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

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Old 11-27-2006, 10:26 AM   #1
Brian Reckdenwald
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I play lacrosse for Stevens Tech (D3 program in Hoboken, NJ), and I do 3 on/1 off as religiously as I can. We have a mandatory strength program that is everything short of e-z bar curls that you would expect it to be. The program had consisted of three days a week (tues,thurs,sat), but now it has been split up into four days a week (m,t,r,f). Doing both the wod's and the four days a week of the other crap is really starting to wear on me. Not to mention that I end up spending an hour and a half to two hours in the gym pretty much every day doing both regiments. I feel like I am hurting my performance by doing the stuff that I would deem unnecessary, especially when a rest day falls on a day when I am forced to do the 'other crap', as I like to call it.

More than anything I wanted to vent about this situation, but I would like some input as to what I should do. Unfortunately this is not going to get any better because once the season starts I will have practice/games six days a week and three workouts a week, leaving next to zero time for wod's.

PS Here are some gems I think everyone will appreciate. The following is a few rough quotes of what I have been told in the weight room by my strength coach and some exercises we do, unfortunately I have forgotten some of them:

- 'Cleans from the floor are worthless, you should only do hang cleans.'

- 'Agility work doesn't help you get quicker.'

- We put pieces of wood on our chest to work the various stages of the bench press so we can... bench more.

- Kipping pull ups are not allowed.
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:38 AM   #2
Allen Yeh
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If it is mandatory then the only thing you can do is play the game. You are probably best off cutting back on the WOD by other heavily modifying the WOD's or by cutting how many WOD's you do on a weekly basis. If you are already doing 4 days of lifting per week then skipping/subbing something for ME days would be the best idea.

Su - Rest
M - program +modified WOD
T - program + modified WOD
W - rest
Th - program + modified WOD
Fr - program + modified WOD
Sat- WOD

Su - WOD
M - program
T - program
W - rest
Th - program
Fr - program
Sa - WOD
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:53 AM   #3
Martin Schap
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First of all, that sucks. That said, you basically have two options.
1. Let this guy ruin your life as you stand by and whine about it.
2. Sand bag as much as possible on the particularly worthless aspects of this idiot's program, and be as fit as possible in spite of the stupid crap he makes you do.
I would need to see more of what you're doing in order to truly be of help in suggesting things for you to do, but here are a few things that automatically spring to mind.
- It has been noted on this board before that rowing and snatches cause very little soreness because they essentially lack a negative phase. These are two things that you could add in with very little detriment.
- Obviously, once the season starts you will want to scale back on the workoutsanyway, since your goal is to perform well on the field.
- Even if your mandatory workouts are a little silly, doing both every day and/or skipping rest days is to invite under-recovery
- Finally, I suggest looking at the bright side. Your coach may be a ******, and obviously you'd rather have the option of doing cleans from the floor, kipping on your pull-ups, and working some heavy lifts other than bench, but at least you're doing compund movements. I'd say go hard on the things that have value, and just try to not get noticed on the other stuff.
Good luck!
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Old 11-27-2006, 11:43 AM   #4
Paul Findley
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Class of '89 here, it is rare that I run into fellow "Ducks"

I was not very sporting during my tenure there, I went to class and drank lots of beer at my fraternity...yes another youth squandered.

If quiting the team is not an option, I would go lite on their workout and supplement with your own stuff.

I may have to look you up next time I am through Hoboken (I was there last week yearning for Crossfit). Good luck!
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Old 11-27-2006, 12:17 PM   #5
Charles Applin
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You could argue with the coach, but that's rude. I'd say explain to him the logic of your personal work-out program and see if he'll allow it as a substitute. Let him measure your starting strength in a number of areas (bench, curl, lat pulldown, squat, press, etc.) which can be periodically measured to prove that you're doing your part (getting stronger).

As far as hang cleans and dead hang pull-ups, explain that applying a ballistic move using your hips (kipping and floor cleans), you can move more mass using less concentrated muscles. Here's the logic: You don't improve bench press solely by lifting near your 1RM, you scale the weight down allowing more lifts (part 1 of logic) so kipping and floor cleans create a pseudo lighter weight. However, unlike the bench press where the weight is less through the entire range, with kips and floor cleans you get to feel the full heavy loads at the extremes of your movement.

Don't neglect rest days.
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Old 11-27-2006, 02:36 PM   #6
Craig Van De Walker
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sandbag, feign cooperation, stop 3-4 reps short of failure but don't be too obvious about what you are doing.

Your practice and games are probably adequate agility work.

You could skip kipping pull-ups for a long time and be OK. Nothing wrong with dead hangs even if they aren't as good as kipping they are still beneficial.

Do hang cleans, if you can get away with it do deep squat hang cleans.

Board presses won’t kill you but sandbag on those as well to leave more for your CF workouts. Pick short CF workouts and only do one or two a week in season.

Think of it as a game in being the best at sneaking in your effective workouts while "doing" your school coach's program

It is an art to tell someone in authority they are wrong and have them buy in. Even if you are very good at it you may not succeed unless they are an unusually open minded person.
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Old 11-27-2006, 05:47 PM   #7
Larry Barnum
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'Cleans from the floor are worthless, you should only do hang cleans.'

- 'Agility work doesn't help you get quicker.'

- We put pieces of wood on our chest to work the various stages of the bench press so we can... bench more.

Without getting into an endless debate, none of those points is that far off base. I don't know what your best bench is, but board presses will help increase it. The comment on agility follows many studies on fast twitch recruitment.
There are many paths to fitness, don't get stuck
in what you are doing.

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Old 11-27-2006, 07:04 PM   #8
Steven Low
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Ask him to let you do your program for a month or two and then if you aren't getting results you will stop completely. But if you are, then you are allows to continue. Of course, you will be getting results, so you should be allowed to continue it on your own. :-)
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Old 11-27-2006, 07:49 PM   #9
Greg Hamilton
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like allen said, 'play the game'. personally, i wouldn't even try to explain anything to your coach about how your method is best...just adhere to his program. if you have the ability to do modified wods shortly after your mandatory work and in the same place, maybe he'll see you and comment, and then you might have the opportunity to explain a thing or two with a soft touch. be careful not to offend him by disrespecting what he believes is best for his athletes or he won't hear anything you say. i would think that knocking out a quick set of 21-15-9 kipping pullups alternating with hspu, or 'fran', or many various wods would cause him to take notice and ask.
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Old 11-28-2006, 03:37 AM   #10
Mark Permelia
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I think Larry Barnum hit it pretty much square when he said "There are many paths to fitness, don't get stuck in what you are doing."

I really have to take issue with the sandbag comments. Doing anything except your very best in all of you endevous is setting bad habits. So you don't like the coachs routine. Either get over it or quit but don't disrupt what he's trying to do because you think you know better.

Give his program your best. Try to understand what he's trying to accomplish. Your training for very sport specific reason. Crossfit is by definition a broad and varied approach. Don't be afraid to experiment with different ideas and methodologies. You might just learn something. Crossfit is not the holy grail. There is no perfect program.

If the program is completely worthless then at least you can evaluate it from the perspective of having given it your best instead of relying on what you "THINK" you know.
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