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

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Old 01-10-2010, 11:43 AM   #61
Ryan Lynch
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Re: Rippetoe's recent comments on Crossfit

So in my humble opinion...

Crossfit is about 1 thing, General Physical Preparedness (GPP).

I think it is exceptional at this. From a beginner with no strength, to someone who needs to fill in gaps, it is excellent. You will get improved strength (to a point) from doing nothing but mainpage WODs.

Now, if you need (or desire) more strength, more endurance, more explosiveness, etc, then there are more Sport Specific Preparedness (SPP) programs available. I feel that CFSB, CFFB, CFE, etc all fall into a more SPP category than GPP.


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Old 01-10-2010, 12:15 PM   #62
Andrew Talecki
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Re: Rippetoe's recent comments on Crossfit

Ripp was referring to novice athletes, not world class athletes. .
 
Old 01-10-2010, 12:42 PM   #63
Collin Thompson
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Re: Rippetoe's recent comments on Crossfit

say you add 75lbs to your front squat, 30 to your press, start doing fran and pretty soon see a drastic drop in your times. i use fran as a cardio type workout when i dont feel like running since it leaves me as gassed as sprints

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Old 01-10-2010, 01:10 PM   #64
Ted Apollo
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Re: Rippetoe's recent comments on Crossfit

Over the last year & a half i have been doing either CF main page, CF endurance, Starting Strength, Texas Method, CFSB, or some other sort of hybrid program that combines all of the above disciplines. We all have different fitness goals and xfit has helped me determine my weaknesses.

At the end of last summer I was making linear strength gains using the texas method. At that point I was neglecting my "cardio" ie.. running, biking, etc... I used GOMAD with alot of healthy calories & actually maintained weight but got more muscular & leaner. Then in august I switched to a hybrid CFSB program that added in endurance work & short metcons. I was still GOMAD & still making linear strength gains. I assumed at the time that my bike times would have fallen off since I was not as focused on that activity as my strength training. but to my surprise I was actually pr'ing on my bike. The only way I could explain to this was the extra strength in my legs made a huge difference in my biking. I decided in October to try to maintain this hybrid programming but cut out the GOMAD to try to lose some additional weight I had gained during strength training cycle. Well my linear strength progression ceased.

my point is that you have to recognize your weaknesses & pick your battles. I think taking advantage of 'novice' linear strength gains will prove to be very effective for most xfiitters but you have to also make concessions in other aspects of fitness. you should forget about losing weight & focus on intaking alot of healthy calories. once your linear strength gains cease then its time to pick an intermediate program based on your fitness goals. I feel its important to maintain, or slightly increase, your strength during this period but the emphasis should be on your metcons. This type of 'cycling' seems to be most effective for my goals.

So i tend to agree with rippetoe and kind of came to my own conclusions on this. Linear strength gains for a 'novice' are so easy to achieve & really beneficial in every aspect of fitness. why not take advantage of it? but once the gains stop its up to each individual to assess their goals and adapt their training program to their goals.
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Old 01-10-2010, 01:13 PM   #65
Laurion Burchall
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Re: Rippetoe's recent comments on Crossfit

When you want to measure power output across "broad time and modal domains" maximal strength becomes very important because it determines the modal domain where your power output drops to zero. A huge, strong and poorly conditioned person can have non-zero power output doing squats with 0-600 pounds. A small, weak and well conditioned person will have non-zero power output over a smaller range of weights (0-250 pounds) although there will be combinations of time/modal domains where they have higher power output. Of course if you focus on those specific combinations of time/weight I would argue that you are specializing and moving away from the stated goals of Crossfit.

As Fran is a popular workout to use as an example: a person who builds up their strength might be able to generate non-zero power doing Fran with up to 225# for the thrusters and up to 45# weighted pull-ups. Someone who tries to have "just enough" strength might have a higher power output with 95# thrusters/unweighted pull-ups but would be unable to generate any power with higher weights.

So, if we (pseudo-mathematically) take a benchmark workout and integrate the power output across a range of weights and reps (e.g. Angie with 0-100# of added bodyweight and 1-200 reps, Grace with 0-325# of weight and 0-100 reps) then strength becomes a critical factor in total power output. Strong people with some conditioning can produce broad flat graphs, while metcon-focused individuals will give much spikier, i.e. specialized, output.
 
Old 01-10-2010, 02:26 PM   #66
Shane Skowron
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Re: Rippetoe's recent comments on Crossfit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurion Burchall View Post
When you want to measure power output across "broad time and modal domains" maximal strength becomes very important because it determines the modal domain where your power output drops to zero. A huge, strong and poorly conditioned person can have non-zero power output doing squats with 0-600 pounds. A small, weak and well conditioned person will have non-zero power output over a smaller range of weights (0-250 pounds) although there will be combinations of time/modal domains where they have higher power output.
You're making that argument for strength vs. modal domains. I could just as easily make it for endurance vs. time which proves the exact opposite point. Like this:

A lean athlete who has high cardiovascular and muscular endurance can have non-zero power output for a huge range of times (0-24 hours perhaps).
A big deconditioned athlete who has little cardiovascular endurance can have non-zero power output for a smaller range of times (0-3 hours perhaps).
 
Old 01-10-2010, 03:29 PM   #67
Paul Siegel
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Re: Rippetoe's recent comments on Crossfit

I happen to agree with Rip that strength is the most important. But that is not to neglect the other nine aspects. Kelly Starrett makes an excellent argument for strength and flexibility being able to enhance all the other aspects of fitness. Coming from a man with a 500 lb. Deadlift, who has run the quad dipsea and runs a very successful affiliate with very strong members, I'm inclined to agree with him. Perhaps being strong through a full range of motion (when was the last time you tested your hamstring flexibility?) will allow a greater enhancement in cardiovascular fitness, agility, co-ordination, etc. Not that my little opinion really matters.

The important questions here is: Does a novice doing crossfit with more strength training do better than a straight mainsite novice? Well, find me a set of de-conditioned identical twins and i'll let you know how that one turns out.

I would further argue the question: mainsite is good but, can it be better? Well thats really up to each individual to decide. It has produced phenomenal athletes. Yet Mikko Salo includes more strength work. And Greg Amundson relates training at the original box, Crossfit Santa Cruz in a style very much reminiscent of Crossfit Strength Bias: Heavy Lift, light rest, Couplet or Triplet for time. Something that Coach recommended in one of the very first journals.

N.B.:A different argument but one to ponder: Can a world class athlete of any milieu take a break from their sport get significantly stronger and then return to their sport and do as well, if not better? I would argue yes it can happen. I'll offer the ancedotal evidence of Brad Allen Lewis, who took 2 years off from rowing to essentially lift heavy before returning and taking Gold in the pair at Los Angeles in 1984.
 
Old 01-10-2010, 04:18 PM   #68
Alex Bond
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Re: Rippetoe's recent comments on Crossfit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane Skowron View Post
You're making that argument for strength vs. modal domains. I could just as easily make it for endurance vs. time which proves the exact opposite point. Like this:

A lean athlete who has high cardiovascular and muscular endurance can have non-zero power output for a huge range of times (0-24 hours perhaps).
A big deconditioned athlete who has little cardiovascular endurance can have non-zero power output for a smaller range of times (0-3 hours perhaps).
Except the big deconditioned guy can at least walk for 24 hours, but the little weak guy can't move 600# an inch. But I think this is a silly metaphor, it's simpler than that. Basically every elite Crossfitter has pretty good strength numbers. If you want to be elite, you need those numbers. What's the best way to get there, to do it slowly while also working on GPP on a GPP program, or get there fast by doing only strength then getting GPP up to snuff once the strength foundation is lain? I believe the second approach will get you to the same point faster.
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:34 PM   #69
Jeffrey Cupra
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Re: Rippetoe's recent comments on Crossfit

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Originally Posted by Alex Bond View Post
Except the big deconditioned guy can at least walk for 24 hours, but the little weak guy can't move 600# an inch. But I think this is a silly metaphor, it's simpler than that. Basically every elite Crossfitter has pretty good strength numbers. If you want to be elite, you need those numbers. What's the best way to get there, to do it slowly while also working on GPP on a GPP program, or get there fast by doing only strength then getting GPP up to snuff once the strength foundation is lain? I believe the second approach will get you to the same point faster.
Its all about periodization. Work on you GPP while lower your total strength volume or lower your GPP and up the strength work. You cant do both at the same time and progess fast. Specialisation makes an athlete! This is something which crossfit doesnt use (talking about main page wod). But if you want to be the best at crossfit than you have to do crossfit.
 
Old 01-10-2010, 06:42 PM   #70
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Rippetoe's recent comments on Crossfit

Katherine,
Quote:
On the point of the thread, though, would you suggest Starting Strength as initial training for potential gymnasts?
No, since most "potential-elite" gymnasts are of the age of 6-10 years old. Getting them as strong as possible should be a priority. Well as strong as possible within the context of a few parameters.

SS for recreational gymnasts? Hmm, not a bad idea since many aspiring rec gymnastcs (for fun or rec leagues/college clubs) come in pretty weak or have lost or never had much strength/power to begin with.

It might be useful for (cheer)tumblers/stunters since they not only need to get strong enough to tumble, but to throw and catch the flyers.

The biggest problem lies in a decreasing strength:weight ratio by increasing body mass in the form of bone, muscle, and connective tissue and of course, bodyfat if they are doing something like GOMAD or EATALOT.
 
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