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

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Old 06-19-2005, 07:45 PM   #1
Aushion Chatman
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Following on what Dave Wood posted a couple weeks ago...

So I have not been working out regularly at all, and it shows I'm noticeably smaller than I used to be (I also don't eat well, or sleep enough being at sea).

I have limited equipment, but I decided to go for a 1/2 Angie yesterday. Took me 30 mins to get through that. A time much longer than expected. The interesting part was I got a PR on pull-ups at 18. previously I was stuck around 14 or so. I don't know what to attribute that to.

Is it because I weigh less now. I know I've atrophied, so how can I PR now?

Or is it because my workouts now (when i get to do them) are pretty much all bodyweight stuff, so no deadlifts, snatches, etc has in a way focused my training on exercises such as pull-ups, squats, and push-ups?

Aush
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Old 06-20-2005, 04:44 PM   #2
David Wood
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Aushion:

For what it's worth, I'm beginning to think that detraining is very "personalized" . . . each individual's experience is going to be different.

That said, there's a couple of (obvious) observations I can make:

Bodyweight (or the lack thereof) is a big part of pullups . . . if you've had the opportunity to keep up the training on those, *and* lost overall mass, then a new PR in pullups makes sense (and congratulations, by the way).

Put another way, the "atrophy" you experience is probably your body losing (shedding?) a lot of muscle mass that had to be "forced" onto it (i.e., maintained) with heavier movements . . . but you still haven't lost the fundamental pulling strength, and particularly not relative to your (reduced) bodyweight.

Weirdly, I've heard (anecdotally) that one downside to BW-only workouts is that "you have to keep them up everyday" . . . implicitly, the strength they produce (which can be signficant) seem to "go away" faster than other kinds of training. (Not sure how this applies to you, since you've kept up that kind of training, but it sure seemed to apply to me . . . my max pullups went from 14-16 to 6 in one month of (almost) no training.

On the other hand, my 1-rep maximum strength didn't go away during my month without training . . . I matched my old PR in the clean on just my 2nd day back.

The one thing we both seem to have lost was the anaerobic capacity . . . I was just dying on anything that lasted more than 30 seconds when I started to come back . . . I didn't try an Angie, but I think it would have been horrible.

Also, fitness seems to return in big "jumps" (non-continuous, non-incremental). I've been "back" for about 2, 3 weeks now (not everyday, but 4 WODs a week). Still couldn't do more than 8 pullups (my elbows would hurt), until Saturday, when "all of a sudden" I could do 15 again, repeatedly, for the first time in months.

So, I think the only hope you can have is to do what you can, with what you've got . . . but know that it *will* all come back (and max strength pretty fast) when you can train again with heavy weights.

Best of luck,
Dave
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Old 06-22-2005, 08:35 PM   #3
Aushion Chatman
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Great observations...I should say I saw the same thing with pullups.

I could do a set 10, but that would tire me out pretty fast and take alot more effort than it used to. And then yeah, all of a sudden I got a PR. I agree with the shedding of muscle mass that I had to maintain during my 3 on 1 off days before I deployed. I'm considering increasing my treadmill and bicycle workouts. work on speed and endurance on those fronts. Maybe I can make gains on my 400, 800 times.
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Old 06-23-2005, 05:01 PM   #4
Paul Theodorescu
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About detraining, I think the best thing to fight is to do ~anything~ even if it's sub optimal. If you have a few spare minutes, do pistols, 1-arm push-ups, etc. Maintenace is actually fairly easy.

I've made the mistake of stopping to train entirely if I wasn't going to get a whole session in... not a good plan.
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Old 06-24-2005, 12:48 AM   #5
Pat Janes
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G'day Paul. Good to see you back; how's the training going?
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Old 06-24-2005, 03:51 AM   #6
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Paul, I agree, I do pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups and my buddy Jeff (God bless him) made and brought parallets that we keep in my stateroom.

So when the ship's not rockin I can practice various movements and holds on those.

Still that's usually only for a few minutes between going to bed or the head or waiting for a shower to open up. Well I'll just keep at what I can. thanks for comments.

Aush
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Old 06-24-2005, 04:02 AM   #7
bill fox
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I read this giant tome called "Faster Swimming" which painted an ugly picture of detraining. Basically said no elite athlete should not do something for more then a few days and the decline in top end performance was shockingly fast.

I can say all the great older athletes I know work out almost every day.
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Old 06-24-2005, 05:40 PM   #8
Paul Theodorescu
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Hi Pat! Training is going great. It's been a lot of sprinting, sandbag and rock work. I love training outside. :-)
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