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-   -   T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit (http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=38880)

Pat McElhone 11-19-2008 06:05 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Phillip Garrisonq (Post 450544)
The initial study prompted other studies with more samples all of which have suggested the same thing. High intensity intervals with a 2:1 work/rest ratio increase anaerobic and aerobic capacity. You honestly mean to tell me not a single study ever done in science was of any value?

Not science, specifically exercise science geared toward improving athletic performance. Yes, I think actual scientific studies have contributed zero to improving athletes. Studies like Tabata's may have inspired coaches to use them, but ultimately it was the observations of coaches and athletes on a specific exercise. No great coaches quote studies, they talk about lessons learned coaching athletes.

Leonid Soubbotine 11-19-2008 06:21 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Robb - stay focused! Your book is a whole lot more important than keyboard battles!

Don't make us wait a la Coach Sommer's "Gymnastics Bodies" book, plz!

Steve Liberati 11-19-2008 08:16 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Its funnny while some people in this world need to get the last word, others need to get the last rep (I think *most* crossfitters fall into the latter category). Remember, while all the squabbling and **** contests take place over the internet, there are thousands of athletes and non-athletes busting their butt this very minute busting their butt getting the results they desire. The best athletes and coaches are the ones out there doing the work on a daily basis (and making changes and improvements based on observations and intelligence). Improvements happen in the real world. Not sitting behind a desk or working in a lab mustering up studies and writing papers.

Joe Cavazos 11-19-2008 08:52 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Liberati (Post 451118)
Its funnny while some people in this world need to get the last word, others need to get the last rep (I think *most* crossfitters fall into the latter category). Remember, while all the squabbling and **** contests take place over the internet, there are thousands of athletes and non-athletes busting their butt this very minute busting their butt getting the results they desire. The best athletes and coaches are the ones out there doing the work on a daily basis (and making changes and improvements based on observations and intelligence). Improvements happen in the real world. Not sitting behind a desk or working in a lab mustering up studies and writing papers.

I'm sorry, but I do have a problem with daytime-talk-show, applause-garnering comments like these.

No one trains during all their waking hours, and the clash of ideas is the best way to discover the truth. Just because someone posts on a message board during their free time doesn't mean they don't train or coach to the best of their ability (Rippetoe runs a message board -- what are you saying about him?). If this thread bothers you, ignore it, but please don't try to squelch discussion.

And I'm not even going to touch on your idea that writing papers isn't a worthwhile endeavor.

Brandon Oto 11-19-2008 09:52 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Walls (Post 450876)
Well the results I'm seeing here are faster then I would have imagined, and injuries are non-existant so far in my gym (at least due to training in my gym... what these yahoos get into on their own time isn't my or CF's fault... heh)

Basically it ain't broke so there's nothing to fix.

The black box is awesome for confirming personal results after the fact.

It is of much less value for determining causal mechanisms (which you need if you want to reveal new theoretical avenues, which would suggest further ideas to test), or for validating recommendations to other people (since you don't know how they differ from you or your other boxees).

Conversely, these areas are where controlled experimentation shines.

I wrote an article about this (wfs) that may be helpful. The most relevant bit:

Quote:

What if my interest isn't just in whether the drug will help me, but whether it will help other people -- whether I can recommend it? The black box would tell me next to nothing here. It is what's called in science an anecdote, or a single piece of data gathered non-rigorously. The fact that I only know what happened to me (one person) means that my results are very unreliable; for all I know, I'm an incredible fluke and nobody else in the world would have the same results. Worse yet, the fact that my "experiment" was done without any controls means that, in truth, I don't really know what caused the results. Maybe the creatine would have worked, but because I happened to go on a vacation in the second week, my output tanked and I saw nothing come from it. Or maybe it didn't work after all, but I changed my diet in the meantime, which produced better performance. Since I haven't controlled any of these factors, I can't even say that "the drug did xyz to me"; maybe it did, but maybe it didn't. All I can infer is a correlation, not a causation, and a very weak one at that. So can I tell my buddy to try this stuff because it works? No. The black box can't tell me that. What if fifty of us all tried it, and it worked for most of us? Well, now we have more anecdotes, which is at least better than just one, but they still lack controls, so it's not much better; if there were some systematic confounder (some other factor that most of us unknowingly added to the system which produced our results without our realizing its role), then we'd still know nothing about the drug itself. What if we all tried to control the other aspects of our lives to prevent confounders? Now we're getting somewhere, and this is basically what a scientific study consists of. But that's a far cry from the personal black box that we started with.

What if we wanted to know if a similar drug, not creatine but a compound based on it -- call it Fakeatine -- was a worthwhile substance to try? Would our creatine black box tell us this? No. All we know is whether creatine helped us, not how it did it; we have no data on its mechanism, even if we pull some creative theories out of our ***. We therefore can't begin to speculate on whether Fakeatine would do something similar, better, or worse, since we don't know what effect the differences between Fakeatine and creatine might have on creatine's (unknown) biological mechanism. All we can do is start a new Fakeatine black box . . . but hopefully the problem with this is clear: if you don't know causal mechanisms, and hence can't extrapolate predictions, then you can never make any progress of knowledge beyond what you actually personally tried yourself. You can never say "this would probably be a bad idea," because you haven't tried it yet, so you don't know. For that matter, you can't even really say "creatine worked for me yesterday, so it will probably work for me today" -- how do you know? Maybe its mechanism is one that self-destructs after fifteen days of use. In short, you lose the predictive power of science, which is really the whole point of the stuff, since it's what tells us that poison is bad (odds are that it will kill you) and brushing your teeth is good (odds are it will reduce cavities).

Robert Wolf 11-19-2008 10:58 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Walls (Post 450719)
This sounds to me like "increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains"

Chris, you are a genius...Phil, I think you are loosing your direction.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phillip Garrisonq (Post 450732)
Work capacity in several domains. But to know what domains you've improved in, you got to test them.

Nein, Schizen, and that is called the WOD. OR a Olifting meet...or whatever you want to test. Phil, you are trying to impose a reductionist approach to something which is vastly complex...complex to a degree that outcome based science and experimentation is what works best. this is what bedeviled food research...its the three body problem in calculus...tweak one variable, change all other variables. The most expedient way to solve this problem of performance is stopwatch, a means of measuring distance and a clip-board to record the above information in the form of RESULTS. Someone may in fact cut thier MS or Phd. teeth on some of this at some point. At present YOU are the only one who appears to want to stop the whole program so we can prove the obvious. ALSO...and I will address this more later, you keep saying that this focused, reductionist analysis will yield great insights into how to build better programs and by extension better performers. DO IT. All eyes are on you amigo...field a team for the crossfit games. I'll personally pay you $5K if you do it. Put up or shut up.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Phillip Garrisonq (Post 450793)
Sure they work for me, so long as we measure O2 consumption and force production at some point.

So we can just peese our time away? This will influence our coaching HOW? If you read the velo piece you see that work capacity is king...but hey, testing all this tripe will keep several ex-phys labs funded for a while, no?


Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Walls (Post 450798)
Why do you have to measure O2 consumption if you can show improvements in aerobic and anaerobic capacity? Force production, does not a 1RM effort show this? Maybe not in the terms you're used to, but seriously, why aren't these enough? (genuinely curious here....) And don't just say "because that's how these things have always been measured" because I won't accept that as a valid reason for me. That'd be up there with using "I was drunk" as an excuse for anything.

Chris, you are a genius.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phillip Garrisonq (Post 450806)
Well improvements in time for a 5k, 10k, etc are due to many factors including VO2. Also by measuring consumption and exhalation we can determine Respiratory Quotients at various levels.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Respiratory_quotient

By knowing this we can tell when the athlete has transitioned from anaerobic to aerobic systems, lactate thresholds, the type of fuel consumed etc. From this type of data we can tweak and fine tune a CF protocol to fit the needs of the athletes doing it, since not everyone does CF for the exact same reasons.

1RM and force production are related, but they are not exactly interchangeable again due to many factors. For example two people with exact peak force production (FP) could have different back sqaut 1 RM's and different rates of force production (RFP). A study that just came out showed that doing ballistic training increase peak power (PP) and RFP, but did not show an increase in FP or 1RM. Doing tests like this can show exactly where strength and performance increments are being made, and this data can be incorporated into adjusting a program to improve the needs of your athletes.

I could also stick a carrot in my fanny and dance a gig...but it will be effective for improving performance in a similar manner to the above. People need to: Get stronger, get efficient and build engine to run faster (as an example). The point of a race, last I checked, was getting across the finish line faster than you did last time or faster than everyone else.

In your example above, I'm to guess the Chinese Olifting coaches have thrown their collective hands in the air in joy that they have a better understainding of RFP? This is absolute rubbish, the studies of today are simply VERIFYING what coaches already know. Is it interesting? sure. Is it valuable? Maybe....but it seldom changes anything of merit.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robert D Taylor Jr (Post 450834)
Wouldn't measureable increases in speed strength power and endurance be just as valid as increased VO2? It seems that you're stuck on the science and everyone is trying to say but look over here, this stuff is working. Most FF that you train are going to care about the science more than the result I'll bet.
Those results show up in workout logs and the comments section all over this site. I recognise there are limits to this as a research tool, but every other method suggested has been as limited, so here we are.

Robert-
This is exactly it and it appears to be beyond Phil to grasp that WOD results are as or more valuable than ANY other measure we could apply to the problem. Sometimes the obvious is anything but.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phillip Garrisonq (Post 450850)
Results is what it's all about. The science is done to fine tune the results and figure out exactly where the results are coming from and why. This is how sports performance works.

Protocols and theories are tried in the gym, results are recorded, studies are then done to find out who, how, where, and when. From this research the protocols are modified as the data shows what works best, what doesn't and why. Then the practioners use the new model, results are recorded, and then studied again. It's an ongoing never ending "fine tuning" process that leads to greater improvement and achievement. If you don't think this model works, ask anyone who cometed against the Soviet Union in athletics

Phil, you have just encapsulated the daily process of Crossfit.com. Congrats.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phillip Garrisonq (Post 450862)
Not a scientist or two, but many who come from different places who are neither for or against CF. Would you rather guess that CF is currently doing the best it can, or explore it through rigorous testing?

Rigorous testing?!? Are you serious? I tweak variables, I see results...I can track these in my gym to a degree that is tough to reach when I do QA/QC for chemical assays, GC-MS and a host of other validation heavy chemistry. It really is not getting through to you that the WOD results are as valid of outcomes as anything else...and it appears to be beyond belief that they are in fact SUPERIOR to what you are proposing for tests. Amazing.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phillip Garrisonq (Post 450864)
Thats not the nitpicking that got us there. Sales and marketing and the desire to do whats easy go us into nautilus and fast foods. It was sports scientists and strength coaches that brough people back to whole foods and whole body movements.

Seriously why this inherent distrust of science, and the scientific process?

Phil-The scientific process is all around you and you are completely blind to it. This is not distrust of the scientific process, this is incredulity that you are for real...IMO you are a Trol. How you respond to this post will tell me whether I'm right or wrong. BTW-You are now my subject in a scientific experiment...this is what this stuff looks like.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Phillip Garrisonq (Post 450867)
I'm saying that the only way to improve anything is through rigorous study of it to find it's strengths and weaknesses.

Ahhh...this dead horsie just needs a little more love...Phil, there are several thousand data points collected daily. This is equivalent to a vast pool of combinatorial chemistry reaction vessels, cooking up the goods. This is like an open market which is the most efficient method of uncovering the truth when we hang our hats on performance.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Walls (Post 450875)
But why does it have to be dissected in a lab to find this? Look back at the very first WOD's posted in the archives... things have been evolving a LOT since cf.com's beginning. This is based on rigorous testing (the WOD) and seeing how it impacts benchmark results. (benchmark WODs instead of your benchmark science, V02, etc...) And tweaking and testing and tweaking and testing... 6 of 1, half dozen of the other I guess.

Exactly.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phillip Garrisonq (Post 450889)
Than do what you think works best for you, but what do you have to fear or loathe from others wanting more?

Nothing Phil, you have your 5K challenge...produce results.

Robert Wolf 11-19-2008 10:59 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Phillip Garrisonq (Post 450906)
You have to understand the scientific method. Raw data is what is known as observed phenomenom. People do crossfit, stuff happens. Know how, why and where is the science, which invariably leads to better improvement.

This is where I just call BS on your science background. I've run a lab, I've done bench work from synthetic chemistry, to lipid analysis to QA/QC of protein purification. You are trying to create this sense that you have some secret insight into the topic...and you do not. You are missing the whole damn point. If the "scientific method" of which you speak is so powerful, produce some better results.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derek Maffett (Post 451004)
You do realize that Phillip will now be complaining about how that statement also has to be dissected with extensive research projects?

Phillip, if you are affiliated with a college (did I get that wrong), then you're in a better position than most of us are in to conduct the studies you want.

Exactly. Hop to it Phil.

So if you want to discuss the details of the $5K challenge, I'll engage you on that, if not I'm done wasting my time on you. IF you were sincere in wanting to improve the methodology, you would be busy doing this and sharing results...not frittering away time here.

I felt like the Zone was a good but limited approach to nutrition. Over the past 4 years I've tinkered it such that I can dial it in for nearly everyones needs and goals AND people get better results. I had an idea, I experimented and now the product is improved. What have you done Phil?

Steve Liberati 11-20-2008 06:33 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe Cavazos (Post 451142)
No one trains during all their waking hours, and the clash of ideas is the best way to discover the truth. Just because someone posts on a message board during their free time doesn't mean they don't train or coach to the best of their ability (Rippetoe runs a message board -- what are you saying about him?). If this thread bothers you, ignore it, but please don't try to squelch discussion.
And I'm not even going to touch on your idea that writing papers isn't a worthwhile endeavor.

My point was that most of the data comes from people in the trenches. The studies merely set out to confirm what we already know. Rip is no exception. He started out as a lifter and trainer first, and through his experience and observations in the gym, he realized what worked and what didn't. He was then able to put his findings on paper and and gradually develop a system with studies to back it up.

And no, I'm not saying anything bad about Rip...as I think he is a wonderful coach. What I am saying is that we wouldn't have studies, if we didn't have people out there physically doing the work and hand tweaking the data. I think its safe to say that many coaches and athletes work hard to seek and obtain better results and improvements, not to test out a study that was theorized by an exercise physiologist tossing around the next best concept or training model.

Can we agree that CrossFit is largely driven from empirical evidence and that as it continues to evolve, we'll continue to discover scientific studies that will prove it consistent with what we already know happens from general observations?

Tom Brose 11-20-2008 06:40 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Robert Wolf (Post 451216)
Ahhh...this dead horsie just needs a little more love...

Robb, there are a bunch of people posting in "Starting" or "Digital Coaching" that could use you, John Brown, Leonid, Steve and the rest of the crews help.

Steve Liberati 11-20-2008 06:44 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
ok, didn't see Robb's post above before writing my post and sending it off. Now I feel very little standing next to Robb. The thread should end with Robb's final points. Phillip, now is where you give it up and quietly accept your lose in this argument.

Leonid Soubbotine 11-20-2008 07:20 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Tom - you're a smart man! I'll be doing just that.

Christian Mason 11-20-2008 07:40 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
I have to disagree here.

I have a ton of respect for Rob, but both he and Coach are responding with Ad Hominem attacks on Phil G, who is just pointing out that further scientific verification would be useful. Attacking the messenger seriously damages your credibility.

To be clear, it's my understanding that Phil is an advocate of Crossfit, I certainly am. I'm also convinced that what Rob Wolf says is true - the brains behind Crossfit have been tweaking their approach for years, with thousands of points of data.


None of this changes the fact, that for it to be accepted in a rigorous academic setting, we need to see carefully controlled studies, performed by people not directly associate with the community.

There seems to be a community attitude here of "burn the witch!" when someone questions the dogma. When I first decided to start eating paleo I read what I could get my hands on about it, especially the effects of grains.

I came across a thread here where someone, who was practicing the paleo diet, asked Rob Wolf about scientific studies supporting the harmful effects of grains, and the response was much the same "you don't get it", "try it for yourself", "how dare you question Rob, this is why he doesn't come here", etc... The guy responded that he HAD tried and WAS personally convinced, but wanted to see some of the science behind it.


Just to be clear:
I am an advocate of both Crossfit, and the Paleo diet. I've had good results with both. I strongly suspect that when there are some strictly controlled, publicly accepted studies of both are published in peer reviewed journals the community will look at them and say "I told you so".

That doesn't change the fact that we should still do the studies.

David Wood 11-20-2008 08:14 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Guys, if this thread does continue (and it seems to have become possibly self-aware and is now attempting self-determination), I'm going to request that we all pay attention to the rhetorical "tone" we are using.

Phil has been stubborn, but not (as far as I can tell) nasty or particularly disrespectful (maybe sarcastic here and there). Everyone else has also stayed within acceptable boundaries, but maybe a little closer to the edge (exasperation will do that to you).

As you start to post, please remember this element of the AUP:

"We require a high level of respect to be shown at all times to other users of the board. "

Thanks in advance,
Dave

Kevin B. Sandberg 11-20-2008 08:45 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Robert Wolf (Post 451216)
Chris, you are a genius...Phil, I think you are loosing your direction.


Nein, Schizen, and that is called the WOD. OR a Olifting meet...or whatever you want to test. Phil, you are trying to impose a reductionist approach to something which is vastly complex...complex to a degree that outcome based science and experimentation is what works best. this is what bedeviled food research...its the three body problem in calculus...tweak one variable, change all other variables. The most expedient way to solve this problem of performance is stopwatch, a means of measuring distance and a clip-board to record the above information in the form of RESULTS. Someone may in fact cut thier MS or Phd. teeth on some of this at some point. At present YOU are the only one who appears to want to stop the whole program so we can prove the obvious. ALSO...and I will address this more later, you keep saying that this focused, reductionist analysis will yield great insights into how to build better programs and by extension better performers. DO IT. All eyes are on you amigo...field a team for the crossfit games. I'll personally pay you $5K if you do it. Put up or shut up. .

Rob, I think your discourse on the dangers of a reductionist approach is spot on, for what my opinion is worth. Specialization in the health sciences has become largely counter-productive and often down right dangerous. Nutrition is the obvious example. Thanks for articulating it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Christian Mason (Post 451396)
I have to disagree here.

I have a ton of respect for Rob, but both he and Coach are responding with Ad Hominem attacks on Phil G, who is just pointing out that further scientific verification would be useful. Attacking the messenger seriously damages your credibility.

To be clear, it's my understanding that Phil is an advocate of Crossfit, I certainly am. I'm also convinced that what Rob Wolf says is true - the brains behind Crossfit have been tweaking their approach for years, with thousands of points of data.


None of this changes the fact, that for it to be accepted in a rigorous academic setting, we need to see carefully controlled studies, performed by people not directly associate with the community.

There seems to be a community attitude here of "burn the witch!" when someone questions the dogma. When I first decided to start eating paleo I read what I could get my hands on about it, especially the effects of grains.

I came across a thread here where someone, who was practicing the paleo diet, asked Rob Wolf about scientific studies supporting the harmful effects of grains, and the response was much the same "you don't get it", "try it for yourself", "how dare you question Rob, this is why he doesn't come here", etc... The guy responded that he HAD tried and WAS personally convinced, but wanted to see some of the science behind it.


Just to be clear:
I am an advocate of both Crossfit, and the Paleo diet. I've had good results with both. I strongly suspect that when there are some strictly controlled, publicly accepted studies of both are published in peer reviewed journals the community will look at them and say "I told you so".

That doesn't change the fact that we should still do the studies.

Dogma in the science community as it pertains to nutrition, health and fitness is what is being challenged by CF and Paleo. Its that current dogma that can suffocate breakthroughs and allow people to ignore obvious success from a different paradigm. There is the danger of "Paralysis by analysis" if one's not careful. In CF, testing and training happen simultaneously. Every workout is a data point which, in my opinion, makes the system very agile at adapting, growing and improving. CF is a perpetual study. Validation from the established scientific authorities is arguably not necessary for growth, success and effectiveness. If you seek that kind of validation, go for it. And I don't mean that as an attack or a challenge, just encouragement. It is an open community. Just don't demand that the people who own CF and run CF seek that validation.

As for the "attacks," I've seen a large volume of thoughtful writing presenting the concepts and facts from different angles. Patience has its limits and I think Rob may have reached his (just guessing, can't speak for him of course). He is human after all.

Robert D Taylor Jr 11-20-2008 08:47 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
It seems that "we'd" be doing the studies for the why and the how. I'm a fitness end user, I just want it to work, the whys and hows are darn near irrelevant to me. I suspect I'm not alone in this, and I don't need a control group to convince me that CF does.

Andrew Christopher Woloszyn 11-20-2008 09:16 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
[quote=Christian Mason;451396]I have to disagree here.

I have a ton of respect for Rob, but both he and Coach are responding with Ad Hominem attacks on Phil G, who is just pointing out that further scientific verification would be useful. Attacking the messenger seriously damages your credibility.


...There seems to be a community attitude here of "burn the witch!" when someone questions the dogma.
QUOTE]

I have to agree with this. The 'burn the witch' comment actually compliments the "pay attention to the rhetorical "tone" we are using" comment on David Wood's post. What started as a nice enough thread rapidly seemed to go downhill.

I often feel that if you question some elements of Crossfit 'gospel' - on what is a discussions board - you'll get properly flamed/accused of trolling which leaves you thinking that you shouldn't bother posting some perfectly legitimate views in the first place.

I actually thought Coach came across a bit patronising in places on his first reply post.

Sadly, having re-read the above sentence, I am left wondering how many people will be offended by what is just an opinion; a thing we're all entitled to have and express. Am I gonna get properly flamed and/or kicked off now? Hope not.

Getting back to the original question of the thread - I thought the article was pretty good.
Viv la Crossfit.

Pat McElhone 11-20-2008 09:24 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Justin Z. Smith (Post 450890)
Re scientific research apparently being voodoo:

Because science is a self correcting mechanism, if you see "lies, fabrications and buffoonery" getting peer reviewed, especially in a field you are an expert in, it is your duty to submit a devastating critique and get it peer reviewed and published or at least noticed, instead of letting it slip by or just moaning about things but doing nothing.

Justin

Where is the duty when you see a program actually make people fitter and a dietary approach actually work, but you choose to ignore these observations because it was observed in real life and in real people and not presented in a very poor designed study, humbly submitted to your jounal for your approval (publishing)?

Pat McElhone 11-20-2008 09:30 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Brandon Oto (Post 451173)
The black box is awesome for confirming personal results after the fact.

It is of much less value for determining causal mechanisms (which you need if you want to reveal new theoretical avenues, which would suggest further ideas to test), or for validating recommendations to other people (since you don't know how they differ from you or your other boxees).

Conversely, these areas are where controlled experimentation shines.

I wrote an article about this (wfs) that may be helpful. The most relevant bit:

At this point we can not longer say CF works based on a black box model. Off the top of my head, the Canadian Infantry, Marine Force Recon, Naval Special Warfare, Colorado State Police have all done comparisons of the effects of implementing a CF based PT program vs traditional PT program and shown that CF based program produced high fitness levels (as defined by their physical fitness tests) with less injuries.

Pat McElhone 11-20-2008 09:36 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Phillip Garrisonq (Post 450906)
You have to understand the scientific method. Raw data is what is known as observed phenomenom. People do crossfit, stuff happens. Know how, why and where is the science, which invariably leads to better improvement.

Does the scientific method tell you how? Do studies tell you how or why? The vast majority only tell you that results are reproducible. From that we determine that A caused B. Again, the vast majority of exercise phsyiology studies on humans do not tell of the how or the why, just that this may have caused that, but it may be wrong 5% of the time (p<.05). From that, we determine the how and why.

Pat McElhone 11-20-2008 09:43 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Christian Mason (Post 451396)
I have to disagree here.

None of this changes the fact, that for it to be accepted in a rigorous academic setting, we need to see carefully controlled studies, performed by people not directly associate with the community.


That doesn't change the fact that we should still do the studies.

Why do we want it accepted in a rigorous academic setting? Is this the same setting not standing up to the American Heart Associating and the American Diabetes Association or the American Dietetic Association and telling them their dietary recommendations of 70% of daily calories from CHO are killing people? Is the same academic setting tell people all they need to be fit is 20min of exercise at 70% of their MHR 3x week to be fit?

These are the people we should seek approval from?

This is my whole problem with the Academic Exercise Community. While they are sitting around curriculum validating each other and disregarding CF because it is based "on scientific" principles or disregarding a low CHO diet, Americans are following their advice and still dying of preventable disease.

Matthew Stafford 11-20-2008 09:51 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pat McElhone (Post 451518)
Why do we want it accepted in a rigorous academic setting? Is this the same setting not standing up to the American Heart Associating and the American Diabetes Association or the American Dietetic Association and telling them their dietary recommendations of 70% of daily calories from CHO are killing people? Is the same academic setting tell people all they need to be fit is 20min of exercise at 70% of their MHR 3x week to be fit?

These are the people we should seek approval from?

This is my whole problem with the Academic Exercise Community. While they are sitting around curriculum validating each other and disregarding CF because it is based "on scientific" principles or disregarding a low CHO diet, Americans are following their advice and still dying of preventable disease.

Again, what is with the anti-scientific sentiments expressed by people here? What is wrong with wanting scientific proof for something that as the support of anecdotal evidence? I can understand if this is not interesting to a person, but that doesn't make it not worth doing.

I am not a exercise physiologist so maybe I'm missing something but I am former physicist so this science thing isn't new to me. Science is necessary for progress. Research is worth doing for the sake of knowledge, always.

Pat McElhone 11-20-2008 10:10 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Matthew Stafford (Post 451520)
Again, what is with the anti-scientific sentiments expressed by people here? What is wrong with wanting scientific proof for something that as the support of anecdotal evidence? I can understand if this is not interesting to a person, but that doesn't make it not worth doing.

I am not a exercise physiologist so maybe I'm missing something but I am former physicist so this science thing isn't new to me. Science is necessary for progress. Research is worth doing for the sake of knowledge, always.


Here is my problem with "science". I live in the real world, I use science everyday, if I do not use it well...people die (I do anesthesia for a living). How really useful is the information the academic exercise community putting out? Here is the link to the Nov issue of Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research:

http://www.nsca-jscr.org/pt/re/jscr/...195628!8091!-1 (WFS)

How many of those articles either told you something you did not already know, like jumping makes you are better jumper, or gave you something you could actually use to make yourself or others a better athlete?

John Filippini 11-20-2008 10:12 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pat McElhone (Post 451518)
Why do we want it accepted in a rigorous academic setting? Is this the same setting not standing up to the American Heart Associating and the American Diabetes Association or the American Dietetic Association and telling them their dietary recommendations of 70% of daily calories from CHO are killing people? Is the same academic setting tell people all they need to be fit is 20min of exercise at 70% of their MHR 3x week to be fit?

These are the people we should seek approval from?

This is my whole problem with the Academic Exercise Community. While they are sitting around curriculum validating each other and disregarding CF because it is based "on scientific" principles or disregarding a low CHO diet, Americans are following their advice and still dying of preventable disease.

The problem is not so much with science, but with the funding. The current diet recommendations came out of poorly conducted studies a generation or more ago that the food industry jumped all over and marketed everywhere they could, making it "common knowledge". Now that "knowledge" is so far entrenched in the public view that it'll take an order of magnitude more work to debunk -- the sort of work people like Michael Pollan are starting to make headway with.

The problem isn't with the scientific method and peer reviewed research. The current diet model is the result of a significant departure from the scientific method. Someone did a poor study and rather than question it or even try to reproduce it, we allowed the people with more money to wave it around like a banner. There are scientific studies that have shown the efficacy of paleo-type diets, but they never got noticed by the public because there wasn't either (1) enough money to promote them or (2) a sheer volume of work done in a peer reviewed setting to make it impossible to ignore.

Pat McElhone 11-20-2008 10:27 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by John Filippini (Post 451540)
The problem is not so much with science, but with the funding. The current diet recommendations came out of poorly conducted studies a generation or more ago that the food industry jumped all over and marketed everywhere they could, making it "common knowledge". Now that "knowledge" is so far entrenched in the public view that it'll take an order of magnitude more work to debunk -- the sort of work people like Michael Pollan are starting to make headway with.

The problem isn't with the scientific method and peer reviewed research. The current diet model is the result of a significant departure from the scientific method. Someone did a poor study and rather than question it or even try to reproduce it, we allowed the people with more money to wave it around like a banner. There are scientific studies that have shown the efficacy of paleo-type diets, but they never got noticed by the public because there wasn't either (1) enough money to promote them or (2) a sheer volume of work done in a peer reviewed setting to make it impossible to ignore.

If the above groups know they are wrong, why don't they speak up? Why are current guidelines different? Why doesn't the American Dietetic Associate come out and say we should be eating paleo?

Sean Dunston 11-20-2008 10:49 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pat McElhone (Post 451556)
If the above groups know they are wrong, why don't they speak up? Why are current guidelines different? Why doesn't the American Dietetic Associate come out and say we should be eating paleo?

I don't want this to be pulled for digressing into politics, but I would guess:

There's no money in promoting the Paleo diet, but there's a lot of money in promoting the "food pyramid" scheme.

Christian Mason 11-20-2008 10:52 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pat McElhone (Post 451556)
If the above groups know they are wrong, why don't they speak up? Why are current guidelines different? Why doesn't the American Dietetic Associate come out and say we should be eating paleo?


It's coming, just much more slowly than we would like. Some of the mainstream media are starting to carry reports of successful trials of paleo or paleo like diets, and it IS getting attention. I believe the FDA revised their recommendations to include more fat recently (still grain based though)

I managed to find one study abstract from a Scadanavian MD. who did some research with pigs on a paleo vs ceral diet that showed promising results. It'll take more than this to change the deeply entrenched ideas that are there, not to mention the agendas many groups have due to their financial agendas. As a rule, people fear change, and resist it.

I think it's coming, just not as quickly as we would like.

I also agree, there is an entrenched dogma in the scientific community, if not science itself, the AHA makes some horrible recommendations, etc...

Lets change it. IF we really want to help stop people from dyeing from preventable causes, we can't just thumb our noses at the scientific community because "we know what works". We need to work on changing what is recommended to Joe Sixpack.

Matthew Stafford 11-20-2008 10:53 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
It's well documented that various industries in the US have lobbyist involved in the design of the food pyramid, hence the focus on what America produces vast quantities of: grains.

I have a question though, why -shouldn't- we perform studies on CrossFit? It seems many of you are against even the idea of research on CrossFit and I really don't understand why.

Pat McElhone 11-20-2008 11:10 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Again, I think there already is enough research done, META-ANALYSIS, of pre-CF style PT programs vs post to show it works. There is probably a paper out there by just collecting the data of various groups that have done this (Colorado State Police, Marine Force Recon Units, Naval Special Warfare School, Canadian Infantry School). Just clean up the statistics, do a META-ANAYLSIS and there you go. If done right, it can be done quickly and will probably be a better scientifically designed study then 99.99% of the other exercise studies out there.

But, it is already proven and CF is already doing those things. It is already reaching people, already changing lives and making people more fitter and healthier. Why should it seek the approval of the academic/entrenched/established exercise community that has not done the job CF has. CF is growing from the bottom up. Those at the top are just feeling left out.

Continuing to says CF is unfounded based on science is wrong. First, it is based on ideals grounded in physics and physiology (both science). Next these ideals passed the common sense test and were shown to produce results over and over. People who can not attack the results from CF, so they say...."yeah it works, but is it based on science?"

Chris Walls 11-20-2008 11:13 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Matthew Stafford (Post 451593)
I have a question though, why -shouldn't- we perform studies on CrossFit? It seems many of you are against even the idea of research on CrossFit and I really don't understand why.

I don't remember seeing anyone say we shouldn't. I just see people say "why?" If you want to see a study done go for it. I'll try to help you if I can, collect some data points from my athletes or something. But don't expect us to do a study for you, to your specs, to quench your scientific thirst when we see no reason to do it for ourselves.

Gavin Harrison 11-20-2008 11:17 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Matthew Stafford (Post 451520)
Again, what is with the anti-scientific sentiments expressed by people here? What is wrong with wanting scientific proof for something that as the support of anecdotal evidence? I can understand if this is not interesting to a person, but that doesn't make it not worth doing.

I am not a exercise physiologist so maybe I'm missing something but I am former physicist so this science thing isn't new to me. Science is necessary for progress. Research is worth doing for the sake of knowledge, always.

I think the "we need science, we need science, we need science" are missing a HUGE piece of the puzzle. And this has already been said, but... THERE ALREADY IS SCIENCE TO BACK CROSSFIT. When Pons and Fleischmann "found" cold fusion, they published their (very vague) method.. and the rest of the scientific community set about repeating, observing and measuring their method to see if they could reproduce the results... they failed to do so, and cold fusion was ultimately dispelled as a falsehood.

In crossfit's case, the proof exists. The methods are perfectly open and available, there are plenty of people around who are more than willing to help you do whatever you want to do. You can repeat, measure, and observe the results on yourself or whomever you like, and many many many people around the world have ... and... they results all match the claims. Don't believe me? Why not repeat, measure, and observe the claims for yourself? That's sciency.

Besides that, most if not all of the methods inside of crossfit have been studied scientifically in peer reviewed journals or accepted exercise science. Nothing lives in a vacuum. And for the record, every other program, aside from maybe westside barbell club's methods, does not deal with controlled studies by an outside body. The only reason I say "except maybe" WSBB, is that most of their methodology is based almost directly on old soviet track and field, and weightlifting sport science, which probably isn't much more sciency than crossfit.

Matthew Stafford 11-20-2008 11:25 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
For what it's worth, I'm completely convinced that CrossFit is an amazing condition program. It's easily the best thing I've ever done to improve my fitness and conditioning for rugby.

I'm probably misconstruing what a lot of people are saying about the studies, then. I get defensive when I feel that anti-science vibe, but from what I'm understanding is that exercise science is much different that the physical sciences and that my ideas of "research, research, research", at least in the manner I am familiar with (set up an experiment, collect hours/days/years of data, analyze and publish and then argue) may not necessarily be how things are done? Correct?

Robert Wolf 11-20-2008 11:56 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Christian Mason (Post 451396)
I have to disagree here.

I have a ton of respect for Rob, but both he and Coach are responding with Ad Hominem attacks on Phil G, who is just pointing out that further scientific verification would be useful. Attacking the messenger seriously damages your credibility.

To be clear, it's my understanding that Phil is an advocate of Crossfit, I certainly am. I'm also convinced that what Rob Wolf says is true - the brains behind Crossfit have been tweaking their approach for years, with thousands of points of data.


None of this changes the fact, that for it to be accepted in a rigorous academic setting, we need to see carefully controlled studies, performed by people not directly associate with the community.

There seems to be a community attitude here of "burn the witch!" when someone questions the dogma. When I first decided to start eating paleo I read what I could get my hands on about it, especially the effects of grains.

I came across a thread here where someone, who was practicing the paleo diet, asked Rob Wolf about scientific studies supporting the harmful effects of grains, and the response was much the same "you don't get it", "try it for yourself", "how dare you question Rob, this is why he doesn't come here", etc... The guy responded that he HAD tried and WAS personally convinced, but wanted to see some of the science behind it.


Just to be clear:
I am an advocate of both Crossfit, and the Paleo diet. I've had good results with both. I strongly suspect that when there are some strictly controlled, publicly accepted studies of both are published in peer reviewed journals the community will look at them and say "I told you so".

That doesn't change the fact that we should still do the studies.

christian-
It is not my intention to squealch discussion OR conduct some kind of straw-man/ad-hominem attack. BUT...if someone asks me for science behind the paleo diet I can offer them to:
1-the peer reviewed research at thepaloediet.com
2-numerous studies from the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
3-an opportunity to experiment on a sample size of N=1
The observations possible with #3 include:
a-How a person feels
b-how a person looks
c-how a person performs
d-easily tested bio-markers


This is a fairly beefy list, folks (who just want to argue) will ignore all of this...and it's still somewhow left to me to "prove" this. Proof in these circumstances is a very dicey thing. Every day, there are thousands of coronary artery bypass graphs (CABG) performed in the US. CABG has never been shown to improve survival or reduce angina. But they continue to crack'em and rack'em. I'm a bit jaded I guess towards the notion of academic legitimacy.

So...oftentimes i become terse about some of this it's because if folks want info I offer it in plenty, I provide a simple framework for self analysis...and if that's not good enough I just can't help the person.

Now, with regards to Phil, when he first jumped into this it was to the tune of "you guys need science...you don't know what you are doing". I argued that point and told him "If it's "Science" you want, go generate it. We are already doing this every day, but have at it". So, that either makes me an idiot or I might have some kind of insight into this. Or, maybe Im an idiot with an insight...like monkeys at keyboards making shakespear's collected works. Whatever the case there is something afoot here that people are not getting:
YOU ARE THE EXPERT.
The sentiment sniffs of Liberitarianism and Anarchy...but the reality is with the advent of the internet and the simple access to virtually ANY bit of information the distinction between "experts" and lay-folk is disappearing. Steven Levett talks about this at length in Freakonomics. Oftentimes the best informed individuals, those who have the most timely and accurate information and understanding of a situation....happen to be EVERYONE EXCEPT THE ACADEMICS.

The past summer norther california, for all intents and purposes, burned down. Our trainer, Adam Lambert is a Cal-Fire Captain. When fighters are called out to an event they do not check the Cal-Fire website for intel...they check a private blog that has the goods on what is happening. Over time, the fighters have found that this "non-academic, non-professional, Non-institutionalized" blog has FAR better information, is updated more frequently and is more accurate than any governmental agency. It is maintained by a couple of geeks who crack-out on fire info and these guys have become integral to the fighting of fire in california.

Do we need a study of this to prove the private blogers are better? Again, it might be an interesting social science graduate project, but how much thought and time do the fire fighters need to devote to this? They have better information, it works, lets roll.

This is the same situation as crossfit. Y'all are the experts, you just need to get in and tinker, see what works and run from there. An academic evaluation of this program would (my opinion here HQ may not agree but I suspect it would mirror this sentiment) provide little of merit.

"Oh Robb! That's preposterous! You are getting kool-aide enemas! You need to step away from the CrossFit Cult and get some perspective..."

Academics are not going to know WHERE to start. This is evidenced by Phil's intense desire to find somekind of outside validation of the programming:
vertical jump+800mrun+CrossFit total=best analysis of CrossFit. Perhaps...I think it's not a bad one, what about simply tracking the WOD and noting changes in specific benchmarks? I think this tells us much more, lends itself to much more rapid development...and is completely inappropriate for a reductionist approach to fitness.

If someone want's to study this stuff, by all means do it. I'll be busy trying to help as many people as I can.

If I've been a dieck I apologize. A little. But I've stated the case as clearly as I can, provided an opportunity to be PROVEN WRONG...yet the merry-go-round continues.

Garcon!! Check please...I'm done.

Robert Wolf 11-20-2008 11:59 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Christian Mason (Post 451592)
It's coming, just much more slowly than we would like. Some of the mainstream media are starting to carry reports of successful trials of paleo or paleo like diets, and it IS getting attention. I believe the FDA revised their recommendations to include more fat recently (still grain based though)

I managed to find one study abstract from a Scadanavian MD. who did some research with pigs on a paleo vs ceral diet that showed promising results. It'll take more than this to change the deeply entrenched ideas that are there, not to mention the agendas many groups have due to their financial agendas. As a rule, people fear change, and resist it.

I think it's coming, just not as quickly as we would like.

I also agree, there is an entrenched dogma in the scientific community, if not science itself, the AHA makes some horrible recommendations, etc...

Lets change it. IF we really want to help stop people from dyeing from preventable causes, we can't just thumb our noses at the scientific community because "we know what works". We need to work on changing what is recommended to Joe Sixpack.

I was the review editor for that paper. Great work, well designed. More needs to be done. The folks who want to ignore it's implications however, will never be swayed.

Pat McElhone 11-20-2008 12:02 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Matthew, for the record, I love good research. I would like to see more of it. But, I do not see good research coming out of the exercise physiology people. I see studies that have poor design, no randomization and ridiculously small sample size.

Here is a study I would love to see using CrossFit, intense exercise effect on the battlefield trauma patient. Take 2 groups of rats. Condition one with Tabata intervals on the wheel, leave the other ones alone. Next, hemorrhage the 2 groups to a degree of hypovolemic shock. After a set period of time, controll the bleeding and re-perfuse the rats. Next measure the degree of acidosis and reperfusion injury in the 2 groups. Did CF-type, high intensity exercise condition the rats for better survival in an oxygen debt environment? Were the fitter rats harder to kill? Next repeat the trial, results the same?

This is what I would like to see science use CF to answer. I think the answer is yes. This is the type of science and scientific experiments that I believe in.

But, this is not the type of research being conducted. I think it is a waste of a scientists time to prove that CF is better then Curves, Jazzercise or whatever.

Christian Mason 11-20-2008 01:37 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Robb - Thanks for the response, and very well said.

Some of my frustration may be due to the fact that I'm currently both learning a lot and being feed some of the ACSM fare in grad courses. I find myself biting my tongue a good deal, not so much because the information I'm being taught is wrong, but but because I feel like there is a bias to it.

I'd love to see Crossfit methodologies be more accepted in this community. I'm actually considering devising a study when/if I decide on a PhD program. I do get that most of the people behind the movement don't see it as a productive use of their time though.

David Wood 11-20-2008 01:43 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Christian Mason (Post 451705)
I'm actually considering devising a study when/if I decide on a PhD program. I do get that most of the people behind the movement don't see it as a productive use of their time though.


Christian, meet Pat (directly above you). You two should talk.

Brandon Oto 11-20-2008 01:59 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
An important point on the purpose of scientific scrutiny on CrossFit:

Strictly speaking, the evidence available in the community, even ignoring issues like control, supports adaptation in certain areas, most of all in improving WoD results. (This is the main data mine available.) On a much smaller basis is available numbers like bodyfat and blood markers. What is largely NOT available is data on the CROSS-APPLICABILITY of the CrossFit adaptation -- that is, "how much it makes you better at other stuff," from football to shoveling gravel. The thing is that this is a critical area to look at, because the claim is that the program makes you better at everything, particularly things we don't even do -- whereas improving WoDs is only evidence that you got better at WoDs and the movements therein. It's possible that you improved at absolutely nothing else. Is it likely? No. How much did you improve at other stuff? Some of us know personally, but there's no data mine for this, and THIS is the core piece of feedback for a GPP system.

In the terminology you guys like, you can't really say you've improved across all time and modal domains if the only time and modal domain you're testing are CrossFit workouts. EVERYONE would accept that you got better at that. There's absolutely zero controversy in saying that you get better at the stuff you're doing. The controversy is whether it made you better at shoveling gravel, too.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pat McElhone (Post 451503)
At this point we can not longer say CF works based on a black box model. Off the top of my head, the Canadian Infantry, Marine Force Recon, Naval Special Warfare, Colorado State Police have all done comparisons of the effects of implementing a CF based PT program vs traditional PT program and shown that CF based program produced high fitness levels (as defined by their physical fitness tests) with less injuries.

Can I see that material? I'm only familiar with the published Canadian study.

Justin Gross 11-20-2008 02:02 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Robert Wolf (Post 451642)
You are getting kool-aide enemas!

Does Rogue sell those?

Pat McElhone 11-20-2008 02:19 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
[quote=Brandon Oto;451718]An important point on the purpose of scientific scrutiny on CrossFit:

Strictly speaking, the evidence available in the community, even ignoring issues like control, supports adaptation in certain areas, most of all in improving WoD results. (This is the main data mine available.) On a much smaller basis is available numbers like bodyfat and blood markers. What is largely NOT available is data on the CROSS-APPLICABILITY of the CrossFit adaptation -- that is, "how much it makes you better at other stuff," from football to shoveling gravel. The thing is that this is a critical area to look at, because the claim is that the program makes you better at everything, particularly things we don't even do -- whereas improving WoDs is only evidence that you got better at WoDs and the movements therein. It's possible that you improved at absolutely nothing else. Is it likely? No. How much did you improve at other stuff? Some of us know personally, but there's no data mine for this, and THIS is the core piece of feedback for a GPP system.

QUOTE]

Andy Stumpf (sp?) stated on CF radio, that he collected data at the Naval Special Warfare School on students in BUDS. He compared obstacle course (O-course) times of students before and after the implementation of CF based physical training. The groups were of different classes, not the same subjects. The O-course was a unique variable because it had phsyical skills not done outside of the O-course. He stated when comparing the O-course times of the 2 groups, CF times were higher.

This is based on what was said on CrossFit Radio, 16 Nov 08. Again, a META-ANALYSIS can be done to statistically show this.

I will give you that Andy Stumpf (sp?) is not an un-biased observer of the CF method. I will also state that I have not seen the studies first hand, but I will take the word of a commissioned Naval Special Warfare officer.

If you want the study, Brandon, ask him for it. Do a META-ANALYSIS on it and let us know if the difference was or was not statistically significant.

Brandon Oto 11-20-2008 02:33 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Thanks Pat. I'll contact him and try and get that data.

What about the material you mentioned on the Colorado State Police and Force Recon?


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