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

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Old 07-10-2010, 03:08 PM   #1
Charles Applin
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Out of 3000 Competitors: Now that defines fitness

I finally got around to counting up the number of men that competed at the sectionals. Over 3000 men went against each other 34 sectionals. That means that next week though one could argue about "World's Fittest", you cannot argue that it's a damn good approximation. Out of 3000 men that competed around the world, you get one guy that rose above all of them.

Now, this is not just about the games. This is also about how other jobs gauge fitness (namely the Navy). In the age of computers, do we really need to create a chart before hand that says "Do XX push-ups in 2 minutes, YY curl-ups in 2 minutes, and run 1.5 miles in Z:zz time" and you get a number saying your fitness. Why not just throw everyone's results at all three in a database, separate by age and gender, then let the range in each event give you a number score 1 to 100. Add all three numbers up and you got something that gives a decent idea how everyone stacks up.

People would go into fitness assessments not knowing what they have to get cause it's based on how everyone does.

Yeah, yeah, it's not entirely fair. It won't all be done on the same day of the same region (weather), or even the same standards. However, the same could be applied to using hard line numbers. Yes, you don't get an immediate result, but one could use the numbers from the last cycle (3 months or 6 months ago) to get an approximate number.

Anyway, I love the scoring system that CrossFit competitions seem to be using since last year. Just so easy to gauge fitness when you compare yourself against such a large pool
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:05 PM   #2
Justin Z. Smith
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Re: Out of 3000 Competitors: Now that defines fitness

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Originally Posted by Charles Applin View Post
I finally got around to counting up the number of men that competed at the sectionals. Over 3000 men went against each other 34 sectionals. That means that next week though one could argue about "World's Fittest", you cannot argue that it's a damn good approximation. Out of 3000 men that competed around the world, you get one guy that rose above all of them.
The workouts at each sectional should be the same for comparisons between athletes at different sectionals.

Justin
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:06 PM   #3
Wayne Riddle
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Re: Out of 3000 Competitors: Now that defines fitness

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Originally Posted by Charles Applin View Post
I finally got around to counting up the number of men that competed at the sectionals. Over 3000 men went against each other 34 sectionals. That means that next week though one could argue about "World's Fittest", you cannot argue that it's a damn good approximation. Out of 3000 men that competed around the world, you get one guy that rose above all of them.
From a statistical viewpoint I could make an argument.
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:07 PM   #4
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Out of 3000 Competitors: Now that defines fitness

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The workouts at each sectional should be the same for comparisons between athletes at different sectionals.

Justin
Not really possible or even reasonable. You can't make a reliable comparison between the results from Canada in which there was snow on the ground, to the results of the North Central regional which were done at altitude, to the results from other regionals which were done at high or low temperatures or humidity. And that's just the regionals, there were 25+ sectionals so that means it would be even harder to standardize things. There aren't standardized CF venues a la standard football or soccer field sizes, and everyone doesn't have the same equipment availability. Non-standard venues means you wouldn't be able to do anything like a trail run, rope climb, or anything in sand or water. I don't see anything wrong with each individual sectional/regional using whatever they have at their disposal to come up with their own way to figure out who's the best at their competition.
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:37 PM   #5
Justin Z. Smith
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Re: Out of 3000 Competitors: Now that defines fitness

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Not really possible or even reasonable. You can't make a reliable comparison between the results from Canada in which there was snow on the ground, to the results of the North Central regional which were done at altitude, to the results from other regionals which were done at high or low temperatures or humidity. And that's just the regionals, there were 25+ sectionals so that means it would be even harder to standardize things. There aren't standardized CF venues a la standard football or soccer field sizes, and everyone doesn't have the same equipment availability. Non-standard venues means you wouldn't be able to do anything like a trail run, rope climb, or anything in sand or water. I don't see anything wrong with each individual sectional/regional using whatever they have at their disposal to come up with their own way to figure out who's the best at their competition.
Right, which is why if you're comparing between athletes at different sectionals, those comparisons are problematic.

Justin
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:17 PM   #6
Latham Fell
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Re: Out of 3000 Competitors: Now that defines fitness

Plus the competitors at late-season sectionals would have a big advantage over early-season sectionals. They could drop everything and focus on known workouts right after the first sectional. You might even see people changing regions just to be able to participate in a late-season sectional.
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:22 PM   #7
Latham Fell
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Re: Out of 3000 Competitors: Now that defines fitness

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Originally Posted by Charles Applin View Post
This is also about how other jobs gauge fitness (namely the Navy). In the age of computers, do we really need to create a chart before hand that says "Do XX push-ups in 2 minutes, YY curl-ups in 2 minutes, and run 1.5 miles in Z:zz time" and you get a number saying your fitness. Why not just throw everyone's results at all three in a database, separate by age and gender, then let the range in each event give you a number score 1 to 100. Add all three numbers up and you got something that gives a decent idea how everyone stacks up.
I believe this is exactly what the Navy does. They look at all the results and come up with Navy-wide standards that fit the bell curve. Every few years, you will notice, they adjust the numbers a little bit.

This is better than doing it "the day of", because it's a much larger data pool. Plus, if you were doing it "the day of," there would be a huge incentive for everyone to cheat - and anyone "breaking the curve" with a high score would be resented by at least some of the testees.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:16 AM   #8
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Out of 3000 Competitors: Now that defines fitness

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Originally Posted by Latham Fell View Post
I believe this is exactly what the Navy does. They look at all the results and come up with Navy-wide standards that fit the bell curve. Every few years, you will notice, they adjust the numbers a little bit.

This is better than doing it "the day of", because it's a much larger data pool. Plus, if you were doing it "the day of," there would be a huge incentive for everyone to cheat - and anyone "breaking the curve" with a high score would be resented by at least some of the testees.
Of course the Navy (theoretically) wants all Navy people to be fit, even the guy who comes in at #100. The Games want to find a winner. Different goals.

Katherine
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Old 07-15-2010, 08:29 PM   #9
Drew Cloutier
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Re: Out of 3000 Competitors: Now that defines fitness

So you consider a sample of 3000 enough to represent the entire population of earth....interesting.
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Old 07-16-2010, 03:11 AM   #10
Justin Z. Smith
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Re: Out of 3000 Competitors: Now that defines fitness

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So you consider a sample of 3000 enough to represent the entire population of earth....interesting.
"So you consider a non-probability sample of 3000 enough to represent the entire population of earth....interesting"

That's the real problem, not the sample size itself.

Justin
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