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Douglas Chapman 02-23-2006 07:42 PM

To all you brainiacs out there:

We had an interesting opportunity presented to CF Ann Arbor today. A rep from AVAcore Technologies came by with three of their devices to test. The idea is that rapid cooling will enhance recovery and performance. So, with much skepticism I indulged them.

The testing was back to back Frans with approximately a 3:00 recovery time in between. (To use the device) The Frans we did were scaled down to accommodate the limitations of the athletes and equipment. (Dumb bells vs. barbell and assisted pull up vs. unassisted.) The loads were not as prescribed. The people are not yet able to handle full load so we scaled. CrossFit is scaleable!

The results were interesting enough to warrant further testing. Go to our blog and look at the table for results. (I couldn't get it to upload here) T1 is first Fran Time, T2 is restart time and T3 is final time. The second fran time is the difference. The delta is how much longer it took them to do the second fran.

Two of the initial participants had nearly identical scores, while the second group’s times all increased by a substantial margin. (Bill in the first group got crushed in a workout yesterday so his second score suffered) This leads me to several questions:

1. Is more training better in this case?
2. Who has suggestions as to testing in CrossFit scenarios?
3. Do we get more NER from two Fran’s of equal intensity?
4. Does the break in the training (3-5 minutes) concur with our training modalities? (Hard and Fast)
5. How do you get the athlete to go 100% in the first instance, knowing they are going to do it again?

What do you guys think?

Kenneth Urakawa 02-23-2006 09:34 PM

There are a couple of products out there that utilize rapid heat exchange to cool the athlete and improve performance. I can dig a little if you would like, but it seems to be a pretty well proven concept.

As far as your questions, this is just off the top of my head. PM me if you want to talk about anything more.

1. Are you asking whether results would be more reliable if you had the subjects perform the protocol more than once? (Probably would). Or are you asking whether doing the extra volume of work, via the second Fran, is going to produce more beneficial results in terms of fitness for your clients (you'd think so).

2. Depends on what you're trying to test. I'm assuming here that your hypothesis is that this equipment is going to promote more rapid recovery between bouts of intense exercise, when compared to no treatment. If I were doing this, I'd probably have each person perform the same back-to-back protocol at least 2x, and randomly assign them to receive either "treatment/control" or "control/treatment". You could have everyone perform the protocol a time or two beforehand to prevent any improvements just from learning. Anyway, you get the idea.

3. It would make intuitive sense, but you'd have to find a way to test it. It's possible that the increased volume at that intensity could lead to a state of overtraining, which would blunt the positive changes and increase things like cortisol, etc. I'm sure there are plenty of folks here who will chime in on this.

4. I don't think that taking that type of break between intense protocols would be "un-crossfit". But that's just me.

5. Couple of ideas:
a. Make it a competition, and find some competitive folks.
b. Pay them.
c. Film them. (and post it)
d. Bring Annie, Nicole, and/or Eva in to smoke them. Or just to yell at them, and tell them that last rep didn't count.
e. Bring Coach B. in to tell them that they "will become born again hard". And then glare at them a little. (yaaaaa, burpees!)

Hope that helps out a little.


Larry Lindenman 02-24-2006 07:40 AM

I think your biggest problem, as you have stated, is: If I know I'm going to do Fran twice. The first time through, I'm going to be dogging it (like it or not), the second time I will burn through, because I know I don't have to leave anything in the tank. I guess you could hide the salesman guy. Run your regular workout and randomly pull participants for the test. When they first came in, I'd tell them it's a testing day and would push them as hard as possible. When their done, lying in a pool of sweat, I'd then pick a random group, offer them free T-shirts, cool em' down and back at it. Might get different results this way. If your training other things, in addition to the WOD...which we all do (gymnastics, o-lifting, power lifting, rowing, MA, etc.) this thing may have some utility...and for Eugene, I have to much$$$$$?

Allan Fisher 02-24-2006 12:25 PM

Maybe I am missing the point, but if the idea is to evaluate the device, it seems like you just want to devise a two-phase workout, have group A rest between the phases for x minutes, and have group B "chill" between the phases for x minutes.

Douglas Chapman 02-24-2006 01:37 PM


Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Or maybe not to tell them the second one was coming. ;)

Right now, the cost is in excess of 2k. To have a viable set up for a medium size class would be 8-10 units. (One for each partcipant) So a lot too expensive. The product is in the initial stages and all the data is anecdotal.

Testing it would be cool, but buying them before the price drops a lot is out of the question.

Allan: That is what we did on the first round.

Thanks for the input!

Doug Ralston 02-24-2006 02:46 PM

5 rounds of FGB!
Use the device during the rests and look for a difference in the way each round's score drops between participants using the device or not using it.

I hope you understand what I'm trying to say because after re-reading that I'm getting confused.


Douglas Chapman 02-24-2006 06:53 PM


I thought of FGB but the minium effective time for heat exchange is 3 min. So, then the overall protcol for FBG changes and it becomes something else.


Matthew Nielsen 02-24-2006 07:18 PM

Without really knowing what AVAcore Cooling is...

When I was stationed in Okinawa my MOMAG unit would run sprints up this huge reventment in the ammo dump for PT. We would run up the reventment 5 times and then go into the -40 refer for few minutes. This would be repeated 3 or 4 times, the last time would finish with a few ice cold Orion beers that had been sitting in the negative 40 degree freezer for the duration of the PT.


(Message edited by Matthew Nielsen on February 24, 2006)

Mark Gebhard 02-24-2006 08:45 PM

I got to see some of the prototype testing of this in my gym a few years back. I saw them do a lot of squatting and maybe o-lifting if I remember correctly and it was supposedly helping add many more sets than normal. I didn't see anything resembling a Crossfit workout, but if ever there was a need for body cooling, a WOD would be it.

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