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

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Old 09-08-2005, 11:18 AM   #1
Troy Archie
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I, and I’m assuming the majority of people here are in the same situation, do the WOD alone most if not all of the time. It’s been said many times and I’ve experienced this myself that doing the WOD with a partner/group will increase your intensity tenfold. The competition and support of doing the WOD with others is, for the fortunate ones, what Crossfit is all about. The increase in intensity transfers into an increase in gains, which I think is the biggest secret and main component to Crossfit’s “Black Box”.

All that said, where does this land the Crossfitters doing the WOD in basements, garages, sheds and the available gyms, are we doomed to miss out on valuable gains through a loss of intensity due to lack of workout partners and community?

Lately I’ve been trying to take things to that “next level” with mixed results. Some day’s the WOD, and my entire workout session in general, is a masterpiece, others it’s a complete gong show. I try to keep the word "Intensity" in mind during the WOD but it’s easy to forget when you’re gasping for air or hitting muscular failure.

I’m really interested as to what others out there do to take things to the that next level and the improvements that they’ve seen while working out alone.
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Old 09-08-2005, 11:49 AM   #2
John Walsh
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I train alone and would do so if I lived right next to the CF Mothership. I prefer it. I have generally found training in groups to be distracting even with the added benefit of getting pushed by others on occasion. Pushing myself has never been an issue. Focus and training smart are my biggest weaknesses. With a family of 3 small children and a demanding job I get enough interaction with others thank you. My workout time is about the only alone time I get on a given day.
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Old 09-08-2005, 01:06 PM   #3
Russ Greene
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Intensity is overrated. Focus is where it's at.
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Old 09-08-2005, 01:13 PM   #4
Jesse Woody
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Ahhh, but focused intensity....

I enjoy working out with other people, but I don't think that it's absolutely essential. More important is the mentality to be able to push that extra bit when you don't have to answer to anyone other than yourself. For some people, the only way to get that last bit of effort is to remain accountable to other people, for others, it doesn't matter where they work out, they will give it 110%. Then there are others who want to do it half-assed no matter what the situation...we won't go into that, though... :uhoh:
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Old 09-08-2005, 01:51 PM   #5
Robert Wolf
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There is no comparison between training with a group of people, particularly at a CF facility and training on ones own. This is painfully clear as people show up for certifications and for perhaps the first time are subjected to a group of people who train at this level, not only of intensity but exceptional form/technique that comes from good coaching. CrossFit in a vacuum works wonders, CF amidst people who are your equal or better is a level beyond this.
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Old 09-08-2005, 03:30 PM   #6
Michael Ledney
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It really comes down to what you consider to be the "next level". For me it means getting good at what I'm worst at, and whether I benefit from a group setting or not depends on what the focus is right now.

When I first started CF I was insanely strong by traditional powerlifting measures, but didn't have a good grasp on functional bodyweight movments (handstands, ropeclimb, etc.) so I worked everyday on those things. In order to get to that "next level" I was very grateful to have my son there to coach/spot/assist me, but it wasn't competitive in nature. In fact, his "next level" goals were very different than mine at the time and he didn't really benefit from the communal nature of our training during that interval.

Currently my focus is on maximizing my <7 minute power output (goals include <5 minute Fran, 60 sec 400 meter, 6 min mile, bodyweight on barbell tabata cleans). In order to get to this "next level" I don't need the coaching or encouragement that I would receive by training communally. I just need to make myself do the additional work after I finish my WOD...

Someday (soon) I hope to become truly literate at the olymipic lifts. When that starts I plan to seek out a coach (per Robert's point above) who specializes in that sort of thing.

Frankly though, I don't know how I'd respond to CF in a group setting, and given the limited pool of potential training partners I'm not sure I'll ever know.
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Old 09-08-2005, 06:52 PM   #7
Michael Keller
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I'm pretty much in line with John's post. I've trained solo pretty much for the last 30 years, and have done a pretty decent job. Motivation and discipline have never been a problem for me, and I push myself as hard as I can without meeting Pukie. I would like to attend an occaisional seminar to pick up tips and tidbits, but generally prefer the solo route.
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Old 09-08-2005, 09:27 PM   #8
Ronnie Ashlock
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Speaking as a guy who, until recently, did it alone and recently began working out with a CF group (Brand X) and with a pal, I say, "Do both, if you can."

I'm not elite by any stretch, but I've found doing a WOD alone lets you focus as well as get intense. Doing it with others lets you get intense and competitive against real people and you learn new stuff, share in the pain, etc.
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Old 09-09-2005, 05:07 AM   #9
Larry Lindenman
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Robb is, as usual, right on. I train alone and for the last week have slowed, home, kids football, etc. Wouldn't get away with it in a group. Don't get me wrong, you could make amazing gains alone, just need to be disciplined.
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Old 09-09-2005, 10:48 AM   #10
Stephen Solano
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I trained in my garage until I joined Crossfit NorCal a few months back. The feedback on technique I learned are worth its weight. There is certainly a refreshing feeling training with others.

Sometimes I have to return to my garage to train due to long hours at work and kids. The personal training I receive from Robb, Nicki and Greg definitely carry over from Crossfit Norcal to my garage.
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