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Old 12-29-2006, 07:56 PM   #11
Pierre Auge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robb Wolf View Post
Does one need a non-randomized foundational strength base to excel at "Constantly varied, if not randomized functional movements performed at high intensity..."?
Robb,
I think the issue is this, NO ONE is presenting broad measurable "data" and that includes everyone of us. Until that changes all we're doing is opinionation of observation.

I'm working on changing that, gimme some time bros...
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:40 PM   #12
Steve Liberati
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Sure there is no program out there that is perfect. The trick is finding a program that not only has merit, but most importantly works well for the individual. In other words, it must be effective, challenging and enjoyable all at the same time. I've tried many program over the years that were effective and challenging but very few of them were fun (where I looked forward to my next workout). And as fitness is my only sport, having fun in the process takes precedence.

So despite its weaknesses, Crossfit will remain my preferred method of training (at least for now).
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Old 12-30-2006, 09:58 AM   #13
Mike ODonnell
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Consistency is the biggest factor in my opinon for gains.....if you follow a simple program religiously of basic lifts...you will see great gains....so if your workout keeps you motivated, makes you do it consistently and lets you increase volume you will get results....it's that simple. Crossfit does a good job at keeping people motivated day in and out, and that is why it is successful. A sense of community is always going to bring people together and working hard day in and out. Curves gets people in and out too....because it provides a sense of community for people who need it. A workout doesn't need to be a business to get results. You pick your Brand A...B..C... workout depending on what your goals are and what motivates you.

As far as measuring results....it's hard to do that for Brand A since most people do hybrid versions with their own ME/sport specific and additional workouts on top of the WOD. So technically Brand A can not take credit for gains unless their test group did their exact workout day in and out with no additional outside programs.....you can't just group every version of exercise and call it your own....Just cause I wrote a book doesn't mean I published everything in the library. Just my $0.02. In the end...some programs work for some....some work for others....so Brands need to just accept fitness as organic, a life in itself...every evolving with influences from everywhere....and stop trying to take control and credit and exist harmonously with it. Health and Fitness is a journey.....not a contest to see who is right.
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Old 12-30-2006, 01:57 PM   #14
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well said Mike and some very good points. Especially like the last sentence you wrote.

"Health and Fitness is a journey.....not a contest to see who is right."

Simply put, in the end the best theory in the world can't touch good ol' hardwork. So the take home message should be "Quit thinking about it and just get out there and DO IT!"
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Old 01-03-2007, 08:28 AM   #15
Robb Wolf
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Pierre-
I might be missing something, if so hammer me on this but my main point is
if one is looking at how to succeed at a given sport and in this case I'm
thinking about the Sport of Fitness:CrosFit, then we need to consider the
full developmental process of the top performers. The top performers have
come to the game with an impressive strength base, conversely, the greatest
limiting factor with regards to performance is strength. This makes sense
in that if one is "very" strong one may rely on smaller motorneurons for a
given work output, thus reducing lactate production and relying on fatigue
resistant fiber types.

That's one issue. Another issue, and this may largely be my own thing but CF
makes the claim of the fittest folks around and puts forth a framework that
recommends metabolic conditioning as the basis for athletic development
(see CFJ "what is Fitness?"). CrossFit is certainly an open, evolving and
adaptable system but I want to make the point publically I guess about the
need to prioritize strength development in order to reach the highest
ranks of CF performance. When the CFJ issue discussing the CFT came out I
think Coach Glassman's wording was something to the effect "Rip and I were
talking about the need for foundational strength..." right on. Good stuff. I'm just not going to let some kind of Orwellian shift occur such that one day we read on the CF front page "It is the CrossFit contention that development of absolute strength qualities is paramount to sporting success..." or something similarly hoity-toity. I am making the point that Coach Rutherford articulated this observation first in the "community driven" programing generally known as CrossFit.

Another issue. In the current CFJ Prof. Kilgore asks the question "How can CF simultaneously improve strength AND aerobic capacity (VO2 max)?" Prof. Kilgore then details strength training and aerobic training as stand alone entities and then contrasts this with CF programming which garners improvements in both qualities. all good stuff but then he concedes that one will not make as good strength gains following CF as stand alone strength training. Additionally he makes the point that short sprint oriented training enhances aerobic capacity while degrading strength less than traditional "cardio". Again this is good stuff but the recommendation to use intervals to improve aeorobic capacity with minimum impact upon max power production is made in the supposedly worthless NSCA Essentials of Strength & Conditioning! I'm at the gym right now and do not have the reference, I will dig up the page number later. Without reverting to a scientific study perhaps some logic and intuition can help here. if you have a purely strength trained individual or aerobicizer they will likely suck at CF because they have never TRAINED specific to CF. Take an individual who olifts a few days per week and performs sprint intervals a few days per week and you have someone who can walk into a CF style workout and do comparatively well. After a few weeks of doing mixed modal-CF training this individual will crush. One might argue this individual is fitter and that might be correct but it is without question this individual has gotten better at doing mixed modal activities! the SAID principle is not everything but it does describe a lot.

Now am I saying Cf programming is bad or ineffective? Absolutely not. I use it daily in my training practice and it is without a doubt amazingly effective and perhaps most importantly, time efficient. I've seen it transform people and improve their quality of life immeasurably (Dan if you are reading this what do you want to bet this will fall under the category "damming by faint praise?). The point I want to make is when a claim of producing elite fitness is made full disclosure is important for intellectual integrity. If you have some walk-on Olifting studs transform into CF monsters...where does the attribution go? Natalie Woolfolk can Olift like crazy and due to her gymnastics background can still perform free standing HSPU's. She is 6months of CF training away from burying every female on the planet. My point however is just because she is a (potential) top CF athlete...is that because of CF? Did CF develop her strength base? No. So now we have the CF total...and going back to my original post, how should one implement the CF Total to post the best score at the Sport of Fitness? It's not by randomization...and randomization is a cornerstone of the Cf credo. That is fine for metabolic conditioning, not for strength development.

Thoughts and comments appreciated.
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:21 AM   #16
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I suppose an imrportant question is what is the best way to met con while having the minimum effect on strength (and for athletes allowing the maximum amount of practise). The answer to this could be a number of things: Intervals based on a single activity (i.e hill sprints/track work), the CF Girls, Bodyweights GPP training or any number of other activities I am sure we could all think of.

In my experience my ability to work at a high intensity in sport has always been highest when I have incuded some sort of single activity interval training a couple of times a week. I am not saying that this is all you need, but my fitness drops considerably without it.

As far as strength goes I am not too sure. Until recently I had not really done any serious strength training for a while (until April 06), due to spending all my time playing sport. I know I could BLDL 220kg at a bodyweight of 90kg in April solely from doing the WOD for 4 months, however I found the strain on my body too much to do the amount of sports training I do now. My conditioning was not as high as it is now through almost exclusively playing sport with a couple of weekly run thrown in.

At the moment I am breaking my training up into strength training and single effort conditioning with a small amount of bodyweight GPP work. In a few months I should have a personal opinion on whether this is better for me than just the WOD in terms of strength development (for me personally). Although I think it should be more effective time will tell.

I'll finish by saying that this is not a knock on crossfit, it's just that I found it hard to train mma at a high intensity on a daily basis while doing the WOD. I'm not having this problem now and I'm training 9 - 11 times a week.
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Old 01-03-2007, 10:17 AM   #17
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A real study is to take deconditioned people of ordinary life and put them on different programs to measure output. Some may have better strength, some better endurance, some better scores on a CF workout, etc. But one program will not maximize all. If you are using athletes, it's easier to train them as they already have a strong base of strength and work load capacity. The people who say they get big strength on CF have never done serious strength programs in the first place (or in a long time), so how is that fair to compare? How do you know that a basic powerlifting program would of gotten you better results? No one knows until they do it.

I agree with Robb on that best CF scores are people with a solid strength background. I bet if you took someone with a strength background and had them do simple sprinting drills 2x a week, after a month or so they would put up great numbers in a CF workout. Now take someone doing CF only and test their strength in 1 month, it won't compare to someone who powerlifts. I think it's great to have all sorts of variables in training, O-lifts, powerlifting, explosiveness, metabolic conditioning....etc.

For me it goes back to fitness programs are not supposed to be this complicated. Give me 2 people.....one does CF only workouts.....one does a mix of 5x5 and sprints.....chances are they both end up with good results. Consistency is what breed results. So if a program keeps someone consistent and going hard then they will see great results. One Olympian may do workout A, one may do workout B and another workout C....but they are still all Olympians.
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Old 01-03-2007, 01:40 PM   #18
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Robb,
CrossFit wont make you better at anything, but the "application" of anything!

Do you see where I'm going now?
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Old 01-03-2007, 08:11 PM   #19
Robb Wolf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre Auge View Post
Robb,
CrossFit wont make you better at anything, but the "application" of anything!

Do you see where I'm going now?
LOL! No sir...no more clarity from that! Is it that one is optimally "well rounded"? Ready for anything?
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Old 01-03-2007, 08:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
CrossFit wont make you better at anything, but the "application" of anything!
How so, Pierre? I am always such a doubting Thomas.

There are "meta-principles" underlying training. XF does a good job of covering some of these, of that I have no doubt. There are some that aren't covered, the big one being maximal strength, with Gregg engaging Rippetoe and Kilgore to help bring it up to speed.

But, bringing it up to speed is changing the programming dramatically. When is it not XF? When it's no longer a WOD from Santa Cruz? Because today's WOD (Back squat 5, 5, 5, 5, 5) really isn't. The 5x5 method is very old, and was popularized by Bill Starr in "The Strongest Shall Survive" (incidentally, Bill Starr was one of Mark Rippetoe's mentors, and Mark sells all of Bill's books for him) How can you call 5x5 "Crossfit"? It's not.

I do have a strong doubt that XF makes the "application" of "anything" better. Many things, yeah, but everything? No.

In addition, the definition of XF is always in flux, like Robb pointed out above.

When discussing this, we need to draw the line. The definition is sufficiently vague to cover almost anything, yet there are people training out there who use similar methods and have never heard of XF.

I still disdain Gregg's statement that specialization punishes the athlete in most sports. Simple observation disproves that.

Sprinters? Specialized
Gymnasts? Specialized
Jumpers? Specialized
Throwers? Specialized
Climbers? Specialized
Lifters? Specialized

Look at that list, all of those sports are something XF claims to have drawn something from.

Combat sports? If the WOD detracts from skills training (and for many, it will) is it appropriate?

What XF is struggling against, right now, is the fact that it's being relegated to "tool" status. It's appropriate to pull out when you need that tool, but it's not appropriate to use at all times. For some reason Gregg feels this is a complete threat to the entire program, so much that he's got to act unsavory if his golden child is criticized.
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