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

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Old 08-18-2009, 10:43 AM   #21
Dimitri Dziabenko
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Re: Understanding the CFT rationale

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Originally Posted by Ryan Whitley View Post
I weigh ~220 pounds...and I have short little legs. I feel your pain.

I still think relative strength is important. I like to think about it like this: Let's say that two soldiers have the same relative strength. But let's say one weighs 180 and the other weighs 250. So if the 180 dude can DL 360 then the 250 guy can DL 500. I would rather had the 180 pounder any day. Simply because I'd rather fireman carry that dude (and his equipment) when he gets shot than the 250 guy.

I know that is a specific example, but soldiering and how physical fitness applies to it is all that I really care about. If you are lawyer, soccer mom, preschool teacher, etc I guess it doesn't really matter. But trust me, when you are in a light infantry unit it pays to try and be light.

Check out the following link. I think that it is right on.

http://www.gymjones.com/knowledge.php?id=6 (WFS)
I didn't say it was unimportant in general, it's just not a pertinent calculation for *some* tasks (example: the deadlift workout at the games, where you either lift the weight or you don't). In my opinion the CFT is one of those examples, where this calculation is not pertinent.

Your example is spot on, but our interpretations are different. My interpretation is: suppose 200lb objects need to be picked up on the mission. Would I pick the guy with the 600lb deadlift, but he himself weighs 250lb? No, that would be overkill and he is probably not as fast as some of the other guys, so I'd pick based on other factors (in this case how heavy he'd be to carry, ie. I pick the lightest person). Even if the 120lb guy can only handle 240 (a lower Lift/BW ratio, or relative strength), I'd probably still pick the lighter guy. If the mission required 400lb boulders to be lifted (for whatever reason), then you are stuck with the guy who can do the job.

The selection process is separate from how the CFT as a standalone test should be scored, and in my opinion, it should be based on absolute weight lifted vs. Lift/BW ratio.
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:51 PM   #22
Mauricio Leal
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Re: Understanding the CFT rationale

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Originally Posted by Dimitri Dziabenko View Post
Crossfit is a task-oriented program. Relative strength is an artificial calculation completely irrelevant in real life.
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Originally Posted by Dimitri Dziabenko View Post
I didn't say it was unimportant in general, it's just not a pertinent calculation for *some* tasks (example: the deadlift workout at the games, where you either lift the weight or you don't). In my opinion the CFT is one of those examples, where this calculation is not pertinent.
...
The selection process is separate from how the CFT as a standalone test should be scored, and in my opinion, it should be based on absolute weight lifted vs. Lift/BW ratio.
Those two statements are not the same. And the CFT does scale with BW, and you acknowledged this. And I don't understand what the last part of your last sentence means: "it should be based on absolute weight lifted vs. Lift/BW ratio." Which should it be based on?

All I'm saying is that if the CFT aspires to be some sort of aggregate measure of total fitness (obviously up to interpretation), and if CF does see the value of both absolute and relative strength, then why not make it a little more rigorous and inclusive. Now I know the CF journal article on the CFT goes to some length to establish rules for proper lifting technique to prevent cheating, and that to do so for BW exercises may be difficult. But considering the detail they already went through to describe hip crease and patella alignment for a proper squat, I doubt it would be impossible to do, for example, weighted dead hang pull-up max normalized by BW measurement as part of a companion BW CFT, perhaps partnered with a normalized weighted max ring dip, and so forth for muscle-up and pistol. The components that comprise the total could even be a weighted average to assign proper importance to each movement. As simple or as complex as you like. Sure people would find ways to cheat but that already happens with the lifts so it seems like a good way of adjoining these two strength regimes (absolute and BW) in a meaningful, inclusive measurement of total fitness.
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:10 PM   #23
Sean Dunston
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Re: Understanding the CFT rationale

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Originally Posted by Mauricio Leal View Post
All I'm saying is that if the CFT aspires to be some sort of aggregate measure of total fitness
It's not. It is a test of absolute strength.
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:13 PM   #24
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Understanding the CFT rationale

"All I'm saying is that if the CFT aspires to be some sort of aggregate measure of total fitness"

It doesn't it measures how strong you are. People with higher CFTs are stronger than those with lower CFTs. People with shorter times for the 100, 200, 400, 1600 and 5000 are faster than those with longer times. People who have a higher weightlifting total are more powerful than those with lower weightlifting totals. When you combine those and a few other things you get a measure of fitness.
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:14 PM   #25
Mauricio Leal
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Re: Understanding the CFT rationale

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It's not. It is a test of absolute strength.
Hmm, after re-reading the first part of the CFJ article, you got me there. But the question of why it is this way as opposed to something more inclusive still remains, or hasn't been clearly laid out at least (to my knowledge) by the coaches.

And if it doesn't aspire to measure total fitness, then why not try to come up with one that does?
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Last edited by Mauricio Leal : 08-18-2009 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:17 PM   #26
Jacob Cloud
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Re: Understanding the CFT rationale

Now we all know why Rip regrets ever having published these "strength standard" charts.
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:24 PM   #27
Mauricio Leal
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Re: Understanding the CFT rationale

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Now we all know why Rip regrets ever having published these "strength standard" charts.
Haha yes it is a can of worms to even attempt to measure total fitness, but as long as one is honest about assumptions and shortcomings I don't see why it would be terribly difficult. It's just exercise selection and arithmetic!
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:27 PM   #28
Jacob Cloud
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Re: Understanding the CFT rationale

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Originally Posted by Mauricio Leal View Post
Haha yes it is a can of worms to even attempt to measure total fitness, but as long as one is honest about assumptions and shortcomings I don't see why it would be terribly difficult. It's just exercise selection and arithmetic!

The only arithmetic that should be involved with the CFT is:
* Adding up your 3 lifts to make your total
* Calculating the increase from your last total

It has no shortcomings because it is not an end-all-be-all measure of anything other than your specific performance in 3 lifts on a given day.
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:28 PM   #29
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Understanding the CFT rationale

"Haha yes it is a can of worms to even attempt to measure total fitness, but as long as one is honest about assumptions and shortcomings I don't see why it would be terribly difficult."

It is difficult, but we are trying. It's called Crossfit.
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:29 PM   #30
Mike Kerce
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Re: Understanding the CFT rationale

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Originally Posted by Jacob Cloud View Post
The only arithmetic that should be involved with the CFT is:
* Adding up your 3 lifts to make your total
* Calculating the increase from your last total

It has no shortcomings because it is not an end-all-be-all measure of anything other than your specific performance in 3 lifts on a given day.
sounds pretty rational to me.
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