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

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Old 10-07-2003, 12:41 AM   #1
John McCracken
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Here's a real interesting website:

I was recently reading Training for Climbing by Eric Horst. Near the begining of the book, there is a picture of one the legends of climbing John Gill doing a one-arm front lever which was pretty impressive. Always curious, I found his website above.

It's interesting to see his perception of climbing as an extension of gymnastics and how that was reflected in his training. He both enjoyed and emphasized rope climbing and still ring work in addition to his climbing.

There are some interesting links including pictures of him doing a few gymnastic skills such as various handstands, a straight body press to handstand, an L-position, a handstand on bar and one arm handstand. He also learned a variety of muscle tricks including one-arm front levers, one-finger pull-ups, one-arm pull-ups with weights, and one-arm pull-ups on a 1/2” ledge.

It was also interesting to read about the 20' rope climb which was once an Olympic event. "The climber ascends a 20' length of 1. 5 " diameter natural fiber rope, starting in a seated position on the floor with legs outstretched - the rope lying on the floor between them. You lean back and execute an explosive pull and surge upward, kicking the legs as you stride up the rope. You only kick your legs - you don't use legs or feet on the rope. The first move gives the momentum for the rest of the climb."

The world record for the 20'rope climb is 2.8 seconds and is held by Don Perry of UCLA who set it in 1954. (Perhaps a new challenge for Greg Amundson?)
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Old 10-07-2003, 04:04 PM   #2
Kelly Moore
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Wow! Those pictures are fantastic! I am even more resolved to master front levers. So much inspiration, so little time!
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Old 10-09-2003, 09:52 PM   #3
Scott Parker
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being a climber (i'm not sure how many there actually are following crossfit), john gill is one of my all time heros. the guy practically invented the sport of bouldering. when i was living in colorado i had the chance to "attempt" several of his problems, usually with no success. the man was an amazing climber, and it still blows me away how it got up those problems, especially without the advantage of sticky rubber! eventhough i am an ice, alpine, and trad climber, i consider one of my greatest accomplishments as far as climbing goes, was completing a boulder problem called the "gill egg" up at the shawangunks in new paltz, new york.

if any of you are intersted, pick up the book "master of rock - a lighthearted walk through the life and rock climbing of john gill" by pat ament (another badass climber in his day). even if you aren't a climber, you will be blown away by what this guy was doing! one arm levers and one arm pull-ups with weights were nothing for him! most of his problems consisted of only a few moves, and still stand up as diffucult, even with todays standards.

on another note, i have been recommending crossfit to a lot of my climbing buddies. i also recommended the program to one of america's most amazing and respected alpinists, and i think he's hooked. he wrote me the first time he did a WOD and told me he met pukie! every once in a while i get emails from him about different WOD's that he's done. you guys really have somethign here, and it's only a matter of time before hardcore alpininsts realize how much this will actually help them. not that will make you a better climber technically, but in alpine climbing you frequently find yourself digging deeper into your reserves than you ever thought possible. endurance and stamina will make or break you. WOD's and alpine climbing are very similar in my opinion. before you start either one, you think, "damn there is now way i am going to get through this." but you suck it up, and somehow you do, and you realize your potential and become a stronger person both mentally and physically as a result of your efforts.

(sorry about the rant, i was just psyched that you guys acknowledged john gill!!!)
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Old 10-10-2003, 10:26 AM   #4
Lincoln Brigham
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John Gill, 1969
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