Episode 14.33 with Hosts Steve Kashul and Dr. Brian Cole. Broadcasting on ESPN Chicago 1000 WMVP-AM Radio, Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:00 AM/c.
Liz Yerly, MPT, ATC, CSCS, c-ART, LMT from Accelerated Rehab discusses Cross Fit Training: definition, misconceptions, concerns, avoiding injury, who should participate and how to compete safely with progression.
Cross Fit training by definition, is constantly varied, functional movements, executed at high intensity. Cross Fit training is used by military, police and professional athletic organizations and produces tangible results for all levels of fitness. Cross Fit training combines Strength training with Endurance training and Gymnastics. Cross fit trains to get strong, be explosive, and powerful, not big. Cross Fit training is a scalable approach to exercise, suitable for any committed individual regardless of prior experience or fitness level.
Liz Yerly is a physical therapist with Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers and has experience treating the collegiate athlete to the weekend warrior. Liz sees many common orthopedic injuries, including post surgical patients and overuse injuries common in endurance sports. She has a vast knowledge of biomechanics, and is head of the Dartfish Running Analysis program which allows her to examine movement patterns and dysfunction during and after rehab allowing her to quantify movement, analyze gait, perform biomechanical assessments, and test performance and fitness levels. Liz participates in CrossFit as well and is familiar with the risks and benefits of this work out philosophy.
It’s a funny irony that while we want everything else in our lives to be easier, we expect our workouts to be absolute torture. Listen to people talk about their personal trainers and watch their eyes light up when they say, “our last workout kicked my ass!” Meanwhile, TV shows like The Biggest Loser advertise by showing people on all fours, crying and pleading to make the workout stop so they can catch their breaths. There are even best-selling workout DVDs with names like Insanity, promising to deliver the toughest routine you’ve ever tried.
On the one hand, we want mobile devices that do our banking, cars that run on vegetable oil, and complete pre-packaged meals where all we need do is heat and eat, but when it comes to exercise, we insist on the most excruciating experience possible. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have to change my body that way.
It goes without saying that losing weight takes hard work, but somehow, the modern world has become convinced that the only way to see results is to grin and bear it while you hold your feet to the fire. The way fitness is depicted on television and elsewhere in pop culture leads you to believe that losing fat means endless cardio, taking little to no rest between sets, working till you puke, and severe dietary restriction. The message is clear: to look good, you need to make yourself feel bad; you need to endure suffering.
But what if you don’t?
First of all, the idea that you need to burn an enormous number of calories through exercise—or that you even can—can be considered a myth. Eric Ravussin, a weight loss expert and professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., told the New York Times that “exercise by itself is pretty useless for weight loss.” His point was that people easily consume more calories than they can burn, and that the extra strain of exercise stimulates appetite, making it even easier to replace the calories you worked off.
Just look at the numbers. According to research done by the Mayo Clinic, a 160-pound person performing high-impact aerobic exercise will burn only 533 calories in one hour. (Note that most people aren’t capable of sustaining an intense pace anywhere near that long.) Now consider that a healthy dinner of four ounces of skinless chicken breast and one cup of rice contains 385 calories. That’s right: Eat one light meal and you’re a stone’s throw from breaking even with the calories you burned in that day’s workout.
Does this mean exercise is useless for fat loss? Of course not. Aerobic training taps into fat as a fuel source and weight training builds muscle, which increases metabolic rate, so there’s plenty reason to work out, and work out hard. Research even shows that exercise aids in keeping weight off once it’s lost. A 2009 study looked at 97 women who had lost an average of 27 pounds each and then returned to their old eating habits. The exercisers—those following a walking or weight training program—regained less weight than those who did no training and, interestingly, the weight they did gain back didn’t go to their midsections.
The take-home is that exercise isn’t nearly as important as diet for pure fat loss, so no matter how hard you work, you won’t see results until you’re eating smarter. (However, exercise is still an important part of the equation.) And starving yourself isn’t the way to go either. Diets that promise weight loss faster than one pound per week aren’t to be trusted (yes, it can happen, but go in with realistic expectations), and if you do use one to lose weight more aggressively, you can be sure it isn’t all fat.