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Old 11-09-2014, 06:46 AM   #1
David Greenwalt
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Body Fat WOD

Hi everyone, I'm 49 and a 32 year and counting powerlifter/bodybuilder. I've known of Crossfit since its inception but have only personally begun doing it as of about four months ago. I entered my first competition for beginners last month (Festivus Games).

I was wondering if the idea of a body fat WOD for competitions has already been floated. At the Games we never see a body fat issue of course. But at local competitions it's much more of an issue. Here's why I was thinking this.

Beyond competitions, at boxes nationwide, many people join because they are overweight or obese and they are serious about wanting to transform at least partly by dropping unwanted body fat.

Before Crossfit my cardio had only minimal purpose - basic good health and, at competition times (bodybuilding) to help strip the last bit of body fat. Now my cardio has a significantly different purpose. My cardio has moved from "You should do it. It's good for you." to "If you don't have a strong aerobic base you're GOING to get your butt handed to you in training and competition." I only ever plan to compete Scaled and Masters.

Before Crossfit my stretching/flexibility/mobility had only minimal purpose. In fact I pretty much didn't do it even though I'm well aware, being a professional Wellness Coach, that stretching, mobility and flexibility are a part of fitness and good health. But now, since beginning Crossfit, my mobility has more purpose - if I don't do it I won't be able to perform certain movements AND I'm much more likely to get hurt. It's now moved from "It's good for you. You should do it." to "You have to do it or you are screwed."

I believe the same thing will occur for those who are overweight/obese and are doing Crossfit. Many people who are heavier than they want to be know, like I did for aerobic training and mobility that "it's good for you and they should do it" (lose body fat). But they don't, much like I didn't give my cardio and mobility much time or intensity. But if body fat was a WOD in boxes and/or competitions and the competitors knew it my thinking is they would work harder to lower body fat as doing so would have much more purpose than "it's good for you." Now, if this were the case, it'd be another thing measured and would be a valid part of the fitness assessment that is Crossfit.

I don't see skinfold working. Too many people will have skinfolds too thick for accurate measure and it also requires skill and expertise to do it right. But what about the Omron handheld device? It's not accurate for the really lean and we know that. I'm currently 8% body fat, have a six pack and, even on the athletic setting, it measures me at 15%. If not the Omron are there other ideas for what could be used if it's even something you think is valid?

I'm really just putting this out there to see if it's been discussed and if not maybe it's worth a discussion. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of the group here. This is my first post.
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Old 11-09-2014, 04:03 PM   #2
Mike Doehla
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Re: Body Fat WOD

No way. This is a little ridiculous. Why? Because it has nothing to do with crossfits definition of fitness.
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Old 11-09-2014, 04:10 PM   #3
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Body Fat WOD

We are not bodybuilders.

This is ****ing stupid.

Not sure if you're a troll or.

What's next, a pose off?
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Old 11-09-2014, 04:43 PM   #4
Jo Hsu
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Re: Body Fat WOD

My biggest problem with your reasoning is the implied suggestion that a lower body fat percentage is inherently better for you. At 13% body fat -- maybe 5-7% points lower than I am now-- I was a lot weaker, a lot slower, and perpetually tired, shaky, and cold. Of course, health complications accompany "excessive" body fat-- but where that line is drawn depends a lot on the person as well as his/her athletic goals. A powerlifter will benefit from a different body composition than a marathon runner.

One of the recent seasons of The Biggest Loser received a lot of flak (much delayed, in my opinion) for creating a competition based around-- essentially-- the lowest body-fat percentage. The season's champion showed up for the final weigh-in so emaciated people finally remembered that the show only valued how quickly you could whittle yourself down to nothing -- with no regard for the actual health or fitness factors involved.

Many boxes already have their own "30-day-challenge" type competitions where participants compete for the most significant change in their baseline workout score, or the best adherence to dietary adjustments, or perhaps some measure of body-recomposition. But 1) I and I think many people strongly oppose the blanket valuation of "lowest body fat percentage wins" and 2) as Mike discusses above, CrossFit already lays out its definition of fitness (Endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance, and Accuracy), and nowhere in there is "skinnyness" one of its fitness domains.
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Old 11-09-2014, 05:44 PM   #5
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Body Fat WOD

Tenet of fitness #10. De Abz, de Veinz, de Swollery.
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:23 PM   #6
David Greenwalt
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Re: Body Fat WOD

My apologies to the group. The last thing I wanted to do, especially on an opening post, was to be ignorant.

As a former police officer and police physical-fitness evaluator we used the Cooper Institute's standards defining physical fitness. https://www.cooperinstitute.org/vaul.../files/684.pdf I had reviewed the Crossfit fitness standards some time ago and really thought I had seen body composition as one of the standards. I looked again after the slamming here and certainly saw I was wrong. Again, my apologies, and it had nothing to do with bodybuilding - I just "knew" it was one of the fitness measures for Crossfit - which of course it is not.

While sound arguments can be made for body composition being a measure of overall fitness I respect the house I'm in. Not a good start on the board here for me.

Last edited by David Greenwalt : 11-09-2014 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:42 PM   #7
Mike Doehla
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Re: Body Fat WOD

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Greenwalt View Post
My apologies to the group. The last thing I wanted to do, especially on an opening post, was to be ignorant.

As a former police officer and police physical-fitness evaluator we used the Cooper Institute's standards defining physical fitness. https://www.cooperinstitute.org/vaul.../files/684.pdf I had reviewed the Crossfit fitness standards some time ago and really thought I had seen body composition as one of the standards. I looked again after the slamming here and certainly saw I was wrong. Again, my apologies, and it had nothing to do with bodybuilding - I just "knew" it was one of the fitness measures for Crossfit - which of course it is not.

While sound arguments can be made for body composition being a measure of overall fitness I respect the house I'm in. Not a good start on the board here for me.
Don't worry about it. I see where you're coming from.
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Old 11-10-2014, 03:53 AM   #8
David Greenwalt
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Re: Body Fat WOD

Thank you Mike. Besides my background, education, training and experience (bias), and just how prevalent some evaluation of body composition is as one measure of total fitness, I was trying to think why I ever got the idea that Crossfit had also included body composition as one of the assessments it uses for fitness. It really bothered me that, after 18 years on the net I made such a rookie mistake here.

It was this very early document from Mr. Glassman. http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf...al_04_2012.pdf

In it he lists what are now called the 10 definitions of fitness as "general physical skills." He says "If your goal is optimum physical competence then all the general physical skills must be considered:"

He, appropriately in my opinion, includes body fat as one of the measures of disease, wellness, fitness and overall health. He says
Quote:
Fitness is and should be “super-wellness.” Sickness, wellness, and fitness are measures of the same entity. A fitness regimen that doesn’t support health is not CrossFit.
Along the lines of what I was thinking when I started this post, Mr. Glassman says
Quote:
For example, a blood pressure of 160/95 is pathological, 120/70 is normal or healthy, and 105/55 is consistent with an athlete’s blood pressure; a body fat of 40% is pathological, 20% is normal or healthy, and 10% is fit.
Lowest body fat is not always healthiest, however, Mr. Glassman seems to recognize, as all leading health authorities do, that body fat is a part of sickness, wellness, fitness and health. Excessive body fat is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, cancer, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes etc.

In the same document he recognizes the importance of not eating so much that body fat reaches excess.
Quote:
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.
While critical on some levels of basic, aerobic conditioning, he lists as one of the benefits a reduction in body fat.
Quote:
Aerobic training benefits cardiovascular function and decreases body fat – all good.
In giving anaerobic training kudos one of the things he likes about it over aerobic training is its ability to reduce body fat.
Quote:
Anaerobic activity also benefits cardiovascular function and decreases body fat! In fact, anaerobic exercise is superior to aerobic exercise for fat loss!
I would never suggest that a goal should be for all Crossfitters to achieve the lowest body fat possible. But with so many new, overweight/obese people starting Crossfit to lose body fat and "get in shape" I believe it would, just as Crossfit helped give my aerobic and flexiblity goals new purpose, add a new purpose to their fat-loss goals if body fat was at least measured with reasonable fitness standards applied.

With 11,000 boxes and counting Crossfit already does a tremendous good for the masses who wish to shed excess fat and achieve other fitness goals. Could it do even more? I think so. With the prevalence of overweight/obesity and the growth of Crossfit members who are older (i.e., more likely to have excess body fat) maybe an evaluation of body composition is at least worth a thought by the powers that be at the very top of Crossfit.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:05 AM   #9
Miles Roberts
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Re: Body Fat WOD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blair Robert Lowe View Post
Tenet of fitness #10. De Abz, de Veinz, de Swollery.
I laughed so abruptly that a tiny fart escaped.
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Old 11-10-2014, 02:16 PM   #10
Jordan Higgins
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Re: Body Fat WOD

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Greenwalt View Post
My apologies to the group. The last thing I wanted to do, especially on an opening post, was to be ignorant.

As a former police officer and police physical-fitness evaluator we used the Cooper Institute's standards defining physical fitness. https://www.cooperinstitute.org/vaul.../files/684.pdf I had reviewed the Crossfit fitness standards some time ago and really thought I had seen body composition as one of the standards. I looked again after the slamming here and certainly saw I was wrong. Again, my apologies, and it had nothing to do with bodybuilding - I just "knew" it was one of the fitness measures for Crossfit - which of course it is not.

While sound arguments can be made for body composition being a measure of overall fitness I respect the house I'm in. Not a good start on the board here for me.

I like your posts and you come from a solid athletic back ground. CF deals with a lot of people that will bash something they have never seen or actually done themselves. I find that ignorant and irresponsible on their part. CF is a huge test of overall fitness. I love and respect this sport because you its power to weight ratio to some degree. Most of the CF men are around 190 I believe. Give or take 10lbs. This seems to be a happy medium for men to be able to lift heavy weight and still run, jump, swim, and handstand walk effectively.

welcome to the board!
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