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

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Old 01-04-2010, 01:02 PM   #11
Andrew H. Meador
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Re: C2 VO2 max calculations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Kulas View Post
CrossFitters have become almost as tunnel visioned as the gym rats in the corner doing biceps curls.
Quite to the contrary, I came into this community because it lacked that very tunnel vision on metrics like VO2max which are not the final product of training. Performance is the final product. The finish line or the battle will tell you who wins, irrespective of such metrics as VO2max, body fat %, and neuromuscular activity of the biceps femoris muscles - all things about which I used to care. Now I care more about efficiency of movement and about virtuosity as a means to achieve good performance.

I don't follow the WOD as I think that the lack of regular gymnastics (especially handstands, press handstands, pike and straddle compressions, and general ring support work) and regular weightlifting (let's be honest, most CFers can't execute a good snatch or pull lots of weight off of the floor in a full squat) is unwise when we have access to these domains in our gyms. Metcon is overemphasized in the program, perhaps because of how easy it is to scale and measure WODs like Fran, Helen, etc. As it is now, I don't worry about the why - only about the ultimate measure of performance.
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:09 PM   #12
Robert D Taylor Jr
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Re: C2 VO2 max calculations

Nathan,
The thing is, if I row faster but my VO2 Max goes down, I still rowed faster, see? My power output is higher too, there's a metric for you.

From my LI as I understand it high VO2 max is a fitness correlate not a fitness cause.
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:16 PM   #13
Nathan Kulas
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Re: C2 VO2 max calculations

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Originally Posted by Robert D Taylor Jr View Post
Nathan,
The thing is, if I row faster but my VO2 Max goes down, I still rowed faster, see? My power output is higher too, there's a metric for you.

From my LI as I understand it high VO2 max is a fitness correlate not a fitness cause.
Robert, I personally have no problem with using performance as an assessment metric - it's the most basic way to assess improvement. For instance, for my PT test, the work I have put in is gauged by how many push-ups and sit-ups I do in 2 minutes and how long it takes me to run 2 miles. When I ran track, I didn't go "Hey, alright - I have improved my VO2 max from 50.3 to 52.4; I win the race!" If my time (performance) was slower than the other guys - I still lost.

This concept is not unfamiliar to me. However, its also not an end-all, be-all solution. I agree with the CrossFit Journal article denouncing VO2max as the "gold standard" of fitness. Neither should it be the end-all, be-all assessment of fitness. Neither should be raw strength.

A VO2 max determination is just a useful tool - just like Fran is a useful tool. I see no reason to throw out my hammer, just because I got a nail gun for Christmas. There will be times that it comes in handy to have a hammer. Why throw out VO2max JUST BECAUSE I now have Cindy, Annie, Nicole and Fran? I don't see the point - and the CrossFit mentality that VO2max is meaningless is beyond me. If my VO2 max improved, my strength improved, but my Fran performance didn't - then I was doing something else wrong. Its a good measurement to be able to say "Hey, all other things fixed - what went wrong here?" Perhaps I pushed harder than I should have, perhaps not enough - maybe not enough sleep. Who knows - but having a known measurement helps in determining where you are lacking.

So that said - I posed a very simple question... do you know of a tool that calculates VO2 max based on 5K row time?

This thread has since been turned into a now 2 page discussion on how VO2 max is irrelevant, instead of just saying one of the two obvious answers - yes or no.

Its really quite frustrating to see thread after thread where people pose a meaningful question and seeing people pass it off as irrelevant, just because it doesn't fit their assessment of "what CrossFit is". When I first started doing CrossFit, I saw it as a very open source community and found it to be very pleasant. Now I can see that it is not open source. There isn't even a suggestion box - if someone makes a suggestion its like someone at Church on Sunday asking if a particular Bible story should really be interpreted literally - anger and dissent. What's the point?

Contribute!! Thats what this is all about. If someone has a question - answer it. Sure, if you disagree with how they are doing something - go ahead and make a suggestion - constructive criticism is a good thing - but a lot of what I see going around here is not constructive. For instance: http://www.board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=53992 (WFS) - this thread had a simple question - "I weigh X lbs. My current lifts are W, Y, Z. How much longer can I expect linear gains?"

Rather than giving a simple answer, the general answer was "your goals are impossible without weight gain! Gain 200 pounds by eating 3000 grams of protein a day!!! Beefcake!!" It's ridiculous. Its not the only thread I have seen either. People ask a question and look for a constructive answer, but instead get bombarded with "The only way to acheive said goal is...". There's more than one way to skin a cat; everyone has their own goals; why bother modifying someone elses goals because it doesn't fit your picture of what their goals SHOULD be?

Anyway
/rant

Andrew: the tunnel-vision in crossfit is in trading one gold standard for another, rather than accepting that its all just pieces of the puzzle. The picture is no more complete if your VO2max is missing than if your DeadLift, sprint time, or Fran time is missing. Its all a piece of the puzzle and I see no reason to neglect any of it.
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Last edited by Nathan Kulas : 01-04-2010 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 01-04-2010, 04:31 PM   #14
Alex Europa
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Re: C2 VO2 max calculations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Kulas
The picture is no more complete if your VO2max is missing than if your DeadLift, sprint time, or Fran time is missing. Its all a piece of the puzzle and I see no reason to neglect any of it.
I understand what you're saying, and you would be right if you were actually measuring VO2Max, but it's important to note that using some chart or formula ISN'T measuring VO2Max. That can ONLY be done under controlled circumstances where an athlete's ventilation is physically measured. So you are arguing as to why VO2Max isn't something that we worry about, when you're not even looking at true VO2Max, but a combination of efficiency, strength, lactate threshold, and oxygen utilization. If you're going to look at all of those things and call it VO2Max, then you might as well simply focus on the performance numbers (i.e.: how fast an athlete completed their 5k).

This isn't to say that workouts like 6 x 800m, 10x400, or a tempo run aren't great additions to an athlete's program, however to say that you're doing them to improve VO2Max isn't really accurate. But at this point we're arguing semantics and not training.

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Kulas
Its really quite frustrating to see thread after thread where people pose a meaningful question and seeing people pass it off as irrelevant, just because it doesn't fit their assessment of "what CrossFit is". When I first started doing CrossFit, I saw it as a very open source community and found it to be very pleasant.
And it's quite frustrating to see thread after thread of hypothetical arguments that no one can actually utilize. Do you have the means to accurately test true VO2Max?

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Last edited by Alex Europa : 01-04-2010 at 04:36 PM.
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