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

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Old 05-01-2004, 11:17 AM   #1
Kris Freeman
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After reading some of Pavel and others thoughts on this matter just don't see how it's possible to progress with new workout everyday. Could someone explain how this is possible? I would appreciate it. I'm not trying to bash the Crossfit system; I've just started Crossfit wod's again.

Thanks a lot,
Kris
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Old 05-01-2004, 01:55 PM   #2
Kris Freeman
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A quote from one of Tyler Hass' old posts:

"Instead of 10-12 reps to failure, do 3 sets of 4 or 5 reps. You will be able to handle more weight and avoid failure. I would also recommend varying the load and the type of load. Don't try and go for strength or hypertrophy and endurance at the same time. Hit endurance hard for a weeks with just enough lifting to maintain strength. Then hit strength for a few weeks, then move onto power, etc. Trying to train everything at once will most likely lead to stagnation, especially as you become more advanced."

From what I understand going to failure too much is counter-productive. Almost every wod requires going to the brink of failure in order to do the most reps, and get the fastest time. It also seems as though it't training multiple systems all the time, which as Tyler's post said, leads to stagnation. I'm not trying to pick a fight, just trying to understand how Crossfit can work.

Kris
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Old 05-01-2004, 04:31 PM   #3
Tyler Hass
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What do you want to progress in? Individual lifts or general performance? If it is an individual lift you want to improve on, then there are faster ways to go than CrossFit. But if it is to improve your general levels of fitness and performance, I think there is no better program than CrossFit.
Just to clarify, CrossFit employs the same movements from workout to workout, just in different patterns and levels of intensity. And they all have a pretty synergistic effect. Working the O-lifts can help your pullups, working squats can help you O-lifts, etc. What I was meaning to say above is that you can't train for opposing goals at the same time, like Powerlifting and distance running. But CrossFit stays for the most part in the intermediate energy pathway, so you will get some carryover into the short and long-term energy pathways as well. More so than if you trained exclusively in the short or long-term pathways.
CrossFit is definitely a good path to all-around fitness. The method I state above, of working hard on one thing and doing maintenance work for the rest is another way to go. And to a certain extent, CrossFit does that. Work hard in the anaerobic intermediate area and perform maintenance levels of work in the others.
CrossFit does not endorse training to failure, either. Occasionally missing a lift or falling from a handstand is no big deal. But training to failure is a bad idea. Whenever I go home for the holidays, I always see the same guys at the gym. There is one guy who I see almost every time. He always camps out by the bench press and has a spotter help him through extra reps after he has reached failure. This guy lifts the same amount of weight and looks exactly the same every time I see him. If he were to vary his load occasionally, he would make some gains.

One thing I could say about my post above is that when you become advanced at anything, you are at a state of near-stagnation no matter how well you train. Your capacity for improvement diminishes over time.
You can check out the following article about conjugate sequencing to better explain what I was trying to do. It's a long article, but good... http://www.elitefitnesssystems.com/d...mMyslinski.pdf
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Old 05-01-2004, 05:26 PM   #4
Kris Freeman
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Thanks Tyler, that clears things up a bit. I would say I'm looking for all-around fintess, possibly a little more endurance before I leave for the Marines. My side goals are Pull-ups, Pistols, Pushups, and running. It looks like Crossfit has a great deal of all of these exercises. Pistols probably come up less frequently, but I can add those and pushups into the warmup.

Thanks again Tyler,
Kris
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Old 05-02-2004, 06:09 AM   #5
Larry Lindenman
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Great post Tyler. Once again I would highlight the fact that Crossfit is a GPP program. Working on one fitness parameter at a time is standard Western Periodization, the problem is you advance in one area, then switch and lose ground in the area you just worked while developing another area. With Crossfit, all fitness parameters are challanged at the same time: "conjugate sequencing". If you want to get good at pistols or pullups you could perform extra reps of pistols and pullups in your warmup, or do a couple of extra workouts a week. I would also add, why pistols? Do you want a fitness attribute pistols work, that is not derived from Crossfit WOD? or do you want to do them because they look cool? I know I'm going heretic on Paval but, I think squats, front squats, heavy weighted back squats, overhead squats and the Olympic lifts (and hybrids) are a lot more impressive and have greater carryover to other activities than one leg squats. Now if your in the field with no weights, that's another story.
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Old 05-02-2004, 10:03 AM   #6
Kris Freeman
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For me Pistols are the perfect leg exercise because they require little equipment, for when I can't get to the gym, and they require a GREAT deal of balance and coordination. If you're skeptical about their effectiveness, just check out some of Steve Cotter's articles. Yes they do look cool, but they are simply one of my personal goals, just like some peoples desire for 20 pull-ups, or a 8:00 1.5 mile run.

Kris
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Old 05-02-2004, 10:30 AM   #7
Kevin Roddy
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Yeah, pistols are hella cool. Coach Sommer said he has his gymnasts doing weighted jumping pistols. O_O
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Old 05-03-2004, 11:22 AM   #8
Robert Wolf
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Athletic training starts to look like conversations amongst schizophrenics...seemingly contradictory information coming not from different camps but the same source!

The Westside conjugate method works well.

The GTG approach works well.

Hit a lift once a week works well (ask Ed Koan and Tommy Kono)

What "WAY" is best? I'm not sure I can throw my hat squarely in one arena. Practicing a movement daily makes sense...but not all the time. Folks are now terrified of training to failure yet in the Weight Lifting Encyclopedia Art Dreschler several of the worlds powerhouse countries have a phase in which they.....train to failure! With high reps! They find it restorative.

Whatever "system" one is using the law of diminishing returns rears its head in a big way. More of the same does not always mean achieving more. Louie Simmons revolutionized PL'ing when he pushed GPP as a means of better performance. The mechanism? Focus on the core and increased work capacity. As good as the conjugate method is we still have people in the top ranks doing other things. Would they do better on Westside?


I am starting to ramble a bit so I will wrap it up. My point(s) are:
1) This stuff is not simple.

2) The best way to understand a system is to do it. Do the WOD for a month, post results daily and track progress. One will understand Crossfit and its actions on performance. A month spent debating theory will not accomplish this.

Robb
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Old 05-05-2004, 10:06 PM   #9
Nick Martinez
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I don't follow the crossfit 3 days on 1 off cycle (for time, laziness, and other sport commitments :-) ) I really wanted to gain some size and increase my gains so once a week for the last month I have been doing a a short version of the 5-5-3-3-3-1-1-1-1 rep(s) version for the deadlift, bench and squat. Although it's too early to see if I've improved significantly, I CAN tell you guys that I have a very good friend who's been periodizing for the same amount of time I'eve been crossfittig and I can totally kick his *** on all 3 of the lifts. I am not Robert Wolf, Greg Glassman, or anyone else in this community who knows what they're talking about, but I do know that you will make gains on crossfit. I've given up trying to figure out why, as computer programming and pro wrestling take up most of my intellectual energy. Do it, you'll get results. Just dont forget to thank Coaches Glassman, Wolf, and the others.

Nick
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Old 05-06-2004, 11:54 AM   #10
Robert Wolf
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Thanks Nick!
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