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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 09-20-2011, 07:35 PM   #1
Charles Applin
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Ranking People in the 10 Physical Skills

TL/DR - Is there a method already in place to accurately rank a person in each of the 10 physical skills, and if not how's the best method to easily accomplish this?

Ok, those that accept how the CrossFit Games goes about ranking fitness (compare against others how one does various exercises and workouts) should agree that a similar method can be done for each of the individual physical skills.

With gauging fitness, it seems simple that if you score in the top 10% then you're a 10 in fitness while the bottom 10% would be a 1. So it stands to reason that to say for you have a 10 in strength then you're in the top 10% of those tested with strength biased exercises and workouts. This can be applied to each of the 10 physical skills.

Now, it should be obvious that no one exercise can gauge strength or flexibility or cardio endurance. Like the games, there will need to be a variety of workouts. My question is, what exercises or workouts are best to compare people in each of the 10 physical skills?

cardiovascular/respiratory endurance: Pretty much any WOD that takes over 15 minutes could be measure this.

stamina: Likely couplets, triplets and chippers

strength: CFT, alternate CFT, powerlifting

flexibility: ????

power: Olympic lifts, max jumps

speed: short distance sprints/rows/bikes/swims

coordination: olympic lifts, double unders,

agility: double unders

balance: handstand walks, overhead walks, balance beams

accuracy: target wall ball, olympic lifts

I could be wrong, but the "software" portion (coordination, agility, balance and accuracy) seem to be lacking in workouts to help gauge where a person stands. The "hardware" portions are easily represented in the WODS. The power and speed portions (apps?) also seem to be represented.

Guess my point is, if there are WODs or exercises or drills that we can effectively measure and compare against, then we have a toolset to put people through to gauge what their levels are at. The levels won't be arbitrarily selected as it'll be based entirely on how others of the same gender and similar age group did.
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:45 PM   #2
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Ranking People in the 10 Physical Skills

Top 10% fittest out of what sample size? The US population? CFers? Competitive athletes? Even among CFers, it wouldn't take anything too spectacular to be considered in the top 10% in overall fitness.

Top 10% strongest out of what sample size? I could be way off with this, but I'm fairly sure a 150lb squat and a 225lb deadlift would put you in the strongest 10% of the US population, judging by the stuff I've seen from people who don't train.

Top 10% fastest compared to who? I would guess less than 10% of the US population could run 400m in under 2:00, so I don't think beating a 2:00 on 400m would qualify someone as a 10/10.

Top 10% of power? What percentage of the US population (or even the portion that's physically active) can execute a moderately competent snatch or C&J?
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:17 PM   #3
Charles Applin
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Re: Ranking People in the 10 Physical Skills

Considering the average person is a dead asian female (a great response to anyone that only bases things off a chart), you are right that we need to be specific on the pool of people we're drawing from.

Personal opinion, one should only care about those willing to put themselves to the test. That cuts out a large section of the population. A good place to find people that put themselves to the test is Beyond the Whiteboard. However, that limits such a result to only those that CrossFit. You lose out finding out how one ranks among specialists in specific skills

Now, you're saying even then, a scale of 10 is not precise enough. That number 10 covers 100,000 men if you test only a million. Well, it's no problem to make the differences on scale of 100 or 1000. You could even fine tune the results to only rank people that have 4+ in all 10 skills to trim out the ultra specialists and generally unfit group. You make it applicable to the individual by ranking only those with the same gender and general age group. A simple solution, just not so simple to gather.

That said, we're left with the original problem: What workouts, exercises or drills adequately represent the individual skills? How can you gauge what level of flexibility or agility you have?
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:09 AM   #4
David Steckler
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Re: Ranking People in the 10 Physical Skills

Crossfit Seattle offers the following, highlighted on the mainsite under "Essential Reference":

http://crossfitseattle.com/knowledge...c-skill-levels (wfs)
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Old 09-21-2011, 06:42 PM   #5
Charles Applin
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Re: Ranking People in the 10 Physical Skills

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Steckler View Post
Crossfit Seattle offers the following, highlighted on the mainsite under "Essential Reference":

http://crossfitseattle.com/knowledge...c-skill-levels (wfs)
It's a great but fairly old resource and was at the back of my mind when I started thinking about this. The exercises listed are good as Strength is tested as a pull, push and hips. Speed is in there. The snatch is listed as speed and clean is listed under pull though I think they're more under power. All good stuff, but the decisions of what counts as a skill level is still a little arbitrary. However, I've no doubt a good amount of anecdotal evidence helped make these choices.

Of course, that chart only accounted for strength, power, speed, stamina and cardio respiratory directly. Accuracy, balance, agility, coordination and flexibility aren't measured to a great degree outside of things like pistols or snatch.

Anyway, I think there can be something better than a "you must do this if you're to claim you're elite level". Comparing a large pool of atheletes sounds pretty good to me. I've no problem if it were only crossfitters tested. Having resource that says "How you do at exercises A, B, C and D will put you at this percentile amoung 1,000 other CrossFitters with regards to agility (or flexibility or power, etc)." After a few exercises, it should be obvious what area really needs to be improved.
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Old 09-24-2011, 06:41 PM   #6
Chu Kim
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Re: Ranking People in the 10 Physical Skills

It may be the case that there are less than 10 physical skills. I think you could put Balance and Coordination together, because they are virtually the same thing. Good balance fundamentally implies good coordination and vice versa. Also, what is the difference, exactly, between Stamina and Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance? They are pretty much the same for all intents and purposes, aren't they? At least in regards to measuring athletic performances, we may as well merge those categories together.

Regarding the values and percentages for athletic ability, I think it is not an easy thing to compare generally. You must first have a sample group from whom you are going to take measurements. Before you even do that, you must make sure to define what the sample group is going to be from based on what you are looking for and make sure it is random. Then, you take the measurements of performance, and then average it all out. If you are trying to define low, middle and high levels of performance among professional athletes, then your sample group must come from them. That group will obviously have way higher standards over a general population group sample, so the question of who and what you are trying to compare is very important.
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:20 PM   #7
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Ranking People in the 10 Physical Skills

Balance and coordination the same thing?

Walking a tightrope or a balance beam or doing a pistol or a handstand=balance.
Hitting a curveball or a free throw=coordination.

Stamina is a muscular attribute...i.e. your arms and shoulders not giving out too quick when you're kayaking. That is completely independent of cardiovascular endurance.
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