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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 05-03-2010, 10:44 AM   #1
Jon E Matzner
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Single Modality Events in CF Competition

I wanted to start a conversation and get some thoughts about the role of single modality events in CF competitions.


Background:

There is a place for single modality tests during a CF competition. It may or may not be being used correctly right now.

Main Point:

Organizers need to consider order of events, scoring, and qualifiers in order to implement single modality events correctly.

Case Study:

2009 CF Games.

There wasn't a "CF" event until WOD #5, the wallball/snatch couplet.

1) Run = Single

2) DL = Single

3) Run = Single with a small twist

4) Sledge = Technically this is a couplet, but for our purposes it is a single. Outcome had nothing to do with the row and the beginning and the end. Standard deviation on the row was probably around 3 seconds. Standard deviation on the sledge was more like 60 seconds.

Now you can obsess over minor details of the above, but keep in mind my major point - you need to be careful when you make your tests include these single modalities.

----

There is also an elephant in the room about logistics at these events.... Single modality events are easy to setup.
"Go for a run".
"10 minutes to set a DL PR"

These events make logistics much simpler to manage. I think that some organizers have, and will continue to, fall into the trap of logistical ease vs. objective test.

I totally understand why they do this. It's a nightmare to put 200 people through a 4 movement event.

------------

Questions:

1. Who do these types of events reward?

My answer: Usually, ex-football players. Huge lifting numbers, great aerobic endurance. Maybe recently converted to CF.

2. Who do these types of events punish?

My answer: Guys like Ricky Frausto, OPT, and Dutch. Not spectacular at any single modality. Might not have a 350 LB C + J but can wreck any metcon that includes 135 C + J. Not the fastest mile time, but good at Helen.


3. What would have happened if the event ordering of the 2009 CF Games was reversed?

My answer: Not sure, but I can guarantee the top 15 would look different. So would the bottom 15.

4. What is the solution?

My answer: Not sure.

-----

Full Disclosure: I competed as an individual last year at Aromas, and made it through 4 events. I didn't have a chance to show off my "Crossfit" ability. I most certainly have a dog in this fight. I'm average across all movements and time domains. I'll never take 1st in any single event.

-----

Bottom Line:

Do I think I can beat Matt Chan at a 1RM C+J? No.

Make it 225 and throw some burpees in? At least I have a fighting shot.
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:16 AM   #2
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Single Modality Events in CF Competition

Anything that comes out of the hopper is legit. That's what GPP is all about.

A single modality event like "30 muscle ups for time" most certainly would *not* favor ex-football players.

The 2009 Games had a very strong strength bias. As long as that is true, the bigger stronger guys will do better. I think whether strength bias is desirable is a more important question than whether single modality events are okay.

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Old 05-03-2010, 11:45 AM   #3
Brian Bedell
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Re: Single Modality Events in CF Competition

I'm sorry but I don't really see the point of this discussion, espeically as you are offerring no solution/alternative. Someone is always going to complain about the Games no matter what events are picked. That is why it's GPP/Hopper style.

The top 15 would look different no matter what events you changed.
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:38 PM   #4
Jon E Matzner
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Re: Single Modality Events in CF Competition

Katherine:

I agree that anything that comes out of the hopper is legit. However, the reality is that due to the logistics etc needed to run these events, you can't just pull stuff out of the hopper. I'm not sure if you would want to do this either.

Example:

At the 2009 Mid Atlantic Hopper Challenge, the Baltimore guys did the "hopper" method to select movements. They ended up randomly picking 3 or 4 movements that were all pushup centric. If they wouldn't have done any modification, the competition WOD would have looked something like:

21-15-9
Press
Pushup
Ring Pushup

They made the correct decision and "reset" the hopper. The events and movements were altered, and the event turned out great.

I'm trying to make the point that consciously deciding on the events beforehand is the best method vs random hopper style on the day of.

Brian:

Thanks for the response. I was hoping to get your input on a solution/alternative. I have my own ideas, but I would like to hear the community's thoughts.

I agree that the Top 15 would change no matter what alterations you made. I believe the more relevant question is: How can we change the Top 15 to more accurately reflect the competitors' level of broad general and inclusive fitness?

If we just had everyone run the 40 yard dash, the top and bottom 15 would change too, but that wouldn't get us any closer to the "Most Fit" Top 15.

I'm making the case that there might be some changes we could make as a community to arrive to a "more fit" Top 15. That is the point of this discussion.

Just one thought:

I really like how Hawaii did a "movement screen".

These movement screens forced competitors to display some level of base fitness (Can you do X number of Double Unders?, L-Sit for X amount of time, etc?) Competitors were punished for chinks in their GPP.

This movement screen wasn't the only determinant of final placing, but was weighted enough to ensure you needed to try and get it done successfully.

Implementation:

Could something like this be used at the national level? Some sort of "testing" type events (Like Hawaii sectional). Once these tests are performed, organizers can have a ton more freedom to get creative with the actual workouts designed. They wouldn't have to worry that "All of these are big man events" or "All of these are mixed modal"

Again, this is just one thought. It might be totally nonsensical/impractical, lots of coffee today.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:10 PM   #5
Steven Low
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Re: Single Modality Events in CF Competition

Any exercises you pick are going to be biased towards particular athletes...

There's no reason given that the aim of CF is "GPP" to modify things. If you are then you're going to bias it towards other athletes strengths.

FWIW I helped judge at the mid atlantic hopper '09, and I did not agree with reseeding the hopper movements.


Of course, at sectionals/regionals it is LIKELY best in consideration of each region wanting to send their best athletes to send the MOST well rounded athletes. Thus, in these cases it is a given that implementing the programming to select a well rounded variety of movements.

HOwever, for the games or any random competition, it should be totally legit to pull whatever out and so be it.
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:59 AM   #6
Cody Reis
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Re: Single Modality Events in CF Competition

I understand the argument both ways. The only thing that bugs me is that if the Games are supposed to crown the fittest, does it make sense that one event being different can totally change the outcome?
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:45 AM   #7
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Single Modality Events in CF Competition

Cody,

It does since this is one of first times some one has tried to systematcily determine GPP. There isn't a whole lot of knowledge (experience or laboratory) on this. And not only event selection, but event order.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:49 AM   #8
Shane Skowron
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Re: Single Modality Events in CF Competition

Sounds to me like you're saying the Games should have had more mixed metcons because you and some CF celebrities are better at them.


It's like saying the decathlon should combine the shotput and the 1500m run so that different athletes can win.

Personally I wish the Games was nothing but single modality stuff, like the decathlon.
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Old 05-04-2010, 11:14 AM   #9
Jon E Matzner
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Re: Single Modality Events in CF Competition

One of my buddies Steve added another solid point:
-----
If you're testing to find the "world's fittest man and woman," as the Crossfit Games claim to be, it's necessary to determine what that means, in terms of tradeoffs between the various modalities.

Who's to say that aptitude with Helen should be more important than, or even equally important as, "huge lifting numbers [and] great aerobic endurance"?

If you were fighting for survival in a jungle, I'd imagine that being really strong and having a great aerobic system might be more important than being able to swing something over your head a bunch of times, interspersed with jogging.
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Old 05-04-2010, 11:30 AM   #10
Sam Ser
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Re: Single Modality Events in CF Competition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon E Matzner View Post
One of my buddies Steve added another solid point:
-----
If you're testing to find the "world's fittest man and woman," as the Crossfit Games claim to be, it's necessary to determine what that means, in terms of tradeoffs between the various modalities.

Who's to say that aptitude with Helen should be more important than, or even equally important as, "huge lifting numbers [and] great aerobic endurance"?

If you were fighting for survival in a jungle, I'd imagine that being really strong and having a great aerobic system might be more important than being able to swing something over your head a bunch of times, interspersed with jogging.
true... but so what?

no one made you enter the competition, did they? and you did understand the risks of competing in an unknown event before you got to aromas, right?

you CHOSE to enter. you are not required to do so -- just as you are not required to accept the claim that the games determine which human being is the fittest on earth.
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