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

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Old 08-27-2005, 12:55 PM   #1
Ben Jackson
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This is a quote from the book The Blood Thinning Cure by Dr. Kenneth R. Kensey: "You may look like Mr. America, but as far as your heart is concerned, you may as well be obese, because it has to work far too hard to pump the blood around your body...Muscles do nothing to improve the efficiency of your heart. The heart of a six-foot, 250-pound weight lifter walking up a flight of stairs has to work much harder than that of a six-foot, 160-pound man walking up the same stairs. It's no wonder that the average life expectancy for professional football players is only fifty-five years.
So don't try to build up your body to get big muscles (lifting weights for strength is much different). In the long run, bulking up is simply not healthy for your arteries."

Kensey recomends that individuals seek out the Body Mass Index for a healthy weight in regards to ones heart health.

Also interesting, studies find that 70% of children have fatty deposits in their arteries by age 12.
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Old 08-27-2005, 01:39 PM   #2
James R. Climer
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Don't insurance companies use the BMI in figuring out Life insurance premiums and eligibility for individuals? I used to mentally discount the BMI because it didn't consider the Body Fat %. But the more I think about it, probably the biggest, most well-funded institutions in existence are insurance companies. They make it their business, quite successfully I might add, to make sure the odds favor the House so to speak. They absolutely have to know what is a good bellweather of health and what is not, and an agent will swear by the statistics of the BMI. FWIW.
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Old 08-27-2005, 03:01 PM   #3
Kevin Roddy
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That's hardly what I would call a substantial argument. If you're bigger, your heart has to work harder... kind of a general statement.
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Old 08-27-2005, 03:03 PM   #4
Kalen Meine
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This, as far as my understanding goes, is similar to the "calorie is not a calorie" situation. If you're just grossly, horrifically "big," your heart probably doesn't appreciate it. But a lot of the issue with obesity and heart disease has to do more with the associated fat deposits in arteries, and the lack of conditioning you must maintain to be that "large" with fat, coupled with the increased workload. I've heard that the studies that looked at both BMI and muscle mass fraction found greatest longevity at what would be consider ed the edge of "fat" according to BMI, but had very low actual body fat. As for the BMI/insurance connection, their business is cost-effectiveness not necessarily precision. Most people with a high BMI are in fact, fat, and thus at a high risk of illness. Measuring and collecting your muscle-mass is way harder and isn't a fact most folks keep on file, nor has it been nearly as well studied. I would imagine that as long as your training program was sensible, (no roids, full-body work to insure conditioning equivalent to mass, metabolic work, bodyweight stuff) it's not something you need to sweat.
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Old 08-30-2005, 11:29 AM   #5
Jeremy Jones
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Usually the bigger you are, the bigger your heart is.

Unless you are the horse Secretariat or the Grinch.

Also, getting those big muscles usually means that the heart had to do some work, meaning it is stronger than someone who got a bunch of fat by doing 12oz curls or something similar.
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Old 09-03-2005, 07:30 AM   #6
Craig Van De Walker
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Following that line of logic a little person (don't remember the politically correct term for someone suffering from dwarfism) should have a heart that lasts 200 years.

BTW Bill Pearl a body builder from pre-Arnold era is alive, kicking and quite large and muscular still, at over 70 years of age.

I work in healthcare and I still remember a 94 year old man coming in for heart valve replacement (heart muscle still worked great) lived by himself in a house with only wood heat, while technically retired he cut and sold firewood most days of the week. He recovered faster than men 1/3-1/2 his age that had surgery for their clogged arteries.
He was 6'2" and 195lbs at the time, although he said he used to be much bigger/stronger in his youth. I know there are always those unusual cases, and you can't accurately extrapolate from two examples, but..

I would put a 220lb sub 3min Fran crossfitter against just any 150 lb (non-crossfitter) in a test of cardio function.
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Old 09-04-2005, 11:53 PM   #7
Kawika Harbottle
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I love fallacious crap like this. BMI, how heavy a person is no matter what their conditioning or cultural and ethnic background. Beautiful. "800 million chinamen can't be wrong"
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Old 09-05-2005, 06:13 PM   #8
Steve Shafley
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There's some truth to the matter, otherwise it wouldn't show up.

There is a startling tidbit that shows up every now and then...basically it says that the life expectancy of a superheavyweight powerlifter is about 13-15 years after he turns superheavyweight, given that he stays in that weight class.

Cardio function doesn't necessarily mean good health, and probably doesn't coorelate with longevity either.

Look at breeds of dogs. Bigger dogs live shorter lives.
A bigger dog in any one breed has a tendancy to live a shorter life than a smaller dog within the breed.

And humans are exempt from this?

Couple the high bodyfat of most superheavy PLs, the lack of any kind of conditioning, and the steroid use, and it paints a pretty grim picture. There are also a lot of case studies detailing how poor a retired NFL football player's health can become and how quickly after retirement.

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Old 09-06-2005, 11:12 AM   #9
Troy Archie
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Also consider that in lab mice and rats the ones that are exposed to either intermittent fasting or caloric restriction live a lot longer. 10-15% if memory serves correct.
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Old 09-07-2005, 10:03 PM   #10
Skip Chase
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Well, I totally disagree with the doc. I want to see University study, utilizing the scientific method. Today, doc's love writng books and endorsing products because they MAKE MONEY!!! Have you seen the heart of an obese person compared to the heart of a fit, muscular person? No comparison. The doc mentions the life expectancy of a football player. He neglected to mention the fact that the life expectancy is low due to traumatic 'collisions' to the upper body, particularly the abdominal and chest cavity.
What is doc Kinsey's BMI?
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