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

Robert Wolf 11-11-2008 04:13 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
[QUOTE=Brandon Oto;444029]Well, now that we seem to have you on the line, here's a specific methodological concern as you seem to be asking for, Glassman:

What specific reasons do you have for labeling work capacity as the primary goal of CrossFit, over and above other athletic demands?

I've asked and wondered this before, both publicly and privately. You seem to assert that this is the [I]sine qua non[/I] of fitness, but it's not clear why this should be true, given that for some activities it's a critical component (boxing), but for others it's minimally relevant (powerlifting). Perhaps you could weigh in on this.[/QUOTE]

Brandon-
Not Coach, he HAS commented on this before, but I'll rehash it again.

This is all predicated on the crossfit definition of fitness, which makes it somewhat chicken & egg...crossfit (in conjunction with smart nutrition and lifestyle) is what's done, fitness is what happens. This whole scenario is by definition, broad general and inclusive.

With me?

Now, more to your question, that there are sportive activities that may not necessitate nor even BENEFIT from work capacity across broad time & modal domains does not undermine the basic definition of Fitness ala crossfit. Badminton, Olympic lifting and Sumo may indeed not benefit from work capacity across broad time and modal domains, I'd be careful with the inclusion of powerlifting however as the Westside guys seem pretty interested in increased work capacity, albeit, on shorter timescales than what crossfit is looking for. This is one element to the topic. The other element we need to look at your question:

[B]"What specific reasons do you have for labeling work capacity as the primary goal of CrossFit, over and above other athletic demands?"[/B]

Once we have work capacity across broad time and modal domains...if you UNDERSTAND what this means, what OTHER athletic demands are there? The CrossFit definition of fitness covers modality (stuff), energy system adaptation, measurable biomarkers...This is what work capacity across broad time & modal domains IS...what other "athletic demands" are there?

Frederic Giraud 11-11-2008 04:13 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
[QUOTE=Brandon Oto;444029]Well, now that we seem to have you on the line, here's a specific methodological concern as you seem to be asking for, Glassman:

What specific reasons do you have for labeling work capacity as the primary goal of CrossFit, over and above other athletic demands?

I've asked and wondered this before, both publicly and privately. You seem to assert that this is the [I]sine qua non[/I] of fitness, but it's not clear why this should be true, given that for some activities it's a critical component (boxing), but for others it's minimally relevant (powerlifting). Perhaps you could weigh in on this.[/QUOTE]

Hey Brandon,

I don't think Coach suddenly one day woke up and taught to himself that that's it, work capacity rule the world of crossfit.

I'd rather think it that he was, once again, trying to improve the fitness of his client via studying different fitness protocol, or even fitness itself. And in this process he needed something to quantify that fitness, because numbers, and math, are there for that, to compare quantities objectively. So lets take a look at what he ended up with.

At any moment in any workout there is a power output ( which is define by the famous formula of P= (F.d)/t ). Now that is something that we can quantify at any given moment. Thus we can compare the power output of 2 people at the same given time.

But this is just for a punctual moment, If we start to calculate the power output of someone at each second, for example, for the duration of the entire workout, we will have a curve that represent the fluctuation of the power output of this person during a workout.

So we have a 2 axis graph, the y-axis would represent Power output and the x-axis would represent time. But remember we went all this way because we wanted to quantify fitness, or if you prefer we wanted to find a way to quantify an effort. Way that we find, you can calculate the power output of anyone this way, and thus we have a value we could use to compare.

But the taught of process doesn't stop here. If it stopped here our reasoning would be bad. You can't only compare Power output for the exact reason you mention in your question. The power output of a powerlifter is HUGE ... for the first 3-5second or so ( how ever much time is needed to complete the lift), the power output of a marathoner is so low but for such a HUGE amount of time. Which one is fitter? If we were only using power as the quantity we are going to use to compare fitness level, per say, we would all agree the power lifter is "fitter" ( 2 > 1 ). Thus we need another variable in the mix to make it more meaningful . Perhaps time?

As I said, the power output is huge for a powerlifter but for a really short period of time, and vice-versa the power output of a marathoner is really low but for a really long amount of time. Since we are now taking into consideration time, we have a curve, instead of points ( dots? ) . The surface between the curve and the x-axis is known as the integrate of the power output, and this number ( the surface ) will be our quantity that will permit us to compare human exercise. This surface [b]is[/b] work capacity.

This quantity let us state that if the fitness level correlate to work capacity then we can safely assume that the fitness level of a powerlifter and a marathoner is close to the same, since the surface under the curve is more or less the same ( huge power short time / low power huge time ). And that the greatest surface would mean the greatest fitness.

I hope you kind of followed the reasoning, i'm no coach and he could annihilate my explaining of [b]his[/b] reasoning, but I wanted to try to explain it as well. Also Excuse my poor English, it isn't my first language.

Also, we need to remember that all those are true only and only under crossfit's definitions of fitness.

:thanx:

Phillip Garrison 11-11-2008 04:15 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
[QUOTE=Coach;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.

I’ve got no interest in removing myself from the “stigma of rhabdo”. 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.

I have no choice but to take your word for your claim that you knew about rhabdo ahead of our work

Where did you get the idea that I thought that the military’s implementation and adoption of CrossFit was proof of anything? Why in the world would you put “proof” in quotation marks? Look, here’s where I goofed. I responded to what you posted not what you’d meant to say; I do that a lot. You said, (notice the quotes) “He didn't bother with the cert, because outside of CF it doesn't really hold any creed.” That statement is flat out false. By the way, proof is the exclusive province of mathematics. Science doesn’t involve proof or proving.

Your claim that CrossFit is not revolutionary “since you/it espouses concepts and exercises that have been part of professional and academic S&C curriculum for over 50 years…” is illogical nonsense. We did nothing new just took the same old stuff and combined it in new ways? In this manner no recipe is original if the ingredients are known. No song is original if the same old notes are used. No poem is original if the words contained therein are found in the dictionary.

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. Philip you’re less educated than most of the people posting here and most assuredly less educated than our best educated. (I’m being nice here because my biographer from T-Nation, Chris Shugart, is here)

You say that “the criticisims that many have about CF are that they have not been subject to scientific scrutiny using the rigid standards to which many of the protocols espoused by Epley, Poliqiun, etc have had their training protocols held up to”. First of all, I’ve not seen that criticism anywhere. Second I don’t know of any scientific scrutiny of any fitness program.

You say that Epley and Poliquin are ”willing to let the training programs they espouse be put up to scrutiny both in the labratory and on the field of athletic performance, which may be their particular problem with CF”. Are you implying that I’m not willing to have the scientific validity of CrossFit be tested? I’m not only willing but begging.

The problem is that NSCA and ACSM "members" like you don’t see in language like this,

“Our very public and constant claim is that fitness is best defined as work capacity across broad time and modal domains; that meaningful assertions about a program need to address safety, efficacy, and efficiency with measurable, observable, repeatable data; that constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement delivered in a competitive sporting environment has produced unprecedented work capacity across broad time and modal domains (fitness); that by incorporating a lifestyle, including diet, rest, and workout elements that cause common health and fitness metrics to move simultaneously from pathological, past “normal”, to “fit” values we introduce a third axis, age, that turns our two dimensional work capacity area under the curve to a three dimensional solid whose volume defines both health and fitness (making health a logical facet of fitness); that all of this needs to be delivered publicly where methods, results, and criticisms, are transparent and, finally, that iterations of this effort have fed an open source community where experimentation will demonstrate best practices and ultimately advance the art and science of human performance .”

any testable propositions, scientific assertions – hypothesis or theories. They don’t recognize a revolutionary approach to fitness and a revolutionary quantifiable model of fitness and health that for the first time integrates both. They don’t see an intriguing new social construct for advancing human performance threatening to outpace and replace moribund commercial and academic approaches. They’re not willing to respond to a dialog that would be made meaningful by accepting our call for evidence-based fitness.

They don’t see data in performance scores when they’re posted as workout results or where people are having fun.

What they offer in response is mindless screed like you and T-Nation’s readers offer. Notice, friends, how not one poster at T-Nation even peripherally offers a criticism of CrossFit’s fundamental assertions. Not one.

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?

Your claim that CrossFit has not been put to scrutiny on the field of athletic performance is an insult to the professional, Olympic, collegiate, and amateur champions that grace these very pages and workout with our affiliates around the world. It also speaks to my contention that you know very little about CrossFit.

The best you could do with any of this was what you offered here? Philip, you’re in way over your head.

Again, read more, post less.

Chris Shugart, I’m trying to be nicer. I really am.[/QUOTE]

Coach, I never claimed that doing seminars for MILO/LEO proves or disproves anything, you did when I stated that outside of CF the certs don't hold much credence within the community. If having requests to have seminars for LEO/MILO is proof that the certs or legit, than that means RKC is valuable too. I'll gladly apologize if you can show me a hospital, University, Junior College, Rehab center, community fitness center, commercial gym (yes I know they suck) or private contractor for government/military run facilities that lists as one of their required certifications CF level 1,2 or 3. Being a member of the NSCA, and ACSM I will be the 1st to admit they are not without faults, that being said most top run facilities in the US places were professional, and Olympic and collegiate athletes are train require NSCA, and most hospital settings and cardiac rehab centers require ACSM, and some often require both. This states that people outside of just the NSCA and ACSM deem the level of instruction and abilities required to posses these certifications suggests the owners of these credentials possess at least a solid grasp of the essential basics of exercise physiology, biomechanics, kinesiology and sport science. So I will apologize if any of the above mentioned facilities require CF as a cert.

You can insult my intelligence all you want, but your statement that my argument is completely illogical is based off what? If you'd like we can happily fill out a truth table and you can show which fallacies of classical logic I've committed. I've never claimed to be the most intelligent person in the room and certainly not on here, I have a Masters in exercise physiology, does that make me an expert? Hardly but I would argue that I have a pretty solid grasp of basic human and exercise physiology and kinesiology.

As far as scientific scrutiny, most of the fitness protocols from which you've borrowed as the basis for many of your exercises for WOD's do most certainly have a solid science basis to back up the argument that they should be included in a training protocol. Tabata has been well documented to elicit measurable increases in VO2 and Lactate threshold. Garhammer has done extensive research to show that Olympic lifts and their power versions can increase lower leg power, VJ, CMVJ, and sprint performance. Surely you knew this when you started using these exercises in your WOD's. If you're willing to have CF be subjected to scientific scrutiny, than why haven't you up until this point, to my knowledge the Canadian Military test is the only test that has been done using quantifiable measures.

You say that CF produces fitness across a broad range of fitness measurements which I believe to be true, however you have no data to back it up with other than people who do CF workouts get better at CF workouts overtime. Which is the same argument as saying rowing is the best exercise modality ever, because if you start rowing, you will get dramatically better at it as time goes on, and will be significantly better at it as time goes on.

If CF truly does all these things than comparing the VO2 Max, Vertical jump, Standing Long Jump, Lactate Threshold, Anaerobic power output etc using known and reliable tests should not be a problem.

Yes some athletes are using CF, but not many to my knowledge have come forward on this forum to say that CF has given them that competitive edge. This however is once again a poor argument for showing that legitimacy of a program and it's inherent effectiveness over other training protocols. For example thousands of NCAA Div I, NFL,NBA, MLB, and Olympic athletes have trained at University of Michigan which for years was a paragon HIT ideology, does the fact that they have produced thousands more elite athletes than CF show that HIT is a better program than CF?

Phillip Garrison 11-11-2008 04:15 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
You say I don't understand what Crossfit is. On CF's homepage it says "Forging Elite Fitness"? You claim that CF is superior to natural BBing based on your years of training in the fitness industry, which is about as solid a logical argument as me saying Pro bodx is superior based off my years of experience. I have coached and trained Junior College, Div II, Div I, and pro athletes, does that mean my word should, or your word, or anyone word should be accepted as gospel?

Like I said Coach, I'm a big supporter of CF and I feel instead of being combative towards people like me and others who have raised legitimate concerns or complaints, use this opportunity to prove your detractors wrong with solid science to back up your claims. Data beyond people doing WOD's and getting better at them. Allow researchers to do studies showing improvements in VO2, Anaerobic power, lactate threshold, lower leg power, VJ etc. I am confident that doing these studies will only further show the world the efficacy of CF, but also show where CF can be improved, which is the goal of any good sport scientists and physical educator, to find where improvements can be made. When you would like to do that truth table I'll be happy too.

Sincerely,

Phillip

Brandon Oto 11-11-2008 05:01 PM

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

I recognize these things. My specific inquiry is WHY CF chooses work capacity as its definition of fitness.

I have no doubt that CF is probably ideal for maximizing fitness under this definition, but if it's not an arbitrary definition then I'd like to know how it was chosen. 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?

Frederic Giraud 11-11-2008 05:20 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
I think it's simply because it is the best indicator of fitness, that has yet been think of or discovered.

By the way the crossfit definition of fitness is [b]NOT[/b] work capacity. If I recall correctly the crossfit definition of fitness is 4-fold:

-Hoper Model
-10 Criteria of fitness
-Metabolic Pathways Balance
-Fitness/Health Continuum

Only the synthesis of all those 4 models comes down to the well-known:

Increase Work Capacity Across Board Time and Modal Domain.

To conclude, and in my previous post I didn't really conclude, lost my taughts, Work Capacity is something quantifiable, thus measurable. If progress wants to be made, measurement must be done ( getting better or not), and while keeping in mind the crossfit definition of fitness, every part of the definition of fitness must be measured in a way by the quantity we're gonna choose to base our progress on. Work Capacity is that quantity that englobe the crossfit definition of fitness and thus let us measure progress, or not, in an objective way.

*I know I'm still missing something, just can't get my head to think english anymore, or to think at all anymore, please correct us Coach, or anyone of course*

Derek Maffett 11-11-2008 05:48 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
[QUOTE=Phillip Garrisonq;444168]
Yes some athletes are using CF, but not many to my knowledge have come forward on this forum to say that CF has given them that competitive edge. [/QUOTE]

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 [I]plenty[/I] of examples of normal people who got better at specific sports ([B]not[/B] 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:

Robert Wolf 11-11-2008 05:49 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
[QUOTE=Brandon Oto;444228]Rob and Frederic,

I recognize these things. My specific inquiry is WHY CF chooses work capacity as its definition of fitness.

I have no doubt that CF is probably ideal for maximizing fitness under this definition, but if it's not an arbitrary definition then I'd like to know how it was chosen. 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?[/QUOTE]

Brandon-
CrossFit gets reduced to:
constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity.

We go through and define all these things (well described in both print and video media via the CFJ).

Variation is kinda obvious...things are constantly changed.

Functional movements have several related characteristics but these boil down to the unique ability to: "Move large loads, long distances, quickly".

This boils down to: (ForcexDistance)/Time=Power Power is the definition of Intensity whether we are talking 1 RM or a marathon.

Any given modality (activity) has a potential graph of power output...an agregate of these measures is, by definition work capacity across broad time and modal domains.

It's like building a race car, only in this instance we are not looking for a drag-racing, 1/4 miler, but rather a rally car to do the Baja 1000. Fast off the mark, good through the turns, resilient for the long haul.

It would be interesting to look at the specific metrics of a drag racing car vs a rally car and see how these vary from that of an OL'er vs CF'er....

I'm sure Coach would comp you into a cert if you need this in lecture format.

Brandon Oto 11-11-2008 07:04 PM

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

Nevertheless my question remains, because work capacity or "power" is not a universal, homogenous, Platonic form to which all activity can be equivalently reduced. Under this take, for instance, 5 100lb squats in 5 seconds are identical to one 500lb squat in 5 seconds, winning a football game is the same as losing one if you do the same amount of work, handcycling is the same as hitting a speedbag, and dropping 5 minutes from your Helen time while losing 200 pounds from your deadlift is an increase in fitness. All of these may be true, though they would be debated, but they're only true because of the particular definition of fitness chosen, which could be otherwise. So I have to ask again why this one was chosen, as long as it's not arbitrary. (If it's arbitrary, then I'm going to define "accuracy" as the key component of fitness, and in that case WoDs are a terrible tool and we should all playing a lot of darts and bocce.)

John Filippini 11-11-2008 08:15 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
I know I'm kind of just throwing an additional twist in the discussion, but what about the view of CF as a training program for the short-term vs the long-term?

Bear with me a sec. I don't actually think I really have a problem with the definition of fitness being at least very close to "work capacity across broad times and modal domains". It makes a degree of sense to me: I can see how increased abilities in strength, power, speed, stamina, endurance all get encompassed by this. It's a bit more of a stretch, but I can even see how agility, balance, accuracy, flexibility and coordination work in -- they could merely be seen as necessary improvements for the end goal of being able to do the tasks that raise the power output over time curve to increase the work area under it.

But I feel like accepting "work capacity across broad times and modal domains" as the definition of fitness still does not necessarily make CrossFit (and by this I mean programming resembling closely the main page WOD -- I know the two are not the same, let's just skip that a sec). The best evidence for this is the recent development and success of programs which have a large strength bias.

CrossFit seems likely to be the best method to develop broad work capacity in the near term, hence it's high value to Military, LEO, Emergency Responders, etc. But what about those that don't need a high level of conditioning [I]this instant[/I]? Could they be better served [I]in the long run[/I] with some sort of periodization model that focuses on one or a couple dimensions of fitness at a time and then periodically ties them all together? Would it be valuable to punch up one end or another of the power output curve temporarily so that in the long run the entire curve can go up faster?

Personally, I think the jury's still out on this. I merely wanted to bring it up since I don't feel like CrossFit has really made a strong argument yet to say that anyone except for emergency responders are better off with a steady slow increase of all facets of fitness at once, as opposed to a cycled approach of some sort.

Also, I hope everyone takes this as a constructive suggestion to examine, not an attack on CrossFit. Not only did I see fantastic gains on this program, but it was the first thing that I ever ran into that made exercising my body enjoyable.

Steve Liberati 11-11-2008 08:22 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Good to see that our T-Nation friends are smart enough to realize that 'If you can't beat them, you might as well join them.' (And I say this with regard to leading a movement).

Welcome to the community!

Bart Hodlik 11-11-2008 10:56 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
I think there is a point that is being broadly missed here.
Crossfit was never designed to make any one person the best at any one sport or activity. The whole point was to make you good at everything. Not the best, but good. That's where the elite comes in. You're not elite because you can DL 3x your body weight. You're not elite because you can do a 400m sprint in 20 seconds... etc... You're elite, because you are good at everything that you attempt. MANY people, if not most, do not have those capabilities.
The description of "work capacity across broad modal domains" fits, because you are making yourself well rounded. Not elite in any one domain.
Of course you sacrifice some capability in any one given domain, by expanding yourself across many domains. But if you wanted to excel in one or two area's, then CF is not for you. That's not what it was designed for.
We want to sit here and discuss the scientific and measurable value of increase in fitness through CF. Yet, the very tools of measurement that are quoted as a standard, are broken in themselves.
Its like saying we have to prove the world is round, by the standards used to prove the world was flat.
I find work capacity to be a great way to measure myself. If I know I started doing x reps of x lift, and over time I'm able to increase both load and reps, I know I've improved my fitness. Now spread that across all domains of fitness that I attempt, and I become elite. Of course the guy next to me, who blows me away in lets say bench press (since that's the favorite man maker measure), is not necessarily going to be better in say deadlifts, or pull ups. Which I will blow him away in. And as you add in more and more lifts, or physical activities, its pretty safe to say that the person that comes out ahead in the most categories, is a better athlete.

Brandon Oto 11-11-2008 11:39 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Still excited to hear back from you if you're willing, Glassman.

Here are is the specific assertion that I'm interested in investigating (from [url]http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFit_AdaptationsPart3.mov[/url] wfs):

[QUOTE]Now, for us this single metric [work capacity] has primacy over just about anything else that's ever been looked at in terms of fitness. Would you take an increase in strength if it meant an increase in work capacity across broad time and modal domains? I say that would be a foolish choice. . . .

And what we're seeing is that this increased work capacity correlates beautifuly to favorable adaptations across any of these correlates that are traditionally looked at: V02/max, lactate threshold, muscle mass, even the 10 general physical skills (stamina, strength . . .). . . .

When you have a scenario where a single metric would have in your mind, in your estimation, primacy over all of the others, then I'm going to suggest to you that those others are but correlates. And they may or may not be useful, may or may not be interesting, but I certainly wouldn't in any case take a decrease in work capacity for an increase in any one of the correlates or the 10 physical skills or any other metric I know of. This leads us to kind of a stunning if not revolutionary claim that fitness IS work capacity across broad time and modal domains. We want to be able to a lot of work on the short end, the mid range, and long range.[/QUOTE]

In short, work capacity is synonymous with level of fitness, and everything else is, at best, related to or indicative of fitness. In the most extreme example, this would mean that someone with excellent work capacity but lousy strength, speed, agility, sporting success, or whatever would be more fit than someone in the opposite state. (Whether this would actually be possible is not relevant; that's a point about training, not definitions.)

I don't understand why this definition was chosen and I'm interested in hearing more.

Derek Maffett 11-11-2008 11:59 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Brandon, you seem to be hovering excessively around the idea of increased [I]work capacity[/I].

[QUOTE=Brandon Oto;444355]... winning a football game is the same as losing one if you do the same amount of work, handcycling is the same as hitting a speedbag, and dropping 5 minutes from your Helen time while losing 200 pounds from your deadlift is an increase in fitness. [/QUOTE]

And yet no one claims that winning a football game is the same as losing, that handcycling is no greater than hitting a speedbag (unless I misunderstand handcycling. Because I'm thinking about an acrobat doing a handstand on a unicycle and pedaling around. I'm probably wrong), or that dropping 200lbs from your deadlift is okay if you simultaneously drop 5 minutes from your Helen time (another point worth making is that this theoretical 200lb drop is not going to happen to anyone but advanced powerlifters).

The fact remains, however, that your example of the deadlift exchange would not be acceptable in Crossfit, despite the seeming increase in work capacity (which itself would be debatable, since the loss of strength would definitely hurt in the metcons). Actually, losing a great deal of strength like that would compromise one of the very central ideas of Crossfit - [I]broad time and modal domains[/I]. A four second max effort deadlift (or tree lift) is one such domain, and a very important one. So no, the loss of deadlift ability for the sake of a better Helen time, even with your preoccupation with improving work capacity as supposedly being the definition of Crossfit, would [I]not[/I] be an increase in fitness.

Do you know of a better [I]base[/I] for fitness than increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains? Keeping in mind that "broad" really does mean "broad" and not "5-40 minute metcons?" Obviously there is much to built on that base (such as the skill to win a football game or the body awareness and control required to ride a unicycle while holding a handstand) and that base may vary depending on your specific needs (certainly a powerlifter would limit this base to what aids his sport and a city-dweller might safely leave snake wrestling off the modal domain list), I see absolutely no reason this shouldn't be accepted as true. That is, unless you or someone else has a better idea. Besides standing on one leg or playing darts and bocce.

Ability to do more faster in the case of everything sounds good to me. But even so, there are articles in the CF journal which I'm sure you've read that talk about the necessity of more than just "work capacity." For that matter, even the common everyday articles imply it - would there be martial arts articles otherwise?

Robert Wolf 11-12-2008 12:01 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
[QUOTE=Brandon Oto;444355]Rob:

Nevertheless my question remains, because work capacity or "power" is not a universal, homogenous, Platonic form to which all activity can be equivalently reduced. Under this take, for instance, 5 100lb squats in 5 seconds are identical to one 500lb squat in 5 seconds, winning a football game is the same as losing one if you do the same amount of work, handcycling is the same as hitting a speedbag, and dropping 5 minutes from your Helen time while losing 200 pounds from your deadlift is an increase in fitness. All of these may be true, though they would be debated, but they're only true because of the particular definition of fitness chosen, which could be otherwise. So I have to ask again why this one was chosen, as long as it's not arbitrary. (If it's arbitrary, then I'm going to define "accuracy" as the key component of fitness, and in that case WoDs are a terrible tool and we should all playing a lot of darts and bocce.)[/QUOTE]

No, the two squats are NOT the same and this is what you are NOT getting: Modality. A 500lb squat performed one time is completely different in with regards to modality. Most people can not even think of doing it...it's been a LONG time since I did that much, (hoping to get in that neighborhood again) but the point remains that is a completely different test than the 100lb x 5.

That 500lb squat represents a singular test. For me right now, that would be "fail". At 425 that would be "pass". 100lbs x 5 reps...not sure, have to test my speed on that...but they each represent a different test, and they are tests we'd like to have some competency in...if we are to be fit by the aforementioned definition....we would have to run the same test on your examples of the hand-bike and speed bag because one is a skill-less "dumb" movement, while the other is a highly technical, skill intensive movement. Again, the contention, is to have both modal competency and engine.

You are throwing in a bunch of sport specific stuff here...winning/loosing a football game...the claim has been that crossfit can make you fitter, not forgo sport specific training...it's only among the crossfit haters that these accusations fly.

If you want to call the key component of fitness "accuracy", that's cool...I'm going to call the key component of fitness "Fred".

Now, you and I need to take "Fred" and "accuracy" and build some kind of mathematical description of daily activities, diet, and lifestyle that provides predictive values in how we should train, eat and live to be "fit". This is what has been accomplished with the definition of Fitness being "Work Capacity Across Broad Time and Modal Domains".

So, if you have a deep insight about how accuracy is the key to fitness, I'd set yourself to pen one of the most stunning upsets in history...the Accuracy Based Fitness model that jives with commonly practiced coaching methods and evolutionary biology BETTER than Work Capacity Across Broad Time and Modal Domains.

This feels vaguely reminiscent of arguing with vegetarians about the Zone or paleo diet...answer the questions, lay out the material...have the whole mess dismissed with the wave of a hand, only to face the same questions...

Robert Wolf 11-12-2008 12:08 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
[QUOTE=Brandon Oto;444558]Still excited to hear back from you if you're willing, Glassman.

Here are is the specific assertion that I'm interested in investigating (from [url]http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFit_AdaptationsPart3.mov[/url] wfs):



In short, work capacity is synonymous with level of fitness, and everything else is, at best, related to or indicative of fitness. In the most extreme example, this would mean that someone with excellent work capacity but lousy strength, speed, agility, sporting success, or whatever would be more fit than someone in the opposite state. (Whether this would actually be possible is not relevant; that's a point about training, not definitions.)

I don't understand why this definition was chosen and I'm interested in hearing more.[/QUOTE]

Brandon...this is what you are NOT getting: YOU can NOT have "excellent work capacity" if your strength, speed or agility suck!! The definition was chosen because this is what is built up from functional movements, performed at high intensity! I'm done, I think you are just trying to get a phucking rise out of me.

Derek Maffett 11-12-2008 12:11 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
[QUOTE=Brandon Oto;444558]
In short, work capacity is synonymous with level of fitness, and everything else is, at best, related to or indicative of fitness. In the most extreme example, this would mean that someone with excellent work capacity but lousy strength, speed, agility, sporting success, or whatever would be more fit than someone in the opposite state. (Whether this would actually be possible is not relevant; that's a point about training, not definitions.)[/QUOTE]

Actually, it is very relevant. If excellent work capacity did not have (or we can avoid this potential argument since you're talking about definitions, not training, and just say that if Mr. Glassman did not believe excellent work capacity to have) such a great correlation to these other points, then he would not have made an attempt at such a definition. The quote you posted implies just that.

Brandon Oto 11-12-2008 01:12 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
The points you both seem to be making are:

1. Work capacity correlates well with other aspects of fitness.

Objection: This may or may not be true, but that's not the claim that Glassman is making; he's stating that "work capacity across broad time and modal domains" [I]is[/I] fitness -- it is identical to fitness, amounts to the same thing as fitness, is necessary and sufficient for it. In other words, the point isn't that work capacity is a good training methodology to develop other traits (that would imply that those other traits "are" fitness). Work capacity is fitness. Why? Why not, say, strength? Or any of the other 9 aspects, or all of them together? Or Fred?

2. Actual competence in specific modalities is necessary for fitness, not just the work their activities represent.

Objection: I agree wholeheartedly, but this is not captured in the definition provided; actually, it's very nearly the opposite of that reduction. If you're going to say that we still need to examine modal competence in order to test someone's fitness, then what exactly has the "work capacity" definition brought to the table? You can have both, or you can have modal competencies, but you can't try to reduce modal competencies to work capacity, because that's not included in that model. Yes, in a certain sense work is being done in a 1RM snatch, a parallel bar kip, or a tightrope walk, but it completely misses the point of them; it's not what they're about, and doing "more work faster" does not constitute an improvement in those modalities.

If you're going to say "well, work notwithstanding, you still have to see if they're competent in xyz areas," then you've cast aside the concept of work capacity as the defining feature of fitness; you've essentially recreated the hopper model ("how well do you do in random physical tasks?"). And the hopper is great, but it's a different model, and it's also not an intrinsic definition, in the sense that it defines fitness by example (you're more fit if you can do most things better than someone who's less fit) rather than substantively (what IS fitness?). If work capacity is fitness, then you don't get to also demand competence in infinite physical tasks -- that is, competence basically unrelated to work, such as balance on a tightrope -- as a prerequisite for fitness; you have to accept that more work capacity equals more fitness, no exceptions. And maybe competence in those tasks (hopper model) is fitness, but that's not the same as work capacity. Or maybe the physical traits required to be competent in those tasks (10 aspects of fitness) is fitness, but that's not the same as work capacity either.

All of these models are available to define fitness, and I actually like many of them (particularly the 10 aspects and the hopper), but for one reason or another the model of work capacity has emerged to the forefront as the essential feature of fitness, something that's obviously shaped CF programming. And so, once again, I'm curious why. As quoted below, Glassman suggests that improved work capacity tends to correlate well with "V02/max, lactate threshold, muscle mass, even the 10 general physical skills," but what suggests to me is that the actual definition of fitness is V02/max, lactate threshold, muscle mass, and the 10 general physical skills, and maybe some other stuff. I agree with that. But he also suggests that he'd rather have work capacity than any one of those, so that seems to belie that model, in which case we're just confused.

Do the two of you understand the difference between "an important correlate" and "the definition"? If "work capacity across broad time and modal domains" is [I]the definition[/I] of fitness, then in [I]any[/I] circumstance or modality where I can demonstrate that you were able to do more work faster, you are necessarily more fit. You can introduce other qualifications if you want, but that is changing the definition. And you certainly can't change it to say "physical competence across broad time and modal domains," which is a radically different thing.

If anyone wants to make the point that work capacity alone may not completely capture the idea of fitness, but it's the best we can do while creating a [I]quantifiable[/I] metric, and for certain purpose quantifiability is more important than absolute definitional validity, then I'm willing to entertain that notion. But that's another thing as well.

Derek Maffett 11-12-2008 02:30 AM

[QUOTE=Brandon Oto;444581]The points you both seem to be making are:

1. Work capacity correlates well with other aspects of fitness.

Objection: This may or may not be true, but that's not the claim that Glassman is making; he's stating that "work capacity across broad time and modal domains" [I]is[/I] fitness -- it is identical to fitness, amounts to the same thing as fitness, is necessary and sufficient for it. In other words, the point isn't that work capacity is a good training methodology to develop other traits (that would imply that those other traits "are" fitness). Work capacity is fitness. Why? Why not, say, strength? Or any of the other 9 aspects, or all of them together? Or Fred?

[B]Why strength? Why any of the other 9 aspects, or all of them together, or anything if all are correlates of something else? Yes, they are correlates of fitness, but what Mr. Glassman is pointing out is that they are also correlates of work capacity (across broad time and modal domains). If everything that is a correlate of A is a correlate of B, then it is much more sensible to say that A is closer to B than to the shared correlates. Wouldn't you agree? [/B]

2. Actual competence in specific modalities is necessary for fitness, not just the work their activities represent.

Objection: I agree wholeheartedly, but this is not captured in the definition provided; actually, it's very nearly the opposite of that reduction. If you're going to say that we still need to examine modal competence in order to test someone's fitness, then what exactly has the "work capacity" definition brought to the table? You can have both, or you can have modal competencies, but you can't try to reduce modal competencies to work capacity, because that's not included in that model. Yes, in a certain sense work is being done in a 1RM snatch, a parallel bar kip, or a tightrope walk, but it completely misses the point of them; it's not what they're about, and doing "more work faster" does not constitute an improvement in those modalities.

[B]Without modal competency, you can have no work capacity in that modal domain. If your form is bad, that 1RM snatch will involve very little work. If your flexibility is bad, then parallel bars work may be inhibited. If your balance is bad, then you will just fall off the tightrope (ignoring the fact that tightrope-walking is on the far end of "broad modal domains" here). [/B]

If you're going to say "well, work notwithstanding, you still have to see if they're competent in xyz areas," then you've cast aside the concept of work capacity as the defining feature of fitness; you've essentially recreated the hopper model ("how well do you do in random physical tasks?"). And the hopper is great, but it's a different model, and it's also not an intrinsic definition, in the sense that it defines fitness by example (you're more fit if you can do most things better than someone who's less fit) rather than substantively (what IS fitness?). If work capacity is fitness, then you don't get to also demand competence in infinite physical tasks -- that is, competence basically unrelated to work, such as balance on a tightrope -- as a prerequisite for fitness; you have to accept that more work capacity equals more fitness, no exceptions.

[B]Balance on a tightrope is one correlate of fitness (and again, on the far end of "broad modal domains." It somewhat suggests fitness, but does not guarantee it. I would not consider that a good test of fitness, nor would you, nor, I'm sure, would Greg Glassman.[/B]

And maybe competence in those tasks (hopper model) is fitness, but that's not the same as work capacity. Or maybe the physical traits required to be competent in those tasks (10 aspects of fitness) is fitness, but that's not the same as work capacity either.

[B]But if the physical trait required to be competent in the various correlates of fitness is increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains, it would be. [/B]

All of these models are available to define fitness, and I actually like many of them (particularly the 10 aspects and the hopper), but for one reason or another the model of work capacity has emerged to the forefront as the essential feature of fitness, something that's obviously shaped CF programming. And so, once again, I'm curious why. As quoted below, Glassman suggests that improved work capacity tends to correlate well with "V02/max, lactate threshold, muscle mass, even the 10 general physical skills," but what suggests to me is that the actual definition of fitness is V02/max, lactate threshold, muscle mass, and the 10 general physical skills, and maybe some other stuff. I agree with that. But he also suggests that he'd rather have work capacity than any one of those, so that seems to belie that model, in which case we're just confused.

[B]I point to my previous argument in this post. The fact is that correlates of something are not that thing. However, something else that has all those same correlates might be that thing. [/B]

Do the two of you understand the difference between "an important correlate" and "the definition"? If "work capacity across broad time and modal domains" is [I]the definition[/I] of fitness, then in [I]any[/I] circumstance or modality where I can demonstrate that you were able to do more work faster, you are necessarily more fit. You can introduce other qualifications if you want, but that is changing the definition. And you certainly can't change it to say "physical competence across broad time and modal domains," which is a radically different thing.

[B]No, that sounds about right, and it seems to be what Greg Glassman is arguing. The fittest person is the one with the greatest work capacity in any circumstance or modality.[/B]

If anyone wants to make the point that work capacity alone may not completely capture the idea of fitness, but it's the best we can do while creating a [I]quantifiable[/I] metric, and for certain purpose quantifiability is more important than absolute definitional validity, then I'm willing to entertain that notion. But that's another thing as well.[/QUOTE]

[COLOR="White"]......[/COLOR]

Matt Schellinger 11-12-2008 07:03 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
In the same essence broad time (0-∞) does include that 1rm attempt, and increasing that 1rm would be the only way to increase your work capacity at that time domain. The real question is on what 'broad time' domain you place your emphasis on.

Kevin Ziegenhorn 11-12-2008 07:57 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
[QUOTE=Brandon Oto;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?[/QUOTE]

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. ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/METs[/url]) 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=Derek Maffett;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 [I]plenty[/I] of examples of normal people who got better at specific sports ([B]not[/B] 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:[/QUOTE]

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 [I]any[/I] 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=Coach;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.[/QUOTE]

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

[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation[/url]

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=Phillip Garrisonq;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.[/QUOTE]

Actually, I [I]wouldn't[/I] 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=Jason M Struck;445144]
Hey, somebody update my status to Affiliate![/QUOTE]

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.

[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPARQ_Training[/url]

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

Robert Wolf 11-12-2008 03:26 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
[QUOTE=Phillip Garrisonq;444987]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.[/QUOTE]


Phillip-
This has been done in the case of low carb diets...it's OBVIOUS they provide the goods for health. The nay-sayers change the argument one scintilla (anyone who knows anything about science knows that a minor tweak on the variables makes everything different) and then I'm off to the lab to "prove" the obvious. This has bene the state of nutritional sciences, idiots like Ornish and Mcdougal still advocate a starch based diet...It's like convincing flat-earthers the world is round...a complete waste of time. Academics want academic validation. Everyone else just wants results.

Ketogenic diets have been found (anecdotaly and via research) to be VERY effective against various cancers...a simple, non-invasive nutritional approach. How much support is there for this among academics? precious little. you go prove the veracity or lack-there-in of crossfit, get back to me when you have a definitive answer.

I have a rebuttal to the poliquin piece...just need a little more time.

Phillip Garrison 11-12-2008 03:31 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
The studies that have been done that show that low carb diets do have many benefits are touted much more often by the supporters of these diets than the anecdotal evidence. These same studies have silenced many (not all) critics of the precieved health risks of low carb diets.

Derek Maffett 11-12-2008 03:39 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
[QUOTE=Phillip Garrisonq;445184]
The assessment used for SPARQ would be a good objective test to determine which produces better results.[/QUOTE]

Based on what I'm seeing in that SPARQ test, I would be inclined to disagree with the idea that it's a good test of fitness. It seems mostly geared towards sprinting and related heavily to sports like football or basketball. It's not the worst test in the world, but hardly an extensive one such as could be used to test all-around fitness. For instance, picking up a heavy object (which will always be an important time and modal domain) is completely ignored in the SPARQ.

Christian Gotcher 11-12-2008 03:55 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
First off, it's good to see you posting on the boards, Coach. Your contributions are always... lively, to say the least.

[QUOTE]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.[/QUOTE]

Why is an improved Fran time not a reliable metric when done consistently under the same conditions by the same person multiple times? It's not accepted by the academic community only because of its arbitrariness, but then again so is the vertical jump, VO2 max (which changes depending on the modality being performed), etc.

My metric is the Navy Physical Strength Test. After 1 year of Crossfit (with slight modifications because the CF mainpage has no swimming, unfortunately), my times and numbers on all events improved dramatically. I was not a sedentary populace before beginning CF and was participating in what would be considering your average 'Milfit'-style doctrine.

I could not do a swing on the parallel bars into handstands before. I can now. My CFT max has raised by 100 points from its beginnings. These are all metrics, and although they are insignificant from one person, taken from thousands of people in affiliates all across the nation, they establish a startling conclusion. These improvements are not only happening in a lot of people, they are happening over a broad range of activities and they are happening quickly.

Are we raising the bar in powerlifting? No. But all across the board, CF'ers are getting stronger in their deadlift, squat, bench press, and press than their counterparts in the "Spin," "TaeBo," and "Fitboxing" communities certainly as well as those in most competitive bodybuilding and other communities.

Is your argument illogical? Perhaps no, but it's disconnected, and you haven't really answered Glassman's challenges. If Glassman poses that Uncle Rhabdo functions in the exact same role as Kima and Smokey, you must establish either than UR is different, somehow, or that Kima and Smokey are tasteless. You question that Crossfit has not undergone any other tests except the Canadian MilFit comparison, but you haven't challenged that test, and it was a rather effective one, I think. You claim that Glassman uses a hearsay argument (from my personal experience, CF produces more hypertrophy than bodybuilding), and then go on to say that your personal experience of having heard of rhabdo before CF debunks Glassman's point (that CF has done more to spread knowledge of rhabdo than anyone else). If he's making logical errors, so are you.

Also, how would you compare training protocols for something like this? How is the Sparq test a measure of broad, general, inclusive fitness? 2 of the five tests are running dependent, and all but one are in a completely anaerobic range. As soon as you design a test that includes all the aspects of fitness, it starts to look vaguely similar to CF, and the athletes involved complain like hell. The pentathlon is close, as well as the goals of Milfit, to the goals of CF. CF has already proven itself in the Milfit field, are you suggesting a pentathlon for the next CF Games?

Robert Callahan 11-12-2008 04:24 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
[QUOTE=Phillip Garrisonq;444168]I'll gladly apologize if you can show me a hospital, University, Junior College, Rehab center, community fitness center, commercial gym (yes I know they suck) or private contractor for government/military run facilities that lists as one of their required certifications CF level 1,2 or 3.[/QUOTE]

UC Riverside had CF level 1 cert as a preferred credential for the position of assistant strength and conditioning coach. I am not sure if it was a required cert but still it is a major University using the CF cert.


[QUOTE=Phillip Garrisonq;444168]As far as scientific scrutiny, most of the fitness protocols from which you've borrowed as the basis for many of your exercises for WOD's do most certainly have a solid science basis to back up the argument that they should be included in a training protocol.[/QUOTE]

The problem is that it is simple to say, "well you should scientifically test this stuff" but not so simple to actually carry it out. Running a major scientific study can take a significant amount of money. I think it is presumptive to assume that Coach should front the bill for this. After all shouldn't the burden of disproof be on those attacking it? Why don't you right a proposal and submit it to the NSCA or some other group and ask for funding for studying crossfit and see what the response is?

-Robert

Jeff S Johnson 11-12-2008 05:08 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
[QUOTE=Phillip Garrisonq;445184]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.

[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPARQ_Training[/url]

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

SPARQ testing is largely a test of athletic ability, not fitness.

No matter how fit I may become, or how much I train specifically for it, I will never be able to run a 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds. There are large numbers of high schoolers across the nation who are marginally fit, but can run 4.6 or faster.

Ditto for the shuttle drill and vertical jump.

There's a reason that college football coaches value the testing at NIKE Combines for high school prospects - it shows them the baseline athletic ability of the prospects they are evaluating and allows them to project how they will perform once in a college strength and conditioning program.

Freshmen enter college all of the time with good combine numbers - speed and/or strength, but find out real quick they're nowhere close to the kind of shape (fitness) their older, new teammates possess. While they will rapidly get much more fit, their 40's, shuttle and vertical times rarely increase substantial amounts. And some of that improvement is attributable to simply maturing towards their athletic prime. A kid who ran a 4.45 as a 17 year-old might improve to 4.42 in three years, but be vastly more fit than he was as a high school junior. All of that says SPARQ primarily test athletic ability.

Lastly, none of the SPARQ tests last more than a handful of seconds. Four of the five are generally under five seconds in duration. Not sure how long the Yo-Yo drill generally runs, but it can't be more than 30 seconds or so.

John Filippini 11-12-2008 08:39 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
[QUOTE=Robert Callahan;445316]UC Riverside had CF level 1 cert as a preferred credential for the position of assistant strength and conditioning coach. I am not sure if it was a required cert but still it is a major University using the CF cert.[/QUOTE]

First, UC Riverside did have that as a recommended attribute... but wouldn't your boss in that position have been Josh Everett? If he'd gotten away with making it required, I might have agreed that it meant something, since he had to get that by the university. As it is, it just shows his preference.

[QUOTE]After all shouldn't the burden of disproof be on those attacking it?[/QUOTE]

Also... that's not how science works. The scientific method is that if you want to state something is true... you do everything in your power to disprove it, thus showing it's robustness.

That being said, there's certainly no harm in trying to get funding for such a study from an agency that would have some sort of interest and likely has more money. Hell, given more time in my life, I think this would be a lot of fun to do.

Christian Gotcher 11-12-2008 09:40 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
[QUOTE]After all shouldn't the burden of disproof be on those attacking it? [/QUOTE]

There's really no such thing as a burden of disproof, just a burden of proof. If you pose a hypothesis, it is your obligation to provide the evidence for it. The question, in this case, is whether Glassman has provided enough evidence to convince a reasonable person of the efficacy of a "constantly varied" program (intense and functional don't seem to be the question). Yes-s in the red corner, No-s in the blue corner, fight!

Chris Hill 11-13-2008 03:00 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
[QUOTE=Robert Wolf;445249]
I have a rebuttal to the poliquin piece...just need a little more time.[/QUOTE]

Having patiently waded through all of this thread i guess i can wait a little longer

Bob Long 11-13-2008 05:10 AM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Reading this thread makes my modal domain hurt. :confused:


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