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

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Old 02-18-2007, 03:16 PM   #1
Darrell E. White
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In the original discussions of the CFT some folks wondered whether pull-ups should be included, and follow-up conversations included thoughts on measuring other types of fitness gains in a manner that complements the CFT strength measurement. We think about our 1RM for the CFT exercises as well as other strength exercises like cleans, snatch, OH Squat, and front squat. We also think about the maximum NUMBER of reps on other exercises, in particular the bodyweight exercises. While there are certainly others, the bodyweight exercises that come up over and over again are pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, and squats, in all sorts of combinations.

The maximum number of reps one can do of a specific exercise is dependent on basic strength, to be sure, but also on muscle endurance. How many reps you can do before you fail has an impact on countless met-con WOD's. "Angie" and the Tabata twins "Tabata This" and "Tabata Something Else" are good examples of WOD's that require muscle endurance, and an athlete with a high max rep on the required exercises is likely to have a better score.

So I suggest that a second measure of fitness in CF (a companion to strength) is muscle endurance. This could be tested by examining how many reps you can do of each of the basic bodyweight exercises. I float the idea of a companion to the CFT, perhaps called the CFBMax, using the format of "Angie" or "Tabata Something Else":

One round of each of the following for max reps:
Pull-up
Push-up
Sit-up
Squat
Do each exercise to failure. Move without rest to the next exercise. Time is not measured so speed is not necessarily important. CFBMax is total of the max reps achieved.

The companion WOD to this benchmark is to repeat the above a total of 5 times, resting 2 minutes (or less) between rounds, to determine how much repeated max rep efforts affect the number of reps. I did both of these 2/18/07 and posted my results there.

I love the fact that CF is measurable, especially since I have made measurable gains! There's nothing magic about this, just my thoughts on one other area of fitness that is trained as a matter of course in CF.

Oh, and clearly an indication of the volumes of free time I have this weekend:lol:.
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Old 02-18-2007, 10:12 PM   #2
Steve Quinn
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It is very interesting that soon after this post Coach posts Barbara for tomorrow.:bowdown:
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Old 02-19-2007, 05:34 AM   #3
Sean Harrison
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Oh man this is a good idea. The one thing is that it tests the resolve of the mind also. I mean, if I do deadlift for 1 rep max...I know what it is and if I can't pick it up...then I just can't pick it up....no number of cool slogans will help me to pick it up.
Endurance is different to a point. you can always run 1 more minute ( as I said...to a point, but how many of us here can run at least a half-marathon if need be? Quite a few I think) so I'm almost scared of your WOD idea.
I remember though in the Canadian Army my fire team partner forgot to lock his locker so I had to buy back all of his items by doing 25 push-ups for each thing. I did about 250 push ups in 10 minutes just so he'd be ready for bed (towel, soap etc.) and after the corporal let me go I tried to do another push up to show my fire team partner that I was OK so he wouldn't feel bad and fell on my face. My arms were complete spaghetti.
I'm not sure what the point of my story is other than to say your idea is great but daunting....and it makes me sound cool.:biggrinthumb:
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Old 02-19-2007, 06:47 AM   #4
Darrell E. White
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Steve:

Lest anyone think Coach isn't reading the comments! Barbara is a little different in that I would still have to pace myself to complete the requested number of reps, and therefore wouldn't go to failure on any set. My intention above is to continually go to failure on purpose. Perhaps Coach will comment sometime.

I plan to do the CFBmax every couple of months to check myself, evaluate my maxes.

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Old 02-19-2007, 07:34 AM   #5
Bill Russell
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Darrell,

I'm going to do your new test this afternoon and will post results.

My pullup numbers are still pretty low. I have not done a max rep test lately, but I'd guess it's still around 7. My pushups will be close to 75, squats and situps approx. 100.

Is it odd to be so low in one exercise? How do you feel about me doing jumping pullups(with full negatives) instead? When I do(strict) 7, then 4, then 2, etc, I do not get winded in the least and my muscles don't feel fatigued. I just can't pull any more until I take a 20-30 second rest. If I do 30 negatives, I'm gassing like crazy and I feel that my muscles are really fatigued.
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Old 02-19-2007, 08:05 AM   #6
Darrell E. White
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Bill:

The test shouldn't be affected by your observations, but the work-out certainly would. I fall apart strength-endurance wise, too, so the training exercise is an attempt to build that up. For training, or for "Barbara" for that matter, the jumping PU with negatives would probably be quite effective.

I really thought I'd get more sit-ups and squats than I did on round one, the max round. Got some work to do!

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Old 02-19-2007, 08:17 AM   #7
Jerry Hill
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The dificult thing I see here is form check.
Multi-rep max verse 1 rm.


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Old 02-19-2007, 12:34 PM   #8
Joe Marsh
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After some thought, I agree with Jerry. when do you tereminate the set? Do you continue unitl you can no longer perform at all, or do you stop when form deteriorates? How can one judge the extent of deterioration. And what about including some sort of lower back work? I think this is a great idea! It just needs some refining.
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Old 02-19-2007, 01:29 PM   #9
William Hunter
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another question: What is the cadence for the squats? The rest in the up position could be manipulated for greater numbers, while pullups are self regulating (you're not getting a whole lot of rest hanging from the bar). For that matter, a half second pause at the bottom of the sit up as well would change ones numbers.

Good idea though.
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Old 02-19-2007, 01:36 PM   #10
Darrell E. White
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Joe and Jerry:

Good points on form. These four exercises are a little less form dependent than some of the more complex movements we use (snatch, front squat, etc.). Did you get your chin over the bar? Good PU. All the way down and all the way up on push-up? Good push-up. Pick a style of sit-up. When you can't get up, done. We could argue until the cows come home about sit-up form, so let's allow ourselves to choose our own sit-up. Squat--as soon as you stop moving, you're done. Let's keep it simple. If one of the coaches wishes to suggest strict criteria for push-up, sit-up, and squat form they certainly may. Since the technique/form on these is not as crucial safety-wise as, say, deadlifts, we can probably say that a rep counts if you were able to complete it somehow.

Joe, I purposely chose the four exercises because they routinely occur in the benchmark bodyweight WOD's. One could certainly make a case for adding back extensions, but again, I was going for simple...



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