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

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Old 10-02-2009, 10:53 AM   #1
Alex Reynolds
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Is CrossFit Really A Sport?

I watched the CrossFit movie, "Every Second Counts", a few weeks ago, and I notice the mention of "The sport of fitness" a few times. Its obviously said on this site quite often too.

I have been tossing the question around in my head for weeks now. . . "Is CrossFit really a sport?". Every time I hear someone say that, I kind of cringe, and say to myself. "it's still guys/gals lifting weights" when you boil it down. Then logically I have to say "well is olympic lifting a sport?" (I would say yes). So how can I say Oly lifting is a sport and crossfit isn't? Or what about golf?

Sorry for that stream of consciousness line of thinking. . .

But, even still, The definition or key word that I keep coming back to for a "sport" is unpredictable.

For example, a nfl linebaker cannot truly simulate what will happen when the ball snaps and he is meant to drive through a line of beasts and tackle a quarterback. Each situation is different and totally unpredictable. The pummeling, fakes, and all the other movements that go into it are different each time.

With crossfit, or the games more specifically, you may not know the order, but the moves are nearly mastered in advance, and with workout like Fran or any other benchmarks that repeat themselves in their appearance at a games or as a WOD, you know what is coming.

Point being that I view "sport" as a situation where you never know what will happen next and you are forced to "react" in the best way possible based on your training. The games could or could not fall into this category depending on how you look at it.

I hope I am making sense here. . .

What I am basically getting at is "what is a sport?" which is a huge question, and then is crossfit one? I still have a lot of trouble swallowing the idea that it is a sport.

Let me also just say that I am a 3 and half year crossfitter. Love the program, and frankly it has changed my entire life in so many ways. I have made great friends, and am more productive from crossfit. I am not trying to "hate" as they say, I just keep getting the willies when I hear "the sport of fitness" and was wondering what others thought about it.
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Old 10-02-2009, 10:58 AM   #2
Jake Oleander
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Re: Is CrossFit Really A Sport?

This will be a debate that has no clear cut answer, but i can tell you this: Crossfit, or the sport of fitness, has WAY more potential as a sport than bodybuilding and I can't see how it's too much different than weightlifting or powerlifting, both of which I consider sports.
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:00 AM   #3
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Is CrossFit Really A Sport?

Track and field, power lifting, weight lifting, strong man, lumberjack, swimming, diving, speed skating, rowing and to a lesser degree gymnastics, figure skating, skate boarding are all predictable by your standards. Are they not sports?
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:02 AM   #4
Alex Reynolds
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Re: Is CrossFit Really A Sport?

Yes, sorry for the wide open question. Not very refined. I guess I am driving towards a distinction between "reaction" sports as a kind of labeled them in my initial post and sports that are based more towards the mastery of a specific movement if that makes sense. I guess I am also saying that I do feel it is more reliable to call people playing football or basketball as engaging in "sport" as opposed to weighlifters and such. Again, not dminishing their accomplishments or work, just saying I feel their is more athleticism involved in being an NFL lineman and dealing with the unpredictable than mastery of a specific movement in a much more controlled environment.
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:02 AM   #5
Matthew Stafford
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Re: Is CrossFit Really A Sport?

Is a physical activity involved? Yes.
Is competition involved? Yes.

By definition it is a sport.
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:04 AM   #6
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Is CrossFit Really A Sport?

Actually, the NFL linebacker does have a pretty good idea what's going to happen after the ball is snapped. He can be pretty confident that that the opposing team will try to move it downfield in one of a handful of predictable ways defined by the rules of the game. He can also be pretty confident that he won't show up on game day to find a field that's 50 yards long with a net in the middle, and the football replaced by a medicine ball.

I'm curious about your other comparison. If olympic weightlifting is a sport, why isn't CF?

The part of the statement that makes me cringe isn't "sport," though, it's "fitness." I'm happy to concede that the Crossfit Games are a sporting event, but I'm not convinced that the winner is the World's Fittest Human. Primarily because I find the definition of "fitness" overly circular.

Katherine

Edit: On further reflection, I think the word you're looking for is "game." Weightlifting is a sport, but it isn't a game. Football is a game and a sport. Chess is a game, but not a sport.

Last edited by Katherine Derbyshire : 10-02-2009 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:04 AM   #7
Alex Reynolds
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Re: Is CrossFit Really A Sport?

Yeah, Matthew just made me feel dumb with his short reply. If its competition and its physical then I guess it is a sport.
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:07 AM   #8
Alex Reynolds
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Re: Is CrossFit Really A Sport?

Quote:
Actually, the NFL linebacker does have a pretty good idea what's going to happen after the ball is snapped. He can be pretty confident that that the opposing team will try to move it downfield in one of a handful of predictable ways defined by the rules of the game. He can also be pretty confident that he won't show up on game day to find a field that's 50 yards long with a net in the middle, and the football replaced by a medicine ball.
But katherine, do you or do you not think that the lineman has less control than a weighlifter stepping up to the platform. Doesnt really get to the "sport" question, but thats what I was saying.
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:27 AM   #9
Alex Reynolds
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Re: Is CrossFit Really A Sport?

I am going to recant my first statement. I am sitting here philosophizing on these things. I am that bored. OR at least avoiding the work I need to do.

I do agree that skill mastery things like weighlifting are sports. I always did. I realized that what I am really getting at is the hierarchy of sports - which sports really require the "all around fitness" that crossfit requires. And what rubs me the wrong way about the "sport of fitness" mentality and the "fittest man alive" stuff is that I feel that there are sports that take place in more uncontrolled environments that require a degree of athleticism not seen in the crossfit protocol.

As a thought experiment, what if you were to take the top 10 males from the games and put them through a diverse group of some of the most scientically demanding sports (I don't know what these are), maybe soccer, football, boxing, and test their performance there as to the "fittest man alive". I would be curious to see how they stack up.
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:36 AM   #10
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Is CrossFit Really A Sport?

And so we step across the line from general fitness to sport-specific skills.

A Crossfitter probably wouldn't fare all that well on a soccer field, but neither would a basketball player. And none of them would necessarily be able to handle an MMA fight or a building fire.

That's the challenge of the CF Games: measuring fitness in isolation, as a goal in itself, where most sports treat it as a means to an end.

Katherine
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