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Old 06-14-2006, 09:13 AM   #1
Chuck Pelowski
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I am writing a report suggesting that Texas Tech Army ROTC implement a 30-day trial of Crossfit.

My report will:
-Look at the existing PT program
-Determine the physical needs of combat soldiers
-Discuss whether these needs are being met
-Assess Crossfit
-Determine if Crossfit will meet combat needs
-Suggest a method of implementing a 30-day trial, preferablly run by cadets (who are not familiar with Xfit)

I am looking for sources, interviews, quantifiable data, etc. If anyone has any ideas; information; or knows of any studies that have been done, I would really appreciate the help.

If you have any questions or would like to contact me my email is charles.pelowski@ttu.edu

-cp
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Old 06-14-2006, 09:40 AM   #2
Tirzah Harper
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didn't I read something about some Canadians doing something similar?
Horribly vague, I know, sorry! But it might give you a direction to check.
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Old 06-14-2006, 09:51 AM   #3
Chris Jordan
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There's an article in CFJ #41 titled "Validity of CrossFit Tested". Canadian Military School was the subject.

Good stuff.
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Old 06-14-2006, 10:27 AM   #4
Frank DiMeo
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Chuck with the guys at CrossFit Torii Beach (1SFG)
they were at the May CF cert.
They could give you some relevant info. I'm sure.
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Old 06-14-2006, 01:32 PM   #5
Barry Cooper
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Definitely surf the back CrossFit Journals. The one on Combat Gymnastics is one of my favorites. There's another--was it this month?--on group PT.

One question that occurs to me is what justifies--other than long-standing institutional habit--CURRENT methods? If you flip the whole thing on it's head, let's say they are CrossFitting now, why would they switch to pushups, situps, pullups, timed runs, ruck marches? What science would THEY point to? I don't think it exists.
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Old 06-14-2006, 03:17 PM   #6
Don Stevenson
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Barry,

Thats probably one of the greatest points about a CF program i've heard! I'll use that next time people ask me "Why CF?"

Tradition is a horribly strong force in the military though. Armies will keep doing utterly stupid things for hundreds of years just because it's always been done that way. Spit shining shoes springs to mind.
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Old 06-15-2006, 09:54 AM   #7
Chuck Pelowski
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So far, I plan to use the following:

CFJ #2 "Police Training"
CFJ #14 "Team Workouts"
CFJ #19 "What is Crossfit?"
CFJ #32 "A Soldier's Perspective"
CFJ #39 "Combat Gymnastics"
CFJ #41 "Validity Tested"

FM 21-20 - Current Army PT Manual
IET Standardized Physical Training Guide
"Physical Training Programs in Light Infantry Units"
Operation Anaconda (Afghanistan) AAR
STP 21-24 - Soldier's Manual of Common Tasks

This document needs to be persuasive, and I would like to use as many "non-Crossfit" sources as possible.

If any one has any other suggestions, please feel free to contact me at charles.pelowski@ttu.edu

-cp
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Old 06-15-2006, 10:52 AM   #8
Matt McCollum
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Check out Eric Cimrhanzel '07's manual he put together for his squadron's PT at Texas A&M.

http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/3499/12859.html
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Old 06-16-2006, 07:58 AM   #9
Barry Cooper
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Chuck,

The two principal problems that happen as a result of incomplete GPP are 1) inability to perform tasks-- either at all, or with the efficiency possible with complete, or relatively complete GPP--and injuries.

Therefore, as you already seem to be doing, the two things to look at are what soldiers actually do, and what rates of injury are currently.

Based on both cinematic and written depictions of the lives of soldiers, it seems to me they spend a lot of time in low crouches, crawling, sprinting, jumping over and under things, digging, and carting around heavy containers of ammo, water, and whatever, often after unloading it from a big truck. The times they aren't running at full speed, they are walking, typically with packs.

If you utilize the principle of specificity of training--for which there is documentation everywhere--you see that running long and slow is a poor substitute for running fast, and walking with a pack. You see that if the job is carrying things, situps are entirely insufficient at developing core strength, and crunches likely worse.

Which leads to injuries. Stress fractures, and repetitive use injuries appear very common, even-- and perhaps especially--in conditioned athletes. Repetitive use injuries are avoided by mixing things up. Stress fractures are avoided by reducing training volume, and through increased bone density, itself achievable at least in part through resistance training, and proper diet (one hill at a time, though, with respect to that last).

I purchased some time ago a book called the Israeli Fitness Strategy, which consisted of 30 minutes of weightload walking, i.e. with a pack which you could load with increasing weight, and 3 30 second exercises designed to attain max heartrate momentarily. You tried to cover more ground with more weight over time in the 30 minutes, but you kept it to 30 minutes. You did the walking and the anaerobic exercises 5 times a week.

Now, the exercises weren't very good, but the concept seems good to me. A very good program would be a 30 minute weightload walk daily (body armor, gear, everything, as that's what you carry into combat, not shorts and running shoes), and CrossFit. Obviously, not all workouts are possible, but sandbags are not hard to come by, and you've got all the stuff in Combat Gymnastics. Plus, one Tabata protocal would be made to order for the max heartrate stuff.

OK, here you go: CrossFit warmup/skill development. CrossFit WOD, which could just be a Tabata (change daily: squat/pushup/pullup/sandbag clean/30 yard sprints. 30 minute fast hike with full gear, preferably up hill over rough terrain. Obstacle course once or twice a week.

Keeping hikes to 30 minutes should maintain basic conditioning without stress fractures. Walking, in my view, is mainly mental, not physical, so in the presence of basic conditioning, and prior experience with long hikes, that should be enough.

My two cents.

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Old 06-16-2006, 09:00 AM   #10
Barry Cooper
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Don,

Thanks!!

Chuck,

It occurred to me that, while what I proposed is likely a decent program, it is also likely irrelevant, as you likely have specific goals, and ideas on achieving them.

Therefore, I would add that I sell things for a living, and I can tell based on long experience that it's not what you say, but what they hear and believe that matters. No matter how much work you do, most people make decisions based on 1,2, at most 3 things, at least one of which is often farcical if ever shared in the light of day. For example, if you have garlic breath.

Your homework consists not just in factual research, but in figuring out the thinking of the people you are selling to. If they reject you, it is likely thinking along the lines of "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM". You get promoted more by not making mistakes, in most organizations, than in trying something innovative, especially if that innovation fizzles. At the same time, if CrossFit is a wave which in some form will eventually be adopted everywhere, then early adopters have a feather in their caps.

One fact I would share is that the 1st SFG in Okinawa just got certified. Those guys, I would think, would carry a lot of weight in the Army. I know there were 3 Rangers at the cert I went to--in addition to the 3 1SFG guys--and they liked the program. As was unfortunately made clear yesterday, there are a lot of those guys in Iraq doing this program too. That is something your C.O. could point to.

Also, obviously, train the test. The CrossFit WOD is great for year round use, but if you only have 30 days, you clearly need to hammer the specifics, assuming you get your chance. And you can't expect miracles in 30 days, but I would think there would be a documentable difference even over that period.
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