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Carrie Klumpar 12-03-2006 12:49 PM

Lots of articles and lots of variety in this month's CrossFit Journal:

Mike Burgener, with Tony Budding, “Learning the Olympic Lifts—The Grip” – Coach B gives a bunch of specifics about how to get a grip.

Angela Hart, “What Is Your Power IQ?” – In the second article in her bimonthly series on rowing, indoor rowing trainer Angela Hart gets to the heart of the matter: power output.

Mark Rippetoe, “The CrossFit Total” – If you haven’t already seen this new CrossFit workout in the 061203 WOD or as a free download from the CFJ site, where have you been??

Becca Borawski, “Fight Camp” – This month, Ring Girl talks to an MMA trainer about conditioning for fighters in the weeks before a big bout.

Scott Hagnas, "Bike Control Basics: Dropping Off Obstacles" – In case hucking your body alone off objects (a la parkour) isn’t enough, Scotty teaches us how to do it on two wheels.

Roger Harrell, “The Front Handspring” – How cool would it be to be able to celebrate your next Fran PR by busting out a string of front handsprings?

Lon Kilgore, “The Paradox of the Aerobic Fitness Prescription” – In a major scoop of the big academic exercise physiology journals, Professor Kilgore sucks the air out of conventional wisdom on aerobic training and brings us some much-needed clear thinking about what VO2 max is really all about and what it really takes to improve it. Don’t miss this one.

Tony Leyland, “VO2 max: Not the Gold Standard?” – Why would you pay the big bucks to strap yourself into some machines to determine a number for your VO2 max that’s really only relative? Tony Leyland explains why there’s no such thing as a single overall VO2 max, and why CrossFit’s benchmark workouts will give you the fitness feedback you need.

Jeff Martone, “Kettlebell Basics: Improving Your Swing, Part 2” – More from Martone on kettlebell swing technique, including taking it overhead with CrossFit’s “American” swing.

Michael Rutherford, The Yin and Yang of the Back - Coach Rut gets into the complementary dumbbell versions of the Romanian deadlift and Tommy Kono’s loosening deadlift.

The Grinder: CrossFit FRAGO #5, “PATRICIA” - This month’s “Grinder” order puts the troops through a team workout of running, ring dips, rope climbs, L-sits, and burpee-pull-ups. (Yay, burpees!)

Mike Minium 12-03-2006 02:41 PM


I'm having problems reconciling the math in Angela's article about the power ratio.

What she writes does not seem to agree with what's in the two tables (Table 1 being Athlete A vs. Athlete B; Table 2 being Athlete C vs. Athlete D).

Here is the assumption I'm making for the calculations:

Power Ratio = Watts Generated in Rowing Effort / Rower's Body Weight

I base this on Angela writing the following: "...we can calculate each participant’s power ratio, which is the total wattage he or she generates divided by body weight (in pounds)..."

I'm Confused, Exhibit 1

So in Table 1 (Page 5)...

Athlete A produces 546 watts and weighs 209 lbs, which means his power ratio is 546/209 = 2.61.

So far, so good. Everything in the table agrees with what I'd expect to see.

Athlete B produces 546 watts and weighs 128 lbs, which means her power ratio is 546/128 = 4.27.

This is where I get confused. According to the table, Athlete B has a power ratio of 2.66. That's quite a large difference between what I'd expect and what is listed in the table.

Also, in the text supporting the table, Angela writes that Athlete B had a slower time, but in the table itself Athlete A and Athlete B both are listed with 500m times of 1:26.2.

I'm Confused, Exhibit 2

So in Table 2 (Page 5)...

Athlete C produces 303 watts and weighs 129 lbs, which means her power ratio is 303/129 = 2.35.

As in the case above, so far, so good. Everything in the table agrees with what I'd expect to see.

Athlete D produces 303 watts and weighs 141 lbs, which means her power ratio is 303/141 = 2.15.

And this is where I get confused again. In the table, Athlete D is listed with a power ratio of 2.33, instead of the 2.15 I'd expect to see based on the wattage and the athlete's body weight listed. If I multiply Athlete D's bodyweight (141) by the power ratio that's listed in the table (2.33), then the total watts that Athlete D produces would have to be 329. So I'm missing something--what is it?

Help me understand, sister.

As an aside, I should note that even with the confusion over the math, I totally get the larger point of the article and it will have a big impact on how we rate our rowers at CF Oakland. And for that I'm extremely grateful. It's just bugging me that I can't tie the little details together and reconcile the math.



Carrie Klumpar 12-03-2006 04:19 PM


Oh, that’s just the “new math,” dontcha know? :wallbash:

You are the details master! Of course, you’re right: the numbers don’t add up. I checked all the math initially, but it looks like the tables got horked up in layout and we didn’t catch it in the final review. Thanks for calling it to my attention.

The numbers should be:

Athlete A
male; 6’3”
body weight = 209 lbs.
total watts for 500m = 546
time for 500m = 1:26.2
power ratio = 2.61

Athlete B
female; 5’6”
body weight = 128 lbs.
total watts for 500m = 340
time for 500m = 1:41.0
power ratio = 2.66

Athlete C
female; 5’6”
body weight = 129 lbs.
total watts for 500m = 303
time for 500m = 1:44.8
power ratio = 2.35

Athlete D
female; 5’8”
body weight = 141 lbs.
total watts for 500m = 329
time for 500m = 1:42.1
power ratio = 2.33

That should help clear things up, no? Sorry for making you do so much math on a Sunday.

Eric Moffit 12-05-2006 09:01 PM

can watts be calculated for rowing based on weight, distance, and time or can it only be calculated by sensors on the rower (basically, by the work we do to the machine)?

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