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

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Old 03-05-2007, 05:06 PM   #1
Daniel Fannin
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I'm not really sure if this is a rant, a question, or what, but some confusion has come up in my mind and I can't figure out how to fix it. I'm trying to re-evaluate my fitness routines, diet, and pretty much the whole shebang just to make sure I've got realistic and attainable goals set. The answer is probably right in front of my nose, but I'm not seeing it...any advice would be appreciated.

I've been doing Crossfit for a while (two years or so) and am healthier than I've ever been before.
I'm not a very good runner, but the biggest reason for that is injury avoidance (I'm paranoid about re-injuring my knees so I don't usually run unless it's in the WoD or for the military). When I do run more than the WoD it's always for a specific distance and not based on time, with the goal being more mental preparation than physical.
I can lift my bodyweight (173ish) in any lift except the bench and x2 or x1.5 that in squats and deads. With calisthenics I'm decent...not great...but decent (45-50+ pushups/situps per minute, 14 or so dead hang pull-ups).

With all the bragging (*gag*), here's my issue. I'm 173ish lbs and am 5'5". My waist measurment is 33.5. The BMI scale says I'm overweight. It also says that "athletic" people may have false results because of muscle mass. Unfortunately I don't think I have an accurate way of measuring bodyfat to be sure.

What exactly is "athletic" in this case? Is there a certain skill/fitness standard associated with it, or is it just what a person "feels" he or she is?

Anyway, thanks for listening to the rant! Much obliged.
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:27 PM   #2
Mike ODonnell
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"The BMI scale says I'm overweight"

BMI is useless for anyone who does strength

So basically you want to know your BF%? There are the ways of calipers and hand held monitors...hell go to the local gym, act like you are interested in some PT and they will probably give you a free reading...BF is more accurate in determining what a healthy weight should fat is the negative health factor in the whole BMI factor...not muscle...

Or take a picture and most people on here have enough experience to probably guess where you are at....
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Old 03-05-2007, 08:20 PM   #3
Michael Tong
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I have a cheapy pair of calipers ($15) that I use. It says I am around 12%. Out of curiosity, I did exactly what Mike O suggested - went to a globo-gym, and acted as if I was interested in a membership, then used their electronic BFA and digital scale. Weight and BF were nearly the same as my at-home equipment. So, I would say, just pick up a pair of calipers.

I am nearly the same size as you, 5'7", 171 lb, 44" chest and 34" waist. At 12%, I can see faint definition of my ab muscles. I can definitely see the definition when I am breathing heavy. I think at 8-10%, people can see stronger abs definition when not winded (8% is my target). I think most men carry fat in the belly so I hope these are decent points of reference for you.

What are you doing diet-wise?

I wouldn't worry about the "athletic" label. Just train for your own goals.
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Old 03-05-2007, 08:22 PM   #4
David Aguasca
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haha, yeah, look at Naim Suleymanoglu, turkey's Pocket Hercules. he's 4'11", 136, putting him at a BMI of 27.5 and in the "overweight" category, and he's one strong, lean mofo. ok, maybe not lean, but he's got pretty good definitition. you can't really be lean when you're one of four people in history to C&J 3x bodyweight.
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Old 03-05-2007, 08:36 PM   #5
Mikki Lee Martin
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A better question would be
What is your Fran time, what was it two years ago ? How many rounds of Chelsea can you complete now as compared to when you began... keep you r goals performance based and all will be right with the world.
What can you do, not what does this number mean.
As mentioned above, it BMI }basically tips the scales for the non athlete.
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Old 03-06-2007, 05:56 AM   #6
Larry Lindenman
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I think we all know where our bodyfat level is, approximately. For men, if you have a small amount of fat (like pinching the back of your hand) over your abs, our body fat is between 4-6%. If you jump up and down, and fat moves on your stomach, over 10%. If you are over what Mikki suggests and focus on performance and tighten nutrition, things will come together. BMI is useless for us.
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Old 03-06-2007, 06:31 AM   #7
Peter Terry Haas
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If you have a tape measure, you can use this body fat calculator on Dr. Sears website (w/f safe). Free registration required.

BTW, I'm approximately 10% bodyfat and my BMI is 25.5, which puts me in the overweight range.
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Old 03-06-2007, 08:32 AM   #8
John Milgram
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I didn't look on the Dr. Sears site, but the military uses bodyfat measurements based on circumference measurements of neck and waist as compared to height. They report excellent correlation to hi-tech methods. You can find the methods and tables for the BF values by googling around a little on .mil sites.
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Old 03-07-2007, 03:18 PM   #9
Daniel Fannin
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Thanks for the answers! :-)

Michael/Mikki - I agree. Usually don't care about these things but I realized my PT test is coming up soon, and unfortunately it counts there. Bleh. (Urgently resisting a rant on the PT testing system right now...).

Mike/Larry - I thought about doing the gym thing. My first option is on base, but I've already been there and they use the BMI scale as well (I'm a PT leader and just did it for myself, is all.) I don't know if the Y does or not but they charge for it, anyway. For other gyms I wouldn't be able to pull off the act (wouldn't be able to not talk about Crossfit, either).

Peter - thanks for the site!

John - I didn't realize there were other aspects besides just waist measurements. I'll look around for them!

David - Holy crap!
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:59 AM   #10
James Lewis
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If you are good at CF then you will smoke the any military PRT. Navy is 1.5 mi run (a sprint) pushups and situps. USMC is 3.0 mile run (a short intense run) pullups and situps. Army is 2.0 mi run and I think pushups and situps. I have no idea what the Air Force is.

If you are in the Navy as I am, the tape will be pretty kind to you if you are an "athletic" ie bodybuilding kind of frame. Don't sweat that. And new for this year, Navy allows people to use the elliptical machine instead of the run. Be advised, the general consensus is the elliptical is MUCH harder than the run, albeit perhaps easier on your knees.

If you think in terms of tabata though, the 1.5 mi run is no sweat. Run all out for a lap, then 3/4 speed for a lap. Repeat x3 and you are done in a reasonably good time.
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