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

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Old 03-02-2004, 05:57 PM   #191
Brian Mulvaney
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Lynne:

Your garage produces great results. Probably worth a drive!

Brian
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Old 03-02-2004, 08:58 PM   #192
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Ben or Kris,

I've read the thread and am curious to what alternative pull-up plan you guys are working with. Mind sharing, in the spirit of the open-source discussions here? I know Ben felt that some people have unfairly dismissed his posts just because he doesn't happen to agree with them. Personally, I haven't stuck to any one particular plan, so I have no stakes in defending any of the previously mentioned ones. I am interested in information pluralism--taking what I think makes sense from a variety of sources, and try to apply the info to myself.

Like Coach I don't believe there's any magical plan that will work for everyone everywhere anytime. Consistency and just doing it is probably the key thing. I'm usually wary of "secret" or "special" training methods--if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Otherwise, chances are that everyone would have adopted the "secret" method by now, if it's so universally effective and dominant over other training approaches.

What I'm particularly concerned about is how to defeat plateaus...sometimes it seems like I'm stuck at a particular number forever before I break onto new numbers. In the beginning progress is swift, but a friend who was doing around 30-40 single set pull-ups told me its when you start getting into intermediate level pull-up numbers that plateaus appear to be a problem. Anyone have ideas on how to avoid plateaus? or at least minimize them?
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Old 03-03-2004, 06:43 AM   #193
Ben Gimball
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Q,

"Sometimes it seems that I am stuck at a particular number forever before I break onto new numbers." There is a reason for that, just as there is a reason for everything! In your case, you are probably not training appropriately, FOR YOU!

"There's no magical plan that will work for everyone, everywhere, everytime." I agree, however there is an "optimum" plan that will work best FOR YOU, given your specific body type, strengths. weaknesses etc.

What most people fail to realize (including you!) is that there are a multitude of factors that weigh in the equation of a successful set of high rep dead hang Pull-ups, just as there is for every movement. For example, if you are 5' 6", have big hands, strong forearms and weigh 160lbs. you have different needs, relative to achieving one high rep set of dead hangs, than someone who is 240lbs with small hands and wide hips. As I have repeatedly stated: No two programs are alike! Just as your cloths would not fit me, and mine not fit you.

Have you ever seen a training program that works great for one person yet another it does nothing for? My programs take into account many factors such as, body type, body mechanics, body fat, years training, personal best, age, nutritional intake, emotional makeup, and much, much more!

My basic training philosophies will no doubt be posted (some already have), over and over again on this board. However, it is unwise to simply post a broad range, far reaching one size fits all, generic routine! I would be doing a disservice to fellow CrossFit memebers with this approach, and be receiving much negative feedback in the process, as a "one size fits all approach" would fit some and not others.

What you should be leery of at this point are the hucksters who go about aggressively promoting a "one size fits all" approach. I have not reviewed one Pull-up program (and I have looked at all of them), that addresses the issues of the individual trainee! Moreover, most of these methodologies are in some ways actually counter-productive! (Training Pull-ups three times per day? When you first heard about that it did not seem right to you, but you followed the herd). Furthermore, I have not met, spoken with, or seen any of the "gurus" who would be able to defeat me in a max dead hang Pull-up challenge, and I am at least 10 years older than most of them, in some cases 20 years older! And I have used only my methodologies. If one of these "gurus" is reading this, I challenge him to E-mail me and we will have a Pull-up showdown! (I am chuckling, but am also quite serious-).

If you are interested in defeating those "plateaus," as you have stated, you may E-mail me. I warn you ahead of time that there are over 40 trainees already ahead of you! However, while it may take some time to get to you, I will refuse no legitimate request for help! Best of all I will charge you nothing for my efforts! My reward is your success.

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Old 03-03-2004, 10:13 AM   #194
Paresh Amin
 
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just an update with the pullup numbers. I have 17 now.
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Old 03-03-2004, 02:42 PM   #195
Brad Wilson
 
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Greetings All -

Although I have been lurking on these boards for some months now, this is my first post. After seeing what Ben Gimball wrote, I just couldn't resist.

Ben, you assert that "you should be leery of at this point are the hucksters who go about aggressively promoting a "one size fits all" approach." However, I believe this goes against the very notions of CrossFit. The WOD is intended for use by everyone, no matter what fitness level. Coach even said in an earlier post in this same thread that "EVERY pull-up program works. All of them. None is any better than another. No magic, no science, just pull-ups." He also wrote, "There are an infinite number of programs that will get you to 30+ pull-ups." This would seem to contradict your assertions.

I am not trying to rekindle the flame war. I am curious, though, as to why you believe a workout needs to be so customized.

Regards,
Brad
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Old 03-03-2004, 03:27 PM   #196
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Brad you beat me to a point I was going to make.

Sure, customizability works wonders, and in the recent decade the personal training industry was all about "personalizing," "individualizing," and "customizing" services for the client. The question is, would we "customize" so much as to lose sight of the universals?

Crossfit is an example of a fitness protocol done right, only because it's aimed at meeting universal goals of fitness while being perfectly scalable and executeable to individual abilities/needs/body types...other variables ad infinitum.

Same concepts, different execution, that's what I say.

For Ben, my question/request is whether you can formulate your protocol in the same manner as the Crossfit protocol, as exemplified in the free introductory Crossfit issue--covering the universals while allowing for individual scalability/customization. Can you articulate this in a rigorous, scientific manner (as in the intro Crossfit issue). Not asking for a "routine that fits all"--I think we all understand that there's no such thing, as you have said. Not a routine, but a universal protocol/framework upon which individual variant plans can be extracted/derived.

I think if you can do that and post it (free) as Coach has, you're doing a great service to the open-source contributions here. I applaud you for taking Crossfitters under your wing for the contest (for free). You don't get to have lunch for free much these days, if you know what I mean.
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Old 03-03-2004, 04:40 PM   #197
Ben Gimball
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Brad,

Well that is interesting, you have used your very first post on CrossFit to post to me! I thank you.

As I look at your post I see two significant questions: First, "The workout of the day is intended for use by everyone, no matter what fitness level." The implication being that if one style workout fits all here then why can't my Pull-up program do the same? I have stated on many occasions that CrossFit works! Here is why I think it works: It encompasses a broad spectrum of ahtletic movements brought together in such a way as to benefit the whole. That is the pure genius of Coach Glassman!

However, If you were to suddenly embark on a quest to become a competitive Powerlifter you would need to then specialize your training to fit your specific goals. Furthermore, you would also have to review the specific movements and see how they relate to your own body type. For example, if you had long arms and a naturally strong lower lumbar region, (among other things), that may give you an advantage in the Deadlift. Hence, when training you would train a certain way so that perhaps more of your energy was put toward certain movements that would assist you in the Deadlift, (if you were playing to your strengths).

CrossFit will also help you improve your Deadlift, (among many other things). However, in order to accomplish your new goals it would be wiser to follow a routine more specifically suited to Powerlifting. That is pretty much the way it is with my program. I can write one program for everyone. However, looking at all of the different needs that are out there (see previous posts), I don't think that is the best way to go about it. I also think the failure rate would be higher, (more criticism for Ben-no thanks), as opposed to crafting the program to meet the trainee's specific needs, like the Powerlifting comparison above.

As to your second question: "Coach says, there are an infinite amount of programs that will get you to 30 Pull-ups." I see no contradiction here as you indicate. Coach also stated that his athletes use a kip and a bounce relative to their training in the Pull-up. I agree with Coach that doing them this way is a more "atheletic" movement. However, Coach also stated that doing them this way could add 30%, or so, to your total one set max!

30% is a significant difference. I submit to you that almost any program can get certain people to 20, or so, dead hang Pull-ups. (roughly equal to 30 the way Coach prefers the Pull-up). I have one trainee who did 15 perfect dead hang Pull-ups the first time that he tried them (in many years). He also works at a physically demanding job and has a body fat of 5.9%! Do you think that, that trainee needs me to get to 20? No way! I don't think that there is much of a disagreement here.

While, I pretty much agree with Coach on this topic, I don't want you or anyone else to get the idea that it is wrong to disagree with someone relative to the various training concepts that are abvailable. While I cannot speak for Coach Glassman, I would be surprised if he would want to be surrounded by robots who are not able to think for themselves, and occasionally disagree with him. Remember, good men (and women), can disagree without being disagreeable!

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Old 03-03-2004, 05:06 PM   #198
Kevin Roddy
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Ben -


Something I've noticed, however, is that often, even when training for a specific goal, the Crossfit methodology (in general, being random and constantly varying things up) works better than almost any other approach.

So wouldn't it be safe to say that, at least to our knowledge (as I have not yet seen your program, but hope to very soon :wink:), that doing pullups on a daily, or at least semi-daily basis, in a randomized fashion, be a good way to go? Or am I way off base with this?
:crazy:

-Kevin
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Old 03-04-2004, 09:29 AM   #199
Geoff Sample
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In the spirit of motivation, I thought some of you might enjoy a couple of items I noticed over at STREND. This link describes a world record pullup pursuit, and is quite inspiring.

This link requires you to be a member of Yahoo Groups, I believe, but is a WM file of a member of that group doing 50 dead hang pullups. He moves at a pretty good clip, but you can definately keep your own count. Good stuff!
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Old 03-04-2004, 09:34 AM   #200
Geoff Sample
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Ben,

The ironyy wasn't lost. One might reckon that most of the people who are absolutely dying to try your program are hoping for a magic bullet. Consider me a skeptic. It might be great or "optimum" as you state, or it might be nothing special. I'm doing fine, but was just trying to see if we could move past the hyperbole about how great something is, without ever hearing about what "it" entails. I'm really not too worried about it. Have fun - good luck in your training!
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