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

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Old 11-18-2008, 12:41 AM   #151
Gavin Harrison
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Re: Charles Poliquin on Crossfit

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Originally Posted by Daniel Barulich View Post
Of course there are inherent flaws with strict periodization. I fully acknowledge this, as the human body is non-linear, and thus, impossible to predict with certainity within the confines of a periodized program.

However, periodization satisfies a very rudimentary goal of increasing human performance when applied with the correct amount of progressive overload and subsequent rest periods; such as increasing intensity over a 4 week period, then tapering for a week, allowing the body to desensitize, then hitting it harder the next go around. The human body's primary purpose is survival through homeostasis, thus, increasing intensity through periodization, when properly applied, will force the body into increased performance.

I'm not calling for a strict adherence to periodization, Soviet Style, however, it is a markedly successful method for increasing strength, endurance, and general metabolic conditioning. I'm not so much for the idea that you MUST increase the load 5 pounds on your squat EVERY workout, so long as that you're moving in the direction of increasing intensity to increase strength, thereby increasing performance.

Even if you're on a deployment cycle, you can still benefit from periodization. Say you periodize for a year, and make substantial gains in endurance and strength over that time, you will still carry it in to your deployment. The gains will diminish, but you will still be in a substantially more advantaged spot than where you previously were. It's all about quantifiable progress working towards goals you have set for yourself.

You must still acknowledge that you can't always be "fit" as you want "all the time". Performance varies daily. Using randomized workouts doesn't assure that you're as fit as you want to be all the time, it just ensures that you're constantly varying your workout.
Progressive overload does not just apply to increasing weights, it's just doing more work in less time, in any sense of it. 5lb increase for same reps is more work/same time, 10 seconds less rest between sets at same weight and reps, same work/less time, same weight for more reps and same rest, more work/same time. What does crossfit make you do? More work in less time. It also gives you the means by which to test your progress, while also working towards doing more work in less time.

Also, I'm almost certain the constantly varied bit is to avoid General Adaptation Syndrome, and the extreme power output certainly packs a huge positive hormonal punch.. These things all bring about great increases in most people's stats, all around.

So crossfit achieves similar results to periodization, incremental overload, while avoiding the absolute need to back off (read: de-train) 2 weeks out of every 6-8 in order to continue seeing results.
 
Old 11-18-2008, 11:03 AM   #152
Daniel Barulich
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Re: Charles Poliquin on Crossfit

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Progressive overload does not just apply to increasing weights, it's just doing more work in less time, in any sense of it. 5lb increase for same reps is more work/same time, 10 seconds less rest between sets at same weight and reps, same work/less time, same weight for more reps and same rest, more work/same time. What does crossfit make you do? More work in less time. It also gives you the means by which to test your progress, while also working towards doing more work in less time.

Also, I'm almost certain the constantly varied bit is to avoid General Adaptation Syndrome, and the extreme power output certainly packs a huge positive hormonal punch.. These things all bring about great increases in most people's stats, all around.

So crossfit achieves similar results to periodization, incremental overload, while avoiding the absolute need to back off (read: de-train) 2 weeks out of every 6-8 in order to continue seeing results.
I understand progressive overload does not exclusively call for increasing weights, nor is it the only means to do so, which is why I made the point of using the words "increasing intensity".

If by doing "more work in less time" you mean you improve your scores on a benchmark workout, than that's great. However, I always see the true test in the realm of applied performance to a sport or physical activity, not simply a WOD. I can scarcely think of a "functional", real life, activity that would require me doing 225 pound dead lifts and kipping pullups 21-15-9 times, respectively. I have no gripe with many of the benchmark workouts, as I have done them and been positively smoked.

However, without a specific focus, GPP is far too, well, general. If I play Basketball Monday, Soccer Tuesday, Football Wednesday, Baseball Thursday, and Volleyball Friday, can anybody reasonably expect me to be an exceptional athlete at all five of the sports? Adapation to a constantly varied stimulus is by definition, impossible. I just guess I happen to fall into the "strength/performance as a skill" category, and think people should focus on doing few things better.
 
Old 11-18-2008, 12:16 PM   #153
Robert D Taylor Jr
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Re: Charles Poliquin on Crossfit

GPP is by definition general. Of course if I don't specialize I won't be as good as a specialist. Is that a compromise? Sure. Is it also a compromise to say I would prefer to become markedly better across the fitness spectrum than far better at one specific area? Yup. Does it make sense that a couplet of functional movements done at high intensity will have a greater carryover to real life fitness needs? It does to me. These things that make CrossFit ineffective to you seem to be why CF seems effective to me.
 
Old 11-18-2008, 12:41 PM   #154
Joey Stevens
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Re: Charles Poliquin on Crossfit

I tried wading through all the responses and even went to the site that was referenced...

What it comes down to is, Chuck is training for a specific sport. His comments are akin to saying, "Micheal Phelps will never be a good body builder because all he does is swim all the time."

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Last edited by Joey Stevens : 11-18-2008 at 12:41 PM. Reason: Didn't spell check...
 
Old 11-18-2008, 01:56 PM   #155
Shane Skowron
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Re: Charles Poliquin on Crossfit

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Originally Posted by Daniel Barulich View Post
I can scarcely think of a "functional", real life, activity that would require me doing 225 pound dead lifts and kipping pullups 21-15-9 times, respectively. I have no gripe with many of the benchmark workouts, as I have done them and been positively smoked
There are several CFJ issues that discuss why these workouts are actually functional. I am very interested in the application of these workouts to a combat scenario.
See if you can read these excellent articles:
CFJ 32 - 2005 "A Soldier's Perspective on Functional Fitness" by NSW operator
"A Concept for Functional Fitness" by James Amos, Lt Gen USMC

You're correct in saying that it's unlikely for you to perform 21-15-9 reps of deadlift 225# and pullups in a real-life situation. However that is just the training protocol.
A more accurate real-life application though would be something like, "move these set of rocks over there and pull these ropes in the next 10 minutes." The ability to perform this type of activity would be best trained via a protocol that demands rapid deadlifts and pullups all within a high metabolic 10 minute period.

The real-life application would likely not require 45 reps of each, nor would it involve a shiny 1" bar to grasp. But let's say hypothetically that there are 20 rocks each weighing 180# and there are 20 ropes that need to be pulled (for what, I do not know, it's an example). If you train at a 21-15-9 protocol with high intensity and with greater weight and perfect form, then the real-life scenario becomes easier to manage when there are less reps and less weight and more awkward grips and perfect form cannot be maintained. In other words, that workout you performed would have you well-trained for that scenario.
 
Old 11-18-2008, 02:09 PM   #156
Chris Walls
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Re: Charles Poliquin on Crossfit

Keep in mind that functional does not mean that it applies directly to a real life scenario. It just means a movement that is able to move a large load over a long range of motion quickly.
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:24 PM   #157
Shane Skowron
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Re: Charles Poliquin on Crossfit

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Keep in mind that functional does not mean that it applies directly to a real life scenario. It just means a movement that is able to move a large load over a long range of motion quickly.
Precisely, it is more about movements than it is about exercises.
It is unlikely you will ever need to do a pullup in a real-life scenario. More likely is that you will need to pull something - a rope, a door, a friend, yourself over a fence, a lever. Thus pullups are one of the best ways to enhance your pulling ability.
 
Old 11-18-2008, 02:25 PM   #158
George Noble
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Re: Charles Poliquin on Crossfit

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Keep in mind that functional does not mean that it applies directly to a real life scenario. It just means a movement that is able to move a large load over a long range of motion quickly.
Thank God someone actually understands this.
 
Old 11-18-2008, 03:17 PM   #159
Tom Fetter
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Re: Charles Poliquin on Crossfit

Couple of weekends ago, I spent 5 hours or so spread across Saturday and Sunday afternoon building a 3' high, 20' long retaining wall from slabs of broken concrete that until recently used to be part of my driveway.

I didn't stop to find out how much a 2' X 3' or 3' X 3' slab, 4" thick weighs ... somewhere between #150-#250 I think. And interspersing deadlifts of concrete chunks with wheelbarrowing them across the lawn meant I didn't feel the need to break the monotony by doing pullups.

But having trained 45 reps of #225 deadlifts periodically over the preceding year or so made it possible, and meant that I felt fresh the following Monday morning.

That degree of "functional fitness" was completely alien to me 2 years back.
 
Old 11-18-2008, 03:18 PM   #160
David Wood
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Re: Charles Poliquin on Crossfit

Tom, isn't it kind of late in the year to be doing that kind of work in New Brunswick?
 
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