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

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Old 11-10-2012, 06:57 AM   #1
Alexander Nikolaj Kanto
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How do crossfitters become so big???

Hello fellow crossfitters. YES, it is a very naive title, and maybe I am also very naive to think, that there is an ultimate answer to the question. BUT:

Since I started crossfit, I have always been told, that this is not a workout form that will make you grow in size due to the immense amount of cardio. Therefore I am a bit confused when I see the size of the professional competitors and more experienced crossfitters in my affiliate. These guys a quite big, with a very low body fat percentage.Howcome these guys have the size, that they have? Is the answer really just a ton of food everyday, and strength training whenever they are not doing WODs?

I am asking only to find out, if I can expect to grow to that size if I just stay in a surplus of calories and do strength training between WODs. Or are they doing something, that I am not aware of?
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:50 AM   #2
Larry Bruce
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Re: How do crossfitters become so big???

They are cross-training crossfit with weightlifting/powerlifting/OL.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:48 AM   #3
Chris Mason
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Re: How do crossfitters become so big???

The primary answer is heredity.

If you go to Regionals you get to see the vast spectrum of the appearance of competitive CFers. In the end, all of them are training in generally the same fashion, yet they all look so different. Most are quite lean, but beyond that you have some that are quite thin and others pretty big.

Some people simply have the propensity to easily add muscle mass. Those people can do almost anything and they get larger (within reason of course). Others can train and train and train and never add much in the way of appreciable lean muscle mass.

Now, CrossFit proper, like main site WODs etc. is NOT a good hypertrophy program. Most practitioners will add some muscle, but the main adaptation will be strength endurance and endurance.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:02 AM   #4
Lincoln Brigham
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Re: How do crossfitters become so big???

I don't know if I'd describe Crossfit as "an immense amount of cardio".
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:30 AM   #5
Brendan McNamar
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Re: How do crossfitters become so big???

Part of what may be taking place here is the Open/Regional/Games system acts as a filter. The higher the level of completion the more genetically similar the athletes become.

Understand all train hard and smart. All have the heart of a lion or they don't make it past regionals. All have been training most of their lives in some organized manner.

Of the top 10 finishers Mackay in 9th is the tallest at 6'0". The average weight of the group is 195.

If you remove Bailey and Malleolo the two shortest guys and Mackay the 7 remaining become even more similar. All between 5'8" and 5'11" with an average weight of 200. These are solid guys.

To excel in CrossFit at the highest level you will need to be in this range. All these guys carry a lot of muscle for their frame size.

Strength is a much bigger component of success then the average CrossFitter realizes.

Now if you want to reach your personal best size. Follow an organized lifting program, make sure your met-cons are not interfering with the lifting recovery and eat a lot of clean food.
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:21 PM   #6
Alexander Nikolaj Kanto
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Re: How do crossfitters become so big???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan McNamar View Post
Part of what may be taking place here is the Open/Regional/Games system acts as a filter. The higher the level of completion the more genetically similar the athletes become.

Understand all train hard and smart. All have the heart of a lion or they don't make it past regionals. All have been training most of their lives in some organized manner.

Of the top 10 finishers Mackay in 9th is the tallest at 6'0". The average weight of the group is 195.

If you remove Bailey and Malleolo the two shortest guys and Mackay the 7 remaining become even more similar. All between 5'8" and 5'11" with an average weight of 200. These are solid guys.

To excel in CrossFit at the highest level you will need to be in this range. All these guys carry a lot of muscle for their frame size.

Strength is a much bigger component of success then the average CrossFitter realizes.

Now if you want to reach your personal best size. Follow an organized lifting program, make sure your met-cons are not interfering with the lifting recovery and eat a lot of clean food.
This was a good response and definitely confirmed my belief in the fact, that all I, as a mortal 6'4" tall dude with a weight of 170 lbs, can do, is to keep eating A LOT of good clean food an train correctly. I believe I do so already, since I am aware of the factors you just mentioned here. Thank you for a good and objective response!
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:45 PM   #7
Tom Hathaway
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Re: How do crossfitters become so big???

I would venture to say that these guys aren't the "couch-to-crossfit" types. I have no reference for this, but am willing to bet they all have a weightlifting/athletic background. They were probably big and strong before they started crossfit, now they are bigger, stronger and more conditioned.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:10 PM   #8
John Heaney
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Re: How do crossfitters become so big???

Probably because they were strong and/or big prior to CrossFit. From what I've heard/read/seen they also don't really do CrossFit per se, more of a hybrid strength/CrossFit program.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:26 PM   #9
Jesse Martin
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Re: How do crossfitters become so big???

I speculate that the ones at the top (the big guys) are the ones who use structured periodized training. This may include a hypertrophy specific cycle. If you aim to be great at something you typically do whatever it takes to get there.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:35 PM   #10
Dan Douglas
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Re: How do crossfitters become so big???

A substantial portion of top guys, which you can see just clicking through profiles, were college athletes.
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