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

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Old 07-24-2007, 06:41 PM   #1
Justin Herring
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In the video for yesterday, coach says that the goal/effect of crossfit is "increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains."

I've seen this elsewhere, I think in the CFJ too.

What does he mean here by "increased work capacity?" Is that another way of saying "greater ability," or does it have some particular technical meaning? I know the term "work" has a very specific meaning in the context of physics, for instance.

I can't tell if that is just a somewhat jargon-ladden way of saying "greater ability" or if it means something more specific.
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Old 07-24-2007, 07:37 PM   #2
Steven Low
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Generally speaking... more strength and endurance -- better general physical preparedness -- able to do exercises from the hopper better.

An elite olympic lifter would have more strength in the olympic lifts. An elite cyclist would have awesome cycling endurance. The benefits gained from increasing the endurance of said olympic lifter or the strength of said cyclist would GREATLY increase their abilities but it would also GREATLY hinder their sports specific performance. For your average person though, it will increase both..
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:51 PM   #3
John McBrien
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To add on to what Steven said, I would look at it as a way to "go longer, faster, stronger, etc." For instance, you can run longer, or run a certain distance faster. You can do more pull-ups or do more pull-ups in a certain amount of time etc. And for daily life - maybe you can do more yard work or more house work without fatiguing (Coach uses the example of shoveling gravel in a video).
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Old 07-25-2007, 01:39 AM   #4
Brandon Oto
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It's important to remember that CrossFit uses the word "work" in the technical definition. Work is a force applied over a distance. "Work capacity" can probably be best defined either by "power" (which is amount of work over the time it takes to do) or by the overall maximum amount of work performed.

Broad domains of time mean you can do work in the brief sprint or the long haul or anywhere in between. Broad domains of mode mean you can do work by running, cycling, climbing, lifting, pulling, carrying, or whatever needs doing. So if your athletes are demonstrating "increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains" it means that they're able to either do more work (more max capacity), or do it faster (more power) in almost any activity over almost any time period.

And yes, it does seem to suggest the emphasis is on maximizing this overall boost, even at the cost of harming one or two specific specialties.

My take. I may be wrong.
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Old 07-25-2007, 03:46 AM   #5
Anthony Bainbridge
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Increased work capacity is the ability to do "more" ... no need to over think it.
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Old 07-25-2007, 04:07 AM   #6
Bob Long
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Ya want your work capacity?

We got yer work capacity right here . . .

(in this safe nice no-offensive link)

http://www.rosstraining.com/articles...pacity101.html
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:09 AM   #7
Mark Reinke
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As everyone's stated, work capacity = increased output over a specific period of time.
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Old 07-25-2007, 02:02 PM   #8
David Werner
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Justin

The reference to the physics meaning of work capacity is right on.

Work = Force x Distance

Work capacity means exactly that, the ability to exert a force over a distance. To increase work capacity we will either move a heavier weight over a fixed distance, or move the same weight farther. Ultimatley of course we want to move a heavier weight over an increased distance.

This idea underlies much of Crossfit programing, for instance choosing exercises with long lines of action - like thrusters.

Bob, Ross has some great stuff and he clearly gets the "increased work capacity" thing. Nice link.

Mark, when you introduce "Time" into the discussion you are talking about Power.

Power = Work/Time

Power is where it is at. Increasing power output is the end goal of athletic training (other than sport specific skill). But if the athlete has poor work capacity trying to increase power output is premature.

Another aspect of Crossfit programming is we usually measure "score" your performance, using precise concepts like work and power help with this.

Dave Werner
Crossfit Seattle
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Old 07-26-2007, 02:20 AM   #9
Russell Greene
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Prior to this thread I thought that work capacity had a time component to it. I know that work has no time component, but I assumed that the capacity part of the phrase implied a time component. Thus I had concluded that work capacity was basically just a measure of power, or work/time. So "increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains" would mean greater power output, or more work in less time (hence a greater capacity for work) in everything from 10 second to hours-long efforts, and in many different activities and combinations of activities. I am unsure though.
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Old 07-26-2007, 05:05 AM   #10
Steven Low
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Russ:

I would say yes. Increased capacity to work... at a constant time means a greater power output. Increased strength should mean an increase in the ability to do more work in a certain about of time.
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