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

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Old 09-15-2005, 11:08 AM   #1
Sam Graves
Posts: n/a
Hi all,

This is my first post and I just like to say what a top site this is. Great work. I would also point out that I am no expert in fitness but I hope this post makes sense.

Anyway I love keeping fit and to keep things interesting I set myself challenges like climb Britain's three highest peaks in 24 hours etc.

My latest crazy (well for me anyway) challenge is to complete 100 press ups followed by 30 pull ups non-stop with no rest between. BTW I am 195lbs and 6ft2. This is not a new challenge for me... a few months back I did 97 followed by 23... but I must confess the 97 didn't follow decent press up form.... Anyway... I was very close to my goal... I trained using 4 sets of 20 press ups and 4 sets of 8 pulls ups. This increased to over 4x40 and 4x12 before my 97/23 test. I continued to train on this basic rep/set scheme but then I injuried my shoulder :-( through over training.

When I recovered from my injury I decided to work towards my 100/30 goal again. I tested myself.. I got 60/15. Before training again I searched the web for various routines etc. I looked at the "Hit the Deck" program but decided against it as I didnt want to overstress my shoulder too soon - it was doing the press ups most days that originally did it. I eventually came across:

Point 1 - I did wonder whether this was aimed at more high tension/strength-endurance (heavy weight work, pull ups, dips, etc.) than medium strength-endurance (like press ups, bodyweight squats, etc.). I was fairly confident that my pull ups would improve but was not sure about the push ups. But anyway I would give the program a shot.

I then devised my plan which I have followed religuously for last 7 weeks:
Mon - Density Push Ups followed by 30 mins of core and push work i.e. shoulder press, dips, plank, swiss ball sit ups etc.
Tues - Density Pull Ups followed by 30 mins of core and pull work i.e. chin ups, rows, sit ups etc.
Wed - Rest
Thurs - repeat Mon
Fri - repeat Tues
Sat and Sun - Rest
I also Cycle/Swim 3/4 times per week to maintain legs and CV.

After 6 weeks I was up from 150 press ups in 15mins to 10mins - 45 pulls in 15min to 60 in 10min. I then tested myself... did 65/20... So both my numbers improved by 5. I was happy with the pull up progress but I wasn't as happy with my push ups. Obviously this isn't a real controled experiment but I kinda get swayed into believing in my point 1 due to lack of push progress. If point 1 is true... I would like to replace my press up density training with dips (this would also help me get my first muscle up ;)).

Any thoughts? Any advice about reaching my 100/30 goal?

You comments are highly appreciated.

- Sam G
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Old 09-17-2005, 09:07 PM   #2
Bruce Kocher
Member Bruce Kocher is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Philly  PA
Posts: 92
Sam: Welcome to CrossFit. I speak from no position of authority. Your goal workout of 100/30 is certainly a challenge and achieving it with good form in the press ups (push ups for the yanks?) will indicate a high level of ability in those movements and good overall fitness.

From a CF perspective your workout plan is a little narrow in focus. Absent injuries that prevent training in other movements, your density training will leave some big holes in your overall general physical preparation.

I think your plan is solid from a testing perspective in those two movements. FWIW you might try integrating the WOD and adding some brief press ups and pull ups before or after to maintain motor skills or GTG. This method will almost certainly delay reaching your goal of 100/30 but might leave you with better overall fitness as measured by the 'girls' or other benchmarks.

There is no substitute for specialization and density training is a proven method but unless you are testing for a special program or competition I would recommend a more general approach. Now if you have beers riding on 100/30, that's a completely different matter.

My .02 USD is too keep the volume low, intensity high and follow the WOD with whatever modifications are necessary for abilty/injuries/equipment as closely as possible. After six months I'll wager a pint that you'll be pretty close to 100/30, your shoulder won't hurt and you'll be a better all around athlete.

Best regards,
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Old 09-18-2005, 12:16 PM   #3
Sam Graves
Posts: n/a
Bruce. I really appreciate your reply. Some good comments.

>>From a CF perspective your workout plan is a little narrow in focus.
I totally agree. You was also right about the beer riding on the challenge :-). However my mate (who is challanging me), bust his wrist today playing cricket. So while he recovers, I will give the "WOD + push/pull ups" a go as suggested.

I will continue to test my push and pull ups every 4 weeks to see how I progress.

Thanks again,
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Old 09-21-2005, 11:31 PM   #4
Jason Erickson
Member Jason Erickson is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Minneapolis  MN
Posts: 198
Sam -

Some of us into Circular Strength Training have been using an approach developed by Scott Sonnon a few years ago. Here's the first article he wrote about it:

If you check the RMAX forums for information on Density training, you will find some variations that others have also come up with.
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Old 09-22-2005, 02:44 PM   #5
Sam Graves
Posts: n/a
Cheers Jason.

I am halfway through reading the information. Looks interesting.


- Sam G
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