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Old 07-06-2008, 04:33 AM   #11
Hari Singh
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Re: A Thought On How to Score Non RX'd WOD's In the CF Games

Shane, Jonathan, I stand corrected.

I was thinking of the definition of fitness as "work capacity over a broad range of time and modal domains."

My point is that although there are ten components of fitness, the final result is measured directly as a function of work capacity.
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Old 07-06-2008, 10:25 AM   #12
Keith Wittenstein
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Re: A Thought On How to Score Non RX'd WOD's In the CF Games

Hari your idea works within a relatively small window. When you move to margins, the idea of doing more reps with less weight fails to get the same results. This is the same argument that women who want to lengthen and tone make: high reps build long lean muscle and low reps make you bulky. The reasons for this are mostly: 1) biological - the stimulus of 100 reps at 2lbs vs. 2 reps at 100lbs is drastically different in terms of the way it effects the muscular, neurological and endocrine systems; and 2) mechanical - the physics of lifting heavy is as much a function of proper mechanics and leverage as it is a function of muscular strength. Coach describes strength as the "productive application of force" implying that in addition to contractile potential of the muscles there is also a large skill or technical component to strength.

Strength cannot be duplicated at lower weight.

It seems that your time would be better spent getting stronger than finding ways to use higher math to make less weight equal more weight. Over the years this message board has seen many conversations regarding the unfair nature of the workouts and the weights involved and how Crossfit is particularly unfavorable to one body type or another. I wonder if we went to a basketball forum if we would see people complaining about how the 10ft rim height is unfair to short people? The NBA does not set up a short rim so the little guys on the team can dunk too. Fit people are strong. Strong people lift heavy. This is the sport of fitness and one of the events we compete in is strength.
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Old 07-06-2008, 10:32 AM   #13
Keith Wittenstein
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Re: A Thought On How to Score Non RX'd WOD's In the CF Games

Furthermore, the definition of "Increased work capacity over broad time and modal domains" means that we should be striving to be fit or capable at both ends of the spectrum: 1 rep at 400lbs and 4 reps at 100lbs and 100 reps at 4lbs. Your idea does not lead to capacity over broad modal domains but rather seeks to adjust to bring the challenge into the comfort zone of the athlete.
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Last edited by Keith Wittenstein : 07-06-2008 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 07-06-2008, 03:08 PM   #14
Hari Singh
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Re: A Thought On How to Score Non RX'd WOD's In the CF Games

Keith,

I am not arguing that we shouldn't train with high weights. I am arguing that within the context of what the CF Games are measuring ("work capacity over a broad range of time and modal domains") athletes should be given some leeway in how they demonstrate work capacity for a given WOD. The possibility of decreasing the weight by more than about 1/3 is easily disposed of with a few examples.

Start by considering OPT's 2-minute "Diane" (45 dead lifts and 45 HSPU's in 120 seconds). Assuming 12 seconds for five transitions from one exercise to another, and assuming each exercise was performed at roughly the same speed, that comes to about 1 dead lift every 1.2 seconds. If you've seen the video, I think you will agree that it is not possible to move much very faster than that, regardless of weight.

I am asking whether it should be possible to compare OPT's "Diane," for example, with another athlete's non-RX'd Diane. If I want to match OPT's work output in two minutes using a lighter weight, my options are pretty limited. If I use 4/5 the weight (180 lbs), I need to 25% more reps in the same 54 seconds, which is very close to impossible. But if some athlete could do it, my argument is that it should count.

A second example in the context of the dead lift / burpee WOD from the games: Speal's time was 2:41 (161 seconds) for 25 dead lifts and 50 burpees. A fair estimate is 2 seconds per burpee and 1.5 seconds per dead lift. My argument is that an athlete who wants to demonstrate the same work capacity with a lighter weight should be free to try. Using my initial example, it would require 30 dead lifts (6 per round) at 230 lbs, which would have to be done at the rate of one every 1.25 seconds (which coincidentally is about exactly what OPT did during his "Diane").

Strength is a component of fitness, but it shouldn't be an absolute contraint in measuring fitness. My argument is that it should be possible to compare the work capacity of two athletes who differ in strength (e.g., one who does 5 reps per round @ 275 and one who does 6 reps per round @ 230).

There is virtually no possibility of an athlete turning in a similar time doing, say, 10 reps @137. (It would require one rep every 3/4 second.)

Last edited by Hari Singh : 07-06-2008 at 03:11 PM. Reason: Corrected math error
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:09 PM   #15
Shane Skowron
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Re: A Thought On How to Score Non RX'd WOD's In the CF Games

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Originally Posted by Hari Singh View Post
Keith,
There is virtually no possibility of an athlete turning in a similar time doing, say, 10 reps @137. (It would require one rep every 3/4 second.)
Well, then it becomes an issue of speed, another one of the general characteristics of fitness. And light deadlifts every 3/4 a second is not really that hard.

You're right in saying that you can have identical work capacities with different weights, and that they are comparable. But Crossfit is not about developing the work capacity that YOU want, it's about developing the work capacity that life/nature/Coach demands. And sometimes life/nature/Coach just wants you to be able to surpass a certain arbitrary strength threshold. So in a sense, elite fitness must be constrained by strength. Work capacity does not.

Keith is right about the broad time and modal domains. It doesn't mean the domain that you feel most comfortable with - it means almost everything! If I squatted heavy every day I would have a huge total work capacity. And if I ran 30 miles every day I would also have a huge total work capacity. But clearly those alone are not good standards of fitness. You must have great work capacity across many different arenas- running, lifting, throwing, etc.
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:50 PM   #16
Hari Singh
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Re: A Thought On How to Score Non RX'd WOD's In the CF Games

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Originally Posted by Shane Skowron View Post
So in a sense, elite fitness must be constrained by strength. Work capacity does not.
If that were true then CrossFit would not be about developing work capacity over a broad range of time and modal domains; it would be about developing work capacity at a specific minimum strength level over broad time and modal domains.

Work capacity is not arbitrary; strength minimums are. For example, if the WOD required 2 dead lifts @ 450 lbs, it could be argued that this represents a specific "elite" strength standard. I would counter that the winners of today's games could blow away most athletes who could 450 lb dead lifts, but my measure of comparison would be work capacity, not strength.
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Old 07-06-2008, 10:01 PM   #17
Keith Wittenstein
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Re: A Thought On How to Score Non RX'd WOD's In the CF Games

The CrossFit program seeks to elicit increases in work capacity over broad time and modal domains however a contest is a contest and as such requires a certain level of proficiency to compete at an elite level. Your argument if taken to other sports would necessitate the lowering of basketball rims for shorter ball players, the shortening of races for larger runners, and a movable fence in the outfield for baseball. I can't even imagine how we would scale football to make it accessible.

For a guy like Spealler the deadlifts were twice his bodyweight and he put in a tremendous time. I doubt he could have gone much faster with lighter weight and more reps. The goal should be to be more like Spealler. I also do not hear you putting forth an argument that we should lower the pullup standard to accomodate big guys that can't do pullups with their chest touching the bar.

I really think this is a ridiculous argument because I doubt you would ever carry this theory over to other places where performance counts. We hold professionals like doctors and lawyers up to a high standard. The bar exam and the board exams test on a lot of varied information and we expect these professionals to know all the material and be able to be tested on it. If they can't pass the test they fail. Too bad! If you want to be a professional you have to meet the minimum requirements and they are the same for everyone. It is no different in a physical competition like this.

Your theory might work in a training environment for people that can't handle a lot of weight but need to increase their capacity. However, it falls short for a competition standard. We want to find out who is the "best" and the "fastest," not who is "also equally as qualified and did the same amount of work."
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Old 07-07-2008, 08:57 AM   #18
Lol Mettam
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Re: A Thought On How to Score Non RX'd WOD's In the CF Games

I've thought about this a lot too. Setting up a perfectly 'fair' Crossfit Games is likely an impossibility. Much better to have the games and for a few folks to be disadvantaged than for the games to not take place. The athletes that get to represent their respective countries in the Olympic Games this year will have been chosen because they are 'better' than their rivals where 'better' might be faster, stronger, more powerful, more highly skilled etc. No competition is probably ever completely 'fair'. Advantage is what helps certain people to win and I understand that that's the way it should be.

Of course, some events, notably Oly weightlifting, which is all about power, strength and skill do have weight classes to ensure that the little guys get a chance to compete at a high level.

So, I guess what I'd like to see in a Games is one pure strength event like a CFT where the big guys get a chance to shine along with a rowing or running event where the lighter athletes take the honours. The other workouts like the deads/burpees and thrusters/pull-ups are a bit of both. (Hmmm... Perhaps contestants could chose to opt out of one event from a selection of 5? All would have to do four events. There could be one pure strength event and one pure cardio.)

Anyway, it's been a brilliant CF Games this year; there were some truly outstanding athletes competing and I can't wait for some vids to appear.

I think for me, as a non-competitor, I would like to see body weight and height of the contestants recorded as part of the results table. That way i can relate to the guys in my size bracket and see how they fared at the games and to give me some targets to shoot for.
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:02 AM   #19
Nick Hanson
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Re: A Thought On How to Score Non RX'd WOD's In the CF Games

I think another question to ask is for those top athletes, specifically a guy like Speal, do you think he would even want the weight scaled? I say H3ll no!! If he is going to win he wants to win vs the big boys. Plus, just look at a guy like Pat Barber. He weighs 155lbs soaking wet and he came in 4th. He had a top ten time in the C+J competition even though it was 30 reps of his body weight!

In the end, no one is going to be happy with all aspects of the crossfit games. But I would guess that even if there were weight classes, Speal (and everyone else who is a top 20 competitor) wouldn't give an ish about it and would still do everything as prescribed.
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:26 AM   #20
Hari Singh
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Re: A Thought On How to Score Non RX'd WOD's In the CF Games

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The CrossFit program seeks to elicit increases in work capacity over broad time and modal domains however a contest is a contest and as such requires a certain level of proficiency to compete at an elite level. Your argument if taken to other sports would necessitate the lowering of basketball rims for shorter ball players, the shortening of races for larger runners, and a movable fence in the outfield for baseball. I can't even imagine how we would scale football to make it accessible. . . .

Your theory might work in a training environment for people that can't handle a lot of weight but need to increase their capacity. However, it falls short for a competition standard. We want to find out who is the "best" and the "fastest," not who is "also equally as qualified and did the same amount of work."
If we view the CF Games as a sport with its own unique rules, then I think you're right. If we view the CF Games as a method of determining the athlete with the greatest work capacity over a broad range of time and modal domains, then I think your analogies are misplaced.
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