8

votes

Why are Crossfit and Paleo so closely related, and why no cardio?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 16, 2011 at 2:38 PM

A while back it seems a cute little diet ran into a hunky exercise regime while shopping at the farmer???s market. The two clicked instantly, and have been in bed together ever since. Why is crossfit so popular among the paleo crowd, and vice versa?

Also, the paleo crowd also seems to hate, almost vilify cardio. Why? Persistence hunting is still practiced today by HG cultures in Africa, so endurance events seem right up the ???evolutionary exercise??? alley.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 21, 2012
at 03:19 PM

I like Dr Myhill.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on June 29, 2011
at 03:35 PM

Persistence hunting is nothing at all like sprints and stops. It's a long slow jog with pauses to pick up the trail if you lose it. There is no sprinting involved.

31cd30cb210f9d13bf990a3410fce31c

(423)

on June 17, 2011
at 11:10 AM

Enough with the Crossfit hating. It just becomes ridiculous after awhile. You do what works for you, I'll do what works for me.

425aa4bfb79556ed50ea693c3edd7e13

(609)

on June 17, 2011
at 01:05 AM

crossfit in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4X3mIJkoLo&feature=player_embedded Total disregard for risk/benefit, just like inverted pushups on the rings.

425aa4bfb79556ed50ea693c3edd7e13

(609)

on June 17, 2011
at 12:53 AM

But it's not structured in a way that has empirical evidence on its side. Or is coach still claiming to take people to a 700lb deadlift without working the deadlift? "But here's the fascinating part. We can take you from a 200 pound max deadlift to a 500-750 pound max deadlift in two years while only pulling max singles four or five times a year. We will though work the deadlift, like most lifts, approximately once per week at higher reps and under grueling conditions.." Has never happened. Wil never happen. Complete fiction.

7ad3ba26a79b1582b16a0bd453527b36

(60)

on June 16, 2011
at 08:12 PM

Somehow, it always turns into a CrossFit-bashing session....poor us! Oh and as for "programmed randomness"...the actual "motto" of sorts is "routine is the enemy." We're a bit like ants, in a way. Watch us casually from the outside and you think it's all random and disorganized. But on closer inspection, you'll see it's actually quite structured!

7ad3ba26a79b1582b16a0bd453527b36

(60)

on June 16, 2011
at 08:07 PM

Yeah, I don't tend to think of myself or my fellow CF-ers as "insane", particularly. (Which is also way off Tom's topic...) ;) I trained the traditional route for decades. Personally, I get better results with CF, and enjoy it more. To each his own.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on June 16, 2011
at 07:59 PM

Hey Steve! I think the "answer" button is for answers...

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on June 16, 2011
at 06:25 PM

I think it may work with sub-10 minute metcons but it's still not as effective as pure strength training for pure strength. People have different goals though.

425aa4bfb79556ed50ea693c3edd7e13

(609)

on June 16, 2011
at 05:45 PM

The main site is as random as it gets. Never in my life have I seen anything as stupid as two guys running backwards on a treadmill -- a crossfit inspired workout (they felt it was too dangerous to do it in the parking lot which was apparently where it was supposed to be done).

425aa4bfb79556ed50ea693c3edd7e13

(609)

on June 16, 2011
at 05:43 PM

I mentioned the strength-vs-cardio issue the other day at the gym after a herd of crossfitters were discussing how following up strength training with an immediate intense metcon was "the way" to maximize your ST. Apparently this is one of the central tenets of crossfit along with random, not-very-measurable exercise routines. Insane.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on June 16, 2011
at 05:26 PM

@ben- depends on the programmer ;-) My CF trainer is excellent, but I've seen some really BAD programs.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 16, 2011
at 05:04 PM

Well as far as a critique of Crossfit I'd say he's spot on. Programmed randomness? Cmon.

7ad3ba26a79b1582b16a0bd453527b36

(60)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:44 PM

No - you'd have to do Barbara, Nancy, Murph, and some of the other "guys & girls" too, for sure :)

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:25 PM

Yes I was thinking he meant traditional cardio. But still CrossFit MetCons do release similar hormones and you can't get crazy strong by doing Fran over and over.

7ad3ba26a79b1582b16a0bd453527b36

(60)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:21 PM

I think it's important to consider what we mean when we say the word "cardio". I'm getting the feeling it means different things to different people. What did you mean specifically, Texas Tom?

7ad3ba26a79b1582b16a0bd453527b36

(60)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:20 PM

Ben: "Like" :)

7ad3ba26a79b1582b16a0bd453527b36

(60)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:19 PM

(Not so experimental though, really...this way of eating (and aspects of the CrossFit regime) have been around for millions of years) :) As for vanity, I don't train shirtless and I have no abs to show off. But I do feel a lot better about myself, my food choices, and my performance!

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:10 PM

Hey Steve, not really sure where you are going with this answer(besides hating on CF)...this didn't exactly relate to the question... -1, sorry!

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:48 PM

Very true! I didn't think of that :-)

332d9f75d1077abafff6887681f6b130

(1081)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:46 PM

I hear people cautioning against "chronic cardio" and regular cardio a lot on here. To include a thread comparing women who run marathons vs men who do crossfit or strength training, and asking who has the better body. The conclusion from the author was that endurance activities like marathon running makes you sickly/unhealthy

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:44 PM

Also, the fact that Robb Wolf used to be their nutrition guru probably pointed them in that direction too!

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:28 PM

With Crossfit you get your cardio built into the WOD. It's just usually much shorter duration - depending on the WOD but with Crossfit, intensity is the key to the work out. As for why paleo is popular with Crossfitters I'm not sure other than some Crossfitters are very focused on their performance and the paleo type diet I think gets them the results they're looking for.

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5
1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:30 PM

Crossfit and Paleo are in bed together because crossfit is about improving performance as much as possible. In that regard, I notice Paleo improves my ability to perform at a high level so it makes sense to keep it up.

I think Paleos tend to say no to cardio, and focus on strength training for a few reasons.

One is that Kurt Harris did a post on running and CVD in which he indicated that cardio causes heart disease when that cardio is something like marathon training. http://www.archevore.com/panu-weblog/2009/11/1/cardio-causes-heart-disease.html and a follow up: http://www.archevore.com/panu-weblog/2010/3/21/still-not-born-to-run.html

The second reason for limited cardio is that IMO it's easy for one to start overtraining when you add in a bunch of cardio. Lets face it, it's pretty addictive once people get into it.

And a final reason for no cardio, or limited cardio, is that cardio releases hormones which compete with the hormones released from strength training. Cardio can effectively negate your heavy lifting. People here tend to want to be fit and strong and are well read so hearing about competing results means they might want to drop the cardio and focus on strength. See this article: http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/strength-and-endurance-training-can-both-the-elements-be-mastered-at-once-40846

7ad3ba26a79b1582b16a0bd453527b36

(60)

on June 16, 2011
at 08:07 PM

Yeah, I don't tend to think of myself or my fellow CF-ers as "insane", particularly. (Which is also way off Tom's topic...) ;) I trained the traditional route for decades. Personally, I get better results with CF, and enjoy it more. To each his own.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:25 PM

Yes I was thinking he meant traditional cardio. But still CrossFit MetCons do release similar hormones and you can't get crazy strong by doing Fran over and over.

425aa4bfb79556ed50ea693c3edd7e13

(609)

on June 16, 2011
at 05:43 PM

I mentioned the strength-vs-cardio issue the other day at the gym after a herd of crossfitters were discussing how following up strength training with an immediate intense metcon was "the way" to maximize your ST. Apparently this is one of the central tenets of crossfit along with random, not-very-measurable exercise routines. Insane.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on June 16, 2011
at 06:25 PM

I think it may work with sub-10 minute metcons but it's still not as effective as pure strength training for pure strength. People have different goals though.

7ad3ba26a79b1582b16a0bd453527b36

(60)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:44 PM

No - you'd have to do Barbara, Nancy, Murph, and some of the other "guys & girls" too, for sure :)

7ad3ba26a79b1582b16a0bd453527b36

(60)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:21 PM

I think it's important to consider what we mean when we say the word "cardio". I'm getting the feeling it means different things to different people. What did you mean specifically, Texas Tom?

3
C8b4068fa3bb4055c91904fec4b920e7

on June 16, 2011
at 04:02 PM

It's your choice....

Strength and conditioning coaches often describe CrossFit's programming ??? or lack thereof ??? as senseless and random. Alwyn Cosgrove notes that this "all over the place" programming can be dangerous:"A recent CrossFit workout was 30 reps of snatches with 135 pounds. A snatch is an explosive exercise designed to train power development. Thirty reps is endurance. You don't use an explosive exercise to train endurance; there are more effective and safer choices."Another one was 30 muscle-ups. And if you can't do muscle-ups, do 120 pull-ups and 120 dips. It's just random; it makes no sense. Two days later the program was five sets of five in the push jerk with max loads. That's not looking too healthy for the shoulder joint if you just did 120 dips 48 hours ago."Mike Boyle adds, "I think high-rep Olympic lifting is dangerous. Be careful with CrossFit."And here's Charles Poliquin: "If you try to do everything in your workout, you get nothing. CrossFit is different, and maybe even fun for some people, but it's not very effective. No athlete has ever gotten good training like that."

I dont want to contribute to crossfit's treasure chest.

I can do some powerlifts, swing a kettlell, walk the dog without paying for the priviledge.

425aa4bfb79556ed50ea693c3edd7e13

(609)

on June 16, 2011
at 05:45 PM

The main site is as random as it gets. Never in my life have I seen anything as stupid as two guys running backwards on a treadmill -- a crossfit inspired workout (they felt it was too dangerous to do it in the parking lot which was apparently where it was supposed to be done).

425aa4bfb79556ed50ea693c3edd7e13

(609)

on June 17, 2011
at 12:53 AM

But it's not structured in a way that has empirical evidence on its side. Or is coach still claiming to take people to a 700lb deadlift without working the deadlift? "But here's the fascinating part. We can take you from a 200 pound max deadlift to a 500-750 pound max deadlift in two years while only pulling max singles four or five times a year. We will though work the deadlift, like most lifts, approximately once per week at higher reps and under grueling conditions.." Has never happened. Wil never happen. Complete fiction.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on June 16, 2011
at 05:26 PM

@ben- depends on the programmer ;-) My CF trainer is excellent, but I've seen some really BAD programs.

7ad3ba26a79b1582b16a0bd453527b36

(60)

on June 16, 2011
at 08:12 PM

Somehow, it always turns into a CrossFit-bashing session....poor us! Oh and as for "programmed randomness"...the actual "motto" of sorts is "routine is the enemy." We're a bit like ants, in a way. Watch us casually from the outside and you think it's all random and disorganized. But on closer inspection, you'll see it's actually quite structured!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 16, 2011
at 05:04 PM

Well as far as a critique of Crossfit I'd say he's spot on. Programmed randomness? Cmon.

7ad3ba26a79b1582b16a0bd453527b36

(60)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:20 PM

Ben: "Like" :)

31cd30cb210f9d13bf990a3410fce31c

(423)

on June 17, 2011
at 11:10 AM

Enough with the Crossfit hating. It just becomes ridiculous after awhile. You do what works for you, I'll do what works for me.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:10 PM

Hey Steve, not really sure where you are going with this answer(besides hating on CF)...this didn't exactly relate to the question... -1, sorry!

425aa4bfb79556ed50ea693c3edd7e13

(609)

on June 17, 2011
at 01:05 AM

crossfit in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4X3mIJkoLo&feature=player_embedded Total disregard for risk/benefit, just like inverted pushups on the rings.

3
7ad3ba26a79b1582b16a0bd453527b36

on June 16, 2011
at 03:30 PM

Answer to 1st question is pretty simple really - it's a great diet to enhance overall CrossFit performance. I've been paleo for just over 3 months and I can't believe the difference in my strength, muscle gain and fat loss. We do it 'cause it works. I think they also compliment each other in the sense of the whole primal/functional mentality. CrossFit is based on functional movements, something closer to what our early ancestors might have employed, not on machine-enhanced or -generated movement (though the true "paleo" version of CrossFit would be MoveNat, in my humble opinion) :) And paleo, well that speaks for itself.

2nd part - don't know anything about that. We do "cardio" (i.e. working our heart muscle at an elevated rate) every day that we train CrossFit, pretty much. We run. We jump. We climb. We row. We sprint. We skip. We don't do it on a treadmill or an elliptical trainer, though. Maybe that's what you mean? We don't like cardio machines?

332d9f75d1077abafff6887681f6b130

(1081)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:46 PM

I hear people cautioning against "chronic cardio" and regular cardio a lot on here. To include a thread comparing women who run marathons vs men who do crossfit or strength training, and asking who has the better body. The conclusion from the author was that endurance activities like marathon running makes you sickly/unhealthy

2
01adafcb4dd4147c6af543f61eee60a8

on March 29, 2012
at 10:39 AM

The hate on cardio is pathetic within the paleo community,i love my long slow runs and will never quit.

2
Aeec781cc234fcae119d4a71532058f5

(2047)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:34 PM

I don't know anything about Crossfit, so can't comment on that.

The reading I've done recently (there's been a lot and I can't remember exact sources) doesn't seem to vilify cardio per se, but does vilify the massive amounts of indoor equipment-based cardio that a lot of people do, as well as long-distance running. Walking 2-3 miles outside (looking for food) with some sprints (chasing prey or running away from danger) seems to mirror the cardio hunters would've gotten.

1
20eefe24d8ccf096096f05b5bce1ea40

(988)

on June 29, 2011
at 06:10 AM

Oh hell, if one thing doesn't kill us another will. Do what you love, live while you live then die and be done with it!
Remember when we decided that fat killed us, no wait, its sugar that kills us, no hold on, carbs kill us, and lifting weights is ok, except all them free radicals and such it squrits out, and lots of cardio will make your heart strong, oh, wrong again, long runs make your heart explode, but sprints that make you feel like you heart will explode, don't make your heart explode.
The thing to keep in mind about science is that it's always wrong, hopefully it always gets alittle closer to being right, but you can bet the farm that its at least a little bit wrong. No one has 'the answer' there isn't a 'right way' that's why they say 'life is a bitch'. No Paleo man/woman ever made a hobby out of what they ate or how they got around, killing, sleeping and screwing took up 100% of the day, and they took it as it came.

1
C8b4068fa3bb4055c91904fec4b920e7

on June 17, 2011
at 08:58 AM

Relevant I think.

Here we have a qualified, practicing British doctor who advocates paleo. Her exercise regime is HIT (High intensity training). Not a random selection, she explains her reasons. http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/

On exercise http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/Exercise_-_the_right_sort

Bear in mind Dr Myhill is a specialist in ME and has written papers on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Personally I did HIT training for years with good results before turning to powerlifting and karate as sporting activities.

However, if the objective is health, not sport, social activity, financial gain etc, I am going to say Dr Myhill is correct, at least generally speaking.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 21, 2012
at 03:19 PM

I like Dr Myhill.

1
254ea62982c287995e11bc3cfd629407

(822)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:11 PM

Tom,

I think there's an interesting sociological perspective to add to this, aside from the other great answers provided. In this day of a great communication device - the Internet, coupled with easy tools in which to create content (blog hosting and tools, forums), you have an explosion of people with the desire to A) improve health-wise and B) communicate their findings.

Of course, there is likely a pretty large dose of vanity involved ("hey lookee at my fabulous abs on this new diet and workout lifestyle!"), but regardless of intention, there is definitely a convergence of a type of person who are motivated to look, feel and do better (athletically) and wants to share it.

I really do love the experimental nature of these groups - people willing to test the conventional doctrine and report back - pro or con.

Good question!

7ad3ba26a79b1582b16a0bd453527b36

(60)

on June 16, 2011
at 04:19 PM

(Not so experimental though, really...this way of eating (and aspects of the CrossFit regime) have been around for millions of years) :) As for vanity, I don't train shirtless and I have no abs to show off. But I do feel a lot better about myself, my food choices, and my performance!

1
A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:38 PM

Greg Glassman advocates paleo in his definition of fitness. Not directly, but you can see how it's leading:

"Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat."

I don't think the Paleo community necessarily vilifies cardio. I think that long cardio didn't aid in previous weight loss or health of many paleo-people, so they (ahem, we) probably are a bit bitter towards it.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:48 PM

Very true! I didn't think of that :-)

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:44 PM

Also, the fact that Robb Wolf used to be their nutrition guru probably pointed them in that direction too!

0
3fc7596294910b155bc44357eae02b28

on February 13, 2014
at 06:44 AM

Cardio like runinng steady state for 20ish mins or more is catabolic ie reduces muscle mass as it burns muscle to provide protien for conversion. The lower your MM the lower your Metabolic Rate the less calories required for your BMR. Also your MR after exercise decreases with in a few hours.

HiiT Training is resistance based and spikes your respitory and heart rate for shorter periods. Increases muscle Mass and VO2 max. Raises your MR for longer periods ie 8 hours and when done inconjuction with some specific short cardio/intervals can get up to 24 hours. Your best period to burn fat is when your alseep :) obviously raising you MR for a longer period has its benefits.

It just about what you want to do. As a triathlete I do lots of Cross over training and some weights, As a Biathlete i do more interval and endurance strength work. Strength Cardio Flexiblity are all required jsut a matter of what proportions for theend result your looking for.

So do some hit training, do some easy cardio mixed with some wind sprints for no more than 30 mins and most of all have fun and as some else said do what you love.

0
Ff2158857d75b6b50c86ced67191a110

on April 21, 2012
at 02:26 PM

cardio is all about sporting enjoyment, weights are all about vanity. athletes get great bodies as a result of training as a consequence not a primary goal. only ever do something you enjoy otherwise its all totally pointless, unless you want to spend half the day looking at yourself in the mirror. personally i'd rather do 100k on my bike.

0
B2327c8feade20d3ed8acacbf44a4eda

on March 29, 2012
at 04:49 AM

You should read more on anaerobic vs aerobic. Crossfit people are not training for marathons.

As for paleo, it's effective -> high protein and fat diet for muscle development and energy from ketosis. You get low glycemic carbs from veggies and sweet potatoes to have some insulin for optimum muscle building.

Research high insulin carbs and mycotoxins for yourself.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 17, 2011
at 12:02 AM

persistence hunting and cardio look much alike but they are not identical with the former being akin to sprints with stops (waiting, watching, analyzing) and dashes (chase / kill) intermingled, while the latter is usually practiced in a 'steady state' mode

on a side note, it is worth remembering what happened to the first Marathoner ever: he ran through, conveyed the news... and dropped dead

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on June 29, 2011
at 03:35 PM

Persistence hunting is nothing at all like sprints and stops. It's a long slow jog with pauses to pick up the trail if you lose it. There is no sprinting involved.

0
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 16, 2011
at 05:08 PM

They're married primarily xuz Wolf was a big part of both at the right time.

Vilifying cardio has gotten silly. I don't run. Ever. I loft weights. That's it. However I don't think it's as simple as running promotes cortisol-release. Crossfit workouts release cortisol. So does a slightly extended session for me with iron. Just eat carbs ASAP afterwards and you'll be good. I think actual marathoning is horrible. But that does not ipso facto make normal running that bad I don't think.

-1
C8b4068fa3bb4055c91904fec4b920e7

on June 16, 2011
at 07:51 PM

I just do kbells for 'cardio', but 20-60 mins of moderate jogging, cycing etc is probably good for you, but its debatable. Every year I do some and build up to a good level before the boredom kicks in.

10 swings on the minute for 10 mins as heavy as lets me get the target rep count is a year round staple.

Careful with too much lifting and HIIT.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on June 16, 2011
at 07:59 PM

Hey Steve! I think the "answer" button is for answers...

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