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Old 05-18-2009, 10:15 AM   #1
Peter Nathan
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Games age categories

In a recent journal artice Coach Glassman recently defined health ..."as increased work capacity across broad time, modal, and age domains. Work capacity is the ability to perform real physical work as measured by force x distance / time (which is average power). Fitness is this ability in as many domains as possible." Why, then, are there no age categories for the CrossFit Games? The best performers at the games may be the fittest men and women in the world, but their ages fall within a fairly narrow range. Shouldn't fitness ..."in as many domains as possible " be rewarded in the games? Without age categories, the games ignore an important part of the definition of fitness. I realize that categories or divisions is very uncrossfit, but age is by coach's definition one of the three domains of health and fitness. How better to demonstrate the efficacy of Crossfit across all three domains than by including results based on age?
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:49 AM   #2
Jason Peacock
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Re: Games age categories

How does age affect fitness? It is enough of a handicap (or benefit) to be called out separately?

I haven't seen anything that demonstrates a need for this yet - in fact I've seen the opposite - older athletes kicking the butts of younger athletes, which I find very awesome.

During the NW qualifiers this weekend two of the top women finishers were older (40s) and they kicked butt. Having a master's category would have bumped them out of the open competition.

Is there any data on the narrow range of ages among athletes?
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:59 PM   #3
Katrina A. Burton
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Re: Games age categories

I hope there will never be age categories.

CrossFit is all about preparing us for real life...

I'm 23 years old and I'm boxing day shopping at Walmart. I found this awesome product that I just have to have but it's the only one left. This 16 year old girl and 45 year old woman feel that they must have it to. Could you imagine the 45 year old lady stopping mid-fight to say wait I'm older than you so I'm at a disadvantage... would you mind using only one arm to fight instead of two. Or the 16 year old saying I've had less time to train so I feel like I'm at a disadvantage.

Who cares! There are no age categories at the Olympics. At these last Olympics we saw a 36 year old gymnast that was at her 4th olympics conpeting against 16 year olds. The 36 year old won a medal and so did many 16 year olds.
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:57 PM   #4
Peter Nathan
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Re: Games age categories

Katrina,

Are all categories artificial? Should the games not have different divisions based on sex? The Xfit games are not the olympics. By coach's own definition fitness is determined by 3 domains, one of which is age. The games purport to showcase the fittest and yet the demonstration of increased work capacity across the age domain is not an element of the competition.
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:50 PM   #5
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Games age categories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Nathan View Post
Are all categories artificial? Should the games not have different divisions based on sex? The Xfit games are not the olympics. By coach's own definition fitness is determined by 3 domains, one of which is age. The games purport to showcase the fittest and yet the demonstration of increased work capacity across the age domain is not an element of the competition.
The current competitors aren't frozen in time. They'll be demonstrating work capacity changes with age every year they compete.

So, why not take several years of results and see how competitors improve from year to year? Give a Crossfitter of the Decade award every ten years.

Katherine
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:38 PM   #6
Justin McCallon
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Re: Games age categories

When did "age" get added to the definition of fitness?

I think it's more meaningful to lump everyone together, and then reward the #1 guy under 18 and the #1 guy over 40 with diapers or depends. There's people in both groups (I think ... and if not, broaden them a bit) that have the ability to make it to the Games every year.

Last edited by Justin McCallon : 05-18-2009 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:59 AM   #7
Jay Cohen
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Re: Games age categories

Peter;

You make an interesting point, and when the games grow in a few more years, I'm sure they'll add a Masters category.

As to the other OP's:

1. I didn't realize the the CF games were equivalent to the Olympics, wait, there is the US Masters Track and Field which is very active, or athletes can still qualify for the "real Olympics"

2. If you compete in the vast majority of activities available for people that work or raise families(it's called living in the real world), it's very, very challenging to be competitive in the "Open" class, but racing or competing against your age group peers is very doable and pretty balanced. It's pretty humorous to chat after an event and hear the person talk about moving age groups next year, they coming into say the 40-44 group, leaving the 30's and looking to do battle with an "older" group.

The other OP comments would fit right on the main WOD page, i.e. diapers, I'm 23, I hope never...........
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:20 AM   #8
Steven Novick
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Re: Games age categories

Coach recently came out in videos speaking at the ASEP and Fil Fest, at which he presented the 3-D model of fitness describing increase work capacity across broad time and modal domains. The third dimension was age, and he emphasized the increased functional ability of aging adults as a result of crossfit-type training programs.

Crossfit provides a unique opportunity to define what that 3-D model is or could be, by having a motivated community of participants and athletes who want to push themselves to see what they are capable of as they age.

This could be accomplished by having age based categories for the CF games, or an alternative competition style event specifically geared to age groups. The main obstacle I see to this is just the logistics of organizing and conducting the events, as painfully demonstrated by problems at this year's regional qualifiers. I think these obstacles will appear smaller as the CF games evolve and the CF community becomes more experienced in conducting these types of events.

Regarding weight classes for competition in CF games, again it's primarily a logistical issue. If we consider oly lifts the standard of strength measurement in our sport of CF, we must recognize that lifting competitions include both weight classes and masters divisions.

Further support for weight class competiton is given by Coach's description of varying performance by heavier and lighter athletes in the CFJ article "Ergometer Scores and Hall of Fame Workouts," CFJ issue 4, Dec. 2002. In this competition he describes the different amounts of work done by athletes of differing weight to perform a 2K row.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:24 AM   #9
Justin McCallon
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Re: Games age categories

There is no need for weight classes, and adding them would cheapen the accomplishments of the athletes.

Big lifters do well on heavy external lifts.
Little lifters do well on bodyweight lifts.

Make a fair mix and there's no issue.
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:01 AM   #10
Shane Skowron
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Re: Games age categories

If it wants to become a popular sport, then the Games should have weight classes and age divisions.

But the title "fittest man" and "fittest woman" only go to the person who actually wins the whole thing. There may be successful weightlifters in their particular class and old guys who can lift some good weight, but the truth of the matter is that Hossein Rezazadeh is the only guy who gets the title of "strongest man alive." (Well at least if you arbitrarily measure strength in terms of max weight ground to overhead.)
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