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

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Old 03-31-2010, 07:23 PM   #1
Peter Evans
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CrossFit Athlete: Build a strength base or an Endurance base?

CrossFit Athlete: Build a strength base or an Endurance base?

In relation to training the CrossFit athlete for the Crossfit games in a periodizied fashion, would you build strength or Endurance as the 'Base' for their development?

I know this question entails many variables, but as a general rule I 'd love to hear feedback and intelligent thoughts.

Many thanks
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:39 PM   #2
Shane Skowron
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Re: CrossFit Athlete: Build a strength base or an Endurance base?

Given the current state of the Games, I would say strength.

At last year's games there were more events that required significant strength than events that required significant endurance. I think many will agree with me that the aerobic endurance required to do well in one of those "metcons" only takes a few months to develop. (Just ask people who stopped doing CF for SS and then went back to metcons afterward.)
On the other hand, strength, muscular endurance, and proficiency in the various skill-based exercises takes much longer to develop.
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:42 PM   #3
Mat Bryan
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Re: CrossFit Athlete: Build a strength base or an Endurance base?

I think CF does both at the same time. I also do not think periodization is needed. Since with CF you train all out, even on rest days... I know I love and hate my rest day... I would think a couple of light days or form lifts would be ideal. One really does not know the CF games WODs until that day... I would think. To make the playing field level.

I have not seen the games in person... maybe some more insight from someone who has.
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:09 PM   #4
Peter Evans
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Re: CrossFit Athlete: Build a strength base or an Endurance base?

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Originally Posted by Shane Skowron View Post
Given the current state of the Games, I would say strength.

At last year's games there were more events that required significant strength than events that required significant endurance. I think many will agree with me that the aerobic endurance required to do well in one of those "metcons" only takes a few months to develop. (Just ask people who stopped doing CF for SS and then went back to metcons afterward.)
On the other hand, strength, muscular endurance, and proficiency in the various skill-based exercises takes much longer to develop.
Thank you for your thoughts guys -

Shane I think I hear what you're saying, and perhaps relative strength will always be an integral component of the games?
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:24 PM   #5
Scott A Martin
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Re: CrossFit Athlete: Build a strength base or an Endurance base?

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I think CF does both at the same time. I also do not think periodization is needed.
I risk ostracization for saying this, but CF main page does a poor job of developing strength compared to other programs.
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:26 PM   #6
Scott A Martin
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Re: CrossFit Athlete: Build a strength base or an Endurance base?

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CrossFit Athlete: Build a strength base or an Endurance base?
For the games and for CF in general, building a strength base is the logical first step.
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:54 PM   #7
Kevin Simons
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Re: CrossFit Athlete: Build a strength base or an Endurance base?

In my experience, decent strength takes years to develop while metcon capacity increases significantly faster. I think a lot of people would benefit from some sort of strength-biased program until they can at least do the WODs as Rx'd.

I spent years lifting heavy weights with NO metabolic conditioning at all. I could do every WOD as RX'd from the beginning even if it was somewhat slow. Within a few months though, I was putting up pretty elite numbers. 95 lb thrusters feel pretty light when you've worked your *** off to squat 5 plates. On the other hand, my endurance buddies, who were equally impressive athletes in their own right, have had a much harder time. I don't care how great your lungs are, 45 thrusters are going to go pretty slow if your 1RM isn't a whole lot heavier than 95lbs.

All this being said, your cardiovascular endurance is also faster to decline than strength if you don't practice it. I wouldn't advise anyone to completely abandon their metcon workouts in pursuit of strength. I suggest adding more strength workouts and going short and heavy in most metcons.
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:10 PM   #8
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Re: CrossFit Athlete: Build a strength base or an Endurance base?

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In my experience, decent strength takes years to develop while metcon capacity increases significantly faster
This seems to be a commonly held belief, and from a CF perspective that leads me to think that Strength is the more appropriate base to build from...

Unless anyone else has any greatly differing ideas?

Thank you all for the input!
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Old 03-31-2010, 10:06 PM   #9
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: CrossFit Athlete: Build a strength base or an Endurance base?

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Originally Posted by Scott A Martin View Post
I risk ostracization for saying this, but CF main page does a poor job of developing strength compared to other programs.
Compared to specialized strength programs? Of course. If a pure strength program can't build strength faster than a GPP program, the strength coach should turn in his clipboard.

A more interesting question is whether CF main page is the best program for developing CF Games athletes. It may not be, but at least then you're judging the program against its ability to achieve its own stated goals.

Katherine
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Old 03-31-2010, 10:34 PM   #10
Scott A Martin
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Re: CrossFit Athlete: Build a strength base or an Endurance base?

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A more interesting question is whether CF main page is the best program for developing CF Games athletes. It may not be, but at least then you're judging the program against its ability to achieve its own stated goals.
I don't think this question is particularly interesting. Clearly it's not.

Does anyone honestly believe that given two genetically identical twins, both beginners, that the one prescribed SS + GOMAD for 4 months followed by CF main page for 8 isn't going to be a significantly better CF athlete than the twin who follows CF main page for 12 months? I would hope not.
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