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

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Old 10-04-2006, 03:59 PM   #1
Mitchell Brown
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I've been a bit nervous as since I've started Crossfit I've put on 6 kg. Now my 5'11 frame is 88kg, with 11% bodyfat. The number doesn't bother me, but I have certain goals related to my bodyweight such as 2x bodyweight deadlift, and these are harder as my weight increases. I can barely benchpress my bodyweight for instance.

I've started skipping, a set of 250 or 500 on top of the WOD. Is this a good way to increase my strength to weight ratio, either by losing weight or increasing strength or both? If not, how should I go about this?

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Old 10-04-2006, 06:55 PM   #2
Ross Hunt
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You should distinguish between strength:bodyweight ratio and staying power (endurance/ stamina) for prolonged efforts.

Your ideal bodyweight for running a mile is lower than your ideal bodyweight for completing the WODs competively, and this in turn is lower than your ideal bodyweight for winning olympic weightliftng meets. Pick your goal. If the WOD is making you gain weight, you probably need to gain weight to get better at the WOD.

I think it's safe to say that if you want to increase a lift:bodyweight ratio, practicing the lift is going to do more for you than skipping.

A word on height and strength:bodyweight ratio: Tall guys have poorer strength:bodyweight ratio. We just do. But take heart: We can dunk, and we can lift heavier absolute loads via greater bodymass. As the great Soviet superheavy Vasily Alexeev once said, to explain why everyone watched the superheavies when the lighter weight classes lifted far greater multiples of their bodyweight:

"No one wants to watch an ant lift a leaf."

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Old 10-04-2006, 08:55 PM   #3
Kalen Meine
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Don't sweat it. First off, at that size, you have plenty of muscle to be much, much stronger as it is. Any kind of heavy weight in low reps are the winners for improving strength:weight ratio, by increasing strength, by way of fiber conversion, preferential sarcomeric hypertrophy, and most importantly neurological modifications. This is, of course, as Ross pointed out, that you actually mean power:weight like we do-that is, over time scales we would characterize as strength. A sprinter has a better strength:mass...over short time spans than a marathoner-hence the whole going-faster.

And secondly, as I said, don't sweat it. How long have you been at this- Crossfit and/or serious, heavy, full-body training in general? A number bandied about pretty frequently is that beginner to intermediate lifters (probably a couple years in this definition) will gain most strength from unavoidable mass gains, and every 10% in body mass will bring a 30% in strength.
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Old 10-05-2006, 05:50 AM   #4
Jon Gilson
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If you want lifts at a multiple of bodyweight, work toward making those lifts, regardless of what the scale says!

You put on 6 kgs, you have to put up 12 additional kgs to compensate. Just put the plates on the bar and lift it!

Reducing your bodyweight in order to claim a totally arbitary strength-to-weight ratio is ridiculous. It's like trying to make less money so you don't pay as much in taxes.

Look at the flip side: if your bodyweight fell 6 kgs, would you be happy lifting 12 kgs less?

Me neither.


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Old 10-05-2006, 07:27 AM   #5
Graham Hayes
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I wish I could complain about having that body composition to play with. I'd stick with just the WODs until you have some decent strength levels. The WODs will build the best foundation for whatever goals you have in mind. I had a growth spurt when I first started CrossFit and Zone, now it's stopped...but I'm still getting stronger.
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Old 10-05-2006, 12:06 PM   #6
Patrick Paul
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funny my weight has gone up too since starting crossfit, so has my appetite. i'm going with it for now to see where my weight is going to settle. probably lacked calories to sustain this program before.
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