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

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Old 02-26-2011, 05:19 PM   #21
Matt Payne
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Re: Any main pagers left?

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Originally Posted by Andrew Breyer View Post
He does. http://sstrains.blogspot.com

I've borrowed some programming from it myself.
ah.......so now it all makes sense..
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Old 02-26-2011, 05:20 PM   #22
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Any main pagers left?

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Originally Posted by Shane Skowron View Post
I would be curious to know why anyone would still bother following the main page even if your goal is general physical preparedness without entering any competitions. I guess my question is, do people think it's the best program or even an adequate program for that purpose?
Well I don't follow pure main page. I do 4 days of stength work, with 3-4 WODs a week from the main page. I usually don't do their strength WODs unless it is a movement I don't usually use.

What drew me to CF was the variety, athletic spin and wide range of skills developed. In my mind, if main page can get me to do all the WODs as RX'd, I'd be a pretty happy camper.

In a later post, Shane compares mainsite vs. a strength/conditioning program. I think the big difference for the 2 that benefits the main page is that it works the Metcon, and this is only from personal experience, but I feel the Metcon conditions me in ways beyond interval or any other CV training (this could be my lack of experience). Is this benefit outweighed by the injury rate? Depends on what the injury rate is? Does anyone have any clear data/knowledge on the injury rate?

I would say some of the mainsite WODs are riskier than a basic strength program coupled with interval and CV work. But, I think the risk is minimized by proper scaling. Could a potential higher injury rate be due to scaling issues?

I also feel the variety offered by main page helps develops a lot of skills most strength/conditioning programs do not do. Prior to CF, I did strength work with some endurance and interval training. Never did I do HSPUs, Oly Lifts, rope climbs or jumps or ring work. I clearly got a benefit from CF by being exposed to those things. So the question is what is the best way to develop those skills? Can you have a more regular strength/conditioning program that encopasses all of those skills? I think the more variety you add the more you'll look like Main Page.

Say a program like:
Day 1 Olympic Work
Day 2 CV/Endurance Work or intervals
Day 4 Upper Body weights and Gymnastic Work
Day 5 Lower Body Weights and a metcon
Day 6 Recovery vs. CV work

If you keep all of the exercises the same then things will be easily measured. But if you want to do a variety of work it will take much more time to get clear measurements but will hit a lot more areas. Variety meaning one week your gymnastic work is Cindy, then the next week its working MUs etc. Once again the more variety the more you look like MainPage with Strength work.

Let me add, one of the other reasons I follow main page is my lack of programming experience outside of basic strenght training.
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Old 02-26-2011, 05:41 PM   #23
Ted Apollo
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Re: Any main pagers left?

i think main site is good to use for many people that are novices and need the programming. and another good reason, as mentioned earlier, is that it forces people to work on weaknesses.

but i do agree with shane that a hybrid program is much more effective for GPP. and i also agree with robert that metcons are key.

right now i am training more for triathlon season so my typical schedule is like this:

m - squat&press, short metcon, interval run
t - bike
w - deadlift or clean, row
th - bike
f - squat&press, short metcon, interval run
sa - long bike or run or brick
s - rest
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:24 PM   #24
Robert D Taylor Jr
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Re: Any main pagers left?

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Originally Posted by Shane Skowron View Post
At present there is no way to quantitatively define GPP. Well, if you want to say "The Crossfit Games measure GPP" then fine, except then you have to admit that Main page alone doesn't come close to preparing one to do well at the Games.

It's hard to be "generally physically prepared" when you're injured. And unfortunately I think the injury rate has gone up significantly recently as a result of haphazard programming. Every program runs a risk of injury but I think the injury rate is greater than normal.

I think a lot of exercises have very little benefit for making one generally prepared for a life task or an athletic task. I'm not sure how racing to do a bunch of thrusters makes anyone more generally prepared for a random life task than consistently adding weight to a squat and dropping time off a 800m dash would. The truth is that someone who can squat and press a lot and has solid cardiovascular endurance is going to be able to do a lot of random stuff like racing to do thrusters. On the other hand, someone who can do a lot of thrusters isn't necessarily going to have a great squat/press or 800m dash time. In other words, the cost/benefit ratio of doing certain exercises seems to necessitate eliminating a ton of things and focusing only on the basics, in my opinion.



A program that involves only squat, press, deadlift, snatch, pullups, running, and rowing would be entirely adequate for the average person to develop athletic skills, remain healthy, look good, have fun, and be prepared for most all life tasks one would expect to have to do.

Squat, press, deadlift for strength and flexibility. Snatch for power and tangentially flexibility, coordination, accuracy, and balance. Pullups for muscular endurance. Running for speed and cardiovascular endurance. Rowing for cardiovascular endurance.

I'm not sure the best way to break it up, but it could easily fit into a busy person's schedule just like a standard CF main page program would.

Just some thoughts off the top of my head:

Day 1 - Sn, Sq, Pr, short run ints or sprints
Day 3 - Dl, rowing short easy ints
Day 5 - Sn, Sq, pullups
Day 7 - middle/long distance run or row

The good thing about that type of program is that you can modulate the weight, make progressions, notice patterns over time, and you won't end up being unusually sore on any given day if done properly.



So instead of attempting to program for yourself, you would instead do something that attempts to program for everyone in the world? Hmm.

Shane,

I don't really disagree with you, but there is a conditioning benefit to mixing modalities. Not every time all the time, but still. And with a broader mix of movements, (maybe not constantly varied, maybe periodized) you aleviate boredom and perhaps avoid overuse injuries.

Your exercise choices,generally neglect gymnastics progressions, and calisthenics.
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:37 PM   #25
Troy Becker
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Re: Any main pagers left?

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Originally Posted by Shane Skowron View Post

So instead of attempting to program for yourself, you would instead do something that attempts to program for everyone in the world? Hmm.
Don't ask me, I don't follow main page. But, you can't deny that doing so and scaling properly according to the individual is a really good workout. Better than walking on a treadmill or lifting your 5lb weights for "toning" purposes.
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:16 PM   #26
Shane Skowron
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Re: Any main pagers left?

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Originally Posted by Troy Becker View Post
Don't ask me, I don't follow main page. But, you can't deny that doing so and scaling properly according to the individual is a really good workout. Better than walking on a treadmill or lifting your 5lb weights for "toning" purposes.
I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert D Taylor Jr View Post
Shane,

I don't really disagree with you, but there is a conditioning benefit to mixing modalities. Not every time all the time, but still. And with a broader mix of movements, (maybe not constantly varied, maybe periodized) you aleviate boredom and perhaps avoid overuse injuries.

Your exercise choices,generally neglect gymnastics progressions, and
calisthenics.
I agree, but maybe once a week.

Yes I neglected gymnastics progressions, but my thought is that if you get good enough at press and pullups (reps + strength) relative to your bodyweight, you'll have the strength to do most any basic gymnastics task you would encounter in a random situation.

I like calisthenics, but I'm not sure how much benefit they would give to a person who already is training the squat, deadlift, and press. and developing their strength-to-bodyweight ratio. I think high-rep pullups are a valuable calisthenics movement because sustained bicep flexion is valuable for general physical preparedness (like carrying groceries).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Payne View Post
Shane, maybe you should start you own website with your programming and see how many people follow it? Just a suggestion. I still think CF is good GPP but sure there are other ways to program. And let's be honest how many people even care about the games
I'll admit I don't have the credentials to train people at the moment. I do have a blog but I don't consider it general physical preparedness (even though I do cover a lot of what I mentioned).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Fabsik View Post
In a later post, Shane compares mainsite vs. a strength/conditioning program. I think the big difference for the 2 that benefits the main page is that it works the Metcon, and this is only from personal experience, but I feel the Metcon conditions me in ways beyond interval or any other CV training (this could be my lack of experience).

...

If you keep all of the exercises the same then things will be easily measured. But if you want to do a variety of work it will take much more time to get clear measurements but will hit a lot more areas. Variety meaning one week your gymnastic work is Cindy, then the next week its working MUs etc. Once again the more variety the more you look like MainPage with Strength work.

I, too, once thought that metcons were a superior form of conditioning. I'm not bashing them. But I don't feel they should be the base of a general physical preparedness program. The reason they feel like a deeper sense of conditioning is that it really knock out the CNS in more ways than one (e.g. hitting failure on 2 different exercises in a couplet). Going to failure so often usually leaves people sore (very bad for future training) and increases risk of injury.

Furthermore, the point I was trying to make is that if you have superior muscular endurance, strength, and aerobic conditioning, you don't need to train metcons in order to be able to perform well at them. For example, increasing your snatch to 150kg and also being able to do 8x800m repeats at 2:15 means you will dominate most any metcon that involves snatching, deadlifting, squatting, running, etc. On the other hand, you can do all the metcons in the world that involve the aforementioned things and the chances of you being able to do the two achievements I've mentioned without specific training are basically zero.

So I understand people disagree with this, but that's why I don't think metcons are the key to GPP.
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:10 PM   #27
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Any main pagers left?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane Skowron View Post
I agree.


I, too, once thought that metcons were a superior form of conditioning. I'm not bashing them. But I don't feel they should be the base of a general physical preparedness program. The reason they feel like a deeper sense of conditioning is that it really knock out the CNS in more ways than one (e.g. hitting failure on 2 different exercises in a couplet). Going to failure so often usually leaves people sore (very bad for future training) and increases risk of injury.

Furthermore, the point I was trying to make is that if you have superior muscular endurance, strength, and aerobic conditioning, you don't need to train metcons in order to be able to perform well at them. For example, increasing your snatch to 150kg and also being able to do 8x800m repeats at 2:15 means you will dominate most any metcon that involves snatching, deadlifting, squatting, running, etc. On the other hand, you can do all the metcons in the world that involve the aforementioned things and the chances of you being able to do the two achievements I've mentioned without specific training are basically zero.

So I understand people disagree with this, but that's why I don't think metcons are the key to GPP.
I wouldn't say I disagree with you--more that I don't objectively know the right answer or most effiicient answer.

My own training experiences lean toward the value of the metcon over a more traditional strength training/conditioning model. Prior to my exposure to CF, my training would be strength workouts coupled with some CV stuff and lots of interval training. When I gave CF a try, I couldn't do a lot of the stuff (metcons, skill work). I still can't do all of it, but I can do a lot more now and handle the metcons much better.

I've come back to metcon style workouts through various modalities (old school HIT workouts, odd object/dinosaur training, 20 rep squats) over the year and they seem to add an additional gear to ones training regimen that I haven't gotten just by strength and conditioning work. I feel the more traditional conditioning work is great for the particular modality and transfers to some extent but not as well as the metcon, but maybe I'm just addicted to the intensity of the metcon.

I think the injury concern is a good question to ask, has it been supported?

My guess is most of us feel CF needs a more regular strength program. So then what would get us the best GPP? CF + strength program or Strength program + conditioning (CV and interval stuff on various modalities)? Which one would be more helpful on the streets as a cop or fireman? Which would do more good on the battlefield or the field of competition?

Another way to look at this, is does CF train from the middle and a Strength/Conditioning program trains from two extremes that averages in the middle? In another words how many people can be superheavy weight powerlifters and competitive marathoners?
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:48 PM   #28
Jared Ashley
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Re: Any main pagers left?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Fabsik View Post
My guess is most of us feel CF needs a more regular strength program. So then what would get us the best GPP? CF + strength program or Strength program + conditioning (CV and interval stuff on various modalities)? Which one would be more helpful on the streets as a cop or fireman? Which would do more good on the battlefield or the field of competition?
I don't think metcon is any more "intense" than other forms of CV. In fact, in a lot of heavier metcons I can't push nearly as hard as in a simple sprint or a bunch of burpees.

What metcon provides that strength training does not and traditional CV excercise also does not is muscular endurance and the ability to utilize one's strength for an extended period when exhausted.

I think an "ideal" GPP program actually has a balance of all three... metcons, strength training, and cardio. The strength training and the cardio develop capacity, and the metcons force you to use that capacity in different and unexpected ways. I agree with shane that main page places too much emphasis on the metcons, and often makes them too long with too many reps, to the detriment of strength training especially.

with all of that said, for those who are poor programmers (which is a LOT of people) who have general fitness goals and modest strength goals, I think main-page CF, scaled as appropriate, is a solid program and will make them feel better, perform better, and look better than just about any other "out of the box" program out there.
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:21 AM   #29
Sebastian B. Vaneria
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Re: Any main pagers left?

One aspect of following Main Page we might be overlooking is that it's incredibly fun. I've been following my affiliate's programming for about a year now, but nothing compares to that first year-and-a-half of CrossFit where I couldn't fall asleep until the workout was posted each night. It was basically like Christmas Eve every night. It was cool to feel like I was part of a bigger movement throughout the world following Main Page. I used to rush home and post my score on the Comments section. There were no expectations back then for me -- each day was a new challenge and, often times, new movements.

I believe that a program must be tailored towards an individual's specific needs to be truly effective. That applies to affiliate programming, too. That being said, following Main Page will get you in fantastic shape and will provide you with a solid base for future CrossFit endeavors.
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:54 AM   #30
David Meverden
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Re: Any main pagers left?

You becoming a hater Shane? You have good points but I think your personal preferences and biases are also causing you to too quickly dismiss a type of training you've moved away from.

First is this position that every day joe's can get enough out of their training without anything crazy in there. You said:
Quote:
A program that involves only squat, press, deadlift, snatch, pullups, running, and rowing would be entirely adequate for the average person to develop athletic skills, remain healthy, look good, have fun, and be prepared for most all life tasks one would expect to have to do.
This is, of course, true. Unfortunately, exactly the same argument can be made for CF, and metcons in particular. Isn't the following statement just as true as yours?
Quote:
A program that involves mostly CF style metcons would be entirely adequate for the average person to develop athletic skills, remain healthy, look good, have fun, and be prepared for most all life tasks one would expect to have to do.

Of course it is. Deadlifts and thrusters in a metcon will build enough strength for almost any normal everyday task. I love being strong, but I would be kidding myself if I didn't realize that my 375# backsquat is more than I need for almost any situation I will come across. And if both types of workouts will be "enough" for every day life, I might argue for the type of workout that will take far less time, since it works many fitness attributes at once: The metcon.

But aside from the "both are good enough" line of thinking it's important to bring up that, ultimately, if you want to perform very well in as many kinds of situations as possible you can't completely ignore major physical attributes the way your proposed stripped down training system ignores muscle endurance. Being a specialists in 2 things (strength and running) still makes you a specialist, and it's easy to think of situations where, I think, being a strength and running specialist wouldn't suit you as well as being a CF style generalist (CF/metcon specialist? The branding is beside the point). I'm thinking anything that lasts a long time that doesn't involve running: laying bricks, chopping wood and hauling lumber. Or any task that involves upper or lower body endurance: surfing, kayaking, etc.

And finally, let's stop being hypothetical here. I can give you an example of someone who trained almost exactly the way you describe. A while back a guy named Joe Cebulski way experimenting with CF. He was a very high level decathlete. He retired from the decathlon in 2008 and his personal best was 4:29 in the mile run and a 49 sec 400m run while being DAMN strong. He had this to say about his CF workouts:
"I have trained for over a decade to produce maximal force over a short period of time. Now, in my daily CF workouts, I am asked to produce and maintain it for long durations. Its been brutal...and FUN!!! I have a personal best in the clean of 325lbs set in 2008...but last week I got my !@# handed to me by 15 155lb squat cleans! Completely different energy system. But in the 500M row, I do quite well as it replicates a 400M run quite well. "
So, is he going to do well in metcons? Sure. Did he dominate them without doing them at all? Certainly not.
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