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

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Old 06-23-2006, 08:02 AM   #1
Hollis Petri
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in perusing posts it appears people replacing the middle WOD with a ME blackbox day get great results (For discussion purposes i'm also thinking of some other variations where people are replacing prescribed WODS with strength work). Given some of the testimonials it has me wondering if your goal is GPP, which is better: WOD's straight up, or a ME blackbox/xfit combo? I initially thought following WODS as prescribed would be better for GPP, ME BLACK Box/WOD Combo better for strength gains. But if people are actually achieving better results in the benchmark WODS and other tests by incorporating ME/Black box days then does it stand to reason that replacing WODS with ME/Black box days not only gives you better strength gains but also better GPP. Any thoughts on this?

Related to this: Some people add strength work at the end/beginning of WOD or add 1-2 strength workouts in addition to prescribed WODS. Again related to the goal of best GPP level you can achieve, any thoughts on those plans relative to WODS straight up.

I'm personally interested in best GPP. I'm wondering which variation would best get me that

Master Fence Sitter
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Old 06-23-2006, 08:50 AM   #2
Mark Gebhard
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Remember that Crossfit is about maximizing fitness in the 10 areas, with only one of them being max strength. For a lot of people, strength lags behind some of the other areas so focusing on it with ME days is a way to work on that weakness which will in turn improve WOD performance. If your main goal is GPP/WOD performance, identify your weaknesses and work extra on them.
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Old 06-23-2006, 10:19 AM   #3
Hollis Petri
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Weaknesses? I have no weaknesses...because I am equally weak in everything

Good point about working on your weaknesses and that being one of the reasons people have replaced WODS with strength work

However, (and I could be very wrong in my take on this) it seems like the ME Black Box and variations have possibly been advocated as an improvement to following the prescribed WODS in relation to getting quicker improvements/results and subsequently better GPP. Even if max strength isn't a weakness.
Again, I could be misinterrupting statements or connecting dots that aren't there

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Old 06-23-2006, 11:15 AM   #4
Martin Schap
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I wonder if what you're noticing has to do with recovery times. Perhaps some people who work the ME Black Box perform better on the hard met-con days that they actually do because they are better recovered. What I mean is that doing heavy OHS won't leave you tired in the same way that Fran will, so maybe taking the middle day off from the up-tempo stuff translates to a more well-rested athlete on the other two days.
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:29 AM   #5
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"I have no weaknesses...because I am equally weak in everything"

hollis, that is probably the wisest thing i've ever heard anyone say.
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:32 AM   #6
Josh Brehm
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My thoughts are, Coach designed crossfit, Coach is much wiser than I am, and probably most of the rest of us if not all of us, if he thought that doing a strength day every middle workout would give us better results than doing it the way we are now (seems like one strength day of some sort every week), then he would have changed the WOD format by now. Unless your specific goals are to move more weight, and that more important that the other 9 areas of fitness, then substitute a strength workout for one of the wods. If your goal is to become like the CF monsters who are great at everything, stick to the WODs as Rx, and just add in supplemental training in whatever area you're laggin in. Example; I suck at a lot of body weight exercises and at running (and metcon in general), so I'm doing more BW conditioning during the warm up, and when I feel like I should, I go for either a run or do some sprinting.
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:34 AM   #7
Chris Forbis
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That is EXACTLY how it works for me.
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Old 06-23-2006, 01:13 PM   #8
Russ Greene
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I believe these two things:

1. The only way to get fitter is to improve at your weaknesses.
2. You improve at what you repeatedly do.

So if you want to get fitter you have to do more of whatever it is you're not good at. For me that means lots of back squats and overhead work. Alternatively, for my training partner Jacob Tsypkin, that means deadlifts, cleans, and metabolic conditioning. Though we work out together on practically the same schedule, he does more pulling and metcon; I do more heavy squats, push presses, and jerks. We are using different paths to get to the same destination.

I have never religiously followed the WOD's, so I am certainly not an expert on the ME Black Box vs. WOD dilemma, but I would say that the ME black box would be great for someone like a former triathlete or distance runner. It would not be as good for a guy with a background in football, powerlifting, or weightlifting. For someone who is proportionately developed in power and endurance, maybe following the WOD plus some extra weightlifting and gymnastics practice before the WOD or in a separate workout at another point in the day would be the best idea. I don't think there is one right answer here. Find out what works best for you, and do that.

(Message edited by sinai16 on June 23, 2006)
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Old 06-23-2006, 01:41 PM   #9
Jesse Woody
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Keep in mind that the WOD has followed this pattern pretty closely over the last few months with at least 1 if not 3 ME workouts per week. The fact is, Crossfit is an evolving program, and as more people start to see positive results with some random, one-lift-a-day strength workouts thrown in, the program will most-likely evolve to reflect that.
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Old 06-23-2006, 02:40 PM   #10
Robert Wolf
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One thing is certain, you need strength first to build strength endurance. What is less certain is how to do this. The Burgner WOD? ME/BB? CF-WOD? WestSide BB for 5 months? I think some planning on the strength work is important for optimum progress. Randomization is just the ticket for metabolic conditioning but strength development seems to require a bit of planning and structure.
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