CrossFit Discussion Board  

Go Back   CrossFit Discussion Board > CrossFit Forum > Fitness
CrossFit Home Forum Site Rules CrossFit FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-09-2004, 10:31 AM   #1
Ryan Atkins
Member Ryan Atkins is offline
 
Ryan Atkins's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Racine  WI
Posts: 925
Recently, I had the oppurtunity to browse through the training manuals of a top freestyle fighting team. Although the exercise and nutritional guidelines didn't match the standards set forth by Crossfit, there was one area that arose my interest. The writer(s) made the claim that 80% of what goes on during competition is determined by psychological factors. The manual then goes on to describe various mental strategies for optimizing performance.

In the 'What is Crossfit' issue of the CFJ, a pyramid illustrates the main factors that make up the Crossfit model. At the bottom is nutrition. The next three tiers represent the areas from which Crossfit draws its exercises. In both of these cases (nutrition and exercise) Crossfit, IMO, has done an outstanding job choosing the most effective methods available and then tinkering with those methods to suit the inidividual.

For example, HSPUs are a great movement, but can't be performed right off the bat by everyone starting the program. In the same way a Zone diet is prescribed, but modifications are made dependant on an individual's body fat level and/or their tolerance of neolithic foods. Can the same thing be done for training the mind/spirit?

I've read in a related thread that Greg Amundson prays before and after a workout session. Others on this board have mentioned Yoga, Pilates, etc. as being important to their fitness. Are the other top performers at Crossfit HQ (or other facilities) doing the same thing? If not, are they using some other form of training to stay relaxed and focused (if this is possible) during a WOD?

Just curious,

Ryan
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2004, 12:16 PM   #2
Scott Parker
Member Scott Parker is offline
 
Scott Parker's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver  CO
Posts: 489
i use my own form of imagry and meditation. i know it sounds kind of funny but it works for me.

i have to agree that a large part (more than half) of your success is psychological.

physical fitness and training will only get you so far. being mentally capable / confident will only get you so far. the real progress starts when you become efficient at both of these disciplines. that's when you are able to excel.

just my opinion!

scott
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2004, 12:18 PM   #3
Robert Wolf
Member Robert Wolf is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chico  CA
Posts: 2,669
Ryan-

I think Barry mentioned a while back that "mental toughness" should be part of the paramaters of fitness.

The book "Flow" talks about this very topic. These heightened states of consciousness appear to require a significant investment in time to create a skill base in which to "Flow" in.
It also appears that the process of acquiring this skill base to enter the flow state can be quite a transformative from personal growth perspective.

Several years ago I read a magazine which is typically devoted to topics of morality, spirituality and what not. They had a round table discussion with some BIG philosophers from around the world discussing the Body For Life phenomena. The topic essentially revolved around how does one attain enlightenment from an externally focused, perhaps narcissistic endeavor. I have been trying to remember the name of the journal and would like to find that issue.

Sorry, I may be rambling here and I did not really address your question. For me the sense of community I experience with CrossFit, in particular the opportunity to serve others is a true source of inspiration for me.
Just some thoughts
Robb
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2004, 12:26 PM   #4
Alexander Karatis
Member Alexander Karatis is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Athens  Attica, Greece
Posts: 786
Since you mentioned the pyramid, I do believe that somewhere in its base lies psychology/spirit.

I know how hard it is to perform well when under intense psychological stress, and I know how much easier gains come when you're in good spirits because I have tasted both.

Prolonged stress/depression/anxiety will definately lead to no improvements physically no matter how much you train, if they don't lead to a downward spiral.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2004, 07:41 PM   #5
Barry Cooper
Member Barry Cooper is offline
 
Barry Cooper's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Louisville  KY
Posts: 2,188
I had this great thing written, and it disappeared somehow. One lesson there is the importance of non-attachment, which is actually a good principle: don't get too attached to any one technique. The Japanese and others talk about the Void, which is a trackless place that makes you utterly unpredictable once you enter, which is good for fighting. That's a good mental/spiritual principle.

Another idea I like is a quote from the Art of War: "First you must be capable of firmness in your own heart--only then can you take away the heart of opposing generals."

Get one of the mental toughness books from James Loehr, they have a lot of good ideas.

Flow (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a Chicago guy) is a great book, and anyone that hasn't read "Learned Optimism" from Martin Seligman, should, in my opinion.

I do meditate. I really like a pair of books by Tarthang Tulku called Kum Nye Relaxation. They are truly great books, in my opinion. Don't be fooled by their simplicity. Do the exercises, and pay attention.

That's my two cents.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2004, 07:42 PM   #6
Barry Cooper
Member Barry Cooper is offline
 
Barry Cooper's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Louisville  KY
Posts: 2,188
One more: "As a Man Thinketh", by James Allen.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2004, 07:52 PM   #7
Jason Lauer
Member Jason Lauer is offline
 
Jason Lauer's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: May 2008
Location: York  PA
Posts: 158
Ryan,
If you don't mind me asking who's manual was it (it's o.k. if you don't want to answer)? Also I know Scott Sonnon is really big on controlling various psychological factors, in fact I believe it is at the top or close to it of his performance pyramid.

I think particularly for MMA this is very important. The nature of MMA as opposed to a great variety of other sports, even other combat sports, is just plain scary. Boxing may be the closest but, you only have to worry about getting punched.

If you are scared and hesitant going in to an NHB match your performance can be severly affected because if you hesitate boom your takendown and mounted, or you catch an unexpected shin kick to the head. All other sports can include fear, but I believe it is more a fear of losing. NHB I believe induces a more primal, instinctual fear. Hesitation in other sports can cost a lot, but in MMA there are so many variables. I know you've been there, so do you think that is possibly why that team holds psychological factors in such high regard?
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2004, 06:06 AM   #8
Barry Cooper
Member Barry Cooper is offline
 
Barry Cooper's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Louisville  KY
Posts: 2,188
I've thought about this a bit more, and I feel like the key is to channel fear into clarity and power. You can't avoid fear, but you can teach yourself to use it. It would seem to me to be critical that you avoid the Fight or Flight. That might seem like a good thing, but technical fighting requires some strategy, I would think, and once you drop over the edge, you're gone. Both sides of the ring usually contain strong, well-conditioned men, who at this day and time are probably using effective techniques for that type of fighting. Who keeps their head, and who channels their adrenaline productively, probably determines who wins.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2004, 08:17 AM   #9
Ben Gimball
Departed Ben Gimball is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jan 1970
 
Posts: 100
I have trained many MMA fighters relative to their conditioning. I have also trained in MMA, but I have had no professional bouts.

By the way, "As A Man Thinkith," by James Allen, is one of my favorite books! Great pick! If I were to add one more to your collection it would be Zig Ziglars classic" "See You At The Top." Maybe you have already read it.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2004, 11:00 AM   #10
Ryan Atkins
Member Ryan Atkins is offline
 
Ryan Atkins's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Racine  WI
Posts: 925
Thanks for the input all. As an avid reader, I appreciate the book reccomendations (Flow sounds especially interesting). Maybe I'm confused, hung up on a semantic issue and/or phrased my question poorly, but it wasn't my intention for this thread to address the 'mental toughness' issue.

What I was more interested in were the conscious mental steps that top Crossfitters (may) run through prior to performing a WOD. For example, it's probably beneficial for a gymnast to visualize himself performing his routine perfectly in his head many times before stepping out on the floor. Unless we're utilizing one of 'the girls', a Crossfitter's routine varies considerably, but the movements are often the same/similar. Does anybody think it would beneficial to do (hopefully positive) mental run throughs of the WOD before actually performing them? If so, is there a visualization technique A that is measurably better than a visualiztion technique B the same way it can be shown that an O-lift is better for overall physical fitness than a bicep curl or that an insulin-controlled diet is better than a grain-based diet?


Jason, Barry, Ben

The manual was from Team Quest (Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, Matt Lindland, etc.).
I believe that using/controlling fear has a major impact on the outcome of a competition. I've seen/heard of many instances of NHB fighters who make awesome/unstoppable training partners, yet perform poorly in the ring.

I almost 'lost it' in my first ring fight – my opponent reversed my poor takedown attempt, achieved a top position in my open guard and started throwing strikes towards my head. My first reaction was, 'Oh my God, I'm getting hit!' It took a moment or two for me to realize, 'wait a second, those didn't hurt . . . and most of them missed.' Fortunately from there, I was able to regain composure and let my training take over. I don't know if I 'channeled' or 'embraced' my fear or not (my wife would probably tell you that I have no fear, or any other emotion, for that matter) but I was able to concentrate on the task at hand. Although that initial period was probably scarier and more primal than feelings evoked from any other sport, I doubt it compares to the experiences of combat veterans and the like. Last time I checked, they don't get the option of tapping out.

To be honest, Jason, I'd be more afraid of entering a boxing ring than the NHB arena. In NHB, if someone's heavily pounding me and I achieve a clinch, I get to stay in the clinch without having a ref pull us apart right away for more pounding. I'm betting a boxer will end his career with significantly more brain trauma than an NHB fighter (who 'balances this out' with joint injuries maybe?).


Just some thoughts,

Ryan
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The George Mateljan Foundations (www.whfoods.com) on Paleo Diet Neal Winkler Nutrition 0 09-28-2005 10:38 AM
What's the "foundations" page? Jason Berger Starting 1 06-23-2005 01:46 AM
Curious psychological phenomena associated with crossfit Jim Aldridge Community 14 06-10-2005 07:46 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.