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

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Old 12-10-2005, 09:43 AM   #1
Jeremy Jones
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Exercise amount more important than intensity

Rigorous workouts not necessary for healthy hearts, new study finds

How much you exercise may be more important than how hard you exercise in terms of heart health, according to a study of sedentary overweight men and women. And, many will be happy to hear, exhaustive amounts of exercise are not needed for heart health.

In journal CHEST, researchers from North Carolina report that people who walk briskly for 12 miles per week or for about 125 to 200 minutes per week will significantly improve their aerobic fitness and lower their risk of developing heart disease.

“Anything beyond walking briskly for 12 miles per week, whether increasing your intensity or the amount of miles, has additional benefits,” Brian D. Duscha from Duke University Medical Center in Durham who was involved in the research said. “So there is a separate and combined effect.”

He also emphasized that the 12-miles-per-week walkers in the study improved their fitness without losing any weight. “People need to know: even without losing weight, you are getting significant benefits by exercising -- you’re improving your fitness level, decreasing fat and increasing muscle and improving your lipid panel -- so don’t stop exercising,” Duscha said.

“The other thing to realize is that people gain 3 to 4 pounds a year, so exercise is really important for weight maintenance,” Duscha said.

There is a clear link between heart health and fitness. However, less is known on how the amount and intensity of exercise relates to increases in fitness for individuals at risk for heart disease.

To better understand the effects of different amounts of exercise on aerobic fitness, Duscha and colleagues randomly assigned 133 overweight sedentary men and women showing signs of rising cholesterol levels to 7 to 9 months of no exercise; low amount/moderate intensity exercise (the 12-miles per week walkers); low amount/vigorous intensity (12 miles of jogging per week); or high amount/vigorous intensity (20 miles of jogging per week).

The study subjects did not alter their diet during the study.

After completing their exercise assignment, all of exercisers had improvements in peak oxygen consumption and time to exhaustion -- two established markers of fitness - compared with levels at the beginning of the study.

Interestingly, however, the vigorous intensity exercisers did not get any “fitter” than the moderate intensity exercisers. “The moderate intensity group only exercised to 40 or 50 percent of their max,” Duscha explained. “That’s walking briskly up a hill or walking fast -- you could walk around the neighborhood after dinner and get that in. You don’t have to go jog, climb on the stairmaster or elliptical trainer and kill yourself.”

However, increasing the amount of exercise from 12 to 20 miles per week -- at the same intensity -- provides even more cardiovascular benefits.

“Therefore,” Duscha and colleagues conclude, “it is appropriate to recommend mild exercise to improve fitness and reduce cardiovascular risk, yet encourage higher intensities and amounts for additional benefits.”

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.


That's it. I give up CF it is too hard. I would rather walk 40 miles a week. All I need is a 'healthy' heart any way right?
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Old 12-10-2005, 09:59 AM   #2
Stanley Kunnathu
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Why do people extrapolate from studies done on fat people with high cholesterol? Anything is an improvement for them!

Also, duration does not equal intensity.

It's irresponsible science to draw conclusions that reach far beyond the limited scope of the data!


I guess I'm preaching to the choir.
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Old 12-10-2005, 10:05 AM   #3
Roger Harrell
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Define "necessary". Sure it may not be "necessary" to have intense excersize to improve cardiovascular/heart health (assuming you are completely sednetary to begin with) but excersizing intensely will be more benificial.

Can we test these "moderate" level excersizers and make a determination if they are "fit" or not.

Also look at what is defined as high amount/intensity: "high amount/vigorous intensity (20 miles of jogging per week)."

Again, it depends on your definition of fitness...
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Old 12-10-2005, 10:09 AM   #4
Matt Gagliardi
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God, there are times I really lose respect for the white coats. This is one of them.
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Old 12-10-2005, 10:31 AM   #5
Lincoln Brigham
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Reading a study like this is like watching a tailor trying to measure a suit with an odometer.
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Old 12-10-2005, 02:59 PM   #6
Travis Hall
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i think your all missing the important point of the article- we must all give up pullups and hspu, and oly-lifting--- JOGGING is where it's at!

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Old 12-10-2005, 03:44 PM   #7
Chris Forbis
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"Oop... I almost forgot. I won't be able to make it fellas. Veronica and I are trying this new fad called uh, jogging. I believe it's jogging or yogging. It might be a soft j. I'm not sure but apparently you just run for an extended period of time. It's supposed to be wild."
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Old 12-10-2005, 06:08 PM   #8
Ian Holmes
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Jogging it is then... remember though not to accidently turn it into a run as there is a chance that you may develop something largely unkown in North America... fitness.
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Old 12-10-2005, 09:12 PM   #9
Rene Renteria
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Interestingly, however, the vigorous intensity exercisers did not get any “fitter” than the moderate intensity exercisers. “The moderate intensity group only exercised to 40 or 50 percent of their max,” Duscha explained.

I wonder how many 10-20 mi/week joggers, who think they’re in terrific shape, will understand that this means they’re not getting any benefit, really, from their jogging. Despite all those running highs, all those times fighting through stress-fractures or shin splints or sore hips, the fair doctors have just proven that these runners are only one step ahead of those fat guy desk jockeys that they’re running away from. What’s worse is that they’re on par with those power walkers they run by and scorn. They’re only maintaining cardiac health.

What, then?

These articles need to quote Tabata’s research, too. Don’t forget the gospel according to Tabata: ct&list_uids=8897392&query_hl=1
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996 Oct;28(10):1327-30.
Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max.

Tabata I, Nishimura K, Kouzaki M, Hirai Y, Ogita F, Miyachi M, Yamamoto K.

Department of Physiology and Biomechanics, National Institute of Fitness and Sports, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.

This study consists of two training experiments using a mechanically braked cycle ergometer. First, the effect of 6 wk of moderate-intensity endurance training (intensity: 70% of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), 60 min.d-1, 5 d.wk-1) on the anaerobic capacity (the maximal accumulated oxygen deficit) and VO2max was evaluated. After the training, the anaerobic capacity did not increase significantly (P [greater than] 0.10), while VO2max increased from 53 +/- 5 min-1 to 58 +/- 3 (P [less than] 0.01) (mean +/- SD). Second, to quantify the effect of high-intensity intermittent training on energy release, seven subjects performed an intermittent training exercise 5 d.wk-1 for 6 wk. The exhaustive intermittent training consisted of seven to eight sets of 20-s exercise at an intensity of about 170% of VO2max with a 10-s rest between each bout. After the training period, VO2max increased by 7, while the anaerobic capacity increased by 28%. In conclusion, this study showed that moderate-intensity aerobic training that improves the maximal aerobic power does not change anaerobic capacity and that adequate high-intensity intermittent training may improve both anaerobic and aerobic energy supplying systems significantly, probably through imposing intensive stimuli on both systems.
Never forget that (well, unless it turns out to be wrong! best to keep an open mind.). 20 MINUTES (not miles) per week for six weeks, wow.

“So say we all.”

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Old 12-10-2005, 10:04 PM   #10
Hone Watson
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One thing I could never figure out about the tabata protocol is that '170% of Vo2 Max' figure. Is that like 100% maximal effort or more like 90% of maximal effort?
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