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

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Old 06-27-2008, 07:31 AM   #1
Mike Prevost
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An Epiphany...I am NOT fit....

I have a long fitness background. I started training with weights at 9 years old. I ran cross country in high school and in college I really got serious about bodybuilding. I had some success. I added about 65 pounds of muscle and had some decent lifts, although powerlifting was not my thing. In college I switched my major to exercise physiology, eventually earning a PhD. Then, in my 30s my wife took me to volunteer to work an aid station at Ironman California. I was very intrigued by what I saw and I started running, swimming and biking in addition to weights. Eventually I got mroe and more serious about triathlon and gave up weights completely...for years. Earlier this spring, at 40 years old, I was knee deep in training for Ironman Louisville. My running was at a lifetime best, so was my cycling, and even my swimming was coming along. However, my body did not feel good. I was tired and sore all the time. I had a nagging pain in my neck due to an injury last year. My back ached on and off. Also, after finally getting over a 2 year bout of plantar fasciitis, I was starting to feel a little pain in my achilles. I did not feal healthy, even though I could run 20+ miles easily or do a sub 5 hour century ride on any day no problem. I was in the build phase of my program and was doing about 15 hours a week of endurance exercise.

While working with the USMC on their new Combat Fitness Test, I had the opportunity to watch the test being performed at the School of Infantry. It really hit me, I was in great triathlon shape but I COULD NOT DO THAT TEST! No way I could do that test without serious injury and even if I managed to pull it off, my performance would be terrible. It got me thinking about how unbalanced my fitness program had become and why I valued fitness to begin with. Ironically, I started triathlon to balance my strength trainng program with some aerobic training, now I had done a complete flip flop the other way!

So, I dropped my entry for Ironman Louisville. Also scratched all of the other triathlons off my list this year. I am going to take this year and try to put my body back together.

So here I am, looking at crossfit as sort of a "middle path" between where I was and where I am now. Really, fitness for me is about having the fitness to do the things I enjoy (a good mountain hike, biking, swimming) and being able to do everyday activities (moving furniture, carrying luggage) without any limitations, especially as I get older. Triathlon alone was not going to give me that.

So now I will spend the next couple of months easing into crossfit by working on a little strength first, some flexibility and working on lifting form. Then I will ease into the WOD with some biking and swimming thrown in. We will see how it goes. Looking forward to getting some strength back after all of the years of endurance abuse.

Mike P.
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:48 AM   #2
Pilar Grace
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Re: An Epiphany...I am NOT fit....

Good for you, Mike! Welcome to a whole new world of fitness.

Since you do like tris, check out http://crossfitendurance.com (w/s). Brian has a great program that shows how to incorporate running/biking/swimming/rowing into a CrossFit based program, with CF being THE program.
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:48 AM   #3
Brad Thompson
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Re: An Epiphany...I am NOT fit....

Find 2 things:

1) The brandx scaled workouts - a link on the Start Here menu which appears on the left side of the Main (crossfit) page. Scale even if you think you don't need to with the exception of run-only workouts.

2) Crossfit Endurance - www.crossfitendurance.com

Welcome!
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:55 AM   #4
Matthew Green
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Re: An Epiphany...I am NOT fit....

Mike.......... Awesome post

I hope Crossfit is everything you are searching for, good luck mate keep us updated!
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:19 AM   #5
Mike Prevost
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Re: An Epiphany...I am NOT fit....

Thanks for the info. Will definitely check out those sites. I am not so much interested in triathlons anymore. I am thankful for my tri experience though. I became a competent open water swimmer and had some fun, but it is time to move on. I may drop in on a tri from time to time but not this year.
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Old 06-27-2008, 09:37 AM   #6
Wade Smith
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Re: An Epiphany...I am NOT fit....

It feels weird for a while as you transition from endurance-based (long running/cycling) to CrossFit. You'll need to convince your mind & body that you are indeed getting the exercise you need and that you're not slacking. A quick 10 minute WOD after 10-15 minutes of warmup/skills seems like nothing when you're used to 4 hours on a bike or 2 hours running. Don't be fooled... Jump in to the WOD full bore, being wise about scaling/subbing as appropriate, and see where it takes you.
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:29 AM   #7
Mike Prevost
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Re: An Epiphany...I am NOT fit....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Smith View Post
It feels weird for a while as you transition from endurance-based (long running/cycling) to CrossFit. You'll need to convince your mind & body that you are indeed getting the exercise you need and that you're not slacking. A quick 10 minute WOD after 10-15 minutes of warmup/skills seems like nothing when you're used to 4 hours on a bike or 2 hours running. Don't be fooled... Jump in to the WOD full bore, being wise about scaling/subbing as appropriate, and see where it takes you.
Yes, it will take a bit of getting used to. Even when I dropped running 3 weeks ago I was still doing 7-8 hours on the bike and 3 hours or so in the pool each week....and I felt like such a slacker... I need to really dial back my calories as I adjust.

These workouts are hard though. I certainly do not feel like a slacker when I am doing them!

Mike
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:08 AM   #8
Dave Parmly
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Re: An Epiphany...I am NOT fit....

IMHO, you have a tougher row to hoe than most because your mind will be telling you what it has been conditioned to over years and years. Your diet changes will, by necessity, be HUGE. Man. Good luck and lean on this board for advice and encouragement.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:25 AM   #9
Justin Baum
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Re: An Epiphany...I am NOT fit....

hey mike,

i came to cf after 11 years of endurance sports including 4 ironmans (my last in 06). it didn't feel like a workout unless it was an 8 hr brick. i finally got so burned out, i stopped everything. when i found cf, i was in great tri shape but could barely do 10 pullups - i was weak! now i'm completely satisfied after a 20 minute balls out cf wod and can't imagine having to do 2 workouts in a day or get on my bike for more than an hour or so. i could probably add several wkts from the cf endurance site and get back some of my tri fitness quickly if i wanted to jump in a race, but i don't feel that need anymore.

plus with cf, i have more time for my family and that's, like ford said, job 1.

good luck to you.
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:01 PM   #10
Phillip Garrison
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Re: An Epiphany...I am NOT fit....

Welcome Mike, where to you get your PhD? I'm currently pursuing one at Arizona State.
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