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Competitions Competitions, contests & challenges

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Old 04-20-2008, 07:25 PM   #1
Jeff Brady
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Designing a competition that shows superiority of crossfit

I'm a relatively new crossfitter (5 months) and have had fantastic results. In fact, I'm so sure that this is a superior method of fitness training that I am looking into becoming an affiliate.

In thinking about marketing for my possible future box, I thought about the idea of holding a public fitness competition, but I want it to be something that would appeal to non-crossfitters as well as crossfitters.

The real goal of the competition would be to, hopefully, demonstrate the superiority of our fitness regimen and therefore spread the word to all those non-crossfitters in my local area who deem themselves to be in top shape.

I guess I would like something analagous to the Ulitmate Fighting Championship in the world of martial arts. The Jui-Jitsu camp designed that competition to showcase Jui Jitsu and and it worked like a charm, leading to the ubiquitous study of the formerly somewhat unknown discipline.

Now, in the spirit of Crossfit, I would like to design a competition that is unbiased. I don't think holding a competition that consists of 400m sprints, thrusters and pullups would work; it would be too biased to those that practice crossfit. It would need to be a series of challenges that are general enough so that anyone who considers themselves fit would think they have a good chance, yet not be another standard competition of long running and/or biking or swimming.

In addition, I think the competition's events should not be published until the day of the event so that no one can train specifically for the activities in the event. This would mean that the activities have to be fairly low in skill level.

In thinking about such a competition, I keep going back to the "real world scenarios punish the specialist" mantra from Crossfit (which I wholly agree with), yet I can't think of a competition that would not in some way favor a specialist. The ultimate fighting championship was perfect because it boiled all the kicks and punches and everything down to a simple result: who was the last man to not tap out. I want the same competition for fitness that almost every bystander would agree is completely unbiased and undoubtedly does measure true fitness.

Anyway, this is a new idea and as so, is still ambiguous. Thought I'd throw it out there since I'm sure that many of you would have some great ideas. Thanks in advance for any input you might have.
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Old 04-20-2008, 07:39 PM   #2
Steve Sheffar
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Re: Designing a competition that shows superiority of crossfit

Crossfit games use a hopper method. Put as many events in a hopper and randomly pick them.
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Old 04-20-2008, 08:56 PM   #3
Jared Ashley
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Re: Designing a competition that shows superiority of crossfit

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Originally Posted by Jeff Brady View Post
In thinking about such a competition, I keep going back to the "real world scenarios punish the specialist" mantra from Crossfit (which I wholly agree with), yet I can't think of a competition that would not in some way favor a specialist. The ultimate fighting championship was perfect because it boiled all the kicks and punches and everything down to a simple result: who was the last man to not tap out. I want the same competition for fitness that almost every bystander would agree is completely unbiased and undoubtedly does measure true fitness.

Anyway, this is a new idea and as so, is still ambiguous. Thought I'd throw it out there since I'm sure that many of you would have some great ideas. Thanks in advance for any input you might have.
The key is to have multiple events, and recognize that the specialists out there will win some of them. Like the Olympic Decathalon, the person who wins may not be the guy who is the fastest or the strongest, but the person who can consistently come in 2nd or 3rd place.

How about:

Standing Press
Deadlift
Pullups to failure (deadhang... non-CF'ers don't have kip technique down)
800m sprint
50m tire drag for time
100 20" box jumps for time

3 of these are mostly strength, 3 are more metcon/endurance. 3 (press, deadlift, tire drag) favor the big guys, while 3 (pullups, sprint, jumps) favor little guys. None are particularly technical except the deadlift. All can be done in a few minutes, so people could move through the challenges in an hour or so.

Powerlifters would crush us on the lifts, and track stars would take the sprint, but I think CF'ers would do respectably well in all events. You'd have to put some thought in to how to score such a competition.
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Old 04-21-2008, 04:52 AM   #4
Jeff Brady
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Re: Designing a competition that shows superiority of crossfit

I definitely like the idea of radomness as with the hopper. Jared, your list of activities would definitely work well - thanks for putting that together. It would be a fitness decathalon. Our local Crossfit champion would be a Bruce Jenner type. That may be the way to go.

What do you guys think of something that is more "real world". For example, filling 25 or 50 gallon water bottles from a stream and then carrying them 100 meters to a "burning" house. Total amount of water delivered within 20 minutes.

Or total amount of sand moved from point A to point B. Or carrying 175lb dummies up hill to an ambulance.

I like the idea of using mock ups of rescue scenarios since these would clearly demonstrate the real world benefits of Crossfit training.
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:58 AM   #5
David Wood
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Re: Designing a competition that shows superiority of crossfit

A long time ago on this board, someone (not a CrossFit trainer) proposed a very "low-skill" test that he used on his MMA athletes:

5 rounds of:

10 reps: 135-pound power clean (NOT the squat clean)
15 reps: pushup

A "close-to-pure" test of anaerobic capacity, with no high-skill moves required.

His "top" athletes could just beat 5 minutes, and he was curious what CrossFitters could do. Generally, the stronger athletes creamed it (easily under 5 minutes). "Average" CrossFitters (myself included) came in around 7 minutes (comparable to his "average" MMA fighters).
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Old 04-21-2008, 07:02 AM   #6
Matt DeMinico
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Re: Designing a competition that shows superiority of crossfit

Know what would be really sweet to do, even more in CF fashion, is line everyone up at the starting line, say "everyone ready?" THEN and only then do you tell them what the workout is, they have 3 seconds to prepare for it (the 3, 2, 1 GO). Obviously you'd have all the equipment ready ahead of time, but that'd be cool.
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Old 04-21-2008, 07:04 AM   #7
Matt DeMinico
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Re: Designing a competition that shows superiority of crossfit

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wood View Post
A long time ago on this board, someone (not a CrossFit trainer) proposed a very "low-skill" test that he used on his MMA athletes:

5 rounds of:

10 reps: 135-pound power clean (NOT the squat clean)
15 reps: pushup

A "close-to-pure" test of anaerobic capacity, with no high-skill moves required.

His "top" athletes could just beat 5 minutes, and he was curious what CrossFitters could do. Generally, the stronger athletes creamed it (easily under 5 minutes). "Average" CrossFitters (myself included) came in around 7 minutes (comparable to his "average" MMA fighters).
Crap, 135 lb power clean, total of 50 reps? That'd take me one heck of a time when I can only power clean and jerk 160 lbs.
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:12 AM   #8
Lewis Dunn
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Re: Designing a competition that shows superiority of crossfit

This is something that I’ve thought about a lot without ever coming up with any great answers. Crossfitters like to say that they train for whatever life may throw at them, but life throws different things at all of us. Definitely depending on our occupations and on our elective “sports” of choice, but also depending on who we are as individuals and where and how we live. The Crossfit Games is not really a test of functional fitness. It’s a test of one’s ability at Crossfit, which is only one proxy for functional fitness. And it may be the best proxy available, or as good as any other, but it doesn’t work well as the kind of test you are talking about because it clearly favors Crossfitters. I keep trying to think of exactly what you are after, Jeff, but it’s hard to come up with anything that would be a “fair” test to a large group of competitors.

When I think of what I have had to regularly or occasionally do in my life that requires functional fitness, I come up with pretty simple things. I pick up heavy things off the ground (never a barbell, but a box or a bag or something). I carry those things a ways while holding them cradled in my arms. I put those things up on my shoulder and carry them a ways. I pick up boxes and put them on a shelf up over my head. I push a wheelbarrow or, with help, a car. I carry something heavy like a suitcase at my side with one hand, or maybe one in each hand. I run or jog short distances. I dig holes in the ground to plant things. I climb stairs. I get up and down from sitting on a chair (or car seat, or toilet, etc.) several times a day. This kind of list will be different for everyone and even more different if you add in those things that are required by your specific occupation or avocation. LEOs, firefighters, military, farmers, carpenters, climbers, MMA folks and triathletes will all have their own list of what are “functional” requirements for them.

The best I could do, I think, in designing a competition like this, would be to try to come up with a list of tests where, while some competitors might regularly practice them, probably no one practices all of them. Tire flipping, sandbag carries, odd object lifting, pulling a sled, pushing a wheelbarrow, moving a pile of dirt from one place to another, digging a ditch, moving 20 heavy boxes from the ground to a shelf at eye level, running a half mile, some kind of obstacle course, climbing over a tall fence, etc. Coming up with this list is the challenge, but I don’t think it makes any sense for it to include a barbell, kettlebell, jump rope, or max pullups, to name just a few things that should be excluded.

One thing I’ve thought of is the idea of having a team competition, so that the team could decide how to split up the tasks among members. There would be a large list of tasks and the team could do them in any order and with whichever team members they wanted. With the proper list of tasks, there would be none that all team members were good at or practiced at, but for every task there would be someone on the team that would be good at it. Add to that the strategy of deciding how many tasks to be working on at one time (i.e. how many members to toss at each task) and you could have a pretty fun day. I know several affiliates sometimes do this kind of team thing with WODs. It would be interesting to see it applied to a much longer “workout” of non-Crossfit tasks.

So, uhh, all of that is my way of saying that I don’t have a good answer for you but I think it’s a great topic for discussion!
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:19 AM   #9
Jason M Struck
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Re: Designing a competition that shows superiority of crossfit

once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away... there was the Tactical Strength Challenge;

http://www.tacticalstrengthchallenge.com/

wfs
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:20 AM   #10
David Wood
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Re: Designing a competition that shows superiority of crossfit

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Originally Posted by Matt DeMinico View Post
Crap, 135 lb power clean, total of 50 reps? That'd take me one heck of a time when I can only power clean and jerk 160 lbs.

It favors the bigger folks (as does MMA fighting itself, I suppose ).

It was very Pukie-inducing for me.
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