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  • HIT vs Crossfit vs Bodyweight

    Background: Lost a lot of weight on P90X, lost a hell of a lot more without it. Going to a gym following the Superslow protocol and have seen great results and the weight keeps coming off.

    What's got me confused:

    You have guys like Doug McGuff who insist that the most efficient exercise is the hi-intensity type: brief, intense, SAFE. I agree with this, it works for me, I love it.

    I fear however that at some point I will not have access to the gym I'm going to, nor the trainer I've been working with, or the pricey MedX machines they use. So if I accept what I'm doing now as "ideal", what do I do when this is not feasible. How do I maintain this strength?

    Now staying specific here, about the definition of exercise being any activity providing stimulus that achieves and adaptive response (that's how I think of it).

    So what do I replace this with?

    Since most gyms have shoddy equipment, and I may not always have a partner, HIT might be hard to on my own. In my head I see two options:

    Crossfit - This seems appealing to me, but every video I watch seems to wreak of Chronic Cardio, am I wrong? Missing something? Educate me some.

    Primal Fitness - This makes sense to me, but can I maintain the levels of strength?

    I'm about to add in to my weeks two karate sessions, some bicycling, maybe roller derby (yeah that last one's safe.... NOT). I don't consider this exercise, just activity.

    Thanks for all your feedback, love this site.

    Tommy
    Last edited by SpacemanSpiff; 04-24-2011, 10:53 AM.

  • #2
    Check out Al Kavadlo's site for how to increase intensity with bodyweight exercises - the PBF ebook also mentions this. For example, instead of normal push-ups you can do plyometric push-ups, one arm push-ups and so forth. For the ultimate bodyweight strength you can look at advanced gymnastics with rings.

    As far as Body by Science is concerned: I used to be a fan, then lost "faith" in it because I read a lot of critical opinions about it. Today I'm sure that the underlying principle is true:

    You need to do infrequent, brief, intense workouts.

    Having said that: I'd advise against P90X and CrossFit if your goal is to efficiently gain or maintain strength. Functional fitness is still a goal that many want to incorporate, but IMO you can best reach it by seeing it as "play" rather than "LHT". Do your infrequent HIT workouts, and in between do some infrequent bodyweight stuff, trying pull-ups, muscle-ups and the other stuff that requires strength and body control. You can go all out in the HIT workouts in a safe manner without the risk of injury, and in turn you can do bodyweight exercises on a level that you regard as "play", also keeping the risk of injury low. If you do CrossFit and constantly perform exercises in an all-out fashion that require excellent form and coordination in order not to injure yourself - you *will* at some point end up injuring yourself. Check out the CrossFit forum with its own section on injuries ...

    BTW: HIT doesn't necessarily imply "superslow". Check out Drew Baye's excellent talk:

    YouTube - Drew Baye T21C 2009 [Full] -- High Intensity Training Explained
    MikeEnRegalia's Blog - Nutrition, Dieting, Exercise and other stuff ;-)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MikeEnRegalia View Post
      Check out Al Kavadlo's site for how to increase intensity with bodyweight exercises
      Thanks for the shout out, Mike - I was going to suggest the same thing!

      To the OP, start with this post on mastering your bodyweight, which has links to several other key posts in it as well.
      "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

      "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

      My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

      sigpic

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      • #4
        Originally posted by SpacemanSpiff View Post
        Background: Lost a lot of weight on P90X, lost a hell of a lot more without it. Going to a gym following the Superslow protocol and have seen great results and the weight keeps coming off.

        What's got me confused:

        You have guys like Doug McGuff who insist that the most efficient exercise is the hi-intensity type: brief, intense, SAFE. I agree with this, it works for me, I love it.

        I fear however that at some point I will not have access to the gym I'm going to, nor the trainer I've been working with, or the pricey MedX machines they use. So if I accept what I'm doing now as "ideal", what do I do when this is not feasible. How do I maintain this strength?

        Now staying specific here, about the definition of exercise being any activity providing stimulus that achieves and adaptive response (that's how I think of it).
        There's something specific about the stimulus: anaerobic metabolism. HIT isn't about the machines used; it's about the effort. The effort required to tap into your anaerobic metabolism. There are other ways to get into anaerobic metabolism (sprinting/Tabata/etc), but weight training or lifting heaving things is probably the most efficient and safest. I wouldn't stress over equipment, unless it's obviously unsafe. Use what you have access to and work hard. Don't let perfect get in the way of good enough.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the feedback so far.

          @js290 - I like that last line! "Don't let perfect get in the way of good enough."

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          • #6
            ^^ HIT is about maxing out the anaerobic metabolism *plus* fatiguing the muscle fibers thoroughly to the point of failure and beyond. It's different from HIIT, which focuses primarly on the metabolic aspect.
            MikeEnRegalia's Blog - Nutrition, Dieting, Exercise and other stuff ;-)

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            • #7
              In addition to Al as a great advocate and poster-boy for body resistance stuff, this post on SimpleFit (pull-ups, push-ups, air squats) is a pretty solid "pro" for body resistance.

              You have lots of options. As js290 said, it's more about effort than activity -- the how vs the what.
              August 2010: 207 lb, 37" waist, 25+% BF | Currently: 177 lb, 33" waist, ~15% BF

              I have a new site up and will soon be blogging at The Wayward Mind. (My journal is semi-retired at this point)

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              • #8
                HIIT is the way to go. You can go straight bodyweight or combine with weights. You can also put together workouts that are smarter and more balanced than Crossfit and lessen your chance of injury.
                "Suffer no guilt yee who wield this in the name of Crom"
                Quote on the Father's Sword

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MikeEnRegalia View Post
                  As far as Body by Science is concerned: I used to be a fan, then lost "faith" in it because I read a lot of critical opinions about it. Today I'm sure that the underlying principle is true:

                  You need to do infrequent, brief, intense workouts.

                  BTW: HIT doesn't necessarily imply "superslow". Check out Drew Baye's excellent talk:

                  YouTube - Drew Baye T21C 2009 [Full] -- High Intensity Training Explained
                  That was a good talk by Drew Baye, but he didn't say anything that wasn't in BBS, in Arthur Jones literature, or Mike Mentzer talks. Did you actually read BBS?


                  Originally posted by MikeEnRegalia View Post
                  ^^ HIT is about maxing out the anaerobic metabolism *plus* fatiguing the muscle fibers thoroughly to the point of failure and beyond. It's different from HIIT, which focuses primarly on the metabolic aspect.
                  No it's not; there you go again looking for differences. Anaerobic metabolism is anaerobic metabolism. Your muscles (particularly fast twitch since they work anaerobically) don't care what the stimulus is. All they know is their glycogen got depleted.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by js290 View Post
                    That was a good talk by Drew Baye, but he didn't say anything that wasn't in BBS, in Arthur Jones literature, or Mike Mentzer talks. Did you actually read BBS?
                    Did you? In BBS they recommend that you base your workouts on time under load (TUL) rather than counting repetitions, and they recommend a superslow-approach, with extremely slow movement of about 10 seconds for each direction, the whole set clocking in at about 90 seconds. What Baye recommends is much faster movement (3 seconds in each direction), to aim for sets of about 45-60 seconds duration, but to mainly count repetitions instead of time under load and aim for 7-10 repetitions.

                    Originally posted by js290 View Post

                    No it's not; there you go again looking for differences. Anaerobic metabolism is anaerobic metabolism. Your muscles (particularly fast twitch since they work anaerobically) don't care what the stimulus is. All they know is their glycogen got depleted.
                    To quote Baye: You don't know what the fuck you're talking about. It seems like you neither read BBS nor listened to Baye's presentation.

                    The main stimulus for muscle growth in terms of strength is progressive overload. What you are describing is simply burning all the muscle's glycogen - that's a powerful stimulus, too - just not necessarily to build a stronger, more powerful muscle. If you want to maximize the metabolic load (and this is also mentioned in BBS) you need to extend the time under load (or in a repetition based workout the number of repetition), and what will happen is that you'll maximize the anaerobic endurance, but not necessarily strength. In Baye's words: The workout will neither be brief nor intense enough.
                    MikeEnRegalia's Blog - Nutrition, Dieting, Exercise and other stuff ;-)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MikeEnRegalia View Post
                      ... they recommend a superslow-approach, with extremely slow movement of about 10 seconds for each direction...
                      So you didn't read the book...

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                      • #12
                        I'm not sure you even understand how conversations work.
                        MikeEnRegalia's Blog - Nutrition, Dieting, Exercise and other stuff ;-)

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                        • #13
                          This isn't directed at anyone in particular but - does anyone else get a little bit annoyed at the over-complicated descriptions of various different protocols that are promoted on this site?

                          For beginners (and those that don't care) it can be very overwhelming to listen to the rationales for this programme or that programme. The bottom line is that you get better at whatever you do. This should be the basis of all exercise and programme selection. The abundance of arbitrary goals just makes things too complicated.
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                          • #14
                            I find it difficult to name just one goal - I want to look good naked, have functional fitness (like being able to do a couple of pull-ups if I happen to walk by a suitable bar), and I want to get reasonably strong at some benchmark exercises like deadlifts and bench presses.

                            My current solution: I'll be doing HIT sets very infrequently and as outlined by Drew Baye, which - as I tried to explain to js290 - differs from Body by Science in that it's more like a traditional set of strength training exercise, just a bit slower movement and to - and beyond - the point of failure. In addition I'll be doing a mix of functional bodyweight exercises, some of which are also done in CrossFit, but there I'll differ in reducing the volume and metabolic aspect greatly - I'll do these exercises as a form of "play".

                            You're right - it sounds complicated. In a nutshell I'll be doing very intense and brief exercises very infrequently, and a bit less demanding, but in return also more enjoyable bodyweight exercises much more frequently.
                            MikeEnRegalia's Blog - Nutrition, Dieting, Exercise and other stuff ;-)

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