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-   -   Lyle McDonald on Crossfit (http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=55494)

Sean J Hunter 02-14-2010 01:06 AM

Re: Lyle McDonald on Crossfit
 
Quote:

My point in mentioning these "CF specific principles" was to point out that the principles are neither specific to crossfit, nor applied in a systematic way.

Principle not specific to CF....My friend we agree with you...we never said they where...in fact I too said they weren't about 5 posts back.....what's your point.

You think they're not applied in a systematic way becuase much like McD you havn't taken the time to understand CF. Just cos we don't have Bicep curles every Monday and Thursday doesn't mean it aint systematic.

There isn't alot of anger HERE, there's just alot of frustartion aimed at YOU becuase you're coming across with a bit of an attitude...either you actually do have an attitude or you're not being careful with you post language...which is it.

Let me repeat, we don't disagree with McD and what he's said about SPP We do disgaree that he has CF mistaken and as a professional should know better then to talk about **** he actually doesn't know much about. Falacy of the expert. But we all fall into that trap now and again don't we.

Our point is he's thinking SPP and we're thinking GPP, no one's wrong here we're just confusing the moot point. Pretty common theme when you look at most "CF sucks" articles.

Hell I thought the same thing for about 6 months until a PT guy I respect just told me to **** up and do what I'm told. I did, and I discovered the best thing for my PT since my old man toke me out for Fartleks around the golf course over the back fence when I was 8.

The artical is interesting, put if ya just trolling, go away. If you have a question ask it. Which is it boyo?

Sean

Travis Earp 02-14-2010 03:21 AM

Re: Lyle McDonald on Crossfit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex McRobie (Post 739104)
also regarding the grace comment i saw a video from Catalyst Athletics of Jolie Gentry and Aimee Anaya (world class weightlifter) doing grace.
if memory serves me right Jolie beat Aimee only just but neither had an extremely good time.

Aimee had the faster time and trains exclusively as a weightlifter. Just FYI.

Rafe Kelley 02-14-2010 01:39 PM

Re: Lyle McDonald on Crossfit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sean J Hunter (Post 739148)
Let me repeat, we don't disagree with McD and what he's said about SPP We do disgaree that he has CF mistaken and as a professional should know better then to talk about **** he actually doesn't know much about. Falacy of the expert. But we all fall into that trap now and again don't we.

Our point is he's thinking SPP and we're thinking GPP, no one's wrong here we're just confusing the moot point. Pretty common theme when you look at most "CF sucks" articles.
Sean

Alex I think you should reread Lyles thread its very clear he is not talking about SPP, nor is there any reason to believe he does not understand Crossfit. Crossfits claims are very simple and the evidence is not difficult to parse. He is claiming very specifically that long term development of GPP should be rooted in traditional S&C approaches to strength and aerobic base. His claims should not be simply dismissed they are substantive based on the scientific literature and echoed by many many other experts in S&C including many who have worked with crossfit, Dan John, Mark Twight, Robb Wolf, Greg Everett, to name a few.

Crossfit has its own philosophy and data points that support their contention that strength and aerobic conditioning are developed effectively through circuit training with only occasional max strength or traditional aerobic work.

The question from my perspective is whether this approach is actually optimal or long term sustainable. Traditional GPP was always meant to precede SPP, there is no comparable pool of athletes focused on GPP. We can speculate, all we want about how professional athletes would do competing against crossfiters and how easy it would be to train them to excell at crossfit but its just its very speculative because there is no benefit to those specialists from competing in Crossfit, they make more money in their own sports which the have spent years and years developing skill for.

The one data point we have in the the games does give me pause in considering crossfits claims though. The games have been around for a three years but Crossfit is significantly older it is very notable to me that the best athletes seem to be very recent additions to the community. Can you imagine a jujitsu tournament were there were tons of people who has practiced for 5-10 years but all the winners had only been training jujitsu for 2, would that not indicate something strange was going on? Its an imperfect analogy jujitsu is much more skill based but if Crossfit is so unparalleled at Developing GPP, athletes who have been training it the longest should be at an advantage in a GPP competition, that does not seem to the case.

Robert Callahan 02-14-2010 02:57 PM

Re: Lyle McDonald on Crossfit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rafe Kelley (Post 739298)
Alex I think you should reread Lyles thread its very clear he is not talking about SPP, nor is there any reason to believe he does not understand Crossfit. Crossfits claims are very simple and the evidence is not difficult to parse. He is claiming very specifically that long term development of GPP should be rooted in traditional S&C approaches to strength and aerobic base. His claims should not be simply dismissed they are substantive based on the scientific literature and echoed by many many other experts in S&C including many who have worked with crossfit, Dan John, Mark Twight, Robb Wolf, Greg Everett, to name a few.

Crossfit has its own philosophy and data points that support their contention that strength and aerobic conditioning are developed effectively through circuit training with only occasional max strength or traditional aerobic work.

The question from my perspective is whether this approach is actually optimal or long term sustainable. Traditional GPP was always meant to precede SPP, there is no comparable pool of athletes focused on GPP. We can speculate, all we want about how professional athletes would do competing against crossfiters and how easy it would be to train them to excell at crossfit but its just its very speculative because there is no benefit to those specialists from competing in Crossfit, they make more money in their own sports which the have spent years and years developing skill for.

The one data point we have in the the games does give me pause in considering crossfits claims though. The games have been around for a three years but Crossfit is significantly older it is very notable to me that the best athletes seem to be very recent additions to the community. Can you imagine a jujitsu tournament were there were tons of people who has practiced for 5-10 years but all the winners had only been training jujitsu for 2, would that not indicate something strange was going on? Its an imperfect analogy jujitsu is much more skill based but if Crossfit is so unparalleled at Developing GPP, athletes who have been training it the longest should be at an advantage in a GPP competition, that does not seem to the case.

Very well said.

Mauricio Leal 02-14-2010 02:58 PM

Re: Lyle McDonald on Crossfit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rafe Kelley (Post 739298)
Crossfits claims are very simple and the evidence is not difficult to parse. He is claiming very specifically that long term development of GPP should be rooted in traditional S&C approaches to strength and aerobic base.

Umm, I think one of the main reasons these arguments keep coming up is because the evidence is difficult to parse. "Fitness," even if we can agree that the ten skills define it sufficiently, is incredibly difficult to measure reliably. This is why so many of the comparison come back to pure strength, power, speed, and CE -- even though those are only four of the ten skills, they're the only ones we can even attempt to measure accurately and thus they get focused on way more than other, equally important skills (assuming we agree broad, inclusive fitness is the goal here). Further, almost all of our "experiments" to test them distinctively lack scientific controls. It is practically impossible to find two (or more) athletes of the same fitness level to compare -- we can't even measure their starting fitness accurately! If we try to compare individuals against themselves "yesterday," that is useful but an individual is a moving target, constantly adapting to stimuli. The only real way to do it is to aggregate large amounts of data in a pool of athletes and perform a multivariable regression analysis, which is a difficult thing to do. Theoretically CF HQ could do it by aggregating all the times posted in the WOD comments, but they are of questionable reliability and any dramatic conclusions will be suspect. One could do the same with the games competitors, which would be more reliable, but that's only scratching the surface for data points and many of the events are not repeatable outside of Aromas, and are deliberately not repeated annually due to the unknown/unknowable goal of CF.


Quote:

Crossfit has its own philosophy and data points that support their contention that strength and aerobic conditioning are developed effectively through circuit training with only occasional max strength or traditional aerobic work.
Again, this is where the sticklers get irritated by hyperbolic claims. Effective as compared to what? How does anyone know if direct, randomized, controlled comparisons have not been done? So much of modern training is empirical and anecdotal, which is fine and basically necessary considering the difficulties of reliable testing, but it is important to at least acknowledge the difference between saying "my program works!" and "my program works better than yours!" This cuts both ways though. To claim that "traditional" methods are superior just because they've been around for 100 years doesn't prove anything. Consensus ~= truth. Methods must be tested directly against one another in order for any program to claim superiority. This is where CrossFit's relative youth becomes a problem, because there are still NO Games athletes that have been trained exclusively with CF. Until the CF Kids become CF adults, and furthermore until World Class e.g. olympic level/pro commitment to training becomes standard for competitors, we just can't even begin to compare. I will say though that in light of Glassman's exceptional claims about CF superiority and the nature of the status quo's resistance to change, the burden of proof lies primarily with CF to overthrow conventional wisdom, and the Games are a great step in that direction.

Quote:

The question from my perspective is whether this approach is actually optimal or long term sustainable. Traditional GPP was always meant to precede SPP, there is no comparable pool of athletes focused on GPP. We can speculate, all we want about how professional athletes would do competing against crossfiters and how easy it would be to train them to excell at crossfit but its just its very speculative because there is no benefit to those specialists from competing in Crossfit, they make more money in their own sports which the have spent years and years developing skill for.
Ahh the old "real athletes are too busy being awesome" argument. You're right though, we can only speculate about pro athlete crossover. But that means we should neither preclude that they would dominate or get crushed.

Quote:

The one data point we have in the the games does give me pause in considering crossfits claims though. The games have been around for a three years but Crossfit is significantly older it is very notable to me that the best athletes seem to be very recent additions to the community. Can you imagine a jujitsu tournament were there were tons of people who has practiced for 5-10 years but all the winners had only been training jujitsu for 2, would that not indicate something strange was going on? Its an imperfect analogy jujitsu is much more skill based but if Crossfit is so unparalleled at Developing GPP, athletes who have been training it the longest should be at an advantage in a GPP competition, that does not seem to the case.
This is another popular argument that conflates training time with training "seriousness," for lack of a better word. There are no reliable comparisons to be made here. If Mikko Salo has been training CF for only two years with his insane amount of intensity and volume, and he beats a ten year CF veteran following MP only, is that a judgment against the CF veteran's methods or that Salo was simply doing a crapton more of the same style of training (note: CF is more than just MP)? No one ever said MP was enough to make a Games athlete, so those that will do whatever it takes to win will invariably be doing a whole lot more than MP. As the Games become more competitive we will see more crazy athletes doing amazing things to prepare, but somehow we should conclude that it is an indication that their prior sport was superior for developing fitness? I will be blunt: many other sports do currently have more "serious" athletes. But only to the extent that the sports have developed exceptional organization, community, sponsorship, coaching, and a large pool of competitors, and not as an indication that their methods are inherently superior. As the same happens to CrossFit, I suspect the NFL/NBA/Rugby/Olympic/etc. hero worshipers will be silenced.

Katherine Derbyshire 02-14-2010 03:17 PM

Re: Lyle McDonald on Crossfit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rafe Kelley (Post 739298)
The one data point we have in the the games does give me pause in considering crossfits claims though. The games have been around for a three years but Crossfit is significantly older it is very notable to me that the best athletes seem to be very recent additions to the community. Can you imagine a jujitsu tournament were there were tons of people who has practiced for 5-10 years but all the winners had only been training jujitsu for 2, would that not indicate something strange was going on? Its an imperfect analogy jujitsu is much more skill based but if Crossfit is so unparalleled at Developing GPP, athletes who have been training it the longest should be at an advantage in a GPP competition, that does not seem to the case.

There are two problems with that analysis.

The first is that you're assuming GPP remains constant or improves over time. But recovery ability is known to decline with age. All other things being equal, a 25 year old will be able to train harder than a 35 year old, and a 35 year old will be able to train harder than a 45 year old. That's a big factor given the amount of volume needed for Crossfit Games training. New Crossfitters are probably younger on average than the longer term Crossfitters, and Crossfit isn't technical enough for improved skills to make up the difference.

The second is that you're assuming that long term Crossfitters are fundamentally comparable to new Crossfitters. But what happens in most sports is that as the popularity of the sport increases, the performance distribution gets wider and the best athletes get better. No matter what trait you're measuring, the best performer from a randomly selected pool of 100 people probably won't be as good as the best from a pool of 10,000 or 100,000. Because the Crossfit Games are so new, the pool of potential competitors is still expanding.

Katherine

Alex Europa 02-14-2010 03:51 PM

Re: Lyle McDonald on Crossfit
 
Here is my biggest problem with guys like Boyle, Dos Remedios, and in this case Lyle. On page 3 of the thread, Lyle says,

Quote:

If you want to argue that CF WOD has any use, th best way to get good at it would be to

1. get strong with traditional weight training
2. build work capacity with tradtitional training

3. spend 1-3 weeks training X-fit specifically and dominating every one of their 'athletes'.
Really? Then just ****ing do it. I mean seriously. The chance for any of CrossFit's detractors is out there: the Games/Qualifiers. Everyone *****es that CrossFit has to prove its claims, but at least the abilities and feats of our "athletes" (as Lyle likes to call them) ARE ACTUALLY OUT THERE for the world to see. Step up or shut up. If you're tired of hearing about CrossFit, then actually PROVE Glassman wrong instead of speculating and feeding the hyperbole (that is on both sides).

They all say that it's stupid or pointless or whatever. But they seem so hell bent on making these snide comments and taking the holier-than-though route ("It [CrossFit] does nothing except keep people busy and generate mediocre fitness"), wouldn't it be the ultimate slap in the face to send a non-CrossFitter to a qualifier and have him dust everyone? Wouldn't that make the biggest dent in CrossFit's armor? I mean, every PL, BB, and "fitness" site across teh internetz would make it front page news ("EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT: CROSSFIT SUCKS! SEE WE TOLD YOU SO!"). Yet they CONSTANTLY refuse to actually bring their athletes who would oh-so-clearly dominate all CrossFitters...one can't help but wonder WHY?

- Alex

Rafe Kelley 02-14-2010 04:26 PM

Re: Lyle McDonald on Crossfit
 
Mauricio Leal
1. That was not the best way to phrase it, defining fitness and measuring a broad general fitness is not an easy task but taking a look at the evidence for crossfit for yourself is not difficult, how you interpret the evidence is conditional on your priors.
2. We agree the burden of proof is on crossfit at this point. We disagree on the games. Creating your own definition of fitness, and then a competition to test it that runs little chance of attracting anyone outside of the realm of crossfit does not seem to me to offer much in the way of proof that crossfitters "do what you do almost as well as you, you can't do what they do at all, and they do what neither of you do better."

You con't conflate GPP and crossfit, crossfit aims to develop GPP it does not follow the crossfits definition of GPP is necessarily correct or their tests are the appropriate ones.

3. Its speculative of course but having worked with both very good crossfitters and division one athletes in my opinion there is no comparison.

4. There is no easy way to distinguish causality here, but its an important and interesting observation.


Katherine I am not assuming anything, I understand those confounds I just think that it is an observation that is interesting and does no seem in accord with crossfits pronouncements of methodological superiority.

Alex the problem is why should anyone not involved in crossfit care enough to go out of their way to disprove crossfit by going to the games, all those powerlifters, oly lifters, MMA fighters, NFL and D1 footballers already have sports they are passionate about and if their lucky the can make money from what do the gain by showing up crossfit?

Robert Callahan 02-14-2010 04:28 PM

Re: Lyle McDonald on Crossfit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex Europa (Post 739352)
Yet they CONSTANTLY refuse to actually bring their athletes who would oh-so-clearly dominate all CrossFitters...one can't help but wonder WHY?

- Alex

First, calm down dude. No need to go and violate the AUP.

Second, most of the people training at a level high enough to actually be able to come in and do well at the CF games have other competitions they are training for and do not want to take 6 months to a year off of their sport just to prove a point.

And honestly it is not that big of a deal. They are doing their thing and you and I are free to do ours. It is interesting to read about other philosophies and try them out and see how it works. CF was my first step into real fitness training, but it also opened the door and I have used it as a stepping stone to experiment and try out different things. Some I have enjoyed more than CF some less, either way the point is to not limit yourself. CF itself is said to be open source and to embrace whatever works best. In that spirit listening to contrary opinions and trying different things should not be out of the ordinary...

Alex Europa 02-14-2010 05:32 PM

Re: Lyle McDonald on Crossfit
 
Rafe, if they don't care about it, then why do they feel the need to bash it? Again, as professionals, they should be willing to back up their claims instead of relying on trash talking. It seems like every other week some new expert is saying this, that, or the other about how much CrossFit sucks. Yet, NONE of them are willing to back up their opinion. NONE. Would it not give them even more "street cred" to send an athlete to a CrossFit competition and dominate while wearing a "CrossFit is for Pansies" shirt? The problem is that it probably wouldn't change much. The majority of CrossFitters would still be CrossFitters, and the CrossFit haters would just finally have a leg to stand on. However, there are MANY people that aren't doing CrossFit simply because it's "CrossFit," but because it does an amazing job helping people get fit...I'm one of them. Those of us "on the fence" would most certainly change gears and chase performance, not a specific ideology. This is one of the big reasons I get so heated about this topic. I have a genuine interest in finding better training methods. It's alot easier for the naysayers to train someone in CrossFit movements for 3 weeks and have them prove their worth than it is for me (and many many other people are are in the same boat as myself) to uproot everything I'm doing, start from scratch, and spend the next year rebuilding, only to find out that what he said - based off nothing more than a belief, and not fact - was complete BS and garbage for developing IWCABTAMD and GPP.


Robert, Lyle said it would take 1-3 WEEKS. Hardly a huge investment in time and I highly doubt that it would dash away the hopes and dreams of some aspiring young athlete. Maybe, JUST MAYBE, it could even help in SOME way. But no one knows, because the "experts" refuse to give it even a slight chance based on their pre-conceived notions on what works and what doesn't. They instead make comments like "mediocre fitness," "no one ever got good training like that," etc.. yet they can't even give a shred of evidence to back up their claim. They are just SOOO omnipotent, that they KNOW it can't possibly work. As for listening to contrary opinions, I do that literally every day. I listen to a few "anti-CrossFit" podcasts and spend several hours each day reading all types of fitness-related literature - nearly all of which is completely opposite of what CrossFit preaches.

- Alex


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