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

Adam Scheiner 11-18-2008 02:29 PM

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

Originally Posted by Brandon Oto (Post 449655)


I don't see how this bears on the topic. You can pretend I'm a CrossFit-hating robot sent from the planet Krypton if you want. We're discussing the truth value of objective statements; it doesn't matter who I am.

I live with a person who is a philosophy major and he does the exact same things that Brandon does. I believe from reading Brandon's post and checking his website that he is a philosophy major, which gives me the impression that Brandon's goal is simply to iron out what is true and what is not to the very last minuscule detail. To accomplish this he plays a never ending game of devil's advocate. The problem with this is that it annoys the **** out of people and at some point people have a breaking point.
Brandon, perhaps it will help people if you tell us why doth you persist soo much?

Phillip Garrison 11-18-2008 02:33 PM

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

Originally Posted by David Wood (Post 448874)
I wonder if people will ever get tired of this topic (or, at least, this thread)?


The ideal "scientific" experiment would be something like this:

a) take a "large" "population" (more on this in a moment),

b) randomly split them into two groups,

c) subject them to "enough" training (3 months? 6 months? a year? 3 years?) under two different regimens: CrossFit and whatever you want to compare it to (traditional bodybuiding? (whatever that is, everyone seems to have their own definition) . . . or whatever the CSCS-approved regimen is these days (if there is such a thing)?)

d) then, compare the two groups on previously-agreed up "tests".

So, as soon as you contemplate doing this, a whole lot of problems (and decisions) show up.

What population?

Newbies? Untrained? College-age students (probably something like 90% of all studies are done on untrained college-age students, 'cause there are a lot of them, and they're relatively easy for academic researchers to get access to). (And remember, 87.3% of all statistics quoted on the internet are made up on the spot.)
Athletes (already trained)? "Elite" athletes? Middle-aged frumps like myself? Senior citizens?

The results you get for any program may vary quite a bit depending on which population you want to work with.

How large? Well, you'd like to have enough to provide a good sample size and some statistical reliability . . . I'd suggest at least 100 or so in each arm of the study (each training group). You're going to have to account for dropouts, especially if you're planning on a year or more for the training.


Ok, then, you have to agree on what you're going to test on. Frankly, the only test that would make sense to me is to agree on the following: make up a LONG list of various physical tasks . . .
a) run 100 yards
b) run 400 yards
c) run a mile
d) run 10 miles
e) climb a 20-foot rope
f) shovel 1 ton of gravel into a wheelbarrow and move it 75 yards (multiple trips allowed)
g) shoulder a sandbag equal to your bodyweight and carry it 50 yards (then put it down, pick it up, and carry it back)
d) etc . . .

The tests should (collectively) stress every possible metabolic pathway, and every dimension of fitness (strength, speed, accuracy, endurance, etc.). I'd want to make them as low "skill" as possible . . . no olympic lifts here.

Ideally, in my version of this test, the list would have at least 40 items, along with clear rules for how they would be scored.

Then, finally, in my version, on the testing day, only 10 of them would be drawn at random and tested. No one would know until the day of the exam what the test would be (because it wouldn't be determined yet).

(This is the way the CF Games should be run, too, but do you think they ask me? No . . . . . )


If you haven't fallen asleep yet, you can begin to see why this is a fairly difficult and expensive study to run . . . large population needed, long-term training needed, a very richly-supplied testing setup needed (have to be ready to test all 40 items).

However, I submit that this is the test that really reflects what CF is striving toward . . . enhanced work capacity on wide, wide variety of real-world requirements.


The costs of doing such a study are what lead researchers to try and test simpler things, that are easier to measure:

vertical jump
leg extensor strength
VO2 max
treadmill run times

and then use the fact that these tests appear to have some degree of correlation to what they really want to get at to justify using them. (Actually, even the notion that they have a simple idea of "what they really want to get at" is probably mistaken . . . athletic superiority? "health?" longevity? a winning basketball season? . .. . what?)

This testing of simple measurements (which are correlates of something more complex) is what usually "scientists" are talking about, and which (I think) Phillip is suggesting should be done.


I'm not opposed to it . . . I just doubt that it would ever be as satisfactory as the test I describe above.

Or instead of one test do lots of studies using lots of different people done by lots of different researchers that have no bias for or against, and we'll see what happens. Thats real science

Saying "we can't do studies, becuase no study will ever accurately test our definition of fitness except for the workouts we do" is a cop out very remniscint of Arthur Jones.

Brandon Oto 11-18-2008 02:34 PM

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

Originally Posted by Adam Scheiner (Post 449724)
I live with a person who is a philosophy major and he does the exact same things that Brandon does. I believe from reading Brandon's post and checking his website that he is a philosophy major, which gives me the impression that Brandon's goal is simply to iron out what is true and what is not to the very last minuscule detail. To accomplish this he plays a never ending game of devil's advocate. The problem with this is that it annoys the **** out of people and at some point people have a breaking point.
Brandon, perhaps it will help people if you tell us why doth you persist soo much?

Because I love the truth more than I love you guys.

Phillip Garrison 11-18-2008 02:36 PM

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

Originally Posted by Tim Donahey (Post 448875)
No, I think he's claiming that Bigfoot does Crossfit.

WOD
Three rounds, 21-15- and 9 reps, for time of:
Footprints in Alaska, California and Washington

3-2-1-GO!

I actually always pictured bigfoot as more a Weider guy personally. :welcome:

John Filippini 11-18-2008 02:38 PM

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

Originally Posted by Phillip Garrisonq (Post 449707)
I still can't understand how wanting to subject CF to more rigorous examination somehow makes us doubters.

It doesn't. I was just using the example because there are generally only two purposes I can think of such study fulfilling: (1) to expand and improve upon the practices within CrossFit and (2) to use as convincing evidence for skeptics so as to expand and improve upon the practices of the larger community.

Though you bring up a good point. Perhaps people that are content without such studies go on the defensive so fast because those that desire them are immediately assumed to be "doubters" and they get insulted somehow.

Quote:

Originally Posted by George Noble (Post 449712)
Combo breaker!

Also, this made my day. :D

Tom Woodward 11-18-2008 02:38 PM

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

Originally Posted by Brandon Oto (Post 449728)
Because I love the truth more than I love you guys.

If that was true, you'd seek it silently.

You're not seeking truth anymore in this argument. You've obviously come to the truth for yourself. Now you're just forcing it down our throats.

Phillip Garrison 11-18-2008 02:40 PM

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

Originally Posted by John Filippini (Post 449733)
It doesn't. I was just using the example because there are generally only two purposes I can think of such study fulfilling: (1) to expand and improve upon the practices within CrossFit and (2) to use as convincing evidence for skeptics so as to expand and improve upon the practices of the larger community.

Though you bring up a good point. Perhaps people that are content without such studies go on the defensive so fast because those that desire them are immediately assumed to be "doubters" and they get insulted somehow.



Also, this made my day. :D

IMHO rigourusly studying CF will only improve it, not hurt it.

Tom Fetter 11-18-2008 02:46 PM

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

Originally Posted by Brandon Oto (Post 449728)
Because I love the truth more than I love you guys.

Perhaps. To be fair, it truly doesn't come off that way.

I've liked much of what you've posted on this site and elsewhere, Brandon, but this thread looks more like attempted vilification than a search for "the truth." This horse - it's dead.

Phillip,

I agree that VOmax correlates well with aerobic sport performance ... until it doesn't. In rowing, for instance, studies confirm that it's the single most effective predictor of performance for novices and "club" rowers.

But by the time you're dealing with elite rowers, VOmax isn't a terribly good predictor. For them, the most reliable predictor of performance is peak power, followed by squat strength ... VOmax is down the list.

For me, that illustrates the utility ... and the limitations ... of using "accepted" tests (like VOmax) as proxies. And underscores that if the goal is actually performance ... whether in sport or in "real life," then after a certain level of fitness is achieved, proxies are no longer terribly useful.

It suggests to me that an analysis of CF's effectiveness should not rely on proxies like VOmax, or vertical jump. And should instead compare athletes when faced with disparate "real world" tasks ... such as what GPP theoretically prepares us for.

Robert D Taylor Jr 11-18-2008 02:47 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
There are websites out there that I don't agree with, provided by people that I think are liars. I don't have 2900 posts on those sites. And I don't expect those sites to underpin my pet projects, which could be perceived as a rival to theirs.

Sean Dunston 11-18-2008 02:47 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Stand up Philosopher!

One of the all-time great movie scenes!

wfs - with the exception of the word bullsh*t that is repeated a few times.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tl4VD8uvgec


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