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

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Old 07-12-2005, 11:59 AM   #1
Neill S. Occhiogrosso
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I've been poking around my school's online library lately. I'd be curious to hear what people think of this study.


Determining the correct workload for high-level athletes is a problem facing coaches. A period of loading too low in intensity and duration would lead to no improvement in performance. Moreover, a period of intense loading too long in duration, coupled with a period of reduced loading too short in duration, could result in no improvement in performance and could potentially lead to overtraining.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine if the ratio of serum testosterone to cortisol ratio (T/C) could be monitored and adjusted to improve performance in national-caliber weightlifters. Previous research from this lab has indicated a 6-week program was not effective in producing optimal performance gains. The goal of this research was to manipulate the original program by including 2 additional weeks of reduced training load to achieve T/C recovery.

METHODS: Seven male, competitive weightlifters (mean SD; age 19.75 2.05 years; weight 94.88 19 kg), who have competed at a national-level contest, were recruited from the USA Weightlifting Regional Development Center to participate in this 8-week study. The training program consisted of 2-weeks of build up (92 weekly repetitions; 85% mean training intensity) 2-weeks of hard training (188, 95%), and 4-weeks of reduced volume training (75, 80%). T/C ratio was measured weekly by radioimmunoassay. Weightlifting performance changes were determined by testing one-repetition maximum for the snatch and the clean and jerk.

RESULTS: The training program was successful in producing recovery, and super-compensation, of mean T/C ratio. Following 1-week of rest and active recovery, baseline levels of T/C ratio were measured at 28 15.9. During the 2-weeks of high training load, mean T/C ratio reached a low of 23.4 12.3. Following the 4-weeks of reduced training load, mean T/C ratio significantly increased to levels nearly 33% greater than baseline to 41.8 15.4 (p<0.05). Weightlifting performance significantly increased following the experimental training (p<0.05). Subjects succeeded with combined weights averaging 12.1 2.78 kg above entry competition totals. 5 subjects reported an increase of at least 5-kg above previous competition 1 RM snatch and clean and jerk.

CONCLUSIONS: It appears that this 8-week program was successful in favorably controlling T/C ratio, improving weightlifting performance, and validates the concept that T/C ratio may be an effective indicator of loading and recovery for weightlifting performance. T/C ratio may potentially be used to plan training cycles, thus avoiding unplanned overreaching or overtraining by the athlete.
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Old 07-13-2005, 09:24 AM   #2
Kalen Meine
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Uh-huh. It's pretty interesting with the blood work and all, but on the whole it seems that hey're surprised that people get their peak performance after some rest. That's a shocker. What would have been more interesting is if they had played around with the rest period- maybe one week of complete rest, two weeks of playing volleyball. I admit the science is interesting, but the premise should be lumped in the "duh" category.
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Old 07-13-2005, 12:58 PM   #3
Ross Hunt
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188 repetitions at 95% 1 RM in two weeks? That would work out to an average of over thirteen near-max singles a day for two weeks straight. Is that possible?
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Old 07-13-2005, 01:25 PM   #4
Craig Bucher
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I read it as 188 weekly repititions; 95% mean intensity for 2 weeks??? Reading your way, the 4 week reduced volume(75, 80%) would only have 19 reps at 80% a week, or 5 reps a day training 4 days a week. That seems lower than low volume. Seems like a lot of volume, but probably had different exercises: clean, jerk, snatch, and these were national level weight lifters. I could be convinced that they were doing 32 reps a day, 6 days a week. A lot of volume, but only for 2 weeks then followed by 4 weeks "rest". Maybe a whole new approach to training with high intensity.

Hmm, who knows how much volume national level weight lifters usually use?
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