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

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Old 07-29-2005, 09:38 PM   #1
Eric Cimrhanzel
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After reading Henry Rollins' article a few days ago, and then again today, I got to talking with some of CrossFitters in another Forum, and in the midst of discussion and questions, the thought suddenly struck me: We combine everything else around here, so why not blur the distinction between physical and mental exercise? I understand that it takes quite a bit of smarts and strategy just to pull off a muscle-up, squat snatch, a one-armed one-legged pushup, or any other semi-complicated lift or movement, but why stop there?

Examples lead the way with this idea, so here's a random mock-WOD I came up with:
1. 5 Minute Secret Service Snatch Test (53lb kettlebell, of course)
Then, for time, starting immediately after the last snatch in the fifth minute:
2. 21-15-9 reps of Burpees and Pullups
During the burpee/pullup combo, recite a poem or a fast rap song from memory (someone else should probably be counting your reps). I like "Passion" by Blackalicious, or anything by Mike Shinoda (the MC for Linkin Park), Robert Frost, etc.
3. Play a game of speed chess against someone (10 minutes maximum on the clock. 5 minutes preferred)

You'll be exhausted afterwards, but you'll feel pretty good, especially if you beat the chess player.

Progression is increasing SSST numbers, decreasing the 21-15-9 Burpee/Pullup combo time, and beating the opposing chess player faster and faster. Bold and brilliant tactics are highly encouraged. Bonus points if both of you did the workout together beforehand, but the game is a LOT tougher if your opponent across the board is physically fresh.

Heck, if you got enough people who knew what a kettlebell snatch, a burpee, and a chess board were (hard combination to find out of the people I know), you might just have yourself a little competition.

I guess if you're alone you could also do the same with Cindy or Fran or most other WODs, then follow up with an I.Q. test, brain teaser, Crossword puzzle, answer various questions about art or Quantum Mechanics, whatever your fix happens to be.

Varied functional movements executed at a high intensity, followed by or included with varied mentally stimulating games.

This would be one heck of a new sport, though.

Hmm... anyways, just a random idea. Strong minds in strong bodies...
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Old 07-29-2005, 10:55 PM   #2
Andrew Gray
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Barry Cooper made a post about this sort of idea a while back http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/3499/6753.html I think it would make a fun addition, although often times I kind of like being able to just shut my brain down for a little while and do my workout.

A few months ago I did an adventure race and it incorporated a few mental challenges (pretty minor but still something) into it. It was very fun! We were in teams of 4 and we had to overcome obstacles as a group before we could advance from one stage of the race to the next. Some of the obstacles included doing a page of word picture puzzles, each member carry an orange up and down a hill without using her/his hands, solve a riddle to figure out where to go next, and the hardest of all of them was near the end of the race we had to blow up a bunch of baloons and rest one of our team mates on them so they were completely supported by the baloons (blowing up baloons after a mile of kiyaking, 5 mile trail run and 5 miles of biking is rediculously hard!!!) We all had to sit down because it was making us dizzy. The mental part of that last one was figuring out how arrage the baloons.

In any case I think someone should go ahead and make a workout with mental exercises included so all who are interested can give it a go and see how we like it.
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Old 07-30-2005, 12:33 AM   #3
Don Stevenson
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You want mental challenge and conditioning together?

Try fencing, its like a game of chess with skewers.

Honestly this is a nice idea but we have a name for mental activity+physical activity and its called SPORT.

Crossfit is really about GPP so that when you need to think under physical duress you can do so fairly clearly.
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Old 07-30-2005, 11:27 AM   #4
David Wood
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http://www.us.orienteering.org/
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Old 07-30-2005, 12:36 PM   #5
Eric Cimrhanzel
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Don,

Yes, I thought about regular sport, as well. This was just something a little different. Wrestling and sport BJJ are mind/body games, like the fencing you mentioned.

Andrew and David, thanks for the links!

I used to love orienteering in high school and Scouts, and had almost forgotten about this sport. Good stuff. Especially when you and your buddies "get lost" (which of course men never do...) on a course, and one of them falls off a small cliff (no injuries, lucky guy).
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Old 07-30-2005, 01:20 PM   #6
David Wood
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I ran a O-course once where I got so completely lost that I could not finish in 4 hours (maximum time allowed for a 10K course). Kind of embarassing . . .
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Old 07-30-2005, 04:22 PM   #7
Chuck Pelowski
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ugh... in "Cadet Land" we call orienteering "land-nav." It consists of going into a box canyon with a map and compass, wandering around for hours looking for glowing sticks, and having the s#!t scared out of you by quail that suddenly pop up out of the bush in front of you. The next day, the winner is determined by the number of infected cactus spines that can be counted in the legs.
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Old 07-30-2005, 05:04 PM   #8
Eric Cimrhanzel
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Chuck, I know EXACTLY what you're talking about (well... not about the quail, but the other stuff).

Back in high school we did both "Day Navs" and "Night Navs". Night Navs were much more fun until one year two cadets were, um... "caught" in the woods together, sans glowsticks and clothing (and cactus needles, surprisingly!).

Needless to say, they cancelled future Night Navs for a year or two.
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Old 07-30-2005, 06:19 PM   #9
Kris Crowley
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Chuck,

I don't know how many times I've drawn down on quail while looking for bad guys. Good times.
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Old 08-04-2005, 08:07 AM   #10
Larry Lindenman
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IMHO mental training is built into the WOD. At first, people go as hard as they can and die. Eventually stratagy kicks in. Stratagy, toughness, mind games to keep grinding through 5 rounds of.... Chess smess, keep doing the WOD, you'll be mental.
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