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

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Old 01-25-2014, 03:58 PM   #81
Tony Blauer
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Re: Did Rippetoe get CrossFit right?

Pristine Jonathan Kinnick

Someone once said "strong people are harder to kill" but in ones quest to be truly prepared for the "unknown and unknowable" (be that a self-defense situation, a sport challenge, moving heavy furniture, rehab, the list goes in) having any bias in your training creates both a psychological fear (I haven't done this, or, I hope this doesn't happen) and a physical limitation. Why? Because on game-day you can only fake confidence, but you can't fake skills, and you sure as sh*t can't fake cardio vascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy.

New slogan:

"Strong people are easier to kill when they don't possess the general skills of optimal physical competence "

TB
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Old 01-25-2014, 05:48 PM   #82
Jason Denny
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Re: Did Rippetoe get CrossFit right?

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Originally Posted by Jonathan Kinnick View Post
Jason, this is my point. You improved dramatically in strength, for 2 years, not 6 months, doing a program usually requiring less than 30 minutes of training per day. A program where the main focus is not strength. You also improved your conditioning to very high levels.

Do you believe spending 30 minutes a day on a strength only program (like SS) would have brought your Deadlift much higher than 525lbs in the first 2 years? Would it even have brought you to 525lbs by that time?

Starting Strength, which apparently is "Training", is all about those initial strength gains. It's not designed to be used for 2+ years in most people. Pretty quickly you need a longer, more involved program. And the gains will be much, much slower. No program that I've seen gets people from 600 to 700lbs in a year (naturally). Rippetoe doesn't have one. At that point the gains are slow no matter what. This comes as a shock to most CrossFitters, when their unbelievable gains start to taper off, but this is not a fault with CrossFit. It's a reality of all Training.

Also, I've never seen Coach Glassman say or imply that main site was the only thing that someone should do. In 2005 he wrote "There is plenty of time within an hour session to warm up, practice a basic movement or skill or pursue a new PR or max lift, discuss and critique the athletesí efforts, and then pound out a tight little couplet or triplet utilizing these skills or just play." Virtuosity

In my opinion, it's unfair to ask Main Site alone to accomplish everything that anyone could ever want in fitness. Good coaches, in CrossFit, give additional focus work, etc. as needed for the clients who are willing to put in the extra time to get to the next level. You can't become a competitive powerlifter by training 30 minutes a day. You can't become an Olympic-level weightlifter by training 30 minutes a day. You also can't become a Games-level crossfitter training 30 minutes a day, anymore. (Although an hour per day is reportedly enough for Valerie Voboril)

Athletes at the Elite level in any field generally train 4+ hours per day. It's a testament to the efficacy of Main Site programming that people are seriously comparing the effects of a sub-30 minute program to incredibly complex and custom tailored 4+ hour training protocols.

To say that top CrossFitters aren't doing "CrossFit" because they are not doing "Main Site only" is silly.

Even still, as your personal experience attests, Main Site will give you solid strength gains by itself for a few years. This is also what Starting Strength is designed to do (if you can even progress on it for that long).

If Rippetoe and everyone else doesn't think that those first two years count as "Training", then I disagree. I don't believe the implication that you can't "Train" for the first 2+ years because you are a novice.

"Exercise" does not bring 500lb Deadlifts in my book. Zumba, Jogging, Walking, Spinning, Step Aerobics, Kickboxing, Bootcamps, treadmills, Ellipticals, etc. do not bring 500lb Deadlifts. Or anywhere close to that. I'm ok with categorizing those things as "Exercise". But a program that brings the kind of measurable gains that CrossFit does is not mere "Exercise". If "poorly-programmed random flailing-around in the floor for time" can bring a 500lb Deadlift, then why is it so hard for a novice to get one on Starting Strength only?
Since I did not lift weights before CrossFit, I cannot compare. I really like CrossFit and it gave me a tremendous appreciation for fitness and strength and I think it is the best way to get into/stay in shape. But it is not the ONLY way and others have done very well with other programs. I also have a lot of respect Rip, Wendler, and Greg Everett. They run successful programs and there is a lot to learn from them. I think both sides are right within the definitions they were using.
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:06 PM   #83
Jason Denny
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Re: Did Rippetoe get CrossFit right?

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Originally Posted by Tony Blauer View Post
Pristine Jonathan Kinnick

Someone once said "strong people are harder to kill" but in ones quest to be truly prepared for the "unknown and unknowable" (be that a self-defense situation, a sport challenge, moving heavy furniture, rehab, the list goes in) having any bias in your training creates both a psychological fear (I haven't done this, or, I hope this doesn't happen) and a physical limitation. Why? Because on game-day you can only fake confidence, but you can't fake skills, and you sure as sh*t can't fake cardio vascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy.

New slogan:

"Strong people are easier to kill when they don't possess the general skills of optimal physical competence "

TB
As a department firearms and combatives instructor...I cannot agree with you more.
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:32 AM   #84
Struan Potter
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Re: Did Rippetoe get CrossFit right?

Ok, I'll bite.

My sport is Olympic weightlifting (I'm in the super heavyweight category). Doing CrossFit would be detrimental to my weightlifting performance so I don't do it, although I have done it previously.

If doing CrossFit fits your goals, do it. It shouldn't be a matter of defining CrossFit as training or exercise. We're arguing over one guys opinion and nothing we say is going to change his opinion.
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:33 PM   #85
Kane Greene
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Re: Did Rippetoe get CrossFit right?

I believe "CrossFitting" or "Strength Training" could be called "Training" or "Exercising", depending on the application.

Quick Google search on definition of:

Physical Training:

1: he systematic use of exercises to promote bodily fitness and strength.

Exercising

1: engage in physical activity to sustain or improve health and fitness; take exercise

What is training goal of CrossFit?

Increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains.


A blanket statement cannot be given on CrossFit such as it is all just training or all just exercising, just as it couldn't be applied to Runners, Olympic Weightlifters, Powerlifters, Swimmers, Bodybuilders, etc... It isn't JUST CrossFit.com anymore. There are what, over 7,000 Affiliates now? I think we have to consider all of them CrossFit. I LOVE CrossFit, and have since I started with it in 2006.

I believe there are Affiliates that offer Physical Training, and some that offer Exercising. Structured, organized, and systematic training plans using "Constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity" to achieve a goal of "increased work capacity across broad times and modal domains" would be training.

When I started CrossFit in 2006 my training was just a CrossFit WOD. In a continued pursuit of "increased work capacity across broad times and modal domains" after time I realized that to continue INCREASING that would have to include more than that. 7 years later to continue to allow progress forward the same approach I used in 2006 wouldn't allow me to continue pushing forward to meet my personal goals. For example-- My best Front Squat is 425lbs @ just under 200lbs BW. Even with a structured organized program based around just a WOD this probably wouldn't have happened, nor would it ever. We're seeing this now because there are now a LOT of CrossFitters that have been training longer than 1-2 years, more over 3-4, and more over 5 years.

Novice/Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Elite athletes in ALL sports have to approach their training depending on what ability level they are at in their respective field. I don't understand what isn't understood about this. Starting Strength is an example of a NOVICE/BEGINNER strength training program. Is it great? I guess it would depend on if you were a beginner or if you were advanced. I wouldn't expect Dan Green to use Starting Strength to prepare for his next Powerlifting meet anymore than I would expect Rich Froning to do JUST main site workouts. I bet if Dan Green followed Starting Strength template for 12 months he would start spreading the word that it's a piece of ****.

Most people in the pure barbell strength sports community understand that there are different program designs for different levels. I don't think most people in the CrossFit community understand that this can also apply to their sport, especially if they want to compete.

The more advanced you become, the more time that must be spent on each individual aspect of fitness exclusively as well as increased training time in general. CF Games Athletes are a prime example. They are absolute physical phenoms. I'm blown away at the levels these guys and gals compete at, and how the bar is raised each year across the board. They separate training time to improve gymnastic ability, Olympic Lifting, Swimming, Running, etc. in addition to a normal WOD approach.

To become truly strong and technically proficient in Olympic Weightlifting, you need to spend training time JUST Olympic Weightlifting outside of WODs or the occasional 1-1-1-1-1 or 3-3-3-3-3 spread in periodically... but include training similar to what an Olympic Weightlifter at your ability level would do. The same with running. To bring running up to a more advanced level, just doing 400m or 800m runs in WODs isn't going to cut it. It applies to anything.

This is why you always see something along the lines of "CF Games Athletes don't even do CrossFit(especially last 2-3 years"... That is incorrect. They are at an Elite level in their sport and to continue to increase work capacity across broad times and modal domains that is the only way they can continue their Physical Training to achieve that goal.


I also believe that just "Exercising" using "Constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity" with no real goal in mind can also "increase work capacity across broad times and modal domains" ... to a point.

Just as there are plenty of Affiliates that approach it as Physical Training, there are those that approach it as Exercise. If you go to the gym and randomly select Monostructrual, Gymnastic, or Weight-lifting movements, mix them together with no plan and exercise your *** off you will still "increase work capacity across broad times and modal domains", but it will only take you so far.

That's not just with CrossFit though, that could be said for ANYTHING. If your Strength Training was just a random assortment of lifts with no structure or plan... could someone get stronger? Absolutely. It's still the same, it will only take you so far.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Greene View Post
I've been doing it for 11 years, and still set PRs (465 deadlift and 178 lb. press in the past week).
.
Although I would agree that Russel is training, by looking at these numbers I would just say his training program isn't optimal to take his fitness to it's maximal level. But that doesn't mean it isn't training, or he should change it. Maybe his personal goal is to make slow steady progress, while maximizing workout time to enjoy other things in life, and there's NOTHING wrong with that. That could be what he wants to accomplish in his pursuit of personal fitness.

Could he have hit those numbers faster or have them significantly higher training differently while still making progress in other domains of fitness? Almost definitely. Would it still be CrossFit... Yes, absolutely. If Russel would have liked to progress faster, or be at a more advanced level, he could have modified his approach the same way you would in any other sport.


Physical Training to meet your personal goal of fitness is a lot different than training to be the most physically fit man/woman on earth.

Last edited by Kane Greene : 01-26-2014 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 01-27-2014, 07:33 AM   #86
Mark Boyle
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Re: Did Rippetoe get CrossFit right?

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Originally Posted by Steven Wingo View Post
He does not. He says CrossFit is random. Is CrossFit methodology random? Clearly not. He knows that.

He says CrossFit is not training. That is a ridiculous characterization. I've explained why already. Is it not training for a law enforcement officer, a fire fighter, or a soldier preparing for their jobs? Clearly it is--and damn good training.

What part of the CrossFit prescription is wrong?

The use of functional movements?

The use of constant variance in training?

The use of high intensity versus low or moderate?

That is CrossFit's prescription and methodology. Rippetoe does not disagree with it or offer an alternative. He instead makes up stuff--saying it is random--to criticize it in a national publication. That is dishonorable in my eyes.
You've clearly mis-understood his point. My guess is this is intentional on your part.
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:25 AM   #87
Drew Cloutier
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Re: Did Rippetoe get CrossFit right?

I think many people have made good points throughout the entire thread, I also think some people are quite narrow minded in their views.

I agree and disagree with some of what Rip said.

I'd like to touch upon something someone said on here though about how the Games is the test for Crossfit, and how if someone doesn't recognise Rich Froning as THE fittest person on earth they are right out to lunch.

I think the Crossfit Games are highly entertaining, and definitely not a piece of cake, but I don't think you can say that any ONE test is the supreme test of who is fittest. Especially when that test is SOOOOOO vastly different from year to year. I guess I am one of those people who would like it to be more quantifiable from year to year, the events vary so much that you could take the competitors of 2013 and have them do different years Games events and wind up with different placings.

I'm am not advocating having 10 events and 10 events only and forever more that's what it will be. I think Crossfit should consider doing like Strongman does.
Strongman generally has the following events to choose from and WSM usually chooses 7-10 events, but each event has variations, either reps, weight, height, weight, time, etc...
Atlas Stones
Axle Press
Car Flip
Deadlift
Dumbbell Press
Fingal's Finger
Frame Carry
Keg Toss
Log Press
Squat
Tire Flip
Yoke
Loading race/Medley
Truck/plane pull
Power stairs
Hercules Hold
Farmer's walk
Husafell Stone

I think if the Games stopped trying to come up with new whacky crazier stuff every year and just had say 20-30 events to choose from and picked 10 every year it would be better, IN MY OPINION.
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:19 PM   #88
Russell Greene
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Re: Did Rippetoe get CrossFit right?

Drew,

Isn't Rich Froning's title more even solid since he has finished on top in every individual competition since winning the CrossFit Games 2011?

If Rich just won one competition, one could object that it was a fluke or due to the programming. But to win every competition over several years, ranging from tests that all can be done in a garage gym, to ones that include obstacle courses, ocean swimming, a zig-zag sprint, etc.?

That can't just be favorable programming. It must be a general ability to do work in varied time domains and modalities. Let's call it fitness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Cloutier View Post
I think many people have made good points throughout the entire thread, I also think some people are quite narrow minded in their views.

I agree and disagree with some of what Rip said.

I'd like to touch upon something someone said on here though about how the Games is the test for Crossfit, and how if someone doesn't recognise Rich Froning as THE fittest person on earth they are right out to lunch.

I think the Crossfit Games are highly entertaining, and definitely not a piece of cake, but I don't think you can say that any ONE test is the supreme test of who is fittest. Especially when that test is SOOOOOO vastly different from year to year. I guess I am one of those people who would like it to be more quantifiable from year to year, the events vary so much that you could take the competitors of 2013 and have them do different years Games events and wind up with different placings.

I'm am not advocating having 10 events and 10 events only and forever more that's what it will be. I think Crossfit should consider doing like Strongman does.
Strongman generally has the following events to choose from and WSM usually chooses 7-10 events, but each event has variations, either reps, weight, height, weight, time, etc...
Atlas Stones
Axle Press
Car Flip
Deadlift
Dumbbell Press
Fingal's Finger
Frame Carry
Keg Toss
Log Press
Squat
Tire Flip
Yoke
Loading race/Medley
Truck/plane pull
Power stairs
Hercules Hold
Farmer's walk
Husafell Stone

I think if the Games stopped trying to come up with new whacky crazier stuff every year and just had say 20-30 events to choose from and picked 10 every year it would be better, IN MY OPINION.
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:14 PM   #89
Larry Bruce
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Re: Did Rippetoe get CrossFit right?

To me, training primarily focuses on capability while exercise primarily focuses on capacity.

I know people who are doing sets of squats call it training, and they may be if they are consciously attempting to improve form. You do need to practice in order to master, which is also part of training although that will have a benefit in capacity too. But if they are banging out reps in order to get stronger, grow or to lift more (not better) to me it is exercise.

Most sessions in any fitness activity can be pegged on some kind of learning-doing continuum, but will rarely be purely one or the other.

Last edited by Larry Bruce : 01-30-2014 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 01-31-2014, 06:33 AM   #90
Drew Cloutier
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Re: Did Rippetoe get CrossFit right?

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Originally Posted by Russell Greene View Post
Drew,

Isn't Rich Froning's title more even solid since he has finished on top in every individual competition since winning the CrossFit Games 2011?

If Rich just won one competition, one could object that it was a fluke or due to the programming. But to win every competition over several years, ranging from tests that all can be done in a garage gym, to ones that include obstacle courses, ocean swimming, a zig-zag sprint, etc.?

That can't just be favorable programming. It must be a general ability to do work in varied time domains and modalities. Let's call it fitness.
Not necessarily that could just mean he's the best with new things, or the most naturally athletic.

I don't agree with calling him the fittest man because he's won the crossfit games others would claim that title from their sport, its just like the WSM, the guy who wins the WSM is crowned the world's strongest man, but there are many other competitions that the same guy may not win, like the Arnold or the Giants live series, I like the idea of a series. You also have WL and PL that claim to be world's strongest....so...ya.
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