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

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Old 07-13-2003, 09:09 AM   #1
Geoff Sample
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While in a used book store yesterday I came across a US Navy textbook as titled in the Subject line. I purchased this book because a quick look showed that it contained all sorts of progressions, drills, and skills. The aim of the book, written for a pilot physical training program in the WWII era is listed in the introduction as follows:
1. To give training in the native sense of balance.
2. To equip the future pilot with strength and skill to extricate himself effectively from emergency situations requiring climbing, vaulting, tumbling and balance.
3. To develop daring and courage.
4. To accustom the cadet to being upside down for extended periods.
5. To teach falling and landing without injury.

Good aims, all. My exposure to CrossFit has really increased my desire to practice gymnastics movements, for just these reasons. Fitness you can use.

Anyway, there might be more comprehensive resources, but this book is a goldmine. Lots of photos, descriptions, and progressions to more difficult skills - tumbling, balancing, and apparatus including ropes, bars (parallel and high), vaults, trampoline, and (yes) rings.

I don't know if anyone else has seen this or has a copy, but I've already added a few new movements to my arsenal and a lot more goals to my list.
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Old 07-13-2003, 09:36 PM   #2
John McCracken
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You're right, it is a gem!

I think you might find this previous post of mine interesting and/or amusing: http://www.crossfit.com/cgi-bin/disc...=1876#POST1876

For some additional resources, you may find the ones mentioned here helpful: http://www.crossfit.com/cgi-bin/disc...=1609#POST1609

As a matter of fact, here is a list of some additional gymnastics articles I've been meaning to post:

USA Gymnastics Online: Men's Program: 1995 Workshop Notes
http://www.usa-gymnastics.org/men/wo.../strength.html

USA Gymnastics Online: Technique: Drills for Saltos
http://www.usa-gymnastics.org/public...ill-salto.html

USA Gymnastics Online: Technique: Handstand to Stutzkehre
http://www.usa-gymnastics.org/public...6/2/stutz.html

USA Gymnastics Online: Technique: The Stemme Forward
http://www.usa-gymnastics.org/public...m-forward.html

USA Gymnastics Online: Technique: A Typical Problem in a Giant Swing
http://www.usa-gymnastics.org/public...97/1/giant.htm

USA Gymnastics Online: Technique: Medicine Ball Drills for Gymnastics
http://www.usa-gymnastics.org/public...cine-ball.html

USA Gymnastics Online: Technique: Training Leg Swings: Incorporating Leg
http://www.usa-gymnastics.org/public...eg-swings.html

USA Gymnastics Online: Technique: Hop Pirouette-Parallel Bars
http://www.usa-gymnastics.org/public...998/4/hop.html

USA Gymnastics Online: Technique: Basic Swing: Technical Concept
http://www.usa-gymnastics.org/public...sic-swing.html

USA Gymnastics Online: Technique: Why Gymnastics?
http://www.usa-gymnastics.org/public.../why-gymn.html

USA Gymnastics Online: Technique: How We Must Develop the Sport of Gymnastics
http://www.usa-gymnastics.org/public...pthesport.html

USAGO: USA Gymnastics Magazine Online: Front Uprise on Parallel Bars
http://www.usa-gymnastics.org/publications/usa-gymnastics/1999/3/front-uprise.ht ml

The Front Lever: A Hard Core Exercise by Brad Johnson
http://www.powerathletesmag.com/pages/frontlever.htm
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Old 07-14-2003, 06:42 AM   #3
Geoff Sample
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Wow, John! You've put together an extensive list of resources that I'm sure can keep me on the right track - you even posted about the V-Five book before! I appreciate all you work putting this post and the others together.
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Old 07-15-2003, 07:47 AM   #4
Roger Harrell
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Caution on the V-Five book as an aid to gymnastics development. What is the copyright? If it is more than 4 years old then it is out of date for most efficient gymnastics techniques, though probably still valid for most points. If it is more than 15 years old then many techniques in the book would be considered poor, or at best "old school". As an aid to general fitness, bodyawareness and such it's probably quite valuable, just be aware that the "ideal" for gymnastics techniques change rapidly.
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Old 07-15-2003, 06:11 PM   #5
Geoff Sample
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Roger - I know there's very little substitute for skilled coaching, but if you were to recommend a reference, something for gymnastics that is along the lines of Dreschler's Weightlifting Encyclopedia for weightlifting - what would it be? In other words, what is the best reference book currently available (in your opinion) to provide a learning progression with good technique for someone exploring gymnastic movements?

And yes, the V-Five book is most likely very out of date, and without a doubt very old school.
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Old 07-16-2003, 07:35 AM   #6
Roger Harrell
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Unfortunately I have yet to see a really good book on gymnastics. To be honest almost all of the books I have looked into are laughable. There isn't enough of a market to get these things in mass publication quickly, so the books that do get out there are either out of date, or thrown together and sub-standard. The articles that are good are typically in the gymnastics periodicals such as Technique magazine, or information from USAG or other gymnastics federation mags and such.
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Old 07-16-2003, 07:46 PM   #7
Geoff Sample
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That's a real shame. I don't understand the phenomenon, but clearly see it. My Dad was telling me that his high school gymnasium had gymnastics equipment. Try to find a high school today that even has a rope to climb... Thanks for the reply - I might check out a subscription just for the technique pointers.
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Old 07-17-2003, 07:30 AM   #8
Roger Harrell
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The lack of high school gymnastics is the result of a suit happy society and severely undertrained staff. High schools had PE teachers that got minimal education on teaching gymnastics in the 50s, had no concept of proper technique or safety, kids get hurt, parents sue schools, gymnastics goes away. Thus the only place where gymnastics is taught is private clubs, which is too expensive and not available for many folks. It's a sad thing.
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