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

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Old 02-04-2006, 08:05 AM   #1
winston endall
 
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I own a bike shop and we have our own little crossfit gym set up in back. This season will be an interesting experiment as I have a whole race team (road and mtb) who have been training crossfit, replacing running with cycling, instead of the traditional periodized approach to cycling. The information from Coach, Mark Twight, Eugene Allen and our own experimenting has helped us optimize on and off the bike performance. So far I'm 20% ahead of where I was the same time last year. Many of our athletes are in a similar position even though we are spending less time training each week than we had in years past.

We do 3 off the bike crossfit workouts per week plus one interval trainer workout or single speed ride and one long (2-4 hours) bike ride outside at an aerobic pace with some sprints. Some are the actual workouts of the day and others are our own creations. I don't have them do olympic lifts as I'm not qualified to teach them. I do cleans and snatches myself as they are the best way to build explosiveness.

We do a fitness test on the computrainer every six weeks to assess cycling performance and this mix of training has everyone improving aerobic capacity, anaerobic theshold and anaerobic endurance. As a side note I also have a few of them get blood work done and we've seen an increase in hemocrit level which make sense considering the oxygen deprevation and endocrine response from crossfit training. More testosterone will lead to more epo production.

As cycling needs both aerobic capacity and muscular strength and endurance with powerful hip extension it just makes sense that crossfit will improve performance.

Happy Trails

Winston


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Old 02-04-2006, 12:33 PM   #2
Motion Macivor
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Winston that's a very interesting approach. Have you considered the power to weight aspect? It seems to me that the hill climbers might suffer with the extra upper body weight (I just noticed your from Ontario so that's probably not a big deal for you). The other point I would be interested in in knowing is will your riders be strong at the end of a 2-3 hour race, and will they be strong at the end of a full season? the whole Idea behind periodizing is that the interval training gives you power to put on top of your "base" that you created in the off season. The other point is that interval training during the race season puts so much stress on the body you need that base to protect you from crashing. Of course you and your riders are stronger now than last year you've started your intervals earlier. I'm just really curious to know if that strength will stick with you when you need it the most. Dont get me wrong I really want to see you guys succceed at this and I know this would save me a lot of time if I get back into XC. Good luck Winston!
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Old 02-04-2006, 03:59 PM   #3
winston endall
 
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Motion

Power is going up much more than upper body weight in all of my athletes so I doesn't appear to be much of a problem. You only get bigger if you give your body excess calories so sticking to strict paleo diet in the offseason where the off the bike conditioning is a bigger percentage of the work than it is inseason limits the amount of muscular growth while at the same time minimizing bodyfat so when the season starts people aren't trying to lose fat.

I used to be a rigid periodization planner, but now it's about emphasis. Each system is trained each week but how much time is focussed on that energy system will vary. Over training in the true sense is the adrenal system shutting down from overwork so by planning in rest weeks and cycling the overall volume we should be able to be strong for most of the season.

I used this system myself last year and had one of my best years performance wise. I always experiment on myself before I'll use it on my athletes, just like any responsible mad scientist.
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Old 02-04-2006, 04:34 PM   #4
Motion Macivor
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Yeah I think the real key will be those rest weeks during the season. Have you heard of Jeurge Feldman? he has some really interesting training techniques you may be interested in. You can check out some of his ideas at http://www.fact-canada.com/Fact-Info.html
Good luck with your season Winston!
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