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Old 11-21-2008, 12:55 PM   #491
Phillip Garrison
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Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit

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Originally Posted by Sean Dunston View Post
Ohh - thanks for the explanation.
I thought the statement that "you produced them" meant that you had trained a bunch of young athletes and from that training they BECAME D-I athletes.
Yes I'm a junior college S&C coach. Many of my students have gone on to play DI and DII athletics.

Last edited by Phillip Garrison : 11-21-2008 at 01:00 PM.
 
Old 11-21-2008, 12:59 PM   #492
Phillip Garrison
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Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit

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Originally Posted by Pat McElhone View Post
Phillip,

I do not understand your response. This is a legitimate question I have for you or others. How much of the old Soviet, Eastern Block science-based program design and the successes these athletes had in track and field and weightlifting were based on:

1. Methods that were proven in the labratory using well designed studies (this is my understanding of what yourself and others are looking for in this thread).

2. Ideals formulated from coaching experience, and applying scientific knowledge, principles of physics, physiology, chemisty and combining an understand of both science and athletics. Taking these ideals and applying and seeing improved success (however that is defined), however accepting that these principles worked based on observations, not based on large, controlled studies that proved (p<0.05) the observed successes were actually do the the training methods.

3. Or, finally, did the Soviets do nothing more then just dope all their athletes up. Seriously, where were all the old powerhouses in China? Sure, they were in weightlifting, but no where else.

Again, Philip, I am not asking this in a debate tone, I am asking for your (or others) answer. Thanks,

Pat
The answer they all had a big effect. After the "fall" of the eastern bloc, and even before former soviet and east german coaches and scientists became highly sought after. Things like periodization, block training, plyometrics, ballistic training, resisted running etc, all come from the Eastern Bloc countries. Sport coaches like Bondurchuk, Roman etc are still highly sought after to coach athletes today. In fact nearly every gold medalist thrower in the Olympics over the past 30 years has at some point worked with Bonderchuk.
 
Old 11-21-2008, 01:04 PM   #493
Pat McElhone
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Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit

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Originally Posted by Phillip Garrisonq View Post
The answer they all had a big effect. After the "fall" of the eastern bloc, and even before former soviet and east german coaches and scientists became highly sought after. Things like periodization, block training, plyometrics, ballistic training, resisted running etc, all come from the Eastern Bloc countries. Sport coaches like Bondurchuk, Roman etc are still highly sought after to coach athletes today. In fact nearly every gold medalist thrower in the Olympics over the past 30 years has at some point worked with Bonderchuk.
You meant BONDARCHUK, correct? Did they use large randomized study to determine the effectivness of a training protocol? Has Bondarchuk validated his method of coaching throwers with large, randomized, controlled studies? Where did he publish his research? Do you have the articles?

I have access to Ovid, MD Consult and the library can get me almost anything academically published, so the reference will be fine.

Last edited by Pat McElhone : 11-21-2008 at 01:14 PM.
 
Old 11-21-2008, 01:22 PM   #494
Brandon Oto
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Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit

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Originally Posted by Robert Wolf View Post
Brandon-
The stuff you are putting forward is interesting but Gawd-awful tough to do in practical terms.

lets say we implement a CF program on a group of soccer players. Were they trained before? If not anything will benefit them. So, perhaps it should be in comparison to another program...which one? How do we measure proficiency in THAT program? Perhaps it's CF.com wod vs ME-black box vs Gants program vs Catalyst WOD.
The more obvious answer would seem to be comparing CF against a control, which in that case would probably amount to "whatever they're already doing." So split the group in half, try to keep it homogenous, one half trains how they have been, and the other half starts WoDs. There are obviously confounders due to differing backgrounds but if you can get, oh, several dozen people in the test group that would be pretty meaningful.

Quote:
Cool...how are we going to get the numbers to test that? How do we verify adherence to the program? There are a load of variables to track just on the training protocol side...
One thing that comes to mind is actually using an existing athletic group. For example, a team out there with an experiment-minded coach, or even a CrossFit affiliate (or several) willing to use some of their permanent athletes. That way they continue on their usual schedule, which means coming in to the same place to train under the same coaches, and both their activities and their results can be tracked directly. (Just make sure nobody sneaks home and does curls, but as far as controls go that doesn't seem like an outrageously hard one.) Maybe make a nominal effort to recommend diet/rest/etc. but don't worry about it too much, just get enough testers and hope it balances out.

Quote:
Now, HOW do we quantify soccer performance? running the ball through a series of cones? average scoring? Number of blocked shot attempts by the goalie?
I don't know enough about the sport to say; perhaps it would vary by position? To be honest, soccer sounds like one of the more difficult examples, so if you want to go this route (performance-based testing) there might be easier fish, at least for the first attempts. Football might be a good one if you have a team, because they have both some solid recorded in-game stats and some accepted out-of-game tests (40, vertical, etc.). If you haven't got an actual sports team on-hand, you'd have to come up with some more generic tests (i.e. the gravel-shoveling example); perhaps strongman sort of stuff would be a good source.

The nice thing about those generic tests is that they can be used to track progress in individual athletes, not just compare between them. So in a straightforward way, even if you're committed to CF, if you maintained a plot of these numbers, you could (hopefully) gauge your performance over time, and most importantly against changes in your programming. So you could answer those questions like "did more fat blocks help me?" and "is more strength valuable?" beyond just looking at your WoD numbers.

Quote:
This in contrast to the huge data set available to us everyday via CF.com and the affiliates. I KNOW this is in the realm of anecdote...but I still see it being more valuable.
It's worth noting that if the sort of experimentation above could be done, it would actually CONFIRM that this data (CF-internal) is valuable. Because it would mean that CF results correlate well with real-world results, so if you improve on CF metrics, your GPP is improved. So if we can convince ourselves of that, then we CAN use the CF data, much more reliably -- we know that it means something. Otherwise, strictly speaking, we have no idea, and that's one of the criticisms lobbed against CF. ("My Fran time went down!" "So?")

Quote:
So, it sounds like you really want some kind of validation of the programming for 3rd party applications...like I put in a previous post, propose a study design, how it will be administered, what parameters are tracked...the whole enchilada, and we will find a grad student or a program to run it.
I should actually point out that I wasn't the one who started all this; I don't run a DI program or an affiliate, so my needs are pretty well fulfilled by personal black boxing. But it does interest me, so I'm willing to see if we can make something of it.

Maybe we could railroad Lon Kilgore and his grads to run with it, although last I checked he's busy busy.
 
Old 11-21-2008, 01:28 PM   #495
Phillip Garrison
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Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit

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Originally Posted by Pat McElhone View Post
You meant BONDARCHUK, correct? Did they use large randomized study to determine the effectivness of a training protocol? Has Bondarchuk validated his method of coaching throwers with large, randomized, controlled studies? Where did he publish his research? Do you have the articles?

I have access to Ovid, MD Consult and the library can get me almost anything academically published, so the reference will be fine.
Most of the old soviet stuff was published in the Soviet Union, not in international journals. Look up sportivny press and you'll find alot of the old soviet stuff.
 
Old 11-21-2008, 04:47 PM   #496
Robert D Taylor Jr
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Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit

You know Naval Medical Center Portsmouth and ODU are doing a study as we speak comparing CF to some other program (I can't remember the name, but, apparently it was designed by some SOF guys. It's using Active Duty conventional Sailors, and comparing performance and biometrics (I don't know which ones) I asked to be involved with it but I was too close to retirement. I have also ran into one of the guys in the test. I expect we'll see the results, I was told HQ was involved.
 
Old 11-21-2008, 06:29 PM   #497
Brett Dartt
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Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit

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Originally Posted by Ganine Vanalst View Post
I have found this thread interesting. I have wanted to contribute, but have elected to play it safe and keep my mouth shut, but I do have some points to make for whatever they are worth. I address them to no one in particular; just some observations/thoughts on some themes I have heard repeated throughout this thread.

Some of you have stated that you are supporters of CrossFit, but then you demand scientific validity of the results people are achieving using CrossFit methods. First, who is stopping you from conducting those studies? NO ONE. If there is some organization with the funding and desire there is absolutely nothing stopping them from proceeding. All the information into the workings of CrossFit is freely available. It is not as though some piece of information vital to conducting said research is being withheld by CrossFit HQ thereby precluding any study from being conducted. If there were some data or some secret proprietary methods not being disclosed then I can see there being some issue. But that is far from the case, everything is FREELY available, so there can be no issue there. This point has been made ad nauseam in this thread.

Is your problem then that you expect CrossFit HQ to conduct the research? From "What Is Fitness," provided free on the “Start Here” page of the main CrossFit website, it is stated: "...it warrants mention that we are not attempting to demonstrate our program’s legitimacy through scientific principles. We are but sharing the methods of a program whose legitimacy has been established through the testimony of athletes, soldiers, cops, and others whose lives or livelihoods depend on fitness." Have you read that? If not, I think that is indicative of a problem plaguing CrossFit; people profess to know what CrossFit is, yet haven't taken the time to familiarize themselves with the fundamentals, even when they are pointed in the right direction and the information is freely provided. (And I am NOT claiming to know all that CrossFit is; what I write here is based on my current understanding which I am trying to deepen by reading this thread/forum.) That is not a fault of CrossFit, but is a problem endemic to our society, namely the failure of people to take the time to research things for themselves. If you have read “What is Fitness” (and if you are a stickler for research your failure to do so before participating in CrossFit renders a proclaimed love of research highly suspect), then you should have understood one of the tenets of CrossFit is that results matter first (again, my understanding based on my reading of the material). If you didn't agree with that tenet, then you didn't have to proceed further. Or perhaps you didn't agree with this tenet, but decided you might still get some results from the program anyway and decided to give it a try.

So lets assume for arguments sake you are now getting results (and from many of your posts you say you are supporters, so I assume this means you are getting results), yet now you want to change the system that has brought you those results. That's why a lot of marriage's and relationships fail - you try to change, and thereby destroy, that which you profess to love. Problem is the results you are getting are a direct result of a system built on what is observed to be effective, on anecdotal evidence, and now you are finding fault with the system. You can't have it both ways. If you want results based on scientific peer-reviewed studies then you are free to pursue those results; the studies are out there (as are the millions of obese and sick people who are a casualty of those studies). If you have went that route and have found it lacking, then you must have some understanding of why some followers of CrossFit has such disdain for the research, or at least could give a rats a$$ what the research shows.

I for one followed a high carb, low-fat diet in my twenties. I read all the research and recommendations; those same recommendations are being made today, albeit with some slight modifications. Initially I lost weight, but gradually it became harder and harder to lose weight and easier and easier to gain weight. I have pretty much always exercised regularly. Several years ago, twenty pounds overweight and frustrated, I decided to get up early every morning and exercise on my treadmill for an hour. Treadmill monitor reported I was burning about 700 calories during each workout. I worked out 5 mornings a week for 2 months. My diet during this period stayed constant and was identical to before I started working out on the treadmill. According to conventional wisdom, all other things being equal (and they were), I should have lost about 8 pounds at the end of those two months. I didn't lose a *****ing ounce. For me there was a major disconnect between what the research said should have happened, and what did. Then I read The Carbohydrate Addicts Healthy Heart Program and the light bulbs started going off. I was very cynical and disgusted, but I had reached the ***** IT point and I gave their eating plan a try. After all, I did everything the "right way" according to all the experts and recommended guidelines but I was still struggling. To my surprise I started losing weight immediately despite stopping my morning treadmill torture routine. Interesting thing was I ate the same net amount of calories or more, so again, according to conventional wisdom I should have stayed the same weight or I should have gained weight, but I started losing weight. Having an understanding of insulin resistance and the role carbohydrates play in contributing to insulin resistance was enough for me to say ***** you to the high carb low fat dogma; and my experience (results) validate my decision. I don't give a sh*t that there is or isn't a study to validate my experience; my blood work is excellent, and I have found something that works for me. I look around me and see a lot of people following the recommendations based on the current peer-reviewed studies; many are obese and many are on medications to control the symptoms of the havoc wrought on their bodies by following these recommendations. IT'S *****ING INSANE.

If your concern is you want to provide your clients with enough scientific evidence to give CrossFit a try (I believe that is a theme I have read in this thread), I suggest you do the following - tell them to look around. Just look the ***** around. Something is broke. Despite all these studies people are getting fatter, more depressed, sicker, and more dependent on medications and then more medications to deal with the side effects of their medications. Keep your studies thank you. I will base what I do on the results. If the studies bare out my results in the future, great. If they don't, I certainly am not going to dismiss what is working just because some research tells me it shouldn't be working. I choose to believe my own eyes, my own ears, and what my own body tells me. Conversely, I am not going to do what does NOT work even if there exists numerous peer-reviewed academic articles/studies telling me it does work.

I don't agree with everything I read on CrossFit. I have read Enter the Zone based on the recommendations here, but have elected to not try it. In part because I have some misgivings over some things in the book, but mostly because I have found something that works for me, the Heller's diet. I have questions and concerns about some aspects of CrossFit, but I am open-minded enough to be willing to try it for myself and see what works and dismiss the rest. Based on what I read in "What is Fitness," and in many other places on the CrossFit main page, journal and forum, my guess is that CrossFit HQ evaluates what is working and not and will do likewise. Maybe I am wrong, but that is the impression I get.

And if I find some elements of CrossFit don't work for me I am not going to dismiss CrossFit wholesale; there is too much in the CrossFit movement that I think is valuable. Nothing and no one is perfect. There seems to be a lot of integrity and genuine intellectual curiosity in the CrossFit community. It seems many of the participants in CrossFit think for themselves and take responsibility for their choices. And no, I haven't drank the kool-aid; I don't like kool-aid (although all the mention of kool-aid on this site has got me to thinking it might be good with some vodka).

As previously mentioned I have questions regarding some elements of CrossFit, and that is one of the reasons I find a thread like this interesting. I agree that it is healthy to discuss opposing view points and flush out discrepancies and inconsistencies and that process should not be shied away from unless there is something to hide. And from what I can see nothing is being hidden - it is all available openly and mostly for free. Don't equate the systems refusal to change to accommodate you (demanding peer-reviewed studies when the system has clearly stated that is not what it is based on) with a refusal to be open to critique. And don't hobble a system that is working (by many of your own admissions CrossFit does work), by demanding it change to become the very system that has proven itself to have serious short-comings.

I can be one of the most nitpicky *****es on the planet when it comes to over analyzing things and harping on slight inconsistencies, but when something works it *****ing works. Yea, I would like to know why it works, but I aint gonna stop doing what works in the meantime until some study gives me the go ahead.

Thank you for listening
hi!.
 
Old 11-22-2008, 09:43 AM   #498
Ganine Vanalst
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Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit

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Originally Posted by Brett Dartt View Post
hi!.
Why hello, Brett.

NOTE TO EVERYONE ELSE: My sincerest apologies for bumping this thread. Have a great weekend.
 
Old 11-22-2008, 11:19 AM   #499
Robert Wolf
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Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit

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Originally Posted by Brandon Oto View Post



One thing that comes to mind is actually using an existing athletic group. For example, a team out there with an experiment-minded coach, or even a CrossFit affiliate (or several) willing to use some of their permanent athletes. That way they continue on their usual schedule, which means coming in to the same place to train under the same coaches, and both their activities and their results can be tracked directly. (Just make sure nobody sneaks home and does curls, but as far as controls go that doesn't seem like an outrageously hard one.) Maybe make a nominal effort to recommend diet/rest/etc. but don't worry about it too much, just get enough testers and hope it balances out.





It's worth noting that if the sort of experimentation above could be done, it would actually CONFIRM that this data (CF-internal) is valuable. Because it would mean that CF results correlate well with real-world results, so if you improve on CF metrics, your GPP is improved. So if we can convince ourselves of that, then we CAN use the CF data, much more reliably -- we know that it means something. Otherwise, strictly speaking, we have no idea, and that's one of the criticisms lobbed against CF. ("My Fran time went down!" "So?")



Maybe we could railroad Lon Kilgore and his grads to run with it, although last I checked he's busy busy.
Brandon-

This SEEMS to be exactly what has happened with the Canadian Mil study, the work at BUDS (un-published), Marine sniper school...I'm all for helping to develop some study designs, but this DOES seem like a lot of work to simply verify what I see every day. Maybe it's because I've owned and worked an affiliate for almost 5 years, but I see CrossFit improve performance in folks ranging from MMA to tri's all the time.

Out of our clientele I'd say perhaps 25 people are "competitive" athletes. Of these folks, say in the Tri scene, we have 3 people going to worlds this year who were barely regionally successful before working with us. Now I know it's not scientifically proven, but my observation is that if an individuals Fran gets faster, that individual can:run, bike, swim, firefight or do MMA better. It really is that simple.
 
Old 11-23-2008, 02:27 PM   #500
Donald Clarkson
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Re: T-Nation, Shugart and the Truth About CrossFit

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Originally Posted by Robert Wolf View Post

Now I know it's not scientifically proven, but my observation is that if an individuals Fran gets faster, that individual can:run, bike, swim, firefight or do MMA better. It really is that simple.
Exactly.
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