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Old 04-19-2004, 09:20 AM   #1
Andy Petranek
 
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First of all, I'm typing this with extreme difficulty - the dexterity in my fingers has taken a major hit since doing the WODs for the past 4 days! As a newcomer, I have a few questions...

1. abs - I've always lived with the assumption that abs are a bodypart that should be trained daily or every other day, yet your WODs don't require this. I'd like to be able to do a press handstand and a rope climb in an "L" position sometime and wonder if I'll get there without a daily practice of abdominal work.

2. Warm Up. What's the best way? Doing the exercises in the workout but at a lower intensity? Doing some light cardio w/ stretching??

3. Cardio / Intervals. If you're going to do a cardio workout, do you do it before or after the WOD? And Tabata intervals (say in running or cycling vs strength training) - love them - do you do them in addition to the WOD, before or after??

Thats all for now, I'm sure I'll come up with others as I continue with the workouts.
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Old 04-19-2004, 10:46 AM   #2
Ryan Atkins
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Hi Andy,

Welcome to Crossfit.

1. Although some challenging ab exercises are occasionally included as part of the WOD (l-sits, toes to bar, knees to elbows, glute-ham sit-ups, etc.), many people will include a couple sets of these in their warm-up sessions (more on this below). I think it's important to keep in mind that, even though the abs may not be targeted directly in a certain WOD, there's a good chance it's being used for stabilization (any overhead lifting, squats, etc.).

2. Most people use the warm-up as an oppurtunity to develop some of the skills required for some of the exercises featured in the WOD. Cycling through a series of exercises that includes some O-lifting (i.e. overhead squat, front squat, etc.), gymnastics moves (handstand push-ups, ring dips) and abdominal work (l-sit, glute-ham sit-ups, toes-to-bar) along with some stretching is usually the norm. The goal is to lightly stress, not seriously tax the body. However as your body adjusts, the level of your warm-up will increase. There's a great article concerning warm-ups in the April 2003 issue of the Crossfit Journal.

3. I think a lot of people would say that the WOD by itself is enough to significantly develop cardio capacity. Others will say that, if you have enough energy post WOD to do much of anything else, then you're not pushing hard enough DURING the WOD. Personally, I would keep any extra cardio conditioning to a minimum. If the training is part of your sport (i.e. your a cyclist) then I would try to schedule it at a different time in the day (i.e. bike in the morning, WOD in the afternoon).

Hope this helps,

Ryan
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Old 04-19-2004, 11:52 AM   #3
Larry Lindenman
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Ryan gave a great answer, I would add. . . most of the strongest men in the world do NOT work abs in isolation. Heavy Deadlifts, squats, overhead squats, etc. all work the abs in ways isolation work could never approach. That being said the WOD does work the abs (see today) in a semi regular way. The only time I would work extra cardio is if I were training for a specific event, and then I would run a tempo run at the distance for 4-5 weeks prior to the event (allowing for a taper). Beyond that your only contributing to overtraining with no additional gain in cardio-respiratory efficiency.
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Old 04-19-2004, 01:54 PM   #4
James Taft
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Andy. I just want to re-iterate what Ryan and Larry said above. You will get your ab training in if you do the WOD (even when a ab-specific exercise is listed). I don't know about you, but yesterdays Deadlift/Pull-up workout made my abs cramp up really nice. The abs are a stabilizer muscle too (besides being a good place to wash your clothes!), so you will train them heavily if you are doing all of the movements prescribed by the WOD. You might not think it because most of us grew up reading Muscle & Fitness, etc. where it says to do 15 variations of the crunch. If a ripped six pack is your goal, then DIET is your watch word. I do cardio (intervals/pace runs) 4 times a week at around 0630 in the morning and the WOD in the evening. The break in between allows me to recover enough to be semi-fresh for the WOD. If you want to do both give it a shot and adjust the intensity of your cardio or WOD's (depending on your goals). Eventually, your body will adapt and you will be doing both well. Try doing L-sits on your parallettes to help with the no leg rope climb. Good luck

Jim
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Old 04-19-2004, 02:27 PM   #5
dave ojeda
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Welcome Andy,

If finger dexterity is an issue try some chinese hand balls as seen here:
http://www.handhealth.com/coord.asp

I have the larger ones and several other sizes. They have made a big difference for me.
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Old 04-19-2004, 06:15 PM   #6
Andy Petranek
 
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Thanks all for you input! Appreciated. btw - my fingers were out of commission due to my forearm pump and fatigue from the previous four WODs...much better now...
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