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

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Old 10-27-2005, 05:05 AM   #1
Paul Theodorescu
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Found this tidbit on T-mag:

In one study, participants were asked to "train" their pinky muscles five times a week for four weeks. Another group was asked to sit still and merely think about training their finger muscle (two imagined sets of twelve imagined reps). The group who really exercised their fingers improved pinky strength by 30%. Those who only imagined it? They still improved by 22%!
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Old 10-27-2005, 05:35 AM   #2
Eric Cimrhanzel
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This is a common psychological study that has repeatable results.

Replace "pinky training" with basketball practice and Long Cycle Giveroy Sport, and you'll have something you can actually use. For the first case, look at almost any Psychology 101 textbook. For the second, talk to Steve Cotter.

Think about completing your WODs in the (fairly realistic) time you want to complete them in, and everything falls into place that much more easily.

Generally speaking, where the mind is willing to lead, the body is able to follow.
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Old 10-27-2005, 06:17 AM   #3
Barry Cooper
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It occurred to me a bit ago, that it would interesting to have a mental equivalent to the WOD. A meditation or visualization of some sort to, I guess, make you mentally adaptable in the same way we train to be physically adaptable. It would be a website like this you went to daily.

One day it might be, say Zazen, where you count your breathes to 10 repeatedly for 20 minutes. Another, it might be, spend 10 minutes learning about the life of an African villager, and then 10 minutes examining in your mind the similarities and the differences between their life and yours.

Another, examine your life for the last week. What would you improve or change?

Another, imagine a red triangle for 10 minutes.

Another, memorize a poem. Etc.

I could get into that.
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Old 10-27-2005, 07:47 AM   #4
Alexander Karatis
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Barry, this may not exactly be the kind of thing you're looking for, but have you every played GO?
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Old 10-27-2005, 08:43 AM   #5
Roger Harrell
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Mental training, visualization and such is truly effective. It's been used effectively for years in gymnastics (though not enough in my opinion). This type of training is exceedingly effective with technique based excersizes (meaning everything). Regularly visualize yourself doing skills with perfect form. Your form will improve. One can never overtrain through visualization so whenver you have some spare time, do it.
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Old 10-27-2005, 09:09 AM   #6
Veronica Carpenter
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Mental training is SOOOOO important in so many things, especially OL. If those subjects could improve pinky strength 22% by just thinking, just imagine what you all could do with your OHS and snatches!
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Old 10-27-2005, 09:24 AM   #7
Barry Cooper
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Yes, a little. We have a Go club here, and I keep meaning to go (yes), but always seem to have something else going on at the same time.

I already have certain things I do along these lines. It's just good to get outside input, or else you're in your own loop.

I made a note a while back, too, that even complex movements are almost always already POSSIBLE in your body. The gap is in your head.

It seems to me to relate primarily to neuromuscular organization. For example, most flexibility issues stem, as I understand it, not from the objective length of the muscles, so much as from the (effectively) neurological controls on them that prevent overlengthening.

Strength increases result not just from hypertrophy--which is an objective change in the muscular condition--but also from increased synchronization of muscular firing rates, increases in rates of firing, and increased recruitment of existing muscle cells. When little old ladies lift up cars, that strength was always already there. Again, neurological system.

Likewise, with complex movements requiring balance, timing and agility. The BASIS was never lacking, say, for a perfect cartwheel, or back handspring. What was lacking was the neuromuscular organization, expressed, in part, as confidence.

It would be an interesting provocation--in Edward de Bono's sense of the word--to spend a moment thinking of max bench presses as MENTAL training, and mental training as PHYSICAL training.

I will add, I'm not trying to mess with the black box. People still need to practice physically, and need to work out etc. I'm just thinking out loud about what might be possible. For example, under a state of deep hypnosis, how close could an untrained individual come to peak CrossFit performance?

I have no answers, but answers generally result from questions. Except 42.
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Old 10-27-2005, 12:15 PM   #8
John de la Garza
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did they improve strength or dexterity?

I can imagine that thinking about a skill can improve the skill, but it seems that thinking about getting stronger wouldn't produce more strength.
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Old 10-27-2005, 12:25 PM   #9
Garry Berryhill
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It will, though.

Why go through all the trouble of psyching yourself up before a contest lift? Because you will lift more weight if you're mentally ready for it.

Classic sport psychology.
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Old 10-27-2005, 07:51 PM   #10
Christian Hansen
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I believe Yogi Berra's line -- "Baseball is 90% mental -- the other half is physical" -- applies to sport in general.
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