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

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Old 01-24-2008, 05:56 PM   #1
Steven Anderson
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Gymnastics vs. SS

Well, I am kind of torn. Should I concentrate on gymnastics skills and progressions or embark on a SS program? I have always wanted to be able to perform those amazing bodyweight feats of strength, i.e. one arm pull ups, crosses, planches, levers (front and back) etc. I love the sense of strength that comes with them. I've read about gymnasts as small as 5'3" and 135lbs deadlift 3 times there bodyweight without ever deadlifting before. On the other hand, not too many 6'3" 250lbs. 400lbs deadlifters doing plances or levers. So, what gives? I have always loved bodyweight exercises but have never taken them to the next level, and like I said above have always admired that kind of strength as opposed to the SS kind. It seems that the gymnastics strength is more transferrable to moving heavy iron instead of vice versa. Should I focus all of my energy into being able to peform certain gymnastic skills? Can I still perform some heavy lifts on different days? Will too much metcon (not going to give that up) hinder the gymnastics progressions and can I still get a full workout just trying to progress? For ex. I've tried the "frog planche" holds where you work up to one minute. I occassionally fall over and have to get back up into position. Is this progressing and is this what I should expect when first starting out. Is doing this day in and day out enough of a strength and skill workout? I can do many MU's, pull ups, dips, push ups and HSPU'S (against a wall) in a row, so I'm certain the strength is there. Any advice would be much appreciated.
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Old 01-24-2008, 06:04 PM   #2
Tom Woodward
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Re: Gymnastics vs. SS

No input from me. Just want to say I'm in the exact same boat (6'5" 210). Just began Starting Strength but already miss working L sits, Handstands, and such. I'll wait with bated breath to see if Steven Low says I can have my cake and eat it too.
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:06 PM   #3
Steven Anderson
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Re: Gymnastics vs. SS

Well, I am only 5'9" and 160 lbs., more towards the gymnast size per se. I like the SS concept, but immense strength in the weight room is really is not my goal. I don't intend to drink a gallon of milk a day to increase weight or mass or anything like that. I want to continue to stay the size that I am but be able to perform all the advanced gymnast moves. I just finished reading SS and loved it. Now I await Coach Sommers book on gymnastic training that is supposed to be out soon. Probably going to be two opposite ends of the spectrum.
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:13 PM   #4
Daniel Hubbard
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Re: Gymnastics vs. SS

Steven-

Reading through your posts, the answer is kind of obvious. You really want to do gymnastics. So. . . do it. Starting Strength isn't going anywhere. It'll still be there in 6 months. Do your gymnastics and when you need a break, work on the heavy lifts. It's an easy decision to accept once you decide that acquiring the skills necessary for Crossfitting is going to take several years. And yes, I agree that the gymnastics skill set will transfer more easily to heavy lifts than vice versa. Especially considering that if you do start lifting heavier and end up putting on some mass, then that's just more weight you'll have to learn how to balance (in the case that you do SS first).
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:24 PM   #5
Jeff R Tucker
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Re: Gymnastics vs. SS

Steven,

they work toward the same common goal in my opinion when looking at the larger picture. Meaning that controlling current body wieght and using it to build the needed strength will allow you to gain that much more when it comes time for you to go all out SS.

I agree with Daniel and think he is spot on. Gymnastics moves, real control, and conditioning will allow you so very much toward the goal you may have in SS in my humble opinion.

In any gymnastic skill basic or other wise, form and real control of the move needs to be mastered. Such as doing a handstand without the wall - or a HSPU with out or very little control assistance is a high end strength move.

Good luck my man - stay safe out there.


t
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:42 PM   #6
Steven Low
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Re: Gymnastics vs. SS

It's fairly easy to program heavy lifting with gymnastics based strength progressions. For example, take a look at this thread. Actual program design is post #46, but read through the whole thing to get a background on why we are constructing a program designed towards his goal:

wfs
http://www.board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=24494

If you want something similar we can do that. Obviously, obtaining bodyweight skills are going to take more work from you though because your height and size, but that doesn't mean you can't obtain them.

FYI, you generally have to choose what you want to work on if you're going to do something like this. Heavy lifting + bodyweight strength often excludes most if not all metcon to produce optimal gains. Make sure it's something you really want to work towards at the expense of your fitness/conditioning.
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:45 PM   #7
Steven Anderson
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Re: Gymnastics vs. SS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
It's fairly easy to program heavy lifting with gymnastics based strength progressions. For example, take a look at this thread. Actual program design is post #46, but read through the whole thing to get a background on why we are constructing a program designed towards his goal:

wfs
http://www.board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=24494

If you want something similar we can do that. Obviously, obtaining bodyweight skills are going to take more work from you though because your height and size, but that doesn't mean you can't obtain them.

FYI, you generally have to choose what you want to work on if you're going to do something like this. Heavy lifting + bodyweight strength often excludes most if not all metcon to produce optimal gains. Make sure it's something you really want to work towards at the expense of your fitness/conditioning.
I would much rather incorporate the bodyweight + metcon and just exclude the heavy lifting.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:22 PM   #8
Grant Scalf
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Re: Gymnastics vs. SS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Anderson View Post
I would much rather incorporate the bodyweight + metcon and just exclude the heavy lifting.
I don't think that would get you to your stated goals. Read that thread Stephen spoke of - and in that thread he speaks of another thread: http://www.bodyweighttraining.org/fo...opic.php?t=794 wfs. It's a long read, but well worth it. It is especially good if you want to learn a little of the methodology of what Stephen laid out for that guy.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:45 PM   #9
Steven Low
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Re: Gymnastics vs. SS

That link is dead as it got deleted [accidentally I guess]. There's another one on the site as well as on APK and powerathletesmag.

Bodyweight and metcon is fine. That's pretty much standard gymnastics work. I would finish reading that thread though.. and get some goals then we can hash something out.
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:42 AM   #10
Mirza Besic
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Re: Gymnastics vs. SS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Hubbard View Post
Steven-

Reading through your posts, the answer is kind of obvious. You really want to do gymnastics. So. . . do it. Starting Strength isn't going anywhere. It'll still be there in 6 months. Do your gymnastics and when you need a break, work on the heavy lifts. It's an easy decision to accept once you decide that acquiring the skills necessary for Crossfitting is going to take several years. And yes, I agree that the gymnastics skill set will transfer more easily to heavy lifts than vice versa. Especially considering that if you do start lifting heavier and end up putting on some mass, then that's just more weight you'll have to learn how to balance (in the case that you do SS first).
I've tried combining the two, I'm honestly not conditioned enough and have been tired for days after my workouts. What I suggest is if you want to do SS and gymnastics at first at least do it in seperate sections. Do a cycle of SS then do some gymnastics for a few months.

I'm doing SS (edited for myself and my level) to gain size because I was plateuing on gymnastics moves like no other. So I'm going to pack on more meat, then refine it with the rings. After I plateu on the rings after that I will rinse and repeat.

After a few cycles of that (aprox 1 year) I plan on trying a combined 5 day split again; hopefully I'll be more conditioned then.

Also gymnastics takes a lot longer to progress than weight lifting and its really hard to see your progress once you get past the tuck planche because even the smallest movement increases the difficulty exponentially.

I'm personally on the verge of doing a stradle planche, in fact I've held it with bad for for 2 seconds as the FIRST thing I did the other day. I was only able to do it ONCE and at the begining of my workout.

Hopefully in a few months I'll be at a level where I can progress to a full stradle planche for a few seconds CONSISTENTLY.

Anyways hope that helps.
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