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

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Old 10-07-2002, 03:37 PM   #1
Frank C Ollis
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This article talks about the specifics of some Paralympians(you know, those tough bastards in chairs that whip past you when you are running!)
http://home.hia.no/~stephens/str&end.htm
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Old 10-12-2002, 03:00 PM   #2
Derek
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Very cool stuff! Hey send me a contact # so we can talk.
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Old 10-13-2002, 11:29 AM   #3
Coach
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Bullseye, Frank:

From “Time Course of Training Adaptations”(http://home.hia.no/~stephens/timecors.htm) by Stephen Seiler I infer that unless your goal is singularly to increase performance in a specific long distance event there’s little fitness advantage to long distance efforts. I also saw the value of our nauseating routines in snagging some of the “phase two adaptations” for other than monostructural activities (bike, run, swim, row) like wrestling, for instance. You can keep “phase three” adaptations, thank you; this is the phase where you waste away.

From “Understanding Interval Training”(http://home.hia.no/~stephens/interval.htm) by Stephen Seiler I infer that we can build exceptional endurance capacity through the use of higher intensity intervals exclusively. “So what” if it isn’t the optimal way? The less I rely on intervals the weaker they become. I'm with the intervals.

From "Strength Training and Endurance Performance": http://home.hia.no/~stephens/str&end.htm, Stephen Seiler gives me reason to think, again, that for endurance across multiple if not random modalities and unpredictable scenarios, strength and it’s corresponding muscle mass may be critical for endurance success. Similarly, there are endurance needs that require strength that is specifically detrained by conventional endurance protocols.

In a nearly perverse way I’ve found within Stephen Seiler’s work a template for the CrossFit endurance model. Seiler gives us, if we read carefully, a blueprint from which we can build an athlete with tremendous endurance without narrowing his total capacity.

I’m game for elaboration, if prodded. Robb should have thoughts here. Much of this is about competing processes and equilibria, no?

Finally, neither myself, nor anyone writing on this stuff is doing more than taking swings in the dark. Coaching is art not science. Still.
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Old 10-14-2002, 10:01 AM   #4
Robert Wolf
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I am in total agreement here. If one looks at some of the work by Art Devany and Loren Cordain our ancestral activity patterns were those of decathaletes...not marathoners/triathaletes....and there was precious little specialization. Something which always strikes me is the account of the early american army testing the strength of Iriquois braves and some servicemen (mid 1800's) The service men could deadlift about 2.5 x bw where as the braves could consistently do about 3 x bw. These people were incredibly strong and powerfull and had remarkable endurance. Our genome has the expectation that we should live at the level of olympic athletes...if we do not we have serious problems.
Robb
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Old 10-14-2002, 11:35 AM   #5
Dan John
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Well, I have to admit that I wouldn't have believed this ten years ago, but I can't ignore what has happened to me.

I was the "King of Specificity" and got hurt, fat, and plateaued. When I came back to sports a couple of years ago, I still attacked my sports weaknesses (first pull in O lifting, grip strength, the right foot work in the discus, everything in the hammer), but I went much more general.

So, if you read my workouts, I do those Tabata Front Squats which make O lifters laugh...until I beat them. I change exercises and lifts a lot, drag stuff, throw stuff, carry stuff, whatever.

At 45, this last weekend, I broke my lifetime bests in the Highland Games Light Weight for Distance and Light Hammer. I have been doing these since 1982...no, not steady and practically zero technical training...but, I did improve.

So, even for the strength and power athlete, I would agree that a broad, nonspecific approach works BETTER than total specificity.

I'm shocked I wrote That!

I have always believed in two overriding concepts:
1. The Body is One Piece
2. Specificity works-but at a price

I am starting to realize that the price of total specificity is long term plateaus(!) rather than my original belief that specificity leads to injury.

Save that magnificent blown wrist in April, I have been hurt less, injured less (yes, I know...I had surgery...but that was one accident that was unavoidable), and feel far better attacking my sports goals with the crossfit concepts of variety and NE adapation.

Thanks for the link.
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Old 10-16-2002, 07:07 PM   #6
Coach
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Dan,

Congratulations, Sir!

I want to publicly thank you for your contribution to fitness, not only here, but on your OUTSTANDING site (http://danjohn.org/coach.html) and for all the athletes that you've nurtured and developed over the years. I'm a fan.

Greg Glassman
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Old 11-16-2002, 12:02 AM   #7
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Hi
Longtime-lurker/newbie-member here. This topic got me thinking so here's my question: Crossfit avoids the extremes like specific strength and specific endurance so what becomes too extreme/specific for a particular exercise?
Hope this isn't too vague of a question. Thanks
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Old 11-16-2002, 10:52 AM   #8
Robert Wolf
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I'll give my $0.02 on this! It has been my experience that maximum effort type events are not avoided (the power lifts, olympic lifts, sprints, muscle ups etc.). These lifts are frequently trained in a "fresh" state and one can really maximize the neurologic effects of the training. At other times these movements are trained (or simply attempted!) at near maximum heart rate. In theory one is then able to exhibit high degrees of all of the crossfit atributes (strength, power, stamina...) under as many different situations as possible. In my mind if one represnets all of these attributes as spokes a wheel the radius of the various spokes is proportional to the magnatude whith which they are developed. Finally perhaps the answer to your question...when ones training developes one attribute to the extent that the shape of this imaginary wheel becomes deformed...then the training has become overly extreme/specific. I have no idea how to quantify this...some of the non-linear systems theory stuff which describes how the stock market, ion channels and any dynamic system functions I think may be an answer...but how to apply this idea is perhaps a disertation waiting to happen. I think crossfit, Art devanys work, Dan John, all have a good mix of randomness and intensity. Tyler posted a great description of power laws and training at his site.
I hope this has not become overly essoteric...really good question...one without a solid answer perhaps.
Take care
Robb
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Old 11-16-2002, 02:17 PM   #9
reido
 
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Thanks RW!
I'm familiar with devany's and john's site but could someone direct me to tyler's?
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Old 11-19-2002, 07:00 PM   #10
Tyler Hass
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Reido,
My site is www.girevikmagazine.com. My article is called Power Curve Training and is in the second issue. In the third issue I have a workout that I designed for myself based upon the principles I wrote about in the article.
Let me know what you think. None of it is set in stone, just some ideas I had that worked really well for me and seem to match up well with a mathematical model.
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