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

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Old 06-14-2006, 05:33 AM   #1
Jennifer Conlin
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Let me start by saying that I'm still pretty new to CF. With saying that I will also say that I have been very involved with fitness and exercise all my life. Not gyms, I've never been a gym person. I just started going to a gym 2 winters ago to deal with winter depression. Even then before knowing about CF what I did at the gym was very close to being CF.

I always try to involve others in my quest for fitness and being healthy.
So now I do CF. I just went on a family vacation and brought all my gear to workout with. Rings and KB's, jump rope so on.
My sister in-law really wanted to have me give her a workout. Cool! My desire is to train others so it's good hands on learning.
So, the workout that I do with her is mostly tabata. If I remember correctly it was 5 exercises 4 sets of 20 seconds on 10 off.
This is after a good amount of instruction. She has a personal trainer so she has some clue and works out 3 times a week.
We did dips, KB swings, knee to chin, push ups and air squats.
It was raining so we were not able to run. Our warm up was J-jacks and burpees. Before we even start she asked how many sets we will do. I said 4 for each exercise. "FOUR!! OMG your going to kill me!" I thought I was taking it easy on her.
We get done and she keeps saying "that was great I just need to get my 30 Min's of cardio in". Then she gets a DB and starts to do Biceps and triceps. She has this print out from her trainer and starts to do her reps asking me did we work this muscle and that muscle group. AAAH..yeah you worked them all I tell her. Also, I encourage her to just stop for now and see how you feel in the morning.
She responded with well I need to get make sure I cover this list that the trainer gave me.
She ran out of juice right after that.
Next morning I hear her ask her husband "can you give me a hand I can't tie my swim suite".
Then comes and says to me, "I'm so sore I can move my arms, if we do that again I'm going to have to cut back so I'm not sore like this".
She goes on to tell me that she has never been sore after working with her PT. I can tell she is confused like she's thinking it may be good to be a bit sore.
To get to my point.. It dawned on me how folks are so obsessed with the RX..the 2 sets of this...this muscle group and this amount of cardio.
I watch trainers at the gym working with folks and I can't imagine that they are making any gains. They are moving at a snail pace. It's no wonder people get bored and don't continue to go to the gym. Before I learned about CF I paid for the ACE personal trainer course. I will continue to follow through with that but I can't understand how trainers don't want to run out of the gym screaming!
I have gotten many of my friends to work out with me and most even my sister in-law ask to do it again!
I guess I just keep hearing the same thing over and over. "I need my cardio, did we work this or that. That's not what my trainer told me. I heard squats and lunges are bad for your knees"
AAAAHG!


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Old 06-14-2006, 07:02 AM   #2
Jamila Bey
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Americans are by and LARGE consumerist sheeple.

We need to watch television so we know what to think, what to eat and wear and how to make ourselves happy by buying stuff. And if nobody tells us, we're supposed to remain ignorant rather than seeking the answer ourselves.

The fitness industry is a multi-billion dollar one in this country and we're still killing ourselves with preventable illness.

At least she did the workout with you. That's more than most are willing to try!

Oh yeah- and that ACE crap (I wasted my money on it and NASM and ISSA) is part of the reason we're fat and sick as a country now.

(box jumping down off her soapbox)
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Old 06-14-2006, 07:39 AM   #3
Jeremy Froley
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Jennifer-

I'll second what Jamila said from high atop her perch!!

It's tough to watch (the stuff you see in the gym)!! I also did the ACE thing, along with my CSCS and others, and none of it offers anything close to what CF does. I work as a trainer and am definitely the outcast among the other trainers at my gym (for doing CF based workouts). But, i'm also the busiest. Just take what you've learned from CF and keep learning it and applying it with people, they will come around. I don't have one client who doesn't tell me they aren't having the most fun they've ever had working out...and the results don't hurt either. Soon other people will be asking you to help them with their program!!

I can't wait to get my CF cert in July to even better serve my clients!!
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Old 06-14-2006, 07:48 AM   #4
Matt Gagliardi
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I was a trainer for a long time Jennifer. Unfortunately for me, I was more of a CF-type trainer, stuck in a gym run and populated by more conventional-minded folks. My boss, who had been a competitive BB'er was always ticked at me because what I did with my clients didn't jibe with his teachings. His clients kept asking him why they weren't seeing the gains that mine were making, and why my clients always got to do the stuff that looked "fun". That was my last training gig...I couldn't deal with it anymore.

Basically, you have an industry that has for decades recommended a particular way of training...and there is both a tremendous amount of inertia and a tremendous self-interest (on the industry's part) keeping things that way. If you work with people that have been immersed in that culture at all, you are going to spend a lot of time answering questions about why you don't follow those methods.

It has been my experience that most big box gyms (and their personal trainers) are actually viewed as nothing more than giant ATM machines by their owners/operators.

And Jamilia is right...ACE is junk.
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Old 06-14-2006, 07:55 AM   #5
Keith Wittenstein
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Jennifer,

I'm sure everybody that has tried to turn their friends/relatives on to CrossFit has had a similar experience. I know I have.

Just keep working out and getting your results. Hopefully leading by example will be the best way to win over more people and get them to follow suit.

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Old 06-14-2006, 09:17 AM   #6
Jennifer Conlin
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Yes, leading by example is the way to go.
I realize the ACE thing is a waste but I can't get my money back and some of the basic stuff can't hurt.
All along my real goal has been to show people that you can have fun and get fit. Having fun keeps you young! It also keeps you wanting to be active.
Why would you want to run on a tread mill when you can pull a tire up and down a tennis court! Now that's fun!
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Old 06-14-2006, 11:27 AM   #7
Russ Greene
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People will come around. Let them watch you make exponential improvements while they keep pretending to work hard and getting nowhere. Last fall everyone in my dorm thought I was crazy for kettlebell lifting, yoga, one leg squats, handstand pushups, and doorframe pullups. Ten pounds of muscle later in the spring the whole floor was coming to me for workout advice, and I was training half a dozen people from my floor regularly.

I am now facing the problem of having to get one of those national certifications in order to become a trainer at the nearby Washington Sports Club. They recommended the ACE or NASM certifications. I really don't want to do either, but it seems to be necessary for the job.
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Old 06-14-2006, 12:20 PM   #8
Matt Gagliardi
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Depends Russ...do you really want to train in that environment? You will likely end up in a similar situation to what I faced...surrounded by BB-type folks. It can be a very frustrating experience.
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Old 06-14-2006, 02:25 PM   #9
Eugene R. Allen
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Thus the home gym. I am building up my equipment list so that I never have so say "I wish I had..." so and so and as Russ said,

"People will come around. Let them watch you make exponential improvements while they keep pretending to work hard and getting nowhere. Last fall everyone in my dorm thought I was crazy for kettlebell lifting, yoga, one leg squats, handstand pushups, and doorframe pullups. Ten pounds of muscle later in the spring the whole floor was coming to me for workout advice, and I was training half a dozen people from my floor regularly."

Perfect. Teach and lead by example. As people see results in themselves they preach the gospel as if born again and others say, "I want some of that." I have the good fortune of having a regular job and training people just because I love doing it so I don't have to make a living from it. My own gym gives me all the latitude in the world as to how things are done and there is nothing like that kind of freedom.

I wonder if I had a point here. Lemme go read the first post again. Oh yes, Jennifer - you are so right...obsessed with the prescription given by the trainer. This muscle group, that many reps and don't forget cardio. Work this part and then that part, isolate this and that. My God what folly. Our bodies are one piece and they want to exercise it in disjointed little pec deck, donkey kick back, tricep press down, leg extension, lateral raise pieces. Your observations are spot on Jennifer and the RX for the cure is exactly what you are doing...you must innoculate one at a time and send out typhoid Mary's into the world that will carry the salvation of our fat and lazy world.

You go girl. Have sister in law try on Latch's Jacket 'o' Pain. Scale it perhaps but that will make her a beliver. A sore one.
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Old 06-14-2006, 03:59 PM   #10
Roger Harrell
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I always like the response from folks that think they are in shape... "But I run x miles per day, why is this so hard?" Fortunately people that genuinely care about fitness tend to love this stuff and keep coming back.
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