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

Kevin Ziegenhorn 11-12-2008 07:57 AM

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

Originally Posted by Brandon Oto (Post 444228)
If all we need is any ol' measurable standard, then it might as well be maximal strength, or how long you can stand on one foot, or LDL cholesterol. Why this one?

I may have misread the concepts of work capacity, time domains, and modal domains from the start, but I have always read it to be pretty much an all-inclusive statement. It seems to me to encompass anything you can do over any period of time, therefore I'm not sure it makes sense to talk about work capacity as one of many things a person can do that we could measure. I'll explain.

I take work capacity to mean the ability to perform work. This encompasses anything the human body can do pretty much by definition. This is the dependent variable y.

I take broad time domains to mean a widely distributed set of possibilities for the required duration of the work to be performed. So, undefined "work" over periods of time ranging from zero to however long a person can live. This is one independent variable x.

I take modal domains to mean the means of executing the work, and I take the word "broad" to mean that lots of means are included. This is where the specific activity is defined, and it may be defined "broadly". This is the other independent variable z.

Most people put this together and see high rep deadlifts, air squats, rowing, burpees - whatever exercises they associate with Crossfit. I think that is an artificial narrowing of the concept because it does not afford sufficient broadness to the time and especially the modal domains. I believe throwing a baseball is within time domains we care about (remember - between zero and the rest of your life), and it is within modal domains we care about (it is a means to do work). Hitting a tennis ball? Same story. Deadlifts, air squats, burpees? Same story.

I think I should emphasize that maximizing work capacity over broad time and modal domains is definitively not the same thing as maximizing work capacity. That would be an effort to maximize the "peak" of the solid (y as a function of x and z) without regard to its volume. It is also definitively not the same as maximizing work capacity over a specific time domain, like 20 minutes. That would be maximizing the 2-dimensional area under the curve along z, having selected a point along x because it maximizes said area. It is also definitively not the same as maximizing work capacity over a range of time domains, like 1 second to an hour. That would be maximizing the 2-dimensional area under the curve along x, having selected a point along z because it maximizes said area. I think for some reason the word "broad" doesn't sink in when it modifies "modal domains". But I take the effort to maximize work capacity over broad time and modal domains to be an effort to increase the volume under the surface when y is plotted against x and z.

I know you could never actually plot such a thing because you could never measure every act over every time domain, but I do believe that this is the stated goal. Am I wrongheaded here? If I am thinking about this correctly, a person might ask why this volume is important and why it was chosen as an indicator of "fitness". I believe Coach addressed that question above.

Phillip Garrison 11-12-2008 12:05 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Work capacity is probably the best all around measure of fitness and effectiveness of a training protocol. For most sports and physical activities you're likely to participate in. MET's is one of the most fundamental and basic concepts of exercise physiology. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/METs) The ability to sustain moderate (5-8 MET's) to high (10-13 MET's) intensity workloads over moderate to extended periods of time (10-120 minutes) is more important for most sports and activities than the need to do very high levels of output for very short periods of time (powerlifters, 100 meter sprinters). Except for the rare specialists most of the time we consider someone "fit" it is becuase they can sustain above average work capacity for extended periods of time be it playing soccer, doing yardwork, or hiking with a pack. If not work capacity, what measure should be most paramount? The various workouts CF does is merely a means by which we train the body to adapt to and accomodate various workload demands an be able to meet those demands and continue to perform.

Phillip Garrison 11-12-2008 12:11 PM

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

Originally Posted by Derek Maffett (Post 444281)
CF will not always give someone a "competitive" edge because "competitive" implies specificity, which is not the focus of CF.

But since you asked, look up Erin Cafaro. And there are plenty of examples of normal people who got better at specific sports (not just Crossfit workouts) due to Crossfit. No, they are certainly not elite, but that's not the point - Crossfit doesn't even try to make people elite in everything.

Yet again, though, we come back to whether or not anecdotal data is admissible. I believe it is. Many people disagree with me. :shrug:

I certainly believe that anecdotal evidence has it's place. But IMHO the best way to silence the critics is not to attack them or simply state "they don't get it" the best is to embrace the scientific model. Poliquin objects to CF becuase he feels that doing lots of different random things will make it impossible to improve at anything. Instead of being combative with him, do studies and prove him wrong. Using reliable and standardized metrics (VO2 max, lactate threshold, anaerobic power, lower leg power, vertical jump, sprint time, lateral agility time etc) will show Cf's efficacy at providing a very effective GPP base. IF for some reason CF show's a weakness in one area after testing we should use that oppurtunity to improve CF to bring any possible weaknesses. Which is IMHO the goal of any good program.

Derek Maffett 11-12-2008 01:19 PM

But there is massive anecdotal evidence (pretty much every Crossfitter in existence is a data point) that indicates the contrary of Poliquin's statement. If he is really trying to say that juggling a bunch of different methods of training has no results (or no significant results), I would have to point to that massive anecdotal evidence and say that he either needs to increase the standards being applied to Crossfitters (more likely) or that he's just a moron (Less likely, I should hope).

You know as well as I do that scientific studies often have holes in them. What's more, I don't think that the non-CF athletes are too eager to have direct competitions with CF athletes. Which makes sense to some extent - they don't subscribe to Crossfit's idea of what fitness is, nor would they agree to what tests of fitness are best. As a matter of fact, I don't really know of any non-CF athlete who has been willing to "put his money where his mouth is," so to speak.

And if any such test has occurred on a small scale, like every new client's first session would essentially be, it would have been won by Crossfit most of the time. If not, would so many people be calling it "brutal and effective, but crazy?" It's the competitors that seem to complain about Crossfit the most, and I've never heard them ask for the "scientific tests" you're talking about.

Phillip Garrison 11-12-2008 01:55 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
What we have is anecdotal evidence that doing CF will make you better at doing the WOD's not that it increases fitness across a broad range of modalities. Are all peer reviewed studies fool proof? Of course not, but we wouldn't be doing Olympic lifts, Tabata intervals, Plyometrics etc if there wasn't hard reliable data to show that it empirically improves certain modes of fitness (power, strength, metabolic systems).

Our constant prepositions that Non CF athletes are hesitant to take us on in competition and our other assumption that they would do poorly in CF competitions, while we would do very well at their sport is based off what evidence? To my knowledge no elite or professional athletes are doing CF competitions and being owned, and to my knowledge no CF games competitors are going out an tearing it up at NFL combines, decathlons and ironmans either. We keep making these ascertation based on logical assumptions, but without real data to back it up, all we really have in congecture.

Why not have CF athletes do Sparq fitness test and get a rating and compare it to other athletes, or do a Combine, or do a decathlon? This would be more than just speculation or anecdotal evidence.

Jason M Struck 11-12-2008 02:00 PM

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

Originally Posted by Coach (Post 443579)
Phillip,

We never made fun of Rhabdo. Kami doesn’t make fun of HIV. Smokey isn’t making fun of burned bears. I don’t know if I could be any clearer.

If educating people causes others, like yourself, to be confused, that’s a price I will gladly pay. Our game plan has always been to win over the smart people first.

By the way, proof is the exclusive province of mathematics. Science doesn’t involve proof or proving.

Your comment about the “relatively uneducated masses” is an insult and coming from a guy who too often fails to create coherent sentences, struggles with simple logic, grammar, and spelling, misuses quotations, and offers NSCA and ACSM membership as scientific credentials it is insufferable.

Second I don’t know of any scientific scrutiny of any fitness program.

Are you implying that I’m not willing to have the scientific validity of CrossFit be tested? I’m not only willing but begging.

There’s no evidence to suggest that my friend and biographer, Chris Shugart, or ANY of the posters have learned what it is that CrossFit claims.

How can you take my challenge of reviewing CrossFit and every other fitness program by examining effect, efficiency, and safety with measurable, observable, repeatable data, and then imply our unwillingness to engage in scientific inquiry?

Again, read more, post less.

Chris Shugart, I’m trying to be nicer. I really am.

Coach is back!

PS Phillip- METs aren't work. They are consumption. Just because I build the most fuel inefficient car on the market, please don't assume that it's the fastest! See Hummer for reference or

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correla...mply_causation

Hey, somebody update my status to Affiliate!

Phillip Garrison 11-12-2008 02:17 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
MET's are a measure of how hard someone is working. The rate at which calories are consumed is in dierect correlation to how intense of work they are performing. The fastest cars on the road do tend to not be very fuel efficient either, but comparing a car to a person is weak at best. MET's are a measure of work rate, how many calories they burn is based on their weight. 1 MET is 3.5ml/kg/min of oyxygen consumed. Two people of different sizes can both be working out at 6 MET's, obviously the heavier person will burn more calories, but both are working out at the same intensity. Much like a heavier will consume more oxygen, but both people can have the same VO2 max a of 56ml/kg/min.

Derek Maffett 11-12-2008 02:18 PM

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

Originally Posted by Phillip Garrisonq (Post 445136)
What we have is anecdotal evidence that doing CF will make you better at doing the WOD's not that it increases fitness across a broad range of modalities. Are all peer reviewed studies fool proof? Of course not, but we wouldn't be doing Olympic lifts, Tabata intervals, Plyometrics etc if there wasn't hard reliable data to show that it empirically improves certain modes of fitness (power, strength, metabolic systems).

Our constant prepositions that Non CF athletes are hesitant to take us on in competition and our other assumption that they would do poorly in CF competitions, while we would do very well at their sport is based off what evidence? To my knowledge no elite or professional athletes are doing CF competitions and being owned, and to my knowledge no CF games competitors are going out an tearing it up at NFL combines, decathlons and ironmans either. We keep making these ascertation based on logical assumptions, but without real data to back it up, all we really have in congecture.

Why not have CF athletes do Sparq fitness test and get a rating and compare it to other athletes, or do a Combine, or do a decathlon? This would be more than just speculation or anecdotal evidence.

Actually, I wouldn't want the test to consist of Crossfit workouts (or, for the matter, the other person's sport). There would be a distinct advantage held by Crossfitters when the claim is supposed to be that Crossfit makes you better at everything. A good test would be closer to the hopper, but this itself has some similarities to CF workouts. Not to mention the necessity of a standard definition of fitness (the army fitness test would, in my opinion, be a horrible test of real fitness).

Derek Maffett 11-12-2008 02:23 PM

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

Originally Posted by Jason M Struck (Post 445144)
Hey, somebody update my status to Affiliate!

PM David.

Phillip Garrison 11-12-2008 02:25 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Ok so why not the NFL combine, or the Sparq fitness test, or the heptathlon? Pick measures for which the validitity and reliability are agreed upon, VO2, anaerobic power, lower body power, vertical jump, sprint time, agility time, upper body power.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPARQ_Training

The assessment used for SPARQ would be a good objective test to determine which produces better results.


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