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

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Old 04-02-2009, 10:06 PM   #1
Mike Dieck
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Physical Fitness Testing

We have 4 Level I CrossFit instructors on our SWAT team to include myself. Physical fitness testing of our current operators and those who are testing to get on the team has always been a challenge. When I first got on the team we did the Cooper's test, then we tried body weight squat, deadlift and bench press. Now, we are doing a modified Army Ranger test which is 12 strict pull-ups for max points, 80 push-ups & 80 sit-ups in 2 min. for max points and a 1 mile run in 7:12 or under for max points. It is a 400 point test and if the operator/candidate has a cumulative score of 320 or higher then they pass.

My question is how can we apply CrossFit to our testing standards? Our agency doesn't have a fitness standard overall however the SWAT team does & the administrators have never questioned what we do to test someone's fitness level. The administrators already accept CrossFit as a fitness regimen however they question using it for testing purposes and how it should be job specific. Well I question how the Cooper's test (not a fan of the Cooper's test) or some of the other tests I heard of are job specific. I constantly preach that CrossFit is based on functional exercise so in my eyes it is job specific.

We did Fight Gone Bad for physical training the other day & the operators liked it. We have considered using FGB for testing because of the various exercises & you can apply a tangible score to it. I figured that since military, law enforcement & fire departments use CrossFit someone can offer advise or refer me to someone.

Thanks in advance,
Detective Mike Dieck
Special Investigations Unit
SWAT Team Leader 1*
Douglas County Sheriff's Office
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:28 AM   #2
Phillip Garrison
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Re: Physical Fitness Testing

No standardized fitness test is gonna be specific enough to what you do, so my suggestion would be to pick tests which tests the physical qualities you think are most important and are standardized to show correlation with success.
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:57 PM   #3
Annlee Hines
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Re: Physical Fitness Testing

Mike, you might want to roll your own, sort of like the Ole Miss NROTC unit did - video from the Main Page WOD here - http://www.CrossFit.com/mt-archive2/004524.html (WFS). They obviously started with the (relatively new) USMC CFT, and adapted the third event, where they don't have a regular obstacle course, to be something like combat.
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:08 PM   #4
Andrew H. Meador
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Re: Physical Fitness Testing

Christine or Helen would be excellent diagnostics. Or a burpee/kb swing metcon. Or really anything that's a simple bodyweight/weightlifting metcon and lasts between 5 and 20 minutes. For SWAT, strength matters more than endurance, unlike say in the special operations community. But it should definitely be one event, something that you have to psych yourself up for, and not emphasize one particular movement too much. What do distance running and push-ups have to do with SWAT, you know?
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:12 PM   #5
Keith Graves
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Re: Physical Fitness Testing

Our SWAT Team uses this PT test to evaluate current operators and those wishing to get on the team. Although it is not 100% CF oriented, it is a good measure of physical strength/endurance that one needs as a SWAT Operator. Each station is done quickly as if in a CF workout. There is not resting permitted between stations.

a. One mile run in 12 minutes or less, carrying an assigned unloaded shoulder-fired weapon system while wearing full SWAT gear (load bearing ballistic vest, duty belt without weapon, and ballistic helmet) including tactical footwear.
b. 60-yard run carrying a one person ram, in full SWAT gear, wearing a gas mask, within 15 seconds.
c. 30-yard low-crawl in full SWAT gear wearing a gas mask, within 60 seconds. The elbows and knees must touch the ground at all times.
d. Climb over a 6 foot fence, unassisted in full SWAT gear within 10 seconds.
e. 5 pull-ups in full SWAT gear started from hanging position with palms facing away from the body and arms fully extended. For repetitions to count, the chin must be completely seen over the bar at the conclusion of the upward motion.
f. 5 vertical pushes (dips) in full SWAT gear. Started in the down position with arms parallel to the ground and arms almost completely extended at the top of the motion.
g. Move the heaviest SWAT team member 20 yards, both in full SWAT gear, within 40 seconds. Any safe carrying, pulling, or dragging technique may be used.

Surprisingly, the exercises that wash out most people are the pullups and the 6 foot fence. The fence catches people because with the vest on, their gear gets caught up on the fencing and pulls them back down. You have to practice the fence with a vest on or you will have problems.
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:36 PM   #6
Joffray Marcantel
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Re: Physical Fitness Testing

Maybe try this?

http://militaryathlete.com/page.php?page_ID=43 WFS

Here's a video of it, also WFS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCbVMrkqhXI
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Last edited by Joffray Marcantel : 12-14-2009 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:39 PM   #7
Jeremy Williams
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Re: Physical Fitness Testing

I second the Operator Ugly approach.
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