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

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Old 07-27-2012, 11:23 AM   #1
Jessica Salts
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Is Vomiting Really Okay?

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, I'm ridiculously slow. I'm also pretty hard on myself in that I feel I should be performing at a higher level than I am. During today's WOD, I vented my frustrations that everyone else was finishing 15 minutes ahead of me. (Yeah, yeah. It's not a competition. But I'd at least like to keep up.)

The CF instructor told me that my form for lifting is excellent and that there was no need to pick up pace there for right now. He did tell me that when it comes to cardio (burpees, box jumps, etc), that's where I need to push myself. When I told him I was afraid of throwing up, he basically said throwing up was okay because it meant I was building a tolerance to lactic acid. (At least that's the message I got.) He knew what he was trying to say but was having a hard time finding a way explain it to me.

The way I see it, if you're vomiting, your body is telling you to stop in the only way it can without permanent injury. Period. I came close to throwing up once and swore I'd never do it again.

I know some of you feel it's okay to do it once in a while, while others are more "gung ho" about it. But is it the lactic acid? If so, how? What's going on that I have to push through the vomiting... and how will that help my performance in the end?

Google has been little to no help.
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:40 AM   #2
Todd R Miller
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Re: Is Vomiting Really Okay?

I don't believe that vomitting from a workout happens to everyone. I've played sports my whole life, including hockey as kid and mountain bike racing as an adult, and have never thrown up. I do remember kids on my hockey team who threw up regularly, especially after a few rounds of "climbing the mountain". They were the exception, not the rule.

My advice would be to push yourself to that dark place, the red zone of oxygen debt and lactic acid burn, and see what happens.

Last edited by Todd R Miller : 07-27-2012 at 11:42 AM. Reason: debt, not dept
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:42 AM   #3
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Is Vomiting Really Okay?

I don't think throwing up is the end of the world, but I do think it should be avoided. It's a tremendous stress on the system.

Given that light jogging will make some people queasy if they have the wrong things in their stomach, I don't think it has much to do with lactic acid, either. (And if you seem to have a low vomit threshold, you might want to experiment with your pre-workout eating.)

It's definitely important to learn to push through discomfort, and to learn just what level of discomfort is okay. I just don't think it's necessary to actually vomit in order to learn that.

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Old 07-27-2012, 11:50 AM   #4
Clint Harris
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Re: Is Vomiting Really Okay?

I don't know about vomiting - I've never seen anyone die from it, or, not be able to get back up. A lot of this wod intensity is a mind-set. If one is scared to push themselves through fear of what may happen, then they'll never find out. The negative mindset is also a performance inhibitor. If you are constantly telling yourself you are slow, then your body will do what you tell it and move slow. It all sounds silly, yes, but sometimes you have to lie to yourself to get better - anyway, you may be lying to yourself already by saying you're slow.

You don't have to all of a sudden do everything faster or longer either. You can go into the wod with a small goal. Take small considered steps to improve.
Say it's a workout of 4 rounds 10 Power Cleans, 20 burpees, and 20 box-jumps.

Instead of approaching this like "oh man, burpees and box-jumps, I suck, this will take me forever" or conversely "I'm going to do everything unbroken" when generally, you're doing stuff one at a time with too much rest, you can approach this with a mini goal.
Pick on burpees. If you are usually doing these in 2-3 at a time and walking around the room. Commit to the following: Do 5 at a time and take 5 breaths in between sets, don't take a walk or turn your back on your spot. For all 4 rounds, this is your solitary goal. Whatever you do, do 5 reps even if it feels impossible and then get back to it after 5 breaths. The BJ and PC you can tackle some other day, but today you'll tackle the burpees.
The next WOD with a burpee in it, have the same approach but do 6 or 7 burpees each time.

Just pick one exercise that you'll focus on each time. After a few weeks, have two and so on. Manage that rest well.

Rest is a big part of the wods and time too. Too much and you'll spend all day wodding. Try to manage it well - focus on two breaths, or 5 breaths, or whatever but get back to work each time. As soon as we take 10 breaths, put our hands on knees or take a walk, we're spending all day exercising.

Things like pull-ups, (i do this all the time when I'm down to singles). Do one then come off bar, breath, step back, step forward and do other. You can get into a rythym where you can do this a long time without burning out or failing, but it is quite fast. I.e. 30-40s to do 10 pullups rather than 5 minutes when you have no plan how to get the work done (rest is part of the plan).

Sometimes it's as simple as telling yourself you can always do one more. This is true for reps where you can't really reach muscle failure at, like burpees and wall balls. Wall balls you can almost always do one more. So if it hurts at 10, don't stop because there's probably a few more in you. Then don't walk away, take that designed rest and pick the ball up. Because you can always do a few more wall balls - I tend to increase my sets that I chop the total work up. e.g. For 50 wall balls, instead of doing 5x10 (or worse, 10x5) which will take a while and feel like your taking forever, it is really not that much harder to do 15. So 15-15-15-5 it gets the job done faster. 3 sets of 15 isn't really that much harder than 3 sets of 10 - but you get through it faster and get a nice 5 repper at the end which helps you move into whatever exercise is waiting next. (yes, when fresher, will do higher, but this is when I'm tired and just trying to hang on).

So, I've kind of rambled, but take small steps to improve the way you move through a workout. Change your mind-set and start believing in yourself. There's nothing to be afraid of.
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:11 PM   #5
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Is Vomiting Really Okay?

http://www.google.com/search?client=...hannel=suggest wfs basically google lactic acid vomiting

http://www.crossfitsantacruz.com/cro...-vomiting.html wfs

The good news is you are working your *** off. You aren't really building a tolerance to lactic acid. Over time you will be because of training and adaptation but at that moment, your body goes into fight or flight and chooses just to empty your stomach contents instead of fighting to deal with the stress your body is going through and digestion.

Take a back a step when you feel it coming on. In the long run, it's the best. I get the dry heaves a lot but I think it's because low blood sugar when I haven't ate enough recently and am running on fumes. Dry heaves used to happen when I ran the 400 or 800 and tried not to eat beforehand. If I ate, I vomited. Both sucked but dry heaves seemed better. Less mess, less pain.

I'm personally okay with vomiting but I DO find it a nuisance. I have to make sure I make it to a trashcan, a bush, or a sink or toilet vs not make it and have to clean it up and my clothes. Yuck. I never threw up during T&F practice, only heats.

One basic reason I would stay away from vomiting is the havoc it wreaks on your system. Myself and my gf both threw up last month from night's of drinking. The very next day was ****ing useless for hours. Basically 8 hours were just miserable. Couldn't really eat. Dealt with that last year after my friend's Bday party. For hours I didn't want to move or be in a car or eat anything or see food at all.

It also just messes up your throat because of the stomach acid. Not something I wouldn't reccomend often.

Last edited by Blair Robert Lowe : 07-27-2012 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:30 PM   #6
Jessica Salts
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Re: Is Vomiting Really Okay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clint Harris View Post
So, I've kind of rambled, but take small steps to improve the way you move through a workout. Change your mind-set and start believing in yourself. There's nothing to be afraid of.
I don't think you rambled at all. I think you hit the nail on the head, actually. It's all mindset. I honestly don't know my own limitations yet, and I'll be the first to admit I've probably been short-changing myself. Your examples with the wallball shots & burpees were excellent.

In fact, today's WOD started with wallball shots. I did five shots, remembered how much I hate these (almost as much as burpees) and counted them out five at a time. We had to do 45 of each. It took forever for me to get through those.

Same thing at the end with 45 burpees. My first thought was, "I have no core for these." I was seriously focused on what I didn't have/couldn't do, so I was really doing reps between breaks rather than breaks between reps. It was when the coach came up to me and told me to knock them out that I told him I didn't want to push myself to vomiting.

It was amazing how I never felt the need to break when it came to an exercise I just love, like the deadlifts... or how my breaks were short and sweet with the KB swings. I was slow but consistent and just kept on going until my form crapped out and I basically had to stop.
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:51 PM   #7
Doug Blankenship
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Re: Is Vomiting Really Okay?

I don't agree with it being okay to vomit when you workout. Well, at least not everytime you workout. You do have to go out of your comfort zone and step into the dark side from time to time. It is uncomfortable, it hurts and it makes you second guess wtf your doing at the time. But, you have to go there to see what your actually capable of.

One of my old training instructors in the military used to say the following "You don't give into pain and quit, you adjust and adapt to it". It's been 12 years since I was in but I kid you not, everytime I workout and do something that sucks for example Hill sprints, I can always hear him saying that in my head.

Stop telling yourself you're slow, stop mentally mind screwing yourself and thinking you cannot go harder or faster. Welcome the challenge, adapat and adjust to it and see what you really can do. Not what you think you can do.
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:29 PM   #8
Stu Christensen
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Re: Is Vomiting Really Okay?

I've found from experience with training partners, and there are a few of them, that once it starts and you're vomiting after or during a workout...it happens easier and easier each time. I have a couple buddies who regularly loose their lunch on EVERY workout now - when they used to push themselves just as hard and wouldn't puke before!!

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Old 07-27-2012, 02:43 PM   #9
Eric Shuty
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Re: Is Vomiting Really Okay?

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Originally Posted by Stu Christensen View Post
I've found from experience with training partners, and there are a few of them, that once it starts and you're vomiting after or during a workout...it happens easier and easier each time. I have a couple buddies who regularly loose their lunch on EVERY workout now - when they used to push themselves just as hard and wouldn't puke before!!

FYI
Agreed. I used to throw up all the time during track practice and meets. I was primarily a 200 and 400 runner. Try doing almost all out 300-400-500 ladders with your team mates there pushing and tell me how you don't feel like throwing up? At meets you would go 110% so I would almost always throw up after the 4x400 relay, especially if it was a close race. I've also thrown up from lifting. Bottom line is it is not inherently dangerous although if you were doing it daily it would be hell on your teeth and esophagus...but that's an extreme example. Also, it's not gonna wreck you for the day like it would from drinking. Just get a good post-workout in ad you'll be fine.
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:50 PM   #10
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Is Vomiting Really Okay?

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Originally Posted by Jessica Salts View Post
Same thing at the end with 45 burpees. My first thought was, "I have no core for these." I was seriously focused on what I didn't have/couldn't do, so I was really doing reps between breaks rather than breaks between reps. It was when the coach came up to me and told me to knock them out that I told him I didn't want to push myself to vomiting.
The truth comes out...

Given the strength numbers you've posted, there is nothing wrong with your core.

I'd suggest always trying to do one more rep than you think you can. So if you think you can only do five, don't rest until you've done six. The more you realize that you can stretch the boundaries a little bit and not die, the easier it will be to stretch more.

Katherine
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