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

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Old 09-23-2009, 02:39 AM   #11
Amir Fazeli
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Re: high intensity exercise bad for you?

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Originally Posted by Jacob Cloud View Post
Amir, thanks for typing this, it's very helpful.

So does this back up some people's statements that it is better (I use the term loosely and am referring to general CF-type recreational athletes) to do some amount of LSD work before getting into heavy strength/anaerobic programs?

My concern is that, with no background in LSD training at all, and some amount of heavy lifting, I find it VERY hard/taxing to try and improve such simple aerobic things as my 1 mile time. Did I lift too much, too early?

Of course, I'm also fat and have a family history of heart problems, so who knows. But it's interesting reading.
I haven't personally heard anyone say this, i have always hated LSD type workouts and i prefer to do a killer crossfit type workout rather than a VO2max test, its just bloody boring. The heart (i.e. blood delivery) is not the only thing that limits or determines fatigue, there is also the issue of diffusion and saturation of oxygen (from your lungs into the blood stream and from the blood stream to the working muscle) as well as the ability of the muscle to take up this oxygen and be able to use it (through mitochondria). It is possible that every thing else is at full capacity and its the blood pumping ability of the heart that is your limiting factor...its a possibility...but its unlikely, assuming you don't have any major heart problems and so on -- and i assume you don't otherwise you wouldn't be doing crossfit.

The likely reason why you have a hard time is probably because of the extra fat cells you carry (which need blood and oxygen) as well as you not having the mitochondrial density in relation to your muscle mass to be able to handle the amount of oxygen being delivered to your muscle. You cannot utilise it and use it for energy and as such your 1 mile performance is not what you want it to be.

The good news is crossfit/tabata/interval type training is actually very efficient at improving mitochondrial density as well as many other things, which means you will see an improvement in it.
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:42 AM   #12
Lincoln Brigham
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Re: high intensity exercise bad for you?

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Does this mean that contracting your upper back muscles for posture's sake - moving the scapula back and down - is bad?
It means that holding it there all day long like a mummy is bad. Muscles are meant to contract and relax, contract and relax. The scapula is design for movement, not staying in one place. If you're not convinced, trying standing at attention for 2 hours and start cataloguing the pains that develop. Then mulitple that by all day, every day - chronic bracing - and you can start imagining the troubles that will ensue.

Chronic bracing is different than maintaining posture. Posture is muscle contraction with a purpose. Bracing is an overreaction of a stress stimulus, sort of like tensing the body for a punch that never comes.
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Old 09-23-2009, 11:11 AM   #13
Donald Lee
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Re: high intensity exercise bad for you?

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Originally Posted by Amir Fazeli View Post
I haven't personally heard anyone say this, i have always hated LSD type workouts and i prefer to do a killer crossfit type workout rather than a VO2max test, its just bloody boring. The heart (i.e. blood delivery) is not the only thing that limits or determines fatigue, there is also the issue of diffusion and saturation of oxygen (from your lungs into the blood stream and from the blood stream to the working muscle) as well as the ability of the muscle to take up this oxygen and be able to use it (through mitochondria). It is possible that every thing else is at full capacity and its the blood pumping ability of the heart that is your limiting factor...its a possibility...but its unlikely, assuming you don't have any major heart problems and so on -- and i assume you don't otherwise you wouldn't be doing crossfit.

The likely reason why you have a hard time is probably because of the extra fat cells you carry (which need blood and oxygen) as well as you not having the mitochondrial density in relation to your muscle mass to be able to handle the amount of oxygen being delivered to your muscle. You cannot utilise it and use it for energy and as such your 1 mile performance is not what you want it to be.

The good news is crossfit/tabata/interval type training is actually very efficient at improving mitochondrial density as well as many other things, which means you will see an improvement in it.
The heart is one of the main limiting factors to improving aerobic capacity and power. CrossFit-type interval training will not adequately cause eccentric hypertrophy of the heart in most individuals. Here's what Joel Jaimeson of www.8weeksout.com (WFS) had to say:

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Intervals are poor at stimulating increases in eccentric hypertrophy simply because of their nature and the limited volume you are able to achieve. In a beginner you'll see some increase, but that's about it. There is a member of this site who posted awhile back the results of LSD type cardio work on a variety of cardiac indicators as measured by an echocardiogram. After a 6 week block of this type of work there was a marked increase in stroke volume and chamber dilation and size.

Following that block, I then had him do another block of HIIT only training, using 1 minute intervals and resting to HR 130 with an increasing volume over the 6 weeks. At the end of this block, his stroke volume was significantly down and wall thickness had increased. Even I was surprised at how much his stroke volume decreased while doing HIIT and no LSD.

This may have only been one person, but combined with my own experiences over the years I've seen plenty of evidence that HIIT does not stimulate eccentric hypertrophy effectively at all. Also, as someone else pointed out, if your heart rate is staying in the 130-150 range throughout, I wouldn't consider this much of an interval because there are obviously only small changes in intensity.

Concentric hypertrophy is much more important in pure power type events, at least is more prevelent in higher pressure overload type activities. You need a certain level of both to be successful in MMA, but many fighters already get a lot of work that stimulates concentric overload through their training and lifting and have been led to believe by many they should stop doing any road work or longer slower work. This means that plenty will see a direct benefit in incorporating this type of work. No, you can't see much increase in both at the same time except at low levels of cardiac development.
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:08 PM   #14
Lincoln Brigham
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Re: high intensity exercise bad for you?

It is a misconception that most of the Crossfit workouts are interval workouts.

Interval workouts are usually defined as "work for X amount of time, rest for Y amount of time, repeat as necessary". Most of the Crossfit metcons do not fit that definition. From the heart's perspective, most of them are in fact steady state. The difference between Crossfit metcons and LSD workouts is that Crossfit metcons are shorter and more intense. LSD workouts stay below the lactate threshold; metcons are a bath in lactic acid.

In the August mainsite WOD's I found only two workouts that could truly be described as an interval workout - Aug. 13th. "Death By Pullups" and Aug. 9th "Tabata Something Else". The rest were either steady-state work or "rest as necessary".
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:49 PM   #15
Donald Lee
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Re: high intensity exercise bad for you?

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Originally Posted by Lincoln Brigham View Post
It is a misconception that most of the Crossfit workouts are interval workouts.

Interval workouts are usually defined as "work for X amount of time, rest for Y amount of time, repeat as necessary". Most of the Crossfit metcons do not fit that definition. From the heart's perspective, most of them are in fact steady state. The difference between Crossfit metcons and LSD workouts is that Crossfit metcons are shorter and more intense. LSD workouts stay below the lactate threshold; metcons are a bath in lactic acid.

In the August mainsite WOD's I found only two workouts that could truly be described as an interval workout - Aug. 13th. "Death By Pullups" and Aug. 9th "Tabata Something Else". The rest were either steady-state work or "rest as necessary".
That's true. Stroke volume usually tops out at about 40-60% of max heart rate though, so training to improve stroke volume is usually done near the aerobic threshold (usu. 130-150...lower end for untrained and higher end for trained individuals). Most CrossFit metcons are too intense to maximize eccentric hypertrophy of the heart.

Anyways, all the mixed signals CrossFit metcons sends the body doesn't maximize any gains, which is why I advocate the Link deleted. You must indicate if your links are Work and Family Safe.A similar model was espoused in Practical Programming in the Advanced section. It was called the building blocks model.

I'm not trying to bash CrossFit. I just disagree with it.

Last edited by Camille Lore : 09-24-2009 at 05:51 PM. Reason: WFS
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Old 09-23-2009, 07:10 PM   #16
Amir Fazeli
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Re: high intensity exercise bad for you?

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Originally Posted by Donald Lee View Post
The heart is one of the main limiting factors to improving aerobic capacity and power. CrossFit-type interval training will not adequately cause eccentric hypertrophy of the heart in most individuals. Here's what Joel Jaimeson of www.8weeksout.com (WFS) had to say:
I agree, and the simple reason is because the body is smart enough to adapt exactly how it needs to in order to perform what you want of it...key phrase 'wat you want of it', if you are doing lots of HIIT type training then you wont see as greater improvement in eccentric hypertrophy as concentric hypertrophy, for the simple fact that its not what is needed for the body's purposes.

And this is also why people chalk up the increase in VO2max after CF/HIIT type workouts to an improvement in the functioning of the cardiovascular system, when really its more due to enzymatic and local muscular adaptations.
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Old 09-24-2009, 05:47 PM   #17
Daniel Gam
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Re: high intensity exercise bad for you?

i would like to hear what people have to say in defense of crossfit and its ability to improve performance in longer time domains

a few of the die-hard crossfitters are pretty good runners (speal, OPT)
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Old 09-24-2009, 05:54 PM   #18
Jacob Cloud
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Re: high intensity exercise bad for you?

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a few of the die-hard crossfitters are pretty good runners (speal, OPT)

Those guys were great runners before coming to CF.
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Old 09-24-2009, 06:11 PM   #19
Donald Lee
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Re: high intensity exercise bad for you?

Gah. I didn't think you caught that, Camille.

http://www.ultimateathleteconcepts.c...surinbook.html

(WFS)

Last edited by Donald Lee : 09-24-2009 at 06:20 PM.
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