Jul 16, 2011

How Does CrossFit Work: A Few Reminders

This was a great week for the Iron Major CrossFit community.  We had a few of our own give a CrossFit theory class to the entire SAMS class, as well as a foundations to half of the SAMS seminars.  (Thanks to all of the coaches!!)  We have had several of our athletes bring new athletes to the box to begin their CrossFit journey.  More importantly, we had new athletes walk in on their own, and seemingly find an open, welcoming group ready to help them become part of IMCF.  But through it all, there is one question that keeps coming up, from athletes serious about making a change, and about doubters who want to try and snipe a question here and there.  What makes CrossFit different?  Of course we know IWCABTMD, but as a refresher for some other info, below is a clip from the CrossFit training guide:

What is the CrossFit Method?

The CrossFit method is to establish a hierarchy of effort
and concern that builds as follows:
Diet - lays the molecular foundations for fitness and health.
Metabolic Conditioning - builds capacity in each of three metabolic pathways, beginning with aerobic, then lactic acid, and then phosphocreatine pathways.
Gymnastics - establishes functional capacity for body control and range of motion.
Weightlifting and throwing - develop ability to control external objects and produce power.
Sport - applies fitness in competitive atmosphere with more randomized movements and skill mastery.

It was the metabolic conditioning that raised a few eyebrows when told that training in the phosphagenic and glycolitic pathways lead to more successful adaption in the oxidative as opposed to the oxidative leading to success in phosphagenic and glycolitic.  As a reminder, when asked these harder questions, we can look back to the CrossFit training guide:

"The first two are anaerobic and "anaerobic activity is,
however, unique in its capacity to dramatically improve
power, speed, strength, and muscle mass. Anaerobic
conditioning allows us to exert tremendous forces
over brief time intervals. One aspect of anaerobic
conditioning that bears great consideration is that
anaerobic conditioning will not adversely affect aerobic
capacity. In fact, properly structured, anaerobic activity
can be used to develop a very high level of aerobic
fitness without the muscle wasting consistent with high
volumes of aerobic exercise!! The method by which we
use anaerobic efforts to develop aerobic conditioning is
“interval training.”

It is interval training, constantly varying the reps, distance, time, etc, of the first two metabolic pathways that gains the most "cardio" success. Much like basketball players seem to have cardio capacity for days, but never run long distances of greater than 40 mins. If asked, be sure to tell folks that "interval training" can take all kinds of forms, including Tabatas, doing the 400m runs we did Friday morning, or running 400s, jogging 200, run 200, etc, etc.  As with any CrossFit constanly varied programming, the options are up to the imagination.

For more information, the Training Guide cites:  Dr. Stephen Seiler
http://home.hiano/~stephens/interval.htm) and http://home.hia.no/~stephens/timecors.htm

What are some of the other questions or coaching subjects that you may have been asked that we can all benefit from a refresher on??  Post your comments and we can work through them together.


kyle hogan said...

Thrusters 95lbs (scaled 75)
Knees to elbows
Double unders
200m run with plate 35lbs
14:47....thanks again to CF Solafide for another great open WOD this morning.

I had an abysmal display for Thursdays WOD with a time of 16:05. I even sub’d situps for GHD (no GHD available). Started building the garage gym, found an Olympic bar for $50 bucks at Play it again sports, who BTW offers a “crossfit starter package.” A pair of 10 lbs & 15lbs gets me going. Really missing the bubble.

Greg M said...
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