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

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Old 02-12-2010, 03:24 PM   #11
Sean J Hunter
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Re: Lyle McDonald on Crossfit

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Originally Posted by Evan Anderson View Post
That's a great question. If these "better programs" (which don't resemble the main page even slightly and can't even truly be called Crossfit IMO) are generally accepted as superior by even devoted xfitters, then what is being implied?
If by that you mean, my twin brother doesn't resemble me even slightly, then I agree.

The hybrid programs STRONGLY utilize CF principles and are identical twins in regards to principle but not execution. If thhey where the same principle and execution then they wouldn;t be different.

Sean
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:40 PM   #12
Evan Anderson
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Re: Lyle McDonald on Crossfit

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Originally Posted by Sean J Hunter View Post
If by that you mean, my twin brother doesn't resemble me even slightly, then I agree.

The hybrid programs STRONGLY utilize CF principles and are identical twins in regards to principle but not execution. If thhey where the same principle and execution then they wouldn;t be different.

Sean
Interesting. What are these "CF principles"?
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:59 PM   #13
Mauricio Leal
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Re: Lyle McDonald on Crossfit

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Originally Posted by Evan Anderson View Post
That's a great question. If these "better programs" (which don't resemble the main page even slightly and can't even truly be called Crossfit IMO) are generally accepted as superior by even devoted xfitters, then what is being implied?
I'm not sure what programs you're referring to specifically, but you're misrepresenting the "better programs" that are, in fact, basically MP + Strength. They may have additional strength work because it turns out that maximal strength may be an attribute with great carryover, but they still include WODs because the only way to IWCABTAMD is to do CF-type WODs regularly. Again, broad time and modal domains. If and only if your goal is to increase your performance in that, then CF basically stands alone as the best program. If, on the other hand, you're an specific athlete and need only a very specific subset of modal and time domain performance improvements, then of course you can do better than CF. It's annoying how critics don't get this; GPP is not SPP.

Also, the athletes who typically do a lot of extra work have crossed a volume threshold, as most people can't even do the MP WODs as RXed, and adding more volume to that would be detrimental. It's all about goals and current fitness level. If an athlete can handle more volume then MP, sure give it to them. Personally, I tend to agree that all levels of trainees would benefit from doing a periodized strength routine alongside WODs, with further scaling to address the added MEBB fatigue being of utmost important in this case.

Short version: know your goals, and know your rank.
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Last edited by Mauricio Leal : 02-12-2010 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:08 PM   #14
Evan Anderson
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Re: Lyle McDonald on Crossfit

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Originally Posted by Mauricio Leal View Post
"better programs" that are, in fact, basically MP + Strength.
Really? Isn't MP 3 on 1 off?
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:15 PM   #15
Justin McCallon
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Re: Lyle McDonald on Crossfit

Lyle is very good as far as diet is concerned, but he really misses the boat on all his CF comments. This isn't at all uncommon. Top O-Lifters/PLers/Strongmen generally don't fully understand the philosophy behind CF. Part of the problem, I think, is that crossfit.com makes it seem like 100% of the people that train CF use the main site workouts.

Lyle's actual comments were:
1 - To build good cardio ability, you should only dedicate about 10-20% of your cardio work to high intensity work, and instead dedicate the rest to long distance work.
2 - Training only above 90% is bad
3 - Strength athletes can make the switch to CF fast, and not vice versa.

#3 has the most merit, but it's not really accurate. #1 and #2 are just him missing the boat.
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:39 PM   #16
Evan Anderson
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Re: Lyle McDonald on Crossfit

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Top O-Lifters/PLers/Strongmen generally don't fully understand the philosophy behind CF.
LOL at this.
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:50 PM   #17
Rafe Kelley
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Re: Lyle McDonald on Crossfit

I think its funny that every time some authority in strength and conditioning world opines on crossfit everyone is quick to dismiss it as of course crossfit isn't the best for specialists thats the whole point. What lyle claimed was much more substantive then that, he claimed, that crossfit was not the best way to get good at anything including crossfit. Here are the points I extract from his posts.

1. Aerobic Base is not developed effectively over the long run by interval based conditioning. Elite athletes including power athletes spend significant time in low intensity exercise base building.
2. Strength Work is Primary in GPP strong athletes adapt to crossfit quickly the converse is not true.
3. Traditional strength and conditioning methods are have been successful for a 100 years we know largely what works crossfit has not produced anything new.

I think these are fair point and ones that he has some data to back up himself up with particularly on the point about strength. The problem with it is most people do not have time to do hours of tempo work on top of hours of strength work on top of hours of skill work. The appeal of crossfit is the idea you can get most of the these benefits from 5-30 minutes 5.5 days a week plus warm up and warm downs.

Crossfit + Zone/paleo works for most people purposes, losing fat, feeling fit enough to accomplish most daily tasks and adding a bit of muscle. It is not clear to me that the potential for injuries and adrenal fatigue that come with the program are necessary to attain those benefits. As far as developing elite fitness or performance I think crossfits claims of achieving that are underwelming, I would listen more to coaches who have produced and work with olympic and NFL/NBA major sport league level athletes for how to achieve that.
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:53 PM   #18
Mauricio Leal
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Re: Lyle McDonald on Crossfit

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Really? Isn't MP 3 on 1 off?
You're mistaking MP as representing the quintessential CF program in practice instead of its methodology. Consistently varied functional movements at high intensity has little to do with training frequency (be it 3/1, 3/1/2/1, 2/1, 2/1/2/2) and everything to do with training modalities and intensity. CF has 5k runs and rows for WODs sometimes, and MEBB sometimes. Individually they don't make CrossFit, but together they do, and this, again, does not relate to the training frequency.
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:53 PM   #19
Evan Anderson
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Re: Lyle McDonald on Crossfit

Rafe wins the reading comprehension award in a landslide.
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Old 02-12-2010, 05:19 PM   #20
Mauricio Leal
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Re: Lyle McDonald on Crossfit

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Originally Posted by Rafe Kelley View Post
I think its funny that every time some authority in strength and conditioning world opines on crossfit everyone is quick to dismiss it as of course crossfit isn't the best for specialists thats the whole point. What lyle claimed was much more substantive then that, he claimed, that crossfit was not the best way to get good at anything including crossfit. Here are the points I extract from his posts.

1. Aerobic Base is not developed effectively over the long run by interval based conditioning. Elite athletes including power athletes spend significant time in low intensity exercise base building.
2. Strength Work is Primary in GPP strong athletes adapt to crossfit quickly the converse is not true.
3. Traditional strength and conditioning methods are have been successful for a 100 years we know largely what works crossfit has not produced anything new.

I think these are fair point and ones that he has some data to back up himself up with particularly on the point about strength. The problem with it is most people do not have time to do hours of tempo work on top of hours of strength work on top of hours of skill work. The appeal of crossfit is the idea you can get most of the these benefits from 5-30 minutes 5.5 days a week plus warm up and warm downs.

Crossfit + Zone/paleo works for most people purposes, losing fat, feeling fit enough to accomplish most daily tasks and adding a bit of muscle. It is not clear to me that the potential for injuries and adrenal fatigue that come with the program are necessary to attain those benefits. As far as developing elite fitness or performance I think crossfits claims of achieving that are underwelming, I would listen more to coaches who have produced and work with olympic and NFL/NBA major sport league level athletes for how to achieve that.
With all due respect to the elite coaches, this program is still in its infancy, and there are still no Games competitors who do not have a background in something else because they're too old to have been raised on CF. Further, the program is changing as weaknesses are addressed.

In response to your points:

1. I agree, but it is still arguable what is most beneficial to these athletes. "They've been doing it for decades" doesn't prove anything. Also, interval training ~= CrossFit. If the test subjects are just repeating the same interval workouts then comparing to LSD, that kind of interval training is not CrossFit (consistently varied, hello?). Of course there will be diminishing returns on both sides, and specificity will result in the LSD practitioners coming out on top in aerobic capacity either way.

2. This has been argued about in another thread ad infinitum. The typical argument is that you could train a guy who can DL 500# to run a marathon in short order, but no way a marathoner could DL 500# anytime soon. This is a biased, false comparison and has been pointed out as such. The criterion for DLing 500# is binary (you can either lift it or you can't), while completion of a marathon is open-ended (if you can walk the whole thing that counts, apparently). It would be more instructive (and fair) to examine it in a relative, percentage-based comparison context where we look at how long it takes the DLer to improve his marathon to X time (or by X percent), and how long it takes the marathoner to analogously do the same with the DL. All start and end points being measured fairly, I would suspect it takes about the same amount of time to take a strong man and turn him into a sub 3-hr marathoner as it does to turn the marathoner into a 500# DLer. Years.

3. No basis for comparison here. Successful by whose measurement? We're still breaking world records with regularity across broad ranges of sports, and genetically we're no different than 100 years ago, so what has changed? One might say it is just a larger pool of competitors. No, otherwise China would be kicking our *** in everything. The methods have evolved, and will continue to.

You make a good point about time investment, but that doesn't mean CF is only for the average joes and weekend warriors. There is a continuum of scalability, and good coaches will scale and periodize volume and intensity carefully, even in a pseudo-random program.
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