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

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Old 09-26-2010, 10:03 PM   #1
Om Puri
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evidence not to do more endurance work?

sorry for the typo but the title of this post should be: "evidence to do more endurance work?"

graham holmberg video in today's crossfit journal talks about how he was 10 lbs lighter this year & didn't focus on heavy lifts to win this year corssfit games. i think he also says that he didn't lose strength while losing weight. thoughts?
http://library.crossfit.com/free/vid...lbsLighter.mov
this seems to go against what i've read from a lot of you cross fitters on these boards - most people recommend packing on the weight while building strength over focusing on too much endurance.
i suppose it depends on each individual's goals, but let's say if one's goals are to be strong & lean, how much met con work should one do with strength training?
graham seems to suggest not doing heavy single C&J, snatches, back squats, deadlifts, etc. for him, i'm guessing he worked on more metcon stuff and doing higher rep ranges.
of course we're all different with unique metabolisms, various lever lengths, etc. but generally speaking, would higher rep ranges be better (over heavier lower reps) for building strength & being lean?

Last edited by Om Puri : 09-26-2010 at 10:05 PM. Reason: wrong subject heading
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:14 PM   #2
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: evidence not to do more endurance work?

I think if you already have a 200+ lb. snatch and a 275 lb. C&J, then your training for the Games can focus on things other than strength.

If I'm remembering your other posts correctly, though, your strength base isn't yet comparable to his, so you probably need a different approach.

Katherine
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:17 AM   #3
Jon Gregory
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Re: evidence not to do more endurance work?

Its chicken and egg stuff mate. You build the strength first because 1) it takes longer to gain; and 2) it takes longer to lose.
Once you have the base of strength you work the endurance, ie metcons. You can increase your endurance relatively quickly but you also lose it quickly if you stop to train strength.
GH isn't telling us anything new to be quite honest.
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:22 AM   #4
Shane Skowron
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Re: evidence not to do more endurance work?

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Originally Posted by Jon Gregory View Post
Its chicken and egg stuff mate. You build the strength first because 1) it takes longer to gain; and 2) it takes longer to lose.
Once you have the base of strength you work the endurance, ie metcons. You can increase your endurance relatively quickly but you also lose it quickly if you stop to train strength.
I disagree. What do you base that on?

Endurance takes a long time to build.

As Katherine said, Graham was already strong enough to compete in the games. Just a little bit of added endurance work helped him become well-rounded enough to win. I'm not sure what's revolutionary about that.
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:50 AM   #5
adam adkins
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Re: evidence not to do more endurance work?

Competing in the games, particularly this year's games, requires very little maximal strength. This year was a test of conditioning and skills.

The only thing that was even close to maximal effort in this years games was the max overhead and that was done directly after a double helen. All other weights used could have been handled by anyone of average strength.

As for the length of time it takes to develop strength vs. endurance. There is a reason endurance athletes peak in their early 30's. It simply takes that long to develop that kind of endurance. But with that said, I don't think that is the type of endurance you were talking about. If you were talking about metcon conditioning you are right, strength takes longer to develop.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:09 AM   #6
Shane Skowron
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Re: evidence not to do more endurance work?

The only reason we seem to think endurance as determined by metcons is quick to develop is because the highest levels of metcon are currently performed by generalists -- Crossfitters. Once you get someone who specializes in metcon, we'll all realize that what is considered "elite" for a Crossfit competition is really just mediocre in comparison to a specialist.

For example I think the fastest "Helen" recorded is somewhere around 6.5 minutes. If you were to take someone who specialized in Helen, you would see the fastest time for this approach some number that is more or less the human limit. Just like we see specialists approaching the human limit for the marathon, which is somewhere around 2 hours.

For evidence of specialized metcon we can look at the Secret Service Snatch Test. The record is somewhere around 275 reps of 1.5 pood in 10 minutes. Scores like that are achieved by guys who more or less specialize in that kind of test. That isn't "easy come, easy go" endurance.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:53 PM   #7
David Meverden
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Re: evidence not to do more endurance work?

Shane: Aren't there physiological adaptations for short term efforts that take place faster than adaptations for long term, aerobic, efforts?

I'm thinking of it this way: If you took a bunch of pairs of untrained twins and had one half train for a 200m dash, and the other half train for a marathon, which half would more quickly get within, say, 130% of the world record time? I would think that a 25 sec 200m (WR 19.19) would require a much shorter period of training time for most untrained people to acquire than a 2 hr 41 minute marathon (WR 2 hr 4 min) time. Do you agree with that assessment? If so, isn't that pointing to anaerobic, short time duration, adaptations being easier to acquire than long duration ones?

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Originally Posted by adam adkins View Post
This year was a test of conditioning and skills.
Exactly. If there had been 1 or 2 more pure strength events, like many of us wanted, the lighter faster Graham Holmberg probably wouldn't have been on top. Hell, if there hadn't been a ROPE, Graham wouldn't have been on top.

Bottom line: Except for lessons about skill work, I don't think that Graham's training has much more to teach you than Mikko, or Rich Froning's. Graham is a beast, but was also fortunate (or foresighted?) enough to train well for the events that happened to get picked. If you took all the competitors this year and ran them through the 08 games, and later the 09 games, the order to the top 10 would be totally different. At least for the men . Kristen this year was unreal.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:09 PM   #8
Shane Skowron
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Re: evidence not to do more endurance work?

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Originally Posted by David Meverden View Post
Shane: Aren't there physiological adaptations for short term efforts that take place faster than adaptations for long term, aerobic, efforts?

I'm thinking of it this way: If you took a bunch of pairs of untrained twins and had one half train for a 200m dash, and the other half train for a marathon, which half would more quickly get within, say, 130% of the world record time? I would think that a 25 sec 200m (WR 19.19) would require a much shorter period of training time for most untrained people to acquire than a 2 hr 41 minute marathon (WR 2 hr 4 min) time. Do you agree with that assessment? If so, isn't that pointing to anaerobic, short time duration, adaptations being easier to acquire than long duration ones?

Yes...that's my point. Endurance isn't easy come, easy go. Real endurance is hard to come, hard to go.

Just because you can get used to doing metcons within a few weeks doesn't mean endurance only takes a few weeks to develop.
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:59 PM   #9
Om Puri
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Re: evidence not to do more endurance work?

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Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
I think if you already have a 200+ lb. snatch and a 275 lb. C&J, then your training for the Games can focus on things other than strength.

If I'm remembering your other posts correctly, though, your strength base isn't yet comparable to his, so you probably need a different approach.

Katherine
yes, you're right, katherine. i'm fairly new. i'm 5'8", 165#, my DL is 320, BS 285, BP 195. O lifts are much lower as i'm not as experienced with them.
i'm seeing good results with pure strength programs like bill starr's madcow 5x5 but i'm gaining weight, however as i'm somewhat vain, i would like to remain lean (and get leaner) while getting a little stronger. my goals aren't to become a power lifter (1000# DL). 400# DL would be fine with me. i am interested in being strong and lean. from what i can tell you guys all recommend i get strong first (not mind getting a little chubby) and then lean out or 'cut' by adding met cons? is this my best route? so do i remain on pure strength programs like SS (3x5) and madcow (5x5). or do i achieve my goals via CFSB or CFFB?
thanks.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:02 PM   #10
Mauricio Leal
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Re: evidence not to do more endurance work?

Graham Holmberg was already quite strong. The lesson, as always, is work on your weaknesses. The interesting comparison I guess was why a guy like Rob Orlando, who is probably the strongest guy in the Games this year, and who also was causing quite a stir by demonstrating his increased metcon capacity in the WODs leading up to the Games (and dominance in Regionals), didn't do quite as well as Graham. I guess the answer is the skill emphasis, but honestly most of the stuff was staple movements so I'm still somewhat shocked that some of the top people, who are hitting 3+ WODs per day quite often didn't set aside time to just play with technical things.
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