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

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Old 07-11-2008, 09:24 PM   #11
Scott Borre
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Re: My current position on CF WoDs

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Originally Posted by Chris Bate View Post
The idea that CF would be great for MMA/combat sports is something that has been a strong point for the program, IMO.

Recently, however, there's been a lot of interesting discussion on sherdog about serious conditioning for fighters, prompted by appearance of Joe Jamison on the forums, director of endzone athletics. He has worked with professional fighters such as Mach Sakurai, Rich Franklin, and Chris Lebon.

He absolutely abhors Crossfit (got in a rather testy argument with Anthony Bainbridge about it) but his approaches to S&C, from what I can glean from his posts, are very logical and allow very specific development towards an end goal. His principals are taken from Russian texts and are a sort of marriage of science and athletics that are far from the norm.

It really prompted me to reflect on my training, the goals I have, and whether following Crossfit WoDs is the right thing for me right now as a wrestler. I agree with Brandon in that Crossfit's usefulness seems to pale when "working out" for "fitness" becomes "training" for an event.
Amazing. A competitor argues that his system is better.

Watch the video on - http://www.endzoneathletics.com/ (WFS)

It should answer all your questions why he's against CrossFit (because you don't have to pay to get your answers solved with CrossFit).

Last edited by Lynne Pitts : 07-18-2008 at 05:51 AM.
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Old 07-12-2008, 01:30 AM   #12
Donald Lee
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Re: My current position on CF WoDs

CF WOD are mostly metcon. I can't think of any strength & conditioning program in the world that puts this much emphasis on metcon. I believe many affiliates have realized the downfalls of following the homepage WOD and follow their own programming. The high volume, high intensity metcons just lead to burnout.

With that being said, I know the homepage WOD is a just model set out for the mass public. Following the WOD may be useful and comfortable for many people, but I highly doubt it's the best for forging elite "fitness" in a real world sense.

I think many will agree that strength gains are slow in CF. In the real world, you can never be strong enough, but CF seems to assume that once you achieve a certain threshold of strength, further strength gains are not too important.

I think a MEBB or Gant Grime's Hybrid approach is much more effective for rapidly achieving elite fitness levels. Basically, lift heavy and then do some conditioning afterwards. Or lift heavy one day and then do conditioning the next day. Or you can do short and heavy circuits. None of this is new.

CFers have just tried to delude what's been working for decades and put a CF label on it. For example, Ross Enamait has not been influenced by CrossFit, yet everybody says his stuff is CF. If anyone lifts weights instead of using machines and utilizes some form of anaerobic conditioning, is it CF?

CF is a great program, but it's not the end-all-be-all. Everyone has different goals and different weaknesses and different needs. To each their own.
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Old 07-12-2008, 01:55 AM   #13
Noel Welsh
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Re: My current position on CF WoDs

Brandon, you're confusing the Crossfit WOD with Crossfit the movement and community. The Crossfit main page WOD can't be the best program for any particular person, as it isn't tailored to their goals and current abilities. It is, however, a good program (appropriately scaled) for a wide range of people, which is all it can be.

The Crossfit movement and community is, in my opinion, a fantastic thing. It has spurred the development of a whole slew of more focused programs (Performance Menu, Hybrid, Endurance etc.) It has brought together a great number of incredibly knowledgeable folk who share their learning for free. It has defined a model of fitness that is actually healthy, in contrast to the bodybuilding culture that still dominates gyms and the public's perception of what working out means. And finally it has given you and I the knowledge to create our own programs and pursue our fitness goals in a safe and effective manner. This empowerment of the individual is, in my opinion, the most important thing Crossfit has done. Who can argue with a site that provides free videos of Mark Rippetoe coaching squat form, or Mike Burgener coaching the olympic lifts, for example? The Crossfit affiliates are just an extension of this. Attending a facility where the individual actually gets coaching on their form empowers them to take their learning and apply it in, for example, their garage gym if they wish. Machine-based gyms build dependency, as you can't exercise without them. Crossfit builds freedom -- you can take your workouts to the park, or the garage, or any other venue.

Finally, do we need elite fitness? Most of us aren't professional athletes or fitness professionals, so won't have the time to achieve the level of, say, OPT. But fitness is a genuinely useful thing, and I can assure you that a program designed by people with the goal of mediocre fitness would not be worth your or my precious time. You need the obsession, the focus on the elite, to achieve everything that Crossfit has, and something that you and I can learn and take elements from. Finally, let's take a broader view. We're all going to die in the end, so it's what we do along the way that counts. If it's fun, let's do it. It doesn't need justification beyond that. Having goals and reaching them is fun. Seeing guys like OPT killing it gives me a goal, and shows me how far the human body can go. I'll probably never get there, but I'm having a great deal of fun trying.
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Old 07-12-2008, 05:04 AM   #14
Dave Parmly
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Re: My current position on CF WoDs

In a world with little absolutes, people tend to latch on to their experience as the only thing that matters. For many here, IMHAWIO, CF has become a source of strength and purpose in their life. Like a religion is to many. The problem is how most "religious" people deal with anyone who questions that faith: Usually the response is not good.

Fitness is like religion: It is intensely personal and the journey is continuous. I occasionally do the WOD as RXd, but usually do another from my book of WODs, maybe one that is fitting what I am capable of, or what attacks a weakness of mine that will affect my pursuit of what matters to me.

I struggle with getting beginners or even "recreational exercisers" to get started on CF because of it's inherent difficulty and intensity. BrandX helps but it's not the movements as much as the high-demand intensity that makes CF unique, IMO. That means it is not for everyone, nor do we want it to be.

CF has a bit of counter-culture to it. I like that. It's like throwing rocks at a cathedral. The funny thing is, many on this site act now like CF is the cathedral, and cannot be questioned, cannot be discussed, cannot be modified to fit our individual needs. Ironic, to say the least.

Brandon, I appreciated your post and tend to agree. You have made many wise contributions to just about any thread you contribute to or originate.
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Old 07-12-2008, 06:19 AM   #15
Jack Gayton
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Re: My current position on CF WoDs

I'm still too much of a novice to weigh in on benefits of the CFHQ WOD vs hybrid programs, MEBB etc.

I will say that after a year of doing the main page WOD, I've burned out. CFT has been stagnant and I've stopped progressing in terms of strength. I just started following the program laid out by Gant (as I believe many others have). I intend on following that for 12 weeks and then going back to the main page WOD w/ modifications (less chippers, more heavy lifting and short metcons). I'll also throw in some extra rest as the 3/1 just wears me down.

For me, the main benefit of following the WOD off the main page is it makes me do things I would never do myself. It pushes me and forces me to shine a light on my weaknesses. I have no desire to create my own program. Call me lazy or whatever, I don't care.

There is just something about logging on in the morning, wondering what kind of madness is going to be posted on the main page. Then, that feeling of accomplishment when I complete it. There may be flaws in the program, but it seems like it's continually evolving.
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Old 07-12-2008, 06:36 AM   #16
Brandon Oto
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Re: My current position on CF WoDs

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Originally Posted by George Mounce View Post
All you did was say you do what you like. Anyone can do what they like. The point is to do what you hate, because thats where we most often are worse at.
The balance here, though, is that we generally only do things we hate if there's a good reason for it.

If you vitally need what a 3:00 Fran gives you, as compared to your current 4:00 Fran, then yes, you should be sweating it out and building that up. But part of what I'm going for here is to look around the classroom and ask everyone WHY they need this. Because it seems like for a lot of people, their reason is something vague like "to be fit!" and really boils down to "it's what the CrossFit community pursues," and it doesn't seem to me that conformity is either a good nor a sustainable reason to do things you hate.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald Lee View Post
CF WOD are mostly metcon. I can't think of any strength & conditioning program in the world that puts this much emphasis on metcon. I believe many affiliates have realized the downfalls of following the homepage WOD and follow their own programming. The high volume, high intensity metcons just lead to burnout.
Yes, yes, yes. This is my main contention. Why this much metcon? It has strong negatives and its positives are 95% of the time not worth it. Glassman says it's the sine qua non for improved fitness but I don't see that.

Quote:
With that being said, I know the homepage WOD is a just model set out for the mass public. Following the WOD may be useful and comfortable for many people, but I highly doubt it's the best for forging elite "fitness" in a real world sense.
I also agree with this. The program does WORK for most. But the only realm where it's ideal is ease-of-use.

Quote:
I think many will agree that strength gains are slow in CF. In the real world, you can never be strong enough, but CF seems to assume that once you achieve a certain threshold of strength, further strength gains are not too important.
Again I agree. You aren't getting appreciably stronger once you can move those 95lb thrusters -- nor are you improving your balance, accuracy, agility, etc. etc. The ME days help but the balance is still way skewed.


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Originally Posted by Noel Welsh View Post
Brandon, you're confusing the Crossfit WOD with Crossfit the movement and community.
I agree that the community and movement has created some awesome things. Hell, if nothing else, it's where I turned from couch potato to athlete and learned nearly everything I know about training. But as I said, this isn't what I'm focused on here, and the only reason I'd feel the need to bring it up is to prove that I'm not attacking CrossFit, which I hope won't be necessary unless the burning stakes come out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Parmly View Post
I struggle with getting beginners or even "recreational exercisers" to get started on CF because of it's inherent difficulty and intensity. BrandX helps but it's not the movements as much as the high-demand intensity that makes CF unique, IMO. That means it is not for everyone, nor do we want it to be.
This is one of the key points, IMO. CrossFit has literally made being "hard as hell" an intrinsic part of its culture and programming, by elevating the idea of intensity. In a very straightforward translation, this means that it costs a great deal. The rewards of fitness are high, but are the rewards of THIS level of fitness THAT high? Only if you need it for some reason.

Strictly speaking, CrossFit without maximal intensity seems like not CrossFit at all, yet that basically means that CrossFit without being a horrible experience is not an option, and it doesn't seem like a horrible experience is something most of us vitally need to reach our goals. If CF is a program only for people willing to truly devote their lives in every aspect to becoming as fit as humanly possible, this would make more sense, but it's framed as a program for everyone, with the "scaling" only intended to make it POSSIBLE until you can work up to rx'd. Elite fitness is NOT for everyone! It requires major sacrifices! This is true for elite marathoners, powerlifters, and the guys who hang iron weights from their balls; why would it be different for thrusters and pushups?

Most people who look at CF workouts turn away and say, "it's not for me." Why? Because it's bleeding well not! If they ask, "why would I need to do all this horrible stuff?" what's our answer? "To become fit?" That's a LIE. You don't need to be brutalizing yourself five times a week and weighing your chicken to become fit, not the kind of fitness they're talking about. Thus they won't be interested, which is a shame, because they could still be doing something functional and effective, but instead might end up doing WiiFit.
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Old 07-12-2008, 06:41 AM   #17
Brandon Oto
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Re: My current position on CF WoDs

Jack, you brought up a good additional point. Doing the CF main page WoD for some period of time may have lasting benefits, such as just crashing your *** into fitness, no excuses or dithering. Actually, I feel one of the biggest benefits is mental; if you've done the WoDs for a while, you have a very good sense for your physical limits, and this means that regardless of your actual fitness you're able to push harder, farther, and longer than someone who hasn't habitually ground this hard, since they'll probably stop and think they're dying. That's a lasting adaptation IMO, but you don't need to keep pounding away 3/1 to maintain it.
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Old 07-12-2008, 06:47 AM   #18
Jay Cohen
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Re: My current position on CF WoDs

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Originally Posted by Brandon Oto View Post

and the guys who hang iron weights from their balls;

weighing your chicken
Do you weigh your chicken with the Iron Weights attached, or without?


All humor aside, when I first saw the thread title, I didn't even bother to open or read, but now that I've read current posts, it's a great discussion and you have presented your points well.
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Old 07-12-2008, 07:17 AM   #19
Robert Olajos
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Re: My current position on CF WoDs

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Originally Posted by Brandon Oto View Post
the best option for anyone too retarded to develop their own personalized GPP program.
Hey, I resemble that remark!

CF, for me, is a gateway drug. Previously, I wanted to improve fitness but had no idea how. CF plus personal commitment brought me to where I am now. Today, after flirting with BrandX and SS, I'm doing MEBB. Maybe someday I'll be doing mainpage as Rx. Or maybe I'll have moved beyond that. Regardless, CF is perfect for someone tired with the same-old-same-old.

Great thread.
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Old 07-12-2008, 07:24 AM   #20
Chris Bate
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Re: My current position on CF WoDs

Many of the problems brought up by Brandon could be solved by incororating a BrandX-style scaling system into the WoD (without the funny names). Sure, we have BrandX, but having it right on the main page is what would keep those people interested who might have turned away in the beginning.
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