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

Phillip Garrison 11-14-2008 12:52 PM

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

Originally Posted by Christian Gotcher (Post 445288)
First off, it's good to see you posting on the boards, Coach. Your contributions are always... lively, to say the least.



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?


My stating that I've heard of rhabdo before learning about CF doesn't debunk anything about CF educating people about it, I never stated otherwise. Glassman simply speculated whether or not I had heard of rhabdo before coming to CF and I stated that i had in fact learned about it during both my undegraduate and graduate research. You're making two completely different arguments that i didn't make, I don't understand why you're trying to link my argument about not having data to back up glassmans supposition that CF is better than BBing for hypertrophy, with my stating I'd heard about rhabdo before Cf and staing that one has anything to do with the other, or that i'm somehow trying to debunk one argument with other.

The problem with using WOD times, or Milfits, etc is that these measurments have not been shown through rigorous research to predictably and reliably show a correlation between various metrics of fitness and performance in that particular activity. The bruce protocol is strongly correlated and reliably predicts VO2max and performance in endurance activities. The windgate anaerobic power test strongly correlates to and predicts anaerobic power and anearobic endurance. The CMVJ and VJ accurately predict lower body power. The medball chest throw accurately predicts upper body power. Using WOD's as "evidence" that you are improving "broad modalities of fitness" is the same as using an improved batting average as "evidence" that baseball training improves fitness, since hitting also requires above average "fitness" in several things (timing, eye hand coordination, rotational strength speed, etc). The sparq isn't a great test but it reliably tests multiple dimensions of fitness. A better test would be the Mens heptathlon which would test upper and lower body power, speed, aerobic and anaerobic endurance.

Phillip Garrison 11-14-2008 12:54 PM

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

Originally Posted by John Filippini (Post 445493)
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.



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.

Exactly

Sara Fleming 11-14-2008 01:02 PM

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

Good rebuttal. I find there is a lot of posturing in the fitness community about "expertise" and absolutes regarding what is the "best" certification or education to have. If someone doesn't agree with an ideology, they attack the structure of the teaching and try to make it appear inadequate.

I especially liked your point about the value of the Crossfit seminar certification. My cert. was available on-line and was a home study course with essays and case study clients for whom I had to write periodized programs. I have been told time and time again why my cert is not adequate, or the most popular, etc., etc., but I know, from being in the medical research field, your education is what you make of it. (Like you, I am a former research biochemist, but I have only just begun my foray into the art of fitness training as a profession instead of a hobby.) I got a LOT of value from my certification because I made it a point to learn the material, use outside research to supplement what I didn't get, and apply it in new ways.

I look forward to attending a Crossfit certification in the near future mainly because my experience with Crossfit trainers is that they are very polished in their ability to assess for deficiencies and individualize the training based on that assessment. Maybe a blithering idiot could attend a certification seminar, but the truth is, if they don't know how to apply it, they're not going to be successful at training. This is the case no matter what the certification is, or discipline for that matter. Bad biochemists don't get published, bad actors don't get parts, and bad trainers can't quit their day job.

Sara

By the way, the biosignature stuff is pretty fascinating.

Brandon Oto 11-14-2008 01:41 PM

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

Originally Posted by Bob Long (Post 446418)
Well, maybe someone sorta has done just that:

"Today, we are a leading force in elite physical conditioning with a growing influence in military, police, and martial arts communities and a growing roster of national, world, and Olympic champions from more than a dozen sports."

Better yet,

Quote:

Originally Posted by Girevik Magazine
[http://www.powerathletesmag.com/arch...ewglassman.htm wfs] But here's the fascinating part. We can take you from a 200 pound max deadlift to a 500-750 pound max deadlift in two years while only pulling max singles four or five times a year. We will though work the deadlift, like most lifts, approximately once per week at higher reps and under grueling conditions. It may intuit well that if you can pull a 250 pound deadlift 21 times coming to the lift at a heart rate of 180 beats per minute, then 500 pounds for a single at a resting heart rate is perhaps manageable.

My 750 pound deadlift is for some reason still in the queue.

Phillip Garrison 11-14-2008 02:45 PM

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

Originally Posted by Brandon Oto (Post 446750)
Better yet,



My 750 pound deadlift is for some reason still in the queue.

I have mine on lay away:welcome:

John Filippini 11-14-2008 03:00 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Rob, good responses to his article. It seems in general he was interested mostly in picking out the talking points of CrossFit that sound bad out of context.

I feel like some of his points (and your responses) bring up a common theme: While using an rx'ed weight for the WODs is simpler in some ways, it also allows for confusion and misinterpretation.

While no system is perfect, and I realize why HQ switched to simpler descriptions for their WODs (not the least of which is the need for benchmarks), it seems like there may be a better method for the day-to-day. Poliquin and others see a workout with a fixed number and think it is a prescription for strength. We know better as to its purpose and often respond that they're missing the point. But maybe the point would get across better if the format were different, say by prescribing the weights as a % of one's max ability.

The logistics of this don't seem too hard. We already have max effort days worked in, so after a certain period of training most newcomers will have an idea of their abilities. If they don't know their max or that percentage falls below a certain point, the prescription could be for them to instead work on form and/or max effort depending on the lift. This already is the prescription for complete rookies unfamiliar with things like the oly lifts. The lifts we use are varied, but certainly some of them are correlates to each other (the presses for example).

I think this also serves as a good compromise between those that believe that newbies need strength work before CrossFit and those that think that early metcon is good. It improves the whole scaling process by making it fluid and removing much of the guesswork behind which level of brand-x someone should do (though I'm eternally grateful to their scalings).

The clarity of purpose should also be even faster to pick up on. I like to think that no one who looks at a WOD using descriptors like 50% (or maybe less) will think that the main goal of that WOD is strength, whereas XX lbs may look like a strength workout depending on who reads it.

I have enough faith in Coach and the rest of HQ that I don't think I'm necessarily coming up with a truly novel idea. Any reasons why this was never adopted?

PS: I'm aware that Poliquin was referring to Linda, which is based off bodyweight, and isn't a perfect match for my case against the majority of WODs having RX'ed weights. Not that I don't really like bodyweight scaling, but I would say it resembles an RX'ed weight for demanding a level of fitness. Also, clearly there are still kinks in this system revolving around bodyweight exercises, it just seems like percentages would leave one less thing to worry about.

George Noble 11-14-2008 03:21 PM

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

Originally Posted by Brandon Oto (Post 446750)
Better yet,



My 750 pound deadlift is for some reason still in the queue.

We can take you from a 200 pound max deadlift to a 500-750 pound max deadlift in two years while only pulling max singles four or five times a year.

I'm wondering if the upper bound has ever actually happened. It's similar to the quote about natural bodybuilders never approaching the mass that CrossFitters do - which CrossFitters? Can I see them?

And here's my rebuttal to the Poliquin piece: PARAGRAPHS

Tony Budding 11-14-2008 03:22 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Many of you have misunderstood the concept of increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains. VO2, Anaerobic power, lactate threshold, lower leg power, VJ etc. are irrelevant. These are all correlates. Instead, we're talking about the ability to get real world tasks done.

Pick a real world task, any task. First, can you accomplish the task? Second, how long did it take you? The fittest will be able to accomplish the largest number of tasks, each in the shortest period of time. If you can't get the task done, you don't have the capacity. Simple.

For example, if you have a 900lb back squat and a 300lb press, what is your overhead squat? We have no idea. You might be able to find general correlates between back squats, presses and OHS, but there will always be exceptions. I'm sure there are folks out there with those numbers who can't overhead squat 135lbs to full depth. There are also folks out there with 300lb back squats, 150lb presses, and 200lb OHS. Which person would you say is more likely to be a competent firefighter or soldier? I'd put a lot of money on the second athlete. We are not looking for metrics like VO2 because measured VO2 has no predictive capability in sport (or life). I can increase my VO2max without improving my real world capacity. But, I can't imagine a scenario where I improve my Fran, Diane and Helen times without demonstrating a significantly improved real world capacity across broad time and modal domains.

The metric of work capacity across broad time and modal domains is legitimate even if we don't have an excellent means of testing it. Testing is a different discipline. We have talked about and engaged in a wide variety of testing metrics over the years. None of them is perfect. But going to a test tube is never going to be the answer because life doesn't demand test tube capacity. It demands real world capability.

How do we measure the capacity of an engine? Horsepower. Does the vehicle with the highest horsepower always win the race? Of course not. VO2max (which I'm using as a representative of all things consumptive or at least independent of real world capacity), is like horsepower. Who won the race is a better question. Asking who is fittest is like asking which is the best race car? To answer that question, you have to ask for which race?

The race that CrossFit is talking about is life in the real world. CrossFit is a GPP program designed to give a broad, inclusive, fitness (real world capacity) that carries over into all human activities. Brandon Oto wrote, "And you certainly can't change it to say "physical competence across broad time and modal domains," which is a radically different thing." Actually, it's the identical concept. You can't have work capacity without physical competence, and physical competence is nothing other than work capacity.

Physical competency is the ability to move your body and external loads through space. Fitness is this in a compressed time frame (faster than the less fit). To test this precisely is difficult at best, though most likely impossible. A thorough test would require assessing max output (real work/time) for a wide variety of modes and skills at each time domain. Given that each assessment would be max output, there must be recovery time between assessments. In that recovery time, the athlete would adapt. Do that over a 100 assessments, and you have a completely different athlete at the end of the test than the beginning.

The bottom line is that fitness is the highest level of competence or dominance in the real world. The notion of increased work capacity across broad time and modal (and age) domains is the best measurable, observable, repeatable metric we know of that represents that real world competence/dominance. While there is no adequate test out there that precisely measures this broad capacity, your sum total of CrossFit workouts is by far the best predictor we know. But that is far from complete. Agility tests, MB tosses, strength tests are all part of it, but none of them is even close to containing it. See the Hopper lecture by Coach Glassman http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/C...alCapacity.mov or http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/C...alCapacity.wmv to understand how broadly we're talking. In fact, the anecdotal reports of firefighters, soldiers, cops, wrestlers, fighters, grandmas, etc. who come back to us after doing CrossFit (constantly varied functional movements at high intensity) and report undeniable gains in their existing life tasks are much more relevant to our metric than anything a blood draw can measure.

Brad Thompson 11-14-2008 03:47 PM

Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit
 
Thank You!

Phillip Garrison 11-14-2008 03:50 PM

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

Originally Posted by Tony Budding (Post 446848)
Pick a real world task, any task. First, can you accomplish the task? Second, how long did it take you? The fittest will be able to accomplish the largest number of tasks, each in the shortest period of time. If you can't get the task done, you don't have the capacity. Simple.

What real world scenarios exactly are the WOD's mimmicking?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tony Budding (Post 446848)
We are not looking for metrics like VO2 because measured VO2 has no predictive capability in sport (or life). I can increase my VO2max without improving my real world capacity. But, I can't imagine a scenario where I improve my Fran, Diane and Helen times without demonstrating a significantly improved real world capacity across broad time and modal domains.

Really VO2 has no predicitibliaty in sport or real life? Would you be willing to wager that a person with a VO2 of 65ml/kg/min would not outlast in a footrace against a person with a VO2 of 35ml/kig/min. Metrics like VO2, VJ, Anerobic power are not irrelevent. These are proven measurements of key components of fitness. We say crossfit improves fitness across many modalities, but we continue to only focus on average work rate, which is only one component of fitness, granted a very large one. There are many training protocols which can illicit high total outputs over the course of a workout (rowing for example or mountain biking or apline skiing) but do we define these as improving fitness through many modalities?

We keep supossing our fitness prowess through WOD's which we haven't proven strongly correlates to improved competency in other aspects of fitness both functionally and in sports and in life.


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