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

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Old 09-18-2011, 04:52 PM   #1
Max Samuel
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"Toning"

Hey Guys,
So my girlfriend does what is called a "toning" workout at this place called purebarre. It is the stupidest workout on earth involving hip thrusting, squatting and ballet, but she seems to buy into it because the instructors say it burns a lot of calories and helps tone muscles. Can anyone direct me to some literature that could show her she's wasting her time and money and would be better off focusing on a functional fitness program like CF? Thanks for saving me,
Max
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:57 PM   #2
Matt Thomas
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Re: "Toning"

Mark Rippetoe talks about the idea of "toning" somewhere in the first few chapters of practical programming. I don't remember exactly what it said right now I'm just mentioning it because I read it recently. You should buy the book anyways though. Very useful.
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:05 PM   #3
Paulo Santos
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Re: "Toning"

Is she seeing results? If so, who gives a crap, let her continue doing it. If she doesn't see results, she'll figure it out on her own.
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:06 PM   #4
Andrew N. Casey
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Re: "Toning"

if she has found a program that she likes and will stick to, then i would hardly call that wasting time and money.

and also, while it's not the same as crossfit, ballet is no joke. i have known more than one big tough guy that laughed at ballet or gymnastics or yoga, and then got broke off when they tried it. have you ever seen ballet or ballerinas, they are hardly unathletic or out of shape.

anyway, the real question here is what is your goal and desire, what is your purpose for wanting her to change? is it so the two of you can workout together? is it just to prove your way is "better". and what are her fitness goals? do you know, or even care? i can garauntee that going to her and saying "your way is a stupid waste of time and money, my way is better" is pretty much not going to work at all, supporting literature or not. instead, try actually asking questions and listening to her answers. if she is willing to try your way then be man enough to at least be willing to try hers. perhaps then the two of you can compromise and find something that you will both enjoy, or perhaps you each decide to do your own thing in this area. either way you will understand and respect one another, and can be happy that you are both at least trying to stay healthy.

there are too many problems to fight about in life without getting in a fight with the one you love when they are trying to do something they enjoy that is good for them. pick your battles, it leads to much happier relationships. just my two cents.
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:08 PM   #5
Rebecca Roth
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Re: "Toning"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Thomas View Post
Mark Rippetoe talks about the idea of "toning" somewhere in the first few chapters of practical programming. I don't remember exactly what it said right now I'm just mentioning it because I read it recently. You should buy the book anyways though. Very useful.
From Practical Programming:

Quote:
The modern fitness industry’s concept of “toning” muscles is specious—it might sound cool, but it lacks any tangible and definable meaning. The term “muscle tone” or tonus describes an electrophysiological phenomenon, a measure of ionic flow across muscle cell membranes. It can be thought of as the muscle’s readiness to do anaerobic work. The more fit the muscle, the more electrophysiological activity it exhibits at rest. Lack of exercise leads to poor tone, aerobic exercise improves tone a little bit, low-intensity weight training improves tone more, and high-intensity training improves tone the fastest. [...]
As a test, go poke the traps or quads of an elite weightlifter at rest, if she’ll let you. They’ll be hard as rock. The same muscles of an elite road cyclist at rest will be firm, but not hard. Then compare the athletes’ muscle tone to that of a sedentary person. The results will he quite enlightening. Most exercise programs that claim to improve muscle tone are actually lower-intensity hypertrophy programs and are only moderately effective for improving muscle tone. If “tone” is the goal, strength is the method.

That said, if she enjoys what she is doing, then you should present to her that its not the most efficient method, but encourage her if its the method she wants and is willing to be consistent with. It could be yoga, zumba, powerlifting, whatever.. if its something she enjoys, makes her life better, and will stick with, its a good thing.

Some additional fun quotes from Rip on the topic:
Quote:
Your muscles cannot get “longer” without some rather radical orthopedic surgery.

Muscles don’t get leaner—you do.

There is no such thing as “firming and toning.” There is only stronger and weaker.

ETA: I'll corroborate what Andrew said. As a former fairly serious dancer, I'm hoping to use cf to get me in shape enough to return to ballet as my casual sport outside cf, many forms are dance are very physically demanding, technique driven and excellent ways of training. I think ballet is probably a lot closer to olympic lifting or many martial arts than most are willing to see.
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Last edited by Rebecca Roth; 09-18-2011 at 05:17 PM..
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Old 09-18-2011, 06:00 PM   #6
Daniel Frankel
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Re: "Toning"

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Originally Posted by Andrew N. Casey View Post
and also, while it's not the same as crossfit, ballet is no joke. i have known more than one big tough guy that laughed at ballet or gymnastics or yoga, and then got broke off when they tried it. have you ever seen ballet or ballerinas, they are hardly unathletic or out of shape.
Elite gymnasts are some of the most physically fit athletes in the world. Don't joke around with them.
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:14 PM   #7
Doug Blankenship
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Re: "Toning"

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Originally Posted by Max Samuel View Post
Hey Guys,
So my girlfriend does what is called a "toning" workout at this place called purebarre. It is the stupidest workout on earth involving hip thrusting, squatting and ballet, but she seems to buy into it because the instructors say it burns a lot of calories and helps tone muscles. Can anyone direct me to some literature that could show her she's wasting her time and money and would be better off focusing on a functional fitness program like CF? Thanks for saving me,
Max
If she enjoys it, support it. CF is not the answer to everything.........
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:32 PM   #8
Pearse Shields
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Re: "Toning"

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Originally Posted by Doug Blankenship View Post
If she enjoys it, support it. CF is not the answer to everything.........
Pretty much!
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:59 AM   #9
Brendan McNamar
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Re: "Toning"

I'm going to agree with the notion any exercise program she enjoys and attends regularly is good. Yes there might be better but if she doesn't like it as much then it is not better. It could be as simple as she wants her own space. You have CrossFit she has her class.

I've been thinking about the popular cultural use of "toned". It is a word that is most often used by women to describe a state of below average body fat combined with myofibrillar hypertrophy (making already existing muscle cell denser, i.e. harder).

So to get "toned" a woman needs to lower her body fat. It seems 20% is around the range women like for this. This is done primarily through diet. Paleo works great for this.

She also need to generate myofibrillar hypertrophy which is "an increase in actin, myosin and other associated proteins are added to those already existing muscle cells" (from Practical Programming, Rippetoe & Kilgore). This is achieved through heavy weight lifting for strength. Think 3-3-3-3-3 or 5-5-5.

If she does not get the results she is looking for from the class then she might try Paleo and strength basis CrossFit. I think she would agree most of the female Games athletes meet the definition of "toned".
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:42 AM   #10
Ryan Hoegner
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Re: "Toning"

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Originally Posted by Brendan McNamar View Post
I think she would agree most of the female Games athletes meet the definition of "toned".
or "yoked".
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