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

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Old 12-07-2008, 06:02 PM   #1
Michelle Reichert
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Programming Part 5 Question

Hi,

After watching the 5th installment of the crossfit journal programming series, I am a little confused about the formula's that were discussed. The first was as follows:

Force x Distance = Work

The second was:

Work / Time = Power

Now the second one I understand but the first one, I don;e understand how you can look at WOD's with different reps, exercises and work out the force and the distance so that you can work out the "work" involved???

Can anyone help me out??

Thanks
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Old 12-07-2008, 06:10 PM   #2
Robert Callahan
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Re: Programming Part 5 Question

The amount of weight moved dictates the amount of force you will need to use to move it giving you force, and then distance is pretty straight forward.

But at the same time you really should not be calculating your total work done in every workout, or even in any really. What you should take from it is that as you, or your clients, progress as they move more weight in the same (or greater) range of motion they are doing more work. If they do this they are increasing their power output. On top of that if they then do a workout in less time than before they are also increasing power output. You do not need to calculate it to know that it is improving.

If you want to geek out and calculate the amount of power you produced in one workout, go to town, but don't feel like you need to do it every workout and track the progress cause you can do that without all the physics

-Robert
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Old 12-07-2008, 06:42 PM   #3
David Meverden
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Re: Programming Part 5 Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Callahan View Post
What you should take from it is that as you, or your clients, progress and move more weight in the same (or greater) range of motion they are doing more work. If they do this they are increasing their power output. On top of that if they then do a workout in less time than before they are also increasing power output. You do not need to calculate it to know that it is improving.

If you want to geek out and calculate the amount of power you produced in one workout, go to town, but don't feel like you need to do it every workout and track the progress cause you can do that without all the physics

-Robert
Pretty well put, Robert. The definition of work in physics (Force x Distance = Work) is often more useful to our fitness community when applied conceptually to human work, as opposed to literally, because not all useful human tasks, or useful exercises, will produce appreciable Work as defined by physics and because exercises differing drastically in difficulty will produce the same Work. Isometric exercise is the most obvious example of the former (pushing against a static object; no matter how hard or long you push no Work is done in the physics sense) , while L-pullups vs pullups is an excellent example of the latter (both move the same load the same distance, but L-pullups are substantially harder).

So, as Robert said, I don't recommend getting wrapped up trying to calculate work output for every workout, or getting obsessed trying to compare one workout work output of another workout, but it is a good conceptual tool.
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:10 AM   #4
Jason Ackerman
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Re: Programming Part 5 Question

To look at it at the most basic level would be, do this WOD faster then last time and you have increased Power/Intensity and will be more Fit.
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:57 AM   #5
Derek Franks
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Re: Programming Part 5 Question

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Old 12-10-2008, 09:26 AM   #6
John C. Brown
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Re: Programming Part 5 Question

Michelle,

So, first thing you need to do is weigh yourself. Once that is done, do the movement that you want to measure and figure out how far you move. Use a relative center of your mass for the point to use. So like for a squat, use your belly button (umbilicus for you 10 pound brains) and measure from hip extension to the bottom (crease of hip below parallel). Multiply the distance by your body weight. If you are using an external object (let's say kettle bells) then do the same measurements for distance mentioned about (swings should move less than a squat, body weight shouldn't change too much), and then find out the work for a KB swing (35 pound x [about] 6 feet or 72"). Take the body weight work number and add it to the kb work number and that will give you total work for a single rep of the movement... Hope that helps.
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