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

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Old 04-15-2006, 06:59 PM   #1
Jeff Haas
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I started XF in Jan,has been a terrific experiance.Here's my question.I'm 52 yrs old,worked out my whole life.Played college sports etc.( ran track and was on the boxing team)It's sad but true that age catches up with all of us.I know I'll never run another 9.8 hundred or ever again be able to dunk a basketball.I can and have accepted this for a long time.What is difficult is that I no longer have what I'm going to call the "fluidity of motion" that I once had. That first step just isn't there.I feel like I'm almost stiff legged when I'm playing basketball or baseball with my boys.I know the decline is inevitable,any suggestions on what to do to slow down the rate of decline? There are a lot of smart people on this website,I'm interested in feedback
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Old 04-16-2006, 12:33 AM   #2
Kalen Meine
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You could dunk a basketball again, no prob. There's a fair smattering of guys older than you around here who will probably be chiming in to scold you for such blasphemy ;-)

As for fluidity- how much activity are you doing that actually demands it? Scrambling on rocky terrain, playing tag, agility ladders, "primal hopscotch"? Gymnastics, tumbling and breakfalling? What does your flexibility look like? And you say maximal strength and power are down- how much? Maximal strength is foundational to being able to go when you want to- which sounds like part of the issue. And, come to think of it, what does your stress level and confidence look like? I can always pick up on, in both myself and the couple folks I train, when they're wound too tight- they can't get that "first step" with cleans, sprints and such.

Anyway, check out the CFJ stuff on Navy gymnastics and falling, check out more "play" type activity at www.goanimal.com, and start O-lift ME work until you get some spring back. Do report back- this is the kind of subjective, esoteric stuff where the best results come from individual experimentation, and I'm curious.
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Old 04-16-2006, 04:53 AM   #3
Keith Wittenstein
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Welcome, Jeff!

I think the majority of advice from this community will be to follow the zone diet (and/or it's paleo variant). In addition, do crossfit and play sports. Beyond that there are lots of more specific details, such as listen to Dr. Garret Smith on last months crossfit live archive. He has some great things to say. Get some back issues of CFJ and read about doing crossfit for older populations.

A great book I just read discusses how our perceptions of aging effect our abilities both physically and mentally. "Mindfulness" by Ellen Langer. She has done some interesting studies on the aging and the elderly and found ways to make older people feel 20 years younger. It's sort of like mental crossfit.
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Old 04-16-2006, 05:10 AM   #4
Lynne Pitts
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Moving to Fitness.
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Old 04-16-2006, 05:26 AM   #5
Craig Van De Walker
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Front squats, Oly lifts, OHS, low bodyfat, Set some real athletic goals and work toward them.
For example decide your are going to dunk again. Decide you are going to get your bodyfat at 9%. You are only getting started in crossfit give it a year and you will have a different view. There are a lot of "chronologically old" crossfitters who sound like they are doing pretty good.

I believe that if you truly reached your full athletic potential (which is probably close to impossible) as a young man, but conitued to train hard throughout your life you should be no more than 10% off of your best due to being in your 50s.

I am also of the opinion that humans who never reached thier full potentials when younger could actually be at their physical best athletically in their 5th or 6th decade of life.
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Old 04-16-2006, 06:36 AM   #6
Larry Lindenman
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All the above advise is accurate. Im 43 and when I was on a lifting only program, I felt the same way. Age was catching up with me, then three years ago I found Crossfit. I am doing things I did not do in my 20s, and I was a gymnast, rock climber, and martial artest. I think in my youth, I let my youth cover any flaws in fitness parameters. CF makes you face your weaknesses...you either overcome or are crushed. I have to be honest, I only expect to improve with age, not decline. I believe we have to give extra attention to nutrition, joint mobility, warm-up, and rest. Most of the other over 40 or 50 crowd on this board will tell you they could crush most guys in their 20 and 30s. A while back we did a survey and discovered the board average age was mid 30s or higher (I believe). It may have changed now, but I believe CF is the program for you.
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Old 04-16-2006, 07:00 AM   #7
bill fox
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What Larry said is true.

There is no reason you can't crush most guys half your age. You haven't said much about where you are right now, decline wise, but just ease into the CF idea, if not the WOD per se, and let it happen. If you have the genetics to run a 9.8 (which some of us mere mortals never could) it's just a matter of stripping away the rust.

I just turned 46 and I have goals for this summer that are harder then anything I've done before, period. (And make the little turds in the gym I workout shake their heads)
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Old 04-16-2006, 10:22 AM   #8
Jeff Haas
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Thanks fot the info and encouragement.Let me tell you where I;ve been.Ran track in high school and college for awhile.Wasn't fast enough to be a college sprinter(by the way the 9.8 was in yards not meters).Since then have been active I've cycled, ran and played Judo till i broke my ankle and promised my wife I'd quit.The past few years have worked pretty regularly primaraly with workouts like the Navy Seal workout or core Performance.Found XF in Jan.Have been able to do most of the WOD as prescribed with the exception of the OLys. I've alo workout 2x a week with TKD.The last year or so as I said I've noticed that I'm just stiff especially in the knee area.For example I coach my kids baseball team and my mind might tell my body to break and cover the hole at shortstop and it takes my body a longer time to react and when i do react its not as quick or fluid as it used to be.I'm at about 17% body fat so I could lose a few pounds.I've lost about 10 since I started Xf.Should I incorporate some plyometrics,spend a lot moRe time strething(I'm not real flexible).I'm going to go buy Mindfulness. To sum up I'm real happy where I am as far as strength and endurance goes. I know there are very few guys at the gym who can keep up with me doing a xfit workout(actually several of the women have watched my workout and have started doing xFit,)The only area I want to improve is in the agility,quickness area. Someone mentioned joint mobility,any suggestions re this would be appreciated. Its the kind of response I've received that makes me thankful I found this site,you'll are the greatest
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Old 04-17-2006, 06:12 AM   #9
Larry Lindenman
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Yep, you need to start joint mobility exercises. Concentrate on full range of motion in all of your CF exercises. 17% bodyfat is way to high. I would drop it to at least 12%, 10% would be better, lower would be better. Pavel's Super Joints is good, though expensive...get it used. You need to get on the Zone diet and be strict...this will solve any bodyfat issues and help to prevent other medical problems age tends to expose. When I have time, I run through joint mobility prior to the CF warm-up, flexibility after the workout (the only exception is the Sampson Stretch in warm-up). Don't do extra plyos. Use the advantage of having more cash then the youngsters to get quality O-lift instruction, that's going to help more than any plyos.
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Old 04-17-2006, 08:57 AM   #10
Jeff Haas
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Any suggestions as to quality Oly lift instruction in the East Texas area? Thanks
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