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

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Old 07-10-2013, 12:14 PM   #1
Kevin Johnson
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Are some people just better suited for a upper/lower style training?

I'm just wondering, are some people just better off, for whatever reason, doing a simple upper/lower say 5/3/1 style program with the occasional conditioning
workout thrown in? I'm just wondering because for the past year I've done 5/3/1 pain and injury free completely. No pain besides the occasional soreness from a hard workout that went away after a couple days. I also did sled drags, sled drag runs, and the occasional jog with tire flips, etc.

However, this past week I decided to throw some crossfit workouts into the mix. Tons of fun, but I'm sitting here now with what feels like tendonitis in both elbows (hurts when i extend my arms out, and both elbows make a crack sound when i fully extend them. that crack makes the pain subside for a bit, only for it to come back shortly after). This I believe was brought on by my attempt to do handstand pushups, muscle ups, and kipping pullups.

Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of crossfit and want to do it as closely as I can (I want to be strong and still be able to jump into a 5k up to tough mudder whenever I want to due to my high level of conditioning), but I'm wondering if some things like muscle ups, kips, handstand pushups, are just too much stress on the average joe.

It just kills me to know I worked up to such great strength levels with 5/3/1 over the course of a year (435/280/512 at 180 lbs), and now after just one week of trying these partyish type tricks, I'm probably going to need to be outa commission at least with the upper body for a couple weeks to be safe, when I had no pain at all before doing heavy bench, heavy press, and assisstance dips and pullups.

Do any crossfitters out there who know they will never be competitive forego certain lifts that cause aggravation in certain areas in favors of a more programmed styled of lifting that allows them to progress and get the most out of their fitness in general? I still want to box jump, do sprints, learn double unders, practice my olympic lifts more, and be overall awesome at strength and conditioning, but I'm just wondering if some of the movements I listed above may just be a little too technical or strenuous for the average lifter looking to be just plain strong and conditioned for life in general.
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:26 PM   #2
Phil Washlow
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Re: Are some people just better suited for a upper/lower style training?

Sounds like a form/mobility/movement pattern issue. All of those are high skilled movements that tax the body at full ranges of motion. Functional movement is healthy and safe, just have to do it correctly.
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:30 PM   #3
Jeff Enge
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Re: Are some people just better suited for a upper/lower style training?

Your problem is that you just jumped into those movements without any kind of buildup. I understand you are a good athlete, but your body just isn't used to contorting for things like muscleups, kipping and HSPUs. It's that way for any new kind of movements. For example, I joined an Olympic weightlifting team last week, and while I'm familiar with the lifts and have done them for somewhere around a year, all the new volume has my muscles angry at me in places I never thought it would.

I've noticed you started posting here something like a week ago, and you're already going straight to stuff like lifting shoes, Inov8s and jump ropes. It's all well and good to be enthusiastic, but sometimes it's better to let the skills come to you than to force-feed your body with new stresses.

Also, if all you want to do is be strong and conditioned, then there is no reason you absolutely have to do the technical CF-ish movements. If you want to do CrossFit without the skill stuff, you could always try CrossFit Football.
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:30 PM   #4
Nik Nichols
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Re: Are some people just better suited for a upper/lower style training?

Sounds like you over did the metcons(with out seeing what your reps or workouts were) or did something in bad form to cause the pain(just judging by what you posted, going off not much info).

Also if you are going into a workout thinking ''party tricks'' it ''seems'' like you are not taking the movements(what ever they were are) seriously, which can lead to injury.


Also, you have to be careful adding in metcons to 5/3/1, one or the other will suffer(as you now know). I add in two metcons a week on my 5/3/1 and it is tough to maintain.

I am not at your numbers on the 5/3/1 but I am strength over metcon. I do HSPUs strict every day at least 2 sets of 10 reps. Muscle ups almost every day, BF kip and strict pullups every day for sets.

Along with Jeff I think you jumped to fast to deep.
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Last edited by Nik Nichols : 07-10-2013 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:44 PM   #5
Nik Nichols
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Re: Are some people just better suited for a upper/lower style training?

Also looking at it in a different dtirection. Crossfit football does not do muscle ups.

Football players don't need to know or work on ring skills and the chance of getting hurt is to great for a football player to risk and not be able to play.

Gymnastic skills take time to get good at to the point of alot of reps with out to much fatigue and possible injury.
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Old 07-11-2013, 03:32 AM   #6
Steven Wingo
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Re: Are some people just better suited for a upper/lower style training?

To be fit according to the Crossfit definition, you need a broad and inclusive fitness. Those gymnastics movements train different and important physical skills other than just pure raw strength. From your post and some prior posts, it sounds to me like you have some excellent raw strength for weightlifting movements, and your cardio is strong too if you run a 5:30 mile.

But how about some other aspects of all around fitness such as flexibility, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy? You have to improve in these areas as well. Fitness is not solely about lifting a heavy weight and running fast in a straight line. There is more too it and Crossfit says you should strive for a broad, inclusive fitness in all areas.

As others have suggested, you probably hurt because of lack of mobility (flexibility), you haven't yet developed the safest and most efficient form with the skills causing your problems, and your muscles don't know the movements. This stuff takes time. You don't master Crossfit overnight. And your body needs to adapt to the different types of stresses to which you are now subjecting it. Gymnastics movements and olympic weightlifting movements, both key parts of Crossfit, are very complex. So give yourself time and build up at a reasonable pace.
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Old 07-11-2013, 04:15 AM   #7
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Are some people just better suited for a upper/lower style training?

Too much, too soon. Especially with the kipping pullups in regards to your elbow and the other BW movements on your joints.

I can still do kipping pullups (well I think, it's been a good 3 months since I've tried to do any) but I do know that if I do an excessive amount of pullup volume, my left elbow will hate me as it did last year when I did a WOD that was all weighted, strict and kipping pullups. I did a DNF when the pain came up but it still took a few days before it was A-OK (though maybe if I wore an elbow brace I could have do stuff like that).

I tend to stay away from high kipping volume (though Murph is doable or Cindy until it gets past that).

Another thing that I think I won't do anymore is mixed grip DL towards maximal weights. That seemed to screw up my hip last week. Something like alternating mixed grip with 315 doesn't but I think going for a 1rm and a 6x6 a few days later just was no-likely.

I also pretty much avoid SDHP, subbing PC instead. It irks some CF coaches but I have to look out for myself. It takes me a lot of work just keeping my shoulders functional. I don't like the movement and I'm not risking yet another shoulder injury (both shoulders got injured in 2010 besides multiple tears and a seperation in the past).
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:35 AM   #8
John Holcombe
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Re: Are some people just better suited for a upper/lower style training?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blair Robert Lowe View Post
Too much, too soon. Especially with the kipping pullups in regards to your elbow and the other BW movements on your joints.

I can still do kipping pullups (well I think, it's been a good 3 months since I've tried to do any) but I do know that if I do an excessive amount of pullup volume, my left elbow will hate me as it did last year when I did a WOD that was all weighted, strict and kipping pullups. I did a DNF when the pain came up but it still took a few days before it was A-OK (though maybe if I wore an elbow brace I could have do stuff like that).

I tend to stay away from high kipping volume (though Murph is doable or Cindy until it gets past that).

Another thing that I think I won't do anymore is mixed grip DL towards maximal weights. That seemed to screw up my hip last week. Something like alternating mixed grip with 315 doesn't but I think going for a 1rm and a 6x6 a few days later just was no-likely.

I also pretty much avoid SDHP, subbing PC instead. It irks some CF coaches but I have to look out for myself. It takes me a lot of work just keeping my shoulders functional. I don't like the movement and I'm not risking yet another shoulder injury (both shoulders got injured in 2010 besides multiple tears and a seperation in the past).
If murph isn't high pullup volume I don't want to do a workout with high pullup volume haha
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:43 PM   #9
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Are some people just better suited for a upper/lower style training?

Kevin, I saw that you did Fran earlier this week. Which pretty much explains your soreness, especially in your elbows.

Murph, at least is just 100 kipping pullups. But anything much more deeper into 100+ reps is when the elbow acts up. Finish them, get through and move on.

That combo of weighted pullups, strict, then kipping just wastes away my elbow endurance.

Maybe if I did the weighted in mixed grip (left supinated), it wouldn't be so bad.

Found it.

Quote:
Ten rounds for time of:
3 Weighted Pull-ups, 45 pounds
5 Strict Pull-ups
7 Kipping Pull-up
Which if I remember was supposed to be done without coming off the bar. Long TUT.
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:34 PM   #10
Kevin J. Fleming
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Re: Are some people just better suited for a upper/lower style training?

Do what works for your body and goals. No one has become fitter while injured.

If you do not intend to compete, there is no need to do movements that carry an increased risk of injury and for which there is an adequate substitute that matches your goals.
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