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

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Old 03-18-2007, 01:16 AM   #1
Mike Gray
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Hi guys -

Here's your friendly neighborhood newbie (now in my second week of rx'd WODs, mangled calluses and all), back with more questions!

First, I'm 34 and I've just joined a flag football team, where I play cornerback and wide receiver. One thing I really, really want to do is to improve my speed, quickness and agility. I'm quite light (170# at 6ft, tiny bones and no paunch) and not all that awful right now, but my goal is to be able to head out to our third tournament game of the day and outrun, outjump and outjuke every 23-year-old on the field. (Hey, you gotta have goals, right?!)

Hence, the question: CF is clearly an amazing tool to help me get there. But are there some slight modifications I can make to put an even greater accent on speed and agility?

One little thing I'm have done is to replace the squats in the CFWU with 27" depth jumps (first 10, then 12, then 15). Is this a good idea? Or should I just trust the program? Any other tips?

Second: As I get to know CF (and compare my scores on the comments page with other folks) I'm also starting to get a much clearer idea about my weaknesses than I had before. For example, yesterday I was able to squat and dl 275#. Nothing impressive for you guys, but I don't feel like I should hang my head in shame. However, the best shoulder press I could manage - unless I cheated with my legs - was a miserable, whimpering 90#.

The same thing showed up this morning on my first-ever Cindy: I managed only 12 rounds - becuase of my pushups! The squats felt like a breather and I think I could have survived 18 rounds of good form, kipping pullups (bleeding callus and all!) - but the last six or so rounds of pushups had me groveling, dribbling, moaning and collapsing on the ground under the swingset.

Hence, Watson, thanks to my brilliant analytical skills, I deduce that my pecs and triceps are miserable!

So ... should I be doing a bit of remedial pec work or should I just trust the system?

Peace!

Mike
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Old 03-18-2007, 07:39 AM   #2
Craig Van De Walker
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Do your sport!

Read the website, FAQs, start here, message board, tons of great free info.

Subscribe to the journal, buy back issues of interest.

Do crossfit

Use your warm up to work on weak points. Are you doing the crossfit warmup or something close. IE. Sampson stretch, 15 overhead squats, 15 ring dips, 15 pullups for three rounds (or something similar)?

Are you on the zone diet?

Probably would not hurt to start each day with a total of about 50-100 pushups however many sets it takes until pushup strength is better.

It sounds like you are trying to properly evaluate your weak points, good job. I would say work on pushups, OHS, Pullups, L-sits
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Old 03-18-2007, 09:07 AM   #3
Mike Gray
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Heya!

Thanks for the pushup tip. Right now I'm using the Crossfit warmup exactly as rx'd - with the exception that I've replaced the squats with 27 inch depth jumps. (I'd like to improve my vertical leap. Good idea?)

Adding some pushups to the warmup sounds like reasonable idea. I suppose that would be *besides* the dips? (BTW, I'm doing my dips from a low pullup bar. I'll have a set of rings up in the tree by next week, though.)

I've started the zone diet, too.
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Old 03-18-2007, 09:47 AM   #4
Leonid Soubbotine
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Being stronger will make you faster.
Olympic lifts will improve your speed like nothing else.

On jumps vs. squats:

Depth jump is a staple of "shock" training excercises. Depth drop is the second one. (Most people call it plyometrics not "shock" training).

Here's a quote:
"In 1967 Verkhoshanski wrote an article detailing how depth jumps should be employed in a training program. He stressed that their use should be in developing the reactive ability and dynamic strength in athletes. He suggested that depth jumps should be performed from a height of .75 to 1.15 metres. Depth jumps from .75 metres height allows the athlete to develop his maximal reactive ability, whereas jumping from 1.15 metres develops more dynamic strength in the athlete. He stressed that using a height greater than 1.15 makes depth jumping ineffective. The increased height changes the landing mechanism so neither dynamic strength nor reactive ability is gained. The number of repetitions of depth jump to be performed depends on the preparation and strength of the athlete. He recommends for the prepared athlete, two depth jumping sessions a week, with a maximum of 40 repetitions per session(Verhoshanski 1967). Poole and Maneval (1987) also found that two sessions per week were more effective than three sessions. Depth jumps should be discontinued ten to fourteen days prior to competition. This is because the after- effects of depth jumping last significantly longer than any other type of strength exercises. Verkhoshanski recommended that the use of depth jumping should be at the end of the strength development period or at the end of the preparatory period of training (Verhoshanski 1967)."

Do your research.
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Old 03-18-2007, 09:57 AM   #5
Jim Glover
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Lots of good advice on this thread so far.

All I have to offer is Crossfit is not the WOD.

The WOD is part of Crossfit but alot of Crossfitters don't do the WOD as prescribed on the main page they tailor their training around their own needs and weaknesses.

Good luck.
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Old 03-19-2007, 04:07 AM   #6
Mike Gray
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Thanks Leonid and Jim!

That's some helpful new stuff. After doing so more reading of my own, it sounds like I shouldn't overdo it with the depth jumps (twice a week should be good) - but that I might also do them a little higher than the 67cm I have now.

Reading that Crossfit isn't the same as the WOD was kind of a "doh!" moment. Working in excercises that address my weakpoints and/or sport-specific goals is obviously part of the concept!

However, I'd like to stick to the WOD. It's fun to get up in the morning, dial up a whole new challenge for the day and post back my numbers. Since I work out alone and only have training once a week it gives me nice sense of belonging to something!

Mike

P.S. I knocked off six sets of ten pushups in my warmup this morning. I *am* taking these pointer seriously!
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:46 PM   #7
Jordan Dotson
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2-3 times a week, maximum, for depth jumps...they work like a charm for increasing your vert, & you'll feel like you didn't workout at all, but dangit if they don't put a hurtin' on your knees...

& remember that it's not the height of the box that correlates into a higher vertical, it's the speed of your transition from landing to jumping...
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Old 03-20-2007, 10:17 AM   #8
Mike Gray
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& remember that it's not the height of the box that correlates into a higher vertical, it's the speed of your transition from landing to jumping...


Gee. I seem to recall hearing a similar statement about the size of something or other not correlating with something else. ;-)

But I hear you.

BTW, have any of you CF guys ever added jumpsoles to your workouts? I have a pair lying around and might add them in.

Peace,

Mike
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Old 03-20-2007, 02:44 PM   #9
John Seiler
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Hi Mike,

Welcome. Regarding your depth jump ideas:
1. depth jumps/true plyometrics are NOT suitable for warm-up. You should be completely warmed up BEFORE you begin shock training.
2. I'd do some serious research on long-term injury rates or chronic problems associated with them. I really don't know what you'll find. But for a 34 year old recreational athlete to consider implementing a potentially hazardous modality without doing his homework seems a little risky. Unless someone's paying you a lot of money, measure risk strongly against reward.

Best.
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Old 03-21-2007, 05:55 AM   #10
Mike Gray
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Hmm.

I hear you, John - and that's why I'm asking questions - I want to do my planning right so as to have fun and improve as an athlete, rather than ruin my body!

What I do want to find out is what I need to do - if anything - apart from the rx'd warmups and WODs to further develop my sport-related strengths (speed and agility) and improve on my weaknesses (upper body in particular).

What I'm hearing for the former is to make good friends with the olympics lifts - and the WODs are definitely doing that for me! - and *carefully* try out some plyometrics. I'd also like to add in a little extracurricular sprinting - though it seems a bit tough just now with the WODs leaving me feeling like roadkill!

What I hear on the latter is to get those pushups and dips going - and I've been doing that, though it makes for one tough warmup!
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