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

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Old 08-13-2008, 03:18 PM   #31
Sara Fleming
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Re: Visual Strength training

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Originally Posted by Matthew Stafford View Post
Trust me, I know what scientists do. You, however, don't seem to understand the peer-review process.

Dude, I'm a published biochemist. Spent 5 years at Lombardi cancer research center at Georgetown doing breast cancer research, 3 more at a pharmacuetical company doing HIV research. I understand. I've been to conferences, I've argued quite a bit myself. In fact, in the company I was last employed, I spent a lot of time arguing about not discounting theories just because a representative paper was poorly written or the experiments weren't designed well. We made a lot of progress once we got through the naysayers.

Your point was to point out that the reference was invalid and not worth discussing. I think its worth discussing.



I'm sorry I teased you. I've seen a lot of arrogance in the science community and the most arrogant ones always fall back on the absolutist arguments. Ie, give me PROOF, not HYPOTHESIS. Well, if we all waited around for PROOF, we wouldn't know a great deal of what we know today and we'd still be believing a lot of BS that seemed to have been proven.

If you are a scientist, you know this is true.
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Old 08-13-2008, 03:56 PM   #32
Sara Fleming
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Re: Visual Strength training

PS. editing comment/reply very funny.

Last edited by Sara Fleming : 08-13-2008 at 04:00 PM. Reason: to add smiley face to offset assumption of sarcasm
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:48 PM   #33
Matthew Stafford
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Re: Visual Strength training

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Originally Posted by Sara Fleming View Post
Dude, I'm a published biochemist. Spent 5 years at Lombardi cancer research center ...
No worries about the teasing, I just like arguing! I definitely see why we have different opinions on this though. I was trained as a physicist and spent some time in an experimental particle astrophysics group. I think, generally, physics is both taught and expected to be a bit more hard-nosed about the differences between hypothesis, theory and proof. This happens because we differ from higher level science (if you look at the great pyramid of science) because our base is close to pure mathematics (or might as well be pure mathematics if you are a string theorist... ), so it is very easy to quantize.

I'm definitely not saying we shouldn't discuss it, it's interesting, I just didn't like that reference. In all honesty (and in an effort to return this post to the original posters topic), I think the results they got were probably correct, but misinterpreted. Like most visualization exercises, I think the increase in strength they were seeing was due to psychological elements, not physiological, of which there is already proof showing it's efficacy. I bet this was brought up at the conference, because as I'm sure you know, there is always the one jerk who claims that the study was not only done already, but done better by his school sixty years ago
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Last edited by Matthew Stafford : 08-13-2008 at 05:48 PM. Reason: THIS IS MY ANGRY FAAAAAACE
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Old 08-13-2008, 06:06 PM   #34
Zeeshan Parvez
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Re: Visual Strength training

So I think most of us agree that visualization will help so long as all the muscle fibers are not recurited for a given exercise. Once the mind-muslce connection has been made and 100% of the fibers are being recurited, we will see no more gain in strength becuase now we need muscular hypertorphy to come into play - and that cannot come into play with simple visulization but needs physcial break down and then build up of muscle. Right?
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Old 08-14-2008, 03:52 AM   #35
Sara Fleming
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Re: Visual Strength training

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Originally Posted by Zeeshan Parvez View Post
So I think most of us agree that visualization will help so long as all the muscle fibers are not recurited for a given exercise. Once the mind-muslce connection has been made and 100% of the fibers are being recurited, we will see no more gain in strength becuase now we need muscular hypertorphy to come into play - and that cannot come into play with simple visulization but needs physcial break down and then build up of muscle. Right?
I don't think we can really conclude any kind of process here. That's a rather simplified explanation and may work for a simple system of let's say a bicep curl However, let's think of something more complex such as yoga practice. There's a great deal of strength and flexibility involved, but I have to think that the continued improvement in balance, holding poses, and reaching new levels of body awareness have to do with continued neurological development and I'm sure that the meditative nature of yoga contributes to this a great deal.

I guess that I would say that the more complex the practice is (yoga or otherwise), the more continued benefit you could probably get from visualization and mental rehearsal. I'm going to go think about doing bicep curls now . . .

Last edited by Sara Fleming : 08-14-2008 at 03:59 AM.
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:09 AM   #36
Brian Degenaro
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Re: Visual Strength training

Sara, once you get into the more complex [yoga] practices that involve tons of variations on the similar stretches or exercises then you have to take into account the amount of motor learning that takes place as well. The body and CNS learn and adapt to stimuli much quicker when a bunch of similar stimuli (for example, practicing foul shots from all over a bball court or your 3 squats each session) are introduced and utilized each session. The nervous system is firing off thousands of different motor units because you have to discern between various distances your taking shots from or the various positions you're squatting in. This increased activity leads it to adapt quicker.

Visualization training is both a mental and neurological thing, but most mental. It helps you rehearse and gain confidence mostly, but the mental rehearsal (when done properly) also utilizes the motor pathways associated with the movements.
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:40 AM   #37
Sara Fleming
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Re: Visual Strength training

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Originally Posted by Brian Degenaro View Post
Sara, once you get into the more complex [yoga] practices that involve tons of variations on the similar stretches or exercises then you have to take into account the amount of motor learning that takes place as well. The body and CNS learn and adapt to stimuli much quicker when a bunch of similar stimuli (for example, practicing foul shots from all over a bball court or your 3 squats each session) are introduced and utilized each session. The nervous system is firing off thousands of different motor units because you have to discern between various distances your taking shots from or the various positions you're squatting in. This increased activity leads it to adapt quicker.

Visualization training is both a mental and neurological thing, but most mental. It helps you rehearse and gain confidence mostly, but the mental rehearsal (when done properly) also utilizes the motor pathways associated with the movements.
I agree.

Especially with the bolded.

I mentally rehearse yoga poses before practice or during meditative intervals because I have a hard time with balance if I don't. I also mentally rehearse a lot of my lifts before my workouts because it helps me execute them more cleanly and with less coordination issues (of which I have a lot). I also, most certainly, have to mentally rehearse my golf swing or risk losing yet another record high number of balls. I use it in my meditation, warm-ups, or anxiety ridden drive to the golf course.

I wasn't arguing against the concept, I've been supporting it. I just don't believe that one can distill the mental practice idea into an across-the-board principle.

Zeeshan stated: Once the mind-muslce connection has been made and 100% of the fibers are being recurited, we will see no more gain in strength becuase now we need muscular hypertorphy to come into play - and that cannot come into play with simple visulization but needs physcial break down and then build up of muscle. Right?

I don't think its that simple. Especially since neuromuscular facillitation (muscle memory) probably continues to develop and contribute to strength increases. I don't know if that is entirely from lifting heavy things or a combination of lifting heavy things and thinking about lifting heavy things.
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Old 08-14-2008, 09:39 AM   #38
Zeeshan Parvez
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Re: Visual Strength training

Great so now that I can't use weights I can safely use isometrics, gymnastics, and visulization coupled with boxing (high g forces in boxing realy help forearms, triceps, and shoulders) to strengthen myself!
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:53 PM   #39
Justin Shipley
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Re: Visual Strength training

if you're looking to boxing to 'strengthen' the parts mentioned, it will, but as the focus of punching is speed and timing and technique and balance, with strength coming further down the list, then boxing will only strengthen body parts to the point where speed, balance, technique and timing are optimised, but not beyond.
For that you need progressive overload, i.e. weights, or some kind of steadily increasing resistance.
Looking to visualization, positive thinking and wearing your lucky underpants to aid you in increasing your strength will all help.
A bit.
But you have to be doing the big, heavy, hard stuff before you go down the path of trying to formulate a progressive strength program based around the selection of activities you describe.... just read this board a little more; do a heap of the stuff on it for a decent length of time at 110% effort; and you will begin to see and experience the same stuff everybodys talking about and will no longer feel the need to reinvent the wheel to quite the extent that you are
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