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

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Old 08-15-2004, 07:59 PM   #1
George Shelton
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Is anyone(besides Dan John)doing both? I love Crossfit and what it has done for me but I also want to get bigger and stronger to try to compete in Highland games. Any suggestions for workout structure would be appreciated. Currently I am doing crossfit at 5 am and my O lifting at 11:30 am, yoga at 8 pm( I have tight hammies and hip flexors).
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Old 08-16-2004, 08:50 AM   #2
Barry Cooper
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Olympic Lifting is one of the foundational disciplines of CrossFit. You will see Clean and Jerks and Snatches of various sorts incorporated on a pretty regular basis, so--to the extent we are consistently doing the WOD--most of us are doing both.

I don't know how big and strong you are right now, but I compete in HG, and I can tell you that the main thing is to throw, throw, throw. Lifting and throwing are related, but definitely different animals.

I lift much more often than I throw, because I have found that throwing seems to have very little metabolic impact on me, and my primary goal is health and energy, not competition. However, if your main goal is competition, plan on throwing 3-6 days a week, with maybe a few back squats and snatches on the side. With 7 events, you can rotate exercises in a way you can't as a single event person.
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Old 08-16-2004, 08:59 AM   #3
David Werner
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Lots of CrossFiters do both, quite a few in the community are also USAW certified club coaches. Here at CrossFit North in Seattle Nick and I are both club coaches and O-lifting is worked into the training regularly.

For O-lifting skill, warmup for WODs by practising the lifts with light weight. If you are planning to compete in O-lifting then O-lifting specific workouts should be mixed in with the WODs, exactly how many and how often is going to depend on you and need some experimenting. Dan John has lots to say about that - think of CrossFit as the GPP or foundation for your quick lifts.

For getting bigger and much stronger it's very difficult to do better than the WODs, backed up by Zone diet and adequate recovery.

Dave Werner
CrossFit North
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Old 08-16-2004, 10:37 AM   #4
Dan John
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An old post I made on this topic:

I have been freely giving advice about the O lifts for a while, but I had an interesting talk with a guy in Minnesota about training as an adult. He has been overtraining quite a bit and as we talked, I got some ideas that I have taken into my training.

As everyone may know, I blew my wrist apart a year or so ago being an idiot and not letting go of a missed state record in the snatch. "Never Let Go" is a good motto, but bad advice when the bar is off. Two surgeries and a lot of blood letting later, I have been slowly adding what I learned from the "World Class Lifting" videos to an aging tired wreck mess that we call "me."

I had recommended that all new lifters try Dave Turner's lifting program:
Snatch: 8 sets of 2
Clean and Jerk: 8 Singles
Front Squats: 5 sets of 5
Military Press: 5 Sets of 3

Well, after having all this cool new information and my chains, I adapted an idea from Tommy Kono to do this three days a week in a fashion like this:
Day One
Light Day on all four lifts
Day Two
Medium Day on all four lifts
Day Three
Heavish Day on all four lifts

PLUS...I use chains (I have 110 pound chains that are excellent, so a 175 front squat feels like 285 at the top) on all my front squats and military presses...on the military presses, I sit on a milk crate so the chains will do their job.

What I discovered is that the information I learned from the World Class Videos really worked! I force myself to live on my heels, in the pulls I mentally stick my chin on the wall in front of me, and push my butt back to the back wall. I even make the raptor noises on the pull, too.

I haven't missed a lift doing this, I feel fresher and my technique is really coming around. What is great is that my flexibility is getting better and better...without EVER stretching. I do the full lifts to get my stretches in.

The reason I bring this up is that a lot of people are struggling to learn the O lifts and I have discovered/rediscovered that it is okay to lighten the load to do the lifts right.

Learn from my pain: it is okay to get some volume in with the lighter lifts to prep your technique. By the way, it is also a cardiovascular workout from hell...without even noticing it!

As I trained last night, I began juggling the lessons since my first "comback" in 1985 when I returned very ill from the Middle East, then snapped my back picking up a typewriter (an ancient device that put letters of the alphabet on "paper," as it was known then).

As I outlined my thoughts between sets of snatches and playing with the dog, I realized that I had forgotten one of my great workouts: the overall weekly "body workout." Back in the 1980's I started this idea of doing a weekly 80% with these lifts:
Overhead Squat
Straight Leg Deadlift

In these workouts, usually the last of the week, I would try to get a solid set or two with each lift with about 80% and just get some quality reps up to 8 or so.

The genesis of this idea was my need to start breaking my body into parts, generally:
Day One

Day Two

Day Three
Legs (Squats)

I found that I was training well on M, T, W, taking Thursday off, then train on Friday with that whole body workout, leaving the weekends open to deal with the three girls I was dating at the time (this is actually true, but overstated...I only had three girlfriends for about three weeks).

As I thought about this, I came up with an idea for people trying to mix Crossfit (see for the Workout of the Day) with improving O lifting:

1. Do the crossfit WOD.
2. Follow Dave Turner's Basic Program with the following adaption:

Day One:
Clean and Jerk
Day Two:
Front Squat
Day Three:
Press...or variation
Day Four:
Day Five:
Clean and Jerk
Front Squat
Press...or variation

But, all of Day Five would be at 80% of the week's lifts. If Day one is light, Day Five is REALLY light.

My idea is that you would be touching on the O lifts 4 days a week, in addition to the crossfit work. One could go extremely light on all four of the lifts of Dave Turner's program and focus on training the nervous system and the specific flexibility needed for the O lifts.

Just an idea.
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Old 08-16-2004, 11:15 AM   #5
Dan John
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As I reread the post, I was a little stunned when I remembered that the woman whose typewriter I moved had died with her husband in a car wreck over the weekend.

So, to Frank and Joan Dunne: Good people and good friends.

As I reviewed this post, I came away amazed with this insight that helped me a lot this year and Rande Treece helped pull out of me. It isn't a "perfect insight," but works for most people.

As some of you know, I had a banner track season this year and, for a time, it looked like I would qualify for the Olympic Trials in the discus. I also crushed several state records in the Open class in Highland Games (A's) and snatched well and clean and jerked well at an Olympic Lifting meet.

Without any specific in the discus.

I have come to the conclusion that the old German concept of "General Manysidedness" is something missing from most training programs, although crossfit seems to have a lock on this concept.

My idea is that we tend to drop our athletic ability to become sport specific. It is, in my experience, hard to continue to improve as an O lifter/discus thrower or whatever by just focusing on your goal sport. You lose that "athletic" edge that brought you to the dance in the first place.

I have the "whatever" to go to an O meet without having done a max snatch or max Clean and Jerk in two years and attack a state record (last weekend in fact). Let me rephrase that: I had NOT gone over 80% of the lift I attempted. I trusted my experience, my technical drilling, my "image" of what I needed to do on the platform and the volume of "general manysidedness" that my crossfit and crossfit hybrids had given me.

Can you be a great lifter by only attempting 50-60%s of your max? Well, define "great," but I would love to see us take two does the standard O lift method of periodization and big lifts in practice and my team doing crossfit and perfect reps with 60%. Now, I am bragging...I doubt I ever get as heavy as 60%.

Just an idea...rambling...
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Old 08-16-2004, 02:27 PM   #6
Larry Lindenman
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Great post, keep rambling.
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Old 08-16-2004, 03:00 PM   #7
Albert Clayton
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Thats a Good Ramble. Value added
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Old 08-16-2004, 05:44 PM   #8
Michael Rutherford
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George -

You can do both. I was my own case study.

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Old 08-16-2004, 07:45 PM   #9
George Shelton
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Thanks everyone!!
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Old 08-18-2004, 09:27 AM   #10
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Great posts Dan - very informative.
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