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

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Old 07-02-2004, 10:58 AM   #1
John de la Garza
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This guy has a theory that if you do body weight exercises you will not gain weight because your body 'knows' that that will be conter-productive. I've always thought that a pushup or a bench press was just resistance to your muscle and it was no different...

anyone agree with this article and have some kind of evidence to support it?
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Old 07-02-2004, 11:21 AM   #2
Graham Hayes
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His approach is too black and white. It's not a secret that the if you lose weight then bodyweight excercises provide less resistance, but are you any stronger? If not that's rubbish adaption.
Look at a top gymnast, he maybe small but he's nowhere near skinny!

My experience with weighloss and gain is probably just as short and subjective as this guys. And I use food rather than excercise to change my weight.
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Old 07-04-2004, 11:22 PM   #3
David Werner
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I gained fourty pounds of muscle when I was an 18 year old at BUD/S (SEAL basic training) doing nothing but body-weight excercises. It's true that I started the process rather skinny but
that theory is nonsense.

It has to do with intensity and difficulty, if you do excercises that challenge you and do them hard and fast, you will evoke a neuroendocrine response. Your idea is correct, to the muscle resistance is resistance.

Dave Werner
Crossfit North
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Old 07-05-2004, 07:07 AM   #4
Roy Taylor
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I'll put it this way, I can bench press bodyweight easier and for more reps than tuck planche pushups on parallettes. Gaining mass is related to Effort Intensity. I honestly believe one could put on more muscle by doing pushups to failure rather than doing three sets of 70% 1RM on bench press successfully.

There are other more critical points to gaining mass though. (muscle mass, not krispy kreme mass) Sleep is important, so is food. However, what I find that outweighs all of these is training history. If you never worked out in your life, and all of the sudden started an intense training program, such as crossfit, the results would be quick and amazing. And from my experience, this is regardless of what you eat(for a little while!) I remember a few years ago when I started haphazardly walking into the gym regularly and "pumping iron" I saw results nearly twice as fast as I do now. Heres the comparison:

1. total body every other day, hour and a half "bodybuilding"
2. no clue about nutrition. Ate what i wanted when i wanted. in fact, I had a pre-workout myoplex shake lifted weights for an hour and a half or more, came home, showered, and went to bed! Nothing post workout!
3. gained 8 pounds of LBM in a few weeks, and lost fat, drinking beer with friends throughout the day every day!

conclusion: I really think the reason I had good results in spite of the poor habits was because this was my first time doing an actual weight training program. To put on mass, try new stuff your body isnt use to. I honestly think the WOD isnt enough. Regularly learning and playing new sports is quite critical. (mentioned in world class fitness in 100 words)

just my thoughts. not much.


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Old 07-06-2004, 07:50 AM   #5
Roger Harrell
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This article has no basis on anything scientific. It is a totally subjective review of one person's experience. His experience is most likely a result of subconcious factors involved in his goals, NOT a factor of anything his physical body was "desiring".

I know a lot of gymnasts that have done strictly bodyweight excersises and put on significant mass. Myself included. As long as the mass is useful and you are gaining strength faster than mass, you're good to go.

Though take a look, most elite gymnasts are actually less bulky than they were 20 years ago. They are much, much stronger, but carry less muscle mass. Training has improved utilization and other factors.
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Old 07-14-2004, 09:53 PM   #6
Jon Michael Varese
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How does age come into play?

Dave you were 18 when you gained your weight . . . Roy, you're about 19, how old are others? When you're pushing 33 like me, isn't it harder to gain "mass" in the way I could have gained it 10 years ago had I been lifting then? As an older, late-comer, won't I always be catching up in terms of "mass"? I am not actually trying to gain mass with Crossfit, I am more in it for the full-body experience at this point in my life -- but I wouldn't mind bulking up a little and looking like a gymnast if that happens to be a bi-product!

What have others experienced in terms of growing older/gaining mass?
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Old 07-15-2004, 07:32 AM   #7
Tanner Kolb
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first i would like to agree with roger, if claims such as these are going to be made then there needs to be some scientific basis or research to accompany the claims.

for muscle to grow in response training, whether it be strength or hypertrophy it must be stressed at around 60% 1RM. so if body weight for a particular exercise is 60% or higher the we have muscle growth.

jon, i read a research study about a year ago, and it talked about regaining lost strength. basically the results where that people were able to get back to about 85% of what they were doing in there 20's into the late 60's and 70's. although this is dealing with strength, not hypertrophy but still encouraging none the less.
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Old 07-15-2004, 10:57 AM   #8
Dave Campbell
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Jon, I believe gaining mass has a lot to do with genetics. I'm 40 and have been crossfitting for a bit over a year. I'm thicker throughout my body (esp. hips, back and butt), but I don't look like a bodybuilder or even a gymnast. I've never had the ability to bulk up. I've tried. I played football through high school, was an Airborne Ranger from 82-85, and have tried various weightlifting programs (always emphasising deadlifts and squats). I'm much stronger than I look, but I do get jealous of the guys who can get away with doing supersets of incline DB presses/cable flyes and get big. I can't cite any studies, but I have read that as men age, it is tougher to gain mass. On the other hand, if you don't work out, you will lose muscle mass. Crossfit is awesome and I posted PR's in both the deadlift and the C&J in the past 2 weeks. While not big, I'm often old that I look fit and I get a kick out of deadlifting or squating next to the "big guys" who are usually using less weight than I am.
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