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Old 03-25-2009, 10:48 AM   #1
Kevin Trangone
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the physical decline of man-an essayist in need

Hello,

First off, I want to introduce myself. My name is Kevin Trangone, and I am a 21 year old college student/occasional Crossfitter (crammed in between school, work and bjj). I am new to the forums, but not new to the workouts and methodology.

Now that that is out of the way...let me get to my actual issue...

For a class I am taking I am required to write a term paper on a topic of my choosing. I decided to write on man's physical decline due to the increased usage of technology (watching too much tv, playing video games, etc.) and are thus becoming ill equipped to handle life physically. I use the ideas of possible physical emergencies, threats, etc as examples of what I mean when I say 'life.' I am having a hard time finding legitimate sources, studies, etc. This is true also for the historical aspect as well (my professor suggested I look into the Victorian Era, and I have only found one source). As a system that allows people to essentially "train for life" I was wondering if anybody had any links to sources that talk about my topic.

Any ideas or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Kevin Trangone
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:56 AM   #2
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: the physical decline of man-an essayist in need

I would move this to community for more views.

What kind of info are you looking for, something like "in 1950, the average man could drag another man 50 feet in 10 seconds, today that number has climbed to 60 seconds"?

I think if you could find a chart of average strength or performance of some metric and then compare it to bw, that would suffice. SHowing a decrease in the strength to weight ratio would be indicative of poor overall physical abilities.
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:07 AM   #3
Kevin Trangone
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Re: the physical decline of man-an essayist in need

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Originally Posted by Jamie J. Skibicki View Post
I would move this to community for more views.

What kind of info are you looking for, something like "in 1950, the average man could drag another man 50 feet in 10 seconds, today that number has climbed to 60 seconds"?

I think if you could find a chart of average strength or performance of some metric and then compare it to bw, that would suffice. SHowing a decrease in the strength to weight ratio would be indicative of poor overall physical abilities.

Tests similar to that would work. One paper I found (Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 2000) compared obesity/inactivity deaths from y2000 to 1993.

As follows:
1993 = 300,000 deaths
2000 = 400,000 deaths

And they also suggested a specific rate of increase per year, which escapes me at this moment.


I will search for what you suggested and see if I can come up with anything.

Thanks.
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:36 PM   #4
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: the physical decline of man-an essayist in need

You would also have to adjust for population.
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:49 PM   #5
Gabriel desGarennes
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Re: the physical decline of man-an essayist in need

Rip told us at the cert that the average squat at a competition is about 100lbs weaker now than it was when he squatted in the 70's.

Now the strongest are actually stronger but the lower level competitors are actually weaker now.

Finding something more than an anecdote about that might help
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:01 PM   #6
Robert Callahan
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Re: the physical decline of man-an essayist in need

I have heard of people measuring deadlift strength in Native Americans during westward expansion but would have no idea where to find that information....
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:01 PM   #7
Ryan Whipple
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Re: the physical decline of man-an essayist in need

The best thing I can think of off the top of my head is the Presidential Fitness Challenge or whatever it's called now in schools. It's been around for a while (I think 40+ years) so you could look at average scores, or even changes in the test to lower the standards.

Stats on obesity. If you want to get really into it, look of Syndrome X, also known as metabolic derangement, and try to find stats on all four of its components.

The rise of suburbs and the car and the reduction of walking through the city/carrying purchases home.

I think one of the Zone books does a comparison between "ideal body weights" in the 1970s and 1990s, showing that the 90's numbers left a lot of extra room for extra...padding.

Back in "the day" strongmen were viewed as top physical specimens. Now we strive for the endurance athlete ideal. Therefore, even those who train and rather weak.

AH! I just hit me! There's a thread going on now about a new definition for "moderate exercise" that's something absurd like 3000 steps a day. Look at exercise recommendations. Professional medical organizations have been constantly lowering levels of suggested exercize for two reasons: they want to set it low enough that people can achieve it, and it is taking less and less effort to actually constitute a workout. Check this out!
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