To My CrossFit Friends: Try Adaptive Training for the Long Haul

Adaptive training is sustainable, body-wise, and freer compared to many manifestations of CrossFit. CrossFit has gems to offer, but I believe they were borrowed gems. Those gems were adopted from elsewhere and combined in a “Box,” or a “crucible.” The toughest gems came from elite forces training, that is, combat training. Do or die training. Still, part of military training, even elite military training, is readiness. And readiness involves recovery, and non-injury. If you’re injured, you’re not ready. If you don’t recover properly, injury risk spikes.

For some that may have temporary appeal, especially to younger people. Yet younger people lack experience, and seldom see conflicts of interest in business models that target them. Young people often appear non-conformist…all at the same time in the same way. It is a vulnerable time. And some people are lonely. Lonely as hell. The comradeship they lack they may seek in an intense, physical, shared experience. For that reason, they are less likely to see those conflicts of interest lurking.

Let’s think outside the Box a bit. What is a healthy versus unhealthy gift of individual power to a culture or authority for mind-body training? Some CrossFit groups may dial-in a healthy balance in their approach, especially after recent controversy. On the other hand, there are the other reports:

Getting Fit Even If It Kills You

CrossFit’s Dirty Little Secret

Idea Fit Discussion

Navy Times

How CrossFit Forges Elite Failure

And you can Google the rest of the negatives, of which there are many.

On the other hand, you will also find the positives and Google them too. Any CrossFit member or gym owner will be more than happy to tell you the positives. Yet others will say if you aren’t committed, they don’t want you. And I’d say you should be ready to respond with a laugh at that manipulation game. Just remember, not every useful wonder of chemistry is good to mix at the same time. You can get hurt or die from the ensuing explosion or gaseous poisoning. True it is also of training. Excesses are not consistent with durable endurance or sustainable fitness, and therefore excesses in training are not always consistent with readiness.

Military, sport, art, and work readiness is about fitness and conditioning, but training isn’t about getting injured, it is about proofing against it when the real thing trained for is going on. Studies in stress inoculation make it just as much about mindset, adaptive sleeping, recovery, and rewiring after traumatic experiences. The stresses are measured and periodized by time of exposure and response during training. Check out this summary of researched-supported points in the work of Lt. Col. David Grossman, specifically:

Section three describes the mental attitude necessary to be a warrior. The book goes into greater detail about stress inoculation and its importance to effective, realistic training. There are also some important training principles outlined.

Principle 1: Never “Kill” a Warrior in Training. Learners are expected to complete a scenario even if hit, stabbed or shot. As a trainer, tell them, “You’re not dead until I tell you you’re dead!” Don’t give up, always win.

Principle 2: Try to Never Send a Loser off Your Training Site. Have your participants go through a scenario as many times as necessary in order to have them succeed. Scenarios designed to make the trainee look foolish or fail just prove that the training designers are jerks.

Principle 3: As a Trainer, Never Talk Trash about Your Students. Don’t ridicule or try to tell funny stories about the last trainee who tried to complete your scenario. Your role as a trainer/leader is not only to pass along knowledge but also to inspire. You cannot do this when you are not respected. If criticism is to be given, give it in private. If praise is warranted, do so publicly.

I’m sure this could include: don’t give Rhapdo to your trainees. Don’t injure your troops in training so they are disabled for the real fight.

But are you training for combat? It is as much about mindset, and handling what your body does. Listen:

LTC David Grossman interview.

So to some extent CrossFit, run by those who are trained coaches, can achieve some of these training goals. Yet not everyone is training to be a warrior any more than every tool in a toolbox is a hammer. However, even military training leaves boot camp behind and graduates into a more sophisticated, measured, and periodized experience over time. It mixes individual control with leadership. Most individual civilians who are training for combat don’t have the rest of the training. They are not warriors per-se, but want to be ready for what this society teaches them to fear — which is about everything. Which begs the question: should training be motivated by fear? Or should training be inspired by the commitment to master fear?

For now, let’s discuss.

Short on Time Blocs: 2-Run or not 2-Run? Do a Double Day

You awaken with enough time one morning to run a short run but want to run longer. Your calendar balks.

Should you run 2-runs today? One early, and one later to experience that longer endurance experience, and add some mileage to your body’s training base?

If you are cleared to run for fitness and sport, why not, so long as you are not over-training in the larger context of your training days.

This piece at Runner’s World goes into some detail about the benefits of “doubling.” And Jeff Galloway chimes in here.

And this is not only true for running. Other training modes may be mixed, matched, and doubled. Again, don’t over-train, but do adapt and excel. The experience boosts training and performance confidence, in part because few people make room to train twice in a day, or few seize the intervals as discussed in the ‘Interval Farming’ chapter in Farm Your Training Day.

Write in, comment, or, write a guest piece for my blog about how you leverage a “daily double” into your training life from time to time. Thanks for dropping in!

 

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Early

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Later on…

Coming May 31st: Available in Lulu.com outlets including B&N, I-Books, and more

Farm Your Training Day: An American Dream of Sustainable Personal Fitness

Ten principles and seven dimensions of adaptive training, conditioning, and mental training for sport, arts, and work.

Farm Your Training Day contains ten principles and seven dimensions of adaptive training, conditioning, and mental training for sport, physical arts, and work. Available through Lulu.com outlets by the end of May 2013. Please link your family, friends, acquaintances, networks, and anyone you believe may benefit from sustainable fitness principles and applications toward a fulfilling training life, for life.

May your Memorial Day weekend be peaceful as you reflect on our fallen who have kept the peace for so many generations.

 

Play Is a Force of Nature

Do not underestimate the power of the Force…of Play. Parents who work at getting or staying fit sometimes think, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have an edge without steroids?”

Could you manage 90-minutes of constant, varied, physical, responsive, interactive, and emotionally alive play with your kid(s) or nephews or nieces? Sounds exhausting, and it can be, however, there is an energy loop that goes right back into you.

Focused, physically active play is challenging, varied training. There are high-intensity chases; intervals of quiet role playing to exercise recovery breathing and listening skills; dance; uproarious laughter; hiding (and controlling breathing while hiding); suspense;  evading and wrestling, just to keep the game going; avoiding water, foam projectiles, and martial arts moves; throwing; catching; holding; throwing games; target practice games; dancing; towing; falling; rolling; getting up again; and many, many more.

Marcus Aurelius said that life is more like wrestling than dancing. Focused play is both of these and more. The laughter, joy, communication, and satisfaction you will get because your child is happy from the undivided play time with you will go beyond calories and into the health benefits of sheer happiness, if you put yourself into it. Everyone will also sleep well, a boon for the immune system and brain.

Obviously exercise total focus, awareness, and preventive safety whenever playing. I don’t advocate hide and seek in places away from home where you lose sight of your child. One’s own safe and secure home is best for that.

"A force of nature, play is." --Yoda

“A force of nature, play is.”
–Yoda