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

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Old 06-27-2003, 02:58 AM   #1
Matt Cullen
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Hi,

After reading the recent Crossfit journal, I am right in saying that Coach doesn't agree with using heart rate moniters. Can some one explain this in simple terms so I can explain it to my work mates.

Cheers matt cullen.
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Old 06-27-2003, 10:30 AM   #2
David Wood
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My impression is that it's not that heart rate monitors are bad in themselves . . . it's more that they are ususally used as part of a fallacious idea of fitness.

Most programs oriented around a HRM will identify a "fat-burning zone" of heart rate (usually about 60% or so of a theoretical "maximum" heart rate), and advise you to work out for 20 minutes in that zone. Working out any harder than this is discouraged (you might actually get tired, or sweat, or something).

This idea is so badly mistaken for building genuine fitness that it is staggering that has ever become accepted doctrine . . . but alas, it has. It *might* have some legitimacy as a reasonable goal for cardiac rehabilitation, post-heart attack, or post-surgery. It is not an appropriate goal for any healthy person who desires to be fit, or even to lose weight.

The most recent CFJ covered this pretty extensively, but it boils down to this: almost all fitness (and body composition) goals are better served by exercising harder, and briefer. You need to work at very high heart rates, very close to you anaerobic threshold, as much as possible.

So, if you have a HRM that will track the maximum HR achieved (some do), and the time spent at each HR level, I can maybe see some potential value. But if it's being used to make sure you don't get out of the mythical "fat burning zone" (which means that your training never actually achieves anything), then the HRM is not serving you.

Mostly, they're just a distraction from the real point of real exercise.

Dave
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Old 07-12-2003, 09:12 AM   #3
F
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When used as a tool to help you follow an appropriate designed fitness program, they can be very worthwhile.

I need one to slow me down. If left alone, I typically speed up to and past the point of LTH (lactate threshold) naturally, any slower and I feel I'm dogging it. However, when you're trying to conduct an active recovery session, moving that fast is not only not the point of that particular workout, it can lead to severe overtraining (been there, done that). So for me, I wear my heart rate monitor during my "slow" sessions; my hard workouts take care of themselves.
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