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

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Old 08-16-2007, 11:28 AM   #1
Graham Hayes
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Richard you nut, you should make time to go to CrossFit Manchester to see 40 year old+ athletes new to the Olympic lifts training perfectly safely. Isn't a fast deadlift almost a clean pull? Attempting to deadlift a heavy weight fast isn't very sound either, my lower back doesn't like the sound of that.

Heavy loads that move slowly and attempted to move quickly

You make it sound like there is another way to shift heavy weights, I definately don't spend longer than nessessary at near max deadlifts! I'm pulling with everything I've got.

IMO you can do without O-lifting, if you insist, but won't get the best results. The reason why O-lifts are included is in "What Is Fitness" CFJ, I don't believe you when you say powerlifters can match O-lifters in power. Throwers are a good example of athlete that benefit from the O-lifts without making it their sport.
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:36 AM   #2
Richard Paul Ham-Williams
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:-) a nut i maybe:-)

Sorry if my analogy is poor.

perhaps another exercise as an example;

pullups, dead hang, say your max is fifteen and you start to slow your speed at 10 due to fatigue, imagine trying to go as fast as you were during the first 10 reps, no matter how hard you try, you wont get the same speed again, so the actual force going through your body will be less but the effort of the CNS will still be rating high due to the attempt at speeding up.

this will offer the same CNS stimulation as a fast movement but with the added benefit of reduced impact.

it is the attempt not the actual doing.

you can dead lift more than you can clean, yes? So when fatigue sets in in the dead and your movment slows, you try and move it as quickly as the first few but it never gets there, same cns activation, less impact.

I dont mean by trying to move it faster again that there is any jerking or yanking.
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:43 AM   #3
Tom Rawls
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If you go to Stephen Seiler's site, you'll find what I believe is reliable info on muscle fiber and effects of training.

My understanding is, No you can not change fiber type w/ training, but you can get certain fast-twitch fibers to behave more like slow-twitch thru endurance training, or you can ensure they perform like fast-twitch if you train for that effect.

http://home.hia.no/~stephens/fibtype.htm

http://home.hia.no/~stephens/fibtype2.htm

(safe)

The site seems more geared toward endurance, but I believe he is sometime cited by Crossfit authorities.
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Old 08-16-2007, 12:26 PM   #4
Alex Nisetich
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I am not an expert on this subject, but from personal experience I can tell you that the OLY lifts' benefits and effects on strength and power are different from the slow lifts. I had been training the slow lifts (deads, squats, bench, etc.) for two years before I learned the Olympic lifts. The difference they made in my overall strength and power in my sports (rugby, football, martial arts) was astounding.
Think of it like this: In a deadlift, squat, or bench press the weight is moved a relatively short distance (in my case a full ROM squat will move about 33 inches or so). Olympic lifts involve moving a weight from the ground to full body extension overhead. When I do a clean and jerk or snatch, the weight will travel between six and seven feet, compared to roughly three in a squat. In addition, the Olympic lifts are completed in fractions of a second (exlcuding a pause between the clean and jerk), while it may take several seconds to complete a heavy deadlift or squat. In light of these differences, we can ask which requires more power: moving a weight from the ground to overhead in fractions of a second, or moving a weight half the length of your body or less over a few seconds? The answer is pretty self-evident. While it may be true that OLY lifts do not require any more absolute strength than slow lifts, they require a lot more power, and power is what CrossFit is all about.

I would like to see the data that shows elite powerlifters performing athletic tests like vertical and broad jump and sprints at the same level of elite OLY lifters; that is something I have never heard before. Even if it is true (and I'm not saying it isn't), I don't think it matters much when asking the question of whether YOU should train the Olympic lifts. Elite level athletes are very different from the average athlete; they can train for hours a day, they use the very best equipment, they have access to the best coaching and medical treatment, and their athletic performance is the result of considerable natural gifts and years of hard work. Can you really compare yourself to them?
Ultimately, Olympic lifts and powerlifts are quite different and have different effects. If you want the benefits of both, you have to do both.
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Old 08-16-2007, 12:50 PM   #5
Richard Paul Ham-Williams
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interesting links, cheers Tom
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Old 08-16-2007, 12:52 PM   #6
Richard Paul Ham-Williams
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Hey Alex,

thanks for the response.

It is good to hear success stories when any new stressor is used as a stimulus.
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Old 08-16-2007, 03:43 PM   #7
Graham Hayes
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Mate I'm sure you just made all that stuff up, I understand what you're saying. But I don't think that would work, unless...you have evidence to back it up?

Here's one for you, Aaron Athlete wants to train shoulder presses but Billy Bigarms is using the squat rack to do curls. A program with cleans would ensure Aaron could safely and sensibly get the weight to the rack position from the ground.
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Old 08-16-2007, 03:55 PM   #8
David Wood
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Hmmm. This thread sort of has two questions in it.

One has occupied most of the space, and it's sort of a two-parter: does Oly lifting (and by extension, all fast lifting) "really" help sports performance (other than Olympic lifting itself), and do I really need to be doing it?

I'm not going to be able to answer it (vast portions of the Internet have been consumed in a futile war between advocates of "HIT"-style training (generally characterized by "1-set to failure, slow movements, big muscle groups, some isolation work") vs. advocates of more "olympic style" training (fast movements, ground-to-overhead lifting, multiple sets). Both sides have various success stories and professional sports teams using their methods.

I gave up caring long ago, and just concentrated on what's (a) fun, and (b) works. Oly lifting fills the bill, which (as someone up above in the thread pointed out) is a big reason why there's so much of it in CrossFit.


But for what it's worth, Richard also asked "could you do CrossFit without Oly lifting?".

The answer to that is "Sure!".

CrossFit is a program of randomly-varying functional movements performed at high intensity. Oly lifting fits nicely into that description, so it's a big component. But it doesn't *have* to be there.

Case in point: I effed up my rotator cuff about a year ago, and eventually had to give up all movements involving external rotation to try and let it heal (and eventually had surgery, which seems to have worked, getting back now).

Olympic lifts (clean, snatch, whatever) have *lots* of external rotation. So I haven't done them for almost 10, 11 months now.

But at no point have I stopped being a CrossFitter.

- Variation
- Functional movements
- Intensity

I do hope (expect) to do them again (see: "works", "fun" above), but they are not *required*.
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Old 08-16-2007, 04:06 PM   #9
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Richard -

A slow max-effort lift is not as you say the same neurologically as a quick one. Strength and power are related but not at all identical and those two stimuli will not have the same effect.

To say that powerlifters and Oly lifters of the same caliber have the same abilities is wholly inaccurate. There are powerlifters who do have great explosiveness, but they're invariably the ones who incorporate speed training.

As far as wanting proof, there's no such thing as proof, only evidence. Just consider a sport--what movements take place and of what nature are they? That is, does the athlete engage in explosive hip extension? If so, Oly lifts are going to be beneficial (if performed correctly, of course). If not, they probably won't be.
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Old 08-16-2007, 05:16 PM   #10
Dave Campbell
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I appreciate powerlifting and the olympic lifts, but since power = strength + speed, isn't power lifting a poor title for the "slow lifts"?
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