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

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Old 11-09-2005, 07:20 AM   #1
Rich Krauss
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I would think that monitoring your HR during workout is a good measure of how hard you are working; any comments on this or at what % of max HR we should be at?
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Old 11-09-2005, 07:40 AM   #2
Russ Greene
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I don't need a monitor to tell me how hard I'm working.
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Old 11-09-2005, 09:23 AM   #3
Robert Wolf
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When we have done heart rate monitors they show that people are working at the limits of their looks like hard hill intervals. With time people innately learn how to monitor work/rest intervals and partition their efforts to achieve the best results for the task at hand. Empirically we have not found the use of HR monitors to enhance this effect, only distract.

If you have the gear give it a go, it IS interesting but keep your main focus on increasing your performance. Once you are at the top of the CF WOD standings I suspect you will not need the HR monitor.
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Old 11-09-2005, 09:32 AM   #4
Michael Ledney
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I monitor my HR religiously during workouts, but not in order to gauge my top end performance. In that regard you should be working really as hard as you can for as long as you can. That's one of the bases of crossfit, maxing out your metabolic pathways.

During a workout I use my monitor more to push me out of a hole when I have to stop and suck wind. I have an annoying chime set on my watch that *****es at me when I fall below 170 bpm.

I also like to monitor my recovery curve, i.e. how long does it take me to get down to 150, 125, 100 etc after I stop and fall down. I have learned some things about myself as well. For example, my max HR is in the 200-210 range, well in excess of what those formulaic approaches would chuck out for a guy of my age.

Lastly I download all this crap into excel and plot all my "named" workouts against eachother. It's a nice way to show improvement graphically (assuming I'm improving). And while I realize that this is very geeky, bear in mind that I'm model economic data for a living. At least this is data that I care about.
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Old 11-09-2005, 04:42 PM   #5
Alex McClung
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Mike, that's too cool (I sometimes model sales forecasts - geek factor runs high here too).
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Old 11-09-2005, 05:58 PM   #6
Don Stevenson
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I sometimes wear a HR monitor during a WOD just for curiosity sake (i'm a scientist by training so i like experiments)

The best measure for me seems to be that if I am looking at my heart rate then i'm not working hard enough!

I'll often just download it later and have a look.
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Old 11-09-2005, 07:05 PM   #7
Kalen Meine
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I'll second Robb and say it's crap. I've done monitors as a experiment, sure, but all of the "cardio-zone/fat-burning zone/endurance zone" is crap, and furthermore, there are about 4 different variations on the age-based max heart rate formula, all of which include disclaimers that they maybe off by as much as +/- 20BPM. If you can read the numbers on the monitor, you're moving too slow ;-)
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Old 11-09-2005, 08:11 PM   #8
Dave Clarke
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I use a monitor simply for interest's sake. It also workd as a stopwatch, as it's sometimes hard to keep track of the second and minute hands of my wristwatch.

It's interesting, but it's nothing to influence the way I work.

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Old 11-10-2005, 07:14 AM   #9
Jay Swan
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The "cardio-zone/fat-burning zone/endurance zone" is not "crap." It is well documented that the ratio of fat to glycogen burning is correlated directly to heart rate.

Age-based max heart rate calculations describe averages, not individuals. If you really want to know your max heart rate, you need to test it.
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Old 11-10-2005, 11:36 AM   #10
Gabe Rinaldi
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While it is true that the RATIO (or percentage) of carbs to fat is correlated to heart rate, it is misleading for many people because the total number of Calories from carbs and fat will change as HR increases. In other words, just because one uses a greater percentage of Cal. from fat at a lower intentensity does not mean that the total amount of fat burned will be lower at a higher intensity. In fact, the opposite is true. Therefore, if one cares about getting as lean as possible, then they should exercise at the highest intensity they can maintain for the given duration of the workout. If one cares about improving fitness, then they should exercise at the highest intensity they can maintain for the given duration of the workout. Monitoring HR within an individual over time may be interesting info to some people. Telling a group of individuals they should be exercising at a certain percentage of a theoretical max HR may be a waste of time. Monitoring HR recovery in an at risk population might be an appropriate thing to do. In my opinion, focusing on movement competency at the highest intensity (like Crossfit workouts) and forgetting about HR's is the best approach for those without pre-existing conditions. If you want to do it for the geek factor, then go for it, but this is why many coaches think the "cardio-zone/fat-burning zone" etc. is worthless. As I recall this misunderstanding stems from Covert Baley's Fit or Fat book from decades ago.
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