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

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Old 09-16-2006, 02:28 AM   #1
Aditya Chandra
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Hi All

I was reading this article and the following is the summary of its findings :

1. Strength Training can produce adaptations in endurance ie. adaptations can take place in excercises not used in strength training program (like vertical jumps, sprints etc)

2. Higher volume training can affect measures of endurance to a greater extent than low volume training.

3. Within the context of strength training short rest periods (<90sec) do not enhance endurance beyond using typical rest periods and can compromise strength and power gains.If rest periods are too short (<30sec) loading may be compromised to result in smaller gains in strength power.

It also mentions that strength training increases the anaerobic capacity of athletes but doesnt affect the aerobic capability singnificantly.

Strength training is shown to reduce the amount of muscle activated for a given load.Hence this may indicate that as motor units become stronger or more powerful fewer motor units will be used for a given force output/work rate.

I have a few questions here :

1. What is meant by power training (power production) ? How is it different from strength endurance and strength training ?

2. Strength endurance inlvoved high volume work.What are the methods to implement a high volume program (heavier weights, more sets, less rest period ? ) The warrior challenges in I.I are mostly fast paced programs.How can weights be introduced into them ?

3. What is explosive strength training ? The even strength training workouts in I.I have this tag.How are they different ?

4. Please correct if wrong or incomplete: When designing a workout program the following areas need to be covered : Strength Training, Strength Endurance, GPP, Explosive Strength, Conditioning (in no particular order). Is this all ?

I know alot of questions.I have just started reading in detail and have alot of questions Embarassed

All help is highly appreciated.Please feel free to post links which may help me find some answers

Thanks !!
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Old 09-16-2006, 04:09 AM   #2
Jesse Woody
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First, I would check this out:

As for your questions, I'll do the best I can:

1. Power training and "power production" are most-often used differently. Power training refers to explosive movements that are meant to increase power as outlined in the 10 physical skills, i.e. the ability to produce maximum force in minimal time. This training would include ballistic lifting, plyometrics, sprints, etc. This would differ greatly from strength-endurance in that it's characterized by extremely quick movements that accelerate a load to maximal velocity in as little time as possible. A good example would be this:

Strength-endurance, on the other hand, is the ability to perform a given movement repeatedly over time as efficiently as possible, and with as little reduction in power output as possible. This would include high-rep weightlifting, high-rep bodyweight calisthenics and the like.

2. Increasing the volume means just that, increasing the total volume of work. You do this by performing more sets and reps overall. Another interesting concept that may have more benefit to most athletes (as you can eventually increase volume exponentially without any great increase in strength or power) is the density model, where you attempt to increase the total volume for a given time period. Think "Cindy"- 5 Pull-Ups, 10 Push-Ups and 15 Squats. 20 minutes for rounds. As you get more rounds from one workout to the next, you are increasing the total density of this workout, fitting more volume into the 20 minutes than before. If you merely attempted to perform more sets each time without any thought of the total time it took, you would only be improving your endurance, more than likely at a detriment to your strength, power and the like.

3. Explosive strength training is basically the same as ballistic training used for maximum power-production. You will pick a load that is moderate and attempt to move the weight as quickly as possible. Think One-arm Dumbbell Snatches.

4. I think that the Crossfit Journal PDF I linked answered this pretty well. In order to be a well-rounded athlete, you need to cover cardiovascular/cardiorespiritory endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance, Accuracy, and Body Composition (though this usually takes care of itself)
This can be accomplished through a dedicated GPP program along with pursuing various sports and working on high-skill activities such as Olypmic weightlifting, gymnastics, etc.

I hope this helps a bit. Let me know if this is what you were looking for.

(Message edited by gear on September 16, 2006)
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Old 09-16-2006, 05:36 AM   #3
Aditya Chandra
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Thanks for the reply Jesse.I have read the cross fit journal.

My current program is spread around 5 days.Its as follows :

Day 1: Strength Training (Maximum Weights)
Day 2: GPP + Core Training
Day 3: Warrior Training
Day 4: Interval Training + Core Training
Day 5: Strenght Workout (Explosive Strength/Speed Strenght)
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Maybe Rest

Please note that this program was not designed by me.It's been taken from the book Infinite Intensity by Ross Enamait (

I understand that I have to keep changing this program according to my needs etc.Also note that the exercises in the workouts keep changing every time.I need to focus on my weak points more, that too I realize.

So far I have been getting good gains in strength and endurance.My interval training (skipping for now) is consists mostly of low paced training for now thanks to my knee problem :-(

Referrring to a sample routine given in th CF journal (Page 9) in which strength training, explosive gymnastics,high intensity stuff is done : I also read that keeping conditioning/cardio days seperate from strength training days is better since one can give a better performance in either this way.Ofcourse advanced athletes can manage this by splitting these workouts in mornings and evenings.

All suggestion are welcome !!

Thanks alot.

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Old 09-16-2006, 06:39 AM   #4
Jesse Woody
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One important idea proposed here at Crossfit is that segmenting workouts elicits segmented results. There are very few times in life where there is a distinction placed between endurance and strength. If there is an emergency, will you have the option to perform the strength portion at one time, then wait 6 hours, or until another day to take care of the endurance? Keep this in mind with your training.

As for Infinite Intensity, it's an excellent book that takes this into account. There's a good mix of pure-strength, mixed-mode conditioning, and strength-endurance. You can't go wrong on Ross' program, unless you have very specific goals, such as absolute limit strength, or elite-level endurance, both of which will be gained by a reduction in overal fitness.
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Old 09-16-2006, 07:55 AM   #5
Motion Macivor
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I had a look at Ross's site a few weeks ago there's a lot of good stuff there. In your #4 list I would add coordination, balance, and accuracy (this stuff is covered fairly well by Ross) these three atributes are what separate athletes from really strong spaztics. Ie body builders, and power lifters.
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Old 09-16-2006, 08:49 AM   #6
Kevin McKay
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Here is another great crossfit pdf I could not find it on the site so I will just post it. Also check out the perfomance menu as non of this will do much without proper nutrition.
Cutting edge nutrition geared for crossfit.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Foundations.pdf (320.3 KB, 343 views)
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Old 09-16-2006, 10:44 AM   #7
Mike ODonnell
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Remember you can change a crossfit workout to either be a strength, dynamic/explosive, or power....just look for example "Diane", 225Dls, HSPU for 21-15-9.
Imagine that 225DL is heavy for me maybe 5 reps max, and HSPU are the same maybe 5 reps max.

Now for a strength based workout,...I modify for sets of I would keep the weights the same for the duration of the workout (will take a while to do...or maybe I put a cutoff at 20min)

Now for dynamic or explosive training, I modify by doing perhaps 135 DLs and maybe a 95lb push press. Shorter duration but higher speeds and intensity.

And for Power...maybe I do a 255lb DL, and weighted HSPU or heavy push press, with reps around 1 or 2....very very long this maybe it is better to keep your ME days instead.

Just look at any workout and it should be adjustable to meet your individual needs once you understand how to modify it.

Just an idea.
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Old 09-16-2006, 01:33 PM   #8
Robert Wolf
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All of Ross's material is top notch. He makes the point, and and I have had Coach's rutherford and Burgner reiterate this point:

Strength endurance is predicated on absolute strength.

If you want loads of strength endurance, you MUST be strong first.
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Old 09-16-2006, 08:46 PM   #9
Aditya Chandra
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I agree Robert.One RM is directly related to Strength Endurance as well as anaerobic capacity of the body.

Refer to this research article :

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