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

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Old 03-12-2009, 11:22 PM   #61
Alex Europa
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Re: What is considered fit?

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Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
No, but pushing the envelope increases the injury risk substantially. If you never drive faster than 70 mph, you'll never hit a wall at 150 mph. If you never get on a high bar, you'll never injure yourself trying to land a tricky dismount. And if you never lift heavy weights, you'll never injure yourself by lifting them badly.

Elite athletes, by definition, push themselves to the edge of their capabilities. The suggestion that elite CrossFitters are somehow immune to the overtraining and injury risks faced by elite athletes in other sports is, IMO, ludicrous.

Even at non-elite levels, CrossFit's entire methodology depends on pursuit of intensity. While no one thinks DOMS is a good thing, I'll bet many people on this board would say that if you've never experienced it, you aren't getting the most out of CF. We talk about scaling, but the very phrase "as Rxed" suggests that doing the workouts as specified is the ultimate goal. Every affiliate has a white board so that members can see how they measure up. Many individual CrossFitters obsessively track their own performance. In an environment specifically designed to harness human competitiveness, people are going to stay within their limits on every workout all of the time? You've got to be kidding. Not going to happen. And as soon as pushing the limits becomes desirable, injuries become inevitable.

Which is not to say that CrossFit is bad, or that CF is more risky than other forms of intense training. Just to suggest that shooting the messenger doesn't invalidate the message.

Katherine
I think it would be interesting to look at the training of the Top 10 Male and Female finishers from last year's Games and see what their injury rates were over the past year as they prepared for this year's Games...

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Last edited by Alex Europa : 03-12-2009 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 03-12-2009, 11:41 PM   #62
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: What is considered fit?

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Originally Posted by Alex Europa View Post
Go back to the injury forum and determine the average level of CrossFit experience/ability amongst those with problems. Now, look at the members of your own gym. I would have to imagine that you'll find the same thing that I do: experienced CrossFitters don't seem to (routinely) get injured doing CrossFit, or at a minimum, that the rate of injury decreases significantly as one becomes more proficient.
I think that's true in most sports. You have beginners and weekend warriors, who get injured through technical errors or by trying to do more than they're ready for. Then you have a large mass of "average" athletes who are rarely injured. And then there are the competitors who brush up against their limits routinely, and sometimes get injured as a result. There's also a toughening up/weeding out process, in which people stop noticing minor injuries, accept them as "going with the territory," and/or learn the difference between "normal soreness" and "injury." Or else quit. Experienced participants in most sports are self-selected for ability to tolerate the rigors of the sport.

Katherine
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Old 03-13-2009, 02:03 AM   #63
Michael Bruce Mailman
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Re: What is considered fit?

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Originally Posted by Bob Long View Post
Question: What is considered fit?

Answer: Whatever Coach Greg Glassman says is fit. It's his board, not mine, not yours.
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:15 AM   #64
Alex Europa
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Re: What is considered fit?

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I am a robot! I am a robot!
You clearly have developed a better solution than Coach Glassman's. So in your opinion, what is fit(ness)?

- Alex
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:59 AM   #65
Jeremy Mathers
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Re: What is considered fit?

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Originally Posted by Alex Europa View Post
You clearly have developed a better solution than Coach Glassman's. So in your opinion, what is fit(ness)?

- Alex
although he personally may not have a better definition (I don't), to suggest there isn't one is rather limiting.
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:08 AM   #66
Lewis Dunn
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Re: What is considered fit?

While one can go on about broad time and modal domains, wellness, sickness, 3-D models, etc., I think those discussions are mostly intellectual and not very useful (at least to me). I happen to train largely to excel at a particular sport, and have no reason to try to define what the word “fitness” means, and what follows is completely aside from whether or not the CrossFit definition of fitness is the best one or only one out there.

But, for CrossFit zealots, how about this? The fact is that HQ claims that the winner of the CrossFit Games is the fittest athlete in the world. For anyone who buys into that claim (which I am sure includes a lot of people here), I think the following definition is the safest, most justifiable and most useful definition of fitness. Fitness is the physical, technical and psychological capabilities required to optimize one’s performance (i.e. place as high as you can) at the CrossFit Games. Period. Regardless of how “fit” someone feels they are by any other definition, their true level of fitness, at least by CrossFit standards, would be determined in the end by how well they do at the Games. Again, if the claim is that the winner is the fittest athlete in the world, then there is no test (as far as I am aware) for anything like “wellness” or general health. It is entirely about performance.

I’d add that my personal opinion is that the fittest CrossFitter is not necessarily the winner of the most recent CF Games, but the one who places consistently highest over a period of time (years) in consecutive Games. A few days is not enough time to really include “broad time and modal domains” in the testing, and relatively slight changes in the events and loads can alter the finishing order while still being seen as a valid test format. Until and unless the Games are expanded to a much longer format, I think one needs to look at the results over at least a few years (assuming each year is a bit different from the rest) to really know who is the fittest CrossFitter.
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:47 AM   #67
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: What is considered fit?

If you want to discuss injury rates for people competing or training, you cannot look just at injury rates of training and competing. When I was playing rugby, I was always bruised or had something I had to train around. They were always from rugby. Oddly enough, my friends, who did no training, were often injured as well (slept funny, fell down the stairs, pulled something lifting a box, etc).

I'm not sure our total injury rate, but it seemed to be pretty close. Anything that would happen outside of training (slipping on icy step at school) was at such a low intesity, I would either adjust to not get injured at all (fall in the correct way or recover balance) or the impact was not such to cause injury (falling on the side walk doesn't feel so bad after 80 minutes of running into props/trucks).

It is the same problem with saying LSD burns more fat than high intensity training. If you look only at the time training, then yes, it does. If you look at the next 24 hours, it does not.
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:28 AM   #68
Sam Ser
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Re: What is considered fit?

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Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
No, but pushing the envelope increases the injury risk substantially. If you never drive faster than 70 mph, you'll never hit a wall at 150 mph. If you never get on a high bar, you'll never injure yourself trying to land a tricky dismount. And if you never lift heavy weights, you'll never injure yourself by lifting them badly.
...yet most car accidents occur at much lower speeds.

and most injuries are suffered by people pursuing activities much less intense than crossfit, or in their everyday tasks.

hmm??

the injury rate for weightlifting is a minute fraction of the injury rate for soccer, for example. and the injury rate for intense exercise like crossfit, when done with good form, is extremely low.
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:44 AM   #69
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: What is considered fit?

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...yet most car accidents occur at much lower speeds.

and most injuries are suffered by people pursuing activities much less intense than CrossFit, or in their everyday tasks.
Of course, because the vast majority of drivers don't race, and the vast majority of people (including Crossfitters) spend most of their time doing things other than Crossfit.

To have a meaningful discussion, you would need to know crash rates per driver mile, or injury rates per training hour. You'd also need a consistent definition of "injury," since many athletes routinely ignore stuff that would cripple a non-athlete.

Katherine
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:51 AM   #70
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: What is considered fit?

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Originally Posted by Jamie J. Skibicki View Post
If you want to discuss injury rates for people competing or training, you cannot look just at injury rates of training and competing. When I was playing rugby, I was always bruised or had something I had to train around. They were always from rugby. Oddly enough, my friends, who did no training, were often injured as well (slept funny, fell down the stairs, pulled something lifting a box, etc).

I'm not sure our total injury rate, but it seemed to be pretty close. Anything that would happen outside of training (slipping on icy step at school) was at such a low intesity, I would either adjust to not get injured at all (fall in the correct way or recover balance) or the impact was not such to cause injury (falling on the side walk doesn't feel so bad after 80 minutes of running into props/trucks).
This is an excellent point. I know aikido people who've walked away from falls that would hospitalize most non-athletes. Balance and agility are critical in many sports, and are extremely useful in avoiding injuries out in the real world.

Katherine
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