As I work to figure out this whole physical training deal, along the path to finishing Ironman, I'm finding there are a variety of areas to focus on. The word "fitness" means different things to different people, and maybe even different things to one person at any given moment. While I work on improving my speed on the bike and running, I also am concerned with changing my body composition (body fat), altering the physical form my body takes (waist measurement) and enhancing my overall stability and strength (core) and ability to do work effectively over a long period of time (VO2 max/aerobic). The Crossfit Journal of October 2002 lists 10 "General Physical Skills" that might be measured to establish criteria for optimum physical competence.
- Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance - The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.
- Stamina - The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.
- Strength - The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.
- Flexibility - the ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.
- Power - The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
- Speed - The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
- Coordination - The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
- Agility - The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.
- Balance - The ability to control the placement of the bodies center of gravity in relation to its support base.
- Accuracy - The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.
By the way, Crossfit looks pretty cool, heh? The high intensity, core fitness orientation, and high bad ass quotient, make it a natural for Ironman training, i think.
Problem is, I can't do one pull up. I have been able to effectively increase my number of pushups to 3x40, and crunches are coming along similarly. I found that loosely following some of the principle of 'Grease the Groove' gave me good results quickly. Bascially we are talking about excercise specific, low number of reps, high number of sets, resulting in huge number of reps when done periodically all day long. This accomplshes "Synaptic Facilitation", teachign the nueromuscular pathways to perform more efficiently.
Admittedly I do not know what I am talkign about, really. So this is a bit of an experiement. I bought The Perfect Pull Up and installed it in my office. My fellow Endurance Nation Citizen 'Turbomentor' sent me his two week grease the groove routine, as follows
Day 1 test Max reps in 2 minutes. Remaineder of day do 30% of max every 60 minutes
Day 2 50% every 60 minutes
Day 3 60% every 45 minutes
Day 4 25% every 60 minutes
Day 5 45% every 60 minutes
Day 6 40% every 60 minutes
Day 7 20% every 90 minutes
Day 8 Test max reps n 2 minutes. Remainder of day do 35% every 45 minutes
Day 9 55% every 20 minutes
Day 10 20% every 15 minutes
Day 11 65% every 60 minutes
Day 12 35% every 45 minutes
Day 13 45% every 60 minutes
Day 14 25% every 120 minutes
After that I will rest a day or two, then test the 2 minute max again.
I am goign to do the first cycle with 'Upright Row' (a little easier than the standard pull up so I can actually do this ;) ) and regular sit ups. I am thinking that for the next cycle I can move up to 'Australian Pull Ups', and then finally full pull ups, some time in lat January or early February. i will check back in periodically with updates.