Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What's Wrong with High-Intensity (Crossfit) Training?

The major problem with high-intensity (crossfit) training is that it is ultra-high impact -- targeted to the older person who is much more vulnerable to such injuries than the prime competitive ages under 30 -- as a panacea for staying young!

Thirty years ago, at the height of the aerobics craze, most of the instructors would come down with joint injuries -- because it might be one thing to do a 30 minute session daily, but then to teach two morning classes and two evening classes, virtually assured that they would soon be crippled with back, knee, hip or foot pain. It was such a widely recognized phenomenon, that many gyms then installed special rebound floors to mitigate those impacts. But the decimation of high-impact instructors did not slow down, even as they introduced low-impact aerobics, which eventually fell out of favor because they didn't produce as high an adrenaline rush as many found necessary to fuel their addiction.

That seems to have been resurrected as the crossfit training style. Most will not maintain that level of commitment and intensity for long. Rather than making the weak, strong, it merely eliminates the weak, as the standard modus operandi of competitive athletics -- to eliminate the weak until only a singular strong remains. But that is not what one desires in strengthening oneself from the weak to the strong -- which is to make movement as easy as possible, rather than progressively more difficult.

In fact, the problem of aging, is that moving at all, is problematical and difficult, and not that they want to learn ways to make such movements even harder and more difficult. The intelligent strategy (fitness), is to find a way to make the difficult, easy -- in keeping with the universal principle of the conservation of energy and effort..

So even easier than walking, which is already problematical for many, and particularly those morbidly obese and out of shape, is simply to hold on to the back of a chair or some other supportive object, and shift their weight from one foot to the other -- articulating the fullest range of movement of the foot not restricted by supporting weight, which movement requires the fullest contraction or lengthening of ALL the muscles of the leg (lower body) to effect -- as the most efficient and optimal way to achieve that healthful circulation that maintains the muscularity indicative of robustness, vitality and responsiveness -- without doing any of those damaging things most people have been convinced they have to do to get those effects.

They are simply unnecessary in today's state-of-the-art understanding of kinesiology, physiology and physics. Even as one observes movement, the greatest practitioners of their art, are those who move with grace, ease and range, and not those who make the least movement onerous and difficult -- even to move a little.

The original argument for "aerobics exercise," was that productive exercise needn't stress the heart and joints unduly -- and the "targets" for the heart rate, were intended to establish a safe maximum, and not be the minimum, the physical educators again got wrong -- in their competitive zeal. That set the fitness industry back 50 years -- resulting in an explosion of obesity and the avoidance of healthful activities because they believe it has to be everything people don't want to do, that the authorities (experts) insist, is good for them, and they know better -- than one's own good sense. It shouldn't be that way -- or that will be the failure of any health program.


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