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

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Old 01-18-2006, 09:11 PM   #1
Jibreel Freeland
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Has everyone seen this debate on Art Devany's?

This guy Parker argues that humans are primarily an aerobic animal evolutianarily.

(Message edited by nothing on January 18, 2006)
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Old 01-19-2006, 08:25 AM   #2
Neal Winkler
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Heh, that's me talking to Parker there as well.
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Old 01-19-2006, 11:57 AM   #3
Guy Crossland
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well there are some prime examples in history such as Herb Elliott, Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe . All of these ran freakish times over 800-1500m and yet were very strong in the upper body through a well balanced training programme. Certainly Elliott and his coach ,Cerutty , were ahead of their time with emphasis on total body conditioning, not just mileage. I ran 800m for a while and I was in very good shape with intervals of 200m-600m , weights and circuit training.
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Old 01-21-2006, 03:28 PM   #4
Carl Herzog
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Although De Vany seems to agree here with the claim that humans are primarily aerobic animals, this is a question that he has neglected in the past and one that seems at odds with both his training and his analysis of evolutionary fitness. There is a lot of evidence to support Parker's position. Virtually all of the studies of hunter/gatherers conclude it's overwhelmingly an aerobic lifestyle. One of the most compelling points is the persistance hunt - an ancient hunting method that involves chasing after the animal until it literally can run no more. It stands there exhausted while the hunter plugs it at close range with a spear.

Sound impossible? It's not. A fit human can actually run almost any land animal into the ground over really long distances. This hunting method was apparently pretty common in the past and it even persisted into historic times. See the book "Why We Run" for more.

So that means we are really meant to be ultra-distance runners, right? Well, maybe not and Neal is on the right track with his response to Parker. My take on it is that humans are above all adaptable to a variety of stimuli. Need to run long? Do it often and your body will adapt. Need to sprint and lift heavy? Obviously we have the ability to adapt to that as well. Specialize your stimulus and you tend to specialize your adaptations. This ability to adapt to a wide variety of challenges has been key in our attaining dominance as a species. People on all sides of the argument are thus able to look at the evidence and, like De Vany, find support for their position.

What does all this tell us about how we should train? Not much. Paleo diet is a useful concept. Paleo fitness? Not so much. Train for whatever life tends to bring your way. Don't know what to expect? Well, you're in the right place then.
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Old 01-21-2006, 07:47 PM   #5
Jibreel Freeland
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Great response. Thanks.

I saw a documentary that showed footage of a bushman (Kalahari?) running down a gazelle or some other African creature. The gazelle would run way ahead, get tired, and the bushman would catch up following the gazelle's tracks, finally exhausting the not very aerobic creature and spearing it. Can't recall the name of the flick but it was mighty fascinating.

Hunting mammoths however might not be aerobic. Hurling huge rocks off cliffs and sprinting to get out of the way of it's tusks etc. might make for much more of a crossfit type workout. Escaping a sabertooth was likely the same, not slow and steady like running an animal down.

(Message edited by nothing on January 21, 2006)

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Old 01-22-2006, 03:33 PM   #6
Hone Watson
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I think hiking and walking would have been the predominant aerobic activity compared to running.

I watched a documentary called Guns Germs And Steal.

They had some Papua New Guinean's in the doco still living the hunter gatherer lifestyle. The women were ripped as were the men. The men had the highly defined delt's like the sprinters do.

The men were still doing a lot of hunting while the women would spend hours processing some sort of starchy tree - maybe a sago tree?

They have a real active lifestyle.

Kalahari Bushman look a lot less well muscled than the Papuan's. There's probably a wide variance in lifestyle and builds for hunter gatherer's.
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