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

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Old 06-07-2011, 10:04 PM   #1
Brian Pressman
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Crossfit's definition of health

I was thinking about something.

Crossfit's definition of health is the ability to sustain fitness. Mr. Glassman claims that any "disease, illness, or injury will manifest itself as reduced work capacity...therefore, the only way to sustain the highest levels of fitness is to avoid, or at least minimize, disease, illness, and injury."

Given this definition, wouldn't we need to know Crossfit's rates of injury to evaluate whether it promotes good health (compared to other activities)?

Does anyone have thoughts?

Last edited by Brian Pressman : 06-07-2011 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:13 PM   #2
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Crossfit's definition of health

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Pressman View Post
I was thinking about something.

Crossfit's definition of health is the ability to sustain fitness. Mr. Glassman claims that any "disease, illness, or injury will manifest itself as reduced work capacity...therefore, the only way to sustain the highest levels of fitness is to avoid, or at least minimize, disease, illness, and injury."

Given this definition, wouldn't we need to know Crossfit's rates of injury to evaluate whether it promotes good health (compared to other activities)?
Yes.

Katherine
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:59 AM   #3
Brian Pressman
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Re: Crossfit's definition of health

The reason I bring it up is that Crossfit doesn't publish or even track (I asked this during my level 1 cert) any injury data. If Mr. Glassman is using the above definition of health, crossfit may well be unhealthy. We all know how much it helps our fitness, but if we get injured more often than someone say, exercise walking for 30 mins a day, the walker may well be more healthy.
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:33 AM   #4
Michael Dries
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Re: Crossfit's definition of health

^^ well yea, and that's the rub. At what point does your exercise routine start taxing your body beyond healthy levels?

And health goes beyond exercise. Sleep, stress, relationships and diet probably impact a person's health more-so than exercise.
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:35 AM   #5
Mike A Greene
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Re: Crossfit's definition of health

I have never gotten injured with greater frequency than since I started CF.
That said, I have never recovered more quickly from injury, understood my body's signals better, or been able to maintain a slow, inexorable drive towards higher levels of strength and fitness while succumbing to minor injuries since I started CF. I think it's a good trade: Minor aches and pains every day, but the ability to train smarter to overcome potential chronic problems.
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:42 AM   #6
Pär Larsson
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Re: Crossfit's definition of health

Been wondering about this stuff, too.

A good start might be to keep a log of all the minor injuries that happen at your gym. Thing is most gym owners wouldn't want that info floating around too much.

In the past year or so I've seen:

One busted hamstring (prior condition pre-disposing him to this).
Box-jump deep shin gouge with a good chunk of flesh come clean off.
Thruster straight to the chin. No serious consequences. Damn funny video, though.
2 newbies pulling too hard and puking.
2 back injuries (both myself, both prior military injury, one serious, one just a little muscle stiffness for a week).
Lots of ripped, torn blisters and palms.
One bloodied/stitched finger due to ditching an overhead something into a metal rack.

Now adjust for the number of people doing workouts, and the number of members at the box - is someone who works out all the time more or less prone to injury? What kind of equipment do you use most of the time? Adjust for programming differences. Plus there's injuries that I didn't know about because I wasn't there for that workout that day. Age of injured people. Level of experience.

There's a ton of variables here. Sounds like a good PhD thesis research project, to me.

Last edited by Pär Larsson : 06-08-2011 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:48 AM   #7
Andrew Bell
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Re: Crossfit's definition of health

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Pressman View Post
I was thinking about something.

Crossfit's definition of health is the ability to sustain fitness. Mr. Glassman claims that any "disease, illness, or injury will manifest itself as reduced work capacity...therefore, the only way to sustain the highest levels of fitness is to avoid, or at least minimize, disease, illness, and injury."

Given this definition, wouldn't we need to know Crossfit's rates of injury to evaluate whether it promotes good health (compared to other activities)?

Does anyone have thoughts?
Don't tell that to this poor dude....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXFgUAvzUaM (wfs)
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:59 AM   #8
Brian Pressman
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Re: Crossfit's definition of health

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike A Greene View Post
I have never gotten injured with greater frequency than since I started CF.
That said, I have never recovered more quickly from injury, understood my body's signals better, or been able to maintain a slow, inexorable drive towards higher levels of strength and fitness while succumbing to minor injuries since I started CF. I think it's a good trade: Minor aches and pains every day, but the ability to train smarter to overcome potential chronic problems.
The problem is, nothing any of us have experienced/observed good or bad is really relevant in answering this question. We need data (injuries per 100 participates, days per year lost to injuries, etc).

I guess my whole point in bringing this up is that while I love crossfit, it is not proven healthy by Mr. Glassman's definition.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:07 AM   #9
Brian Pressman
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Re: Crossfit's definition of health

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pär Larsson View Post
Been wondering about this stuff, too.

A good start might be to keep a log of all the minor injuries that happen at your gym. Thing is most gym owners wouldn't want that info floating around too much.

In the past year or so I've seen:

One busted hamstring (prior condition pre-disposing him to this).
Box-jump deep shin gouge with a good chunk of flesh come clean off.
Thruster straight to the chin. No serious consequences. Damn funny video, though.
2 newbies pulling too hard and puking.
2 back injuries (both myself, both prior military injury, one serious, one just a little muscle stiffness for a week).
Lots of ripped, torn blisters and palms.
One bloodied/stitched finger due to ditching an overhead something into a metal rack.

Now adjust for the number of people doing workouts, and the number of members at the box - is someone who works out all the time more or less prone to injury? What kind of equipment do you use most of the time? Adjust for programming differences. Plus there's injuries that I didn't know about because I wasn't there for that workout that day. Age of injured people. Level of experience.

There's a ton of variables here. Sounds like a good PhD thesis research project, to me.
YEah! So right. Your thinking exactly how I am. There are tons of variables, I guess my only concern is that there is NO tally of injuries what so ever. Sure, there are some people walking around who have been hurt badly and others who are stronger, faster, and never missed a day. I started thinking about this stuff because I observed several pretty serious things in my old gym over about 1 year: one collapsed lung requiring an ambulance, 1 herniated disc requiring surgery, and one torn knee... and this was just out of my 6am class (5-10 people each class).

Again, I only bring this up within Mr. Glassman's definition of health. Many people will disagree that health is measured exclusively by fitness (work) capacity. Personally, I think Japanese people are pretty darn healthy. They live the longest in the world and are not very physically active compared to a crossfiter.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:07 AM   #10
adam adkins
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Re: Crossfit's definition of health

If you want "health" and/or "longevity" you should focus on long walks, tai chi, good genetics, and a traditional diet.

Weight training and crossfit are poor choices for "health" as most define it.
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