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

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Old 12-06-2005, 10:43 AM   #11
Ian Holmes
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I was confused as well but I thought I would leave it be.

I am unsure of whether spot reduction is actually possible. Body fat is lost evenly over the entire body, with the deep intra abdominal fat usually lost last (and usually due to intense actvity).

I would say you might be tightening up your core a little, either way I think adding some extra abb work is always good...
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:56 AM   #12
Brian Hand
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Eyeballing is not a good indicator of whether you're spot reducing. Using a skin fold caliper is a better way to go. Pure subjectivity is part of the problem. Also the appearance may change due to changes in the underlying muscle, with no effect on the fat.

I know no study has ever been able to produce spot reduction, but I wouldn't say it's impossible. Blood flow has to have something to do with where fat is most likely to be drained from fat cells and burned for fuel. Temperature and viscosity could have some effect, although it may not be a measurable effect.

It may be that wearing a heating pad on your love handles and taking a brisk walk does more for spot reducing than an hour of broomstick twists, who knows.

Hormones have an awful lot to do with what gets stored where, I wouldn't be surprised if mucking with your hormones (always dangerous) is the only reliable way to see any results.

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Old 12-06-2005, 11:20 AM   #13
Alexander Karatis
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It means that doing preacher curls all the time, will result to your biceps getting bigger. It seems that your arm is getting leaner when in fact, your bicep muscles have increased from 2 pounds to 4 pounds, while the fat around that area has remained at 2 pounds. (Yes you may lose fat from any kind of exercise, but in this scenario we are assuming that you don't. When you do, your genes will dictate where you lose that fat first, in what order and to what degree).

So back to our scenario...
Did you lose actual fat? NO.
Does your arm seam leaner? YES.

The reason is a lower percentage of fat in that area (33% instead of 50%) due to muscle hypertrophy. The fat has a larger muscle area to cover and hence is stretched thin.
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Old 12-06-2005, 12:15 PM   #14
Bert Brams
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Actually, Crossfit works your obliques more than any typical bodybuilding program or "twisting" will ever do ... all the overhead movement, running and gymnastics are better than all the twists and crunches in the world.

Also, and this is why bodybuilders often "look" leaner, is the difference in muscle hypertrophy.

Heavy, low-rep training or training for power(such as sprinting), causes mostly myofibrillar muscle growth(=thickening of the muscle cell walls), while typical bodybuilding training(8-15 reps), causes mostly sarcoplastic muscle growth(=increase of the fluid inside the muscle).

If a muscle cell is a ball with water in, you can either make the ball bigger by increasing it's rubber wall, or increasing the amount of water inside.

Here's the kicker though : growth by more fluid in a muscle cell(=glycogen)isn't nearly as high-quality, functional or durable as growth by thickening the walls.

The more of the latter growth you have, the more of the former(lower quality growth)you can produce.

That's why Powerlifters turned Bodybuilders can blow up(even more). Same thing with Crossfitters.

So the point of my terrible tale is ... if you as a Crossfitter started doing bodybuilding training, you'd make far faster progress than any other trainee. So don't worry about it, you got the goods already.
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Old 12-06-2005, 03:16 PM   #15
Sean Pizel
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I read somewhere about Omega 3s having some effect on releasing fat from our more subborn fat stores. I obviously don't remember the article well, and have no reason to believe it was accurate, but its a nice thought.

Anyone heard anything about this?
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Old 12-06-2005, 03:43 PM   #16
Ben Kaminski
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I disagree that Crossfit works the obliques. Sure they are used in full body exercises, but they are by no means "worked" in any of the exercises we do. Try using the back extension thing for side bends while holding a 25# weight, do enough reps until you feel it and call me in the morning.
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Old 12-06-2005, 04:27 PM   #17
Josh Brehm
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I have to agree that the WODs don't really work your obliques much. Also, it seems that when I build my obliques up using high rep movements such as side extensions or a movement I learned in martial arts my love handles tend to look smaller, or possibly be smaller and, hate to use this term, toner. Though that's probably due to the same reason someone gave previously.

That being said, what do you all think would be a few of the best oblique exercises? I think windmills, side bridges (or what ben said), and one handed side front levers work the obliques the most. O, and windshield wipers, god I hate those...
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Old 12-06-2005, 07:57 PM   #18
Ian Holmes
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I find that circle, windshield wipers, side bridges (except you move up and down... I call them side bends..), one handed dead lifts (put the bar on one side, squat down, keep your body tight, stand up), all work pretty well. Though woodchoppers, and heavy object swinging are always fun.
I find that I do a lot of extra abb work though.
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Old 12-07-2005, 07:17 AM   #19
Steve Shafley
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Apparently at the last SWIS gig, in Toronto, Charles Poliquin revealed a system that allows him to diagnose the hormonal state of a trainee with skinfold caliper readings only. What little details there are can be found over on T-mag.

Whether or not this is applicable remains to be seen.
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Old 12-07-2005, 08:39 AM   #20
John Walsh
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Now I see what you are getting at. Makes sense. I have not used calipers only eye balling it. Still I'm pleased with the effect this has had on the stubborn love handles. It sure seems like I have lost some fat. I'll keep it up to see if things progress.
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