Originally Posted by Shane Skowron
Depends on the level of conditioning the person is at. If it's anywhere near elite level, no way. Below that, it hcan elp. Untrained people can get better at just about anything with almost any aerobic exercise.
Improvements in VO2Max, strength, and muscular endurance may not have great carryover but there is some carryover, which will work up to a certain point. I'm sure Lance Armstrong would agree, having done very little running training before putting up a 3 hour marathon. I've met a couple rowers who did no running and yet could run a pretty fast 1-2 miles.
I agree that metcons should not be the basis of an endurance program, however.
Lance Armstrong is a great example. I hadn't thought of that. Arguably one of the best endurance athletes in the world, yet change the demand from cycling to running and he really struggled. It's not for lack of conditioning, it's lack of specificity.
You make a good point about beginners as well. Beginners improve no matter what program you put them on. When my girlfriend decided she was going to workout with me, I just put her on Starting Strength. Her lifts were jumping 10 pounds a week for I can't remember how long. I was stunned, I never made that kind of progress, but then I had to remind myself, it's that novel stimulus. Beginners make gains on any program because something is always better than nothing.
I think the issue here though is not about beginners. The article claims that CFE can make you elite or even improve already elite athletes if they're willing to go backwards first for a couple years. The evidence just isn't there though. The elite endurance athletes of the world are still plugging the miles, swimming the laps, and cycling for hours on end. If the CFE protocol really was the "BEST" protocol, I think you would see it more widely used. That being said... I don't think the CFE programming is completely without merit, but just that in the case of this article, it does not deliver what it claims.
In any case, Shane, didn't you run an ultramarathon at one point? I thought remembered seeing that on the NSC forum. How did you prepare for it? I'm assuming you didn't follow CFE, but I'm interested in what you found worked best.