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

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Old 12-26-2007, 01:19 PM   #11
Justin Herring
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Re: Brief thought on added Certs.

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Originally Posted by Garrett Smith View Post
I think a regularly occurring rudimentary gymnastics cert/seminar should have only come second to the OL cert in the development of the great CF cert list.

Yet now we have a jump rope cert happening (multiple ones, even!) before the gymnastics one has become a regular occurrence. This is a problem of priorities, in my opinion.
I strongly suspect Coach and the Crossfit don't have a master to-do list of Crossfit certs to create. I think they add them as they find something (and somebody) that they feel is valuable enough to justify a cert.

So I very much doubt it's an issue of priorities, so much as it's an issue of what happens to come up. Organic growth, and all that.
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Old 12-26-2007, 01:52 PM   #12
Roger Harrell
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Re: Brief thought on added Certs.

The gymnastics cert is coming soon. It's actually been on the table a long time. The primary delay has been simply the fact that I haven't been able to get everything together for it. We're making final arrangements now. We will certainly let you know.
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Old 12-26-2007, 02:19 PM   #13
Gant Grimes
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Re: Brief thought on added Certs.

I don't get the hatred for the jump rope cert. I always found the jump rope to be a good fitness tool. Growing up, we had a fairly active boxing scene, and there was a lot of jumping in grade school, so I'm a bit biased. But most people suck at jump rope; if you can't do double-unders, you have holes in your fitness (if you count coordination as part of your fitness).

A gymnastics cert is all well and good, but most CFers don't have the time, equipment, or coordination to progress beyond level 1. How many 190 pound adult males will ever progress beyond muscle-ups or front levers on rings
(or even develop these skills in the first place)? Do you really think 2-half hour sessions on the horizontal bar is going to benefit you more than learning to improve your footwork?

Nothing against gymnastics, either. I trained for a couple years as a kid and taught in high school, but it's unrealistic for adult CFers to think they're going to develop any real mat skills beyond the rudimentary stuff already in CF. Your time would be better spent with Parkour.

As always, if you don't think a particular cert is a good idea, don't sign up for it. The laws of simple economics accomplish far more than *****ing ever will.
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Old 12-26-2007, 06:35 PM   #14
Steven Low
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Re: Brief thought on added Certs.

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if you can't do double-unders, you have holes in your fitness (if you count coordination as part of your fitness).
Well, I think I would have to disagree because based on my gym background I have good coordination with pretty much everything.. without ever practicing DUs or anything like that.

Quote:
A gymnastics cert is all well and good, but most CFers don't have the time, equipment, or coordination to progress beyond level 1. How many 190 pound adult males will ever progress beyond muscle-ups or front levers on rings
(or even develop these skills in the first place)? Do you really think 2-half hour sessions on the horizontal bar is going to benefit you more than learning to improve your footwork?

Nothing against gymnastics, either. I trained for a couple years as a kid and taught in high school, but it's unrealistic for adult CFers to think they're going to develop any real mat skills beyond the rudimentary stuff already in CF. Your time would be better spent with Parkour.
On the other hand, agreed. I do think most CFers if they put in the time would have a relatively easy time working their way up to like level 5-6 routines which is at least decent. The main problem is there's so much technical work.. that most people don't have the time for it; not that they can't learn it.
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Old 12-27-2007, 09:49 AM   #15
Barry Cooper
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Re: Brief thought on added Certs.

My basic attitude towards life, and one which for obvious reasons drew me to CrossFit, is I really, really enjoy learning new things. I love reinventing myself, love doing things that force me to redefine myself.

If you think about it, CrossFit has many aspects. For many, it is the posted WOD, and participation in the Comment section, which leads quite often to making virtual and later actual friends.

For many, it is this on-line community, in which many people don't necessarily do the posted WOD, but look to this valuable resource for ideas, inspiration, and social expression.

For many, it is a business opportunity, and business model. It is a source of income.

For many, it is working out in one of those gyms, with like-minded (at least with respect to fitness) people. Many, many of those people never post. You rarely see any of the CFHQ folks on this board, or the Main pages.

For many, it is a mindset of being tough enough to push through pain, and imaginative enough to want to develop a unique form of fitness, relative to otherwise prevailing norms. It has no location, but is simply an attitude.

For me, it is ultimately any sincerely practiced iteration of the principles of functionality, variety, and intensity. We have many brothers and sisters who may not use our name, but are very alike in kind.

Given this, I see no means by which to "falsify"--declare premature or outside the fold--ANY new certifications which come along. Buddy Lee was charging what he charges before getting sponsored by CrossFit. I don't know for a fact, but it seems likely he keeps pretty much everything he charges, and is included within our community because he has something valuable to offer. How many of you wouldn't want to be able to do what he does? How many of you can think of a better means of getting to that point, than taking personal instruction from him? Why shouldn't he charge for his knowledge an amount that seems fair?

I've been lifting kettlebells since long before I started CrossFit, but decided to go to Jeff Martone's Cert. anyway, since it was relatively close, and I know he's good at what he does. Quite honestly, I was very surprised by the number of useful ideas I picked up, which I now incorporate very regularly into my training. It enabled some fundamentally new approaches, that would never have occurred to me otherwise.

It's very hard to imagine what you can't imagine. Phrased another way, it's nearly impossible to know what you don't know. If we define a mistake as NOT thinking of something that could have been thought of, then I think it is a very useful assumption to think that each and every one of us makes dozens of mistakes every day. These Cert's., at least potentially, can help correct that.

If at some point we have table tennis, or soccer certs, what is the harm in that? Learning is fun, and itself is a skill: you can learn how to learn, and the more you practice, the faster you can pick up new skills.

This is one of the reasons that one of the earliest recommendations is that you learn new sports regularly, and are encouraged to run, swim, hike, cycle, etc. etc. Our first Terry Laughlin article in the Journal was 2-3 years ago. We've had a number of articles on fixed gear bikes. We have lot of Parkour articles. The only possible means of rating them, or ranking them, as far as utility, is based on the criteria of an individual, but since there are many individuals, a final, forced ranking is not possible.

Therefore, as suggested, the approach of adopting new people as they become available makes as much sense as any.

We may have a rugby cert someday. Rugby players will love it, but non-rugby players who just want to learn something new can come too.

Curiosity didn't kill the cat. It taught it how to land on all fours.
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Old 12-27-2007, 10:19 AM   #16
Roger Harrell
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Re: Brief thought on added Certs.

On the gymnastics cert/seminars. These seminars are not geared around teaching competitive gymnastics skills. They focus on functional gymnastics skills. Depending on if it's a 1 or 2 day thing we will go over fundamentals on the events most folks don't have access to, but the meat of the seminar is all material all CF gyms can use. There are a handful of gymnastics skills taught in a lot of CF facilities, but the progressions are not optimal. It would be similar to a facility with nobody with an Oly background, nor attending any of Bergner's seminars teaching the lifts. With all of the material on the site they could do a decent job, but they'd do much better with just a bit more first hand experience.
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Old 12-27-2007, 11:27 AM   #17
Steven Low
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Re: Brief thought on added Certs.

Yeah, Roger. Progressions that I find pretty simple I usually have to explain to people to approach a skill a different way or start from the beginning again and go through these progressions instead. A gymnastics cert would definitely be helpful although they need to get some certs (really any certs.. closest I've seen is like Pennsylvania) out here near the DC area so people I know can go...
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Old 12-27-2007, 12:41 PM   #18
Garrett Smith
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Re: Brief thought on added Certs.

Roger, I don't want it to be perceived that the lack of a gymnastics cert is your fault. Rather, I'm more interested in it happening, and I wish it had happened sooner.

The fact that the benefits of gymnastics are even being compared to rope jumping is a sign to me of the deviation of CF from what it was originally intended to be (an issue with open source things, IMO).

From the always brilliant manifesto, "What is Fitness?":

Quote:
Our use of the term “gymnastics” not only includes the traditional competitive sport that we’ve seen on TV but all activities like climbing, yoga, calisthenics, and dance where the aim is body control. It is within this realm of activities that we can develop ex- traordinary strength (especially upper body and trunk), flexibility, coordination, balance, agility, and accuracy. In fact, the traditional gymnast has no peer in terms of development of these skills.
I didn't notice jump rope champions as a peer of gymnasts in there. Moving on...

Quote:
We highly recommend an adult gymnastics program if there is one in your area. Our friends at www.drillsandskills.com have a gymnastics-conditioning page with enough material to keep you busy for years (http://www.drillsandskills.com/skills/cond). This is among our favorite fitness sites.

Every workout should contain regular gymnastic/calisthenic movements that you’ve mastered and other elements under development. Much of the rudiments of gymnastics come only with great effort and frustration – that’s O.K. The return is unprecedented and the most frustrating elements are most beneficial--long before you’ve developed even a modicum of competency.
Basic gymnastics are at the core, the very soul of what CF desires to create in its fitness. Note that it was suggested to add adult gymnastics to a CFer's routine.

If there ever was a philosophy of CF, gymnastics is there. As a man who tries to hold true to the philosophies of things I believe in, I'm a lot less interested in the seminars CF HAS, I'm more concerned about the base seminars that this community is LACKING. This is exactly why I've recruited a local gymnastics coach (and his facility) to provide future weekly CF-oriented adult gymnastics classes!
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Last edited by Garrett Smith : 12-27-2007 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 12-27-2007, 04:22 PM   #19
Coach
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Re: Brief thought on added Certs.

Garrett,

I would have preferred a gymnastics cert first - even before the weightlifting cert. I think if you found yourself anywhere near my responsibilities and experience you'd be amazed at how ill prepared you were to accurately assess anything we are doing. When we launch the gymnastics cert later this spring you can tell everyone that it was your idea - adopted with unnecessary delay.
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:55 PM   #20
Steve Rakow
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Re: Brief thought on added Certs.

As CrossFit progresses and matures, the opportunities for learning (as Barry pointed out) are endless. A true professional will always strive to improve through research and practice.

I've come to divide the CrossFit world into two types of CrossFitters - professionals and everyone else. If somone just wants to read the posted WOD and do their own thing, never attending a cert of anykind, that's fine. In fact, that's why many of those folks pay me to train them. I like that! They're great people, great CrossFitters, and my kind of people. Note, however, that those people are not professional CrossFitters.

To take that one step further, you can get all the "recognized" designations you want (CSCS, NSCA, ACE, AFAA, etc, etc, ad nauseum) and that won't make you a professional CrossFitter either. You can also go to one single CF cert and rightfully call yourself a CrossFit trainer. However, my opinion is that if you halt your learning curve at that one cert, you're still not a professional CrossFitter.

You must constantly learn and relearn the basics. The only way to become a better trainer is to learn from trainers better than you. The only way to become better at all of the 10 general physical skills is through practice and training. The only way to fully understand the CrossFit principles is to read and reread and listen to Coach explain it as often as you can so that you can explain it to others without sounding like an idiot. Where do you find that? Through learning opportunities via CrossFit certs. Expose your weaknesses at a cert and fix that chink in your armor. I'm not talking about knocking out a sub 3 min Fran and getting Tony to post the video. I'm talking about fixing that chink in your mental armor. As a professional, you become a better trainer and gain some knowledge in an area you may not have known much about. And you learn a lot from the other CrossFit Professionals who will also attend the various CF certs with you.

As for the cost of the training certs, I've never felt like I didn't get my money's worth. And I've had to fly across country or drive many hours to get to the certs. Not many certs out here in Ocean City, MD. Come to think of it, I've never heard of a single complaint from anyone I've come across at any CF cert that they didn't get more out of the training than they expected. If anyone ever does have a complaint about a cert, then let the community know. We police ourselves and our Head Trainers want to know what they did right and what they didn't, and they want to get better too.

Bottom line is that you take away from CF what you put into it. The more certs the better. The more I can attend, the better I can get and the more professional I become.

I would like to respond to the dig on the Jump Rope cert. I've been lucky enough to have had two opportunities to attend Buddy Lee jump rope mini-certs recently (Quantico/Pittsburgh). I learned an incredible amount in both certs that I was able to take back to train others with - not just the fundamentals of jumping rope, but subtle mechanics of functional movement related to jumping rope that I had never before considered. We now utilize the jump rope in almost every warmup session and I have helped my CrossFitters find a new way to train metcon besides running, rowing, swimming, and biking. Plus, Buddy Lee is a great guy - high energy, incredible motivation!
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