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

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Old 02-16-2008, 09:11 AM   #1
Arturo Garcia
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Question about this "How Fit Are You" table.

Hello fellas: first of all, I did try the search function, but couldn't find this. I didn't spend half an hour searching though, so please don't bash me if this has been covered.

WFS: http://www.crossfitseattle.com/Skill...preadsheet.pdf

This table is interesting. I'm 5'10" and 175lbs, just in case.

In some lifts I am even at level two, and some lifts in Level 1 seem like a joke (military press 1/4 BW (43lbs two handed?), 10 pushups, 3/4 BW deadlift, these seem rather easy!!!).

Now, it strikes me as odd that for the SQUAT, strength wise, Level 1 doesn't even specify anything. Level 2 states 100 free squats, or 1BW squat. I can do one rep with my own BW, going all the way down (I always go all the way down). That's close to my max though, I think my max was 195lbs for one rep, a couple of months ago. Now I must be weaker because 155x5 felt very hard the other day. Still, I'm confident I can do a good rep with my BW of 175. HOWEVER (wow, it took long to get to the point! Sorry fellas!), the 100 free squats that goes along with the 1BW squat... is totally out of reach for me. As a matter of fact, the 50 free squats in Level 1 is still almost twice of what I can do. If I start "air squatting" (hands on shoulders, elbows parallel to the floor, that's how I always do them), once I reach the 20-something range, my thigs BURN like heck. I cannot get 50 squats if I go fast like doing them Tabata style or the demo videos found on this page. So in here I'm not even close to Level 1!!

Also the running.... oh man. I used to think I couldn't run for over 2-3 minutes because I was fat, but I still can't run to save my life. I went jogging last weekend and I lasted about 8 minutes before I had to switch to walking. At a moderate pace. So, I don't know if I could make the "9 minute mile" at Level 1 either. I'd like to think I can though, but have no way of measuring right now. Wow, now that I think of it, I think my all time pushup best of 38 is better than my all time consecutive-airsquat record. Isn't this completely abnormal? (although right now I couldn't probably do as many pushups 'cause I've been nursing a shoulder for a long time).

I guess my question is... how could I focus on this? It seems my endurance completely stinks. What should I do? Just go for sets of high reps air squats? And keep jogging trying to last longer every session? It makes me think I shouldn't even squat with weight until I can do more air squats ... It's depressing that I'm not at Level 1 in some activities! That chart ruined my day ...
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:36 AM   #2
Andrew G. Greenberg
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Re: Question about this "How Fit Are You" table.

Do CrossFit.
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:52 AM   #3
Tom Woodward
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Re: Question about this "How Fit Are You" table.

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Originally Posted by Andrew G. Greenberg View Post
Do CrossFit.
Agreed. The Skills chart provides a single exercise benchmark for many different modes of fitness. The goal is to make you a completely well rounded athlete with few weaknesses. To train for this, you'd have to train functionally, and constantly vary your workouts across broad time and modal domains. Sounds like something we all know and love. I'd recommend a black box experiment of doing the WOD and then testing yourself on various benchmarks from the sheet from time to time. It's likely your numbers will shoot up with nothing but CF.

Don't know if you've seen them, but I'm a big fan of these fit tests:

http://www.crossfit.com/journal/libr...it_Are_You.pdf

First off, there are only 5 of them, while the Seattle sheet has about 20 benchmarks. They are also more CrossFit-like (pairing workouts like bench-pullup in succession). And best of all, the scoring is so damn hard that it will literally take me 5 years to get 40 points (I think Greg A might be able to get 50-60 right now).
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:58 AM   #4
Craig Brown
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Re: Question about this "How Fit Are You" table.

Arturo-

The point of the levels on that sheet are so you can see where you need more work. Sometimes this is the actually-growing-your-muscles-work, sometimes it's skill training. Most everyone will be between levels. I'm where you are as far as height and weight, and like you I am sitting in between 1-2.

Work on what needs work. Start doing sets of 25 air squats, and get your arms involved! Do tabata squats, pushups, whatever- once or twice a week. Learn to run smart, and just ease into it. Run for three minutes in the morning, three minutes at night until that's easy and add a minute.

If you do the scaled WODs at Brand X and then do some work on your weakest of weak spots, you'll be doing great quickly. The main thing is to identify and focus on youw weaknesses, not your strengths.

Craig
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:21 AM   #5
Aushion Chatman
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Re: Question about this "How Fit Are You" table.

Arturo, I agree with the above, I almost feel like you shouldn't worry about the fit levels/tests until you are a solid level II athlete across the board...then as you progress to level III you can pinpoint where you are weak...sounds like your weakness will be metcon type work in general. But again I wouldn't worry about that now.

Continue with the WODs, ratchet in your diet and stress FORM and learning the movements the right way.

Re-visit those levels after you've been CF'ing for awhile.

I would however recommend you work on the squat, it's such a fundamental part of human function that it warrants your immediate attn. Watch those squat therapy videos and work on some of those remedies, read the journals also. Squat in your warm-up OFTEN...you may not be doing 50 at a time, but you should be knocking out at least 30 a day in sets of 10 or so.
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Old 02-19-2008, 09:10 AM   #6
Arturo Garcia
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Re: Question about this "How Fit Are You" table.

If you don't mind my ignorance, what is this "Squat therapy" people refer to?

I just asked in another thread about this squat issue, my butt winks, but I thought my hammies were flexible enough, as I can put both palms on the floor with my legs straight, and if I pull myself hard enough I can even flex the elbows just a little bit while maintaining the palms on the floor. Does one need to be like a gymanst as far as flexibility to be able to perform a correct squat? Or am I doing something wrong? Argh...

Last night I did several sets of 25 air squats. I can do 30 in a row I believe, but I know I couldn't hit 50 without at least 1 or 2 pauses for a couple of seconds for the burning in the thigs to go away.

I also need to do some research on "metcon" because I have no idea what it is. I'm new to this but I will keep reading because it's all very interesting!
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Old 02-19-2008, 12:56 PM   #7
Chris Robinson
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Re: Question about this "How Fit Are You" table.

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...but I thought my hammies were flexible enough, as I can put both palms on the floor with my legs straight, and if I pull myself hard enough I can even flex the elbows just a little bit while maintaining the palms on the floor.
Yes, but how far down can you bend while maintaining proper lumbar curve? Just bending over and touching your toes tells you very little about your hamstring's true flexibility because your lower back is rounded. Do some good mornings and you should notice a tremendous difference in the stretch in your hamstrings. On top of that, any time you stretch your hamstrings, be sure and maintain a proper lumbar curve.

metcon = metabolic conditioning
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Old 02-19-2008, 03:01 PM   #8
Derek Maffett
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Re: Question about this "How Fit Are You" table.

We all have strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes they're quite impressive.

I have a variety of L3 skills such as HSPU, Military press, clean, rope climb (I may even be L4 on that), and consecutive pull-ups. However, I'm not even sure if I can breach the L1 row time for men. The fastest pace I can get going is 1:50/500m or so, but I can't keep it up for very long.

Do Crossfit and work on any weaknesses that don't get corrected automatically.

*Incidentally, how is it humanly possible to row at a 1:25/500m pace? Talk about nuts.*
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Old 02-19-2008, 03:19 PM   #9
Sean Dunston
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Re: Question about this "How Fit Are You" table.

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Originally Posted by Derek Maffett View Post
We all have strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes they're quite impressive.

I have a variety of L3 skills such as HSPU, Military press, clean, rope climb (I may even be L4 on that), and consecutive pull-ups. However, I'm not even sure if I can breach the L1 row time for men. The fastest pace I can get going is 1:50/500m or so, but I can't keep it up for very long.

Do Crossfit and work on any weaknesses that don't get corrected automatically.

*Incidentally, how is it humanly possible to row at a 1:25/500m pace? Talk about nuts.*
It is barely humanly possible, Derek... but possible nonetheless... A couple months ago somebody posted a link to video of a guy pulling a 1:15.9 (I think) 500M row on an erg.
Quite impressive.

Last edited by Sean Dunston; 02-19-2008 at 03:45 PM..
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Old 02-19-2008, 03:27 PM   #10
Alexander Kornishev
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Re: Question about this "How Fit Are You" table.

I can do many from Level 3 and from Level 4... 25 pistols is not as tough as 50 dips on rings or even 40 dead hang pull-ups (can anyone actually do 50 dips on rings)... I am not sure that these standards are really grouped together properly.
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