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

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Old 12-06-2007, 09:44 AM   #41
Lenora Galitz-Pfeffer
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Re: goals and elite fitness vs. elite athletes

Thankyou for this discussion. For years I've had a history of getting very strong using weights. I would reach a high point and then my stability deficit is revealed in an injury. For example: I was using a smith machine and doing very heavy squats, and leg press for very heavy presses until I got tendonitis in my groin resulting in total immobility of the lower body. I was strong in my upper body using flat bench, incline bench, and pully exercizes like lat pulldowns, seated rows, and arm isolation exercizes. The weak stabilizers in my shoulders and wrists didn't develop as much as the larger muscles. I looked good, could "show off", but got shoulder impingement and wrist pain. Switching to cf 2 .5 weeks ago has improved all of my stability muscles and I've gained size in my upper body. Lunges have strengthened my groin, and doing jumping pullups on rings, and classic push-ups have improved my shoulders and wrists. I still know to rest the shoulders as needed. I finally am developing stamina which has been lacking for a long while. This may really be about another thread, but, it feels relevant here regarding type I and type II, and fast and slow-twich.
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Old 12-06-2007, 11:05 AM   #42
Reto Corfu
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Re: goals and elite fitness vs. elite athletes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
This is my position summarized into one sentence:

In any of the extreme power/strength/endurance biased sports specifically "mixed modal training" is only a setback.
I think you're right, but I hope you're wrong.

Here's a concept:
someone that includes mixed modal training early in their athletic career, even if trying to specialize in a sport with an extreme power/strengh/endurance bias, will outperform peers until such time that they get to an extremely elite level - and I'm talking top 1% in the world or better, basically an olympian or someone that might challenge for a world record. Not high school champ. Not even varsity level. This is opinion only, but I think the fringe benefits of excellent GGP early in a career will far outweigh the training time lost in specializing. My idea is that an extremely solid GGP base will allow much more rapid specialization than otherwise normal, allowing the athlete to quickly surpass peers that have been specializing only for their entire career.

thoughs?
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Old 12-06-2007, 11:42 AM   #43
James Floerchinger
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Re: goals and elite fitness vs. elite athletes

I agree with Reto, being a well-rounded athlete can only make for better performances later.

We've all seen athletes who are so well-conditioned and prepared that they just find something that they Love, and then put in the extra work to be good at THAT. I think that many of the top athletes would be great at just about any sport, but, they have an intrinsic love for sport "X" and make it happen there. How many other athletes could have been great, but, had no real general preparation to excel once they've found their #1 sport?

Being stronger, fitter, better prepared...all allow the athlete who truly wants to put in the hours necessary to shoot a basketball or gun (Dec07CFJ) to the best of their ability.

Yes, you need to specialize, but, I look at CF as a way of enhancing the athletic pursuit.

I agree with Matt, CF can keep athletes mentally fresh, physically strong, and I don't think can be seen as a detractor to the ultimate aim-whatever that is. Even the Elite need a break, otherwise, they're another 22 year old at the top of the field and mentally/physically drained, but, won't reach their potential, their true potential.

Keep in mind that there is SO much more to Elite performance than just the physical...throw in teamwork, and the dynamics are massive. CF is part of that paradigm (for me), and helps shape some of the philosophy, but, there are other aspects of sport that are outside the realm in a lot of ways.
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Old 12-06-2007, 11:58 AM   #44
Tom Fetter
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Re: goals and elite fitness vs. elite athletes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reto Corfu View Post
...someone that includes mixed modal training early in their athletic career, even if trying to specialize in a sport with an extreme power/strengh/endurance bias, will outperform peers until such time that they get to an extremely elite level...
That's what I think. Dunno how big the "extremely" percentage is ... probably it varies in part by the "extreme" specialization required by the sport itself.

But as far as getting to that ultra-elite performance level, probably Steven's also correct. If someone trains from the get-go in a multi-mode way and then gets involved in sport with very skewed demands ... all other things being equal, they'll likely not perform as well as someone else who's trained just as hard and long, but only following training patterns that support the sport.

But even there, there's a lot of potential crossover. Steven mentioned musicians, who picked up a violin at age 2 and developed superior technique because they never put it down. True - the current thinking is that technical mastery of any complicated physical skill (e.g. becoming a concert violinist) takes about 10,000 hours of practise.

But those violinists will be much better musicians if they've also learned a whole bunch about harmony and musical structure ... and learned it in multiple and nuanced ways because they've also played piano, done some conducting, and perhaps sung close harmony. That would add layers upon layers to their performances. Similarly, the violinist will have nothing to "say" if they've no life experience - and have no understanding of the life experiences that the composers were trying to express. Technique only gets you so far, if you've no content to express through it.

I strongly suspect the same's true of elite athletics. Some skills do transfer, across the oddest domains. As do coaching concepts, psychological factors, social factors. Who's to know if the added grit from broader experiences might or might not outweigh the added technical expertise from following one sport only ...?

Last edited by Tom Fetter : 12-06-2007 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 12-06-2007, 01:29 PM   #45
Steven Low
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Re: goals and elite fitness vs. elite athletes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Trent View Post
I have some disagreement when it comes to endurance running. Gordon Pirie, who broke records like it was his job, advocated a LOT of shorter, faster running for middle and long distance runners. He also lifted. One of his ideas was that if you cannot run a 4:30 mile, you cannot run a 9 minute 2mile, so train speed to compliment endurance and to have a massive kick.
I agree.. and disagree again. Sprint intervals/fartlek/HIIT/metcons are actually a VERY good way to develop endurance for longer more endurance related events. The one problem I have with him is that he was doing this back in like the 1950s. I'm sorry to say but now endurance running has become much more specialized with the Kenyans and Ethiopians and anyone who is trying to keep up with them. Granted, you'll see sprint-ish times especially when finishing the race because that's part of the race, but the majority of training you're seeing now is pretty much all significant distance times. Well, googling Keninisa Bekele gave me some training with 2000m intervals at least and he's probably the greatest 5000m and 10000m of all time (time on the 5000m is like a minute better than Pirie's).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Reto Corfu
I think you're right, but I hope you're wrong.

Here's a concept:
someone that includes mixed modal training early in their athletic career, even if trying to specialize in a sport with an extreme power/strengh/endurance bias, will outperform peers until such time that they get to an extremely elite level - and I'm talking top 1% in the world or better, basically an olympian or someone that might challenge for a world record. Not high school champ. Not even varsity level. This is opinion only, but I think the fringe benefits of excellent GGP early in a career will far outweigh the training time lost in specializing. My idea is that an extremely solid GGP base will allow much more rapid specialization than otherwise normal, allowing the athlete to quickly surpass peers that have been specializing only for their entire career.
Well, it's not like I hope I'm right? lol.

I would say no. Again, knowing that training is cumulative on fiber type and enzyme profiles a broad modal base would help initially just because at a young age there's huge variances in ability. But like Tom said if you read his post "all other things being equal, they'll likely not perform as well as someone else who's trained just as hard and long, but only following training patterns that support the sport."

And let me reiterate because there's been quite a few contentions to my points which which are incorrect assumptions: this is for extreme power, strength and endurance biased sports ONLY.


James:

Again, I'm saying this is for extremely biased power, strength and endurance events. Basketball is not an extremely biased any of those. I don't think you would want to tell me that endurance training or metcons would be good for an elite sprinter?


Tom:

Good points. Burnout is why I don't like specialization that much especially from an early age, and I do want to introduce kids to lots of different things so they can figure out what they like early on. HOWEVER, I do think (and I'll say it again for good measure) that once you find something a kid loves put him in similar pursuits. So if you have a kid that likes sprinting also make sure he learns/tries out other things like long jump, high jump or other things that require a significant power bias. This will only help him to not only excel at his sport but to also get a variety of new experiences. Gymnastics, trampoline, diving, DMT, power tumbling, etc. all translate well to each other. Endurance swimming, endurance running, long bike rides, etc. all translate well to good endurance across domains.

It's not like I'm recommeding total specialization from age 2 or 3 or whatever. I'm merely trying to look into basically what we can do to get a kid a variety of experiences WITHOUT compromising his potential to be an elite athlete (in power, strength or endurance biased sports) if he so chooses.

Again, sports like football or basketball are somewhat power biased, but the conditioning level for these is such that mixed modal training is EFFECTIVE to compete at elite levels. These type of sports are NOT what this thread is about.
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Old 12-06-2007, 05:40 PM   #46
James Floerchinger
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Re: goals and elite fitness vs. elite athletes

Historically speaking, in Swimming, endurance training HAS been the way of preparing sprinters. I would say that if you looked through the training volumes of typical swimmers that they do a massive amount of endurance training, and world records keep falling, but, personally, I feel that there is a better way.

It is perfectly OK to disagree, so, you and I are still cool

However, swimming has always been to use a massive training volume to achieve sprint dominance, and when people have 'hit their taper' the results have been outstanding, when they don't, there are 8-10 others who did, and they achieve.

Track is a different animal, so, I don't know about that
Jim

Last edited by James Floerchinger : 12-06-2007 at 05:41 PM. Reason: bad smiley face...
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Old 12-06-2007, 06:26 PM   #47
Steven Low
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Re: goals and elite fitness vs. elite athletes

James:

And to that I would say (wfs):
http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/0952.htm
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Old 12-06-2007, 07:35 PM   #48
James Floerchinger
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Re: goals and elite fitness vs. elite athletes

Hey, I agree.

I have always talked about what has been done historically, not with me, or, what I believe in. I know most swim coaches are still working through a high-volume model, and it is not what I do, but, I have colleagues in the sport who look at the volume and intensity of what we do (and they ask, because we've improved) and just shake their heads and say 'well, that's great, Jim, but, we're pounding out 100km this week'

I had that site already bookmarked, and have forwarded it to friends. They just look at what they have always done and seen that they've had success and aren't willing to make a change.

That site proves my point in the following quote:
The only conclusion to be drawn from this research is that faster and not longer training is the key to swimming success. Nevertheless, the high-volume, low-intensity training model probably remains the most common practice among Úlite swimmers, with even sprint swimmers focusing on clocking up the kilometres rather than more race pace- specific training.

And I think that is all just crud.

So, are we that far apart in our philosophy?
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Old 12-06-2007, 07:39 PM   #49
Steven Low
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Re: goals and elite fitness vs. elite athletes

Nah, we're more or less of the same opinion I guess.. I mean I didn't really know what your opinion was really until you just expounded on it, lol.
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Old 12-06-2007, 08:48 PM   #50
James Floerchinger
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Re: goals and elite fitness vs. elite athletes

Hey-all good. Sometimes I'm not that clear...just ask my wife.

Another point of clarity, I offer 10 sessions a week for several reasons:
-not everyone can be at the afternoon session
-pool time is in short supply, so, we keep all the hours we can
-it is 'expected' of the parents and the club

The last point is the one that sort of sticks in my craw...but, the culture change is not an overnight road, I had a parent ask why the pullups and pushups, why didn't we just swim more...another 'told' me that her daughter would only be able to swim for 2 more years, because as a former swim coach, she 'knew' that her daughter would burn out...uggh.

I'm also coaching a Triathlete who trains so much that I want to just remove her from workout...she's a machine, but, I'd like to tell her to just take a break, but, she's been a very successful competitor for many years, and the accepted training is what she's been doing forever...I mean, on the days when I 'hammer' my kids with 5,000m, she stays after and uncorks another 3-4k.
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