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

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Old 09-21-2010, 06:19 AM   #71
Daniel Higgins
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Re: Military says You’re Too Flabby For CrossFit

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Originally Posted by Joseph E. Morris View Post
The easiest way to identify someone who hasn't done anything is to pick out the guy who's still telling boot camp stories.
Hahahaha. That is a gem, and very true I believe.
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:53 AM   #72
Daniel Higgins
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Re: Military says You’re Too Flabby For CrossFit

"Maybe all out CrossFit isn't appropriate for basic training- even though all branches would eventually be wise to incorporate it or something like it at some point- but we clearly have far bigger problems than that going on here."

This was the one part of your post relevant. Even if there was a viable way to re-structure the PT at basic training, it would take considerable effort to re-tune the curriculum and educate the DI/MTI. For the brass this would be a huge cost-benefit traadeoff, and its absurd to think this change will happen overnight if it did indeed happen.

(lost from my last post)
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:32 AM   #73
Carlos Cristan
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Re: Military says You’re Too Flabby For CrossFit

As a former DS at Fort Jackson who incorporated CrossFit into physical training for a 60 Soldier BCT Platoon and who currently does CrossFit 2-3 days or more a week at the Platoon level I will tell you that it is absolutely possible to incorporate CrossFit into Unit PT. Basic is exactly what everyone in this thread says it is; just the basic skills necessary to familiarize yourself with how to survive in combat. As a DS if you are not getting down in the prone next to every Soldier during BRM to figure out where a firers fundamentals are breaking down in order to give them the skills necessary to be able to zero and qualify with their weapon you will not be successful as a DS and it will be because you did not personally do enough to ensure that this happened. Coaching a Platoon through the mechanics of an airsquat or any of the 9 basic movements is no different; and basic training should be where a Soldier learns how their body works and how it was intended to move. All of the logistical issues aside, there is no reason why a competent well versed instructor who can appropriately scale and sub can not lead a Platoon through a CF session. Gyms on Fort Jackson were also cooperative enough to allow us to sign out equipment for days at a time. Obviously DS's come in all different varieties and that includes physical ability and the ability to effectively teach or train as well. Will every DS be able to accomplish this? The answer is absolutely not, but is it possible for some? Yes. You have to utilize the tools provided for you to accomplish the mission. I had plenty of Soldiers that could easily pick up the mechanics of a movement, learn it, execute it, and in very short order teach it and be able to recognize flaws and short comings and make corrections. This will obviously depend on the quality of instruction they receive and has to be closely supervised. Some would say that this is irresponsible. In the Army we call this kind of person a peer instructor. To say that an entry level Soldier shouldn't be placed in that kind of position is in my opinion irresponsible when in just a few short months said Soldier will almost undoubtedly find themselves in a combat zone. I'm surprised at the number of people in this thread who say it is not possible or ideal. We're talking about civilians who have done something none of us have or ever will to include myself with 16 years of service; that is knowingly volunteer to serve their country during a time of war. For any of us to undermine that or their resolve is unacceptable. I'm not so sure that alot of this thread isn't just alot of us trying to justify our own existence.
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:51 AM   #74
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Military says You’re Too Flabby For CrossFit

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Originally Posted by Carlos Cristan View Post
As a former DS at Fort Jackson who incorporated CrossFit into physical training for a 60 Soldier BCT Platoon and who currently does CrossFit 2-3 days or more a week at the Platoon level I will tell you that it is absolutely possible to incorporate CrossFit into Unit PT. Basic is exactly what everyone in this thread says it is; just the basic skills necessary to familiarize yourself with how to survive in combat. As a DS if you are not getting down in the prone next to every Soldier during BRM to figure out where a firers fundamentals are breaking down in order to give them the skills necessary to be able to zero and qualify with their weapon you will not be successful as a DS and it will be because you did not personally do enough to ensure that this happened. Coaching a Platoon through the mechanics of an airsquat or any of the 9 basic movements is no different; and basic training should be where a Soldier learns how their body works and how it was intended to move. All of the logistical issues aside, there is no reason why a competent well versed instructor who can appropriately scale and sub can not lead a Platoon through a CF session. Gyms on Fort Jackson were also cooperative enough to allow us to sign out equipment for days at a time. Obviously DS's come in all different varieties and that includes physical ability and the ability to effectively teach or train as well. Will every DS be able to accomplish this? The answer is absolutely not, but is it possible for some? Yes. You have to utilize the tools provided for you to accomplish the mission. I had plenty of Soldiers that could easily pick up the mechanics of a movement, learn it, execute it, and in very short order teach it and be able to recognize flaws and short comings and make corrections. This will obviously depend on the quality of instruction they receive and has to be closely supervised. Some would say that this is irresponsible. In the Army we call this kind of person a peer instructor. To say that an entry level Soldier shouldn't be placed in that kind of position is in my opinion irresponsible when in just a few short months said Soldier will almost undoubtedly find themselves in a combat zone. I'm surprised at the number of people in this thread who say it is not possible or ideal. We're talking about civilians who have done something none of us have or ever will to include myself with 16 years of service; that is knowingly volunteer to serve their country during a time of war. For any of us to undermine that or their resolve is unacceptable. I'm not so sure that alot of this thread isn't just alot of us trying to justify our own existence.
The bold part is the problem--sure there will be a few who know what they're doing, but do you think every platoon will have a DS/DI who knows how to teach and correct the movements? Or have two of them, because every now and then even DSs/DIs need days off?

We have PMIs whose only job is to teach marksmanship to recruits, and we have water survival instructors whose only job is to get recruits through swim qual safely. They're the ones who teach those specialized tasks (not the DIs) because having a highly-trained cadre ensures consistency in the training. As of now there's no similar system for training PT instructors, so asking DIs to implement CF principles beyond the absolute basics would be potentially dangerous.
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:22 AM   #75
Carl Amolat
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Re: Military says You’re Too Flabby For CrossFit

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The bold part is the problem--sure there will be a few who know what they're doing, but do you think every platoon will have a DS/DI who knows how to teach and correct the movements? Or have two of them, because every now and then even DSs/DIs need days off?

We have PMIs whose only job is to teach marksmanship to recruits, and we have water survival instructors whose only job is to get recruits through swim qual safely. They're the ones who teach those specialized tasks (not the DIs) because having a highly-trained cadre ensures consistency in the training. As of now there's no similar system for training PT instructors, so asking DIs to implement CF principles beyond the absolute basics would be potentially dangerous.
It sounds like PT Instructor (wfs) could be an MOS in and of itself if not an additional skills identifier for one's primary MOS. The British and Australian armies actually have PTIs in their initial and advanced training courses for whom physical fitness instruction is their primary duty. Perhaps such a system could benefit us as a whole, because when those NCOs rotate back to their units in whatever service they fall under they bring that knowledge of safe and competent physical training/scaling back and can use it to that company, battalion, or brigade's benefit.

Quote:
I had plenty of Soldiers that could easily pick up the mechanics of a movement, learn it, execute it, and in very short order teach it and be able to recognize flaws and short comings and make corrections. This will obviously depend on the quality of instruction they receive and has to be closely supervised. Some would say that this is irresponsible. In the Army we call this kind of person a peer instructor. To say that an entry level Soldier shouldn't be placed in that kind of position is in my opinion irresponsible when in just a few short months said Soldier will almost undoubtedly find themselves in a combat zone.
I'd have to heartily agree with you on that point. In this type of warfare (Counter-Insurgency) command and control does tend to get pushed to the leader on the ground (irregardless of his or her rank). The USMC Three Block War and US Army Full Spectrum Operations paradigms both discuss leadership being pushed down to the lowest level. So why not start with soldiers at Basic?
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Last edited by Carl Amolat : 09-21-2010 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:57 AM   #76
Carlos Cristan
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Re: Military says You’re Too Flabby For CrossFit

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Originally Posted by Carl Amolat View Post
It sounds like PT Instructor (wfs) could be an MOS in and of itself if not an additional skills identifier for one's primary MOS. The British and Australian armies actually have PTIs in their initial and advanced training courses for whom physical fitness instruction is their primary duty. Perhaps such a system could benefit us as a whole, because when those NCOs rotate back to their units in whatever service they fall under they bring that knowledge of safe and competent physical training/scaling back and can use it to that company, battalion, or brigade's benefit.
I like this or a similar version of it.
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Old 09-21-2010, 02:57 PM   #77
Ian Peek
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Re: Military says You’re Too Flabby For CrossFit

I'm not MIL - I'm a civillian, but wanted to chime in as well.

Funding. An implementation of CF across the board would require an exceptionally large amount of funding, which, during tough economic times would be difficult to secure (contrary to popular belief, the DOD does not have bottomless pockets...).

1. Equipment for a sufficient number of people - KBs (of various sizes to enable scaling), olympic barbells, pullup stations, weight racks, bumper plates.
2. ADEQUATE training for instructors - I think this will take much more than a single weekend at an L1 cert, keeping in mind that those instructors would have to be able to scale appropriately, instruct all movements accurately, and how to provide appropriate feedback / motivate an individual.
3. Training facilities - will all of this be done in the field outside, or are special facilities required?
4. Number of trained instructors to adequately implement CF - if additional instructors are required - who gets to pay their fully-burdened rate?

Safety - there are several safety risks. Primary example is dropping weights from overhead. How do you ensure that the lifter does not get hurt? That the other people surrounding him/her does not get hurt?

Health effects - in the spirit of competition, it is highly likely some overly competitive folks will exceed their abilities (or have their abilities pushed too hard by others), with significant health effects (rhabdo, heat stroke, etc.). Personnel in the infirmary/hospital are not effective, and as a result, valuable training / work time could be lost.

Lack of perfect form on exercises. It might only take one poorly executed heavy back squat or deadlift or clean to render someone in severe pain / unable to continue training. What is the value to the military then?

It is a simple risk/cost analysis, really. The implementation of CF as the primary fitness program is very high risk with respect to safety and health, high costs (equipment, training, facilities, etc.), and very little official (well-published) knowledge on the topic. While the payoff could potentially be huge, the risks are almost insurmountable, from a government standpoint. Further, there are already fitness programs in place, with existing risks and well-known costs. The military processes thousands of enlisted and commissioned personnel every year, who form an "acceptable" distribution of fitness levels. The combat troops who need severe fitness pursue it already, and will likely pursue it on their own. Why does the military need CF?

From the organization that requires all soldiers to wear reflective belts when WALKING on the base (even on sidewalks) and publishes documents on "safety hazards around the office" (to name a few), could you honestly see them letting a field full of fresh recruits lift a loaded barbell above their heads in an olympic lift in a high-rep, competitive workout, after eating their entire breakfast in 5 minutes or less, with significant sleep deprivation? Or swinging 53-70lb weights around?

And we haven't even addressed the potential sexual harassment issues of the terminology: "Doing Fran", "I did Helen today", etc. I can see this going over REAL well with the government (sarcasm there).
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:11 PM   #78
Rob St. Croix
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Re: Military says You’re Too Flabby For CrossFit

[quote=Carl Amolat;845878]The British and Australian armies actually have PTIs in their initial and advanced training courses for whom physical fitness instruction is their primary duty. Perhaps such a system could benefit QUOTE]

Believe it or not, Marine Corps OCS has a British Royal Marine PTI on staff. Mine was a "Color Sgt." I think that is ruffly the same as a GySgt (E7) He is the one who programs PT for candidate Companies, supervises USMC PTIs under his charge, and teaches some classes on fitness.
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:39 PM   #79
Daniel Higgins
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Re: Military says You’re Too Flabby For CrossFit

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Originally Posted by Ian Peek View Post
Funding. An implementation of CF across the board would require an exceptionally large amount of funding, which, during tough economic times would be difficult to secure (contrary to popular belief, the DOD does not have bottomless pockets...).
Yes and No. Budgets are always tightly watched, but I can speak for the Air Force here. My base has a brand new (~2 yrs old) "Fitness Center" that costed $20+M. Some bases have crappy gyms, but when they build or refurb gyms they throw in all the bells and whistles. I can't even begin to describe the amount of random crap we have, but what I will say is there is ONE crappy squat rack, 3 non-standard benches, no oly platform, and moderately heavy dumbells. I have yet to spot a kettlebell. Pullup bars-just one, on the cable crossover and one in the b-ball court.

But what does it have!?!?!?! At least 2 dozen fancy-*** spinning bikes, all the cardio machines you could imagine, and useless staff. Now of course this is my bias, but if I was in charge of how the $$ was spent things would be much different. The staff would be trained and focused differently, and eventually so would the Airmen.

I can't speak for the facilities or employees/trainers of other services, but simply being educated in physiology, maybe getting an L1 cert and a few specialty certs, and buying different things would go a long way.

Fitness is the buzzword in the AF -- if you fail the almighty PT test oh N0es. Everyone is on top of you. They spend plenty of money on revising and researching the PT test and providing consulting (they even have civilians running the PT tests!!!). So my point is--there's plenty of money in the AF Fitness Budget to make some of the aforementioned changes.
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:54 PM   #80
Troy Becker
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Re: Military says You’re Too Flabby For CrossFit

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And we haven't even addressed the potential sexual harassment issues of the terminology: "Doing Fran", "I did Helen today", etc. I can see this going over REAL well with the government (sarcasm there).
That has actually come up before with some navy people having a problem with it. CF main site had it linked a couple years ago I think. See my last post and how pansy they are making our military today, or at least trying to.
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