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

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Old 12-22-2009, 10:36 AM   #1
Josh Knoechel
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Mainsite "True" Sprints

Anyone have any insight as to why main site never programs any top speed (<400m for almost everyone in existence) sprinting? I do them in my own programming regularly and they are a staple at CFFB. Anyone who does them can testify that it's not a lack of effectiveness. It's obviously not practicality because you can do them anywhere. It seems like it would be a great training tool to add to the general program.

And before you ask, surprisingly, a search yielded nothing satisfying. There were a few threads that posed or addressed the question but either:
  • got off topic
  • recommended programming your own sprinting and didn't address the "why"
  • offered not-so-great answers such as "because it's hard to do on a treadmill"
  • attempted to argue that 400m and 800m runs are sprints (semantics aside as to what a "sprint" is, few people in the world can run at top speed for 400m+).
I would really like to hear your thoughts. Thanks.
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:50 AM   #2
Nathan Kulas
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Re: Mainsite "True" Sprints

I was just pondering this myself actually.

It seems to me that if you want to be generally prepared for anything, short mid-distance is hardly the way to go.

If I'm attacked by an animal from which I need to run, my physical response will be an all out sprint for as long as I can hold, or until the animal is no longer pursuing me.

Turn the situation around in a hunter-gatherer society with primitive tools - if I am hunting an animal, the most likely method of catching my prey is through marathon like intensities until the animal is exhausted.

No where naturally does a mid-distance trot ever occur - and is therefore useless outside of CrossFit WODs, games, or within a specialized training of a track meet.

A sprint should be defined as output which requires only ATP stores and ATP CP energy production - but does not translate over to the lactate metabolism nor the oxidative (aerobic) metabolism pathways. Why then should we only train sprints across the lactate metabolism, as is the case in the 1-3 minute range with 400m and 800m "sprints"?

This just doesn't add up.
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:01 AM   #3
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Mainsite "True" Sprints

a 200 and 400 meter are hardly trots.

There are alot of things you don't see on the mainpage. There is no focused grip work, flexibility, lateral training, reaction drills, odd object lifts, battling ropes, biking, swimming, etc.

I would like to see some 100 meter and less distances done as sprints (catch your breath, walk for a bit and go when ready).
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:21 AM   #4
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Mainsite "True" Sprints

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Kulas View Post
No where naturally does a mid-distance trot ever occur - and is therefore useless outside of CrossFit WODs, games, or within a specialized training of a track meet.
Actually, a police officer at my affiliate has done a number of mid-distance runs in pursuit of suspects.

Katherine
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:32 AM   #5
Jared Ashley
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Re: Mainsite "True" Sprints

I think it comes down to this:

sprinting, in the less than 400m range, is very skill-oriented... it has to be done A LOT to get better at it, and the skill is lost quickly.

short sprinting is too short to be of significant benefit to GPP. The exception would be tabata-style sprinting, but that's very different from true sprinting, where full or nearly full rest is required.

Running 400m+ distances will (to a point anyway) improve your sprints (obviously this is not true if you are already a proficient sprinter... I am saying GPP will help a NON-SPRINTER to lose fat, gain muscle, increase strength and power, ect, and therefore better prepare him to train sprints if he chooses to do so).

In order for sprint programming to be effective, it would have to be emphasized to a level that would be disproportionate to other modalities. this is good for a sport-specific program (i.e. CFFB) and bad for a GPP program (main-page CF).

If you want to be good at sprints, you just have to train them separately, for the same reason CF rarely or ever specifically includes other highly skill-based activities such as free handstands, levers, long jump, agility drills, flips, TGU's, swimming... all valuble skills, but imagine if the main page tried to teach you all of them!
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:39 AM   #6
Brian Bedell
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Re: Mainsite "True" Sprints

I don't know shizzle about sprinting, but I can't really agree that it is too specialized. Anyone can do it, as far as I can tell...unlike free hs's, levers, etc. And from what I read, they are darn good for you.

I do agree that CF can't include everything, so some stuff is invariably left "on the cutting room floor."
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:41 AM   #7
Shane Skowron
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Re: Mainsite "True" Sprints

Despite their claim, I think strict mainsite programming is definitely lacking for "forging elite fitness," and this is just one example. For someone who's just trying to get in shape, sure it's fine. But throwing in a couple of 400's and 800's a couple times a month and throwing in a few 100's every few years is highly unlikely to produce a fast runner.

I'm doubtful that anyone could get decent sprinting ability ( 12.0 or better 100m) on mainsite programming alone. Most of the CF Games competitors didn't get their speed from mainsite. For example, Everett and Hackenbruck played college ball. Salo and Khalipa do additional run training.

I like how CFFB includes sprinting frequently, although these really aren't true max effort sprints. A good max effort sprint has a rest period just like a set of deadlifts would, namely 3-6 minutes.
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:50 AM   #8
Nathan Kulas
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Re: Mainsite "True" Sprints

Ketherine - as a police officer, he would probably be better suited to a sprint - as a perp can easily get lost if they are not caught quickly. Its certainly a situation where the best solution would be catching them via sprint.

Jamie, I have never seen a 200m sprint come up - but so far as the 400m - I don't see many people running much faster than 90 seconds for the 400m in the metcons. Even a lot of advanced CFers are posting 75 seconds at best - which is barely fast enough to bother competing in a high schools girls track meet. I would personally classify a 90 second 400 as a trot - the world record is 43.18 for men and 47.60 for women - so on average - half the speed of an elite athlete and a whopping 10 MPH.
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Old 12-22-2009, 02:57 PM   #9
Ben Sparks
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Re: Mainsite "True" Sprints

I was actually thinking the other day how cool it would be to see a sprint event in the Games. Like heats of 10 in the 50m, 2 advance from each heat. Keep running them until you have a winner.

Strength, coordination, balance, reaction time... IMO it's almost an imperative to include a short sprint in the calculation of anyone called "fittest alive".
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:07 PM   #10
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Mainsite "True" Sprints

Ben,

I think you should take the top half from all heats. Keep repeating until you are down to 2.
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