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

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Old 05-03-2007, 04:40 PM   #1
Emily Mattes
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With the next couple of months off from school and no other major commitments it looks like I can finally spend as much time working out as I have ever wanted to. But how? I've done triathlons and have done four-hour endurance cardio monstrosities before. But I want to add more of everything. How do I bulk up a comprehensive workout without risking overtraining or injury? And is this just a dumb idea?

My current exercise program has been limited to maybe an hour or an hour-and-a-half a day, with a day or two of rest per week. I do maybe an hour of bodyweight exercises (now switched out for CrossFit, which takes less time), and then about a half-hour of interval training or other cardio. Other days I do capoeira. I've added extra endurance cardio at times without complications.

I was thinking I could use the extra time to add some serious flexibility training, more "endurance" cardio, practice capoeira every day, skill training, and possibly doing bodyweight exercises and CrossFit instead of one or the other.

Maybe this to start:
Stretching: 20-30 minutes
Capoeira: 30 minutes
Bodyweight/Crossfit: 30 minutes
Skills: 30 minutes
15 minutes: Interval training
30-45 minutes: Endurance cardio

Is that too much? How should I switch things up? How quickly (or slowly) should I increase workout length? Should I be splitting this into twice-a-day workouts? At what point does the extra time not do anything--or even make things worse?

Pertinent info: I'm in my early 20s, build endurance, strength and stamina easily but need to work on flexibility, power, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. I am in reasonable, but not awesome shape. I'm trying to cut about 15 or 20 pounds of fat.

I know fitness is a life-long endeavour and don't see this opportunity as a shortcut or quick fix. I am only looking to reach the balance of maximum input for maximum output. I am willing to abandon this plan and continue on with my normal program if wiser men than me think this will inevitably end in disaster.
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Old 05-03-2007, 05:41 PM   #2
John McBrien
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In my opinion CrossFit should be enough to help you achieve your goals of improved "flexibility, power, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy." If you read the free CF Journal entitled "What is fitness?" you will notice that CF encompasses the General Physical Skills you want to improve.

I personally think that if you do a metcon WOD to full intensity you won't want to do any additional cardio work because you'll be plenty spent already. CF will provide you the "comprehensive workout" you are looking for by giving you better General Physical Preparedness.
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Old 05-03-2007, 07:02 PM   #3
Jason Lopez-Ota
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Save the static stretching for after your workout. Try Chelsea and see if you can do interval training after that workout. Chelsea's a 30 min workout.
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Old 05-03-2007, 07:05 PM   #4
Luke Hope
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If I were you I'd take up a grappling martial art like Brazillian Jiu Jitsu / Judo / Aikido. I say grappling art because all the moves are done under resistance from your training partner. Aikido may seem like the odd one out, I guess you need to find the right club to get people who will train with intensity. These will train towards your goals. If you can get a monthly training pass, you could turn up every (other) day. I do aikido 3-4 times a week, bike a bit, and do the WODs. I believe aikido hits all your goals.

So my suggestion is to just do a grappling martial art in addition to the crossfit stuff. You'll have to be careful not to overtrain, though.

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Old 05-03-2007, 07:19 PM   #5
Steven Low
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Losing fat or gaining muscle mass is pretty much 85-95% a diet thing. So get that in order if you want to lose pounds.

As for other stuff.. picking a few goals would probably be a good idea. "Getting fit" or "gaining strength and endurance" aren't goals. Things that are attainable like I want to be able to do 20 pullups in a row or maybe a sub 10 minute Fran are goals. Goals help to drive your workouts and push your performance.

Few things though:

1. Stretching does not need to be long at all as long as you warm up your muscles. Static stretching beforehand is a no-no so there's no reason you should be taking probably more than 10 minutes for it in the beginning.

2. Skill work/gymnastics/capo should be performed directly afterwards of warmup so that you are at full energy to learn the skills. Training degrades when you are tired and it's less efficient neuromuscularly..

3. Metcon, intervals and endurance cardio is way too much. I feel that endurance cardio is pretty much worthless since you can get pretty good endurance adaptations from HIIT and/or metcon but that's my preference. Generally if you're doing HIIT you don't *need* intervals, but they can be a nice addition. You probably don't want to be doing all of this in one day though, heh. If you're relatively newer to CF I would probably start with just CF metcon and then work up to adding HIIT or endurance running to it.

4. Twice a day workouts can be done assuming fatigue is managed correctly. Generally, any type of strength training should be first if you are going to train that and it should be not-to-failure. The second workout usually consists of either strength or metcon and depending on the schedule it can be to failure. It really depends on your level of strength and conditioning as well as diet and sleep going into a program if you will hit an overreaching/overtraining state quickly.
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Old 05-03-2007, 07:28 PM   #6
Damon Stewart
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Why not play a sport? BJJ is great, as is kickboxing or other contact martial arts. For me it's a lot more fun to train for something rather than to just train.
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Old 05-03-2007, 07:36 PM   #7
Russell Greene
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More doesn't equal better.

How much can you deadlift, squat, snatch, and clean and jerk?

What's you 800m run time?
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Old 05-04-2007, 02:21 AM   #8
Pat McIlvain
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I agree with Damon, pick up a sport. if you're going to have excess free time that will fill it, and training for a sport v. training for the hell of it is different. you'll find that you will train harder with an outlet for the training, and feel a greater sense of accomplishment with a constant application of the training.
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Old 05-04-2007, 08:18 AM   #9
Dennis Martin
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if you look through the 'world-class fitness in 100 words' article on the side of the videos page (i think *_*) it says to "eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat." you're wanting to lose 15-20# fat, but as mentioned before, it'll mostly be affected by your diet. i don't know if this is your first time trying to cut weight but if you find it difficult, remember that a pound of fat is a solid 3500kcal, and cutting out things like sugar will not give it a reason to stick around.
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:10 AM   #10
Roger Harrell
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There is a reason CF workouts are pretty short and brutish. In order to keep going for an excessively long workout you would need to pace and go slower. At the slower pace the workout would not be as effective.
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