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

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Old 08-14-2006, 06:20 AM   #1
Dorie Ann Geissler
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I know this depends on alot of factors - diet, training, rest, hormones, etc. -- but somewhere on the web I saw a number posted indicating the maximum amount of muscle mass a woman could expect to gain in week or month. Has anyone seen this kind of estimate? Is there scientific data to support some kind of approximation like this?
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Old 08-14-2006, 10:13 AM   #2
Robert Wolf
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There are so many variables there...not sure it would have any meaning. We had a girl who was a chronic meal skipper and seriusly under-weight. She finally got on the Zone and increased BW I think 8lbs in a month (she was ~105). Her performance improved significantly as did her apearance and mental health. I guess just be careful for what you use as "normal".

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Old 08-14-2006, 03:17 PM   #3
Lynne Pitts
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Moving to Fitness.
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Old 08-15-2006, 12:50 AM   #4
paul arestan
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Putting on muscle is hard for a lot of males, and it is even harder for females.
I won't talk about life style, sleep, medical conditions, stress etc...
To keep things simple, let's say that the right training, the right diet and the right parents (we generally look like them) are the basic the key elements to any fitness achievements.
If a trainee has at least 2 of these elements under control (there's one we can't do much about, can we?), there will be some results.
However, it varies greatly from one individual to an other, and 2 people on the same training program may have different results.
I trained a few girls who had an amazing ability to gain muscle quickly, without even trying hard; they all were from South Pacific Islands (Fidji, Samoa and New-Zeland), which makes me wonder if there could also be a racial element.
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Old 08-16-2006, 04:11 PM   #5
Charlie Reid
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most women also shouldn't use a set-rep protocol like that of a man to elicit size gains. 10sets of 3reps is great for males because it helps release testosterone, however women have something like 20 times less testosterone than males so this protocol would be wasting time (unless they wanted to use it to get stronger). A better approach would be doing higher rep training, say 3 sets of 10 to get a more potent growth hormone release (which women have more of at rest than males). The benefit of GH is that it's also lypolytic, meaning it triggers fat-burning. Again, this is if one's interest is purely just to add muscle, not to be more fit or conditioned (Crossfit does a better job at that).
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Old 08-17-2006, 05:53 AM   #6
Dorie Ann Geissler
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Thanks for the input. I was wondering about the muscle mass gain in regards to some other things I have read, heard about dieting/the Zone. Some people claim that after less than a month on the Zone they have experienced noticible muscle gain. Similarly, in response to training combined with dieting, and slow weight reduction (as measurable on a scale) people usually reply with -- "well you must be gaining muscle". I just don't think you can put muscle on that fast. Certianly not at the rate of lbs/month for women (or men for that matter).
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Old 08-17-2006, 08:34 AM   #7
Steven Low
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Charlie... 10 sets of 3 reps for hypertrophy? That might be great if you want to build strength... It isn't a great way to build muscle mass though. The rep ranges for men and women are pretty much the same:

~1-3 = strength
~4-6 = mixed strength hypertrophy
~6-12 = hypertrophy
12-15 = mixed hypertrophy endurance
15+ = endurance

The approximate rep ranges per set are general and mostly will depend on what your genetics responds to, but it is approximately in that order.

In regards to the question, if you want to put on muscle you will need to train in the hypertrophy ranges. Charlie is correct here that 3x8-10 would work well. Women will pretty much always put on muscle a bit more slowly than men just because they have less testosterone (unless they have godly genetics :P), but it also depends on diet, amount of sleep, level of training/conditioning, and other factors as well. Honestly, it is nothing to worry about really, and if you do CrossFit with a good diet you will put on some muscle mass. There's no really set number of weight you can put on as it depends on many factors as I stated before.
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Old 08-17-2006, 09:35 AM   #8
Aushion Chatman
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Caution with race differences as it relates to any manifestation other than physical appearance. Where it has yet to be proven or dis-proven in it's relation genetically to disease, medicine, physical abilities, dispositions towards some behavior, etc., it is known to spark some heated conversations. I'm sure you're well aware...

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Old 08-17-2006, 11:40 AM   #9
Lincoln Brigham
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It's a pretty big deal for a woman to gain 10-15 pounds of muscle. That takes some hard, hard work. Tara Nott only weighed 105 lbs. when she won Olympic gold with a 225 lb. clean and jerk. Much more common is for women to gain 40-50-60 pounds of bodyfat.

For a medium size woman, I would think a 30 lb. gain of muscle in an adult lifetime would be a stunning training achievement, especially without a caloric surplus diet. That's more than anyone I've ever met who didn't suddenly start singing baritone in the choir. I don't know of too many elite female weightlifters who have moved up more than 1 or 2 weight classes after puberty. But the upper limit for fat gain? 300-400-500 pounds? That I've seen.
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Old 08-17-2006, 03:08 PM   #10
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Muscle gain is dependent on so many genetic and external variables that any formula is bound to be inaccurate with nearly anyone.

In terms of scientific data, most of that stuff is based on a lot of speculation or at best anecdotal evidence, which isn't necessary unreliable, but again, the highly individual nature of the question comes into play here.

Are you wanting to put some lean weight on? Or are you just curious?
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