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

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Old 02-11-2008, 11:08 AM   #101
Jeffrey White
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Re: Crossfit is the best program for Bodybuilding

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Originally Posted by Larry Lindenman View Post
The intent of my original post was to agitiate the waters a little to clairfy the issue of the faq stating Crossfit is better for building mass than bodybuilding programs. I wanted people to get ****ed and argue the point.

One thing is clear, what is bodybuilding is not defined in the faq. I think we could all agree bodybuilding ranges from HIT and Body for Life to cutting edge programs used by natural bodybuilders. CF has more in common with the cutting edge programs.

Jeffrey White...whatever! I've been lifting since 1974, been around a while and have a degree in exercise physiology. Don't think I've ever read an issue of Iron Man...I have trained with a ton of bodybuilders. Just arrested a couple last week, with a box full of injectables, X, weed, and coke. They looked great though!
But none of that really means that you know anything about bodybuilding. Of course you have the roided freaks and you have people that do x, weed, coke, etc in every sport. Every gym has a-holes. Some are bodybuilders, some are powerlifters, some...I don't know what they are doing there.

But I've also met some very talented, clean bodybuilders who are very smart, educated and helpful.

I mean, my real point was that I think people's perceptions are based more on the pop culture version of bodybuilding than real world experience. Setting a goal weight and bf% and trying to attain it IS CHALLENGING and HARD.

Crossfit might be a great program for getting a good body and putting on muscle and losing fat, but it's not a good program if your goal is to get to 220 pounds and 5% bf. The goals are so different between the two. I don't see how a bodybuilder can use crossfit to reach their goals.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:18 PM   #102
Tom Fetter
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Re: Crossfit is the best program for Bodybuilding

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Originally Posted by Jeffrey White View Post
... Crossfit might be a great program for getting a good body and putting on muscle and losing fat, but it's not a good program if your goal is to get to 220 pounds and 5% bf. The goals are so different between the two. I don't see how a bodybuilder can use crossfit to reach their goals.
We're going 'round in circles here.

In the Hypertrophy as a Goal thread, frustrated people sympathetic to drug-free BBing said, in part, that most CFers on the boards here don't seem to know much about elite, natural bodybuilding training. Jeff, you've said the same.

For me at least, it's true: I know precious little about it. But now I'm confused.

In the previous thread, BB-sympathetic people argued that hypertrophy - even when pursued for "aesthetics" rather than "athletic performance" - should be a goal with the same CF respect as, say, goals for a sub-4 Fran, sub-5 mile, or #1000 CFT ... or achieving all 3 at once. Even at an elite, BB and CF can be trained at the same time, to a degree. We heard that straight-ahead CFers should take off their blinders...

i.e., if CFers understood drug-free bodybuilding better, we'd know that it can coexist well with CF.

Hmmm. So Larry says great! Starts a thread saying that in fact, in his experience CF produces better hypertrophy than anything else ...

... But you also seem to be BB-sympathetic, Jeff, and you're reversing the argument. You're saying that elite BBing's goals are so far removed from CFs goals that one really can't train both elite BB and CF at the same time, even to a degree. And again, I'm hearing that straight-ahead CFers should take off their blinders...

i.e., if CFers understood drug-free bodybuilding better, we'd know that it can't coexist well with CF.

So which is it? I'm perfectly willing to be mistaken ... but prefer to only be wrong in one direction at a time in the same argument.

Last edited by Tom Fetter : 02-11-2008 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:38 PM   #103
John Alston
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Re: Crossfit is the best program for Bodybuilding

If you're a skinny fat runner coming to XFIT you're not going to develop a BB contest winning body.
If you're an endomorph who puts on mass lifting schoolbooks, or you're already highly muscled the plethora of low resistance high volume work in XFIT might make get you close to contest form, the big and ripped look.
Most inbetween will not achieve BB looks, though, b/c BB is a very specific goal, where the hopper's specific goal is non-specificness.

That being said
Tom, I don't agree with your assessment of the hypertrophy thread. Saying size should be respected as well as some low number chick WOD isn't the same as saying size gains are compatible with "elite" xfit performance.
It was saying that sometimes size is functional and that gaining mass might hurt one in a particular WOD but help their performance in an actual sport (which I don't consider BB one of, because the competition involves no athletic endeavor).

Anyway, all you guys need to do is form an xfit bodybuilding team and enter some contests. See what happens. Post the results.
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:01 PM   #104
Jeffrey White
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Re: Crossfit is the best program for Bodybuilding

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Originally Posted by Tom Fetter View Post
We're going 'round in circles here.

In the Hypertrophy as a Goal thread, frustrated people sympathetic to drug-free BBing said, in part, that most CFers on the boards here don't seem to know much about elite, natural bodybuilding training. Jeff, you've said the same.

For me at least, it's true: I know precious little about it. But now I'm confused.

In the previous thread, BB-sympathetic people argued that hypertrophy - even when pursued for "aesthetics" rather than "athletic performance" - should be a goal with the same CF respect as, say, goals for a sub-4 Fran, sub-5 mile, or #1000 CFT ... or achieving all 3 at once. Even at an elite, BB and CF can be trained at the same time, to a degree. We heard that straight-ahead CFers should take off their blinders...

i.e., if CFers understood drug-free bodybuilding better, we'd know that it can coexist well with CF.

Hmmm. So Larry says great! Starts a thread saying that in fact, in his experience CF produces better hypertrophy than anything else ...

... But you also seem to be BB-sympathetic, Jeff, and you're reversing the argument. You're saying that elite BBing's goals are so far removed from CFs goals that one really can't train both elite BB and CF at the same time, even to a degree. And again, I'm hearing that straight-ahead CFers should take off their blinders...

i.e., if CFers understood drug-free bodybuilding better, we'd know that it can't coexist well with CF.

So which is it? I'm perfectly willing to be mistaken ... but prefer to only be wrong in one direction at a time in the same argument.
I didn't say you "can't". There's an overlap, but you can say the same thing about powerlifters. But a certain point you have to branch off to address your specific goals.

One can argue that some CF'ers could enter some lower-level or amateur contests and win or place well.

basically just because some CF'ers can build great physiques, even bb'ing caliber, doesn't mean that cf is the best for all bb'ers.

The same thing happens all the time with powerlifters. Some of them, mostly thanks to genetics, build very impressive bodies and after cutting and drying, can enter a contest. But that doesn't mean that powerlifters are bodybuilding-caliber and that powerlifting is the "best" for BB'ing.
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Old 02-11-2008, 02:35 PM   #105
Tyson Lo
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Re: Crossfit is the best program for Bodybuilding

What do you mean, what is up?
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Old 02-11-2008, 02:36 PM   #106
Tom Fetter
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Re: Crossfit is the best program for Bodybuilding

John and Jeff? Thanks.

I'm back to where I was in the "hypertrophy" thread - and it's fairly close to what you're saying, Jeff.

CF chases athletic performance, across a broad spectrum of tasks. Hypertrophy helps some of those tasks, make no difference to others, and is an impediment to others yet. After a point, the same's probably true of bodyfat levels.

Because CF's so broad in its training, it stresses the whole body in a way that most individual sports don't. Given adequate calories, that can result in hypertrophy throughout most, if not all, the major muscle groups. And will often result in balanced, "symmetrical" development, which tends to look pretty good by most people's standards.

With CF, that's a happy, unintended output of the "black box." And if that's your physique goal, then I think that BBing and CF can be co-travellers. Because CF supports broadly-based mass gains, and reduces body fat.

But a more advanced BBer's goal of fine-tuning a physique and a more advanced CFer's goal of fine-tuning athleticism will lead them down different paths, because they use the "black box" to different ends.

CF "black boxes" for performance. E.g., if a faster Fran's the goal, then the training effect from the black box might be more powerful delts, quads, and lats ... which might also be bigger. But the black box determines which muscles will hypertrophy, and how much ...

BBing, on the other hand, "black boxes" for aesthetics. So if bigger delts, lats and quads are wanted, maybe through "black boxing" your training, you find that your body responds well to training thrusters and pullups. And incidentally you'd get a better Fran time.

You MIGHT end up in the same place ... but then again ...

Last edited by Tom Fetter : 02-11-2008 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 02-11-2008, 08:10 PM   #107
Jeffrey White
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Re: Crossfit is the best program for Bodybuilding

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Originally Posted by Tom Fetter View Post
John and Jeff? Thanks.

I'm back to where I was in the "hypertrophy" thread - and it's fairly close to what you're saying, Jeff.

CF chases athletic performance, across a broad spectrum of tasks. Hypertrophy helps some of those tasks, make no difference to others, and is an impediment to others yet. After a point, the same's probably true of bodyfat levels.

Because CF's so broad in its training, it stresses the whole body in a way that most individual sports don't. Given adequate calories, that can result in hypertrophy throughout most, if not all, the major muscle groups. And will often result in balanced, "symmetrical" development, which tends to look pretty good by most people's standards.

With CF, that's a happy, unintended output of the "black box." And if that's your physique goal, then I think that BBing and CF can be co-travellers. Because CF supports broadly-based mass gains, and reduces body fat.

But a more advanced BBer's goal of fine-tuning a physique and a more advanced CFer's goal of fine-tuning athleticism will lead them down different paths, because they use the "black box" to different ends.

CF "black boxes" for performance. E.g., if a faster Fran's the goal, then the training effect from the black box might be more powerful delts, quads, and lats ... which might also be bigger. But the black box determines which muscles will hypertrophy, and how much ...

BBing, on the other hand, "black boxes" for aesthetics. So if bigger delts, lats and quads are wanted, maybe through "black boxing" your training, you find that your body responds well to training thrusters and pullups. And incidentally you'd get a better Fran time.

You MIGHT end up in the same place ... but then again ...
I think you worded that very well.
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:27 AM   #108
Andy Wagner
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Re: Crossfit is the best program for Bodybuilding

The best way to find out if a crossfit program creates a better body for bodybuilding competition is for some of the top crossfit stars to compete in a natural bodybuilding competition. Here is a link displaying photos from the 2003 N.P.C. Natural Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure Competitions.

http://www.jefftaylor.com/gallery/conat03.html

I believe certain crossfit WODs can be an asset to the standard bodybuilding split by increasing the BBer's GPP and increasing their Metabolic conditioning. By increasing the GPP, the BBer is able to train harder over time, therefore, able to add more muscle.

However, to obtain the muscle displayed in the above link, one would have to invest most of their training performing heavy compound movements mixed with isolation type movements. While I have seen some great male (and female) bodies on the crossfit site, they don't seem to posses the muscle mass displayed in the above link. Just my 2 cents....
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Old 02-12-2008, 02:58 PM   #109
Tom Fetter
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Re: Crossfit is the best program for Bodybuilding

I think the point is not really whether elite CFers would win elite natural bodybuilding competitions. They wouldn't. I think the point is to compare the physiques of typical CFers, and the typical "regulars" at your local Globo-gym whose workouts supposedly focus on making them look better naked.

After a couple of years of WODs, the average CrossFitter won't have paper-thin skin over vascularized 21" arms and deeply cut abs/quads. Or cannon-ball delts and a tiny waist. Doesn't describe the typical gym-rat at my YMCA either, though.

In fact, a CFers following WODs will have a fair bit of "symmetry" and "balance"... because the program forces you to train everything.

Now it's not the fault of Bodybuilding that less than 20% of the people at our Y ever squat, or do chins regularly, or deadlift, or do overhead presses ... They could. And the ones who don't ... look like they don't.

So on balance, even though they don't train for looks, many CFers will end up being more muscular, harder, leaner, and with more balanced development than the average gym-goer. Because that's what happens when you train the body for a wide range of tasks, do the hard movements, and don't choose your favourite exercises.

I think that's the truth that both Coach and Larry are pointing to.
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:35 PM   #110
Kawika Harbottle
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Re: Crossfit is the best program for Bodybuilding

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Originally Posted by Larry Lindenman View Post
Prove me wrong.

What derives more muscle growth:

Full body lifts or compound lifts?

3 x 8 - 10 reps 3 - 4 times a week or varied rep range - high intensity (closer to 1 rep max) 6 times a week?

What cuts body fat faster LSD (on a treadmill) or High intensity weighted interval training?

Two of the most popular "new age" bodybuilding and fat cutting programs are Chad Waterbury's "Anti Bodybuilding Program" and Cosgrove's "After Burn". Put them together and you have a program very close to Crossfit.

Point me to fitness models or bodybuilders who look better than Nicole or Eva.

Crossfit, blows away any program for putting on mass on the back and legs...all the muscles you can't see in the mirror.

Prove me wrong....
Darn sir, I thought you were gonna mention Craig Ballantyne and his strangely similar to CF website workouts. But scaled down tremendously to appease the mass of clientele.

A judo training program I have done was made up of ideas, parameters, and exercises from a book published over 50yrs ago. When I first hit up CF in 2001, it was as if that Judo book was brought to life on the internet. Come to find out the two have nothing to do with eachother. The only thing new is the internet. So I won't beat my chest with pride about CF blowing away other stuff...meaning it's not called a 1950s Judo Training System right?

As far as comparison of Nicole and Eva to fitness competitors, figure competitors, and bodybuilders...people have different tastes. But I understand your point.

Good thing CF doesn't specialize in just posterior chain development and hypertrophy otherwise your "blow away" statement would be true.
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