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Old 12-12-2006, 02:42 PM   #21
Russell Greene
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Default boyle

I can somewhat understand not liking high rep snatches and clean and jerks for most athletes. If you are not a proficient olympic lifter your technique will probably turn to crap, and if you are you are probably more concerned with developing strength and power through low rep lifting than with metabolic conditioning. That said, if your goal is a high level of generalized fitness, I think that developing the ability to clean and jerk a moderate load for high reps with good form is certainly a worthwhile goal. If we are going to define fitness as Crossfit does, then it is even a necessary goal. If you start out with a medicine ball or broomstick, and move up over the course of several years to a 135 lb. bar, with a competent coach giving you feedback on technique, I find it hard to believe that this will lead to many injuries.

That said, barbell thrusters and high pulls, and dumbbell or kettlebell long cycle clean and jerks, one arm snatches, and squat cleans for high reps are effective and less technically demanding than barbell clean and jerks and snatches and offer most if not all of the benefits. I have wrestled, run cross country and middle distance track, played rugby, and rucked with a 115 lb. pack for 5 miles, and none of that compared to the fatigue and full body involvement and concentration of high rep Crossfit workouts. For someone who has to be ready for anything, anywhere, I don't understand how a workout program that always separates cardiovascular training from strength training implements can compare to Crossfit workouts. No amount of sprints, rowing, or other forms of metabolic conditioning will have the same overall impact as a Crossfit-type workout.

As for the common assertion that Crossfit doesn't develop its own, I have seen it do just that in myself and others. My friend Brendan Gilliam at CFHQ came to Crossfit skinny and without a single muscleup and can now overhead squat 225, do muscleups with a 50 lb. vest, and run 25 miles with no long distance prep. I fell over with the bar the first time I tried an overhead squat four years ago at an exceptionally muscular 140 lbs. bwt. and now I OHS 165 lbs. for five sets of three at 172 bwt with a 220 lb. power clean. I am running faster track workouts now than when I was 15 lbs. lighter and running 5 days a week for high school track with a 5:12 mile. I would never have even come this far without Crossfit, though I am very far from satisfied with my current level of fitness.

The underlying question in the debate is how well Crossfit workouts like Grace and Fran carry over to other domains. If you think that their effects merely test one's ability to do Crossfit and say very little about anything else, or that other workouts can effectively simulate their effects with less risk, then it doesn't make much sense to do them. If you think that the fitness that Crossfit workouts develop is unparalleled and transferrable to most real world activities, then it makes sense to accept a certain amount of risk, and to aim to minimize that risk through competent coaching. I think that determining the answer to this question conclusively would be impossible. Therefore it is up to each of us to find out what works in our particular circumstance. In my case, and in the case of most of those whom I've trained with, high rep lifting and Crossfit-type workouts are irreplaceable. It is not just a question of preference, but of performance.
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Old 12-12-2006, 03:00 PM   #22
Neal Winkler
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Steve, when I read Pierre's post that you responded to, it seemed pretty good to me. When I read your response, it didn't seem like you really understood what he said. In fact, I couldn't comprehend a single paragraph that you wrote, I almost thought that you were reading something entirely different than I was.
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Old 12-12-2006, 05:30 PM   #23
Pierre Auge
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I am baffled that we are not on the same page here let me make my point this way: (Sorry this is going to end up on a wild tangent I know it)

Contact Athletes (MMA Fighter): - Avoiding Risk “broad example”
Statement - If you've never taken a punch, the first time you do it's going to be a complete shocker. If you continually avoid getting hit while training to be a fighter, once you do you're going to be unable to cope when your opponent is feeding them to you.

Point - This is my point on stress and I can think of one or more for each and every contact sport I've seen.

I am also a CQB/Tactical Shooting Instructor and can think of many in relation to combat whether that involves a LEO or Military scenario. Under duress your body has certain responses that you cannot train out, only individuals with pathological deficiencies do not have these responses and this is what makes them more dangerous than your non-pathological street cop. Drugs like PCP are great for inducing these pathological responses.

Hockey Players – Avoiding Risk
Statement- The human body does not particularly care what kind of stimulus it receives in my opinion. Whether you get hit by a car at 40mph, or a 250lbs defenseman at 40mph, you’re still getting hit by something bigger than you at 40mph. The induced trauma may be of different magnitudes but the stimulus itself for all your body cares is the same. A hockey player who is constantly avoiding the hits will not adapt to getting hit in the instant when he can’t do anything about it.

Point – You’re better off to suck it up tighten up the body and take the hit, you’ll take less damage.

Conditioning – Broad Statement
Statement- The fact is hi-rep hi-intensity snatches and clean & jerks suck in a broad systemic nature. They are some of the most taxing exercises you can do for repetition and this why they are great for soldiers and athletes alike. The skill required to maintain form and consistency at hi-rep is something that is invaluable to anyone who has to operate under stressful conditions. Completing the workout is stressful, playing any team or contact sport is stressful, combat is stressful.

Point – The only difference is the stressors and for an athlete these stressors are limited in their variability. For a soldier they are invariable, and I would argue this for everyone. Example: I had no idea I was going to get run over by a French guy delivering Chicken Wings driving a Ford Focus a little over 2 weeks ago. An athlete who trains only with simple and easy to learn techniques will be limited his application of complex motor skills. This is why gymnasts learn other sports more easily than other athletes because they are accustomed to complex motor patterns, everything else is simple as pie. Lifting at hi intensity has the same type of broad systemic effect on conditioning.

Your Statement - Because there's reasonable doubt in my mind. Everyone "comes" to Crossfit, there are very few "home-grown". I'd say that XF can't take credit for a Robb Wolf, a Josh Everett, a Mark Twight, though I would come back and say that XF has definitely added something to their mixes, but the basic recipe had already been cooked up.

Point - I can’t argue with this and I don’t know why you brought it up but my intent was this: You are right coaches don’t win the game. But had the coach not been there the athlete would not have learned to play in the first place.

Statement – My initial statement: “A good coach shouldn't stand on competent athletes a good coach should produce competent athletes.” Should be interpreted as this – somewhere along the lines Robb Wolf, Josh Everett and Mark Twight were taught by someone how to perform their respective games without killing themselves. And once they were competent enough, they themselves were able to progress.

Point – We all learn from others, at no point have any of my ideas not been influenced by others. A coach influences his athletes and will be influenced by them. That same coach should not expect that each of his athletes are competent to begin with, he should ENSURE that they are competent before they attempt to progress. Such as this - before I put someone into an advanced live fire night shooting scenario, I will make damn sure they know how to safely aim the weapon and pull the trigger! Or before an athlete performs grace with prescribed weight, I will make damn sure they can do it with a broomstick, rebar, a 10lb training, bar, a women’s bar, a men’s bar so on and so forth.

Anyhow I’m a windbag.

Steve, I respect where you are coming from, I honestly like Neal have no idea where that is, but like you - I simply don't agree with it. And thats OK! I don't mind disagreeing as long as everyone realises that I'm right!!! That's a joke by the way haha.
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Old 12-12-2006, 07:02 PM   #24
Steve Shafley
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You're probably right, Pierre.

Perhaps I was reading too much, or something different into what you were posting. Essentially, we are on the same page. Maybe I didn't bite down hard enough on my inherent assholishness.

I apologize for not taking greater care in reading your post and in wording mine to be more coherent and cohesive.
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Old 12-12-2006, 07:26 PM   #25
Pierre Auge
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I think the issue here is not one of whether Mike Boyle's comments are accurate, or necessary. I think the issue is that rather than individuals asking the Glassman's opinion about hi rep snatches in the use of crossfit they asked someone else. Usually that will bring about an opposing opinion particularly when that person doesn't use the method in question. Opposing opinions are great as long as we are wise enough to assume the point of view from which they were gathered in order to gain an honest perspective into them.

Does that make any sense? Or is my bad english mixing with my bad french?
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Old 12-12-2006, 07:33 PM   #26
Steve Shafley
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Perfect sense.

Blame it on the late hour of the post. Or the booze. Definitely the booze!
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Old 12-12-2006, 08:30 PM   #27
Mike ODonnell
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On a completely side note...I know of a pro hockey player who makes like $5mil a year, is in the top 25 in points...and can't do like 3 frigin pullups.....damnit, I must be worth $10mil at least! lol
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Old 12-12-2006, 08:34 PM   #28
Yael Grauer
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How's your hockey, OD?
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Old 12-12-2006, 09:18 PM   #29
Ken Urakawa
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Originally Posted by Mike ODonnell View Post
On a completely side note...I know of a pro hockey player who makes like $5mil a year, is in the top 25 in points...and can't do like 3 frigin pullups.....damnit, I must be worth $10mil at least! lol
But just wait 'till they get that professional pullup league going!
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Old 12-12-2006, 10:17 PM   #30
Pierre Auge
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shit thats funny.

Mike on that side note, I'm seeing it more and more in this country particularly here in Ottawa the Nations Capital. Every gym I go to is has replaced their free weights with machines, and even the athletic training centers are swapping out for Swiss/BOSU Balls, balance boards and the like.

I've seen pro (NHL) hockey players standing around on BOSU balls waiving their sticks around messing with a puck in the middle of a gym and when I asked what was going on I was told that this was the new thing in functional training...

Looks and sounds pretty disfunctional to me! Oh well off to bed I have a job interview at that same athletic training center in the morning LOL wish me luck!
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