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

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Old 05-09-2008, 12:43 PM   #1
Aaron Moburg-Jones
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Dave Castro's CF Games Article

Many interesting things to say about it, but I'll start with just two.

First, for my own benefit, I wish the conclusion would have been something other than "be good at everything to succeed in the games." But I guess that's the nature of CF. Maybe the only standout was that Josh can't do muscle ups (that was my interpretation of the table, though I could be wrong) which makes me feel a little better since mine suck. But it means he would have lost had MU's come out of the hopper. Wouldn't it have been cool to find out that there was something that just owned each one of these guys. It would make it seem a little more possible. Like I can get around 8 on helen and mid 20's on cindy, but I get owned by Elizabeth. These guys kill them all.

Maybe the one thing I saw that really impressed me was that they all have ungodly pull-up totals. Maybe that is the key? Maybe I'm just deperate for a key

Second, whatever we've done in our past plays significant role in how we CF now. Josh had a 50 second 400m partially because he was a sprinter in college. It lets him crush Helen without training CF all the time and without running much. Both AFT and OPT were runners before they started just doing the WOD. They are still great runners which let them get good 5k times. In other words, it is not that CF made them into 18:30 5k runners, it's that they already were and CF allows them to maintain that without running much. This is my experience as a former compettive runner as well.

It could be the same with lifting, though I couldn't exactly tell. These people are all fitness professional (I think ... Josh a strength coach, OPT a trainer and former elite athlete and I don't know AFT's background but I think he is a trainer too). It's not like lifting heavy weights was new to them.

I guess what I'm saying is that CF can make you a monster and is the best program out there, but the people who are the best at the "the best program out there" are all high level athletes who have 15 or more years of training experience under their belt. So people shouldn't get discouraged if their times get rocked by Eva (olympic Athlete) Josh (college strength and conditioning coach and former elite college athlete) OPT (fitness professional and former elite athlete). We may have been doing CF for about the same amount of time but you cannot discount the years of training and experience that went to making them who they were before they started crossfit.

We'll have to wait a few years to see what we produce when people who started CF at 13 compete at CrossFit Games 2028.
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Old 05-09-2008, 01:05 PM   #2
Scott Allen Hanson
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Re: Dave Castro's CF Games Article

"High level athletes" is your key. CrossFit won't make elite athletes out of average Joes/Josephines. Don't discount the genetics of these athletes. CrossFit will, however, allow many average people to achieve their best all-around fitness, and probably more fit than 90+% of their peers.

Who is most likely to excel at the CF Games? People who are avid, dedicated CrossFitters who also happen to have superior genetics. Past training plays some role too, but certainly isn't the only, or even the primary reason that these athletes are elite.

Also, for what its worth, I'd be very surprised if Josh Everett couldn't do a muscle-up. In fact, I seem to recall him posting a sub-3:00 for the 30 MU WOD, but my memory might be faulty.
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Old 05-09-2008, 04:23 PM   #3
Tom Woodward
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Re: Dave Castro's CF Games Article

Mabye I missed the boat on this one, but I can't find nor have I heard about this article. I'd love to read it. Could you please post if possible?

My take on the dicussion is that strength and skill play a significant role in the equation. It takes years to build the necessary raw strength as well as the technical skill and flexibility to perform heavy, high rep cleans, thrusters, kb swings, etc. Having this strength also makes it that much easier for your cardio respiratory system to take the pounding of a WOD.

In contrast, endurance takes markedly less time to build up (somewhere around 4 months to go from 0 to decent). The first step in preparing to challenge for the CF games from scratch would be to train strength for 4 or 5 years (or 15 or 20 in OPT and Eva's case) then start building up endurance 5 months before the games. Then you could kill a 5K and Elizabth. Basically, I'll see you guys there in 2012.
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Old 05-09-2008, 07:47 PM   #4
Scott Allen Hanson
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Re: Dave Castro's CF Games Article

CFJ Issue Sixty, August 2007, "Reading Between the Lines"

Not offered as a freebie yet.
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:11 AM   #5
John McBrien
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Re: Dave Castro's CF Games Article

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Allen Hanson View Post
CFJ Issue Sixty, August 2007, "Reading Between the Lines"

Not offered as a freebie yet.
CF actually just posted the article for free on the CrossFit Games website. It's a great read.

http://games.crossfit.com/docs/Games...adBtwLines.pdf
(WFS)
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Old 05-10-2008, 02:43 PM   #6
miguel flores
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Re: Dave Castro's CF Games Article

If someone could post the full article-(not the link to it) on here that would be awesome. Being on deployment internet access is very limited. plus not being able to download pdf files doesnt help! Thanks alot for your help!!
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Old 05-10-2008, 04:10 PM   #7
David Meverden
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Re: Dave Castro's CF Games Article

Quote:
I guess what I'm saying is that CF can make you a monster and is the best program out there, but the people who are the best at the "the best program out there" are all high level athletes who have 15 or more years of training experience under their belt.

Quote:
Who is most likely to excel at the CF Games? People who are avid, dedicated CrossFitters who also happen to have superior genetics. Past training plays some role too, but certainly isn't the only, or even the primary reason that these athletes are elite.
I want to echo this and be perfectly clear about the cause-effect I see in effect here. In an effort to be clear my statements may sound dismissive, but bear with me.

Fifteen years of high level training experience didn't create their physical crossfit potential, but rather their crossfit potential led them to 15 years of high level training.

That make sense? People tend to do what they are good at, so if they are naturally gifted athletes (who have tons of crossfit potential) they do athletics. So put one more way: The GENES that allowed the games winners to be successful high level athletes for 15 years allowed them to become crossfit monsters.

Don't get me wrong, skill sets and coordination gained from past training will absolutely put you ahead in crossfit (maybe a few years ahead for olympic lifts) but I'm talking about physical aspects. And just in case I'm coming across wrong let me also give the disclaimer about the mental aspects involved: I'm not trying to dismiss AT ALL the unworldly determination, tenacity, willingness to sacrifice, etc, that are required to become truly elite, nor am I questioning the fact that these people ABSOLUTELY earned in sweat what they got.
Quote:
CrossFit won't make elite athletes out of average Joes/Josephines. Don't discount the genetics of these athletes. CrossFit will, however, allow many average people to achieve their best all-around fitness, and probably more fit than 90+% of their peers.
You're absolutely right here, that when compared to an absolute standard 99% of people cannot reach an elite, competitive, level. But I want to put out the argument that crossfit is not REALLY about that absolute standard, but rather about achieving a level that for YOUR potential is elite. About making you realize that even WITHOUT crazy athlete genetics you CAN be strong, CAN be fast: Faster and stronger than you ever thought you could be.

I love watching the monsters going at it, but I'm personally much more inspired by the 60+ year old grandma doing 82 lb cleans. Give me a shout out if you feel the same way!
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Old 05-10-2008, 05:09 PM   #8
Steven Low
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Re: Dave Castro's CF Games Article

Strongly disagree.

You guys overrate genetics too much. It (genetics) is much more apparent in power, strength and endurance biased sports. With mixed modal domains everyone is on more or less equal footing due to muscle fiber physiology. The only difference is in work capacity which is obviously limited by genetics is much, much, MUCH less of a gap between "elites" and "averages" than normal with *a lot* of hard work put in. Heck, there's tons of people who are work-hard people that do well in sports like gymnastics and basketball where you don't necessarily have to have superior genetics to do very well (elite yes obviously).

They (athletes) have the advantage of having probably a high strength, high work capacity coming in so it's about more or less adapting to specific work and making it into elite while gaining the requisite strength and conditioning of some average joe will take more than a couple of years to do even with optimal diet.

CF has been around for more or less about 10 years and didn't get significant influxes of people until probably around about 5 years ago or less. This means that average joes that came around then will probably be advanced or elite now -- and they will have had to stick with the program for all of those 5 years. On the other hand, athletes coming in already have the a big initial advantage and it may only take them a year or two to acclimate. So in effect you're getting uneven bias of athlete:joe ratio here. This is not to mention that said joes would have not only had to stick around for 5+ years but also have had to have an optimal diet to elicit said performance. So while it SEEMS like there's no "elite" joes it's because there's just not many non-athletic people that have stuck around it for long enough with good diets to maximize performance.
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Last edited by Steven Low : 05-10-2008 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:11 PM   #9
David Meverden
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Re: Dave Castro's CF Games Article

Steven, you're "Elite Joes" theory is intriguing. Now when you say "Joes" are you referring to people of average genetic potential for athleticism or average level of previous athletic training?

If you mean athletic training I think your hypothesis will pan out, but if you mean genetic potential (that while real is admittedly rather amorphous and unmeasureable) I don't think it will happen. I agree with you that crossfit will allow for a wider competition base than say, professional football (for which only 0.04% of high school senior football players will go pro), but I still would find it hard to believe that more than, say, 0.5% of the male population would ever be capable of competing with those top three guys at the crossfit games, regardless of the amount of training.

Granted this is all fairly baseless speculation, as genetic potential for athleticism is unmeasurable, but what kind of percentages are you thinking, Steven?
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:45 PM   #10
Steven Low
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Re: Dave Castro's CF Games Article

Both to some extent. Well, those without previous athletic training is fairly obvious. If I was a singer or something my whole life and never worked out it would take much longer to build up a requisite level of strength and conditioning that I would be able to do CF WODs even as rx'd. Even with great training to even catch up in strength with what these guys are capable of would take a couple years... combine that with conditioning and you get probably 4-5+ years of solid work with a non-athletic background.

Now genetics obviously do play a factor. I won't give any percentages because I honestly don't know either but some people of average 'genetic' abilities with a solid diet and sleep schedule + CF should be able to put up elite times. Beat top 3 CFers? Well, I don't know about that, but they should be close up there.

I think football is a fairly poor analogy (heck, basketball is a poor analogy too) because of the biasing of body size towards those particular professions. Same with gymnastics to an extent. The thing about CF is that it doesn't require a particular genetic fiber type or really body size either (well, there is some amount of variation in body size between OPT/AFT/Everett/Spealler) so it's more or less variable a bit so far. We'll get a better impression of how things pan out through this next CF games though since I think more people will show up and get a better sample.
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