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

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Old 07-30-2008, 03:01 PM   #91
Phillip Garrison
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Re: Studies to confirm/prove CrossFit efficacy

Many on here are using as "proof" that Cf produces more "elite fitness" than other programs the fact that their times, and total work produced on WOD's improves. That's the same as saying a decreased 800 meter time by training for the 800 meters, produces better fitness than other programs. To argue that it improves fitness more, it neeeds to measure a battery of tests compared to adherents to other programs some of the things it may compare are:

Body Composition
VO2 Max
Vertical Leap
Force Production (via force plate)
Time to failure on a bike ergometer
Wingate test out put ( a measure of anearobic power)

If you compared a group of CF'rs (matched for age with others adherents) then you could compare real solid data. The main argument for CF is that it will give you the best all around fitness in 10 different components of fitness (power, strength endurance, etc) when compared to other programs. If that is true, then the CF group should have the best average score on all the tests, when compared to other programs (SS, Olympic Lifting, HST, HIT, Triathlon, etc).
 
Old 07-30-2008, 03:05 PM   #92
Chris Walls
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Re: Studies to confirm/prove CrossFit efficacy

So find groups of people that started from identical base levels of fitness, followed the different protocols to the letter, stuck to identical diets, and basically kept all other possible variables identical (so only the exercise protocols are the variables) then yes, you would have yourself a study.
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Old 07-30-2008, 04:54 PM   #93
Rob Johns
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Re: Studies to confirm/prove CrossFit efficacy

You're still confusing science with evidence Phillip. Graphs etc are simply a way of summarizing evidence. Science is a method, and they make no claims on CF being confirmed by science method. Only that they have evidence and that is available to the public.

There is no claim of proof either. All is basically says is that CF produces gains in "work capacity across broad modal domains..." and that the evidence for it is available in the form of workout logs.

This is silly, time for me to stop wasting time and go run 15km
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Last edited by Rob Johns; 07-30-2008 at 05:10 PM..
 
Old 07-30-2008, 06:02 PM   #94
Christian Gotcher
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Re: Studies to confirm/prove CrossFit efficacy

I feel like I kind of already addressed what you're talking about, Phillip, but I'll add on to what you're saying to hopefully clarify.

There is a problem with Crossfit. This problem has a million expressions, but they all sound relatively like your post:

Quote:
To argue that it improves fitness more, it neeeds to measure a battery of tests compared to adherents to other programs some of the things it may compare are:

Body Composition
VO2 Max
Vertical Leap
Force Production (via force plate)
Time to failure on a bike ergometer
Wingate test out put ( a measure of anearobic power)
Crossfit's issue is that it holds as invalid most of these measures of fitness, and its stated enemy, the "Globo-Gym", doesn't bother with them either. Why should body composition matter? I've seen tanks of men, big and fat looking, who could not only squat more than me (155#), but run faster and swim longer. VO2 Max is entirely event dependent with little relevance to our claims of general, inclusive fitness. Vertical leap is a good test, but often overrated. Force production and the Wingate test are useful, but the bike ergometer... perhaps not so much. A Crossfitter is more likely to fail from strength than metabolic capacity, and bike-strength is only tangentially related to many of the exercises we hold dear.

So what if Fran is a good measure of fitness? Nobody else uses it.

Now that I've somewhat agreed with you and somewhat disagreed, a few criticisms:
Quote:
I just listed them.
You never listed any activities which are held to the same scientific scrutiny as you are demanding of Crossfit in comparison to other training protocols. Most of them wouldn't care about the scientific scrutiny: many skill-based sports communities are an example: few soccer players look for 'scientific evidence' that their sport generates inclusive fitness. Few even look for 'scientific evidence' that, say, one drill is better than the others. The standard bodybuilding split has been proven less effective for building mass through the intermediate and advanced levels of lifting and creating effective lifters. Do they care about the 'science' of the 3X8? I'm curious.
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:15 PM   #95
Brandon Oto
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Re: Studies to confirm/prove CrossFit efficacy

The underlying point to these arguments, which I think is very relevant, seems to be this: pursuing fitness is only coherent when you have a goal, and while "broad fitness" or "GPP" is a kind of goal, it is not actually well-defined enough to be a real one. For instance, a soccer player knows when his training is working because he scores more points and wins more games; a powerlifter increases his total. How does a CFer know? It's easy if we use CF standards, but that's only valid for "CF as a sport," which is a DIFFERENT goal than the "broad fitness" one. If you really want to pursue the latter, then you really need to establish specific metrics. Ideas like the 10 aspects of fitness are a good start, but they're not enough. You need to be able to break it down into things like 1RM back squat, angle of adductor flexibility, 40 time, whatever; measurable quantities that are broadly applicable and not part of our sport (since it's obvious that we'll get better at CF). Maybe the most appropriate measures would be "real world" ones, since that's supposedly our goal; something like shoveling gravel for time. I'm not going to say what it should be but I hope it's clear that you can't scientifically compare programs in effectiveness, and there's not even much sense to saying a program is effective at all, without defining the measures as SOMETHING. Unlike the soccer player who can play soccer and get better at soccer, CF WORKOUTS DO NOT COUNT as a metric, because (except for CF-as-sport) they are NOT OUR GOAL -- our goal is supposed to be getting better at everything ELSE and getting better at CF workouts does NOT show that this has happened. You could try to show a correlation between them scientifically -- WoD times improve, x fitness metric also improves -- but it hasn't been done.

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Originally Posted by Christian Gotcher View Post
A Crossfitter is more likely to fail from strength than metabolic capacity
Why is this a better way of failing?
 
Old 07-30-2008, 06:32 PM   #96
Justin Leigh
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Re: Studies to confirm/prove CrossFit efficacy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Oto View Post
How does a CFer know?
The CFer gets better at all of these:

http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/excercise.html (WFS)

to the point where they are better than almost all of their peers (peers being people of similar genetics and similar age) and the CFer improves their body composition to the point where it is much better than the majority of their peers thus achieving elite fitness by just about anyone standards.
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:46 PM   #97
Christian Gotcher
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Re: Studies to confirm/prove CrossFit efficacy

+1, Brandon. That was an excellent way of saying what I am far too verbally challenged to get across. I totally agree- the idea of the "Sport of Fitness" is flawed if you see Crossfit as complementary and not the goal (a very "Twight" view of fitness).

Still, there are a million factors to sports performance. If you're still practicing sports-specific and your Crossfit training is supplementary, increases in your performance may not be Crossfit-related. To some degree, it is a matter of assumption. If a military unit assumes a PFT to be a valid test of functional fitness, and a Crossfit-style program produces better PFT results than a standard MilFit program, that unit logically has to accept that Crossfit is a better program for their goals. Is the Canadian Armed Forces PFT an accurate measure of fitness? That's for every individual to decide for themselves.

As for my comment on the erg, it might be ignorant, but I'll explain my reasoning. The bicycle ergometer tests metabolic capacity to failure among cyclists and strength with non-cyclists (when using cyclists as the test subject- even powerlifters fail from muscular fatigue instead because of the repetition involved). I could be completely wrong in this as I was taught it in PE and we know how accurate general PE classes are. If it is true, though, then the bicycle ergometer is an unfair test of metabolic capacity favoring those with sports-specific exposure (the same thing for all VO2 max tests). Like I said, though, I could be totally wrong there.
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:00 PM   #98
David Schneider
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Re: Studies to confirm/prove CrossFit efficacy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gant Grimes View Post
Here we go again.

***

CF: "This is evidence based fitness."

Newb: "Cool. I like it and have improved my fitness immensely. By the way, where is this evidence you speak of?"

CF Community dog-pile: "You don't need to stinking evidence! Shut up and enjoy your elite fitness!"

Newb: "Okay, I was just wondering if there was anything to back up the claim that..."

CF Community dog-pile: "When the great flood comes and you have to stack 90# sandbags over your head, the BBers will be washed away. Only you and have your family will live. The earth will be repopulated with CFers and everyone else will burn in hell."
Gant, You're the ****...
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:08 PM   #99
Scott Mahn
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Re: Studies to confirm/prove CrossFit efficacy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Leigh View Post
The CFer gets better at all of these:

http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/excercise.html (WFS)

to the point where they are better than almost all of their peers (peers being people of similar genetics and similar age) and the CFer improves their body composition to the point where it is much better than the majority of their peers thus achieving elite fitness by just about anyone standards.

Using the CF repertoire is stacking the deck. The claim is that CFers will do comparatively better at activities that neither athlete does. Since CF tries to do "everything" one needs to thing more creatively. How about who can climb a tree, cut down branches, chop them into wood and stack a chord fastest. Who can kayak farthest in a given period of time. Who can push a truck farthest. Who can break more boards with a kick. Javelin throwing. Long jump. Bags of sand filled, carried and stacked.

Actually, American Gladiator style competitions could also be interesting.

My assumption is that events that challenge strength endurance over a period of 5-20 minutes, the style of training that typifies CF, will reward the CFer. But tasks that require feats of greater endurance or absolute strength would favor those coming from other disciplines.

If the competition were balanced fairly between feats of strength, skill, endurance and "metcon" I don't see why the generalists (which includes, but isn't exclusive to, CF) shouldn't fair well.
 
Old 07-30-2008, 07:09 PM   #100
Steven Anderson
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Re: Studies to confirm/prove CrossFit efficacy

the state of affairs that a plan is intended to achieve and that (when achieved) terminates behavior intended to achieve it; "the ends justify the ...
finish: the place designated as the end (as of a race or journey);
- This is the first "hit" when typing what the definition of "goal" is on a google search. Not that a search needed to be done, but to prove a point...

One's goal is simply that...ONE'S goal. IMO, no one else on these boards should be telling people that their goals "aren't really goals."

This program works differently for different people, MANY DIFFERENT PEOPLE, from all walks of life. My mother has finally gotten on board with CF, eh, somewhat. She recently turned 50 and she has no interest in competing in any sport or even pushing herself even mildly beyond her limits during some of the workouts that I have helped scale for her. At this point in her life, she wants to continue looking good, feeling good, being free of aches and pains and being in overall good health. She doesn't frequent the boards, she doesn't post her times/lifts, she just wants to be able to respond (in a positive way) to whatever life throws her way, whether it be helping someone, staving off cancer, etc. etc.

I, on the other hand, am a firefighter/paramedic and a lifelong athlete. I have implemented many forms of training and various of my own hybrid programs and all have worked great to get me to the goals that I wanted during those times.

However, it is my ultimate goal to better my "broader fitness level or GPP." Why do you say that this is not a realistic goal. YES IT IS. I know what works for me and understand what my goals are and how I will go about obtaining them. While concentrating on strength, my metcon levels diminished and noticeably so, this coming from a very heavy metcon and cardio based background. So, it is my goal to have great metcon and great GPP and this makes me a better athlete, firefighter, fitness freak, etc. etc. Great conditioning or work capacity is what I train for and better conditioning and greater work capacity is what I seek, and obviously, so do a great number of other people around here. So, I simply ask, what's wrong with that? I honestly believe that in the end, work capacity is superior to strength and all other elements of fitness. Again, that is just my opinion and belief.
 
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