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

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Old 02-28-2005, 01:00 PM   #1
Troy Archie
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Yesterday's WOD was "Linda" and it's the first time in a long time since there was any BPing in the WOD, plus my friend said to my this weekend that his definition of fit is BPing your BW 10 times, got me wondering why there's such an infrequency on a lift that is considered a main stay in probably 95% of most lifting circles. I've thrashed around in the archives and found a few interesting points on why but since they're older posts I thought it would be interesting to rehash this subject. That and I’m looking for something concrete to shoot back at him to get him thinking. I was thinking about something along the lines that there are plenty of big fat power lifters who can do that but can’t reach around to scratch their own arse...
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Old 02-28-2005, 03:21 PM   #2
Larry Lindenman
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It's funny if you look at old time lifting, prior to the 60's, no one benchpressed. Benchpressing is not very functional but does stimulate the triceps like no other exercise, which is why it is included in bodybuilding programs so often. Most lifting in crossfit is done on your feet, like in the real world! We don't work bp much but I still have a decent bp, about 300#, and could rep 10-12 body weight. I used to bench more so my numbers have gone down since starting CF, but who really cares! Most people have focused way too much on the bp and have created imbalances..."It's Monday, let's bench!"
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Old 02-28-2005, 05:01 PM   #3
Keith Wittenstein
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Read Dan John's article on 15 BW OH Squats. That is a better definition of fit. See the thread entitle Crossfit Challenge III on the Competitions page.

Most functional strength requires utilization of larger muscle groups located in the legs, hips and core. NOT the compartively smaller chest and tris. You are seldom called upon in life to move heavy objects with your back pinned to a wall or a bench. Even stiff-arming an oncoming tackle requires significantly more strength in the legs and hips to overpower the opponent.

Read some of the articles about doing super squats and coming back to the bench a few months later and putting up more weight. You seldom here of people going nuts on the benchpress for a month or two then coming back and hitting squat PRs. Indicates that greater amount of overall strength is gained from squating vs benchpressing.

From my own personal experience, I think I've gotten a lot stronger from my overall focus on air squats, snatches and c&j, than from anything I did before. I never felt as tough all over from doing bench presses. At best my chest and arms would be sore. Now I feel solid. I can't really speak to PRs and such as I was never much of a record keeper, but I feel a lot stronger.
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Old 02-28-2005, 09:17 PM   #4
Pat Janes
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I've hardly given any time to the bench press in the past and have always been weak at it.

But prior to starting CrossFit I couldn't bench BW at all; in fact, I was a way short. Now I can manage about 5-6 reps. That is without working bench press *at all* (apart from the occasional Linda and Lynne).

So I guess it all depends on where you started, but CF can increase your bench; but like most other things it will most likely go down if you were already particularly strong in that area.

I'd much rather be able to do a 2xBW ring dip (ie. you + BW) or something crazy strong like that, than to be able to crank out insane numbers of BW bench press. Although I'd guess that the former would lead to the latter...
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Old 03-01-2005, 08:50 AM   #5
Frank C Ollis
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I have almost completely replaced the BP in my training. I do it as part of the WOD, and at other occasional times. I have replaced it with lots of multi angle push ups, and static holds. I have given some consideration to attacking Challenge #7, 30 x BW in a single set. I am probably 17-19 right now, so it would require a commitment.
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Old 03-01-2005, 03:29 PM   #6
Ron Nelson
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FWIW, 2 recent T-mag articles mention the BP. One about how to "cheat" and lift like a competitor and another that featured the one-arm BP done with dumbbells. The more useful information came from the article speaking of the one arm BP as it called upon the entire torso to stablize the load being lifted, even though you're on your back while lifting.
Both Dan and Gary John posted their endorsement of the one-arm BP as being a movement that built "crazy strength" and was overall, very useful.
I've added one-arm BP's to my warm up from time to time, but I don't like specializing on a specialized movement.
Did I have a point here when I started?????
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Old 03-02-2005, 07:43 AM   #7
Aushion Chatman
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There seems to be an over-abundance of posts about why this is typically in the WOD and why such and such is neglected.

I personally love to bp...I started working out probably like most of you, 3 days a wk, tri's and chest Mon, back and bi's Wed...Legs Fri.

Chest workout consisted mainly of bp'n the diff bp's will always take me back to teh days when I first became cognizant of the fact that I should be in better than good shape and make working out priority.

So, since it's one of my fav exercises, I do it almost all the time...If I can't get to the i-net and see the posted WOD, I often just do Lynne (or Chelsea)...or if I finish a WOD that didn't rip my upper body in half by itself....I'll do Lynne afterwards...throwing regard for tomorrow's WOD to the wind (though coming back the next day and realizing you messed up, is fun in a very masochistic sort of way).

So I guess, the whole point is, just because it's on the site today, or not on the site today, doesn't mean you can't do it...if you love bp'n like it, and do it often...I was never one for records either, but I KNOW I'm way stronger on bp than I was when I did it once a week.

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