Monday, January 16, 2017

Learning to Breathe Fire: The Rise of CrossFit and the Primal Future of Fitness by J.C. Herz


Learning to Breathe Fire: The Rise of CrossFit and the Primal Future of Fitness


The absorbing, definitive account of CrossFit's origins, its explosive grassroots growth, and its emergence as a global phenomenon.

One of the most illuminating books ever on a sports subculture, Learning to Breathe Fire combines vivid sports writing with a thoughtful meditation on what it means to be human. In the book, veteran journalist J.C. Herz explains the science of maximum effort, why the modern gym fails an obese society, and the psychic rewards of ending up on the floor feeling as though you're about to die.

The story traces CrossFit’s rise, from a single underground gym in Santa Cruz to its adoption as the workout of choice for elite special forces, firefighters and cops, to its popularity as the go-to fitness routine for regular Joes and Janes. Especially riveting is Herz’s description of The CrossFit Games, which begin as an informal throw-down on a California ranch and evolve into a televised global proving ground for the fittest men and women on Earth, as well as hundreds of thousands of lesser mortals.

In her portrayal of the sport's star athletes, its passionate coaches and its “chief armorer,” Rogue Fitness, Herz powerfully evokes the uniqueness of a fitness culture that  cultivates primal fierceness in average people. And in the shared ordeal of an all-consuming workout, she unearths the ritual intensity that's been with us since humans invented sports, showing us how, on a deep level, we're all tribal hunters and first responders, waiting for the signal to go all-out. 
 

MY REVIEW:
Crossfit - rest is not a part of the program, ignore the part of the brain that tells them it's impossible to keep moving. Stopping is not an option, no finish line but to finish what you started. Combination of weightlifting, sprints and gymnastic movements and pull-ups, pushups and unweighted squats as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes. Do you believe that? 20 minutes! Wall ball shots, sumo dead lift high pull, 20-inch box jumps, 75 lbs push press, rowing machines, high intensity regime, Crossfit obvious way to train, duh:) Boy, can you not move so fast! Don't forget the Russian Kettle Bell and those crazy boxes. This book talks about fuel for the body ATP, muscle cell, molecule, phosphates, plus metabolic pathways, fuel production system, etc. Examples for different men in different groups. Crossfit became a hit, helped people achieve what they thought was unachievable. Crossfit overcame the part in your mind when you are physically exhausted, a flash of aggression (as stated) gives you a strange dignity in this last moment, last moment to finish. A fitness cult, yeah... When you see 20% of body weight disappear, change in health habits for the better. Even employers encourages Crossfit because it's a win-win situation. Employees are healthier less burden on health insurance cost for them. What a wonderful read, it's intensity describing the workout was my favorite part. Won this book on Goodreads, First Read Giveaway. Thank you!

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Mother Nature Wonders

Had to take these pics while hiking.