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

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Old 04-24-2007, 03:07 PM   #1
David Kelso
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Hi Guys. I was wondering if anyone here had any insight into what sort of training program Acrobats/Hanbalancers follow? Do they use simply their routines as strength training? obviously at a really high level ( i.e cirque du soleil) the routines which they perform are really demanding, but what about in the build up to such routines? Do they use extra specific strength training measures? such as weighted dips , chins, etc? Do they do any metcon? And how much flexibility training goes into creating such awesome movement? How do you think their training would break down in terms of skill work, strength work and conditioning?

Thanks guys
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Old 04-24-2007, 04:25 PM   #2
David Aguasca
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i don't have any experience myself, but i have a friend who is going to national circus school in montreal for acrobatics. he does handbalancing.

i think his training schedule varies a lot. he does a lot of conditioning (push-ups and pull-ups). i'm pretty sure a lot of his strength has come from skill practice, like doing press handstands and spending a lot of time upside down. he's mentioned that he uses rings quite a bit. that would certainly have good crossover.

as for metcon, i think he's pretty much a run-20-minutes kind of guy. i feel like there are better things for his sport (career?), but i don't want to say anything to him unless he asks about it.

flexibility....he does a lot of this. he told me he was the most flexible guy at his auditions. he can do oversplits (splits with one leg on the ground, one on a chair) and has pretty wicked active flexibility.

hope that helps!
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Old 04-24-2007, 04:42 PM   #3
Roger Harrell
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Just performing the routines is not sufficient to build the strength to progress. The loads for conditioning must exceed the loads of the routines. Lots of presses, handstand push ups, one arm push ups and the like.
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Old 04-25-2007, 12:16 AM   #4
Steven Low
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Depends on what kind you want to do... are you looking to perform with a partner like in a mens pair routine? or are you looking to perform and learn skills by yourself like one arm handstands and such variations? or both?

Pretty much all of them require tons of specific practice although partner ones require MUCH more specific practice because of the inherent instability of balancing on another person.

Metcon will definitely help with longer routines and poses, but strength (and flexibility) should be your first goal as the stronger you are the easier it is to balance a lot of the poses. If you're going to partner balancing while you're not balancing with your partner you should be doing a lot of work on rings to simulate the instability. Actually, you should be doing a lot of work on rings regardless. :-)

As Roger said.. simply doing routines is not enough. It should be like with regular training for any sport. You practice your techniques and skills first thing in practice when you are fresh to get your nervous system used to them. Then afterwards you condition and strength train.
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Old 04-25-2007, 09:41 AM   #5
Jibreel Freeland
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Where are you located? If you ever get a chance take the Chinese acrobatics class at the San Francisco School of Circus Arts.

It begins with alot of stretching, then hand balancing, then certain conditioning on the floor. The handbalancing is on the floor, and on a stool. They put a ton of emphasis on form.

Here's the W/S link:

http://www.circuscenter.org/index2.html
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Old 04-25-2007, 09:22 PM   #6
Wes Head
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Check out beastskills.com. He has great tutorials on progressions and training. He belongs on the friends of CrossFit list (he may have been at some point, I don't remember)
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:14 AM   #7
Jake A Shannon
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Jibreel has a good point. I took the Russian Acrobatics course at the SF School of Circus Arts back in 2001.

It was awesome! I never thought I'd be able to do a back handspring but the coaching there was outstanding and had be doing it (and handstands and partner acrobatics too) in no time.

(Message edited by Jake_Shannon on April 26, 2007)
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:49 PM   #8
Ian Holmes
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We train skills that we can't do yet. Though circus is different than many sports because it not very regimented. People do what suits them and what works for their bodies. Though there is a huge amount of statics. There is general conditioning, but it is usually done as a part of the skills we are working on.

If you are looking for specifics... well I could give you a run down of my weekly schedule.

A vast number of circus people are ex gymnasts...
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Old 04-27-2007, 04:52 AM   #9
David Kelso
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Hey Guys thanks for the replies. Right now im looking to develop skills my self , but may progress to working with a partner as i know a few Tracuers and Gymnasts who are into cirque arts too. My main this is Parkour, but my passion for circus arts and performance is quickly kreeping up behind. Im also an avid martial artist (capoeira and BJJ) so im right now trying to design a training program that gets me stronger for all my sports.
Ian a rundown of your weekly training would be awesome! Thanks
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Old 04-28-2007, 08:08 AM   #10
David Aguasca
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yeah, ian, i'd love to see what your schedule looks like!
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