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

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Old 12-25-2003, 04:33 PM   #1
Departed FRANCO BELCASSIO is offline
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has anyone tried any of pavel's book if so which program did you read or view and did you find the material effective? his stuff is on the pricey side compared to some of his competition.
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Old 12-25-2003, 04:43 PM   #2
J. D. Hernandez
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I have all of Pavel's materials, and highly recommend them. Pavel's writing style is simplistic and scientific at the same time, and is very applicable to all people, the garage gym warrior to the busy athlete. I do not own a kettleball (they are rather pricey), but built my own instead( which I use quite often). IMO, pavel's work is gold.
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Old 12-26-2003, 09:36 AM   #3
David Wood
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I'll also vote favorably for Pavel. I think his training programs are the absolute second-best out there.

Personally, I like his writing style, and I agree with JD that he gets it across with a fine mix of straightforward and scientific. I don't reqret the money I've spent on any of his (admittedly expensive) books. I'll probably buy his new book on bodyweight training, just to see what's in it.

If I'd never encountered CrossFit, I'd probably have trained in his style for a long time, and made very good progress. The most serious lack in his program is the development of the endocrine system that CrossFit provides through high-intensity anaerobic work. Pavel's programs tend to focus on development of maximal strength (without major increases in body mass) through neural system training. His programs won't encourage your body to "lean out" the way CrossFit does.

To sum up: IMHO, CrossFit rocks, and Pavel rolls. Both are wonderful.

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Old 12-26-2003, 12:40 PM   #4
Daniel Ramos
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"The most serious lack in his program is the development of the endocrine system that CrossFit provides through high-intensity anaerobic work."

Heee excuse me Dave.....

Isn't that what all the high rep kettle bell over head lifting is about?????:happy:

Im not saying its as efective as crosfit since the variety of stimulus is not the same. But it's not like Pavel completely overlooked it.

If you combine his ideas on maximal strength , strengh endurance, anaerobic training , flexibility and joint mobility. You could really get into pretty decent shape.

Any how
Happy training

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Old 12-26-2003, 07:50 PM   #5
Michael Halbfish
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I am a huge fan of Pavel. If I weren't doing Crossfit I'd be doing Pavel's stuff. I prefer Crossfit because it has more of a competitive feel, I sweat more and there is a greater variety. I think Crossfit might have better carryover for sports. However, when I do Crossfit, I employ many of Pavel's concepts such as occasionally doing an exercise blindfolded, and using maximum tension, etc. I followed Pavel's systems for a long time before converting to Crossfit. I've also used John Davies systems. He has many similarities to Crossfit and Pavel.
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Old 12-26-2003, 09:01 PM   #6
David Wood
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Oops. Fair enough criticism about my overlooking high rep kettlebell lifting. Certainly a lengthy set of swings or snatches with a 55 lb kettlebell (that 1.5 pood, yes?) will produce the response were talking about . . . especially if it's repeated 3 or 4 times.

So, as I look around desperately for some way to retrieve my pride for having overlooked the obvious, I hit upon an answer . . . high rep kettlebell lifting isn't in his books! (ta-da!)

No, seriously (well, sorta seriously) . . . most of his books actually AREN'T about kettlebells (I know that hard to believe, given his reputation), but he's actually written a whole mess of books that cover a lot of ground other than kettlebells.

Power to the People was an outstanding book about neural power, the value of concentration and whole-body tension to amplify strength, and the value of the basic protocol of simple lifts (deadlifts and overhead presses) done in 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps, without going to failure. All of it absolutely brilliant, but not a word about anything that would elicit an hormonal response.

Most of his other books were equally groundbreaking in their specific areas (ab training, stretching, joint flexibility). Only one (or maybe two now) was about kettlebell training, and even there, high-rep training was not a focus.

In at least the first one (I have the tape, not the book), he's spends so much time teaching kettlebell technique (a reasonable necessity, given the ignorance of his audience) that he barely mentions the idea of high rep training.

The value of high rep training (usually defined as 25, maybe 50 reps / set, for multiple sets) with kettlebells is really something that's been promulgated through the Dragon Door discussion website, rather than his books directly.

Note: 99% of this post is sophistry, a debater's trick to try to draw attention away from the fact that I missed the obvious. (I'm actually embarrassed to be using it.):blush:

Note 2: Just in case it's not obvious, I'm NOT knocking Pavel's programs (as I said in my original post, I would still be using them regularly/daily, were it not for the fact that I found something better). And I now gotta admit that if you include some of the workouts that he and others have developed around kettlebells (I remember doing one called the "man-maker" . . 10 rounds of a brief run (300 yards) followed by 15 swings with a dumbbell or kettlebell) will produce a fine "CrossFit" experience.

Many thanks for catching my oversight:happy:

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Old 12-26-2003, 10:00 PM   #7
Tyler Hass
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What I really like about Pavel's materials is the depth of instruction. Most books give you pictures and descriptions of an encyclopedia full of exercises. Pavel does the opposite and just focuses on a handful of exercises but gives actual instruction that goes beyond what you see elsewhere. For example, he will give you a variety of techniques to improve your ability to generate tension, tips on body alignment for safety and efficiency and visualizations to help put it all together.
Whether you're doing CrossFit or any other type of training program, learning what Pavel has to teach can enhance it, but not necessarily replace it.
It's interesting, because I have heard a lot of Pavel's techniques taught by my gymnastics instructors, unbeknownst to them. Sometime they even use the same phrase, like pinching a coin between your cheeks. Pavel draws a lot from old-time strongman training, martial arts, powerlifting, science, etc. So it is not too surprising to see similar things come up elsewhere. But if you want to find all this stuff in one place in an easy to learn format, Pavel is definitely the way to go.
As a side note, I've met him a number of times in person and he is really nice. He plays up the macho Russian sadist image for the camera, but in person he is very respectful, attentive and he always remembers people. He's funny too:-)

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Old 12-27-2003, 02:59 AM   #8
Yehoshua Zohar
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I recently purchased the e-version of "Naked Warrior". For a review of the book go here:
Before you buy any of the books check out his website at DragonDoor. There are many good articles not only by Pavel. His strength system is aimed at developing max strength via a few key exercises, low reps and "training as often as possible while staying as fresh as possible."
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Old 12-27-2003, 05:38 PM   #9
Barry Cooper
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I have his kettlebell book--which I liked, and for information on which there really isn't any other source--but I sent back "Power to the People" and one of his flexibility books. I think it was "Relax into Stretch". I just didn't see enough stuff in them that I didn't already know to make it worth the money. I don't think deadlifts and side presses are a complete fitness routine, although I will readily admit that his efforts to popularize what I consider "real" weightlifting (i.e. for strength, and not with machines) are commendable and good.

The Ladder concept is good. Kettlebells are undoubtedly a great way to get in shape and stay in shape. The types of stretching he advocates are probably good, although I've always had better luck with yoga and pilates.

Overall, I think he has a lot of good, derivative ideas, but you can pick almost all of them up from chat boards, especially good ones like CrossFit. For example, I think "pistol" is Pavel's term. Regardless, it is defined and used here.
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Old 12-29-2003, 06:12 AM   #10
Parth Shah
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I haven't seen any articles on high-rep training from Pavel. I've seen stuff from Mike Mahler on and such. I think Charles Staley's a real genious. But, neverthless I think without these great men, Pavel, Staley, and Davies, I don't think we would have crossfit. Although the metholodolgy might be different, but fitness is fitness and there are going to be things in common no matter what. And don't forget Mahler. He's also got some wicked ideas. But I still think he stole the body blaster exercise from my sensei. I've been doing that exercise since I began karate almost five years ago.
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