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Thread: Chronic cardio and crossfit: A critique of crossfit type training page

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    superseiyan's Avatar
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    Chronic cardio and crossfit: A critique of crossfit type training

    Primal Fuel
    Anyone see this?
    Science of Running: Crossfit endurance, Tabata sprints, and why people just don’t get it

    The author expresses his disdain for cross-fit, and claims they misunderstand the concept of tabata sprints. Also sticks up for conventional running.

    When one is talking about 'chronic cardio' how do you guys define it? Is a 30 minute run at a moderate pace "chronic cardio"? Or is the idea that if one eating primal, and sprinting once a week or so, then a 30 minute brisk walk will have the same benefit on the body?

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    It depends on your goals. 'Benefit on the body' and being a very good long distance runner aren't the same things.

    If your priority is being the fastest distance runner you can be, then the Primal Blueprint approach to fitness won't be the best way at all. It doesn't try to be. PBF is more about supporting health and movement without undue chronic stress on the body.

    I think for cardio to chronic it needs to be long enough, regular enough and intense enough that your body is almost always under some negative effect from it. A 30 minute run at moderate pace probably won't do you any harm if you're fit. If you're unfit and doing it is HARD work, and you're doing it daily, then it may be a problem.

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    Well written, interesting article. I'm not sure if all the criticisms leveled at CrossFit are valid, but there were some good points on training/exercise in general.

    I also found this paragraph which describes CrossFit's "cult of personality" particularly insightful:
    Crossfit exploits a couple different natural reactions people have to get people on their bandwagon. First, they create a straw man “us vs. them” mentality. We’ll go over this straw man tactic a bit later, but they try and cultivate this idea that just because it’s different and new means its got to be better. They throw in some pseudoscience or misinterpretation of science and they’ve bolstered their selling point. Further exploiting peoples natural habits, they promise better results with less time commitment, which in today’s “busy” world is probably the number one selling point for many products or ideas. If you’ve ever watched late night infomercials, you might start to see some similarities…
    Replace "CrossFit" with "Primal Blueprint" and this also perfectly describes some (not all) people on this forum (let the flaming commence!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by zilog View Post
    Well written, interesting article. I'm not sure if all the criticisms leveled at CrossFit are valid, but there were some good points on training/exercise in general.

    I also found this paragraph which describes CrossFit's "cult of personality" particularly insightful:


    Replace "CrossFit" with "Primal Blueprint" and this also perfectly describes some (not all) people on this forum (let the flaming commence!)
    I agree; it is an interesting article. However, when one considers what can sometimes be viewed as diametrically opposed views i.e. chronic cardio vs. PB (prevalent on this forum obviously), or the author's focus of HIT vs volume training, rest assured the truth usually lies in the middle especially for "novice" to "advanced" type athletes. Athletes referring to anyone who makes a conscious decision to do something anything resembling exercise and the descriptors are left to the individual to define.

    Any program, plan, scheme for this broad middle ground of people will provide benefits from a blend of all elements of physical activity which I believe PB does a fairly decent job of advocating despite contradictory claims that running a few miles several times a week is chronic cardio; I mean what are we doing as a group of roughly like minded individuals when a new to the forum poster like myself needs to ask: Is walking every day considered chronic cardio? From marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread63751.html.

    Excuse my digression; back to the article (eventually after more digression): While I don't personally agree with some of the methods used to physically fulfill the 10 Crossfit principles (skills) I have no problem begging, borrowing or stealing what works for me because their principles are solid. Although I have no desire to have a raw 1600 lb power-lifting total for my BW I still squat, bench and DL as heavy as I possibly can within my plan and goals. I will definitely never run 400m in 47s again, but I still literally, on occasion, sprint my guts out. My beginner coed soccer (football for you non-Americans) league is a highlight of the week demonstrating teamwork, friendship and willpower. And, just for good measure, I'm picking my 5K races for the fall season and planning how to fit in some endurance runs between all that "other stuff" while cooking meals at home for an extended family of seven, playing with the kids in the backyard, water-park, gym, playground, track, and playing with the wife anywhere and everywhere as often as possible, plus working a forty hour (+) a week job. Anyway, I bragged, so what, back to the blog: it's interesting, but not really balanced:

    "And finally, I’d like to point out that finishing and racing are different. I’ve heard far too many times that so and so did crossfit and finished a marathon so it must work. No offense and sorry to sound elitist, but if I took off 6 months and did nothing I could still finish a marathon. It doesn't mean my program of doing nothing worked." - Steve Magness

    So Steve Magness, formerly of Nike Oregon Project, sounds elitist because he is elite. Good for him (not sarcastic)! Perhaps I don't know his audience; it is a blog his after all. Maybe the majority of his readers can take six months off from training and still finish a marathon; he apparently can, so please trade my non-sequitur for his straw-man arguments: the original marathon runner died, now we can debate about the distance but all the tales end the same. So, if I took off six months from training and tried to run a marathon my last words wouldn't be, (in English) "Έχουμε κερδίσει" (We have won) it would be "Αυτό ήταν ανόητο" (This was stupid). [if the Greek is wrong i blame Google]

    Anyway; reading this article apparently stung me in the neck; I'm sorta tired of the "us vs. them" mentality of many fitness blogs, articles, forums(including this one), columns, nut-job at the gym (huh... maybe that's me),

    Balance should be key and this is where the author fails; where ever that set point balance is for the individual should be the starting point from which that advancement starts. duh. Starting strength, Wendler's 5/3/1, TM, Strong lifts, CF, CFE, couch to 5k, 10k, WTF#K, really who cares as long as collectively we get our asses up and do something active - lift heavy, sprint strong, run for a reason, walk with a constitutional conviction, play 'til the kids pass out and then play some more.

    anyway... I think the whole article can be summed up this way:

    "Not terribly long ago, I stopped dating a girl because she did crossfit." - Steve Magness...
    running.competitor.com/2012/07/news/steve-magness-leaves-nike-oregon-project_55153

    And well... just do an image search on random crossfit women and Steve Magness... Sorry "bro," Are you sure you stopped dating her...?
    Last edited by emerson; 08-14-2012 at 02:24 AM.

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    **shrug**

    I found a CF box that really works for me. I'm finally doing real weightlifting, along with assisted pullups, a little jogging, and, all in all, doing more physically than I ever thought I could. I'm not about to run any races -- actually, I hate running -- and that's fine with me.

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    Toshison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superseiyan View Post
    When one is talking about 'chronic cardio' how do you guys define it? Is a 30 minute run at a moderate pace "chronic cardio"? Or is the idea that if one eating primal, and sprinting once a week or so, then a 30 minute brisk walk will have the same benefit on the body?
    I don't really think there is a clear and concise definition for the term chronic cardio.. I think its more a loose term describing a tendency that many misinformed people have where they want to improve their body composition and think that ratcheting up the amount of cardio they do, be it treadmill, eliptical etc is the best route. For me, it also implies a certain amount of neglect to resistance training.

    I don't think it's sensible to try to define boundaries to the term as in "if I run 30 minutes I am still primal but it I run 60 I am now chronic cardio"..

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    I think, just like everything else PB, it's not "one size fits all". I Crossfit 4-5 days a week, and I love doing it. I'm not about to compete in any specific sport, but it supports the other recreational activities I do (snow ski, snowboard, mountain bike, hike, swim--and I have just gotten a slack line!) I will never be an elite athlete in anything, but I am strong, flexible, and agile enough to enjoy everything I do and not get injured.

    I also enjoy the community atmosphere where I Crossfit, and the care and instruction I get from my coaches. I have been Crossfitting for 2.5 years now and have never gotten injured there or in any other sport I do.

    I totally understand that Crossfit... or power lifting... or long distance running... or <insert any sport here> is not for everyone. Instead of disparaging other sports, we should be celebrating the varying physical activities that we all do!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldie View Post
    Instead of disparaging other sports, we should be celebrating the varying physical activities that we all do!
    ^

    This.

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    I have no idea really what Crossfit is, but I know what jogging is and I find nothing wrong with it. I think the whole chronic cardio thing is kind of silly. Because while chronic cardio is bad, somehow daily slow movement and/or play is good. Well, what if running is what you enjoy and is fun for you?
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    I can squat 180lbs, press 72.5lbs and deadlift 185lbs

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