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

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Old 06-18-2011, 04:54 PM   #21
Colin McLafferty
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Re: If you really want a six-pack...

To be fair, a lot of the videotaping I see is for digital coaching and for competing against others. For example I may have a superb Fran time and so I'll tape it to get critiques / approvals on my ROM and to show my friends at the box. Now, if that Fran video is done half naked or with ostentatious garments, I think that is what people in this thread take exception to. The simple act of recording and sharing it isn't the crime because many times that's necessary or helps the athlete. Wearing the garments Emily mentioned is what I think shows a bias toward appearance.
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Old 06-18-2011, 05:04 PM   #22
Emily Mattes
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Re: If you really want a six-pack...

No, nothing wrong with recording. There's a difference between recording for form though and the ridiculous emphasis on photography which is clearly not for form purposes.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to look good in the gym, plenty of people use it as a meat market to find other fit-looking people. However, there is something wrong with claiming you don't care when your actions speak otherwise.

Though it's my opinion that if you're concerned about what your butt looks like squatting or whether the sweat is gleaming off your abs just so you're sacrificing mental energy that should be focused on performing at a higher athletic capacity.
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Old 06-18-2011, 05:13 PM   #23
Dave Traeger
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Re: If you really want a six-pack...

Originally Posted by Emily Mattes View Post
So you're saying that all of those other non-camera-happy sports don't have a strong communities? I think there are many people from those communities who would disagree.

I believe you're being woefully naive. Do you work out shirtless in the winter for "performance"? Are booty-shorts, push-up sports bras, and knee socks in the absence of deadlifts about "performance"? Are the women who are sending shots of their butts to Wild Gorillaman interested in "performance"? Perhaps you have not been involved in enough other athletic pursuits to realize how unique both the Crossfit uniform and its penchant for photographing even the most mundane workouts is among most athletic communities.

Let's put this in perspective: I know top-level bodybuilders, supposedly the most looks-obsessed of all, who do not take pictures of themselves during their daily workouts nor do they workout half-naked.
I think you have it backwards. Name another athletic pursuit that has quite the community. A zillion plus blog sites over the net (mostly in the form of affiliate websites), it's normal on a blog site to post a picture each day, this is community building. It's for inspiration if tomorrow's blog post photo shows a girl (or guy) hitting a record snatch. Sure they'll look awesome, but this came from working their *** off and they'll continue to do so. The same websites have posted photos and videos of 70 year olds and people with disabilities working out. You can't honestly say this is in the name of aesthetics.

Just because you've found one website that is specifically looking at physique (even says so on the page), doesn't mean they all are. Even on there majority of the women are working hard or setting records for themselves. These smells of performance.

And no, I didn't work out shirt less when it was 100f.
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Old 06-18-2011, 07:10 PM   #24
Bret Goldstein
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Re: If you really want a six-pack...

It seems to me that Crossfit is what could be defined as non-sport specific athletic training. You train like an athlete, you tend to look like an athlete. In my poor opinion athletes are attractive in many forms.

Crossfit also seems to tend toward athletic metrics, such as performance of a particular "girl" in a certain time period, or a decent form max lift, etc. This is strikingly similar to for instance, how fast one is in a sprint, or how far one throws a javelin, or how well someone can block in football. Typically athletes look attractive. There is nothing inherently wrong with being proud of ones physical appearance as the avatar, the physical representation of the blood, sweat and raw physical effort and pain you all put into what you do.

I looked at the website in the original posts. The kid worked very hard to tranform his physical appearance and I think he should be proud of the result of his efforts. Ripping the kid because his metrics differ from yours seems very arrogant and not a little cruel to me.
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Old 06-18-2011, 08:12 PM   #25
Michael Dowling
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Re: If you really want a six-pack...

i agree with emily on this, i walk into my gym and constantly see people working out with shirts off, i find it a bit obnoxious and egotistical. hey look at me i'm ripped and shirtless... removing a shirt has nothing to do with performance and everything to do with ego imo. especially guys doing heavy squats and dealifts shirtless, wtf is that?

i saw a flyer at my gym called "no keep the socks on ladies" a womans crossfit competition and it made a point to say "booty shorts encouraged". the requirements are knee highs and preferably booty shorts. is it a fitness competition or some old business mans fantasy?

i have no issue with people appreciating the fruits of thier labor, but don't try and pretend this is all about performance and cf'ers are above superficial behavior.

Last edited by Michael Dowling; 06-18-2011 at 08:20 PM..
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Old 06-18-2011, 08:18 PM   #26
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: If you really want a six-pack...

Originally Posted by Dave Traeger View Post
I think you have it backwards. Name another athletic pursuit that has quite the community.
Aikido people were building community over the Internet before Crossfit existed. I've been welcomed like a long-lost friend in dojos all over the world. Some of my dearest friends are people I met through aikido.

I'm sure there are plenty of others, that's just one I'm familiar with.

Humans are community-forming creatures. Crossfit (or any other sport) is just the excuse.

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Old 06-18-2011, 08:56 PM   #27
Rebecca Roth
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Re: If you really want a six-pack...

I've seen a little bit of both ends of the spectrum. Yea there are the folks that video/photograph everything to show off with their shirt off, but I would say just cause those guys are getting the attention (because they are seeking it out, while the honest hard working folks aren't and go unnoticed) doesn't mean they are the majority. I would say we've possibly had a couple drop ins that appeared like that at my gym, but I've never met any of the members that had that attitude.
Some thoughts on the topic, and why I think it has grown into what it is:

1) CF started as individuals working out in their gyms by themselves, videoing/photos were a way of connecting and contributing to the community.

2) CF is one of the few athletic communities who as a norm workout outdoors or indoors with little to no temperature control regardless of the weather. Lots of clothing can get pretty annoying when it is over 100 degrees outside and feels even hotter inside.

3) Groups do tend to define themselves through what they wear, look at teenage cliques, even those who associate due to shared musical styles also gravitate toward similar clothing styles. CFers happen to have hooked into some sort of exaggerated sport based elements obviously - socks, kinesio tape, compression gear, booty shorts, etc... there are way worse things things that we could be using for our shared styles.

4) Regarding the community aspect, I know I at first was a bit put out by the picture taking at the gym (some trainers do it, some don't, and its not overbearing by any stretch, but still), but over time I had a sort of revelation to the connection it creates between the members. I work out almost exclusively at the crack of dawn, so there are folks I virtually never see, but because of the pictures that are taken, there is a familiarity established with almost everyone. Pretty much anyone at the gym, even if I've never met them, can recognize who I am and immediately has a conversation starter of being able to comment on something they've seen me do. IF you are trying to build that type of community/family out of your gym, it just makes sense, for the average true gym this isn't even relevant, for most CF gyms this is a part of the appeal.

Finally, thanks Katherine for posting the link to Nerd Fitness, I have a new favorite site!
The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will. - Vince Lombardi
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Old 06-18-2011, 10:38 PM   #28
Paul Coplin
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Re: If you really want a six-pack...

I think piling people who do Crossfit into a single bucket is pointless.

Some do it as their sport, using the workouts themselves as the goal (PRs). Some use the workouts to perform better at other sports. Others use it to get in or to stay in shape.

I used it to prepare for a job in the fire service, and we use it in the academy and throughout our department to stay in shape. I like to better my times, but not to get a specific deadlift weight or some other pointless (to me) number, I just need it to allow me to perform well at a drop of a hat on a fire scene.
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Old 06-18-2011, 11:40 PM   #29
Chad Anderson
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Re: If you really want a six-pack...

Would you rather have or not have abs...who is going to say, "Nope, don't want any abs showing!" Even if that is not a goal, who is going to say no?

Now- whether you have great genetics for abs and whether you are willing to eat and exercise to see abs is up to you. You want 50 pounds on your squat and dead you are going to have to work for it, eat for it and sleep for it.

As far as the rabbit trail of the Photo-centric nature of CF. At our box they take pics of people actually executing lifts, not how cute or buff people look before the workout. Same is true in any regular gym, it is considered poor taste to set up your own photos unless it is for instructive purposes.

And let's get real. Who wants pics of the "fat" them posted online? Not very many. So an owner in a precarious position as to which pics to post.

Where do you see fitness advertisements with out of shape people? What is a blog? I would consider it advertisement. Thus, there is a tendency to post pics of people who would be happy to see the photos showing their progress.

At the same time I agree with the distraction factor of who has the newest this / that, showing off too much of this or that, etc. It's a distraction in pretty much any type of gym/club/box/garage on the planet. Nothing new here.

PL and Strongman community have posts all over youtube of their lifts. Nothing new with using media to show form, progress, accomplishments...even braggins rights.

Last edited by Chad Anderson; 06-18-2011 at 11:44 PM..
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:24 AM   #30
Joshua Morgan
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Re: If you really want a six-pack...

Originally Posted by Chad Anderson View Post
Would you rather have or not have abs...who is going to say, "Nope, don't want any abs showing!" Even if that is not a goal, who is going to say no?
I like this. If an awesome magical fairy came down and said, "hey, I can give you a six-pack right now." I'm not sure how many of us would say "Ohhh nope. No thanks."

Granted very few on this forum have the goals of getting down to competitive bodybuilder stage bodyfat levels, if you're mindful of your diet you can get down into single digit bodyfat and end up with nice abdominal definition.

It seems goals of wanting larger biceps, having a six-pack, and other aesthetics get ragged on a lot.
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