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

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Old 01-22-2009, 06:42 AM   #1
Brent Hilton
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Body Weight Strong?!?

Becoming body weight strong is something I haven't really thought of while doing CrossFit. I've always taken the WOD suggested or created and taken the weight "as is". If I were to do Grace (30 x Clean & Jerks @ 135 lbs) weighing in at 220 lbs myself next to a 180 lbs guy ... how is it fair that he has to do 75% of his body weight where I have to do only 61% of mine? Should I not have to do 165 lbs to equal his percentage of BW?

It didn't really surface until yesterday's WOD Five Rounds of: 7 x Pull Ups, 7 x 95# Thrusters, 7 x Ring Dips, 7 x Burpees. I weigh 220 lbs and my workout partner weighs in about 180 lbs. He struggled on the last two rounds of 95# Thrusters but was extremely strong on the other exercises. I had little trouble with the thrusters and ended up finishing about a minute faster than he did. But had I increased the thruster weight to 115 lbs (which is the same % of weight for my BW), would I have finished slower?!?

What are your thoughts on why do we use the weight prescribed and not increase/decrease to our BW accordingly? Or is the reason to stay with the Rxd weight related to the distance one has to travel as Im 64 and hes 511?
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:57 AM   #2
Matt Schellinger
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Re: Body Weight Strong?!?

In theory he should be performing better on the bodyweight items in your workout such as pullups, dips, and probably burpees. His bodyweight is under yours so he is moving less on the pullups and dips, if that makes sense. In the workout you used in example it would in theory even out, or maybe even be easier for him because more of the items are body weight as opposed to static weighted.
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:59 AM   #3
Kristofer Shamloo
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Re: Body Weight Strong?!?

Based on the given numbers, you simply more fit than he is. That workout should punish big guys (3 of the 4 are body-weight movements). You are pulling more weight farther in the pull ups. You are pushing more weight in the dips. And you are moving more weight in the burpees. Sometimes the WOD punishes big guys, sometime it punishes small guys.

It doesn't have to be fair, it just has to work.
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:15 AM   #4
Brian Bedell
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Re: Body Weight Strong?!?

Honestly, this has been discussed a million times on here. Do a search. There's even a journal article entitled "the fairness doctrine" I think. He is theoretically better at running and bw exercises then you, you are stronger in the lifts. It's fair, life is not fair.
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:27 AM   #5
Shane Skowron
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Re: Body Weight Strong?!?

In Crossfit we strive to complete a wide variety of tasks across varying amounts of time. In life the tasks presented may be moving loads in a particular manner, or moving our selves in a particular manner. Life gives us arbitrary loads and arbitrary ways to move our body.
For example, a boulder does not care how much you weigh. It is just a load, and if there comes a situation where you need to lift it, then you just need to lift it regardless of who you are. Power clean perhaps is the best way. A wall does not care how high it is for a 225# guy to climb it. It is just an obstacle, and if you have to climb it, then you must find an effective way to do so. Jumping muscle-up is probably the best way.

Thus we must train for the unknowable. The man/woman who is able to do nearly every task better and faster than anyone else, even the arbitrary tasks, is the fittest person alive.
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:57 AM   #6
Len Nuanez
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Re: Body Weight Strong?!?

From what I have seen it usually evens itself out over time, one of the workout partners I have is 1/2 my weight and she kills me in the runs and BW lifts, but when it comes to the static lifts I win, I think thats one of the main draws to crossfit, there is always someone better at a particular excercise then you.
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:02 AM   #7
Jeff S Johnson
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Re: Body Weight Strong?!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristofer Shamloo View Post
Based on the given numbers, you simply more fit than he is. That workout should punish big guys (3 of the 4 are body-weight movements). You are pulling more weight farther in the pull ups. You are pushing more weight in the dips. And you are moving more weight in the burpees. Sometimes the WOD punishes big guys, sometime it punishes small guys.
Is this really true?

At first blush, that's how I would view it too - smaller guys have advantages in body-weight. Thinking about it a little more though...the big guy has more mass, but that also includes considerably more muscle mass. With kipping pullups, there might be an advantage in having more bodymass with which to create momentum?

I say this as a "little guy" - 180 and falling - so I'm probably just being biased to the little fellers. I think it may not really be as cut and dried as it seems with a lot of exercises though. In the end though, it's about moving the weight whether you're carrying 165 or 265 lbs.
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:17 AM   #8
Shawn Casey
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Re: Body Weight Strong?!?

Dutch and Speal aren't very big. They don't seem to care about fairness.
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:56 AM   #9
Artem Sivak
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Re: Body Weight Strong?!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn Casey View Post
Dutch and Speal aren't very big. They don't seem to care about fairness.
This is true. They gave life lemons.
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:06 AM   #10
Tim Luby
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Re: Body Weight Strong?!?

No need to scale in the name of fairness, for the reasons above. Plus, the WODs are typically very balanced as far as BW and barbell exercises, so things should even out.
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