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Old 01-03-2007, 08:15 PM   #21
Pierre Auge
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Maybe! I'm not going to make this easy on you...

I'm going to try and make this as apparent as possible without giving it away. I'm not so bright so I want you to understand my point not just hear it.

The idea I'm coming from is the question of why do we train? What's the purpose? Is training simply the progression toward a goal? Or is it something like Mark Rippeteo's (similar to Art Devany's) thought of "Human beings are not normal in the absence of hard physical activity" and that training is the simulation of natural human effort?

What if such hard physical labour is the place where the skills in which we so covet are meant to be applied? I believe this to be the case... We aren't meant to train for the sake of training. We are meant to work for the sake of being productive toward survival, for lack of a better term.

So why do I consider a high volume max effort progressive overload type of exercise as practice? My opinion here is that we're naturally meant to function this way and are therefore are capable of it for farely extended efforts. I think our aerobic capacity is meant for two things, running away when we didn't realise it was time to go south a week earlier in October. And working really hard a little bit at a time throughout our days everyday... We are practicing our natural tendency toward a required heavy physical effort.

Training I think looks alot more like those events in the natural world where we are using the skills we aquire through our normal daily activities in a scenario where they must peak. Predatory activities for example require all of the skills that CrossFit sells itself as producing.

I think CrossFit type training is in one way the practical simulation of predatory behavior. It isn't so much that predatory behavior produces predatory skill, but that predatory skill which should be inherent in our physiology doesn't become expressed without a need to express it... This is just one example of what I think this type of mixed modality exercise actually does.

Take for example Natalie Woolfolk, is her ability as an athlete the natural expression of the activities of her daily routine? And are her skills only being expressed under the stress of competition at max efforts? Is it natural to express ones maximum effort only when one is prepapared and ready to do so? Or is it natural to express ones maximum effort when one least expects it?

Now do you see where I'm going?
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Old 01-03-2007, 08:37 PM   #22
Steve Shafley
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We are on sufficiently different wavelengths to really not be talking about the same subject here.

With that last post, I can see where you are coming from more effectively, and can understand your viewpoint, at least a bit better.

You are saying that XF-style mixed modality mimics the activities of a Hunter Gatherer sufficiently enough to allow for optimal gene expression, no?
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:03 PM   #23
Jonathan Reik
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A little fired-up today, eh Robb? Nice to see.

Shaf, as always, wielding Occam's razor and nicely summarizing the current state of affairs...

I couldn't agree more (with Shaf)... in fact, when I stumbled onto the website, I thought that I had found the golden child, er rather, the golden program... cardiovascular fitness without sacrificing strength... a holy grail of sorts that trained all aspects... I watched the videos of Amundson, Josh Everett, and Twardokens... and said "yeah... exactly!" The "ultimate program" idea was so tantalizing that it was kinda disappointing for me to come to the realization that it isn't the end-all and be-all... and that it hadn't necessarily created those monsters that I wanted to emulate. I can imagine it would be harder for someone with much more of a vested interest in it. And I still think that it's a worthy goal. (faint praise?)

As I see it, Robb's point seems to be that if you took untrained 18-year-old identical twins and

-trained Twin A for 3 years with olympic lifts, supporting slow lifts (squats/dl's, presses, etc) through a periodized program, and added some sprint intervals... and then put them on CF for six months

-and trained Twin B for 3-1/2 years of CF

that Twin A would handily beat Twin B at "Helen" or "Fran" or "Cindy".

(Does specialization in CrossFit punish the CrossFit athlete?)

Pierre, I'm still not quite sure where you're going. I'll take a stab at it... are you saying that:

-humans are evolved to strongly exert themselves in many different ways
-Crossfit forces its practicioners to strongly exert themselves in many different ways (as opposed to say, just doing Oly lifts and some sprints)
-and therfore, following the crossfit program can allow us to best express our genotypes in the phenotype that we've evolved to produce

Kinda like CrossFit is the paleo diet of exercise?

If so, it seems like you and Robb are talking about two different things.
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:04 PM   #24
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Whoops, Shaf already said it... too slow.
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Old 01-03-2007, 10:26 PM   #25
Pierre Auge
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I'm not disagreeing with Robb, thats the first thing that has to be understood...

I think that Robb, if he references the article I wrote and sent him will know where I'm going... Steve and Jonathan yes and maybe not I don't know I'm just thinking out typed!

I'm going to use the word again - Application.

I think the application has to be there, if like Robb said we are trying to specialize in the application of "The Sport of Fitness/CrossFit" than we have to come to the conclusion that this activity is necessary to be good at it...

Robb is the one who said it!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robb Wolf View Post
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.
Yes she is 6months of CF training away from burying every female on the planet. I totally agree she is 6 months of CF training away from burying every female on the planet.

Totally! So your saying at some point someone will have to CrossFit in order to be good at CrossFit... And someone will have to Olift to be a good Olifter, and someone will have to sprint to be a good sprinter! But neither will be the best at the other we all agree on this point.

My point is this: whatever you're good at you will have an opposing counter balancing reaction. She wont be such a good Olifter at that point which would be a terrible loss to the sport... IMHO

Who wants to bet that Josh Everett can smoke me on Fran?

I'll take that bet!!!

But who wants to bet that he can smoke me on Cindy? Bets anyone?

I'm not saying I'm as good of a CrossFitter as Josh (I'm not). My point is that it balances out. Eventually your not going to be good at something, that is until you start doing it, with me its thinking, I'm not good at that!

I think the point is that CrossFit is going to be as effective an S&C program as the people who apply it! There is that word again "application"... I like Socrates for the fact that he had his students purposefully define all of the words they used.

And I try to apply this (without getting my head cut-off like they did)
Training = Constantly Varied, Functional Movement at high Intensity
Practice = Consistent, Specific Movement at low Intensity (sounds like 5x5)

See how I give myself a means by which to quantify myself?
Now do you see where I'm going?

Anyway I'm stupid but CrossFit is going to look like CrossFit is going to look. And you know what, its broad definition allows it to do so.

I already regret posting this because I have forgotten my point.......
See what I mean I'm bad at thinking!
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Old 01-03-2007, 10:49 PM   #26
-Ross Hunt
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Why take our bearings for training from 'nature' in the sense that's meant by De Vany and Cordain and geneticists, anyway?

If we accept that, as it plays out in training, what's healthy and what's fit (for any particular sport) are very seldom precisely the same, then 'nature' looks like it's the proper standard for health, and it looks like other things are the standards for fitness.







In other news, lifting heavy things is fun.
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Old 01-04-2007, 05:52 AM   #27
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To be good at a benchmark WOD you have to practice the benchmark WOD. There is no doubt about it. This is why XF HQ continually issues those challenges I find ludicrous.

I could issue a similar challenge. I could challenge you to squat 495# then eat an entire large, meat-lovers pizza, with thick crust, and drink a six pack of Arrogant Bastard Ale then do 20 rep squats with 315#. For time. Do you think any of the Santa Cruz female XF trainers could do that (or even the male trainers, for that matter), much less beat me in a timed competition? I have my doubts.

That'd be one hell of a spectacle, though.

The specificity of the challenge makes it a losing proposition for anybody but an athlete who's prepared for the challenge by practicing for the specific challenge, whether by inclination or by deliberate choice.

I could bring someone into my limited basement gym, and absolutely bury them with a workout. Does that mean "Basement Shaf-Fit" is untouchable as a workout program? No, it doesn't.

There have not been enough real world competitions or enough world class athletes developed by XF to make that determination, yet. I'm not saying it's not going to happen, and, once again, I'm not denigrating the XF tools as being extremely effective when used for the right purpose, I'm just saying that it's not the only game in town.

Once again, I'm off on a tangent that's not addressing what Pierre wrote, rather my own vague and incoherent agenda. Sorry.
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Old 01-04-2007, 06:31 AM   #28
Mike ODonnell
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Same arguement seems to come about. I respect Pierre to have his opinion, and I like some of the XF workouts, but to that end will not take XF as the best workout for anyone route. Does that mean that I wouldn't have a XF style metcon day for a client? No. But it means I have a programming idea in mind before I start training someone. XF is like any other coach out there, leanring from others programming and adjusting. Nothing wrong with that. I just don't agree with anyone who says it was all their idea and it's the only way to go....especially when you don't even know what the next workout is going to be.

PS. OD-Fit T-shirts are now available.
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:14 PM   #29
Chris Goodrich
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Let me try and summarize/synthesize some of the critiques of crossfit from this thread as a launching point for some questions:

A beginner following tthe CF WOD will relatively quickly progress from novice to intermediate phase (using Rippetoe's definitions of training phases) because they don't need complex periodization. However, as they reach the intermediate phase their progress will slow due to the lack of periodization and eventually stall, preventing them from reaching the elite level of Crossfit (and possibly not even the advanced level). However, a trainee who has reached the advanced or elite level of strength through periodized training who then adopts the WOD would quickly be able to reach elite status at Crossfit. Is that about correct (leaving aside for the moment issues of credit or the use of the WOD score as a measure of ultimate fitness)?

If this critique is correct, what is the best path for a trainee without a strong strength training background who nevertheless is trying to maximize Crossfit-style performace? Is the recent addition of more strenght oriented WODs enough? Is the black box better? Or something like cycling the mass gain program for a few months followed by the WOD for a few and back again?
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:21 PM   #30
Pierre Auge
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Now we're all on the same page I think. Steve, Mike, we're looking at the same thing just from different perpectives.

Your right your workouts would burry me. But I could squat 245# then eat an entire large, meat-lovers pizza, with thick crust, and drink a six pack of Arrogant Bastard Ale then do 20 rep squats with 185#. And I may give you a go, in a timed competition? You'd be surprised buds!!!

As long as we both agree that I weigh 140lbs...

Hey I think we may have something here for the first annual Performance Menu Competitive Challenge, anybody with me?

Whatever makes us better at things we want to get better at... At the same time standardized tests must be used. Like a marathon you either win or you don't. Or Powerlifting you either lifted it or you didn't, relative to your weight class you won. But in this case I don't think Fran is a bad standardised test. If at 140lbs I do it faster than you with the same load than I think you need to re-evaluate something. Because it should be the other way around. It gives us a means by which to test our weaknesses.

Just workout, then compete, be better than we are. Anyway I hardly ever workout and can do all of the CrossFit girls as prescribed and in fairly decent times. So I'm just arguing for the hell of it... All I know is that doing CrossFit improves all of the 10 biomarkers, and that is a test that many other types of exercise wont. Or will not as effectively. Just something to consider.
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