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

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Old 09-17-2008, 05:49 PM   #1
Kevin Burns
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Help me argue this point

On a local climbing forum a guy states that:

"As a former gymnast and weightlifter. Working out muscles either in small groups or multiple groups makes no difference."

So he's saying that muscle isolation is just as good as workouts which utilize the body as one piece.

How would one argue against that statement ? Just curious.
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Old 09-17-2008, 05:55 PM   #2
George Noble
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Re: Help me argue this point

It depends what he means by "small groups." I mean, an upper/lower split is smaller groups than a full body routine, but it is probably just as good for strength.

For metcon, you would be able to make a workout more taxing on the CV system if you worked full body, because muscular endurance would not become a limiting factor. There is a video floating around in which Coach talks about the conception of FGB and this comes up. I can't remember if he just says what I just wrote or if he expands on it.
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Old 09-17-2008, 06:25 PM   #3
Shane Skowron
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Re: Help me argue this point

Just as good for what? Strength, endurance, speed, power, hypertrophy, ease-of-training, aesthetics?
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:52 PM   #4
Jonathon Brown
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Re: Help me argue this point

I think I see what he's saying.

Say you bench press x kg for 10 sets. And then another day you do push-ups (again with x kg) for ten sets. In theory (as far as I know) your chest muscles would be under the same load, and therefore have the same effect.

The difference comes in when you want to learn techniques. If you only work out biceps, and want to learn a move that needs biceps, chest, and core, you're not going to be able to do very easily. While if you do workouts that use the biceps, chest and core in conjunction with each other, the technique will be much easier for you to pick up, since you've trained those muscles to work together.

That's my take on it at least. If someone with more knowledge spots a flaw in my reasoning, feel free to correct.

-Jon
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Old 09-18-2008, 02:45 AM   #5
Jay Cohen
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Re: Help me argue this point

Debating, arguing, converting to your point of view, all are a major waste of time and energy, let it/them go. When the I/Me appears along with Them/You, you're talking Ego, which is best left out of the equation.

So smile and just keep moving..............
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Old 09-18-2008, 06:47 AM   #6
Bill Pontius
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Re: Help me argue this point

I think Jay is right about not arguing per se. I'd just smile and say something along the lines of "in my experience, multi joint functional exercises do more for me, my core, my cross training, my work capacity, etc. than isolation exercises." And that's as far as I'd go, besides maybe inviting him to visit the website and listen to Coach Glassman.
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Old 09-18-2008, 07:17 AM   #7
George Mounce
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Re: Help me argue this point

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Cohen View Post
Debating, arguing, converting to your point of view, all are a major waste of time and energy, let it/them go. When the I/Me appears along with Them/You, you're talking Ego, which is best left out of the equation.

So smile and just keep moving..............
Dammit Jay, one of the best Zen sayings lately.
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Old 09-18-2008, 07:29 AM   #8
David Meverden
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Re: Help me argue this point

Quote:
Debating, arguing, converting to your point of view, all are a major waste of time and energy, let it/them go. When the I/Me appears along with Them/You, you're talking Ego, which is best left out of the equation.

So smile and just keep moving..............
I try not to start things, but if they want to know why others disagree with them let em know (in a mature and intellectual fashion, of course).

Logical threads I'd use for such an argument:

1) Multi joint exercises are WAY more time efficient in the gym. If you do proper squats it will strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, abductors, adductors, lower back, gluteus, and other muscles all at once.

2) Multi joint exercises strengthen muscles in the correct proportion. If you do proper squats all the muscle groups worked will be strengthened the correct amount to balance and support each other in a real motion.

3) Multi joint exercises guarantee that you won't miss any supporting musculature (or "stabalizer muscles" if you prefer. I don't like the term because it's become a watered down buzz word). I said that squats also work "other muscles" because I don't really want to catalog the entire trunk musculature. I have no idea how I would begin to work all those with isolation exercises. Do you know how to isolate your Serratus Anterior? I don't, but I know mine are ripped from crossfit and gymnastic movements.
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Old 09-18-2008, 07:38 AM   #9
Greg Keeter
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Re: Help me argue this point

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Originally Posted by Jonathon Brown View Post
I think I see what he's saying.

Say you bench press x kg for 10 sets. And then another day you do push-ups (again with x kg) for ten sets. In theory (as far as I know) your chest muscles would be under the same load, and therefore have the same effect.

The difference comes in when you want to learn techniques. If you only work out biceps, and want to learn a move that needs biceps, chest, and core, you're not going to be able to do very easily. While if you do workouts that use the biceps, chest and core in conjunction with each other, the technique will be much easier for you to pick up, since you've trained those muscles to work together.

That's my take on it at least. If someone with more knowledge spots a flaw in my reasoning, feel free to correct.

-Jon
Jon, I don't think bench pressing body weight (or something similar) is the same as pushups. Guiding the bar during a bench press isn't the same as holding up one's body during a push up. While certainly there are similar muscle groups being worked it seems a simplification to say both of these motions are the same. They sure feel different to me when I do them.

I agree with you that if one equates "techniques" with functional movement then isolating muscle groups won't help and would probably hurt one's progress.

It seems like to me that some people think isolating muscle groups is a more sophisticated approach to physical training. Before CF that's pretty much what I thought.

Does this make sense?

Greg
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Old 09-18-2008, 08:03 AM   #10
Ted Apollo
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Re: Help me argue this point

another point is that multi-joint movements is what we do everyday in real life. they are very practical movements: sitting in a chair, taking out the garbage, picking up luggage, etc... remember a main philosophy of xfit is not just about looking better but being better.

isolation movements will cause muscle hypertrophy. are isolation movements as efficient at hypertrophy as multi-joint movement is debatable, but really not as important as the other factors pointed out earlier by other posters. So with the hypertrophy being factored out of the argument which program will give you better balance, support muscles, stimulate GH levels, etc..?

from my experience bicep curls & other iso moves seem to be really stressful on the joints. the chance of overuse injury seems higher. i get more out of chin ups for my bicep development then from curls.

there is nothing wrong with a good, informative discussion with someone with different opinions. It doesn't need to be avoided. instead just stay mature, don't make it personal, and don't let your emotions get involved. we are all at different stages in our knowledge of sports physiology. at one point none of us knew any of this stuff and we needed to learn it too.
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