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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, 02:10 PM   #11
Bryan Peter
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Re: Why Should One Be Fit?

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Originally Posted by Robert D Taylor Jr View Post
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?
Age induced sarcopenia is the result of a bad diet. Chronic low grade metabolic acidosis induced by Western diets for one, as well as inoptimal protein intake. There are plenty of cultures that don't suffer from that problem with very minimal exercise (ie walking, gardenning).

If you look at hunter gatherer populations, in their elderly, such as the Kitavans, they have strong bones and much lower rates of fracture than Western populations, probably due to more important things such as adequate vitamin D intake which effects calcium retention, adequate magnesium intake, a net base yielding diet which reduces the excretion of calcium, intake of vitamin K2 which profoundly affects bone health and is absent in the Western diet.

I do grant you that if you are not taking care of yourself with your diet, you can improve some of those markers like bone loss. You don't need to be doing that much intense exercise though (just "weight-bearing" simple stuff) and there's the problem in which exercise alone (in conjunction with a standard American diet) will only yield marginal benefits. The confounding factor with these elderly populations is that they're not fit because they're not healthy in the first place, not the other way around. In other words, they've caused diseases in themselves with their diets, such as sarcopenia and osteoperosis, and that has affected their ability to be mobile. The real change would come from correcting the dietary imbalance which is causing those diseases in the first place.

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The centenarian population currently was doing walks and garderning, how about in their youth?
I wasn't talking about the older generations, but about the entire communities. I'm sure younger men, like in most communities around the world, are charged with doing the most rigorous activities. Maybe Okinawan men are chopping wood when they're young, but they're probably not doing it for time.


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The other thing to consider is CF is useful for short term survival of LEOs/Mil/FF etc increasing their likelihood of old age.
Probably true, I don't know much about their fitness requirements. I think the biggest thing would be to not have a traitor government which sends young American men to die for the sake of giving "democracy" to a bunch of primitive barbarians who hate us, and then restraining them with numerous legal barriers that make it nearly impossible to defend themselves.

Then there would be the issue of their familiarity with their weapons, psychological techniques for dealing with criminals for those in law enforcement, etc, but they're probably spending a lot of time on that. In order of priority though, I would rank those things as higher.

Last edited by Bryan Peter : 04-04-2010 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 04-04-2010, 02:22 PM   #12
Andrew Breyer
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Re: Why Should One Be Fit?

So you look good naked.
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Old 04-04-2010, 02:26 PM   #13
Bryan Peter
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Re: Why Should One Be Fit?

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Exercise promotes quickness of reflexes and improved concentration. I'm not sure that a brisk walk will do that well as intense exercise.
I think training certainly does promote sport specific reflexes. It would depend on what you want to get good at though: Doing Crossfit to get good at flying a jet plane might not be as efficient as using a flight simulator. Doing Crossfit to get better at a video game (which requires intense concentration as well as reflex activity and coordination) would be overdoing it.

I thoroughly believe everyone should learn to play catch when they're young though. I was shocked when I came to Korea and found so many people couldn't catch keys and were afraid of balls.

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It can also help you obtain quality sleep more easily in some cases.
I think I remember seeing a study on this but it was on completely sedentary people. Like people who didn't even bother getting up to vacuum or grab their newspaper at the end of the driveway. It's interesting that a lot of the studies showing exercise promote health are done on these extremely sedentary people, and that little benefits are shown in more "normal" people.

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How about the mental benefits of pushing yourself to physical limits?
Certainly, training your integrity and determination is absolutely necessary for success in every field. However, I think for people with careers in intellectual fields, integrity is more about overcoming short term emotional pain and excuses/rationalizations rather than physical pain.
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Old 04-04-2010, 02:28 PM   #14
Bryan Peter
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Re: Why Should One Be Fit?

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So you look good naked.
That seems like a reason to train for aesthetics, not for fitness.
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Old 04-04-2010, 02:35 PM   #15
Mark E. Wallace
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Re: Why Should One Be Fit?

Bryan is absolutely correct. Everybody stop this Crossfit nonsense right now and eat a cake. You're certain to live to 100.
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Old 04-04-2010, 02:39 PM   #16
Diego Sommariva
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Re: Why Should One Be Fit?

CF says it makes people fitter across the spectrum. If you want to get fitter playing video games or flying a jet fighter that is not general, that is specific. And fly a jet plane too many hours, or play a video game too long and then come back here and tell us what the results are, because both can drive you off your rocker. Diversity is what avoids the body and mind from clogging up and not being able to move forward. Diversity in exercise keeps the body having to adapt to new stressors and in the long run becomes stronger, faster, more durable, agile, flexible, with more stamina, increases accuracy, etc. Tell me none of these things are necessary at any point of our lives and then tell us where the holy grail is. Sport, be it in the form of CF or any other activity is just that, activity. We have muscles and blood vessels and cells. All necessary to live. If they are poorly our lives will be the same. If they are in tip top condition, or we are working them in that direction, well, you don't need to be Einstein to understand what I'm trying to say.

Regarding studies, well, ever read a study that said a high carb diet was the best thing for you? Many studies tend to be biased or just plain wrong.

If you really want to know what the human being needs to be fit for either travel back in time to when we had to hunt and collect, or just look at the wildlife around you. It is one great big survival of the fittest fest. If you don't move, you're dead.

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Last edited by Diego Sommariva : 04-04-2010 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 04-04-2010, 02:45 PM   #17
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Why Should One Be Fit?

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That seems like a reason to train for aesthetics, not for fitness.
If fitness is defined as ability to reproduce -- which is all your genes care about -- aesthetics certainly has an important role to play.

To your larger point, I think you're just stirring the pot, but I'm bored enough to play along... People who are centenarians now mostly grew up in pre-mechanised agricultural societies. They may not have chopped wood for time, but don't dismiss the exercise value of chopping wood and working on a farm until you've done it for a season or two. And don't pretend that an individual who lives that way isn't "fit" -- by Crossfit's definition -- until you've tried to keep up with him for a week or so.

You're right, in that most of the benefits of "fitness" can be achieved through an active lifestyle. I think your error is that you don't realize just how active most people were before cars became ubiquitous. It's not all that easy to replicate such a lifestyle in today's world.

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Old 04-04-2010, 03:12 PM   #18
Eileen Schreiber
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Re: Why Should One Be Fit?

I will speak personally.

I am in my mid 40s. I have been athletic my whole life. I have been doing CrossFit for 1.5 years and my fitness level has (scientific here) gone through the roof.

I have a ton of energy. I am hardly ever sick. I eat well and feel better than I ever have. I feel healthy, strong, fast and lean. And I know I can get stronger, faster and leaner if I want to, even though I am getting older.

And yes, I look better nekkid now than I have in years.

I know a tennis player who just had a heart attack this past weekend. It could be me tomorrow.

So I, personally, don't care what the studies say. I know how I feel and how much I enjoy CrossFit. I know how different I act and look from many, many others my age.

If a study came out right now and said there is absolutely no measurable benefit to doing crossfit and cutting out sugar as compared to sitting on the couch all day, I'd still do what I'm doing.

The question is: Why should one be fit?

IT FEELS GREAT

It

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Old 04-04-2010, 03:22 PM   #19
Bryan Peter
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Re: Why Should One Be Fit?

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If fitness is defined as ability to reproduce -- which is all your genes care about -- aesthetics certainly has an important role to play.
That is not the definition I was going by in my original post nor does Crossfit use that definition. Anyway, if aesthetics are the goal, do a body building routine.

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People who are centenarians now mostly grew up in pre-mechanised agricultural societies. They may not have chopped wood for time, but don't dismiss the exercise value of chopping wood and working on a farm until you've done it for a season or two. And don't pretend that an individual who lives that way isn't "fit" -- by Crossfit's definition -- until you've tried to keep up with him for a week or so.
Sorry but I disagree with your interpretation of the information out there, if you've actually read it at all.

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You're right, in that most of the benefits of "fitness" can be achieved through an active lifestyle. I think your error is that you don't realize just how active most people were before cars became ubiquitous. It's not all that easy to replicate such a lifestyle in today's world.
Well, I've looked at the data and they're not very active, and none of the people in their communities practice rigourous, conscious physical exercise routines. And if you look at hunter gatherer communities, such as those in the Kitava study, their activity rates are only slightly higher than the average American, and about on par or a little less than the average Swede. Yet they don't suffer from the diseases of civilisation. Most of it has to do with diet.
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Old 04-04-2010, 03:22 PM   #20
Robert D Taylor Jr
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Re: Why Should One Be Fit?

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Originally Posted by Bryan Peter View Post
Age induced sarcopenia is the result of a bad diet. Chronic low grade metabolic acidosis induced by Western diets for one, as well as inoptimal protein intake. There are plenty of cultures that don't suffer from that problem with very minimal exercise (ie walking, gardenning).

If you look at hunter gatherer populations, in their elderly, such as the Kitavans, they have strong bones and much lower rates of fracture than Western populations, probably due to more important things such as adequate vitamin D intake which effects calcium retention, adequate magnesium intake, a net base yielding diet which reduces the excretion of calcium, intake of vitamin K2 which profoundly affects bone health and is absent in the Western diet.

I do grant you that if you are not taking care of yourself with your diet, you can improve some of those markers like bone loss. You don't need to be doing that much intense exercise though (just "weight-bearing" simple stuff) and there's the problem in which exercise alone (in conjunction with a standard American diet) will only yield marginal benefits. The confounding factor with these elderly populations is that they're not fit because they're not healthy in the first place, not the other way around. In other words, they've caused diseases in themselves with their diets, such as sarcopenia and osteoperosis, and that has affected their ability to be mobile. The real change would come from correcting the dietary imbalance which is causing those diseases in the first place.

I wasn't talking about the older generations, but about the entire communities. I'm sure younger men, like in most communities around the world, are charged with doing the most rigorous activities. Maybe Okinawan men are chopping wood when they're young, but they're probably not doing it for time.



Probably true, I don't know much about their fitness requirements. I think the biggest thing would be to not have a traitor government which sends young American men to die for the sake of giving "democracy" to a bunch of primitive barbarians who hate us, and then restraining them with numerous legal barriers that make it nearly impossible to defend themselves.

Then there would be the issue of their familiarity with their weapons, psychological techniques for dealing with criminals for those in law enforcement, etc, but they're probably spending a lot of time on that. In order of priority though, I would rank those things as higher.
From your answer you know not of which you speak in regard to Mil, how you would rank them is irrelevant. I'd ask you to keep your politics to yourself as I find them offensive.

Again, when the centagenarians were young they were intensely physically active. Chopping wood is high intensity without a stopwatch. How consciencious they were about it is irrelevant.

In the end, don't do high intensity workouts. You are working hard to justify it, why? We're not going to convince you, nor be convinced. I suspect that oldsters were physically active their entire life, probably vigorously, and they weren't desk jockeys like I am now. I think I'll stick with CF.

Weight bearing exercise encourages bone mass. More bone mass= better survival from breaks in the elderly, regardless of diet.

Last edited by Robert D Taylor Jr : 04-04-2010 at 03:24 PM.
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