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

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Old 12-24-2007, 05:20 PM   #1
Ryan Fossella
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The Science Behind it All

Hey,

I have been telling my friends about Crossfit, and they are a bit skeptical. Is there anywhere I can find the actual studies and tests done by Crossfit against the Navy Seals or CDN army, or whoever?

I know that crossfit makes everything open source and available for criticism, I just haven't been able to find it on the site. If someone could point me in the right direction, that would be great

Ryan
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Old 12-24-2007, 05:58 PM   #2
Tim Donahey
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Re: The Science Behind it All

Proof of what exactly? That Crossfit will increase your overall fitness? Well, the proof is in the pudding... or rather in the Kool-Aid, but maybe these links will help:

http://www.crossfit.com/cf-download/CFJ-trial.pdf
http://www.crossfit.com/cf-download/Foundations.pdf
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Old 12-24-2007, 08:25 PM   #3
Ryan Fossella
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Re: The Science Behind it All

I guess proof is too broad a term... what I was hoping for was the actual statistics and studies done that show crossfit beating other forms of training.
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Old 12-24-2007, 09:09 PM   #4
Tim Donahey
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Re: The Science Behind it All

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Fossella View Post
I guess proof is too broad a term... what I was hoping for was the actual statistics and studies done that show crossfit beating other forms of training.
9 out of 10 Crossfitters can beat up the personal trainer at Bally's. The 10th Crossfitter could too, but she's a pacifist.

What would the parameters of said "study" or "statistic" quantify? VO2 Max? 400 meter time? Bodyweight to Strength ratio? Powerlifting totals? Bicep circumferance? A one-on-one game with Micheal Jordan?

No, seriously, what you're asking for is unrealistic. Anyone who trains specifically for any one of those goals will probably outperform a xfitter because they specialize and CrossFit specializes in not specializing.

One main Xfit maxim is, Life tends to punish the specialist and reward the generalist. Meaning if you specialize in strongman, when the time comes that you need to shovel 400 lbs. of gravel you'll be gassed, or if you specialize in distance running, when the time comes you need to push a car, you'll be outmatched. This is why Crossfit is so popular with military, law enforcement, and fire fighting. A cop not only needs to be able to run down a perp, but be able to kick his a$$ once he catches up to him. A fire fighter not only needs to be able to climb 7 flights of stairs with 80 pounds of equiptment, but axe down walls, remove debris and carry people out once he gets there. A specialist will crumple under these same circustances. Crossfit will make you a juggernaut.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess when you say "training" you mean "bodybuilding." No, Crossfit will not make you an elite bodybuilder in and of itself if that is your overriding concern and debating who is the better "bodybuilder" is done by a panel of judges not by a bodybuilding litmus test. The same goes for any other specialized physical preparation, be it ballet, bull riding, or olympic weightlifting; Crossfit will not make you elite in any one of those things, but it will make you better at all of them.

Crossfit trains 9 modes of fitness; cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy simultaneously. No study will be able to balance the individual subjectivity and the randomness of the Xfit exercise protocol with an objective fitness measurment. Bottom line is, a Xfitter will outperform any specialist in the majority of those modes, but a specialist will outperform a Xfitter in only 1 or 2 of them.

To quote the Coach, "We do what you do almost as well as you, you can't do our stuff at all, and we do what neither of us do better than you can."

Last edited by Tim Donahey : 12-24-2007 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 12-24-2007, 09:14 PM   #5
Steven Low
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Re: The Science Behind it All

Do something like this (wfs):

http://www.board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=25021

And you'll roast them at most of the events even if you're weaker than them or they're a better runner or whatever. That is, unless they have a superior conditioning base to yours without doing CF (usually from a sport though like MMA/gymnastics/breakdancing/etc.).
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Old 12-24-2007, 09:21 PM   #6
Tim Donahey
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Re: The Science Behind it All

I'll add that many of the components of Xfit are based on solid science, for example, Tabata Intervals:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/en...=pubmed_DocSum (wfs)

A lot of proven techniques from a variety of sports and training modalities have all been thrown together into a "black box" and what comes out is Xfit.
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Old 12-24-2007, 09:31 PM   #7
Tim Donahey
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Re: The Science Behind it All

From another thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Christopher Hutchins
I believe you should do what individually is good for you. If you plan on getting up on stage and showing of the latest cut in your calf then bodybuilding is definitely what you need. Bodybuilding is a sport lets not forget. These guys are extremely dedicated and workout twice a day for hours. In any sport you should do sport specific training. I don't make fun of any one in the gym who's arms are constantly bent and who can bench a car. It's no different than watching someone on the basketball court hit 20 shots in a row and go through drills. You can't really look at Ronnie Coleman without some sense of awe. The CF wod's won't give BBs what they need as far as their sport. So what they do is necessary. I prefer to think of CF as a life style or philosophy. You use what works and throw out the rest. Thats what we do in real life if we want to be succesfull. Spending 6 hours a day in a gym doesn't work for ME and a lot of people. On top of that bodybuilding doesn't have real world application. At least not at a high level. Doing something is better than nothing. Sprinters, basketball players, baseball players, athletes in general don't look like body builders because BB doesn't work in the broad spectrum of life activities. You can't really compare CF to body building like you couldn't compare a boxer to a MMA. Sure the boxer would wipe the floor with the MMA'er en the ring and vice versa in the octagon or what have you. But the MMA would excell in any street fight in any location. Everyone should do what is best for them and excel at their sport. CF is not a sport. From what i have seen it is a devotion to and a pursuit of what is truly fit.
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Old 12-24-2007, 11:08 PM   #8
Neill S. Occhiogrosso
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Re: The Science Behind it All

http://www.crossfit.com/cf-journal/c...lidity_041.pdf
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Old 12-25-2007, 04:52 AM   #9
Ryan Fossella
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Re: The Science Behind it All

Hey thanks guys! That last ppt from the CDN military was great Neil.

And Tim, I guess you're right about the specificity vs. general thing. I just wish I had some study like Glassman was saying in a video, where his CF guys beat the Navy Seals in 5 out of 7 military tests (or something like that).
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