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

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Old 08-30-2004, 08:52 AM   #1
Mark Fishman
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I have recently started to focus more on cardiovasular training - for both general health and for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I read an article about high intensity interval training that includes a program. I have a few questions:
1) The article talks about a Rate of Perceived Exertion (R.P.E.). How would the different R.P.E. levels equate to % of maximum heart rate?
2) The article claims that longer slower training (example - running for 45 minutes at 85% of maximum heart rate)is a waste of time for combat sports. Is this true?
3)Is high intensity interval training as beneficial to general cardiovascular health as longer slower training such as running for 45 minutes at 85% of maximum heart rate?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
Mark
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Old 08-30-2004, 09:25 AM   #2
Ryan Atkins
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Hi Mark,

Welcome to Crossfit.

I leave it to someone else to answer #1 for you, but I think I can give some guidance on #s 2 and 3.

2) Hell yeah! Not only a waste of time, but, if done frequently enough, will detract from other athletic capacities necessary for success in combat sports (i.e. strength, power, etc.).

3) Hell yeah! Optimal benefit occurs because cardiovascular health is developed without the muscle wasting aspects of prolonged aerobic work. Also, if the modalities used for HIIT are consistently varied a more generalized and useful form of cardio capacity results.

Mark, I strongly suggest purchasing the June 2003 issue of the Crossfit Journal as it will go into deeper detail regarding the answers I just gave you. Also, if you haven't done so already, there is a free issue called 'What Is Fitness' available for download that contains excellent information.

Hope this helps and good luck with your training.

Ryan
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Old 08-30-2004, 12:23 PM   #3
James R. Climer
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I think the term 'perceived' is the key to your answer on #1. I like to wear a heart rate monitor and do things to the point where I think I'm going to die, note the effect on heart rate for a numerical value of the pain I'm 'perceiving'. Over time I can gauge the amount of effort in proportion to the feeling. It's also a moving target over time as real world factors weigh-in, ie aging, adaptation to stimulus, etc.

I'm not well versed in the CFJ's since I just subscribed this month, but Charles "Ripped" Bass has an interesting summary of the work of Dr. Tabata in Japan showing how HIIT-type interval training was used to simultaneously improve anaerobic capacity, aerobic capacity (memory serving right I think equal to or better than long slow aerobic work), greater fat loss while sparing lean mass in already trained & conditioned athletes. go to www.cbass.com scroll down to articles 10 & 11.
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Old 08-30-2004, 12:26 PM   #4
James R. Climer
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PS - I don't think aerobic training is prescribed as 85% MHR for that long, is it?
I've always seen 65% to 80% max. Dr. Phillip Maffetone and the amazing Stu Mittleman (sp?), 1,000-mile run record holder, seem to prescribe even more conservative training protocols than that.
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Old 08-30-2004, 02:45 PM   #5
Mark Fishman
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Ryan & James,

Thank you - I will download the "What is fitness" article and get the 2003 issue of the CrossFit Journal. In addition, I am going to look at Clarence Bass's web sit.

I am going to continue with the H.I.I.T. training and forget about the longer steady training. I can now do it with the knowledge that it will benefit my jiu-jitsu endurance and be just as good for general cardiovascular health.

Thank you,
Mark
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Old 08-30-2004, 07:31 PM   #6
Robert Wolf
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Welcome Mark-

Start giving the workout of the day a whirl. The rate of percieved exertion is generally regarded to be "very high" by most. I do not think you will be disapointed.
Robb
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Old 08-31-2004, 10:50 AM   #7
Ron Nelson
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I would concur with the above especially the use of a heart rate monitor to give you a baseline on "perceived exertion" as it relates to MHR. I did this on a recent benchmark WOD (not sure which one, but it was kicking my arse). I noticed that during one of the complex movements (it may have been barbell thrusters) my heart rate shot up to 176 during the set. During the typical cycling class, during intense intervals, my rate will max at about 165. Cycling classes last 1 hour; typical WOD, for my sorry butt, about 25-35 minutes. The result; I can run faster 400m sprints than ever; row up to 10K in under 45 minutes; and play basketball for hours just from following the WOD 4 to 6 days a week. Yeah, this type of training produces results that endurance trainaing can't touch. Bottom line, I love my heart monitor because it never lies!
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Old 09-01-2004, 08:23 PM   #8
James R. Climer
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Mark
Not that it's needed from me, but I second the recommendation of Mr. Wolf to follow the WOD; it's HIITier than just doing 8 Tabata intervals and adds some things you'd probably never think of on your own, as in beyond perception.
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