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

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Old 04-04-2010, 12:25 PM   #1
Bryan Peter
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Why Should One Be Fit?

Hello,

My first post on this forum. I looked into the principles about Crossfit and there was a lot of emphasis on fitness. I thought it would be appropriate to post this in the Fitness Theory section of the forum. From what I understand, the approximate definition of fitness used at Crossfit is something like the ability to do work across a number of domains such as flexibility, power, strength, endurance capacity, etc.

My question is, why train these, especially in such a holistic non-specialist manner (apart from enjoyment)?

Let me say before the discussion begins that I'm very sceptical of the idea that training fitness improves health or increases longevity, except in the most detrained of individuals, or people who are driving themselves into diabetes because of an extremely bad diet. I watched a recent TED Talk by a researcher who studied centenarian hot spots around the world and he found that almost none of these communities sought out conscious, hard exercise. Most did relaxing exercise such as gardening or family walks, which also tend to provide stress relief and bonding benefits. It seems like a good diet is sufficient to ward off the diseases of civilisation (Paleo diet might be the answer). If we could be charitable and grant that intense exercise such as Crossfit is certainly not necessary for health and longevity, then is the only reason to train Crossfit for the fun and challenge factor (like any other sport)?
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Old 04-04-2010, 12:36 PM   #2
Andrew Schechterly
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Re: Why Should One Be Fit?

CrossFit and health/fitness go much deeper than training...

Most people here strive to live healthfully in many ways, outside of exercise...


And those "detrained" folks and the ones who are eating themselves into disease make up a huge part of America...

And why do you not believe that fitness leads to healthier, longer life but you believe the study that argues against it? Why is that more credible than the studies that show the massive benefits of this kind of training?
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Old 04-04-2010, 12:59 PM   #3
Bryan Peter
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Re: Why Should One Be Fit?

Hi Andrew,

What are the massive benefits of fitness training that improve health? I can only think of, for example, a slight reduction in blood pressure in people eating unhealthily, where the root cause is an underlying unhealthy diet high in salt, not lack of exercise. That, and there may be some effects on insulin sensitivity in people eating poor diets, but again the underlying problem is what should be removed (the hyperinsulinemia promoting diet).

If you look at the centenarian hot spots of the world, it seems quite possible to live long and healthily without scoring high on fitness indicators (since health and fitness are two separate things). In fact, most long lived people avoid such intense exercise that promotes high degrees of fitness. It is unneeded for their health, and the risk of injury is a needless risk to their health.
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Old 04-04-2010, 01:04 PM   #4
Andrew Schechterly
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Re: Why Should One Be Fit?

Have you not gained any benefits from exercise? You must be on the CrossFit forums for a reason besides trying to convince people that we really DON'T need to exercise after all...
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Old 04-04-2010, 01:14 PM   #5
Bryan Peter
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Re: Why Should One Be Fit?

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Originally Posted by Andrew Schechterly View Post
Have you not gained any benefits from exercise? You must be on the CrossFit forums for a reason besides trying to convince people that we really DON'T need to exercise after all...
I encourage you to read my posts carefully and not misinterpret them. While I said health and fitness capacity are not necessarily related, I never said that intense exercise is not needed at all. That would depend on your goals, career, hobbies and whatever else. If I say that one thing is not necessarily related to another good thing, for example, money beyond a minimal level is not necessary for happiness, that doesn't mean that achieving greater amounts of money would be pointless. That would depend on further goals that are highly individual.

Last edited by Bryan Peter : 04-04-2010 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 04-04-2010, 01:29 PM   #6
Nic Michaud
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Re: Why Should One Be Fit?

This is what happens when the ppl in vancouver run out of weed for the week...
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Old 04-04-2010, 01:35 PM   #7
Frank E Morel
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Re: Why Should One Be Fit?

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This is what happens when the ppl in vancouver run out of weed for the week...
oh stfu and go play in a lobster trap.
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Old 04-04-2010, 01:38 PM   #8
Nic Michaud
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Re: Why Should One Be Fit?

right lol
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Old 04-04-2010, 01:53 PM   #9
Robert D Taylor Jr
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Re: Why Should One Be Fit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Peter View Post
Hello,

My first post on this forum. I looked into the principles about Crossfit and there was a lot of emphasis on fitness. I thought it would be appropriate to post this in the Fitness Theory section of the forum. From what I understand, the approximate definition of fitness used at Crossfit is something like the ability to do work across a number of domains such as flexibility, power, strength, endurance capacity, etc.

My question is, why train these, especially in such a holistic non-specialist manner (apart from enjoyment)?

Let me say before the discussion begins that I'm very sceptical of the idea that training fitness improves health or increases longevity, except in the most detrained of individuals, or people who are driving themselves into diabetes because of an extremely bad diet. I watched a recent TED Talk by a researcher who studied centenarian hot spots around the world and he found that almost none of these communities sought out conscious, hard exercise. Most did relaxing exercise such as gardening or family walks, which also tend to provide stress relief and bonding benefits. It seems like a good diet is sufficient to ward off the diseases of civilisation (Paleo diet might be the answer). If we could be charitable and grant that intense exercise such as Crossfit is certainly not necessary for health and longevity, then is the only reason to train Crossfit for the fun and challenge factor (like any other sport)?

Stronger bones for the elderly? Hip fractures are a death sentence for the old. Increased mobility as one ages? Better strength to allow for a more independent existence?

The centenarian population currently was doing walks and garderning, how about in their youth? I'm not sure I'll be CFing when I'm 90, but that doesn't mean it's not helping me now. The world's population is distinctly more sedentary on average than they were 70-80 years ago.

The other thing to consider is CF is useful for short term survival of LEOs/Mil/FF etc increasing their likelihood of old age.

other than that, you're right, it's more fun which increases compliance.
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Old 04-04-2010, 02:00 PM   #10
Shane Skowron
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Re: Why Should One Be Fit?

Exercise promotes quickness of reflexes and improved concentration. I'm not sure that a brisk walk will do that well as intense exercise.

At least in my case, I've found that being able to maintain mental calmness and clarity of thought during intense exercise makes it even easier to do so while sitting in class and doing my other daily activities.

Intense exercise improves mood, at least for me.

It can also help you obtain quality sleep more easily in some cases.

How about the mental benefits of pushing yourself to physical limits?

Last edited by Shane Skowron : 04-04-2010 at 02:05 PM.
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