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

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Old 01-09-2003, 10:21 AM   #1
Terry MILLER
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I just recently came across this site, and must say that I have found the information posted on the site to very informative. As an introduction, I am an active LEO and am an N.C.O. with the R.C.M.P.. I'm presently in charge of a small rural Detachment and I have also been a member of our Emergency Response Team. In addition to my interest in strength and conditioning, I am also a practioner of Muay Thai and to a lessser extent, submission grappling.

Although I haven't been following the Crossfit W.O.D. as provided on this site, I would like to share the routine that I follow and invite your comments / criticisms, or suggestions on ways I might alter or improve my program. In sharing my program with you, possibly you might see something that interest you, which you could incorporate in your program also.

Nutritionally, I follow the recommendations of the Zone Diet. My strength training has been strongly enfluenced by the writings of Dr. Ken LEISTNER, using a "Hard Training" or "H.I.T." type protocol. Typically I train to muscular failure on all exercises. When I make my target reps, I then increase the weight on that particular exercise by 1 to 2.5 lbs during the next workout. Follows in a typical weekly schedule:

Day 1
Squats 1 set 15 - 20 reps
Incline Bench Press 1 set 6 - 8 reps Bentover Barbell Rows 1 set 6-8 reps
Abs (Chinees 30/30)
Grip (wrist roller to failure)
Day 2
6 - 3 minute rounds of skipping. Between each round I do 10 Burpees with 1 minute rest. Equals 24 minutes of work completed in 30 minutes.
Day 3
Unweighted G.P.P.
30 jumping jacks
30 shuffle splits
10 burpees
30 mountain climbers
3 to 6 trips of this circuit without resting. Timed so as to be able to compare to past / previous performance.
Day 4
rest
Day 5
Trap Bar Deadlift 1 set 10-15 reps
Clean and Press 1 set 6-8 reps
Weighted Chinups 1 set 6-8 reps
Weighted Crunches 1 set 25 reps
Kettlebell snatch 3-5 sets 5 reps (home-made kettlebell. Had a machine shop cut out a 6.5" length of 6" diameter solid round stock. Then had a 12" length of 1 1/16 " round stock bent in a U shape and welded onto the side on the 6" dia. round stock. Gave me a 54 lb kettlebell at a fraction of cost of a Dragondoor Kettlebell)
Day 6
fast 2 mile run
Day 7
Same as Day 3
Day 8
rest
Day 9
Repeat cycle

Following this schedule, I find that overall, I am fitter and stronger now at 43 years of age, then I was when I was much younger. In my younger years I tended to specialize, either focusing on my cardio, doing lots of running and no strength training, or just the opposite, focusing on strength and neglecting my cardio.

I apologize for the longwinded post. I am pleased to have discovered a site of like minded fitness enthusiasts whose numbers also enclude LEO's.

Regards,

Terry




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Old 01-09-2003, 11:01 AM   #2
Robert Wolf
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Terry-
It looks ike a good program...metabolic conditioning, explosive whole body movements...good stuff! Many of the gymnastics training drills such as muscle ups and ropeclimbs would likely be a good addition...personally I would drop the tempo run and work some type of tabatas or sprints...unless you just like that long run. If that is the case keep it!
I usually recomend to people to give the WOD a shot for a month...I have yet to see anyone not experience incredible progress. Your program is good but one thing I keep in mind is a concept from the "Foundations" page in which Coach says the main value of our current program is not in what it has but in what it lacks...and how we adress that in our next program. (this is highly paraphrased!) The rondomization of crossfit really takes this feature into account.

Welcome and keep us posted!
Robb
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Old 01-10-2003, 02:50 AM   #3
Tyler Hass
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Terry,
You have a good mix of stuff in there, but I think the organization could use a bit of tweaking. First of all, training to failure, if done at all, should only happen at a few strategic points throughout the year. You will probably make much better gains in strength if you break up your sets into smaller sets. Instead of 10-12 reps to failure, do 3 sets of 4 or 5 reps. You will be able to handle more weight and avoid failure. I would also recommend varying the load and the type of load. Don't try and go for strength or hypertrophy and endurance at the same time. Hit endurance hard for a weeks with just enough lifting to maintain strength. Then hit strength for a few weeks, then move onto power, etc. Trying to train everything at once will most likely lead to stagnation, especially as you become more advanced.
Also, as a LEO, you probably shouldn't risk being really sore from your workouts, as HIT will probably leave you. HIT is good for bodybuilders, occasionally, but for strength it is not nearly as effective as other methods. I would recommend reading Power to the People by Pavel Tsatsouline. It will help you on training organization and it has excellent information on actually performing the lifts, which is the most important thing of all.
Of course, you could ignore what I just wrote up above, follow the WOD and have a great program right there.
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Old 01-10-2003, 05:39 PM   #4
Terry MILLER
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Tyler, In response to your comments. Firstly, although high rep squats do tend to cause some degree of soreness, I generally do a conditioning / gpp workout the day after a strength workout, and this tends do significantly decrease the degree of soreness. As for the other exercises, training in this manner does not cause me to experience any degree of soreness. At least not sufficient soreness to have any impact on my ability to do my job effectively, including during my time as an operator on the E.R.T, and certainly no more then I experienced when I was doing low rep sets. I have read comments made by Pavel Tsatsouline how training to failure will have a negative impact on one's ability to function as an operator on SWAT / HRT / ERT. I can tell you from experience that it doesn't. Training to failure is a legitimate and effective means of strength training. I have used a 3-5 sets of 3-5 rep protocol in the past, however for the past 5 years I have been doing high rep squats and deadlifts and keeping the other lifts in the 1 - 2 sets of 6 - 8 rep range. As I indicated on my initial post, my strength is greater now then it has ever been, and believe me I often refer back to my old training logs to compare. Just as an example, in Bentover barbell rows, I am using 280 lbs for 1 set of 8 reps. Five years ago, I wasn't able to use that for 5 reps. In addition, my bodyweight hasn't increased, and has remained at approx 175 lbs ( 5'9" in height). I would agree that low rep sets are also an effective means of strength training, but it has been my experience that one set to failure, regardless of the number of reps is just as effective and probably more efficient in terms of general strength training. In my opinion, what one should be focusing on when strength training is progression. If you are lifting more weight for the same number of reps, or doing more reps with the same weight, it only stands to reason that you are getting stronger, and that can be done by training to failure regardless of the rep range, or with multiple sets of low reps. I think the secret is finding a protocol that works for you and you enjoy doing. I now do it this way because I have found it works for me and I enjoy it. I have been lifting seriously for about 13 years now, and have done lots of experimentation. This is what works for me.
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Old 02-02-2003, 11:57 AM   #5
Mark Cain
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These workouts ( at least part) are based upon the theory initially put forth by MIKE MENTZER, who, in turn acquired it thru his work with Arthur Jones and then copied by just about everyone in the world. previous to this, weight training experts simply promulgated the theory of a 6 day consecutive workout week with a one day rest then do it all over again. Multi-set multi-rep approach quickly led to burn out as the program failed to address the needs of a non-steroid taking athlete. ( Mentzer did take steroids of course so lets not go down that road)

Mentzer's theory being that train to failure; anything past that would simply interfere with recuperation and recovery.

i like your day 3. when i get better perhaps i shall incorporate some of this CV work. a 10 day work cycle is much better for everyone involved.

However sometimes people have to conduct their own experiments to discover that fire indeed burns should you thrust your hand into it!

As one gets older, hopefully his/her wisdom more than compensates for the mistakes of his/her youth! People are very sensitive to criticisms, however slight and completely unintentional regarding their training programmes. some people see any comment as a personal attack; take even a minimally critical comment as a moral attack on their person. I don't wish for anyone to get bent out of shape about this.
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Old 02-03-2003, 01:03 PM   #6
David Wood
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Personally, I like Terry's workout quite a bit.

Also, I am not about to tell someone who can do a bent-over row with 280 (at a bodyweight of 175) that they're doing something wrong.

Terry, on this board, you're inevitably going to find a large proportion of CrossFit zealots (true believers). So, the advice you're likely to get is: "Do the Workout of the Day" (WOD).

That advice has worked for a lot of people (myself included). It works better the more often I follow it (which, alas, is still only about 2 or 3 days per week). I tend to follow the advice of frequent poster Robert Wolf, which is to do as much of the WOD as I can, admitting that I will *not* be able to complete the full recommendation every day.

On days when I just can't face another metabolic burnout, I do something that looks a lot like your HIT day . . . except that I do 3-5 sets of 5 reps (Pavel Tsatsouline influences) rather than the 1 set all-out to failure.

The only advice I would give you is to NOT open the "HIT vs. the rest of the world" debate.
Training modalities tend to be "articles of faith" for a lot of people, and HIT certainly qualifies as true religion to many . . . as does the "change your stimulus regularly" philosophy of CrossFit.

Trying to convince others of that your position on that debate (whatever it is) is the correct one only leads to flamewars. (Same with high-carb/low carb eating patterns, too . . . just don't go there.)



I loved your cheap kettlebell . . . gotta visit my local machine shop and see what they'd charge to do that.

And, what are "shuffle splits"? (your Day 3)


David Wood
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Old 02-03-2003, 05:31 PM   #7
Mark Cain
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shuffle splits. if these are akin to what i sometimes do, then these mimic the side to side action of skating. your wear nylon slippers and slide side to side on what appears to be a crazy carpet ( plastic carpet ). 5 sets of 30-50 reps back to back being one rep.

As for HIT training- do whatever works for you. i have never suggested anyone to follow this particular style of training. my comment on it was in regards to it's origin. if this works for you then carry on. i am a more moderate set type of guy.
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