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Garrett Smith
07-22-2008, 12:58 PM
For your consideration, a potential long-term negative effect of overstimulation of the neuroendocrine pathways via GPP:

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to compare the concentration changes in hormones from pituitary - gonadal axis, induced by the 400 m run in the well-trained athletes (vice-champions in the Hall and Summer Athletic World Championship in 1999) to the changes observed in the competitors with shorter training period and achieving worse final results. METHODS: This research was conducted on 6 males - members of the Polish Olympic Team, who won vice-championship in the Hall and Summer World Championships 1999 and 6 athletes trained in the academic sport clubs. In the recent investigation, the 400 m run was assumed to be a stimulating impulse for evoking hormonal changes. The blood samples were taken from the elbow vein before the run, immediately after the effort and after the 24-hour rest. In the serum, the luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), total testosterone (TT), free testosterone (FT) as well as the sex hormones-binding globulin (SHBG) concentrations were determined. RESULTS: During our research, immediately after the 400 m run in group I - the top class sportsmen - the statistically significant increase in both gonadotrophins (LH, FSH) was determined as well as the decrease in the total and free testosterone. In the group II - the athletes with the lower training level - the increase in FSH and the total and free testosterone concentrations was noticed. There were no statistically significant differences in the SHBG concentration. After-effort increase in the lactic acid concentration was observed in both groups. In the master group I, the increase in lactic acid concentration was higher than in group II. In both groups after the 24-hour restitution, the examined parameters, except LH levels in the group I, showed the concentrations similar to those before the effort. Analysis of the time needed to cover the distance of the race showed that the athletes from group I covered the distance of 400 m in the shorter time. CONCLUSIONS: The group of master class athletes, whose average intensive training period was 8 years, had higher VO(2max) and higher after-effort increase in the lactic acid concentration than in the group of sportsmen with the shorter training period (4 years), who had lower VO(2max), worse sport results and lower after-effort increase in the lactic acid concentration, gave different hormonal response (particularly TT, FT concentration) for the same exercise impulse. The difference based on the fact, that after the run in group I the decrease in the total and free testosterone levels and in group II the increase in the same parameters were observed. The observed hormonal changes in the master class athletes induced by the years-long anaerobic training might provide evidence for the reduction of functional reserves in gonads when compared to the group of less trained sportsmen.

EDIT: link to study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12032423?ordinalpos=2&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVDocSum)

For a discussion on this study related to bodybuilding, see here: http://mesomorphosis.com/articles/dharkam/bodybuilding-and-testosterone-levels.htm

Pat McElhone
07-22-2008, 04:40 PM
I base a lot of my decisions on samples sizes this small. In fact, I usually use a sample of 1 (me). What was the "effect" size? What was actually "statistically significant"?, what was the p-value. The only thing worse then making clinical decisions based solely on studies is making them after reading abstracts of potentially flawed studies. Maybe the elite eastern European athletes took exogenous testosterone (no offense to any Polish readers).

Garrett Smith
07-22-2008, 04:54 PM
Pat, I understand where you're coming from. The exogenous hormone point is a valid one.

Generally, elite athletes are not well-known for longevity. Could this be the reason? That's an issue at hand.

The point to considering this early is that there will be lots of samples to look at in 5-8 years, after the "more is better" GPP trend of current times has come and gone. I for one don't want to find out later that my hormonal axis is permanently tuckered out by overtaxing them too much, too often when I was younger.

I've been dealing with too many burned out, excessively overtrained, GPP-heavy folks lately to not seriously take this into consideration (and these are only short-term people, often with significant sporting backgrounds).

This is the early research. Take it or leave it...

Pat McElhone
07-22-2008, 06:05 PM
Garrett,

I will leave the research. Study is not good enough for me to base decisions on. But, your first hand knowledge is.

It sounds like in your practice you are dealing with physical fit patients who are hitting the wall from excessive high intensity exercise. Is that correct? I am guessing that you believe (based on your first hand knowlegde) that all this high intensity training may not be good for us either now (burn out, injury, illness) or long term (HPA axis suppression leading hormonal imbalances in the future).

This reminds me of something I have heard from the Cardiology guys.. that we all have a finite number of heart beats, once we hit it.. the thing stops. This is a serious theory.

Steven Low
07-25-2008, 07:06 PM
Well, I would say some of it is being adapted to training hard = lower reponse.

Also, would consider that this is just pre/peri/post workout. Did they test response after they were out of competition after a year? Would their bodies have recovered by then to "return" to normal or is it permanent damage? Probably some of both I would assume... just like marathon runners and the oxidative damage they accumulate.

For most people I think burnout/overreaching/etc. is just a temporary thing. Unless they've been doing it for years on end (actual overtraining syndrome) I don't really see it going to be something that is going to permanently mess anything up.

Then again, we'll see if I get arthritis in my shoulders from too much strength work, eh? Everything is one big experiment unless you have definite evidence from predecessors (and it's not a given you're gonna listen to them either o_o).

Steve Liberati
07-25-2008, 08:11 PM
Yep, recovery is twice as important as training. However, my only concern about this study is the population being sampled - elite athletes. Wouldn't you say that elite athletes are at a much greater risk of burnout and other negative long-term effects associated with high intensity GPP, training as they are much closer to their genetic potential? Whereas, your average and above avg trainee, can get ride out the rigors of high intensity training for a longer period of time til they reach elite levels (if that ever happens).

Seems like a dig to the CrossFit program to me. I'm sure you can find more studies like this if you dig deep enough.

Allen Yeh
07-26-2008, 08:33 AM
While I can of course see this posting as a "dig" towards Crossfit. The gist I got from Garrett was just to discuss that particular study. People will see things that aren't there when it's a sensitive issue (i.e. seeing any conflicting information as a dig). Granted there are plenty of places and people that put down CF at the drop of a hat. I really didn't get that vibe this time.

Brandon Oto
07-26-2008, 09:03 AM
Can you summarize your reading of that study, Garrett? I don't think I'm seeing the same conclusion you are.

Danny John
07-26-2008, 09:09 AM
Maybe I am blind, or just not as attuned, but I can't see how this is a dig against crossfit.

As to the point of studying Elite athletes, I would argue that studies of jiggling joggers on treadmills has had very little impact on our understanding of much. Elite athletes, by the way, usually tell the researchers what to study. I'm responsible for a lot of doctoral work in Ex Phys after I showed a number of candidates what people were actually doing...

Liam Dougherty Springer
07-26-2008, 09:17 AM
What is excessive training? what where these sportsmen doing durring the durration of there training history? how much rest did they take, sleep, diet, medication? I don't know what the common practices of elite athletes are when training at an olympic level but from reading about swimmers I get the idea it could be hours on end of strenuouse training in their sport every morning 6 days a week and supplemental strength traing a few afternoons. I can't imagine a program like that could in anyway be geared towards longevity. Thats not to mention their diet. CF I dont think could be in the same catagory it IS the supplamental training Olympic athletes use in conjunction with their primary. This article is interesting but I cant apply it easily.

On another note I recently hurt myself lifting do to a want to take every day to the max as I was not happy with my strength. Gains were everything for me. Simoutaniousely I was happy with my Metcon and bodyweight times and was only puting in a "balls to the wall" max effort like one out of every three work outs. Durring this time my Metcon times droped steadily and I hit a plateau in my strength training ending in a injury. (my own careless falt)

I guess what I am saying is as far as gains are concerned I have learned I make better safer and possibly quicker gains when I take it easy some times but am sure to really give it my all others. You can have too much of a good thing.

Garrett Smith
07-26-2008, 03:12 PM
There are too many programs out there that could be filed under potentially excessive GPP for this to be leveled towards any one group.

One possible interpretation of that study could be that elite athletes likely have a longer training history/load (in multiple ways) than amateur athletes. This heavier "training" load may drain their endocrine system over time, hence less of a neuroendocrine response. However, that could be a totally incorrect conclusion, as they are still running faster than the amateurs and the decreased testosterone secretion may be all that is needed if they are more testosterone-sensitive (ie. their receptors are upregulated and ready to go). That's why I made sure to use the word "potential" in the first sentence of my initial post.

Things that may appear beneficial in the short-term, especially among exercisers new to intense GPP, may or may not be sustainable or beneficial long-term. There is a point of diminishing returns in nearly every endeavor we know of in physical training. Maybe the sprinters above had gone past that point.

For longevity's sake, one might strive to do the least amount of heavy/intense training in order to get the most benefits of said activity. This WILL not lead one to the ephemeral "elite" status, whatever that is. Moderation & longevity are not synonymous with the type of training loads that "elite" status entails. However, one could theoretically maximize the benefits while minimizing mechanical joint wear and potential drain on the neuroendocrine system (for those interested in the long haul).

Considering the relatively new exposure of many trainees to Oly lifting, especially of sorts that involve high repetitions + form breakdown at high fatigue levels (possibly from the beginning in newbies, and definitely at the completion of these type of workouts for all involved), there are other studies on aging elite athletes, particularly of weightlifters, that may also be of interest:

Knee osteoarthritis in former runners, soccer players, weight lifters, and shooters. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7718008?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=3&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed)

OBJECTIVE. To determine the relationship between different physical loading conditions and findings of knee osteoarthritis (OA). METHODS. We selected 117 male former top-level athletes (age range 45-68 years) who had participated in sports activities with distinctly different loading conditions: 28 had been long-distance runners, 31 soccer players, 29 weight lifters, and 29 shooters. Histories of lifetime occupational and athletic knee loading, knee injuries, and knee symptoms were obtained, and subjects were examined clinically and radiographically for knee findings of OA. RESULTS. The prevalence of tibiofemoral or patellofemoral OA based on radiographic examination was 3% in shooters, 29% in soccer players, 31% in weight lifters, and 14% in runners (P = 0.016 between groups). Soccer players had the highest prevalence of tibiofemoral OA (26%), and weight lifters had the highest prevalence of patellofemoral OA (28%). Subjects with radiographically documented knee OA had more symptoms, clinical findings, and functional limitations than did subjects without knee OA. By stepwise logistic regression analysis, the risk for having knee OA was increased in subjects with previous knee injuries (odds ratio [OR] 4.73), high body mass index at the age of 20 (OR 1.76/unit of increasing body mass index), previous participation in heavy work (OR 1.08/work-year), kneeling or squatting work (OR 1.10/work-year), and in subjects participating in soccer (OR 5.21). CONCLUSION. Soccer players and weight lifters are at increased risk of developing premature knee OA. The increased risk is explained in part by knee injuries in soccer players and by high body mass in weight lifters.
The increased OA risk is only partially explained by the higher body mass (not all WLers are Super-Heavies, right?).

Risk of osteoarthritis associated with long-term weight-bearing sports: a radiologic survey of the hips and knees in female ex-athletes and population controls. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8651993?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=3&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed)

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the risk of osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip and knee due to long-term weight-bearing sports activity in ex-elite athletes and the general population. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted of 81 female ex-elite athletes (67 middle- and long-distance runners, and 14 tennis players), currently ages 40-65, recruited from original playing records, and 977 age-matched female controls, taken from the age-sex register of the offices of a group general practice in Chingford, Northeast London, England. The definition of OA included radiologic changes (joint space narrowing and osteophytosis) in the hip joints, patellofemoral (PF) joints, and tibiofemoral (TF) joints. RESULTS: Compared with controls of similar age, the ex-athletes had greater rates of radiologic OA at all sites. This association increased further after adjustment for height and weight differences, and was strongest for the presence of osteophytes at the TF joints (odds ratio [OR] 3.57, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.89-6.71), at the PF joints (OR 3.50, 95% CI 1.80-6.81), narrowing at the PF joints (OR 2.97, 95% CI 1.15-7.67), femoral osteophytes (OR 2.52, 95% CI 1.01-6.26), and hip joint narrowing (OR 1.60, 95% CI 0.73-3.48), and was weakest for narrowing at the TF joints (OR 1.17, 95% CI 0.71-1.94). No clear risk factors were seen within the ex-athlete groups, although the tennis players tended to have more osteophytes at the TF joints and hip, but the runners had more PF joint disease. Within the control group, a small subgroup of 22 women who reported long-term vigorous weight-bearing exercise had risks of OA similar to those of the ex-athletes. Ex-athletes had similar rates of symptom reporting but higher pain thresholds than controls, as measured by calibrated dolorimeter. CONCLUSION: Weight-bearing sports activity in women is associated with a 2-3-fold increased risk of radiologic OA (particularly the presence of osteophytes) of the knees and hips. The risk was similar in ex-elite athletes and in a subgroup from the general population who reported long-term sports activity, suggesting that duration rather than frequency of training is important.
That last sentence is of particular importance. There appeared to be a similarity between the elites and active non-elites.

Lifetime musculoskeletal symptoms and injuries among former elite male athletes. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9443597?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=1&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed)

We studied the lifetime occurrence of musculoskeletal symptoms in former elite male athletes: 29 weight-lifters, 31 soccer players, 28 long-distance runners, and 29 shooters, 45-68 years of age. The proportion of subjects with monthly back pain during the past year was smaller among runners than among the other athletes, although not statistically significant. Monthly back pain was more common in weight-lifters with lifetime training hours above the median as compared with those below the median. The average intensity of the worst back pain during the past year was clearly higher in weight-lifters and soccer players, than in runners and shooters. Knee pain at least once a month during the past year was reported by 52% (CI 33-70%) of the soccer players, 31% (CI 15-51%) of the weight lifters, 21% (CI 8-41 %) of the runners, and 17% (CI 6-36%) of the shooters (p = 0.019). Soccer players had the highest number of sports-related knee injuries (p < 0.0001). Past knee injuries were associated with knee pain in later adulthood (p = 0.048). More runners reported having had hip pain episodes during their lifetime than other athletes, but no differences were found in the occurrence of hip pain during the past year. In conclusion, compared with shooters, athletes formerly exposed to heavy exercise did not report more frequent back pain during the past year, whereas a high intensity of back pain was typical of soccer players and weight-lifters. A predisposition to knee injuries in soccer players appears to increase the risk of future knee pain. Similarly, knee pain later in life seems to be more common in weight-lifters than in runners and shooters. Long-distance runners, on the other hand, are prone to an increased lifetime risk of hip pain.

More knee pain in WLers.

Osteoarthritis of weight bearing joints of lower limbs in former élite male athletes. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8111258?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=2&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed)

OBJECTIVE--To compare the cumulative 21 year incidence of admission to hospital for osteoarthritis of the hip, knee, and ankle in former élite athletes and control subjects. DESIGN--National population based study. SETTING--Finland. SUBJECTS--2049 male athletes who had represented Finland in international events during 1920-65 and 1403 controls who had been classified healthy at the age of 20. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Hospital admissions for osteoarthritis of the hip, knee, and ankle joints identified from the national hospital discharge registry between 1970 and 1990. RESULTS--Athletes doing endurance sports, mixed sports, and power sports all had higher incidences of admission to hospital for osteoarthritis than controls. Age adjusted odds ratios compared with controls were 1.73 (95% confidence interval 0.99 to 3.01, P = 0.063) in endurance, 1.90 (1.24 to 2.92, P = 0.003) in mixed sports athletes, and 2.17 (1.41 to 3.32, P = 0.0003) in power sports athletes. The mean age at first admission to hospital was higher in endurance athletes (70.6) than in other groups (58.2 in mixed sports, 61.9 in power sports, and 61.2 in controls). Among the 2046 respondents to a questionnaire in 1985, the odds ratios for admission to hospital were similar in all three groups after adjusting for age, occupation, and body mass index at 20 (2.37, 2.42, 2.68). CONCLUSIONS--Athletes from all types of competitive sports are at slightly increased risk of requiring hospital care because of osteoarthritis of the hip, knee, or ankle. Mixed sports and power sports lead to increased admissions for premature osteoarthritis, but in endurance athletes the admissions are at an older age.

More premature OA in the "power sport" athletes.

The long-term effects of physical loading and exercise lifestyles on back-related symptoms, disability, and spinal pathology among men. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7604346?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=4&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed)

STUDY DESIGN. Historical cohort, including selected subgroups. OBJECTIVES. To understand the long-term effects of exercise on back-related outcomes, back pain, sciatica, back-related hospitalizations, pensions, and magnetic resonance imaging findings were studied among former elite athletes. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA. Exercise and sports participation have become increasingly popular, as have recommendations of exercises for back problems, but little is known about their long-term effects. METHODS. Questionnaires were returned by 937 former elite athletes and 620 control subjects (83% response rate). Identification codes allowed record linkage to hospital discharge and pension registers. Magnetic resonance images were obtained of selected subgroups with contrasting physical loading patterns. RESULTS. Odds ratios for back pain were lower among athletes than among control subjects, with significant differences in endurance, sprinting and game sports, and wrestling and boxing. No differences in the occurrence of sciatica or in back-related pensions and hospitalizations were seen. When comparing lumbar magnetic resonance images of 24 runners, 26 soccer players, 19 weight lifters, and 25 shooters, disc degeneration and bulging were most common among weight lifters; soccer players had similar changes in the L4-S1 discs. No significant differences were seen in the magnetic resonance images of runners and shooters. CONCLUSIONS. Maximal weight lifting was associated with greater degeneration throughout the entire lumbar spine, and soccer with degeneration in the lower lumbar region. No signs of accelerated disc degeneration were found in competitive runners. However, back pain was less common among athletes than control subjects and there were no significant differences in hospitalizations or pensions. No benefits were shown for vigorous exercise compared with lighter exercise with respect to back findings.
So if maximal "weight lifting" (which may or may not be OL) is related to the most lumbar degeneration, what does high-rep poor-form OL lead to? I don't know--no one does, IMO. I'd err on the side of caution, personally.

Characteristics of glycemic control in elite power and endurance athletes. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15749139?ordinalpos=19&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVDocSum)

A previous study has shown that former elite power athletes exhibited significantly greater relative risk in diabetes than that of former elite endurance athletes. It is unknown whether insulin sensitivity in elite young healthy power athletes is lower than that in elite young endurance athletes. This study includes two parts, part I and part II. In the part I of this study, an oral glucose tolerance test was performed in all of the elite juvenile track athlete subjects, specializing either in short-distance racing (jSD, N = 13, aged 12.5 +/- 0.37 years) or in long-distance racing (jLD, N = 13, aged 12.6 +/- 0.42 years). In the part II of this study, we recruited elite adult swimmers and divided them into two groups according to their specialty in swimming race distance: long-distance (aLD, N = 10, age 20.3 +/- 1.32) and short-distance groups (aSD, N = 10, age 20.2 +/- 1.31). Insulin sensitivity was significantly lower in the jSD group than that in the jLD group, as indicated by the area under the curves of insulin and glucose following a 75-g oral glucose load. Fasting plasma LDL-C and total cholesterol levels in the jSD group were significantly greater than those in the jLD group. The result of the part II of this study, similar to the result of the part I, shows that insulin sensitivity in aSD swimmers was significantly lower than that in aLD swimmers. LDL-C, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels were also found higher in aSD swimmers than in those of aLD swimmers. These new findings implicate that the genetic makeup associated with exceptional power or endurance performance of elite athletes could also reflect on their metabolic characteristics; elite power athletes appear to be more insulin resistant than elite endurance athletes.
Did not expect to find that last part at all!

Long-term vigorous training in young adulthood and later physical activity as predictors of hypertension in middle-aged and older men. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11914980?ordinalpos=4&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVDocSum)

500 and 69 male former elite athletes and 319 male controls completed a health questionnaire in 1985 and in 1995. Register data on the subjects were also collected. Subjects were aged 65 years or less and had no history of hypertension in 1985, and they had been healthy at the age of 20 years. The athletes were grouped into endurance and mixed sports (n = 386), and power sports (n = 183). The cumulative 10-year incidence of hypertension up to 1995 was significantly lower in the endurance and mixed sports group (23.6 %) compared to the power sports group (33.3 %) or the control group (32.0 %). The difference between the endurance and mixed sports group and the two other groups was still significant after adjustment for age, but not after further adjustment for body mass index, alcohol consumption, and later physical activity. However, the trend of reduced risk remained. In conclusion, a history of being an elite athlete in endurance or mixed sports predicts a lower risk of hypertension in working age men, while a history of being an elite athlete in power sports appears to confer no benefit. Later physical activity was also associated with lower risk.
The study above showing that elite power athletes tended to be more insulin resistant may potentially be connected to the conclusions in the above study.

Natural selection to sports, later physical activity habits, and coronary heart disease. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11131233?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=5&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed)

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the associations between natural selection to sports at a young age, continuity of physical activity, and occurrence of coronary heart disease. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Finland. PARTICIPANTS: Former top level male athletes participating at a young age (1920-1965) in different types of sport (endurance (n = 166), power speed (n = 235), "other" (n = 834)) and controls healthy at the age of 20 years (n = 743). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Data on the occurrence of coronary heart disease were obtained from death certificates, three nationwide registers, and questionnaire studies in 1985 and 1995, and data on later physical activity were obtained from the questionnaires. RESULTS: In 1985 all groups of former athletes were more physically active than controls (p<0.001). Despite similar total volumes of physical activity, compared with power speed athletes, former endurance athletes participated more often in vigorous activity (p = 0.006) and had less coronary heart disease (adjusted odds ratio 0.34, 95% confidence interval 0.17 to 0.73; p = 0.004). In 1985 and 1995, both endurance and other athletes had less coronary heart disease than controls. From 1986 to 1995, the incidence of new coronary heart disease was lower among those who participated in vigorous physical activity in 1985. CONCLUSIONS: Both a previous aptitude for endurance athletic events and continuity of vigorous physical activity seem to be associated with protection against coronary heart disease, but an aptitude for power speed events does not give protection against coronary heart disease.
Same thing for the above study.

One does have to extend their thinking a bit (extrapolate) the results of these past studies to what they are doing now, whether they are doing CF, a hybrid program, the PMenu WOD, Ross Enamait's stuff, whatever!

There are no studies on "GPP" programs. There is no peer-reviewed long-term "evidence" to hang one's hat on. This is the kind of stuff that is available. As I said before, take it or leave it.

Dave Van Skike
07-26-2008, 03:33 PM
I don't know what any of that stuff says and I'm a nonbeliever/h8ter vis a vis cross-fitt but seems like Maximum Useful Volume is a good idea. Especially good as far as "useful" goes.... GPP implies you're preparing for something...makes sense if you never move on to SPP or the aforementioned something and subsequent downcycle...you might run into problems.

Dave Van Skike
07-26-2008, 03:35 PM
really has no on read the keys to progress? softening up for gains....anyone..?...anyone...?

Ben Moskowitz
07-26-2008, 03:54 PM
Screw O-lifting, hook me up to the elliptical please.

Regarding the last study, it seems that the enduro athletes were more likely to continue vigorous physical activity. Could this be why they had a lower risk of heart disease, not because of the sport of choice? The GPP we're talking about fits the bill of vigorous physical activity I believe.

The hypertension study seems like being an elite athlete is no worse than an average joe, and might be better in the case of endurance athletes.

Plus, it seems like having an athlete's heart (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/07/health/07hearts.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=rowers%20hearts&st=cse&oref=slogin) is a good thing. (WFS)

Ari Kestler
07-26-2008, 07:05 PM
Dr. G

So all of these articles lead us towards a program that is composed of....?

Dave Van Skike
07-26-2008, 08:12 PM
Dr. G

So all of these articles lead us towards a program that is composed of....?

a goal...a plan.....execute.....compete......rest.......repea t.




"Both a previous aptitude for endurance athletic events and continuity of vigorous physical activity seem to be associated with protection against coronary heart disease, but an aptitude for power speed events does not give protection against coronary heart disease."



Damn, what does lame at both but too stupid to quit lead to?

Scott Borre
07-27-2008, 01:16 PM
Thanks for the great articles Garrett. One thing I was thinking while reading them is the post-competitive lifestyle of the 'athletes'. We can point to elite ironman triathletes and show their current health problems, but a lot of people I know that do endurance activities continue to be very active.

However, I just don't know many past competitive Olympic/power lifters. So I don't know what they are like afterwards. Do they continue to stay fit, workout, eat decently well?

A lot of things to think about.

If the point of any exercise is to have good long term health, than one should seriously consider the amount of brutal exercises, and perhaps focus on other exercises. Perhaps.

Garrett Smith
07-27-2008, 03:05 PM
As far as programming to take away from this stuff, to each their own.

I do believe exercise is necessary for health. As always, it comes down to intensity, frequency, modality, etc., etc....

I do think a large variety of exercises based upon the typical functional human movements is a good thing...minimizing repetitive wear patterns would likely help reduce arthritic symptoms overall.

As Scott Hagnas put it once before, optimizing length-tension relationships in the muscular system (which is mainly CNS-regulated) should be of utmost priority if one's goal is longevity of training. This would put proper mobility and flexibility at the top of the list. Doing exercises with improper mobility/flexibility/form is going to wear someone down fast.

Feeling drained for hours or days after a workout would not be something to seek out, IMO. Feeling drained would be a sign that improper preparation (buildup, motor learning) or excessive intensity (most likely duration/reps) is implicated.

Seeking to be elite in anything will necessitate high training loads and limited exercise selection (in typical sporting endeavors). If that floats your boat, that's cool, it's just likely not conducive to training longevity (possibly overall, most likely in that particular endeavor).

I've become fond of isometric/gymnastic type strength training for the upper body. I think this is beneficial in the fact that it reduces mechanical wear (less moving reps) and the scapula are always in need of stability.

Training the hips while sparing the knees as much as possible (ideas--reverse hypers, hip extensions, etc.) sounds like a good idea based upon the incidence of knee OA in the above studies.

Those are just some ideas. Exercise is always better than no exercise.

Valentin Uzunov
07-28-2008, 08:37 AM
Hi all

If i may i would like to add my 2c in.

First of all the study in question provides a possibly wrong interpretation of the results. The study is obviously with its limitation (such as a small sample size, number of times study was repeated, short-term etc, peer-review etc..) however! there is a stack! of research on the effects of anaerobic exercises and its effects on the endocrine system.
This is how i explain the results of the study.
The group of master class athletes, whose average intensive training period was 8 years, had higher VO(2max) and higher after-effort increase in the lactic acid concentration than in the group of sportsmen with the shorter training period (4 years), who had lower VO(2max), worse sport results and lower after-effort increase in the lactic acid concentration
The 400m is a brutal event, 45sec of sprinting hell. The event is predominantly an anaerobic event, in 45sec there is simply not enough time for the aerobic system to kick in to provide a great deal of help. However anaerobic exercises such as 400m requires some aerobic training such as up to 800m training to improve aerobic adaptations. This enchances mechanical efficiency and muscle force capabilities as VO2Max. It only makes sense that someone who has trained for 8years in the same way as someone who has trained 4 years will have a better VO2Max, no surprise. I dont need to quote research to prove that. For the 400m an improved aerobic fitness greatly! aids in the recovery period. I would have to get the whole article (which i will try in order to confirm my thoughts) but the better athletes will have better post (24hr later) results than the worse group. (will get back to you all with the results).
The increased lactic-acid (and hence lower pH in the blood) is explained by the higher tolerance of acidic conditions, and improved intra-and intercellular buffering mechanisms. This means that higher level athletes have much more effective energy systems that produce energy at a faster rate (and thus the potential to sustain force), and have the adaptive mechanisms to cope with the potentially damaging byproducts that decreased pH, without effecting performance like in an less well training or untrained athlete. Blood pH as low as 6.9 have been observed in elite anaerobic athletes. These adaptations are well know/researched facts (i can cite referenced if need be). So far there is nothing strange from these results.

worse sport.....gave different hormonal response (particularly TT, FT concentration) for the same exercise impulse. The difference based on the fact, that after the run in group I the decrease in the total and free testosterone levels and in group II the increase in the same parameters were observed

Well first of all analysis of hormonal responses is blood tricky even for the much more educated, because of the complex interactions they have on eachother. Its important to really understand all the hormonal interactions to really understand what is going on and interpret the result this. In short the process of hormones is that every cell has receptors that mediate the message that each hormone delivers. These receptors have the ability to increase or decrease their binding sensitivity to hormones, and this alteration or the actual increase in receptors on a cells surface can have dramatic effects, just as much as increasing or decrease the amount of hormone available. Thus deceases in hormonal concentrations could mean high uptake into target tissue receptors, greater degradation of hormone, possibly decreased secreation of hormone, or some combination.
In fact research has show that FT can remain unchanged or decrease after resistance exercises. There is also a good possibility that there the two groups response to exercises differs, meaning that a single 400m for the better group may not be enough stimulus to really promote the release of more FT and TT. THis would help to explain why as you become more and more provicient, results come slower, because you need greater and greater stimuli.
There are plenty of studies to show that. The fact that there are increases in gonadotrophins (LH, FSH) where observed suggests that there is a stimulus for the secreation of testosterone.
There is still much that is not understood clear about the response to testosterone to resistance exercises, and thus these results are not diffinitive and would required further examination, and study.

In short your gonads are safe from high intensity training similar to 400m sprinting..

I hope i managed to explain myself well.. its 3.36am here so it may be a little of the topic haha.

interesting discussion


Valentin Uzunov
TheGymPress
www.thegympress.net

Andew Cattermole
07-29-2008, 06:32 PM
Great Post
Thanks Valentin

Steven Low
07-29-2008, 06:49 PM
Hah, few things I wanna correct with your post Valentin. :p

400m is "significantly" but not majority aerobic. We have to recall that oxidative is not something that is simply turned on as glycogen reserves burn out; it is on ALL of the time and running at full capacity when you start high intensity workout (you're breathing.. you're using the oxidative pathway, heh, O2/CO2 exchange). It's just that glycolysis turns over more quickly to provide a majority of energy short term more than oxidative pathway until it runs out. Much like creatine phosphate can provide more energy than glycolysis in very, very short periods <5-10s.

Anyway, link for that:
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/tandf/rjsp/2005/00000023/00000002/art00010

Lac is not the cause of muscular acidosis. Glycolysis and krebs cycle produce hydrogen ions per turn and hydrolysis of ATP to ADP produces hydrogen ions as well. This are the causes of acidosis. Pyruvate -> Lactate produces no extra ions as both are carboxylic acids and would have already been deprotonated anyway.

Otherwise, great stuff.

I'm still not sure in dismissing all of the lowered response of test/GH to the fact of uptake, lower "relative" stress to make more gains, etc. is indeed true. For example, adrenal fatigue is definitely a condition that can manifest itself much like overtraining/CNS burnout. I am sure the gonads can experience a similar response to overexercising.

Valentin Uzunov
07-29-2008, 10:05 PM
Hi

Steven you had me worried haha, when i read your post, i though oh S%#$ what kind of crap have i been writing. However after re-reading it i thinking there miught have been some misunderstanding and given my posts are usually a grammatical, and structured nightmare i accept that there might be some confusion.
In the post i said
The 400m is a brutal event, 45sec of sprinting hell (if you are super fast). The event is predominantly an anaerobic event, in 45sec there is simply not enough time for the aerobic system to kick in to provide a great deal of help
The only reference i mention to aerobic training is that it helps with recovery, but it doesn't help with performance (I guess that is not entirely true as it helps with the muscular capability to support performance under elevated muscular acidosis as a result of high intensity intermittent work, and lactic acid turnover (clearing of lactic acid from blood). So in short it helps with training, but not for competitions (unless you have multiple events)

Good point about the lactic acid. You are right, lactic acid in itself is not the cause for muscular acidosis but rather the hydrogen ions pooling. However, even though lactic acid itself is most likely not responsible for negatively impacting performance, the accumulation of lactic acid within muscle tissue is strongly correlated to the build up hydrogen ions, which are the ultimate baddies (as they reduce pH levels and disrupt homeostasis).

The true reason for the build up in H ions is due to the decline ratio of ATP to ADP in cells under anaerobic conditions. Lactate actually takes away H ions by helping to restore NAD (a Proton Donor during the AngG) so that glycolysis can continue, and thus actually takes away H ions.
I recommend everyone to read http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/pdf_extract/105/1/363 for good info on this topic.. It explains better than i would.

I can't really comment on gonads fatigue or adrenal fatigue, however what i would expect is that these conditions don't manifest themselves solely due to training hard. Overtraining is a complex process that is a result of many interplaying systems, and in intself is not very well understood. That being said, overtraining does not seem to a factor in the study, and thus it would be prudent to assume that gonad fatigue could be a reason for the decline in TT and FF for the top athletes in this study.

Thanks for the good discussion..lets keep it going, interesting.


Valentin Uzunov
TheGymPress
www.thegympress.net

Greg Battaglia
08-04-2008, 05:26 PM
Ahh, reminds me of my Matt Furey (I know, I know)/Scrapper days when all I did was body weight calisthenics. No distance running, no heavy weight lifting, and never had any joint pain and felt good at all times.

I think for longevity why not look at what centenarians do in terms of exercise? Lots of low intensity work intersperse with short periods of moderate intensity anaerobic work spread throughout the day (ie gardening, walking, hiking, digging, chopping wood, bike riding).

Since my lifestyle doesn't permit time for this consistency of activity and I have a longevity bias I like to do my own method of Crossfit. I do the WOD but don't worry much about my time. I just do it and make sure I break a sweat and breathe heavily the whole time. I think people (I used to be one) that hit every WOD with maximum-or close to it-intensity are not doing their health or longevity any justice.

Most of those studies deal with athletes or former athletes, and I think that the notion that Crossfitters should be athletes can be misleading depending on one's goals. For military, law-enforcement, and athletes I think an "Elite" level of fitness is absolutely required and desirable, but for those with an emphasis on health and longevity a more moderate approach is better in my opinion.

Anyway, just my two cents. Interesting discussion.

Garrett Smith
08-04-2008, 06:20 PM
I had been thinking about this more lately.

Most folks (myself included at times) tend to only think of overtraining/overreaching as relatively "acute", or short-term, problems. What if there are major "chronic", long-term overtraining repercussions as well? This goes hand-in-hand with the next part...

Being that our physical forms do seem to have limits, there seems to be a finite amount of hormones our bodies will produce in a lifetime, especially with the longer (much past the "fertile" stage that nature/G-d originally wanted us to get to before dying) lifespans we are living. Healthy living, nutrition + exercise + minimizing stress/pollution will maximize this capacity, however, I have not seen anyone get out of the aging process yet. So there seems to be a ceiling on hormone production.

By maximizing neuroendocrine output through hard training at a time in most folks' lives when they can and are willing to undergo the most physical punishment (which coincides with the maximally fertile years typically), are the same people going to pay a heavy price later in lifer for draining their "savings accounts" of hormones? I would guess so.

That being said, it is likely still a good idea to heavily load the bones in the period of life when maximal bone density is established...

Mike ODonnell
08-04-2008, 07:40 PM
I think for longevity why not look at what centenarians do in terms of exercise? Lots of low intensity work intersperse with short periods of moderate intensity anaerobic work spread throughout the day (ie gardening, walking, hiking, digging, chopping wood, bike riding).

Slow and steady wins the lifelong race......fast and quick sells supplements and fitness programs/diet books/magazines. Sadly no money is selling slow and steady.....

Valentin Uzunov
08-04-2008, 08:24 PM
Hi

I think that you are right, that for longevity purposes general everyday work/activity is the key. Low intensity stuff. My grandad 80yrs+ is probably in better shape than me, because he lives in a remote village in Bulgaria, and does daily house work all day. Takes the time to enjoy life, and has low low stress levels. He will live forever like this.
However! the biggest factor for longevity is genes. Regardless of training habbits your genetics will account for probably 90% of your longevity. Everything else make up about 10% of what you can influence. You potential athleticly and life span is really encoded in your genes, and there is nothing you can really do about it. Plenty of example of this are present. From the chronic smoker and drinker that lives well into his 80-90s Plenty of people who live horrible lifestyles, and yet! they end up living longer then someone who have tried to live healthy all their life.

Centurions don't get there just because of their daily living, if you actually trace back their ancestors you will find out that virtually all of them come from a long!!! line of centurions (which should be age relevant, as different decades has different life spans). This was also shown through studies on fruit flyies, where over like a period of 2 years they breaded the fruitflies that seemed to have the longest lifespans, and by the end of the study they line of bread fruitflies have like doubles their lifespan, simply by speedup evolutionary process. Many such studies.

So really even though hard exercises like Elite performance training is not actually doing you any favours for longevity, and to improve quality of life in the long long term, its also no where near as damaging. there are many positive benefits to such training that should not be overlooked.

The human body wasn't designed for our current lifestyles, that is really the short and long of it. A plain lifestyle, made up of moderation is really the key to longevity at this stage, with the hope that your ancestors had the same frame of mind (to have promote your good genes). That is until they come up with gene therapy to slow/stop or even reverse the aging process (lets hope that comes up in my lifetime haha..one can only hope)

Valentin Uzunov
TheGymPress
www.thegympress.net

Derek Weaver
08-04-2008, 09:49 PM
Good post Valentin. I was thinking the same thing. I look at Jack Lalanne, and that old guy that was featured in the Vanity Faire article on the CF Main Page a month or so back... well past the fertile, peak years, and still kicking strong with pretty intense workouts. Lalanne's like 90 or something now and still gets his workout in every morning. the other guy was I think almost 80 and had some crazy workout with thousands of reps and hit it hard on his bike all the time. I think it was the old pro surfer Laird Hamilton who said he couldn't keep up.

I agree that there are certain things we can do to help ensure something won't kill us, i.e, don't smoke, and it's more likely that whatever does kill you won't be emphesema, lung cancer, throat cancer etc. However, when it's your time, it's your time.

Likely a big difference between NFL players getting clobbered by 250 lb. linebackers running 4.5 second 40 yard dashes, and doing a 3:00 minute Fran.

Stay as healthy as you can be now, whatever kills you will do it whenever it wants to.

Greg Battaglia
08-05-2008, 10:49 AM
I firmly disagree with the standpoint that longevity is 90% genetic. Studies of isolated populations of centenarians in regions of the world known as "blue zones" show some very striking characteristics among long-lived people, despite being from a completely different gene pool and residing in a different geographical region. Of course the most common rebuttal to this claim will be that the people in blue zones are genetically related and therefore share a common longevity gene. However, this theory is quickly dismantled when you see younger generations (the offspring of these centenarians) developing Syndrome X diseases and dying prematurely after adopting more westernized lifestyle habits (ie the Okinawans are having increasing rates of obesity, diabetes, etc after the introduction of fast-food and a de-emphasis on traditional Okinawan values).

Additionally, look around you. What people do you see living to old ages (most of the time, sure there are exceptions, and in these cases genes probably are the answer) and which do you see getting sick and dying prematurely? The guys who are functional into their old age are almost always more active and eat whole foods as opposed to their heavier, sicker counterparts.

Dave Van Skike
08-05-2008, 11:07 AM
I think it's 90% mental...the other half is physical.

Paul McKirdy
08-05-2008, 11:16 AM
DNA changes within the same lifespan correlated to your entire life choices. What you've decided to do, eat, drink, etc. Simple choice, nothing more. You are the sum total of your present lifespan choices, which is why it is just as good to witness accurate accounts of people using this complex symphonic machine known as a "body" as it is to witness laboratory controlled chemical inter-reactions, so that the rest of us might then make better choices to make the utmost efficient use of ours.

thought precedes action precedes result

josh everett
08-05-2008, 02:41 PM
This was also shown through studies on fruit flyies, where over like a period of 2 years they breaded the fruitflies that seemed to have the longest lifespans, and by the end of the study they line of bread fruitflies have like doubles their lifespan, simply by speedup evolutionary process. Many such studies.

Valentin Uzunov
TheGymPress
www.thegympress.net

This is the most shocking thing in this thread... why would you intentionally double the lifespan of flies? I'd be in favor of halving the lifespan of flies!

Garrett Smith
08-05-2008, 04:14 PM
Funny that Josh just posted...we'll get more into this in our PMenu article, don't worry...

When Josh and I first started working together on his health & performance months before the games, he felt his recovery capacity for hard workouts was greatly diminished.

After some work with nutrition and supplementation, we got his performance back up to the point that he took second at the CF Games...he had a heck of a time recovering between events and after the Games, something that the typically younger CFers did not experience (could this be the long-term diminishment of "hormone capacity" via intense training?).

Consider this relative to the initial study that I posted.

Amateur racers...higher testosterone...slower times...(could this be related to a lower training volume, fewer training years, lower intensity of training, less ability/desire to push into the intensities necessary to be elite, or simply that they are younger? Obviously, I'm not including natural talent or genetic predisposition in this thought experiment)

Elite racers...lower testosterone...faster times (with the opposites of the other factors I mentioned above?). The improved times could simply be improved neuromuscular efficiency, overshadowing the potentially decreased recovery ability that lower testosterone might theoretically allow.

Note that not one of the other top three from last year other than Josh finished in the top three this year. With Josh's training, we had to rein him in quite a bit in intensity and volume to accomodate his recovery ability at this stage in his life. Something obviously worked.

My initial guess is that without proper periodization (also called backing off) and the constant competitiveness of typical CFers (which also tends to discourage backing off, "men will die for points"), we may not tend to see many repeat CF Games champions due to the chronic training loads on their systems.

Simply thoughts.

Hammering for the increased neuroendocrine response may simply be tapping out reserves earlier in life--which isn't good or bad, it simply is.

Mike ODonnell
08-05-2008, 04:39 PM
Takes the time to enjoy life, and has low low stress levels. He will live forever like this.
Most anyone can....that is really the key....enjoying life.

However! the biggest factor for longevity is genes. Regardless of training habbits your genetics will account for probably 90% of your longevity. Everything else make up about 10% of what you can influence. You potential athleticly and life span is really encoded in your genes, and there is nothing you can really do about it. Plenty of example of this are present. From the chronic smoker and drinker that lives well into his 80-90s Plenty of people who live horrible lifestyles, and yet! they end up living longer then someone who have tried to live healthy all their life.

Sure genes play a role...but most everyone has the potential to live to 90.....100. Genes are a small part...and how they are expressed is from lifestyle factors (exercise, nutrition, environmental). Also the "long line" of centurians tend to come from the same area and same lifestyles (smaller calories/calorie restriction, active lifestyle, non-poluted environment, low stress, positive sense of being, etc..etc..etc). No matter...believing anything is all about genes is giving up....giving up the sense that thinking we do not have any control over health. Which is 100% wrong and just a miserable way to live.

While the genes may say we have the potential to live to 95 or 105....our actions and lifestyle stressors (acute and chronic) that effect gene expression can certainly cut that short. So in a sense we can't really expand our naturally preset longevity from a genetic standpoint....we can only screw up the whole process and end it much much earlier.

Steve Liberati
08-05-2008, 06:34 PM
I can certainly see problems arising from keeping with a 3 day on/1 day off, especially following a steady 3/1 workout schedule over an extended period of time - even when diet, sleep and stress management levels are all dialed in. Balance is the key to life - whether its time spent with others, food choices, exercising, life's pleasures, hobbies, work or whatever else that we humans do on a regular basis. Too much of anything cannot be a good thing for our body, mind and soul.

But how much is really too much? I think this is really an individual thing as some people can train like Lance Armstrong for years end without enduring a single injury or backlash, while others can train 3 times a week and look and perform like a Greek God. Then, there are some who train 3 days on and 1 off day and as a result, go from one physical issue to the next, while getting sick every other month and slowly watching sperm and testoserone levels plummet.

Its my opinion that the guys and (girls) who will continue to prevail and thrive in this game we call health and fitness are not the ones who make observations on populations of people, but rather those who make observations on their own training and adjust accordingly.

At the risk of sounding repetative, it boils down to this: Everyone responds differently to different stresses and recover at different rates.

Steve Rogers
08-05-2008, 06:58 PM
...
Regardless of training habbits your genetics will account for probably 90% of your longevity. Everything else make up about 10% of what you can influence. ...


Longevity seems to depend upon many genes, so the ratio is likely to be about the reverse of your expectation. Lifestyle and chance effect gene expression.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/31/health/31age.html?th&emc=th

# Steve

Scott Borre
08-06-2008, 06:27 AM
My initial guess is that without proper periodization (also called backing off) and the constant competitiveness of typical CFers (which also tends to discourage backing off, "men will die for points"), we may not tend to see many repeat CF Games champions due to the chronic training loads on their systems.



Your entire post is very interesting. No top level athlete trains at high intenstiy year round if his goal is to sustain competitiveness. If a person's goal was solely to win the CF games the athlete should train to be at his highest peak during the event, which should then mean taking around 4 weeks off afterwards. If the person doesn't want to not workout than the person should focus on technique and skills and all at a very low intensity.

Yet, apparently Jason was back in the gym soon after and pulling double WODs. Good choice? I don't think so. I have a feeling he'll either have to pull back intensity, or he'll burn himself out. Without performance enhancing drugs and a close eye from a well trained coach, one cannot sustain that level of intensity.

Hopefully next year we'll get a good CrossFit Endurance athlete to be able to show and perfom (Brian was ill this year among personal issues). Because CFE'ers train a tad harder/longer than most CF'ers.

And Josh is young. He talks like he's old at 33. But he's young.

On a side note, unfortuantely I didn't get much information when I was trying to find out how competitors ate during the games. I'm sure some barely ate, and I'm sure others stuck to their 'zone.' But Zoning while doing 3 WODs wouldn't make much sense from my standpoint. Instead, for recovery purposes they might have wanted to increase their sugar based carbs.

Ben Moskowitz
08-06-2008, 09:51 AM
In regard to training and hormones, this study seems relevant:

Hormonal adaptations and modelled responses in elite weightlifters during 6 weeks of training. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1592066?ordinalpos=104&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVDocSum)
Busso T, Häkkinen K, Pakarinen A, Kauhanen H, Komi PV, Lacour JR.

Laboratoire de Physiologie-GIP Exercice, Faculté de Médecine Saint-Etienne, France.

The concentrations of serum testosterone, sex-hormone-binding-globulin (SHBG) and luteinizing hormone (LH) were examined throughout 1-year of training in six elite weightlifters. A systems model, providing an estimation of fatigue and fitness, was applied to records of training volume and performance levels in clean and jerk. The analysis focused on a 6-week training period during which blood samples were taken at 2-week intervals. A 4-week period of intensive training (period I) could be distinguished from the following 2-week period of reduced training (period II). During period I, decreases in serum testosterone (P less than 0.05) and increases in serum LH concentrations (P less than 0.01) were observed; a significant correlation (r = 0.90, P less than 0.05) was also observed between the changes in serum LH concentration and in estimated fitness. The magnitude of LH response was not related to the change in serum androgens. On the other hand, the change in testosterone:SHBG ratio during period II was significantly correlated (r = 0.97, P less than 0.01) to the LH variations during period I. These finding suggested that the LH response indicated that the decrease in testosterone concentration was not primarily due to a dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary system control, and that the fatigue/fitness status of an athlete could have influenced the LH response to the decreased testosterone concentration. The negative effect of training on hormonal balance could have been amplified by its influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. A decrease in physiological stress would thus have been necessary for the completion of the effect of LH release on androgenic activity.

and does this study say aging is the "opposite" of work capacity?

Lifelong physical training prevents the age-related impairment of heart rate variability and exercise capacity in elderly people. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16355084?ordinalpos=17&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVDocSum)
Galetta F, Franzoni F, Femia FR, Roccella N, Pentimone F, Santoro G.

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy. fgaletta@med.unipi.it

AIM: Aging is associated with a reduction on heart rate variability (HRV) and working capacity. Aim of this study was to evaluate in a group of elite master athletes the effect of a lifelong history of endurance running on HRV and exercise working capacity. METHODS: Twenty athletes (males, age 68.5+/-4.5 years) who practiced endurance running for at least 40 years, and 20 age-sex-matched control subjects with sedentary lifestyle were studied. All the participants underwent a maximal stepwise electrocardiogram (ECG) on effort (work-rate increments of 25 Watts every 2 min) and a 24-hour ECG monitoring. RESULTS: All the time domain measures of HRV and the LF and HF powers were significantly higher in elderly athletes than in sedentary subjects (P<0.001), while the LF/HF ratio was comparable between the 2 groups. Athletes exhibited significantly higher workload than controls (1610+/-489 vs 687+/-236 W, P<0.0001). Both the groups achieved, at maximum workload, similar heart rate (142+/-10 vs 138+/-18 bpm, ns), systolic blood pressure (226+/-18 vs 220+/-16 mmHg, ns), and rate-pressure product (32,596+/-2952 vs 30,838+/-3675, ns). Maximum work-rate attained in athletes was 225 W. By contrast, none of the controls reached a work-rate higher than 150 W. In the whole group we also showed a positive correlation between the time domain HRV parameter SDNN and maximum workload (r=0.58, P<0.001). CONCLUSION: Long-term endurance training induces in elderly subjects an increased HRV and a higher exercise working capacity, which are well-established predictors of cardiovascular and overall mortality.

links wfs

Steven Low
08-06-2008, 10:38 AM
Hopefully next year we'll get a good CrossFit Endurance athlete to be able to show and perfom (Brian was ill this year among personal issues). Because CFE'ers train a tad harder/longer than most CF'ers.

I don't have a very high opinion of CF enduraunce. It's basically CF + more stuff. If you thought the CF main site WODs were getting bad (well, too long metcon-wise) and people want to ADD stuff to that? It's a load of BS IMO. People are just feeding their "addiction" of CF with no regards to their body or injuries.

It is possible that some CFE guys can do well in the games... but I expect/know them to burnout much faster than main page followers if not now in the future.

Scott Borre
08-06-2008, 11:50 AM
I don't have a very high opinion of CF enduraunce. It's basically CF + more stuff. If you thought the CF main site WODs were getting bad (well, too long metcon-wise) and people want to ADD stuff to that? It's a load of BS IMO. People are just feeding their "addiction" of CF with no regards to their body or injuries.

It is possible that some CFE guys can do well in the games... but I expect/know them to burnout much faster than main page followers if not now in the future.

Once I get the money to get my barbell + bumpers + power rack... I might switch to more of the PM WOD + the CF Endurance workout. This wouldn't seemingly be too much if I made sure to rest enough. Have to understand I do the endurance stuff for professional reasons (getting ready for a physical test for possible future employment) as well because hell... I just like going far. Its not a 'wow I'm stronger than you since I can run X more miles than you... but more of a 'I have fun running/hiking/climbing X miles'.

My comment on the CFE aspect is intellectual curiosity I guess on how well a person training as such can compete among those who are primarily just doing CF or PM WODs.

Derek Weaver
08-06-2008, 12:12 PM
Couldn't the example of the CF Games be more a function of the increased competition and less about athletes burning out. The guys that everyone expected to perform well did in fact perform well.

I'm loathe to use him as an example, but Devany was boasting claims of a very impressive hormonal profile a few months back, with his testosterone levels on the higher side of the lab (though acceptable lab levels, according to the T-Mag crew can still be very low) and he's worked out with serious intensity for a long time. Well, up until this "new technology" he's been using that I like to call "machines". Yet I digress....

Steve probably said it best... that it depends. Back off periods are needed, and I think that is the biggest downfall of the "competitive CF athlete". Like Steven said, there is this addiction that people always have to do more and more and in turn, their performance ends up suffering sooner or later.

John Schneider
08-13-2008, 09:06 AM
Once I get the money to get my barbell + bumpers + power rack... I might switch to more of the PM WOD + the CF Endurance workout. This wouldn't seemingly be too much if I made sure to rest enough. Have to understand I do the endurance stuff for professional reasons (getting ready for a physical test for possible future employment) as well because hell... I just like going far. Its not a 'wow I'm stronger than you since I can run X more miles than you... but more of a 'I have fun running/hiking/climbing X miles'.

My comment on the CFE aspect is intellectual curiosity I guess on how well a person training as such can compete among those who are primarily just doing CF or PM WODs.

Rest will be really important. I have a guy who before training with me was doing the PM WOD and the CF main site WOD thinking that more was better. I convinced him to cut back to my schedule and he has made big gains across the board.

It is good to do what you think is fun, but you need to prioritize it and you may have to make some sacrifices.

Greg Battaglia
08-15-2008, 01:57 PM
I think the point that someone made about CF becoming too much (CF + more stuff) is right on target. The workouts are getting far too long and we're seeing much more frequent 5k and 10 k (even a 15K run) and longer met-cons.

I think this is interfering with the whole purpose of CF in the first place: provide a short, but potent stimulus to create a neuroendocrine response which creates a favorable adaptation.

Pat McElhone
08-16-2008, 08:49 PM
Once I get the money to get my barbell + bumpers + power rack... I might switch to more of the PM WOD + the CF Endurance workout. This wouldn't seemingly be too much if I made sure to rest enough. Have to understand I do the endurance stuff for professional reasons (getting ready for a physical test for possible future employment) as well because hell... I just like going far. Its not a 'wow I'm stronger than you since I can run X more miles than you... but more of a 'I have fun running/hiking/climbing X miles'.

My comment on the CFE aspect is intellectual curiosity I guess on how well a person training as such can compete among those who are primarily just doing CF or PM WODs.


How far is the run for future employment? I thought CFE is geared more for tri-guys or marathon runners. If the run is just a few miles or less, do you think CFE is the best prep?

Scott Borre
08-17-2008, 07:19 AM
1.5 mile run is what the test is.. as well as 300m.

I'd say CFE is geared more towards 5k+

However, doing all the various sprint intervals has definitely helped me out. Yet, due to shin problems my running ability is really limited right now. This morning I time trialed my 300m and its okay (50:58) but definitely would like to improve by a few seconds. I also time trialed 100m (a couple minutes after the 300). My time was 14:65. A lot slower than I expected. But I wasn't feeling the run well enough. The twitch muscles just weren't there like I've had in the past.

Pat McElhone
08-17-2008, 07:39 AM
1.5 mile run is what the test is.. as well as 300m.

I'd say CFE is geared more towards 5k+

However, doing all the various sprint intervals has definitely helped me out. Yet, due to shin problems my running ability is really limited right now. This morning I time trialed my 300m and its okay (50:58) but definitely would like to improve by a few seconds. I also time trialed 100m (a couple minutes after the 300). My time was 14:65. A lot slower than I expected. But I wasn't feeling the run well enough. The twitch muscles just weren't there like I've had in the past.


Why aren't you "just following" CFHQ? I think CFHQ WODs are so popular with the military because they are the best training for the physical fitness tests (which measure General Physical Preparedness). Most guys I know spend years doing the weights on one day, run the next, etc. Most get injuries (shin splints) from over training. They switch to the CFHQ, and run a lot less, but still run faster on the actual test.

The threads since the games have gotten me to re-evaluate CFHQ's WOD and how it applies to my current training goals. However, if I had to prepare for a physical fitness test, the purpose of which is to test physical fitness, I would be following the CFHQ WOD.

I know I have had the best APFT I ever had by "just doing the WOD". Good luck.

Pat McElhone

Tom Rawls
08-17-2008, 12:41 PM
I think the point that someone made about CF becoming too much (CF + more stuff) is right on target. The workouts are getting far too long and we're seeing much more frequent 5k and 10 k (even a 15K run) and longer met-cons.

I think this is interfering with the whole purpose of CF in the first place: provide a short, but potent stimulus to create a neuroendocrine response which creates a favorable adaptation.

If you look at the training of elite athletes, many of their regimens include significantly longer workouts than basic Xfit WODs. And if it is true, as I have read, that some distance athletes perform well in elite forces, perhaps Xfit is learning from all that. Xfit is not new. It's borrowed. And perhaps it's simply borrowing some more.

Steven Low
08-17-2008, 02:16 PM
If you look at the training of elite athletes, many of their regimens include significantly longer workouts than basic Xfit WODs. And if it is true, as I have read, that some distance athletes perform well in elite forces, perhaps Xfit is learning from all that. Xfit is not new. It's borrowed. And perhaps it's simply borrowing some more.
Which kinds of elite athletes are you talking about?

Depending on the sport, longer workouts are good thing. Yes, something like 400m intervals can bring your 1600m time down into sub 6 mins, but to get sub 5 mins you're going to have to do a lot of longer work because it's extremely oxidative plus you need the running efficiency that longer running can provide. That's just one "example."

And CF isn't geared for elite ATHLETICS anyway. Elite fitness (being good but not elite at everything) is much different than specializing that most sports need.


P.S. I am one of those people who think CF WODs are becoming too long and CFE is just foolishness.

Rachel Izzo
08-17-2008, 04:35 PM
Which kinds of elite athletes are you talking about?

Depending on the sport, longer workouts are good thing. Yes, something like 400m intervals can bring your 1600m time down into sub 6 mins, but to get sub 5 mins you're going to have to do a lot of longer work because it's extremely oxidative plus you need the running efficiency that longer running can provide. That's just one "example."

And CF isn't geared for elite ATHLETICS anyway. Elite fitness (being good but not elite at everything) is much different than specializing that most sports need.


P.S. I am one of those people who think CF WODs are becoming too long and CFE is just foolishness.

I think CF is also starting to stray from what I used to know and love about. I've never followed the WOD (only do the ones at my affiliate), but from what I've seen it's been evolving. And even at my own gym I've noticed that too. When it was relatively new (we were the first one), most days we'd spend the first 20 min or half hour practicing a skill, whether is was a technical one like cleans, strength like squats, or a gymnastics skill. Then we'd do the workout. Now it's just long warm ups (which are important) and jump right into the WOD. Subtle change, but still different.

But I'm focusing on lifting now anyway, so I guess CF doesn't really apply to me any more.

Tom Rawls
08-17-2008, 05:07 PM
P.S. I am one of those people who think CF WODs are becoming too long and CFE is just foolishness.

I assume Xfit Endurance is, like Diet Coke or Camel Filters, a marketing play designed to extend the “brand” to people who otherwise would not be customers.

All those scrawny cyclists and runners an attractive market to go after. Instead of bad mouthing them, adapt your program to serve them.

Greg Battaglia
08-18-2008, 12:10 AM
And CF isn't geared for elite ATHLETICS anyway. Elite fitness (being good but not elite at everything) is much different than specializing that most sports need.

Well put. I find that a lot of people seem to have a hard time separating fitness and sport. Fitness is about health, longevity, wellbeing, and being functional/capable. Sport is about being the best at a very specialized event, at ALL costs.

Scott Borre
08-18-2008, 05:54 AM
I think that Steven, and others, misunderstand what CFE is. CFE is sports specific training. Its endurance sport (including short distance [5k], marathon, triathlon, and rowing) training. However, it uses both the CF WOD and additional training to achieve the intended sport specific results. So far it seems to be working really well for some, as some endurance event champions are CFE'ers.

Saying that doing CFE is ridiculous, would be like saying that doing any sport along with CrossFit is ridiculous. Years ago Glassman stated that to perform well in endurance sports, you have to train for your endurance sport. You can't just rely on the CF WOD.

Allen Yeh
08-18-2008, 06:12 AM
Why aren't you "just following" CFHQ? I think CFHQ WODs are so popular with the military because they are the best training for the physical fitness tests (which measure General Physical Preparedness). Most guys I know spend years doing the weights on one day, run the next, etc. Most get injuries (shin splints) from over training. They switch to the CFHQ, and run a lot less, but still run faster on the actual test.

The threads since the games have gotten me to re-evaluate CFHQ's WOD and how it applies to my current training goals. However, if I had to prepare for a physical fitness test, the purpose of which is to test physical fitness, I would be following the CFHQ WOD.

I know I have had the best APFT I ever had by "just doing the WOD". Good luck.

Pat McElhone


Like you I noticed that it seemed like a lot people back when I frequented the CF board a lot were able to up there 5K times even though a 5K might pop up once in a blue moon.

However I personally never found enough running with the CFHQ stuff to even maintain my running endurance. Of course I'm a suck ass runner and I just need to run and run and run some more to even cut off 0:30 off a slow 16:00 - 2 mile. I think I didn't run nearly enough in my younger years and didn't build up a base like many of the people that you see who are able to just run a 5K every 3 weeks and PR their time. I've doing better now but if I slack on my running for a few weeks it seems like it's back to the drawing board.

Sadly enough my best APFT score came after I was doing just running and bodybuilding workouts years ago.

Steven Low
08-18-2008, 09:52 AM
I think that Steven, and others, misunderstand what CFE is. CFE is sports specific training. Its endurance sport (including short distance [5k], marathon, triathlon, and rowing) training. However, it uses both the CF WOD and additional training to achieve the intended sport specific results. So far it seems to be working really well for some, as some endurance event champions are CFE'ers.

Saying that doing CFE is ridiculous, would be like saying that doing any sport along with CrossFit is ridiculous. Years ago Glassman stated that to perform well in endurance sports, you have to train for your endurance sport. You can't just rely on the CF WOD.
I stand by my comments.

From what I've seen *MOST* (or some) of the people on the CF board that are doing CFE are not doing it because they want to be competitive in endurance events. They're just doing it because they like more workouts, or they feel CF main page isn't adequate for their needs. These are generally the same people saying "Is CF enough?" in threads on the forums if you noticed. Of course, these again are the same people that ignore Annie, Eva, and all of the CF people saying that you're not going hard enough if you think CF main page is inadequate... but whatever.

If you're doing to do some competitive work by all means go for it. Obviously you need sports specific training, and if CFE includes a lot of that then that's great. But if you're not looking to be competitive in endurance events.. I don't know why the hell you would want to do more than CF main page in the first place seeing as how it will just burn you out faster.

John Schneider
08-21-2008, 07:39 PM
I'm with Steve on that people are using CFE incorrectly.

It would be like if I came up with a sports specific program to complement judo that worked around the CFHQ WOD. It would be great for grapplers, but if the lay person was trying to do it for general fitness, they'd miss the mark.

One of my newer athletes asked if he should be doing CFE since he is bad at running. I instructed him to stick with what we are doing and then after a few months we can evaluate goals and whether he should include more training.

That being said, I really like CFE and if I ever get back to triathlons I'll probably give it a go. Until then, I'll stick with my own CF WODs with a strength focus.