run. You're subbing in something different.
2) Recommend that you don't let it bother you too much. If running is dangerous... avoid it.

Sorry if I offended.
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:31 PM   #6
Peter Dell'Orto
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Andy - don't worry, I'm not offended at all. I was just puzzled at first, thinking I'd missed something subtle. Yeah, I recognize that I'm not getting the same benefits as running. On the other hand, presumably I'll punch and kick better than the runners if I spend that time working my technique and power on the bag.
Thanks for the page reference. I was hoping for something more systematic rather than raw data but that's still very useful.

Connie, presumably I'd check my heart rate after each round, see where it is and compare it to my goal rate, is that correct? I know the basic MHR calculation of 220-Age, and I've seen 217-(0.85 x Age) as well. Is that good enough to use? That would give me 185 and 187.25 respectively.

My resting heart rate is usually around 60 bpm, which is exactly what it comes out to right now (10 seconds, 10 beats, checked 3 times). Blood pressure is a little high (130/85), but it always has been and my family generally runs a little high.
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:43 PM   #7
Brandon Oto
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Measure your pulse for a full minute. Take it at the opposite wrist with the tips of two or three fingers on your other hand.
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:57 PM   #8
Peter Dell'Orto
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Okay, done. 2 one-minute BPM tests, done as described. First was 61 bpm. Next check 2 minutes later was 60 bpm.
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Old 06-13-2007, 01:54 AM   #9
Brandon Oto
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Cool. You may want to check at different points throughout the day, but for your purposes I think that's just fine.
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Old 06-13-2007, 11:59 AM   #10
Connie Morreale
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for the purpose of the karoven formula (to follow) you should take your rhr for 1 full minute before getting out of bed IN THE MORNING. if an alarm wakes you, stay put a minute before taking your hr.

220-age (women use 217)

this is your (theoretical) max hr

mhr-rhr = heart rate reserve(hrr)

hrr x work % (75-95%) i calculate for the low end and the high end and know where in that window i want to be for a given workout.

add your rhr to your % number and that is you target heart rate.

so for you, peter:

220-35=185 (mhr)
185-60(rhr)= 125 (hrr)
125x .75 (low end)= 93
93 + 60 (rhr)= 153 beats per minute

your high end number:

125 x .95 = 119 (rounded up)
119 + 60 = 179 beats per minute

i have done this formula for myself and when i feel like i'm working at 97 - 99% i hit my theoretical maximum. that means this formula does have a plus/minus fudge factor. the more athletic/fit you are, the more likely the formula will err on the low side.

studies have found that when people say they feel like they are working at a 7 on a scale of 1 - 10 it correlates closely to 70% of thier mhr. or, if they say they feel they are at a 9 they are pushing that 90% zone. you get the idea.

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