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

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Old 09-18-2010, 09:21 AM   #11
Wayne Riddle
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Re: Military says You’re Too Flabby For CrossFit

The military has to deal with a one size fits all when it comes to recruits. Sure some recruits could handle HIIT, others probably not. I would say that given the state of many of the recruits I've been reading about the majority of them could not handle it out the gate. Hell some of them if they tried to squat below parallel would probably not be able to stand back up without help.
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:44 AM   #12
Robert Callahan
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Re: Military says You’re Too Flabby For CrossFit

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Originally Posted by Carlos Cristan View Post
Who said high intensity training at the BCT level had to be poorly implemented? It's thinking like this and the article posted by the OP that limit our military from becoming better than it is or ever has been. Nine weeks! How far could you take a client in 9 weeks?
No offense but I think it is statements like this that give CF and CF trainers a bad name.

Yes, how far you could take a client in 9 weeks, when you are doing most of the work with them either 1 on 1 or in a small group of 3-5 people. But at Basic you are lucky to have one drill sergeant to 30-40 recruits. That is simply not enough attention to be prescribing movements like cleans and snatches, or even Deadlifts and squats. Even if the sergeants are fully trained competent CF trainers (which most are not) they will never be able to correct, or even see, a lot of the horrendous form recruits will use. This will lead to injury and increased training time, which means more wasted money by the military.

How about instead of sitting up in a tower, condescending on all those who do not do, or who have misgivings about CF's applicability to every and all walks of life, we step down and engage our brains.

READ the article. I think it is well thought out and that the Military stance is extremely appropriate. Basic does NOT get you battle ready. It brings you up to a basic level so that you can then go down whatever training path your MOS requires. If that is combat, you will see a lot more weapons and fitness training. If it is becoming a mechanic, then maybe you don't need super fitness?

And to top it all off, despite repeated insistences, there is little to no hard evidence about CFs efficacy, efficiency, or safety. With an institution as large as the military you had better bet they are going to need more information before jumping in head first.
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Last edited by Robert Callahan : 09-18-2010 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:52 AM   #13
Robert D Taylor Jr
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Re: Military says You’re Too Flabby For CrossFit

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Originally Posted by Carlos Cristan View Post
Who said high intensity training at the BCT level had to be poorly implemented? It's thinking like this and the article posted by the OP that limit our military from becoming better than it is or ever has been. Nine weeks! How far could you take a client in 9 weeks?
CrossFit is great. It has a lot of value to the military. It's absence from official policy is not in any way keeping the military from becoming "better than it is or ever was"

Now the idea that fitness at basic could be more than some cals and a formation run has merit. But formation runs have a team building aspect too so I guess there's value to that as well.
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Old 09-18-2010, 01:17 PM   #14
Troy Becker
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Re: Military says You’re Too Flabby For CrossFit

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Originally Posted by Carl Amolat View Post
I think that post-Basic training - around the AIT/MOS school timeframe is a better time to introduce CrossFit or MilitaryAthlete or any program of that sort to new soldiers. ESPECIALLY if they've been the previously sedentary couch-potato variety. Use qualified instructors (focus on training that group properly first and give them the proper command support to execute the methodology they've been trained on) and separate the AIT trainees by their PT scores/performance on fitness tests so they're working with peers of similar ability in their 'boxes' so to speak so that they can make progress without the overtraining issues. But then that's my .02 cents.
Buddy of mine joined the Navy to go out for the SEAL/S, said he did circuits at night in his room after doing basic all day, because all he did in basic was stand at attention and learn about how to wear his uniform correctly.
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Old 09-18-2010, 03:47 PM   #15
Rob St. Croix
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Re: Military says You’re Too Flabby For CrossFit

He had his own room in Boot Camp? umm...OK.
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Old 09-18-2010, 04:01 PM   #16
William A Cantrell
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Re: Military says You’re Too Flabby For CrossFit

I thinks CrossFit being listed with P90x and Insanity as the Big 3 being studied is bad fro the CrossFit name.
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Old 09-18-2010, 04:23 PM   #17
Hector Santiago
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Re: Military says You’re Too Flabby For CrossFit

I am L1 Cert and I am in the Army, I have being posting in the main site WODs since the last year, being doing crossfit for more than 2 years, My 2 cents is that Crossfit Works, scaling to see progress works, everyone does it, being fit is part of being a Soldier, however the amount of Soldiers that are not fit I think is big, if you were to be in the Army and not being fit, I would work with you to get you there and get you fit. the rest of the story depends on the Soldier it self.

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Old 09-18-2010, 06:25 PM   #18
Chris Mason
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Re: Military says You’re Too Flabby For CrossFit

With respect to the point that it is too intense and can lead to injury, one of the basic tenets of CF is that it is scalable. In other words, while the workouts are the same, the loads and intensity are scaled to the individual's ability. Using intensity as a justification not to do it makes no sense and only indicates those doing so don't actually understand it.
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Old 09-18-2010, 06:40 PM   #19
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Military says You’re Too Flabby For CrossFit

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Originally Posted by Chris Mason View Post
With respect to the point that it is too intense and can lead to injury, one of the basic tenets of CF is that it is scalable. In other words, while the workouts are the same, the loads and intensity are scaled to the individual's ability. Using intensity as a justification not to do it makes no sense and only indicates those doing so don't actually understand it.
As pointed out upthread, correct scaling assumes one-on-one or small group training, not the standardized large group training typically encountered in boot camp scenarios. In those scenarios, it's quite likely that neither the drill instructor nor the recruits have the knowledge and/or mental bandwidth needed.

Katherine
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Old 09-18-2010, 06:50 PM   #20
Joseph E. Morris
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Re: Military says You’re Too Flabby For CrossFit

The point of Marine boot camp is hazing, not training. Some basic level of physical fitness is acquired and there is certainly a degree of stress inoculation, but that is about the end of serious training value. The rest of the training -- martial arts, shooting, patrolling, first aid, whatever -- is basically there to be a check in the box. This is all fine with me. I see how many Marines hate to do martial arts because of the poor coaching they receive from overworked drill instructors whose primary purpose is creating stress, not teaching. Again, that is a fine role for a DI, but it sets Marines up for failure later in their career to have DIs being dual-hatted. Boot camp is not the right place for CrossFit or anything else highly technical.

Speaking from experience, just trying to implement Cindy -- Cindy! -- properly with some Marines who worked for me was a nightmare. I emphasized, over and over, the importance of performing full depth air squats over the little knee-dips most Marines do during workouts just to get them done. I made each Marine show me the squat. I explained that no credit would be given for fake squats and that no punishment awaited those only able to complete a few cycles. I made sure each Marine knew how to perform the exercises properly. Still, once the clock started, the Marines were performing the minimum-depth squats they could.

Culturally speaking, the intelligence and thoughtfulness are simply not present in the military to allow a mass implementation of CrossFit. It requires too much mental flexibility, attention to detail, and patience -- gifts which I will just say lie beyond the reach of many who serve.

Quote:
“Certainly, we are addressing a perceived lack of fitness among recruits,” O’Connor says. “People are doing too much, too soon, too fast. Participants [in high-intensity programs] need baseline strength and flexibility, and they simply aren’t prepared.”

And while O’Connor’s team is interested in evaluating the physiological pros and cons of the programs, they’re also trying to figure out why troops are so gung-ho about the grueling, exhausting, physical fitness puke-fests. O’Connor, for one, has his own theory.

“What attracts people to these programs?” he asks. “Frankly, I suspect that in some cases it’s because the commercials really do make them look sexy.”
"Recruits" are not doing CrossFit. They're in basic/boot camp. If he's talking about junior servicemen, well, he's simply wrong. You don't need a baseline to start a high-intensity program; you need to scale the intensity to your level. As others have said, you need an intelligent, qualified coach to train people -- or, at the very least, intelligent athletes who don't mind doing some reading to learn how to exercise properly.

That said, the fact that military doctors don't understand why people in the military would attempt hard workouts boggles the mind. Someone who does not grasp the appeal of challenging yourself and guesses that it has something to do with how you'll look after you're done has no business anywhere near the military. "He that hath no stomach to this fight..."

The reason this article concerns me is that the military often takes a ham-fisted, risk-averse approach to problems raised. There is already a published study showing the efficacy of properly-coached CrossFit; they are starting this new study not to see if it works but to see if it's too dangerous...to allow, I assume. And that frightens me.

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