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

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Old 02-20-2013, 04:14 PM   #1
Nick Koscielski
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Exclamation Quick questions for a study on crossFit being done at University of California.

Hello,
I am conducting a study at the University of California in Irvine on the differences between people who work out at a gym and people who partake in CrossFit. I'm a Psychology major, and this information would shed some empirical light on the CrossFit culture, and health in general. I'm looking for personal accounts of: your age, if your employed, how long you've been CrossFitting, what are your reasons for working out, how often do you frequent the gym, what are your fitness goals, 5 descriptive words that describe their fitness goals (i.e. flexibility, strength, endurance etc.), how much would you pay per month to achieve your fitness goals, why did you pick CrossFit over the many other alternatives for fitness, and finally how do you feel about CrossFit in general and why? If you feel there is something you've noticed that set CrossFitters apart from the general population I would be more than happy to hear it.

This will help out tremendously because after searching for weeks for studies conducted about the benefits of CrossFit there is basically none to be found, and it's about time to change that trend.

Thanks again,
Nick Koscielski
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:25 AM   #2
Andrea Kirk
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Re: Quick questions for a study on crossFit being done at University of California.

Hi Nick.
I think you'd be better off creating a formal survey and creating a website for your study. Are you working with faculty? They should be able to help you with the design. If you put together a website, people could post their responses anonymously and might give you better data. You might take a look at survey monkey or wordpress plugins. You will probably also need to get clearance from your institutions IRB.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:32 AM   #3
Jeff Enge
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Re: Quick questions for a study on crossFit being done at University of California.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Koscielski View Post
Hello,
I am conducting a study at the University of California in Irvine on the differences between people who work out at a gym and people who partake in CrossFit. I'm a Psychology major, and this information would shed some empirical light on the CrossFit culture, and health in general. I'm looking for personal accounts of: your age, if your employed, how long you've been CrossFitting, what are your reasons for working out, how often do you frequent the gym, what are your fitness goals, 5 descriptive words that describe their fitness goals (i.e. flexibility, strength, endurance etc.), how much would you pay per month to achieve your fitness goals, why did you pick CrossFit over the many other alternatives for fitness, and finally how do you feel about CrossFit in general and why? If you feel there is something you've noticed that set CrossFitters apart from the general population I would be more than happy to hear it.

This will help out tremendously because after searching for weeks for studies conducted about the benefits of CrossFit there is basically none to be found, and it's about time to change that trend.

Thanks again,
Nick Koscielski
See, I think people are going wrong looking for the benefits of CrossFit as opposed to the benefits of exercising other ways. The thing that makes CrossFit successful and its practitioners fit is not that it's better than other ways of exercising (because, let's face it, it IS those other ways of exercising, just a bunch of them put together), but that it is a good way of actually getting people exercising.

So, the benefits of CrossFit are really the same as the benefits of "regular" exercising.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:49 AM   #4
Sean Dunston
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Re: Quick questions for a study on crossFit being done at University of California.

I think you're also going to need to develop a plan and have the subjects sign waivers (a huge issue when you are using human subjects; this came out of the Stanford Prison experiment, if I recall correctly). At least, that was the policy when I did a study at UCSB back in the 90s.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:00 PM   #5
Nick Koscielski
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Re: Quick questions for a study on crossFit being done at University of California.

Andrea,
The class is a naturalistic field research class where we use qualitative research over quantitative, and in all the experiences that would be provided to me would not have any identifying data, for I'm just trying to establish base line data for justification for an honors thesis. The professor has placed strict guidelines regarding the use of these "interviews" wherein they are just a conversation and would not require sanctioning from the IRB. A website is a great idea that may work later down the line but I'm looking for the richness of your experiences to "sniff out" a correlational link between psychological well-being and fitness methods used.

Jeff,
I'm going to have to disagree with you here. I understand that CrossFit is a combination of multiple disciplines of working out, but in the CrossFit gyms I've been in there hasn't been a single mirror on the walls. I say that because in many chain fitness companies the walls are covered in mirrors, and I would argue that this leads to more individuals being objectified, which in turn could lead to lower levels of psychological well-being. I'm also trying to figure out if the reason when I go to my local school gym that there is a plethora of females only doing cardio, data is limited about caloric expenditure when pertaining to anaerobic exercise. The article I found finally states that the usual O2 uptake method isn't valid alone, but would need to be combined with other assessing methods to get an accurate reading of ATP turnover. I'm going with the idea that maybe the reason that more females are only utilizing the treadmill/elliptical is because they have been told in the past that if they lift weights they won't get lean they'll get bulky, and when asked why they don't partake in resistance training there is usually the answer of I just want my endurance to increase, yet Christopher Scott put out his article in the Journal of the international society of sports nutrition 2(2): 32-37 2005 says that weightlifting can be just as energy intensive as jogging. Jeff, I believe there is another aspect that I think we are missing here and that is the idea of motivation and the Köhler effect. these are the ideas that people work out better when they have competition, partners, and a social support system that can often be lacking in "regular" exercise programs. There is also the idea that everyone's goals are out there to be seen for everyone, which makes people more likely to achieve them because more people simply know about them.

Sean,
In the Stanford Prison experiments there was serious mental anguish that was administered to the participants, but when going for any study the researcher must assess the potential consequences of the questions, or situations they place others in. I (and my professor) look at this assignment as me having a simple conversation with a stranger that has no identifying information. I would understand the hesitance if I was proposing to shock you into conforming (Milgram), or place you into a jail like facility in Stanford's lower levels (Zimbardo), and please know that if there are any of the afore-mentioned questions that you find uncomfortable to answer then don't. This whole process is completely voluntary, but would help me and the institution of CrossFit out. The UCI library connects with every other UC and multiple outside libraries, and has one of the largest consolidated science and medical libraries in the nation. even with one of the largest libraries for medical and science I can only find one article about CrossFit, and it was conducted by the US Army, but it's validity is questionable. This is why I'm here ladies and gentlemen, not to harm you, not to plaster your name on anything, but to finally get some kind of data from your experiences that could lead to a greater understanding of the psychological benefits CrossFit could provide.

Thank you for your time and I'm looking forward to hearing about your experiences from CrossFit

Last edited by Nick Koscielski; 02-21-2013 at 12:05 PM..
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:21 PM   #6
John Holcombe
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Re: Quick questions for a study on crossFit being done at University of California.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Koscielski View Post
your age, if your employed, how long you've been CrossFitting

1)what are your reasons for working out
2)how often do you frequent the gym,
3)what are your fitness goals,
4)5 descriptive words that describe their fitness goals (i.e. flexibility, strength, endurance etc.),
5)how much would you pay per month to achieve your fitness goals,
6)why did you pick CrossFit over the many other alternatives for fitness, and finally how do you feel about CrossFit in general and why?
24, employed full time, 1 year (you go to UCI so please work on the difference between your/you're!)

1) To put it simply it makes me feel good about myself. I like achieving things in the gym on a daily basis and being in shape for daily life
2) 4 or 5 times a week
3) To get stronger, gain some muscle and lower my bodyfat slightly, and improve cardio/stamina
4) strength, explosiveness, power, endurance, speed
5) $150/month is probably the highest i would pay
6) Crossfit is fun because it makes me look forward to the gym rather than dread it. I love the competition aspect of it. Every workout i'm forced to push myself to compete against others and against myself. The community aspect of the gym is also nice. When i first moved to a new city I joined a crossfit affiliate and made a lot of new friends right away. You don't find that at a 24 hour fitness. You only see people come in, put their headphones on, and keep to themselves.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:34 PM   #7
Nick Koscielski
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Re: Quick questions for a study on crossFit being done at University of California.

Thank you for your response John, and I'll be sure to cross the T's, dot the I's and make sure my Your and you'res are in order. you guys are always keeping me on point, and I thought the military was stringent. lol thanks again.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:36 PM   #8
Daniel Wheeler
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Re: Quick questions for a study on crossFit being done at University of California.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Koscielski View Post
Andrea,
The class is a naturalistic field research class where we use qualitative research over quantitative, and in all the experiences that would be provided to me would not have any identifying data, for I'm just trying to establish base line data for justification for an honors thesis. The professor has placed strict guidelines regarding the use of these "interviews" wherein they are just a conversation and would not require sanctioning from the IRB. A website is a great idea that may work later down the line but I'm looking for the richness of your experiences to "sniff out" a correlational link between psychological well-being and fitness methods used.

Jeff,
I'm going to have to disagree with you here. I understand that CrossFit is a combination of multiple disciplines of working out, but in the CrossFit gyms I've been in there hasn't been a single mirror on the walls. I say that because in many chain fitness companies the walls are covered in mirrors, and I would argue that this leads to more individuals being objectified, which in turn could lead to lower levels of psychological well-being.I'm also trying to figure out if the reason when I go to my local school gym that there is a plethora of females only doing cardio, data is limited about caloric expenditure when pertaining to anaerobic exercise. The article I found finally states that the usual O2 uptake method isn't valid alone, but would need to be combined with other assessing methods to get an accurate reading of ATP turnover. I'm going with the idea that maybe the reason that more females are only utilizing the treadmill/elliptical is because they have been told in the past that if they lift weights they won't get lean they'll get bulky, and when asked why they don't partake in resistance training there is usually the answer of I just want my endurance to increase, yet Christopher Scott put out his article in the Journal of the international society of sports nutrition 2(2): 32-37 2005 says that weightlifting can be just as energy intensive as jogging. Jeff, I believe there is another aspect that I think we are missing here and that is the idea of motivation and the Köhler effect. these are the ideas that people work out better when they have competition, partners, and a social support system that can often be lacking in "regular" exercise programs. There is also the idea that everyone's goals are out there to be seen for everyone, which makes people more likely to achieve them because more people simply know about them.

Sean,
In the Stanford Prison experiments there was serious mental anguish that was administered to the participants, but when going for any study the researcher must assess the potential consequences of the questions, or situations they place others in. I (and my professor) look at this assignment as me having a simple conversation with a stranger that has no identifying information. I would understand the hesitance if I was proposing to shock you into conforming (Milgram), or place you into a jail like facility in Stanford's lower levels (Zimbardo), and please know that if there are any of the afore-mentioned questions that you find uncomfortable to answer then don't. This whole process is completely voluntary, but would help me and the institution of CrossFit out. The UCI library connects with every other UC and multiple outside libraries, and has one of the largest consolidated science and medical libraries in the nation. even with one of the largest libraries for medical and science I can only find one article about CrossFit, and it was conducted by the US Army, but it's validity is questionable. This is why I'm here ladies and gentlemen, not to harm you, not to plaster your name on anything, but to finally get some kind of data from your experiences that could lead to a greater understanding of the psychological benefits CrossFit could provide.

Thank you for your time and I'm looking forward to hearing about your experiences from CrossFit
Edit: The bulk of this: People are vain...Crossfitters are no less vain than globo gym folk because they don't have mirrors on the wall. They Crossfit to look good...and the others run on treadmills and curl to look good.

And Read The Science of Winning.

Last edited by Daniel Wheeler; 02-21-2013 at 12:40 PM..
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:49 PM   #9
Sean Dunston
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Re: Quick questions for a study on crossFit being done at University of California.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Koscielski View Post
Sean,
In the Stanford Prison experiments there was serious mental anguish that was administered to the participants, but when going for any study the researcher must assess the potential consequences of the questions, or situations they place others in. I (and my professor) look at this assignment as me having a simple conversation with a stranger that has no identifying information. I would understand the hesitance if I was proposing to shock you into conforming (Milgram), or place you into a jail like facility in Stanford's lower levels (Zimbardo), and please know that if there are any of the afore-mentioned questions that you find uncomfortable to answer then don't. This whole process is completely voluntary, but would help me and the institution of CrossFit out. The UCI library connects with every other UC and multiple outside libraries, and has one of the largest consolidated science and medical libraries in the nation. even with one of the largest libraries for medical and science I can only find one article about CrossFit, and it was conducted by the US Army, but it's validity is questionable. This is why I'm here ladies and gentlemen, not to harm you, not to plaster your name on anything, but to finally get some kind of data from your experiences that could lead to a greater understanding of the psychological benefits CrossFit could provide.
I get that, and I am fully aware of WHAT the Stanford prison experiment involved.
I am simply pointing out that the UC system tends to have very strict rules regarding the study of human subjects. My paper, though I wrote it 20 years ago, was much like yours -- based on interviews with individuals. I just wanted to make you aware of rules that were in place then, probably are in place now, and I can only imagine that more onerous regulations are probably in place today (such is the nature of the beast).

Good luck with your paper.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:51 PM   #10
Nick Koscielski
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Re: Quick questions for a study on crossFit being done at University of California.

Daniel,
I'm not denying that there is some sort of vanity in everyone, but if individuals who CrossFit were only interested in the vanity aspect then wouldn't there by default be mirrors to let the "paying customers" bask in their own glory? here is an excerpt from a reference article "Recent research (e.g., Ackard et al., 2002; Mond, Hay, Rodgers, & Owen, 2006) has shown that it is not necessarily the amount or frequency of exercise that is the important factor, but rather the cognitions that women hold towards exercise. Many young women exercise primarily to influence their weight or shape, which has in turn been associated with body image disturbance and greater disordered eating behaviour". Daniel, if places where people work out do not emphasize the objectification factor (i.e. mirrors) then doesn't that make it a more psychologically beneficial place?

here is another excerpt
"This omnipresent objectification can foster a process termed self-objectification, whereby women come to internalise an outsider’s perspective of their physical selves.", "This may be because fitness centres provide an atmosphere in which women’s bodies are on display, and there is also an extreme emphasis on weight loss and what the body should look like"

from the interviews I've conduced with regular gym members on average their descriptive words for motivations are different (i.e. look good) versus CrossFit where their descriptive words are more related to health.
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