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

William Henniger 11-20-2008 02:36 PM

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

They are cherry flavored, do you want a sample?

David Stout 11-20-2008 02:41 PM

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

Originally Posted by Brandon Oto (Post 451718)
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.

But the CrossFit WODs vary themselves across broad time and modal domains.

Pat McElhone 11-20-2008 03:38 PM

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

Originally Posted by Brandon Oto (Post 451744)
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?

Check the following CFJ articles:
Mar 2003, Police Training, Jacksonville Police, not Colorado State Police
Jan 2006, Validity of CrossFit tested. Everyone who wants science to prove the validity of CF, read this. This is not the best study from a study design standpoint.
It was Marine Sniper School, not Force Recon. Again, CF Radio 5 Oct 08, audio interview. Marine Sniper School Instructor implemented CF based training and compared this groups physical fitness test scores to previous standard PT scores.

Brandon Oto 11-20-2008 04:24 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Thanks Pat.

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Stout (Post 451748)
But the CrossFit WODs vary themselves across broad time and modal domains.

Yes. Across a certain range. The question is how much it influences adaptations outside of that range.

Again, nobody questions whether you improve at the exact things you're doing in your training. That's basically a training tautology; unquestionably true and also meaningless. Athletes interested in GPP (that is, anyone who's not doing CF as its own sport) don't want to improve their Helen for its own sake. They want to use Helen to improve their gravel shoveling.

John C. Brown 11-20-2008 04:38 PM

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

One quick note. In the Theoretical Hierarchy of the Development of an Athlete, a diagram that CF uses at the majority of their Certs, the top of the pyramid is sport. Several times I have heard Greg say "go play a sport" because sport is the height of athletic achievement in his eyes (I presume, I won't speak for him). I think what he wants is for people to do CF and then play something and get back to him with the results.

I know that there are several athletes on the pro and amateur level that have been using CF and have basically laid their performance at CF's feet. I know that this doesn't fall under the category of anything other than anecdotal, and perhaps they would have seen some results otherwise, but their word is really all that we have to go on.

I know for me, it has helped with whatever intramural or community driven sports that I have time to play. I ran a triathlon (a sprint) and took first in my age group with no specific training other than riding a bike 2-3 times to see if I could. It has been amazing on the soccer and football fields as well. I have never been faster and have developed an amazing dexterity with my left foot that I hadn't had before. I have done nothing to train my left foot, so I assume that it is systemic adaptation, but still it is my perceived reality. I am sure that there are others out there that exist as well that don't have the time to waste on chat boards because the NFL season doesn't allow time for it...

Brandon Oto 11-20-2008 04:58 PM

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

That's certainly the type of thing that I mean. But I'm sure you see the problem -- while that's the kind of data that we would NEED in order to say that "CrossFit works for GPP," it's also the kind that we don't HAVE. The only large-scale data we have are "internal" to CF, not external. This is a little like going through Starting Strength; you know that you've added 80 pounds to the weight you're working with on your 3x5 squats, but how much has your 1RM improved? Well... you don't know. You'd have to test it, and the test is something that's external to the program, so it doesn't happen on its own (like the 3x5 does). You can guess. But to know, you have to go and test it, period.

On the flip side, improvements like "I play better soccer" are obviously pretty hard to quantify in the same way as 30 seconds off your Diane time. This is the sense in which external, quantifiable data such as VO2max or whatever would be valuable. They're not in themselves "better soccer," but they are indicators of it, and they are measurable, so if we can say "CF gave me xyz increases in VO2max and this other stuff," then in a pretty solid way we can say that it made you a better soccer player -- or at least in a much more solid way than we can say that 30 seconds off your Diane time made you a better soccer player, since that's not a proven relationship.

One other possibility that comes to mind is establishing a set of physical tests that we recognize as requiring, and being indicative of, high level of physical fitness in various respects, and which are quantifiable like a WoD, yet do not include elements that CrossFit trains directly. For example, the gravel-shoveling example. If you never actually shovel gravel in your WoDs -- and in the current program you're not -- then if you go and do a standard gravel-shoveling test every six months, you could examine the results and consider that evidence of broad GPP improvements due to your training. You didn't train gravel shoveling, yet it improved. If you had a decent-sized suite of such tests (and some of us do have some that we already use, such as periodically checking our vertical leap or running an obstacle course), and you make sure NOT to specifically practice for them as part of the program you're testing, then this might be a valid way of getting data on GPP gains without running into specificity complaints. The only arguments would be how broadly applicable the tests themselves were -- for instance, should you care about your gravel shoveling? -- but there are probably enough possibilities to satisfy anyone.

Derek Maffett 11-20-2008 04:59 PM

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

Originally Posted by Brandon Oto (Post 451820)
Thanks Pat.



Yes. Across a certain range. The question is how much it influences adaptations outside of that range.

Across a certain range? What range is missing that you would like added in?

Again, nobody questions whether you improve at the exact things you're doing in your training. That's basically a training tautology; unquestionably true and also meaningless. Athletes interested in GPP (that is, anyone who's not doing CF as its own sport) don't want to improve their Helen for its own sake. They want to use Helen to improve their gravel shoveling.

No duh. Of course a GPP program is meant to improve general skills, but what you seem to be missing is that people who get better at the CF WOD's get better at everything else too. Perhaps we should add in weekly gravel shoveling and tightrope walking? I'm pretty sure your own ATG program doesn't.

People aren't just getting better at the WOD's. The reports on improvement on everything, not only the WOD's, are countless.

Derek Maffett 11-20-2008 05:05 PM

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

Originally Posted by Brandon Oto (Post 451846)
John,

That's certainly the type of thing that I mean. But I'm sure you see the problem -- while that's the kind of data that we would NEED in order to say that "CrossFit works for GPP," it's also the kind that we don't HAVE. The only large-scale data we have are "internal" to CF, not external.

Then you obviously have not been paying any attention whatsoever to reports on these very boards.

Joe Cavazos 11-20-2008 05:23 PM

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

Originally Posted by Brandon Oto (Post 451846)
One other possibility that comes to mind is establishing a set of physical tests that we recognize as requiring, and being indicative of, high level of physical fitness in various respects, and which are quantifiable like a WoD, yet do not include elements that CrossFit trains directly. For example, the gravel-shoveling example. If you never actually shovel gravel in your WoDs -- and in the current program you're not -- then if you go and do a standard gravel-shoveling test every six months, you could examine the results and consider that evidence of broad GPP improvements due to your training.

"CF made me better at shoveling gravel."
"Well shoveling gravel is a lot like Deadlifting, so you trained that movement in CF, so that doesn't count."

"CF made me a faster soccer player."
"Well that's because of the running involved in CF workouts. You trained that movement, so it doesn't count."

"CF gave me a higher vertical jump."
"Well that's because of the Box Jumps and Olympic Lifts involved in CF workouts. You trained that movement, so it doesn't count."

"After CF, now I can lift my kid over my head."
"Too similar to Shoulder Presses."

And so on.

If you wanted to compile a short-enough-to-be-feasibly-testable list of movements that when weighted by relevance (meaning you can't have things like horseshoe-throwing and pencil-spinning make up 50% of the score) would mark a level of GPP, $10 says it would look a lot like what we do in CrossFit.

Robert D Taylor Jr 11-20-2008 05:30 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Brandon,
Why isn't "I've been CFing for 6 months and my MMA endurance/strength, soccer stamina, rugby play...etc is better," like you see on the boards all the time, less valid than "Subject's VO2 Max has increased 15% due to CF" Especially since that is a direct correlation while higher VO2 doesn't neccesarily mean I'm better at soccer etc. I really don't understand.

Brandon Oto 11-20-2008 05:44 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Uh... it doesn't matter how closely the test might resemble what you train. It matters how closely it resembles what you care about. If it turns out that CF has a lot of stuff that's similar, that's just... an obvious indicator that it was intended as a GPP program.

The point isn't to intentionally separate the tests from the training; I'm sorry if I overemphasized that. The reason you wouldn't use a thruster as a test isn't because we do a lot of thrusters, it's because the thruster isn't intrinsically a valuable movement, so noticing improvements in your thruster doesn't mean anything on its own; we'd still need to determine whether better thrusters lead to improvements in stuff we care about, which was the original point of this testing. (Putting this another way: if we already KNEW that people with great WoD times did great in everything, then this would all be irrelevant, WoDs would themselves be the test. This is what a lot of CFers seem to assume. But we don't already know that. That's the point of testing; it would help to establish whether and TO WHAT EXTENT CrossFit improvements correlate with external improvements.)

The reason that something like, oh, sprint times, VO2max, and vertical leap (just some random examples that may or may not be good ones) could serve as good tests is because we already have good reason to think that people with fast sprint times, high VO2max, and strong vertical leaps do well in many, many real physical activities. Of course, you could just have someone do those activities (sports, for instance) as tests, and cut out the middleman, but like I said, those don't yield very quantifiable results, except in some cases like maybe race events (you get a clear numerical time) or field events (you get a clear numerical distance). Maybe a sport like football that collects a lot of personal stats could have something to say though; rush farther, you're more fit.

Brandon Oto 11-20-2008 05:48 PM

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

Originally Posted by Robert D Taylor Jr (Post 451865)
Brandon,
Why isn't "I've been CFing for 6 months and my MMA endurance/strength, soccer stamina, rugby play...etc is better," like you see on the boards all the time, less valid than "Subject's VO2 Max has increased 15% due to CF" Especially since that is a direct correlation while higher VO2 doesn't neccesarily mean I'm better at soccer etc. I really don't understand.

See the post I just made, that may help, but the direct answer is that while "my MMA endurance/strength, soccer stamina, rugby play...etc is better" may be valid, it's not quantifiable. It may even be wrong, since it's not directly measured. But even if it's true, what of it? Maybe you did another program and you also experienced such improvements. Now can we say that CF is better than that program? No, we can't compare them. Can we tweak CF and say that it's improved? No, we can't compare the results. All we have is your view that you got better, not how much. That's fine for personal, black box feedback -- if you're happy with your results keep doing it. But you can't do very much else with it.

Derek Maffett 11-20-2008 06:10 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Brandon, please go conduct your study. You obviously believe that these points are very important. I'm sure we'll all be happy to hear the results. I think the most you might "prove" is what many people have already been suspecting and working with - that more strength work may be necessary. In the unlikely event that you manage to prove that Crossfit is pathetic and worthless, please tell us.

In the considerably more likely event that your studies lead you to essentially the same conclusions that all of us "non-scientific" types have understood all along... well, I'm sure you'll just chew us all out for not conducting a theoretically important study that turned out to be a complete waste of your own time. Sound familiar, by any chance?

Ganine Vanalst 11-20-2008 06:23 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
I have found this thread interesting. I have wanted to contribute, but have elected to play it safe and keep my mouth shut, but I do have some points to make for whatever they are worth. I address them to no one in particular; just some observations/thoughts on some themes I have heard repeated throughout this thread.

Some of you have stated that you are supporters of CrossFit, but then you demand scientific validity of the results people are achieving using CrossFit methods. First, who is stopping you from conducting those studies? NO ONE. If there is some organization with the funding and desire there is absolutely nothing stopping them from proceeding. All the information into the workings of CrossFit is freely available. It is not as though some piece of information vital to conducting said research is being withheld by CrossFit HQ thereby precluding any study from being conducted. If there were some data or some secret proprietary methods not being disclosed then I can see there being some issue. But that is far from the case, everything is FREELY available, so there can be no issue there. This point has been made ad nauseam in this thread.

Is your problem then that you expect CrossFit HQ to conduct the research? From "What Is Fitness," provided free on the “Start Here” page of the main CrossFit website, it is stated: "...it warrants mention that we are not attempting to demonstrate our program’s legitimacy through scientific principles. We are but sharing the methods of a program whose legitimacy has been established through the testimony of athletes, soldiers, cops, and others whose lives or livelihoods depend on fitness." Have you read that? If not, I think that is indicative of a problem plaguing CrossFit; people profess to know what CrossFit is, yet haven't taken the time to familiarize themselves with the fundamentals, even when they are pointed in the right direction and the information is freely provided. (And I am NOT claiming to know all that CrossFit is; what I write here is based on my current understanding which I am trying to deepen by reading this thread/forum.) That is not a fault of CrossFit, but is a problem endemic to our society, namely the failure of people to take the time to research things for themselves. If you have read “What is Fitness” (and if you are a stickler for research your failure to do so before participating in CrossFit renders a proclaimed love of research highly suspect), then you should have understood one of the tenets of CrossFit is that results matter first (again, my understanding based on my reading of the material). If you didn't agree with that tenet, then you didn't have to proceed further. Or perhaps you didn't agree with this tenet, but decided you might still get some results from the program anyway and decided to give it a try.

So lets assume for arguments sake you are now getting results (and from many of your posts you say you are supporters, so I assume this means you are getting results), yet now you want to change the system that has brought you those results. That's why a lot of marriage's and relationships fail - you try to change, and thereby destroy, that which you profess to love. Problem is the results you are getting are a direct result of a system built on what is observed to be effective, on anecdotal evidence, and now you are finding fault with the system. You can't have it both ways. If you want results based on scientific peer-reviewed studies then you are free to pursue those results; the studies are out there (as are the millions of obese and sick people who are a casualty of those studies). If you have went that route and have found it lacking, then you must have some understanding of why some followers of CrossFit has such disdain for the research, or at least could give a rats a$$ what the research shows.

I for one followed a high carb, low-fat diet in my twenties. I read all the research and recommendations; those same recommendations are being made today, albeit with some slight modifications. Initially I lost weight, but gradually it became harder and harder to lose weight and easier and easier to gain weight. I have pretty much always exercised regularly. Several years ago, twenty pounds overweight and frustrated, I decided to get up early every morning and exercise on my treadmill for an hour. Treadmill monitor reported I was burning about 700 calories during each workout. I worked out 5 mornings a week for 2 months. My diet during this period stayed constant and was identical to before I started working out on the treadmill. According to conventional wisdom, all other things being equal (and they were), I should have lost about 8 pounds at the end of those two months. I didn't lose a *****ing ounce. For me there was a major disconnect between what the research said should have happened, and what did. Then I read The Carbohydrate Addicts Healthy Heart Program and the light bulbs started going off. I was very cynical and disgusted, but I had reached the ***** IT point and I gave their eating plan a try. After all, I did everything the "right way" according to all the experts and recommended guidelines but I was still struggling. To my surprise I started losing weight immediately despite stopping my morning treadmill torture routine. Interesting thing was I ate the same net amount of calories or more, so again, according to conventional wisdom I should have stayed the same weight or I should have gained weight, but I started losing weight. Having an understanding of insulin resistance and the role carbohydrates play in contributing to insulin resistance was enough for me to say ***** you to the high carb low fat dogma; and my experience (results) validate my decision. I don't give a sh*t that there is or isn't a study to validate my experience; my blood work is excellent, and I have found something that works for me. I look around me and see a lot of people following the recommendations based on the current peer-reviewed studies; many are obese and many are on medications to control the symptoms of the havoc wrought on their bodies by following these recommendations. IT'S *****ING INSANE.

If your concern is you want to provide your clients with enough scientific evidence to give CrossFit a try (I believe that is a theme I have read in this thread), I suggest you do the following - tell them to look around. Just look the ***** around. Something is broke. Despite all these studies people are getting fatter, more depressed, sicker, and more dependent on medications and then more medications to deal with the side effects of their medications. Keep your studies thank you. I will base what I do on the results. If the studies bare out my results in the future, great. If they don't, I certainly am not going to dismiss what is working just because some research tells me it shouldn't be working. I choose to believe my own eyes, my own ears, and what my own body tells me. Conversely, I am not going to do what does NOT work even if there exists numerous peer-reviewed academic articles/studies telling me it does work.

I don't agree with everything I read on CrossFit. I have read Enter the Zone based on the recommendations here, but have elected to not try it. In part because I have some misgivings over some things in the book, but mostly because I have found something that works for me, the Heller's diet. I have questions and concerns about some aspects of CrossFit, but I am open-minded enough to be willing to try it for myself and see what works and dismiss the rest. Based on what I read in "What is Fitness," and in many other places on the CrossFit main page, journal and forum, my guess is that CrossFit HQ evaluates what is working and not and will do likewise. Maybe I am wrong, but that is the impression I get.

And if I find some elements of CrossFit don't work for me I am not going to dismiss CrossFit wholesale; there is too much in the CrossFit movement that I think is valuable. Nothing and no one is perfect. There seems to be a lot of integrity and genuine intellectual curiosity in the CrossFit community. It seems many of the participants in CrossFit think for themselves and take responsibility for their choices. And no, I haven't drank the kool-aid; I don't like kool-aid (although all the mention of kool-aid on this site has got me to thinking it might be good with some vodka).

As previously mentioned I have questions regarding some elements of CrossFit, and that is one of the reasons I find a thread like this interesting. I agree that it is healthy to discuss opposing view points and flush out discrepancies and inconsistencies and that process should not be shied away from unless there is something to hide. And from what I can see nothing is being hidden - it is all available openly and mostly for free. Don't equate the systems refusal to change to accommodate you (demanding peer-reviewed studies when the system has clearly stated that is not what it is based on) with a refusal to be open to critique. And don't hobble a system that is working (by many of your own admissions CrossFit does work), by demanding it change to become the very system that has proven itself to have serious short-comings.

I can be one of the most nitpicky *****es on the planet when it comes to over analyzing things and harping on slight inconsistencies, but when something works it *****ing works. Yea, I would like to know why it works, but I aint gonna stop doing what works in the meantime until some study gives me the go ahead.

Thank you for listening :)

Scott Erb 11-20-2008 06:56 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Ganine - Well said! Best post in this "strangely compelling" thread. I'll spend my time doing CF and let Brandon and let others spend theirs doing studies.

Kevin B. Sandberg 11-20-2008 07:14 PM

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

Originally Posted by Brandon Oto (Post 451870)
Uh... it doesn't matter how closely the test might resemble what you train. It matters how closely it resembles what you care about. If it turns out that CF has a lot of stuff that's similar, that's just... an obvious indicator that it was intended as a GPP program.

The point isn't to intentionally separate the tests from the training; I'm sorry if I overemphasized that. The reason you wouldn't use a thruster as a test isn't because we do a lot of thrusters, it's because the thruster isn't intrinsically a valuable movement, so noticing improvements in your thruster doesn't mean anything on its own; we'd still need to determine whether better thrusters lead to improvements in stuff we care about, which was the original point of this testing. (Putting this another way: if we already KNEW that people with great WoD times did great in everything, then this would all be irrelevant, WoDs would themselves be the test. This is what a lot of CFers seem to assume. But we don't already know that. That's the point of testing; it would help to establish whether and TO WHAT EXTENT CrossFit improvements correlate with external improvements.)

The reason that something like, oh, sprint times, VO2max, and vertical leap (just some random examples that may or may not be good ones) could serve as good tests is because we already have good reason to think that people with fast sprint times, high VO2max, and strong vertical leaps do well in many, many real physical activities. Of course, you could just have someone do those activities (sports, for instance) as tests, and cut out the middleman, but like I said, those don't yield very quantifiable results, except in some cases like maybe race events (you get a clear numerical time) or field events (you get a clear numerical distance). Maybe a sport like football that collects a lot of personal stats could have something to say though; rush farther, you're more fit.

These metrics emerge from human activity, not the other way around.

If you sat down not knowing anything about Ex Phys or Crossfit or training in general and said let's design a bunch of different test that we can gauge a wide range of physical ability and skill, what would you come up with? I think you would be wise to start with identifying what humans do naturally. They walk, they run, they jump, they throw, they lift things off the ground, they lift things overhead, they lift things from the ground to overhead, they carry stuff, they fight, they climb, they eat and they sleep. Find out who places high in one or two areas, who places high in all of them and who sucks a$% at all of them? What did they do to get there? How would you test these things if the only measurements you had were time, distance and weight? [this would be a great project for Ex Phys students]

Would you be creative enough to design a battery of tests that would satisfactorily compare one person to another and a single person to himself? Would you recognize that lifting a weight, running, climbing etc are rarely a singular act in human activity? Could you make a conceptual leap to design consistent tests that mix these activities, mimicking what you observe in the uncontrolled for real world?

I think if you were creative enough and smart enough, you could devise hundreds of different tests that could measure these natural activities in isolation and in combination. You might even find that the regular performance of these tests improve the results of the tests themselves. Wow. Then you would be really onto something. If your results SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES more people will be curious as to what you are doing and your test population grows. One step further: if you decide not to hoard your protocols and results and actually encourage as many folks to participate and test then you're really kicking tail.

Is this starting to look like something we're all familiar with?

Kevin B. Sandberg 11-20-2008 07:20 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Thank you for that post Ganine. Well said.

Brandon Oto 11-20-2008 07:48 PM

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

Originally Posted by Kevin B. Sandberg (Post 451977)
If you sat down not knowing anything about Ex Phys or Crossfit or training in general and said let's design a bunch of different test that we can gauge a wide range of physical ability and skill, what would you come up with? I think you would be wise to start with identifying what humans do naturally. They walk, they run, they jump, they throw, they lift things off the ground, they lift things overhead, they lift things from the ground to overhead, they carry stuff, they fight, they climb, they eat and they sleep. . . .

I think if you were creative enough and smart enough, you could devise hundreds of different tests that could measure these natural activities in isolation and in combination. . . .

Is this starting to look like something we're all familiar with?

No. CrossFit does not consist of walking, running, jumping, throwing, lifting things off the ground, lifting things overhead, lifting things from the ground to overhead, carrying stuff, fighting, climbing, eating, and sleeping in the exhaustive and comprehensive list of ways that it's done in other activities. To the extent that it does represent some of these, it is by the use of several dozen exercises, done in various sequences, over periods of time from several minutes usually up to less than an hour, usually as fast as possible. There is range to this, but it is not infinite range. If you do these workouts, you are not doing everything that humans ever do or could want to do. We probably agree on this. The point here is that we can't do everything, but we want to get better at everything, so how much does what we do improve what we don't do?

What you're essentially implying is that all of the ways someone can move are actually done within CrossFit workouts, which is certainly false. To belabor the example, no listed workout has included shoveling gravel. It's not part of the pantheon of exercises used, in any time domain or variation. Is that activity similar in some important ways to exercises that ARE used, such as the deadlift (or virtual shoveling, if you want to stretch it)? Yes. So we might suppose that doing things like deadlifts makes you better at shoveling gravel. Is this actually true? I don't know. If it's true, how much better? I don't know.

How much does CF improve your 100m run? I don't know. How much does CF improve your basketball game? I don't know. Hell, how much does CF improve your sciatica or your orthostatic hypotension? I don't know. The answer to any of these ranges from zero (well, sub-zero actually, it could always make it worse) to some lofty number and if someone's interested in such things, you can't tell them whether CF will help them or how much.

You could guess. But who cares.

Derek Maffett 11-20-2008 08:04 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Actually, thinking about this more... did you even bother doing any of the tests you advocate before making your own program, Brandon? Because I seem to recall you asking for guinea pigs to test out your AGT program. This doesn't sound hypocritical or anything.

Kevin B. Sandberg 11-20-2008 08:37 PM

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

Originally Posted by Brandon Oto (Post 452004)
No. CrossFit does not consist of walking, running, jumping, throwing, lifting things off the ground, lifting things overhead, lifting things from the ground to overhead, carrying stuff, fighting, climbing, eating, and sleeping in the exhaustive and comprehensive list of ways that it's done in other activities. To the extent that it does represent some of these, it is by the use of several dozen exercises, done in various sequences, over periods of time from several minutes usually up to less than an hour, usually as fast as possible. There is range to this, but it is not infinite range. If you do these workouts, you are not doing everything that humans ever do or could want to do. We probably agree on this. The point here is that we can't do everything, but we want to get better at everything, so how much does what we do improve what we don't do?

What you're essentially implying is that all of the ways someone can move are actually done within CrossFit workouts, which is certainly false. To belabor the example, no listed workout has included shoveling gravel. It's not part of the pantheon of exercises used, in any time domain or variation. Is that activity similar in some important ways to exercises that ARE used, such as the deadlift (or virtual shoveling, if you want to stretch it)? Yes. So we might suppose that doing things like deadlifts makes you better at shoveling gravel. Is this actually true? I don't know. If it's true, how much better? I don't know.

How much does CF improve your 100m run? I don't know. How much does CF improve your basketball game? I don't know. Hell, how much does CF improve your sciatica or your orthostatic hypotension? I don't know. The answer to any of these ranges from zero (well, sub-zero actually, it could always make it worse) to some lofty number and if someone's interested in such things, you can't tell them whether CF will help them or how much.

You could guess. But who cares.

So now I'm being too reductionist? Are you serious? (Those are rhetorical questions. Please don't answer them).

I'm done.

Good luck with your quest.

Phillip Garrison 11-20-2008 09:00 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Wow this thread just won't die

Phillip Garrison 11-20-2008 09:06 PM

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

Originally Posted by Robert Wolf (Post 451642)
christian-

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".


Rob, I'd like to see the actual posting by me where I said that. From the very beginning I stated that if we want to silence critics like Epley, Poliquin, etc, and accept greater mainstream acceptance, than we must hold ourselves to the same high standard that all good program must eventually do so. The Soviet programs are so trusted and valued, because they have been validated in the lab, in the gym, and on the competition field. The Soviets didn't see acadamia and athletics as mutually exclusive, why should we?

Phillip Garrison 11-20-2008 09:09 PM

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.

This same "science" has also brought us the paleo diet, Olympic lifting, plyometrics, and the resurgence of whole food diets. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

Phillip Garrison 11-20-2008 09:11 PM

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

I actually am planning on doing some studies about CF style training

Phillip Garrison 11-20-2008 09:12 PM

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

Originally Posted by Pat McElhone (Post 451007)
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.

Well go ask everyone who ever competed against the Soviets, they will tell you differently.

Derek Maffett 11-20-2008 09:12 PM

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

Originally Posted by Phillip Garrisonq (Post 452071)
Wow this thread just won't die

Okay, that sounds really hypocritical. When did you switch sides from arguing (with incredible stamina, I won't lie) to being a suffering man who just wants the arguments to stop?

As it is, Brandon is still arguing. And judging by your second post right after the quoted one, it seems you're not quite through yet, either.

Edit: Okay, a lot more posts. So you don't seem to be done yet at all.

Derek Maffett 11-20-2008 09:15 PM

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

Originally Posted by Phillip Garrisonq (Post 452080)
I actually am planning on doing some studies about CF style training

Good. Tell us how they go.

Brandon, you're free to lend him a hand, you know. It's exactly what you've been asking for, after all, right? Desho? Cool.

Phillip Garrison 11-20-2008 09:15 PM

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.



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?



Chris, you are a genius.



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.



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.


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


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.


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.

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.


Exactly.


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


That's ok I'll let the hundreds of Div I athletes I've produced be enough for me.

Phillip Garrison 11-20-2008 09:16 PM

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

Originally Posted by Derek Maffett (Post 452089)
Good. Tell us how they go.

Brandon, you're free to lend him a hand, you know. It's exactly what you've been asking for, after all, right?

I probably won't start them till late next year. I'm doing a study on basketball players, then MMA and then firefighters.

Phillip Garrison 11-20-2008 09:17 PM

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

Originally Posted by Derek Maffett (Post 452084)
Okay, that sounds really hypocritical. When did you switch sides from arguing (with incredible stamina, I won't lie) to being a suffering man who just wants the arguments to stop?

As it is, Brandon is still arguing. And judging by your second post right after the quoted one, it seems you're not quite through yet, either.

Edit: Okay, a lot more posts. So you don't seem to be done yet at all.

I just think it's sad this thread as devolved into a "us vs them" argument. This is why the Soviets were so far ahead of us for so long. Instead of trying to prove which way was best and fighting, they looked at everything, and stole what worked best.

Phillip Garrison 11-20-2008 09:22 PM

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

Originally Posted by Robert Wolf (Post 451218)
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.


I never made any such inference. I love how on the one hand you disdain the need for any studies, yet you champion the paleo diet, a diet which comes from rigorous science, both biochemical, anthropological and nutritional. I never claimed I had some secret insight, I've never said "I'm wrong your right" I've never degraded anyone. I've simply stated that to beat our critics we need to beat them at their own game. I'll gladly discuss that 5k challenge, You find you're sub par VO2 runner and I'll find my above average VO2 runner, and we'll see who wins the race.

Derek Maffett 11-20-2008 09:24 PM

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

Originally Posted by Phillip Garrisonq (Post 452094)
I just think it's sad this thread as devolved into a "us vs them" argument. This is why the Soviets were so far ahead of us for so long. Instead of trying to prove which way was best and fighting, they looked at everything, and stole what worked best.

Isn't that the idea of Crossfit? Take whatever works and use it without necessarily trying to prove conclusively? Doesn't Greg Glassman stand on results and tweak the program to constantly make it better?

Phillip Garrison 11-20-2008 09:30 PM

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

Originally Posted by Derek Maffett (Post 452098)
Isn't that the idea of Crossfit? Take whatever works and use it without necessarily trying to prove conclusively? Doesn't Greg Glassman stand on results and tweak the program to constantly make it better?

It's the idea of many programs. But what I'm referring to about the Soviet model is this. In the Soviet Union there was no scientists vs coaches, vs doctors. They all worked together to create the best program they could. I'm not a researcher by trade, i'm a coach, I make my living in the trenches doing application not theory. But half of what I do now comes from theory I've learned in the class and from other coaches AND researchers. I want us to embrace studies so we can show people that CF really will better prepare you for a sport you've never tried, better than any other program. I believe it to be the best GPP, we all do, but we make claims for which we don't have any real proof to back it up. Here's a classic one we always use

An athlete at another sport will do poorly at CF. A CF athlete will do well at their sport,pick a sport neither have done, and the CF will win.

We base that bold statement off of what? If we want to silence guys like Poliquin, than lets have his athletes do CF, our athletes do his workouts, and have them try new physical challenges see who does better at all three. I'd bet it was the CF athlete, but until we actually do it, it's a guess at best. Thats what I want for CF.

Derek Maffett 11-20-2008 10:11 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
A lot of the doctors and scientists in America seem to be far from cooperating with CF or other such, but I see what you mean. (Though Robb Wolf is an example of a scientist/researcher working with Crossfit).

I'm just fine with scientific research, provided it isn't messed up and misleading like many "research" studies are. Like David said, there are many difficulties in making the studies, but if anyone (such as yourself) is willing to do so, then great.

However, the tests would be secondary. They would only help to convince other people and possibly help to advance Crossfit. I would not expect Greg Glassman to stop the work he's already been doing while waiting for the test results and I believe that the anecdotal evidence is plenty to indicate how well Crossfit works. The tests are icing on the metaphorical cake (and since this is metaphorical, we'll also assume that the cake is made out of nuts, meat, and vegetables).

Robert Wolf 11-20-2008 10:13 PM

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

Originally Posted by Phillip Garrisonq (Post 452102)
It's the idea of many programs. But what I'm referring to about the Soviet model is this. In the Soviet Union there was no scientists vs coaches, vs doctors. They all worked together to create the best program they could. I'm not a researcher by trade, i'm a coach, I make my living in the trenches doing application not theory. But half of what I do now comes from theory I've learned in the class and from other coaches AND researchers. I want us to embrace studies so we can show people that CF really will better prepare you for a sport you've never tried, better than any other program. I believe it to be the best GPP, we all do, but we make claims for which we don't have any real proof to back it up. Here's a classic one we always use

An athlete at another sport will do poorly at CF. A CF athlete will do well at their sport,pick a sport neither have done, and the CF will win.

We base that bold statement off of what? If we want to silence guys like Poliquin, than lets have his athletes do CF, our athletes do his workouts, and have them try new physical challenges see who does better at all three. I'd bet it was the CF athlete, but until we actually do it, it's a guess at best. Thats what I want for CF.

This offer has been out for a long time. Coordinating it would be a buggar but certainly doable. Honestly though Phil, I don't know that it would quiet the critics a whit.

There appear to be a number of folks in the academic side of things. I'm for opening a thread for discussing potential research topics...but it would be hard for me to stray too far from outcome based, performance oriented topics. We could, with fairly little effort, have an archive of prospective research topics. these could be be picked through by prospective researchers both in and out of the community.

If y'all wan't research, lets do it. I'm not a big one for sitting around on my thumb. I still however, do not think it will change much of what we are doing.

Phillip Garrison 11-20-2008 10:14 PM

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

Originally Posted by Derek Maffett (Post 452131)
A lot of the doctors and scientists in America seem to be far from cooperating with CF or other such, but I see what you mean. (Though Robb Wolf is an example of a scientist/researcher working with Crossfit).

I'm just fine with scientific research, provided it isn't messed up and misleading like many "research" studies are. Like David said, there are many difficulties in making the studies, but if anyone (such as yourself) is willing to do so, then great.

However, the tests would be secondary. They would only help to convince other people and possibly help to advance Crossfit. I would not expect Greg Glassman to stop the work he's already been doing while waiting for the test results and I believe that the anecdotal evidence is plenty to indicate how well Crossfit works. The tests are icing on the metaphorical cake (and since this is metaphorical, we'll also assume that the cake is made out of nuts, meat, and vegetables).

I never claimed they weren't secondary. Sport science has always lead from the gym and field first, and the lab second.

Phillip Garrison 11-20-2008 10:16 PM

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

Originally Posted by Robert Wolf (Post 452133)
This offer has been out for a long time. Coordinating it would be a buggar but certainly doable. Honestly though Phil, I don't know that it would quiet the critics a whit.

There appear to be a number of folks in the academic side of things. I'm for opening a thread for discussing potential research topics...but it would be hard for me to stray too far from outcome based, performance oriented topics. We could, with fairly little effort, have an archive of prospective research topics. these could be be picked through by prospective researchers both in and out of the community.

If y'all wan't research, lets do it. I'm not a big one for sitting around on my thumb. I still however, do not think it will change much of what we are doing.

Well if it changes peoples minds, or helps improve CF i'm all for it.

Joey Powell 11-20-2008 10:28 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
I think he wants someone to care about his opinions about protocols without backing up his own protocols with results for himself or trainees.

I say if you have a better way...lead us to the promised land.

Mostly what I see is watered down CF with designated days to do certain protocols.

Time to get into the labratory ...

Phillip Garrison 11-20-2008 10:31 PM

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

Originally Posted by Joey Powell (Post 452142)
I think he wants someone to care about his opinions about protocals without backing up his own protocols with results for himself or trainees.

I say if you have a better way...lead us to the promised land.

Mostly what I see is watered down CF with designated days to do certain protocols.

Time to get into the labratory ...

Who are you referring to?

Gavin Harrison 11-20-2008 11:28 PM

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

Originally Posted by Phillip Garrisonq (Post 452143)
Who are you referring to?

Otto has a very crossfit based program, which is pretty much as Joey described.


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