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

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Old 11-04-2005, 11:28 PM   #21
Skip Chase
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Interesting thread. I want to comment regarding the statement, "CrossFit is a great fitness program, especially if you are a young competitive athlete."
I am a 53 year old athlete. I found CrossFit 3 months ago. I am thankful that I was quickly able to jump into the WOD within only a week. I adjusted the load and I have been doing the 3 on 1 off regimen.
After training/coaching athletes for nearly 30 years, and after only 2 hours touring CrossFit.com, I realized this was the knowledge I've always wanted to gain.
I played ice hockey 14 years; 5 years in the US Army (82nd Airborne Div, 1st Special Forces Group (Abn) 1st Special Forces); football 12 years to include 2 years semi-pro and a tryout with the Seattle Seahawks; 35 years karate (Isshinryu),8 years soccer; 20+ years breaking and training horses and riding bulls. I hold a world record for performing sit-ups.
My point is not to bring glory to myself, but to say, each of these endeavors was during a different age and period in my life. My experience and wisdom tells me CF would have allowed me to be a better soldier, athlete, rodeo hand and martial artist, regardless of my age. During the past 3 months, my body and mind have embarked on a huge transition, thanks to Coach and his gracious desire to share his knowledge and experience with me, and anyone for free. I am 53, and I am an athlete. CF has afforded me the desire and ability to set new goals.
I went to the September cert and began training my existing personal training clients the 'CF way' upon my return. I am happy to say I have gained, via 'word of mouth', 26 new clients during the past 3 weeks. These new clients range in age from 14 to 61. I guess I will classify each as a young competitive athlete.
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Old 11-05-2005, 10:11 AM   #22
Larry Lindenman
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I'll tell you one thing, John can really bring it! You don't waste words and your posts start the most intresting discussions. If this post came from anyone else, I would be in attack mode, but...you've got the creds. Personally, I need the met con for my job. Prior to starting CF (over two years ago) I bought into the "cardio is for sissies" concept. Mostly because my met con sucked and I hated doing any type of metabolic conditioning. It was hard work and, frankly, I kind of liked doing bench, squats, DL, etc. at low reps with three minutes of rest in between. Prior to starting CF my sister-in-law's boyfriend remarked: "have you been powerlifting" I reply "why yes I have!" he retorts: "ya, your looking more like a powerlifter." Thinking about this I realized he was commenting about my expanding waistline, a shaved head would have completed the image. But I had some good max lifts! I then started CF and suffered for three months, quit, came back and have been doing 3 on 1 off for 2 years (2 years, 2 months to be exact). I lost poundage off of my lifts and beat myself mentally, then realized 15-20 pounds on my bench, squat, or deadlift numbers really don't mean anything in the real world. My metcon has direct transfer to the "field". Whether it's the "hood" or my martial arts teaching or training. I am not going to run into a hood rat who challanges me to a bench press contest, most of these guys couldn't press 100 lbs. I will have to chase after someone, take them down, handcuff them, and then not appear weak in front of his buddies. For ME CF has direct transfer to the field. If my only concern was "health" or "fitness" I may have tinkered with the CF workouts or not had the will to push as hard as I do, but I see real life benifits. This said, I think I am going to start a cycle of ME black box, over the winter, to increase max numbers in the O and powerlifts, hoping this will later translate into better WOD numbers. I have also given up the notion that I could match the preformances of the Crossfit elite, heck I'm going to be 43 (November 21st). But, I could still post decent numbers. So far, I have had very few injuries (little tweeks here or there) and have not been sick. I also continue to do half volume weeks, every three weeks, and I take a week off every 12 weeks...this helps. For me John, I've worked way to hard to get to this level of metcon, I would be afraid (yes, afraid) to switch programs, lose my metcon, have to suffer to get it back to the level I'm at now. I would say two CF metcon workouts a week would probably maintain conditioning levels (at least that would be my advise).
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Old 11-05-2005, 12:01 PM   #23
Frank C Ollis
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John,

First:
I am a pretty simple guy. I don't insinuate anything. If I thought you were a moron, I would ignore you like i do the rest, or just tell you I thought that.

Second:
As I closed before, We each choose our own path, means exactly that. I do training outside the CrossFit methodology, but CF remains my base. Between competition grappling and MMA, teaching both, and coaching a state champion level youth wrestling team, I have learned to test before I jest. I like many of Pavels ideas, if not the marketing.

In short, no matter if you stay with us, or leave us, I wish you well. There are entirely to many people in this country who need convincing to do any kind of training, for us to square off about methods of training.
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Old 11-05-2005, 10:38 PM   #24
Tim Morrison
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Hi John
My experiences somewhat mirrored yours after about 8 months of straight wod's.. a progression to ultra low energy and finally wretched flu....despite solid nutritional intake.
Crossfit offers me everything I need to shore up weaknesses and the variety is SUCH a respite from years of static programming.
The only thing that doesn't really vary is intensity level (of course it's ultra high 95
% of the time )which is cool given every 3rd day being a rest day. but.... and this is the caveat for me... the intensities lie predominantly in the glycolytic or anaerobic-endurance energy zone which even with the rest days can lead to severe CNS and depletion within that energy system.
It's basically lactate tolerance style work done 4 times a week which'd be the eventual "death" of even the most competitive pro athlete out there (in my humble opinion)
Interestingly, alactic (or bouts of work lasting 15sec or less with active rest of :45 or so) like sprint training or,say 10x[3 fast C&J's @80% max] on the minute offer a 'relative' recovery from the glycolytic stuff while providing much of the same power and metabolic stimulus.
I have since been been doing training cycles where I limit gonzo-style glycolytic work to once every 3 days along with either 1.alactic power type sprinting/plyometrics/ or alactic weight session stuff (like the C&J stuff I alluded to)with 2.Pure strength/powerlifting sessions 3.and/ or longer duration 'threshold' sessions like high rep bodyweight calisthenic chippers coupled with extensive rowing/ running or swimming.
Limiting the harder core anaerobic endurance has improved performance and energy across the board for me.
Hope this helps

(Message edited by rockky on November 05, 2005)

(Message edited by rockky on November 05, 2005)
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Old 11-06-2005, 07:46 PM   #25
Mike Yukish
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I was exhausted after just about every workout. Not coincidentally I was sick frequently with colds.

Say some more about this. Did the WOD leave you wiped out for the day? Like you had the "low energy light" flashing?

I've been at it for almost two years now (2 in December) and while one of the 20 minute WODs for time leave me wiped out, eating post-workout usually does the trick. In fact, if I don't work out, I feel worse.

But I've lost no weight over the two years, and even snuck on a few. So I've never been operating at an energy deficit. I've also never hit the barf limit, just danced around it. Maybe I'm not trying hard enough.

I compromised form for time frequently.
I was racked with soft tissue injuries by the end of the year.


This has been my downfall with regards to Oly lifts, having fried my back once. It wasn't the lifts, it was the post-workout work I did. I have to take excruciating care, resetting after each rep. It hurts my times. Then I am careful the rest of the day not to pick something up wrong. So I feel your pain on them.

I am curious about the exhaustion aspect.
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Old 11-07-2005, 08:06 AM   #26
John Walsh
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Frank and Travis: Sorry about getting my panties in a bunch. No hard feelings.

Rugby players: No offense intended. For the record I find rugby more interesting to watch these days and think that on an international level rugby players are generally better athletes that NFL football players. I haven’t watched more than a dozen NFL games in the last 10 years. Too many time outs, commercial, injuries, play-by-play analysis, personalities, shucking and jiving, ad nausea.

Fellow CF-er and fellow Irishman Brian Mulvaney really hit the nail on the head with the comment about the all or nothing nature of the Irishman although it’s hardly solely endemic to our race. I think more than a few of us have the opposite problem that most casual exercisers do. We always go balls to the wall. I’m sure I’m not the only one here that would prefer a slow and painful death to reading a magazine on the elliptical machine while listening to bubble gum music.

One thing my training journal consistently reveals is a penchant to train of “off days” and to rest 10 minutes after the WOD and then do another workout. I know some can do this with no impunity but at this stage of the game for me I can’t. So in essence I wasn’t really doing the WOD as Rxed.


I want to thank everyone for their excellent feedback. I can always count on straight shooting insights from CF-ers even though it isn’t always what I want to hear. I just finished a 6 week cycle of Pavel’s PTP using the deadlift and side press as my exercise. I found it therapeutic and it really got me focused on high tension and form. Today may be a good segue way to get back into the WOD. Squat seven times and then call it quits.

Here are some things I have learned from the feedback.

1.A day off means a day off. This does not mean I do a 10 round heavy bag/rope routine or a PL routine.

2.Some planned time off or a scale back week needs to be incorporated.

3.Form counts. The guy that taught me how to PL and OLY lift always said that when training it’s not how much you lift but how you lift it that counts.

4.High rep multi joint movements will have to be done with dumbbells, with lighter weight or for less reps. I will have to reset after every rep so as to not compromise form.

5.Cut off time of 20 minutes must be adhered to.

6.Restoration and rest is part of the program. It’s just as if not more important than the training.

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Old 11-07-2005, 10:08 AM   #27
Eric Moffit
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way to go, John. ive really enjoyed reading about your trials here. im also happy to see your conclusions. your journey just reaffirms some of the core tenets of the CrossFit philosophy that dont get stressed enough (namely, 'REST for crying out loud'), especially with the hardcore audience CF seems to attract.

recently, ive also rediscovered the value/necessity of rest. when you go, hit it hard and then leave it. you get in, then you get out...no screwing around. also, you might try working out in the morning prior to breakfast then eat a little while after you workout. this way you have all day to start the recovery process and then the night to tie up loose ends. i feel so much better day-to-day when i do this. and rest days are definitely rest days...not go crazy with whatever you want days. also, on really rough days, ill have a go at contrast therapy in the shower...start hot for a few minutes, cold for 1-2, hot for a few, cold again, then hot. i dont know if its just mental, but this seems to work for those extra tough WODs.

keep on keepin on!

(Message edited by ediddy on November 07, 2005)
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Old 11-07-2005, 11:09 AM   #28
Bert Brams
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John,

It looks like you picked up some great insights from the responses that given.

Especially the rest time. I take 3 days off every 6 weeks or so, and I take it easy in general for the remaindor of the week.

For the rest try to stay "playfully" active ... a little swimming, a little dancing ... just for fun.

I use the contrast showers Eric described her as well, and they really help.

Also, naps whenever I have the time help a lot too. When I'm travelling or in a waiting room, I try to get as much shut-eye as I can.

Get some rest first, and go by how motivated you feel from there on out.

When in doubt, sleep !
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Old 11-07-2005, 12:13 PM   #29
William Hunter
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Bert,
I don't know John personally, but we have at least one thing in common: Three small children.

Naps? Extra sleep? I've heard about these things. I didn't think they were real.

John, good luck working it out.
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Old 11-07-2005, 03:49 PM   #30
Bert Brams
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William,

I feel for you and wish you the best trying to balance your life around your children. It's a mere reminder.

Often times, people simply forget to think about themselves and their health when they're always running about trying to do things for others or accomplishing goals.



(Message edited by gatts on November 07, 2005)
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