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

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Old 04-23-2007, 04:50 PM   #1
Chris Hogg
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Before everyone begins the long standing debate about which is the optimal method to train please take a second to ponder the following question.

Would it be optimal to include a cycle of HIT training into my regular crossfit training in an effort to increase visible mass?

I'll dare to say it, Yes. I want to be functionally sound and asthetically pleasing (if you like that look) at the same time. I know I can already hear the collective groans and comments about vanity, in fact I can already hear the chants of revoke his password! Having said that this has long been a personal goal of mine and while I am a huge advocate of the crossfit lifestyle I find that significant increase in mass are not likely results of my crossfiting.

Any thought/insights would be greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone.}}
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Old 04-23-2007, 06:48 PM   #2
Dave Campbell
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I would agree that significant increase in mass is not likely to result from simply following the CF WOD. It does a lot for you, but it doesn't pack on the mass. So I would say yes, do an occasional cycle of HIT training or look into ME Black Box to pack on mass. Of course, you're going to have to eat right to gain muscle mass.
As far as vanity goes, we all like to look good.
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Old 04-23-2007, 07:43 PM   #3
Daniel Schmieding
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Eat more. You can powerlift all you want. If you don't eat more, you're not going to get bigger and more "asthetically pleasing."

Eat a ton, crossfit the fat away, and yes, you will gain size. People who crossfit and follow the Zone won't size up so much. That's not their goal. People who crossfit and eat like a cow will.
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Old 04-23-2007, 07:59 PM   #4
Brian Cornwell
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I'm no expert on "gettin' jacked", but I found that some things have helped me. I've not been crossfitting forever, but in the past 6 weeks or so, I've been following a crossfit plan strictly with the goal of gaining some weight. Take what I say with a grain and a half of salt.
Eat lots, and make it good. I found this an excuse to include some of those foods I had been so good in cutting out before (sorry coach). I eat everytime I pass some place with food (on a college campus), and it is usually good food, but occasionally some soft serve or pb&j sneak in there.
Alter the WODs to fit your goal. The ME days are a given, work them into the ground. The other days can be played with. For example, Linda needs no tweaking. That will pretty much mess you up, and I'm sure it will put some muscle on a fence post if you work it hard enough. SOme other WOD's don't tax the muscles quite as much as the cardio-respiratory system, filthy 50's for example. WHen a day like this comes up, I either sub in a more strength oriented WOD or else tailor it to be so. For instance Diane and Elizabeth are great workouts for metcon and overall strength, but if you wanted to see a side of hugeness with your functional strength, you could do something like make Diane a 275 DL and full range HSPU, you won't be setting any time records, but the increased loads and strain on the muscles won't leave you feeling bouncy, that's for sure. With Elizabeth, I'll often put some more weight on the clean and do some weighted dips. Again it slows you, but, don't tell anyone I said this, your traps, glutes, lower back, chest shoulders and triceps will be pumped like some sort of ReMax blimp.

Little things can make a big difference too. Do all your pullups strict, do all your pushups elevated, scale up and slow down. THis will be comparable to your HIT idea, only a boatload cooler, because lets be honest, is anything sweeter than Crossfit?
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:30 PM   #5
Craig Loizides
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I'm new to crossfit and I've been wondering the same thing. For the last few years I've been doing 1 HIT workout every 3-5 days and running 4-5 days a week. My concern isn't aesthetics, but strength. My worry is that crossfit uses primarily 1-3 reps on ME days and in metcon workouts the weights are 20+ RM for me. That means there is no work in the 4-20 RM range. I've always found that I respond best for strength in the 8-12 range. Is this something I should worry about? For now I'm going to keep 1 HIT workout a week. I might try scaling 1 workout a week to the 8-12 rep range. This would be basically an EDT workout. Have any crossfitters tried EDT?

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Old 04-24-2007, 01:15 AM   #6
Rene Renteria
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For the last few years I've been doing 1 HIT workout every 3-5 days and running 4-5 days a week. My concern isn't aesthetics, but strength.

Aren't these things opposed to one another? (meaning, why all the running if your main concern is getting strong?) Maybe you mean running sprints and intervals.

Give the WOD a try for a while, eat like a horse, see what happens. Next, you could scale the weights up a bit so that you're stopping (because you have to) mid-set after 4-20 reps. Do that for a while, see what happens.

The various strength WODs that come up will give you an idea of where you are so you can track your progress over time.

Consider getting both _Starting Strength_ and _Practical Programming_ by Mark Rippetoe et al.
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Old 04-24-2007, 05:52 AM   #7
Cal Jones
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I was doing Mentzer-type workouts before I started on crossfit. As a no longer quite young woman, I found it hard to gain mass on a normal bodybuilding-type routine (the usual three sets per exercise with occassional high intensity stuff like breakdowns and supersets thrown in). I certainly gained some, but it wasn't until I did HIT that I got a more athletic look.
However, I'm into my fourth week of Crossfit now and are finding it's giving my muscles enough to think about without any additional strength training. Of course, things like pull-ups are still a massive effort for me, so even the metcon stuff is taxing my strength as well as my endurance. If you're already a big guy you may need something more specific for your needs.
I guess you should see how it goes and adapt if necessary.
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Old 04-24-2007, 07:51 AM   #8
Craig Loizides
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I didn't say my main concern was getting strong. I'm interested in some balance of speed, endurance, and strength. My concern with avoiding mid range reps is getting weaker. I've read Starting Strength. I did a very similar workout to the the one they recommend 10 years ago. I made good gains for a year and then they stopped no matter what variations I tried. It wasn't until I went to HIT that I started making gains again. I've found that running makes almost no difference in my weight training with HIT. A serious powerlifter/bodybuilder might need to worry about it, but most crossfitters probably don't.

I'm not trying to criticize crossfit. I did my third WoD yesterday and loved it. I'm going to try the WoD for a while and see what happens. I'm just surprised that almost no regular posters ever seem to scale their workouts up. Is this discouraged for some reason?
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:58 AM   #9
John Rowland
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From what I've seen as many other people have said CF is mostly just a generalized idea or concept. The guys who run this site make it easier for us by giving workouts, thanks btw whoever does it lol. But there is nothing to say or even wrong with playing with somthing and seeing if it works. I personally scale the WoDs up or down depending on how I feel, my ability at that specific workout, and what I am wanting to achieve at that time. My only suggestion would be to take it slow, I myself didnt adhere to that little tidbit of advice and almost burnt out after a month of goin balls to the wall with strength and MetCon combined. As someone on this site said to me when I PMd em with a freakin novel on goals and crap, lol sorry anthony..."dont think about it so much and do it, do what works until it stops then change it" You'll figure it out just have fun with it and enjoy
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Old 04-24-2007, 06:58 PM   #10
Andrew Cattermole
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RE: "Looks"
I've lost count of what the current buffed look actually is??
Big and buffed or lean and shredded.

Why not give the mirror a rest and concentrate on performance goals for a period.

Scale up if you need too,many come to CrossFit and require some skill learning process and so scaling down to get form and technique is more realistic and pragmatic.

CrossFit is base conditioning,if you have specific goals then you should either split the WOD and SSP work or create WODs that better meet your needs.If part of that is "visible mass gain" then eating plans will play a large role.
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