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Gant Grimes
04-03-2009, 01:32 PM
http://www.crossfitfootball.com/

Surprised there's not a thread yet. This has only been out a few days, but I think CF really scored with this one. It will be good for football players (assuming extra conditioning with their teams), grapplers, and GPPers looking for more strength and power (this is better for strength building than CFSB).

I did the workouts the past couple days, and I'm pretty pleased.

It feels similar to what I've been doing. The session consists of a lift or two followed by a heavy metcon. The lifts are classified according to progression. Amateur and collegiate uses a SS/PP set/rep scheme and is tailored to those who are still progressing linearly. The Pro strength RX is mostly heavy OLY stuff and is designed for those who need more advanced periodization. Everyone does the some metcon.

I have done the Pro RX the past two days because I like the heavier OLY stuff.

Grapplers looking to get stronger could get a lot out of this program. Do it four days a week. On two days, sub a FGB-type metcon for the heavier metcon stuff (to get that strength endurance in there). Add in a day or two of roadwork on top of your skill training, and you'll be in pretty good shape.

Kevin Perry
04-03-2009, 04:01 PM
Yea it looks pretty good.

George Mounce
04-03-2009, 05:31 PM
I'll play devil's advocate.

Let me start out by saying I think the programming is sound as far as GPP goes with a strength focus, I have no argument about that. And yes, it looks very familiar to what Gant came up with almost a year ago now.

Where is the part that makes you better at football though, because I'm not seeing it (or is the argument via the site once again that CF is the only way to get into shape for sports - an overused and incorrect assessment to say the least).

You'd burn a kid out doing this along with practice. National champions have been made without this, so I'm not buying it as the best way for football. The more specialized the position, the more this would actually hurt many of the positions.

Great for off season maybe, but horrid for during the season. One injury and you ruin the team if its a star player.

So my take? Great for the rest of the year...not so great during football, and sorry, you can power clean all you want, but accuracy is improved by throwing, catching...etc..football stuff.

Garrett Smith
04-03-2009, 09:33 PM
Football practice and drills should give pretty good GPP, while IMO football players should be lifting heavy in the time they have for the weight room (and doing prehab/rehab as necessary).

The workouts look better than the mainpage (heavier, shorter), but I'd still say it is way too much metcon for football (on top of 2,3,4 hour practices).

Gant, it seems like a great option for programming for hybrid workouts, as you are using it.

Dave Van Skike
04-03-2009, 10:39 PM
gant...have you been pulling sumo again? be honest. you're among friends.

Timothy Scalise
04-03-2009, 10:51 PM
im going to jump on the band wagon of sorts and say, that in season I think this is too much, but off season I think this is cherry. I do like the nutrition side however, and I think that goes well for all strength athletes IMHO. im a fan of milk and always will be.

Peter Andersen
04-04-2009, 02:43 AM
...in season I think this is too much, but off season I think this is cherry..

I noticed a post (http://www.crossfitfootball.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=10) by John Welbourne on their forums that seems to suggest that they are going to adjust the programming to account for the football season, but will also keep the regular programming available in another section for those people following CFFB who aren't specifically training for football.

Gant Grimes
04-06-2009, 09:39 AM
Dave, :) . Your comment was surprisingly appropriate for the situation, as I pulled 495 sumo in the high school weightroom as a skinny 17-year old. Really. We also did trap bar DL and the Kennedy DL. I needed a couple years of therapy to get over that one.

It's of little use to debate the merits of the professional programming since pros are going to do their own thing. At the pro level, it's about avoiding injuries, jail, and suspensions.

College is similar to some extent. Most of these guys have several years of lifting under their belts, even if they have crappy form. They follow whatever program the S&C coach gives them. Some can still make linear progression, and some are set in their ways. At this point, the stars in the weightroom are not necessarily the stars on the field.

So let's talk about the teenager using this program to get better and earn himself a roster spot.

Football practice and drills should give pretty good GPP, while IMO football players should be lifting heavy in the time they have for the weight room (and doing prehab/rehab as necessary).

Drills are good for positional skill/agility and a small amount of SPP.

How is the amateur CFFB program not heavy lifting? It's basically Starting Strength stretched to a 4-day week instead of 3. You have time for a proper warmup, two heavy lifts and a short heavy metcon. Compare this to what many high school do: try to combine bench, incline, squat, leg press, bear, power cleans, and deadlifts into ONE HOUR (usually 3x8-10 reps). I vote for the former.

The workouts look better than the mainpage (heavier, shorter), but I'd still say it is way too much metcon for football (on top of 2,3,4 hour practices).

I don't know if you've kept up with it, but high school kids are already doing lots of off-season metcon. They're flipping tires, doing farmer's carries, swinging the sledge, doing fingle fingers, etc. It's basically strongman stuff. My buddy runs this competition in the summer:
http://www.thelinemanchallenge.com/Events.html

This is what linemen do when backs and receivers are doing 7-on-7. They'll cut the metcons down in pre-season and out during the season.

Where is the part that makes you better at football though, because I'm not seeing it (or is the argument via the site once again that CF is the only way to get into shape for sports - an overused and incorrect assessment to say the least).

you can power clean all you want, but accuracy is improved by throwing, catching...etc..football stuff.

You keep coming back to this. Where do you get that practice is being taken away? This is an off-season strength and GPP program. It will change in pre-season and in-season. Coaches will still practice and still condition their team with wind sprints and pursuits during the season.

The more specialized the position, the more this would actually hurt many of the positions.

Kickers and punters aside, what teenager won't benefit from squatting, pressing, deadlifting, cleaning, and short metcons?

Maybe Josh E. can chime in with what he's doing.

Dave Van Skike
04-06-2009, 12:01 PM
That's a compelling analysis. I'm just confused as to why it's called crossfit football when what you just described is really just non retarded GPP.....

that has a ring to it...is Non-retarded GPP taken or can I use that?

Kevin Perry
04-06-2009, 12:07 PM
I think it's yours for the taking Dave

Dave Van Skike
04-06-2009, 12:50 PM
I think it's yours for the taking Dave

Excellent...

I'm drawing up papers now...franchises available, comes with free copy of the Keys to Progress (used) and a Cro Mags t shirt (lightly soiled)

Gant Grimes
04-06-2009, 01:08 PM
That's a compelling analysis. I'm just confused as to why it's called crossfit football when what you just described is really just non retarded GPP.....

that has a ring to it...is Non-retarded GPP taken or can I use that?

You better pounce on it fast. Otherwise CF will copyright it, create a cert for it, and you'll lose it forever. Trust me.

NRGPP is right up there with gymnastic jackassery. I just realized that every sport I like is basically NRGPP + specific practice.

Hopefully the heavy metcons will catch on (now that they have the CF blessing). They're effective, they don't kill you, and you can do them frequently. Who needs all that vomiting?

Peter Dell'Orto
04-06-2009, 01:23 PM
I'm drawing up papers now...franchises available, comes with free copy of the Keys to Progress (used) and a Cro Mags t shirt (lightly soiled)

I could use a copy of Keys to Progress, and who can't use another t-shirt? ;)

***

On the original topic, I do think it's interesting. I'd like to see them combine the front page workouts ala Coach Rut's site. Instead of separating the strength and metcon workout, just put them together. To use today as an example:

"Strength Work - pick the appropriate level and do the following:

Amateur
Squat 3x5 (go up 5lbs from last workout)
Shoulder Press 3x5 (go up 5lbs from last workout)
***If you fail on the 1st set drop the weight 5 lbs and continue***

Collegiate
Squat 5,3,2,2,2,2,2
Shoulder Press 5x5 (Try for a new 5RM PR on last set)

Professional
Squat 10x2 on the minute @ 65% of 5RM
Shoulder Press 5x5

Rest (X) minutes and do:

CF Football Grace

For time:

15 Clean & Jerks 155 lbs
Sprint 1 Full Gasser
10 Clean & Jerks 155 lbs
Sprint 1/2 Gasser
5 Clean & Jerks 155 lbs
Sprint 1/4 Gasser

Post loads and times to comments."


It's much easier layout wise, and you only need to maintain (and look at) one archive. Trying to piece together what strength work goes with what metcon is pretty hard.

It does seem like an interesting approach. But really...I don't really know football, so I can't eyeball and say "Yeah, that's football strength training." I don't play the game and I don't watch it. I train at a gym with lots of football players, but that doesn't do much beyond give me a snapshot of the kinds of workouts they do there.

The real test for this will be long-term. Will talented players use this method and make it into the college ranks and then into the pros? Until that happens it's going to be unproven in the way that really matters. It's got to be a better system than lots of schools use (and lots of high school kids training on their own). But I think like any other sport-specific system it's got to prove itself with trainees who become pros. Or pros who become better pros when they switch.

Blair Lowe
04-07-2009, 02:05 AM
I like CFFB but I'm a nobody.

Look at who will be using CFFB. Affiliates with football players or rugby players, etc ( HS/College ) or kids who want to try out for the football team that aren't strong enough or conditioned enough but need to have a focus for a strength/power sport instead of something with assloads of activity. Have you seen what is out there for kids who want to get on the football team in HS. It ain't pretty and it's probably shitty. There are quite a few threads on CF about this and even one program I saw online that basically a lot of strength and sprint training. Hell, this is strength/power, beastly metcon and the basic nutrition guideline thrown in as well in one neat package. Not every kid needs to mass gain but it gives them something. I can tell you I didn't really no where to start in HS or college when it came to strength/power training.

It's a bit like CFSB but tuned for the power/strength sports. Good for wrestling, football, basically the big painful contact sports and probably a bunch of others. It would probably be good for a baseball player who wants to start hitting lots of doubles and triples and maybe putting some of them over the fence. It would be good sprint wise for any infielder and outfielder and probably make your first basemen and catchers be a bit thinner.

Garrett Smith
04-07-2009, 06:00 AM
With most high school kids, simply making them stronger is the only Rx they need.

Brian Stone
04-07-2009, 07:38 AM
With most high school kids, simply making them stronger is the only Rx they need.

With most anyone really heh.

Justin Algera
04-07-2009, 10:51 AM
The thing is, its off season conditioning time now so this is the type of stuff football players should be doing right now or rehabing from the season that ended. Spring drills will be starting in a month or so, and that will probably see a change in programming as well.

Im going to the cert in a few weeks so it will be interesting to see exactly how they are going to mix the SPP and the GPP in with the lifting.

David Boyle
04-10-2009, 04:45 PM
I'll play devil's advocate.

Let me start out by saying I think the programming is sound as far as GPP goes with a strength focus, I have no argument about that. And yes, it looks very familiar to what Gant came up with almost a year ago now.

Where is the part that makes you better at football though, because I'm not seeing it (or is the argument via the site once again that CF is the only way to get into shape for sports - an overused and incorrect assessment to say the least).

You'd burn a kid out doing this along with practice. National champions have been made without this, so I'm not buying it as the best way for football. The more specialized the position, the more this would actually hurt many of the positions.

Great for off season maybe, but horrid for during the season. One injury and you ruin the team if its a star player.

So my take? Great for the rest of the year...not so great during football, and sorry, you can power clean all you want, but accuracy is improved by throwing, catching...etc..football stuff.

That is spot on.

I agree w/ the off season use of crossfit to work on overall conditioning. Once the team starts working on positions and the such it's time to start seperating. Josh Everett dose it at UCR and I know he mixes it up quite a bit.

Gavin Harrison
04-10-2009, 10:43 PM
What's weird is I've notices the "strength" section sometimes looks like conditioning to me and then there's a WOD too.. like 100 push ups in the strength then a WOD.

Andrew Trueblood
04-12-2009, 03:39 PM
I like what CF is doing with the CFFB product line. It's a big step for the organization to cater to conventional athletics and not just to combat sports/ tactical/ public service types. It's a HUGE conceptual shift to go from training to face random challenges to complementing structured game situations and one that I never expected Coach Glassman to countenance.

Still, I suspect that this could be the killer CF ap. If CF manages to get a following in American football, that's a vehicle for huge expansion in public awareness, the cert business, and affiliate trainers in general. I mean, how many sports parents do you know who would drop trainers fees for their kids when they never would do the same for themselves? The esprit de corps of training the way that Marines train grabs a certain segment of the population, but nowhere near the population that will want to train the way their favorite ballplayer trains. And those same customers love to buy a brand. Plus, guys exposed to this training in highschool might even try to extend their "glory days" past their competitive careers by continuing with Crossfit... a broadly open gateway to affiliate participation. Exciting times for those in the business.

As far as the conceptualization of the WODs to date: I don't know that there is much new here from the perspective of people who frequent this board. There is a lot of Coach Rut and Gant Grimes and a fair bit of PMenu conditioning influence here. There's even a little, but not nearly enough IMO, Dan John. But I understand the hesitancy of other posters. Skills work is still mandatory and central. Strength and conditioning has to complement the development of precise, effective technique and judgment on the field and not vice versa. I don't think that's controversial. But I hope that CFFB doesn't mean to teach Xs and Os... this hybrid training stuff is just a concurrent method for getting bigger, faster, and stronger without completely disregarding general conditioning/ body composition in a time-effective fashion with just enough randomness tossed in to avoid glaring weak spots in programming. In sum, get more consistent product out of the gym in less time and get more time to work with your players... maybe more out of your players, too, back out on the field.

For those who argue that big and strong is all you need to be successful, I think that it's important to remember that the target population here is in adolescence. Who responds better to volume than teenagers and what are met cons except volume training dialled up to the point of cardiovascular discomfort? Make the met cons complementary to the core training movements... box jumps/ sprints/ sled dragging/ burpees/ lunge walks/ core work after squatting/ deadlifting and sledgehammer/ ball slam/ pullups/ dips/ clap pushups/ handstand pushups/ wall ball/ thrusters/ etc. after benching/ rowing. No marathons, here, but keep the loading relatively high and the time under load relatively load compared to mainsite workouts. Then call it "assistance work" and I'd wager that no one will complain.

Rambling now. Must stop. Happy Easter to all.

Grissim Connery
04-23-2009, 10:42 AM
i don't like football, but those WODs look fun. they should make a crossfit lacrosse. even though i don't play anymore, i think lacrosse is more fun.

recently my workouts have been the GB WOD followed by a 5-12 min metcon. i think i'll just start using the CFFB metcons after the GB WOD.

speaking of heavy metcons, the GB site posts up these WODs sometimes where you do 4 rounds of 3 exercises. coach sommer recommends to rest 2-3 min between founds. if you skip the rest and adjust the reps, you can make some pretty brutal metcons. going beetween wheels, jumping HSPU's, and AG walks is intense.

i wish they'd put some KB stuff on CFFB. normally i use www.newjerseycrossfit.com for some KB metcons. of course, these are scaled down. most of their metcons are timed to take at least 30 min.

Blair Lowe
04-23-2009, 10:37 PM
GB WODS as metcons are horrid affairs. One of gymnasts hates using rest periods and is fighting with me a lot on it with, of course poor performance during rounds.

I do love the look of the CFFB metcons. I might have to see about doing them for metcons, I'd probably enjoy them more.

Justin McCallon
05-09-2009, 12:46 AM
I'm a little late on this.

I do the workouts and I like the system a lot. Lots more strength work, I love heavy/short metcons, overall more demanding, and there's not (many) 1000-rep type workouts. But, I'm using it to get better at CF.

From a football standpoint, I have 2 knocks on the system. (1) I don't think it's sport-specific enough (this is a matter of degree -- I feel like CF changed its philosophy a bit and now started making sport-specific programs, but it didn't go far enough here), and similarly (2) I think there's too much cardio and not enough strength work for most football players.

I always consider GPP and SPP on a continuum. Maybe that's dumb. But I think working on increasing sprint speed, jump height, tackling power, etc. is somewhere in between the two terms. If the program doesn't do a significant amount of this kind of work, I think it's hard to say it's on the same level as something like DeFranco's system, which is all about specializing the training for the task.
It just seems like CFFB doesn't introduce any new movements. Yeah, there's box jumps sometimes, but there's no seated box jumps. The marketing side makes this a little bit harder. Tires and prowlers are examples of equipment not utilized by the program because CF gyms don't all have them. Tire flips/prowler pushes are great movements for football players to be doing, imo. (Add to that bands, chains, lots of box jump variations, etc).
Also, it's possible that as we get closer to the season, John will get more sport-specific. There is definitely more of an emphasis on speed work, bench press, squat, box jumps and burpees, so it's a step in the specialization direction.
(I get the fact that skill work is done on the field, but I think the work I am describing should be prescribed by the S&C coach)

Other than that, I like the idea of using the CrossFit "system" for a wider application. I just think the system needs to incorporate some new movements (most of which would honestly be effective for anyone, though), and although the CFF is doing more strength at the expense of cardio, it doesn't go far enough.


One question: How effective do you guys think heavy metcons are for increasing strength? I've done these off and on, and usually with good success, but I'm thinking it might be like HIT where you'll initially respond well, but then the improvements slow down. Are heavy metcons anywhere close to replacing 5x5 or 3x8 work for strength development?

Steven Low
05-09-2009, 02:47 AM
Justin:

I feel both your points are encompassed by this one point which is that they're trying to use "one" program for ALL positions which is clearly going to be ineffective. QB, RB, OL/DL, TE, WR/CB/S all really have different needs and their training should reflect that. You can't have one size fits all stuff for this.

There's a bunch of studies out now on how strength from "functional lifts" doesn't translate out onto the competitive field (aka stuff like cleans and such). So the main aspect now really is to (1) get the athletes strong then (2) use sports specific drills and technique to help translate that out onto the field. Of course, we all pretty much knew that anyway. But yeah, I don't think some of the movements they are using in the program are needed pretty much at all either, and then they need to be doing more sports specific drills along with that as well.

I do think it would be a good idea to incorporate some heavy metcons or intervals in accordance with the "play clock" where you do 5-20s of work and then rest 30-40 secs like actual plays in game. That makes the most sense to me at least because it's sports specific.

Shrug.

Philip Stablein
05-09-2009, 06:54 AM
I think its M-T-Th-F days of lifting that are supposed to make the athlete strong in the CFFB programming and that the jury is still out on the heavy metcons.

From cruising the CFFB forums the prowler and tires are endorsed by John.

I think the intention is to use CFFB as the off-season training program for all football codes (Aussie Rules, both rugbys, and Gaelic) and do-able at a CF gym.

I hope I can get myself to their east coast seminar and learn more!

Justin McCallon
05-09-2009, 09:57 AM
Steven,

I definitely agree on the position aspect. Part of that can be fixed with different diets for every player, but the program should really go farther.

Also, you mentioned that cleans don't translate into on-the-field power all that well. But, what about the more specific movements? i.e. the prowler, tires, etc? I remember reading a good article on this subject awhile ago, but again, it's been awhile. Is there not a continuum? i.e. the closer the movement mimics the on-the-field movement, the more carry-over? Or is it just that you need to build strength/power generally, and then actually playing football will teach you to use that power?

I remember when I was doing MMA I would do a lot of DE Bench with chains followed immediately by heavy-bag power punches. This helped my power out a lot.

p.s. that was my post on the prowler! I don't have any idea why CF gyms don't all have 3.

Steven Low
05-09-2009, 01:40 PM
Here's a little bit on the "functional" training aspect:

http://conditioningresearch.blogspot.com/2009/04/revisiting-this-idea-of-functional.html

Donald Lee
05-09-2009, 03:41 PM
Here's a little bit on the "functional" training aspect:

http://conditioningresearch.blogspot.com/2009/04/revisiting-this-idea-of-functional.html

Steven,

It looks like the guy being interviewed is a HIT follower. Some of what he says is partially true, but I wouldn't listen to him to read more into the fallacies of functional training.

I do agree with this point that the guy being interviewed stated:
Exercise practitioners have never been known for implementing scientifically-based approaches to exercise. In exercise, it seems that essentially "anything goes." The exercise community at large is driven by fads, not by science.

Essentially, all training can be boiled down to 3 considerations:
1. Mechanical
2. Coordinative
3. Energetic

I borrowed that from some other more knowledgeable people than me. I uploaded a piece of a relevant discussion, if anyone is really that interested.

http://uploading.com/files/DKAAO44J/Functional Training.doc.html

Here are some better sites that speak more to "functional" training:

http://www.dryessis.com/wp/
http://www.sportscoachingbrain.com/strength-training-for-high-performance-sport-an-overview/#more-448
http://www.coachesinfo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=68&Itemid=140

Steven Low
05-09-2009, 06:34 PM
I'll check 'em out. Personally, I don't really care that much if it's true or not.

I would say do everything "like" you would be doing it as sport. That's obviously going to carry over the best.

Football with the X amount of plays for 5-20s effort with the rest "time clock" of ~40-45s interval simulates the game situation pretty well.

Garrett Smith
05-10-2009, 07:15 AM
p.s. that was my post on the prowler! I don't have any idea why CF gyms don't all have 3.
Quite simple. No vertical displacement, thus no work done. Too many exercises are discarded due to this approach, which is wholly arbitrary IMO.

Justin McCallon
05-10-2009, 10:19 AM
Does CF not understand the concept of friction?

I guess it's just harder to compare times.

Garrett Smith
05-11-2009, 07:02 AM
From another one of Greg E.'s superb articles:
http://cathletics.com/articles/index.php?show=shorty&shortyID=36
The Limitations of Work & Power

One of the recent changes in CrossFit theory has been the increasing emphasis on work capacity as the measure of fitness, often to the point of occasionally obscuring other important details. The detail most commonly neglected in the pursuit of power and work capacity is, of course, movement technique.

Formerly the presented definition of fitness was far more complex and inclusive. This original definition consisted of four parts that together described the state of fitness. The first part dictated that fitness required balanced development of the ten physical elements as defined by Jim Cawley of Dynamax: Strength, power, speed, endurance, stamina, flexibility, agility, balance, accuracy and coordination. The second part was the expectation that the fit individual would be capable of outperforming on average the unfit person in any conceivable physical task. The third part was the notion that fitness resided at the opposite end of sickness on a continuum of health and was essentially super-wellness. Finally, fitness was the balanced capacity of the phosphagen, glycolytic and oxidative metabolic pathways. These four parts created a partially redundant but extremely clear definition of fitness; nowhere within was the idea of work capacity explicitly mentioned. However, improved work capacity and power output were unavoidable if these standards of fitness were met. In other words, the qualities themselves have not changed—only their place in the discussion—but this has been sufficiently confusing.

The term work in physics is very specific and differs considerably from the word’s common usage, essentially synonymous with effort. Instead of the restrictive idea of work, what we should be concerned with is this relationship of effort and productive movement. If we subscribe to the precise physics definition of work and consider improving work capacity and power output as the goals of fitness, the technical performance of exercises and workouts will differ considerably from the manner in which they will be performed if instead of work capacity we consider productive effort capacity. It will differ further if in addition to productive effort capacity we evaluate the training within the framework of the various elements defined by the earlier definition of fitness.
Good stuff, as always.

Gant Grimes
05-11-2009, 08:48 AM
Justin, they don't have prowlers because your abZZZ don't show up on photos if you're bent over. Can't have that.

Justin:

I feel both your points are encompassed by this one point which is that they're trying to use "one" program for ALL positions which is clearly going to be ineffective. QB, RB, OL/DL, TE, WR/CB/S all really have different needs and their training should reflect that. You can't have one size fits all stuff for this.

The idea behind this is like CF. It's not all about the main page. Ideally you're going to get coaches to understand program design where they can customize it for their teams. Theoretically you might need 4-5 different programs at your school depending age, experience, and position.

In lieu of all that, football players in their early teens can benefit from getting stronger, period. A lot of kids are going to switch jersey numbers--up or down--by the time it's all said and done. I wouldn't customize anything for a 14-year old kid.

Peter Dell'Orto
05-11-2009, 09:46 AM
Justin, they don't have prowlers because your abZZZ don't show up on photos if you're bent over. Can't have that.

But it can make you puke, and puking = a good workout!

Maybe that's the problem...it already comes with a reputation for making you puke (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ieOBgyq88E) (W/F S). So you can't mix it in a WOD and say some secret CF programming is what's making it so hard...:D

More seriously, and giving the benefit of the doubt, it's probably just that they don't expect it to be a common piece of equipment. It's not so cheap you can easily get a few sets for a group WOD, either. That doesn't explain the lack of sled WODs, though, since sleds are cheap to DIY even if you don't want to pay EliteFTS for one.

Brian Stone
05-12-2009, 05:34 AM
Quite simple. No vertical displacement, thus no work done. Too many exercises are discarded due to this approach, which is wholly arbitrary IMO.

I don't think this is true at all. CF uses a lot of movements without vertical displacement - sprints, lunges, L-sits, etc. V. disp certainly isn't necessary for calculating work output. I do agree CF is definitely heavy in V. load movement, but not prohibitively so.

Garrett Smith
05-12-2009, 06:46 AM
Brian,
CF doesn't really sprint, they run.

Lunges have vertical displacement.

When was the last time you saw simply timed L-sits in a WOD? L-pullups are a different animal entirely, and do have vertical displacement.

CF is all about vertical displacement, IMO, exercises that don't have much or any vertical displacment are used more like condiments in the program.

It is too bad that so many productive gymnastics (beyond simple calisthenics) exercises were left behind or never used due to this approach. Just because the CFJ has articles on gymnastics training doesn't mean that CF includes that much gymnastics (because it doesn't beyond the most rudimentary of movements). Same for "sprinting".

Brian Stone
05-12-2009, 07:47 AM
Garrett, I definitely agree that CF has an enormously large bias toward heavily vertical movements. I think we differ mostly in our assumptions that they intentionally eschew or minimize the use of other movements for any reason related to work calculation.

Re: lunges - they do have a vertical component but that could not be used alone to calculate their work output, so in theory they break rank with the vertical bias noticeably. As for L-sits and other isometric or functional gymnastic movement, I will definitely give you that CF pays a lot more lip service than actual programming with these movements.

The backbone of my objection is I think CF takes a bit of an unfair pounding. I agree it's metcon heavy and probably strength lite, and arguably can lead to a variety of injuries and problems if not approached correctly and carefully. That said, however, I think their model of Fitness and their approach is pretty revolutionary, at least in its idea of defining and quantifying fitness to a reasonable degree. Is it perfect? - hell no; it's got numerous problems that have been discussed at length in other threads, but they are far from overwhelming and in no way disqualify the efficacy and beauty of the overall model, IMO.

Garrett Smith
05-12-2009, 08:16 AM
The philosophy of "fitness" is great, I still believe in it wholeheartedly. I'm actually personally still pursuing the (kind of paraphrased) originally stated ideal of becoming an average-to-above-average mix of OLer, PLer, GS KBer, sprinter, and gymnast to become "fitter" than any one of those specialists...however, I've found that metcon, as done by CF, has no place nor need within that framework and might actually be counterproductive. Isometric hold training and other non-power-output exercises play huge roles in my training. To leave those out because they are hard to "compare" across the internet is a shame.

The ideals of the original seminal articles on CF were great, I still follow them. However, my iteration of training looks very different from metcon and IWCABTAMD (is that the acronym now?).

Brian Stone
05-12-2009, 08:42 AM
Fair points.

Coach Glassman alludes a great deal to studies they've done which consistently and repeatedly demonstrate the efficacy of the CrossFit approach to fitness when measured against athletes that user other systems in "random" events. Whether this is true and to what degree remains uncertain since (to my knowledge) these "studies" have not been published to be reviewed. However, if the Canadian military is indeed shifting to this approach in their training, that lends a tremendous amount of credibility to the system and its results.

The question is, even taken for granted the veracity of the above claims, how loosely is CrossFit being used to describe the system being used? I think, if the system mixes those techniques you mentioned (PL, OL, Gymnastics, etc), it's fair to call it CrossFit-esque. But the real burning question to all of this is the use of Metcon and strength training, as those seem to be the real controversial aspects of CF to most here.

Garrett Smith
05-12-2009, 08:55 AM
I was influenced to start training in OL and gymnastics after learning more of them through CF. I found that focused pursuit of them, in the time-tested manners that specialists in the field had found to be most effective, was more productive and enjoyable to me.

If truly the "magic is in the mixing", I have no magic and nor do I want any at this point. I would argue that there is nothing CFesque about my programming, other than the only thing we have in common is movements. I deadlift, but I don't do WestSide...

OL - I have a program from Matt Foreman.
Gymnastics - I do stuff heavily influenced by Coach Sommer and Steven Low.
PL - I do the BearPowered program for DL and plyos.
Calisthenics - I do the HundredPushups.com and Recon Ron pullups programs.

There is no CF influence in my programming choices, it was simply a "gateway" to some training modalities.

Brian Stone
05-12-2009, 09:05 AM
In some sense, the magic kind of is in the mixing. I don't think CF heavily purported the idea that mixing was superior to specialization, even for the specialist. That said, the premise is that addressing ones deficiencies outside of the specialty will do more for the specialist than will continuing to focus on that area. For example, introducing gymnastics or combinations of movements into the OLers routine will do more for him in the area of OL than more OL work alone. That may seem obvious at this point to some, but before CF I think it was the furthest thing from conventional wisdom. It may or may not be a given at this point to some, and certainly should NOT come at the cost of doing significantly less OL work, but I don't think CF would advise doing that.

On top of that, the concept of keeping the out of discipline work "functional" and finding exercises that were tremendously so through multiple disciplines is pretty CFesque as well. So, in a sense, even though you approach each segment somewhat autonomously, I think by ivrtue of the value of the mix your program is pretty "CFesque."

Steven Low
05-12-2009, 01:30 PM
In some sense, the magic kind of is in the mixing. I don't think CF heavily purported the idea that mixing was superior to specialization, even for the specialist. That said, the premise is that addressing ones deficiencies outside of the specialty will do more for the specialist than will continuing to focus on that area. For example, introducing gymnastics or combinations of movements into the OLers routine will do more for him in the area of OL than more OL work alone. That may seem obvious at this point to some, but before CF I think it was the furthest thing from conventional wisdom. It may or may not be a given at this point to some, and certainly should NOT come at the cost of doing significantly less OL work, but I don't think CF would advise doing that.

Whoa...

I disagree to a large extent especially for Oly because those movements are high skill, and constantly practicing them is going to make you better at them. Adding in exercises that are similar, but different movement patterns like a lot of what CF prescribes may be a HUGE hindrance.

If you read the Abajiev lecture in this thread:
http://www.performancemenu.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4250

You'll note that he notices this phenomena. They used to do like 10-12 exercises, but only got like 1 gold medal.... but when they cut down the amount of different exercises to like 8 they got 3/7 golds... and then further down to 4-6 or somewhere along those lines they acquired 6 of 7 medals over the Russians.


Now, if the deficiency is something like work capacity to handle high volume training.... then obviously that attribute needs to be addressed. BUT not necessarily by introducing more movements rather programming the volume/loads different until the body adapts. Adding in more movements is often counterproductive especially to high skill motor learning. You don't try to learn lots of different skills at the same time in gymnastics for the same reasons... you drill a few skills at a time for thousands of times.

The specialist needs more specialty... not a broader base most times. And deficiencies should be addressed within the context of their sports/competitions. I mean, gymnastics work is probably not going to help a sprinter sprint faster... nor will it help an Oly lifter lift more weight. It will probably help a breakdancer or diver. All has to be in context.

Gant Grimes
05-12-2009, 02:28 PM
That said, however, I think their model of Fitness and their approach is pretty revolutionary, at least in its idea of defining and quantifying fitness to a reasonable degree.

It is a reordering of very old principles and goals. CF has taken the ten aspects of fitness--arbitrarily identified by Dynamax (but a decent list)--and created ways to measure them.

Fair points.

Coach Glassman alludes a great deal to studies they've done which consistently and repeatedly demonstrate the efficacy of the CrossFit approach to fitness when measured against athletes that user other systems in "random" events.

Here's the deal. Football players don't give a damn about random events. Neither do water polo players or boxers or cricket players. A fitness generalist should beat a specialist when tested in different events.

Whether this is true and to what degree remains uncertain since (to my knowledge) these "studies" have not been published to be reviewed. However, if the Canadian military is indeed shifting to this approach in their training, that lends a tremendous amount of credibility to the system and its results.

What does it say about the systems that don't use it, which is everyone but Canada? And no offense to our neighbors up north, but has the Canadian military kicked a lot of ass in the last century that I don't know about?

In some sense, the magic kind of is in the mixing.

No, dammit, it's not. Hybrid strength programs work because you are lifting more frequently and you are limiting your metcon (jackasstic metcon becomes counterproductive fairly quickly). That's it. No magic. No black box. Just presenting a stressor more frequently which is then adapted to.

For example, introducing gymnastics or combinations of movements into the OLers routine will do more for him in the area of OL than more OL work alone. That may seem obvious at this point to some, but before CF I think it was the furthest thing from conventional wisdom. It may or may not be a given at this point to some, and certainly should NOT come at the cost of doing significantly less OL work, but I don't think CF would advise doing that.

No. It's still far from a given. And, outside of Camp CrossFit, it's just plain wrong. High rep OLY lifting won't help a guy a rings specialist any more than handstand pushups will help an OLY lifter.

Sorry to slap the kool-aid out of your hand, Brian, but some of this stuff is out there. Just because a program mixes different lifts and bodyweight movements and finishes with conditioning does not mean it's "CF-esque" (although they'll gladly lay claim to it). Glassman organized a hell of a program, has helped a lot of people, and has developed some pretty fit individuals--by his or anybody's definition. But the problem we're seeing now is people new to exercise that are being educated on nothing BUT CF (CF journal, CF trainers, CF friends, CF articles, CF videos, etc.). Not only do they believe all of it, but they cite those sources as some sort of proof.

You seem like a sharp guy, and I'm glad you're here. The fitness world is pretty large. Try to venture out beyond the fences.

Dave Van Skike
05-12-2009, 02:59 PM
the value of the mix your program is pretty "CFesque."

rather, CF is wrestling-practice-esque or boot-campish or 4th period phys-ed-like...it is by admission a "program" that borrows, steals and absorbs everyhting it finds useful...but it's not new and its not revolutionary....it's bodybuilding without isolation excercises.

in my gym, this is called, the bored with powerlifting/ look good nekkid program

last nite I watched three women who have never in their life heard of CF do this circuit three times through for time.

back squat BW x 5
farmers carry x 100 feet
zercher squat BW x 5
stair run, 50 steps.

this is not Crossfit, it's called exercise

Garrett Smith
05-12-2009, 05:32 PM
CF has taken the ten aspects of fitness--arbitrarily identified by Dynamax (but a decent list)--and created ways to measure them.
I love the Cawley/Dynamax list. I'd have to say that CF has not created a way to measure, let's say, the flexibility component.

They have created their own combined measurement, work capacity, which is really a single component of that list (power) divided by time. That's only one of the ten. Improving other components may improve work capacity, but CF sure hasn't created ways of measuring the other 9 that haven't been around forever already. CF has simply created workouts that many people repeat many times, then they compare themselves to each other.

I would like to say for the record that other than my "mixed" goals (none of which involve any "girls" or "heroes"), I do *not* do anything like CF...

I have a plan. I cycle. There is nothing random about my workouts. I repeat the same exercises, within a certain repertoire, week after week. I do not do "metcon", nor "cardio" for that matter. I don't time my workouts or count rounds. I plan my progressions so that my success in a later, harder exercise can be successfully built upon a foundation laid before. I plan on being the first person to get all of the Elite standards laid out in the CFN Standards (http://www.crossfitseattle.com/Skill%20Levels%201-IV%20spreadsheet.pdf), which sure as hell won't be achieved ever by anyone doing the mainpage WODs, even with a little extra "skill" practice thrown in (see front lever 15sec. and 90sec. L-sit for two major reasons why). I'm not concerned about anyone questioning my "fitness" at that point.

I'll probably save the metcons until the very end--not only because I don't enjoy doing them, but because my strength base at that point should allow me to tear through them without any metcon-specific training--sort of like Donny Shankle's 1:47 Grace (which was thoroughly discussed here before).

Brian, please don't accuse people of doing CF. Some of us take offense. And just because a guy who owns a CF made an arbitrary (and some might say poorly researched) list of fitness standards, doesn't make that list "CF" either.

Brian Stone
05-12-2009, 05:51 PM
Before giving any kind of reply, just to clarify, I don't want to come off as any kind of CF apologist or dogmatist; I'm not. I've stated I find deficiencies with the system. My responses here were mostly motivated by the fact that I feel it gets a bit of an unfair shake here, all considering. In comparison, I am definitely a novice by comparison to many in this thread re: fitness and respect and have even gained a great deal of knowledge based on the knowledge of the folks herein.

To be clear, though, since I seem to have given the wrong impression, I don't give a damn about CF's "official" credit, intellectual property, certifications or anything else. I think making fitness proprietary is as bad for the final end user as doing the same with any number of other things.


It is a reordering of very old principles and goals. CF has taken the ten aspects of fitness--arbitrarily identified by Dynamax (but a decent list)--and created ways to measure them.
When I said model of fitness, I was referring to the work v. time graphical analysis more than what you mentioned. I find the physics approach to fitness measurement to be pretty revolutionary.


What does it say about the systems that don't use it, which is everyone but Canada? And no offense to our neighbors up north, but has the Canadian military kicked a lot of ass in the last century that I don't know about?
If an entire industrialized country (supposedly) adopting a given system for its military does not at least say something of its efficacy for you, I don't know what else I can say. I wasn't trying to say that it's the bestest thing in the whole wide world, only lend a bit of credibility.

I won't go point by point with the remainder of Dave and Gant's stuff; the thrust of that is basically that hybrid strength programs are not CFesque as they've been around forever. It's more the Bikram Yoga argument I was laying down (combining these particular lifts / styles is the CF brand of hybrid in the same sense), but it's not really relevant one way or another to this discussion anyway, so I'll concede the point.


Steven, I still have to read what you linked.

Brian Stone
05-12-2009, 06:02 PM
Cross-posted.


Brian, please don't accuse people of doing CF. Some of us take offense. And just because a guy who owns a CF made an arbitrary (and some might say poorly researched) list of fitness standards, doesn't make that list "CF" either.

Eh whatever. Seems if you have any kind of respect or appreciation for anything CF around here you get ostracized. I didn't mean to give anyone the grand disrespect of daring to suggest they had a program in some ways arguably related to another program with which they ideologically disagree for any reason. I feel the approach has its merits and felt like discussing those.

I'll leave off. It's not a big deal either way to me if opinions are that strong. I'm certainly not attached at the hip to the system. Had no intention of getting everyone fired up.

Steven Low
05-12-2009, 07:07 PM
Cross-posted.



Eh whatever. Seems if you have any kind of respect or appreciation for anything CF around here you get ostracized. I didn't mean to give anyone the grand disrespect of daring to suggest they had a program in some ways arguably related to another program with which they ideologically disagree for any reason. I feel the approach has its merits and felt like discussing those.

I'll leave off. It's not a big deal either way to me if opinions are that strong. I'm certainly not attached at the hip to the system. Had no intention of getting everyone fired up.
Not really. Most of us think that it's a great program/system/whatever, but it's not even close to be all end all. I think it was said earlier in this thread that CF is actually becoming more specialized (even though they probably won't admit it) as you can see through CF Football, CF Endurance, etc.

But as such there's nothing new under the sun at least in the exercise community. Most of CF's workouts are just circuits/intervals/etc. done for time which have been used for decades if not centuries. Maybe not so much as for based on time although things are VERY similar (such as density training).


But yeah. Coach Glassman called Garrett a quack. So if he comes off angry he probably is and kinda has a good reason to boot.

Dave Van Skike
05-12-2009, 07:23 PM
Cross-posted.



Eh whatever. Seems if you have any kind of respect or appreciation for anything CF around here you get ostracized. .

not intended. i think crossfit is a great weight loss program.

Craig Loizides
05-12-2009, 10:26 PM
Quite simple. No vertical displacement, thus no work done. Too many exercises are discarded due to this approach, which is wholly arbitrary IMO.

Actually, there is work done in pushing a sled. On the other hand, there's no work done in a farmer's carry.;)


CF doesn't really sprint, they run.

I agree completely. I wish people would stop using the term sprint for anything faster than a 5k.


When was the last time you saw simply timed L-sits in a WOD? L-pullups are a different animal entirely, and do have vertical displacement.

CF is all about vertical displacement, IMO, exercises that don't have much or any vertical displacment are used more like condiments in the program.


How about running and rowing. They're used pretty extensively in CF. CF is all about functional movement, not vertical displacement.


It is too bad that so many productive gymnastics (beyond simple calisthenics) exercises were left behind or never used due to this approach.

I could be wrong, but I don't think this is the reason. If you go back to 2003 which was before any of the work capacity stuff, coach made a comment that we had a month to practice back roll to support before they started showing up in the WODs. I'm still waiting.

And remember, CF isn't just doing the mainpage WOD. You can sub whatever exercises you want. I do think CF needs to do a better job though of defining what it means to do CF or be a CFer. I think the main page is a good introductory workout program.

Regarding the limits of work and power article, movement technique is already built in to the work capacity model. For instance, if a person does a power clean and front squat instead of a full clean they are doing more work but get no credit for that extra work in calculating work capacity. It's a task completion view of work rather than a total number of calories burned model.

Craig Loizides
05-12-2009, 10:33 PM
Whoa...

The specialist needs more specialty... not a broader base most times. And deficiencies should be addressed within the context of their sports/competitions. I mean, gymnastics work is probably not going to help a sprinter sprint faster... nor will it help an Oly lifter lift more weight. It will probably help a breakdancer or diver. All has to be in context.

Just curious, what do you think of CF's claim that pullups make skiers faster and DL makes bikers faster?

Craig Loizides
05-12-2009, 10:46 PM
I actually don't like the 10 skills nearly as much as the work capacity model.

1. Coordination, balance, and accuracy are mostly SPP, not GPP. Getting better at darts isn't going to help you with the clean and jerk.

2. If I increase strength, but lose endurance did I become more or less fit? There's no way of knowing with this model.

3. I've seen studies where increasing hamstring flexibility results in decreased running performance. I haven't seen studies for other modalities, but I wouldn't be surprised if a number of posterior chain dominant movements showed similar results. So we have a case where improving 1 of the skills could lead to a decrease in work capacity. At the least, flexibility probably also belongs with SPP rather than GPP.

Steven Low
05-12-2009, 11:25 PM
Just curious, what do you think of CF's claim that pullups make skiers faster and DL makes bikers faster?

That's easy to answer, and they're both true.

Pullups & skiers:

I'm not sure actually how much the poles actually help with providing upper body stability especially in stuff like moguls, but I'm sure this is part of it. Increase in strength in the arms + chest/lats will contribute.

Also connected to this, the increased strength in the chest and most importantly the lats leads to better core stability. Lats have an origin on the T7-12 vertebrae and also on the thoracolumbar fascia which provide significant core stabilization. Skiing itself is mostly legs, but upper body control is important for efficiency as getting thrown off balance basically takes you out of contention. Since the lats provide stabilization from the core to the top of the torso + arm strength from the pullups, this gives a significant advantage in maintaining body control.

If you gave a dummy the best leg strength/control/etc. EVER by 2x, but put a "wobble head" upper body on it... no way it's going to be efficient or be able to operate effectively.

This improves skiing ability.

DL and bikers:

I assume you mean cyclists? Well, it's pretty proven that increases in squat and DL strength provide the POTENTIAL for improved metabolic/work capacity assuming it is developed through training. This is even seen in CF. A bunch of the cycling programs that I've seen aim to increase squat strength in the off season, and then develop that into endurance as the season comes around.

I think Dave used to do some serious cycling so he may be able to provide a more indepth answer for you.


I actually don't like the 10 skills nearly as much as the work capacity model.

1. Coordination, balance, and accuracy are mostly SPP, not GPP. Getting better at darts isn't going to help you with the clean and jerk.

Being able to throw a grenade at the enemy may be a useful GPP skill. Or winning one of those throw the baseball and knock over the bottles at the amusement park. :D

I do think balance is not so much of a SPP skill though. Everyone has a certain degree of proprioceptive ability. Increase that and you get some very good athletes. For example, a lot of traceurs (parkour) do a lot of balance work because it helps us move/flow better through even if we encounter awkward positions.

Of course, there are limits on how much is good relative to the amount of time you're putting into the skills when you can be developing other abilities or attributes.

2. If I increase strength, but lose endurance did I become more or less fit? There's no way of knowing with this model.

Agreed.

Although I think this is a bad example because increases in strength below elite level tend to confer the potential for increased maximal endurance.

3. I've seen studies where increasing hamstring flexibility results in decreased running performance. I haven't seen studies for other modalities, but I wouldn't be surprised if a number of posterior chain dominant movements showed similar results. So we have a case where improving 1 of the skills could lead to a decrease in work capacity. At the least, flexibility probably also belongs with SPP rather than GPP.

Too much ham flexibility negates the stretch-shorten cycle which can negatively affect Oly as well as sprinting/jumping/etc.

This isn't something that new. As mentioned above in the previous few questions this is the same as overdeveloping any attribute -- there's going to be "negative" side effects with the other abilities.

Garrett Smith
05-13-2009, 05:28 AM
This document never made the mainpage...so I'll share.
Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency
The AFM - CrossFit Final Report (http://www.cfpsa.com/en/psp/HumanPerformance/pdfs/THE%20CROSSFIT%20FINAL%20REPORT%20121106.pdf)
In this section, I have addressed the programs, program organization, and scheduling as presented by CrossFit and not the philosophy as stated in the CrossFit Journal.
...
5.2.2. Loads are applied as relative to body size with body weight type exercises and as absolute loads with fixed weights or medicine balls. This absolute loading can be problematic in that smaller individuals incur greater relative loads than do larger individuals. This can be a safety concern, a problem in comparing performances between individuals, and does not allow the same repetition range for all individuals across the workout.
...
5.6. THE RECOVERY, REST, AND REGENERATION PRINCIPLE:
This principle is not consistently addressed in Crossfit prescriptions or is ignored in the quest to enhance tolerance to high intensity work and fatigue.
...
5.6.4. The Crossfit program does not build in unloading weeks on a regular pattern but suggest that when workout quality deteriorates extra rest days are needed. This lack of a regular pattern is not consistent with common practice in prescription for elite athletes or high intensity occupational pursuits and puts the individual at more at risk of overtraining and stress related injuries – especially
with the focus on high intensity, fatigue based training.
...
5.7.4. There may be so much variation within some elements that some do not get sufficient frequency to insure an optimal overload across the weeks and months.
...
5.9.3. There is a conscious effort to avoid low intensity, long duration runs, rows and marches that would enhance aerobic capacity. Considering the importance of long distance weightload marches in the LFCPFS and in the current operational environment, this type of training should be included.
...
5.10.1. The assertion is that if the situations in life, sport, and physically demanding occupations are presented to us in random fashion, then training to meet these challenges should also be random. This is likely true in how we practice the use of our skills and fitness to permit us to respond to different tactical and environmental settings. However, the risk of doing the fitness and
skills training in this fashion is that the training at required frequency, load, duration and actions may not be optimal to achieve our desired fitness and skill outcomes.
...
5.10.2. The CrossFit web prescriptions are based on the workout of the day [WOD] which they claim are randomized and run this risk. The proposed 8 week program and the 9 week austere program have a fixed workout schedule and, as such, are not random variations. However, the rationale behind the fixed
pattern in the proposed programs is not clear, does not adhere to the CrossFit template, and presents other issues that will be addressed in later sections.
...
The patterns that are in the proposed programs risk underloading on some actions and risk overuse injuries in others.
...
5.10.5. The sporadic inclusion of appropriate recovery intervals, omission of scheduled unloading weeks, not addressing maintenance strategies, and consecutive days of loading on the same actions at high intensity are inconsistent with acceptable periodization models.
...
There is no scientific evidence that the Crossfit prescriptions produce these specific adaptations to a lesser, similar or greater extent than the standard prescription practice.
...
The fixed loads are problematic because smaller and weaker individuals of both genders and across ages will be disadvantaged in the volume of exercise before fatigue, their performance scores will be compromised, and there will be a
greater risk of injury both in the early reps with a higher relative load and in the later reps as fatigue approaches.
...
6.2.3.2.6. The rationale behind the number of reps in a specific workout is not clear and does not seem to have a theoretical base.
...
6.4.5. There is no pattern of progression in the distance or repetitions or the frequency of interval sessions over the 8 week or 9 week proposed programs.
Re-scheduling these sessions to give consistent and progressive loadings would enhance the adaptation and reduce the risk of overuse injuries.
...
The most important thing that I would take away from this entire document is the (lack of) scientific evidence section. They wouldn't even mention the "scientific study" done on their own soldiers, and apparently they weren't presented or didn't accept these supposed "mountains of empirical data" that GG loves to bandy about.

Garrett Smith
05-13-2009, 05:42 AM
CF has its place. No one argues that. It is when people try to apply CF anywhere and everywhere that educated folks cry foul.
If you go back to 2003 which was before any of the work capacity stuff, coach made a comment that we had a month to practice back roll to support before they started showing up in the WODs. I'm still waiting.
Don't hold your breath. Gymnastics moves are hard, require consistent work, and don't lend themselves well to the high repetitions that CF has become more fond of these days in their metcons. This makes it too hard to fit them (do them) on the CF Rx.
And remember, CF isn't just doing the mainpage WOD. You can sub whatever exercises you want. I do think CF needs to do a better job though of defining what it means to do CF or be a CFer. I think the main page is a good introductory workout program.
IMO, CF is the mainpage workout and nothing more. Same with CFFB. Note that CF has training seminars for everything under the sun EXCEPT programming. This is for exactly the same reason you say above--CF is not defined at all ("fitness" is), nor do they follow their own training template. The mainpage is CF. Everything else is circuit training.
Just curious, what do you think of CF's claim that pullups make skiers faster and DL makes bikers faster?
Until I see some "published evidence", I'll give that about as much credence as the 500-750# DL claim. Just because Eva started doing a bunch of pullups and got better at skiing doesn't mean that fact can be generalized across all skiers (that's my guess as to what happened).

Dave Van Skike
05-13-2009, 09:30 AM
DL and cycling? Don't know, never tried it and don't know anyone who did. In a GPP sense maybe it would help prevent injuries, and injury free racers have longer careers...but would it make you faster in real time? not likely. riding fast translates right away, lifting heavy does not.

In the off season, Squats for sure. Lots of high rep squats. Legpress, even more so.

I do think higher reps RDL's and KB swings would help any cyclist, it's a good stretch and tends to balance out the overworked quads. Plus healthy hamstrings are the key to preventing knee injuries for a lot of people.

The best thing I think a cyclist could do in the offseason is skate, crosscountry ski and run...which is what most of the good ones do. If I'm ever so bored that I return to bikes I'd do a lot of kettebell swings and speedskating. but DL? No...

Justin McCallon
05-13-2009, 10:03 AM
CF has its place. No one argues that. It is when people try to apply CF anywhere and everywhere that educated folks cry foul.
....
IMO, CF is the mainpage workout and nothing more.
...
The mainpage is CF. Everything else is circuit training.

Garrett--
Just from looking at the CFE, CFFB and CF main site page, in an argument on a different forum I put together a bunch of things it seems CF shares across the board (and ignored what CF says it does). Keep in mind that most every CF gym uses their own workouts. Almost all of them follow these methods:

1) Most distinguishable: Generally they use the Westside method, at least to an extent: (a) Max effort (well, close -- 1-5 reps) + (b) possibly dynamic effort + (c) repetition work, but repetition work is always done in the form of circuits. That said, the amount of training in each (a to c) varies, depending on the program. (a) includes anything 1-5 reps; there's never strength work over 5 reps. But, the circuit work can include low rep/heavy weight work
2) High amount of effort > more work; very few LISS workouts; maximum effort on cardio
3) All movements are compound (the least compound movement being back extensions, I think)
4) Strength training (unless it's DE) is always done at full effort. i.e. the last rep of the last set of an exercise is always something you can just barely get up trying your best (but not necessarily with a 'psyche up' -- see emotional response thread) that day
5) Utilization of "gymnastics," resistance work, and traditional cardio (running/rowing/biking/swimming), oftentimes together
6) Exercises are rotated as often as possible
7) The metcons on every microcycle (and usually the strength work, save CFFB) are randomized (you guys don't fully accept this) -- i.e. for each 12-day microcycle, you figure out the 8 metcons you're going to do, but then you randomly pick which day they're going to be on
8) More GPP, at the expense of SPP, than most anyone else would suggest
9) There is no changing of focus. There is a microcycle and a macrocycle, but no mesocycle. So they all kinda follow the Ordinary Concurrent model of periodization. i.e. CFFB does 60% strength work and 30% cardio work and 10% high rep work every microcycle. CFE does 10% strength work and 30% rep work and 60% cardio every microcycle. (Made up numbers)
10) By the end of a metcon, a muscle is almost always highly/fully taxed (through a combination of heavy weight or high reps)
11) "Extra work" + Dynamic stretching recommended at the beginning of a workout + skill work + static stretching recommended at the end
11) There is a general refusal to correctly employ effective semi-sport-specific methods that don't fit neatly into the system. (i.e. for CFFB, we could have done DE Squats with chains + 7 burpee box jumps at max height to develop explosive power effectively, but instead we did something less effective in a cardio circuit because crossfit always does cardio circuits)
12) A general refusal to note the importance of isolated work even if it's for injury prevention. i.e. two sets of fifteen external rotations.

Imo, overall, employing this "system" is very effective, regardless of what terminology you want to use to describe it. I would usually make a couple changes, but overall I think the various parts compliment each other very well. Ignoring the SPP point, I think you can develop a program with these principles for any goal that is mildly broad (i.e. if your goal is more broad than "compete in PLing;" a broad goal would be "compete in rugby"). If the goal requires more strength, you just do less cardio work and stay more in the 1-5 rep range, use heavier weight on the metcons, etc. And vice versa.
For my own training (maximize fitness), I pretty much follow everything here except #9 (I have mesocycles and usually follow the emphasized concurrent model), and I will add a couple of exercises that hit weak points (barbell hack squats, RDLs and back extensions, right now) in the 6-10 rep range every week.

That said, this probably isn't the best system for Oly lifting or powerlifting. In Oly Lifting, you guys have convinced me that you simply need to have some work below 100% effort. I don't really feel the same way about powerlifting, but this system won't work as well there because you need isolated work for advanced lifters, and you need to do too-heavy-for-metcon weights with 6-12 reps.
(This said, Greg's workouts come kinda close to fitting into this model; Mike B's workouts do not come close at all)

Donald Lee
05-13-2009, 10:09 AM
Just curious, what do you think of CF's claim that pullups make skiers faster and DL makes bikers faster?

To be frank, such claims are foolish and would make anyone educated in the science of exercise cringe. There are reasons why things work when you exercise and avoiding those explanations and stating broad generalities are copouts for not understanding the science, IMO.

Donald Lee
05-13-2009, 10:13 AM
When I said model of fitness, I was referring to the work v. time graphical analysis more than what you mentioned. I find the physics approach to fitness measurement to be pretty revolutionary.

Brian, this stuff has already been known in the exercise science community. They just don't tout it as the only necessary equation to ultimate fitness.

Craig Loizides
05-13-2009, 11:23 AM
Brian, this stuff has already been known in the exercise science community. They just don't tout it as the only necessary equation to ultimate fitness.

Do you have any links or references to others in the exercise science community using something like the CF work capacity model to define fitness?

Steven Low
05-13-2009, 05:39 PM
To be frank, such claims are foolish and would make anyone educated in the science of exercise cringe. There are reasons why things work when you exercise and avoiding those explanations and stating broad generalities are copouts for not understanding the science, IMO.

Until I see some "published evidence", I'll give that about as much credence as the 500-750# DL claim. Just because Eva started doing a bunch of pullups and got better at skiing doesn't mean that fact can be generalized across all skiers (that's my guess as to what happened).

Personally, I think they're actually true because of the stuff I mentioned above. (Moreso squatting instead of DLing for cyclists though).

But studies would be nice to actually prove it.

Donald Lee
05-13-2009, 10:24 PM
Personally, I think they're actually true because of the stuff I mentioned above. (Moreso squatting instead of DLing for cyclists though).

But studies would be nice to actually prove it.

They may be true, but I'm just saying that there are reasons for everything. The reason isn't that some randomly splashed on CrossFit GPP works magic for everything.

Donald Lee
05-13-2009, 11:06 PM
Do you have any links or references to others in the exercise science community using something like the CF work capacity model to define fitness?

http://sprenten.com/2008/09/power-endurance-a-new-approach-to-work-capacity-training-part-1/

I'll look for other stuff and post later.

Garrett Smith
05-14-2009, 06:32 AM
It makes sense to me that improving max DL strength would improve out-of-the-saddle cycling, especially when putting out high efforts (ie. uphill).

When really cranking hard on the pedals while climbing, the front left hand has to pull to maintain the body's position so that the force can be driven through the right leg into the pedal. IMO, it is sort of like the midrange portion of a DL (but only "half" the body is working).

Maybe I felt this more because I ride a fixie up big hills, so I get to "grind" a lot as there are no easier gears to spin up hills with. I've gone up long, steep hills where I felt like my grip would give before my legs did.

Garrett Smith
05-14-2009, 09:31 AM
Do you have any links or references to others in the exercise science community using something like the CF work capacity model to define fitness?
Found this on Google Books:
Exercise Physiology for Health, Fitness, and Performance (http://books.google.com/books?id=gRrp3yphhC0C&dq=exercise+output&source=gbs_summary_s&cad=0)
Click on "Preview This Book", and search through it for keywords like: aerobic, anaerobic, work, output, capacity. Definitely not as succinct as you might be used to, but attempts to define fitness through measurement have a solid history. Otherwise there would be no American Society of Exercise Physiologists (http://asep.org/) for Glassman to present to.

Like most things in CF, they have simply taken ideas that already existed and combined them to present them in a slightly different way than previous.

Donald Lee
05-14-2009, 10:20 AM
Do you have any links or references to others in the exercise science community using something like the CF work capacity model to define fitness?

I didn't notice that you said CF work capacity model to define fitness.

Here's some of what Mel Siff had to say in response to Greg Glassman's Girevik interview:

[***Mel Siff: If he had read Chs 1.5, 1.16 and 2.3 of "Supertraining," he
would have noticed that there is no "vacuum" of guiding authority - I have
gone to great lengths (and many pages) to define all aspects of fitness very
carefully by examining its usage by Eastern and Western sports scientists. I
then go on to show how it differs from two other measures of human
performance, namely "work capacity" and "preparedness." Before one makes
accusations of sports science in general containing serious vacuums, it is
important to have studied a very wide variety of the most important books
which might offer information on a given topic, otherwise one's opinions come
across as unsubstantiated arrogance. The alleged vacuum may exist only
because one has not adequately researched the entire topic.

Note that it is essential to define fitness and all related terms in the
context of physical training and performance, not across disciplines
including evolution theory and medicine. It is also important not to play
Procrustean games to fit the definition to one's own preconceptions and
biases, which unfortunately happens to be the case with the CrossFit group.]

[*** Mel Siff: While many medical and health texts and authorities will
regard sickness and wellness as lying on some approximate type of continuum
(presuming that such conditions are linearly related, which they don't happen
to be), fitness is not placed along the same continuum, according to the
definitions of physical fitness.

Many pages of "Supertraining" are devoted to developing a Pyramidal Model of
Musculoskeletal Fitness (plus cardiovascular endurance to complete the
picture) which includes dozens of different "fitness factors" (strength,
speed, speed-strength, strength-speed, strength-endurance,
flexibility-strength, skill-endurance, etc (see Ch 1.16.4), so their attempts
to develop a novel model of "fitness" have been overshadowed by all the
Eastern and Western sports science which enabled this Pyramid to be
constructed.]


Here's some of what Mel Siff had to say in response to some of Tyler Hass' inquiries:

[I have made it quite clear that there is a major difference between
being generally fit and specifically fit, yet Glassman persists in
trying to confuse the two issues. He really is doing something like
confusing training of the Marines with training an elite golfer or
100m sprinter. All of us are fully aware that each sport requires
a different type of fitness and very few people are suggesting that
being fit for one's main sport automatically makes one fit for other
sports or for a wide variety of every activity invented by humankind.
Almost every question of yours has to do with Glassman's idea of
"universal" fitness vs sport specific fitness. If you like some sort
of Marine or challenge training (which many of us could easily draw
up), by all means "go for it", but don't make claims of its special value
for all athletes and humans. As I have stressed, this sort of training
may play a useful role in some part of General Physical Preparation,
or be great fun to some members of the public, but its continued
long-term use throughout any sporting season will detract from sport
specific training and is more likely to be detrimental than valuable to
the preparedness of specialist athletes. Mel Siff]


[Once again, you are focusing on "universal" fitness (as if such a thing
can ever exist!) and sport specific fitness. The very term "fitness"
in the scientific and sporting sense happens to acknowledge that fitness
is always specific to a given context. If anyone ever thinks that they have
devised a scheme to provide "universal" or "cosmic" fitness, then they
should ask God if they could take over control of the universe! It is now
quite apparent that Glassman and now, you, are really playing semantic
Procrustean games that suit your own belief systems. Simply accept that
"fitness" in the sporting sense refers to fitness for a given sport and that
a more general type of fitness training is offered by schemes such as
those of Glassman and various others who have a certain commercial
agenda to promulgate - and let's leave it at that. The goals clearly are
different and should not be confused or used to align the two approaches
against one another. This is really a case of "much ado about nothing." Mel
Siff]

Steven Low
05-14-2009, 03:10 PM
The Siff comments to Tyler are like exactly what I've always been saying... nice. Except he's like 100x more eloquent, and knows probably 100x more than me too.

Justin McCallon
05-14-2009, 05:57 PM
The very term "fitness" in the scientific and sporting sense happens to acknowledge that fitness is always specific to a given context.
...
While many medical and health texts and authorities will
regard sickness and wellness as lying on some approximate type of continuum, fitness is not placed along the same continuum, according to the
definitions of physical fitness.

As much respect as I have for the guy, I feel like Mel was getting overly semantic and I don't think it's correct to say that he is right and Glassman is wrong. The general dictionary definition of Fitness seems to be trying to capture Glassman's definition of fitness. (Definitions for Fitness include "Good health or physical condition, especially as the result of exercise and proper nutrition" and "health")

Just because Mel defines Work Capacity or some other term similar to how Glassman defines fitness, doesn't mean that Glassman was wrong.

We all know (aside from the hardcore CFers I guess) that there are two concepts:
Sport-Specific Fitness, and General Fitness (I like these terms more than GPP and SPP for this situation). Whatever terminology you want to use is fine. Obviously "SSF" is much more important for an athlete competing in a sport than is General Fitness (and progressively more important as the athlete moves away from a sport that requires broader fitness attributes/"time and modal domains."

Chris H Laing
05-14-2009, 06:08 PM
Just curious, what do you think of CF's claim that pullups make skiers faster and DL makes bikers faster?

Just wanna throw this out there...deadlifts make everyone better at everything.

Dave Van Skike
05-14-2009, 06:15 PM
the magic word in Mel's rant is "Procrustean".

Not only is it one of the top 5 most bestest words ever, Mel's got GG's Number.

Dead nuts, on the money.

Garrett Smith
05-14-2009, 09:31 PM
Procrustean: (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/procrustean)

producing or designed to produce strict conformity by ruthless or arbitrary means
marked by arbitrary often ruthless disregard of individual differences or special circumstances


That is quite the word for that situation. Wow.

Gavin Harrison
05-14-2009, 09:36 PM
The Siff comments to Tyler are like exactly what I've always been saying... nice. Except he's like 100x more eloquent, and knows probably 100x more than me too.

Knew, he died in 2003.

Steven Low
05-14-2009, 10:05 PM
Knew, he died in 2003.
Ah, that sucks... did not know that. And he was on the right track when he said that about CF in its infancy. I wonder what he would say now, heh.

glennpendlay
05-14-2009, 10:48 PM
This is probably a stupid argument/discussion to get into, but... its hard for me to get my mind around any definition of fitness that doesnt involve the question "fitness for what". For surviving in the wilderness? for surviving the apocolypse? For Olympic weightlifing? For rugby? for Walking up stairs, carrying groceries, and playing with the kids in the park on weekends? For MMA? For old fashioned getting drunk and kicking ass in a bar on saturday night? For living as long and as pain free as possible?

All these differing tasks dont overlap all the time. How can one define fitness without asking the question "fit for what?"'.

I have been fit for various different tasks at different times in my life. I have run a 5:19 mile and an 11:30 two mile. I have lifted over 450lbs over my head. I have been a highly ranked participant in a combat sport (wrestling in high school and college).

But I cant think of a time when I would consider myself just overall "fit". When I played tennis and ran cross country, I would have gotten my ass kicked in a fight with most people, and couldnt lift anything particularly heavy. When I wrestled, I was in what people call "overall good shape"... yet was I definately NOT on any path to live a pain free and long life, or for being active into advancing age for that matter. When I was a 350lb guy who could lift huge weights overhead or off the ground or whatever, I would start my workouts sometimes with a 400lb front squat, right after some low intensity stretching out, and do that for multiple workouts a day, 6 days a week. I was pretty damn fit for lifting things. But I couldnt have run a mile for a million bucks, or survived in the wilderness for long, probably.

So from a 140lb skinny weeny who ran a pretty good 2 mile, to a 350lb strong guy, who could lift a few heavy things... with a wrestler in the middle who could kick most peoples ass but was hurt all the time and recieved injuries which do, and will, plague me for the rest of my life... when was I fit, when was I unfit?

Ill tell you when I think I was the most fit for life. I was driving a truck for a while, trying to provide for a family while my wife (now ex-wife) pursued her masters degree. For reasons not pertinent to this discussion, I couldnt get a good high paying job, truck driving or not. So to make ends meet, I had to drive long hours, and load and unload a truck by myself to make ends meet. It was normal for me to be behind the wheel for around 100 hours a week, and to go 40-50 hours driving without sleep at one time. I have scars on my shoulder where I burned myself with a cigarette lighter to stay awake. I did what I had to do, to pay for her school, to make the house payment, to put food on the table. I think that displays more "fitness for life" than a good 2 mile time or a good clean and jerk. Or winning a wrestling match. At the time, I was strong enough, and mentally tough enough, and stubborn enough, and very unwilling to admit failure.

This is all quite a bit of rambling, and not sure what it really means. I dont have a generic definition of fitness. As I have said, I am not sure what fitness means if you dont define the question "fit for what?".

Now i am 38 years old. I do some kettlebell work. I plan on competing in GS at some point, and emphasise 10 minute sets without setting the KB down. I row on a C2. I am trying to get more into Judo, time permitting. I have the ability to ride my 15 year old mountain bike 10 or 20 miles beside my girlfriend, who is an avid cyclist and owns a $5,000 dollar racing bike. yes she takes it easy when im along, but I can go the distance. I can play soccer with my son. I still have a better grip than probably 99% of other men, and am stronger than most people. I try to eat pretty good, partly for myself, partly as an example for my son. But I have a weakness for good pasta. But I dont eat deserts, and we have no sweets or potatoe chips in the house. We eat our vegatables. I like to think I would still be pretty formidable in a bar fight, though I dont go to bars and as a rule would do a lot to avoid a fight in any situation. I work a full-time job. I "donate" about 20 hours a week to coaching weightlifting, because thats my passion. I spend a lot of time with my son. I still get the lawn mowed. Am I more or less "fit" than at other points in my life? Can anyone point to one point in my life when I was the most "fit"? Can you do it without asking the question "fit for what?".

Just food for thought.

glenn

Rafe Kelley
05-15-2009, 12:17 AM
Interesting thread not going to get into the in depth discussions of crossfit methodology. Personally I am in the camp of metcons are good occasionally as part of programming but not as the bread a butter I find the 10 elements definition more compelling then the work capacity definition because I have seen just how important skill and sport specific ability is.

Crossfit style IWCABTAMD you maybe very enduring in crossfit metcons but my experience is when you step in to ring to kick box or grapple if you don't how the stamina doesn't transfer much, and without the skills your going to get butchered anyways. Likewise I don't care if you can do a billion kipping pull ups, when It comes to climbing real life rocks, tree's and buildings if you haven't actually climbed if you haven't discovered all the ways of minimizing energy output of finding routes the specific strengths and mobility necessary your billion pull ups just don't mean much. Same thing with jumping you may be able to box jump 50 inches and string 100 of them in a row but if you don't know how to run and jump to kick of walls, to vault you still not only going to get blown away in obstacle by traceur but you are likely smash yourself trying to keep up I have seen examples of all of these. I have been an example of some of them.

As to the question of what is the task to which general fitness needs to be aimed at I think that is were evolutionary logic offers a good perspective. From an evolutionary perspective physiological fitness can be seen as the physical capacities that increase the likelihood of survival and reproduction. That ultimately is what I see as fit most likely to survive given a range of possible disasters. In crossfits infinite hopper idea I am concerned with the challenges that have potentially mortal consequences if you fail, when someone ambushes you, when the boat your on sinks and you need to swim to safety, when an earthquake hits and the bridge you need to cross collapses and you have to climb down a cliff that is what I think it means to be physiologically fit in the long term evolutionary sense. I think this is also a good model for general physiological fitness optimizing the physical abilities that have kept us alive and reproducing over the last millions of years.

Craig Brown
05-15-2009, 08:20 AM
I'm with Glenn on this one! Probably the most 'generally prepared' I've ever been, in a fitness sense, was when I lived in the mountains, worked in a lumberyard and ran long distances between 7-11k feet. I also hurt most of the time! But I was super fit to run LSD up and down mountains and load concrete into your pickup, which is what I was doing.

I learned good things from CF, and I get great ideas at this point mainly from Rob Shaul at Mountain Athlete and Twight. Both have them have taken some of the ideas, added more critical programming, and know what they are training their people for.

But CF in my mind is two broad camps (and I'm sure there are more than that)- the main page WOD, and the affiliates. The three affiliates I'm familiar with have very different approaches from the main page. Level 4 is a great gym, very focused on making what they do work for their people. Faire amount of OLy and KBs. Crossfit Eastside has Mondays as press/dead/squat/PC day to keep the strength work regular. Ranier Crossfit incorporates strongman training. None follow the mainpage as far as I know.

The Siff quotes are awesome! Do you have a link to the whole thing?

Brian Stone
05-15-2009, 08:50 AM
I don't have anything else constructive to add at this point, but wanted to say that Glenn's post was outstanding food for thought. Very interesting and practical perspective.

Anton Emery
05-15-2009, 09:12 AM
Well said Glenn, i enjoyed reading that.

I remember somewhere Dan John quoting someone else and saying that fitness is the ability to accomplish a specific task. That works for me. I just want to be fit for brazillian juijitsu. That means spending alot of time at my sport. I won't have the fastest Crossfit times or the biggest deadlift but thats ok. Other folks may want to be top CF'ers or just lift huge amounts of weight. Perfectly fine too.


Anton

Donald Lee
05-15-2009, 12:08 PM
The Siff quotes are awesome! Do you have a link to the whole thing?

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=HRUTHWRE

They discussed it on the CrossFit boards here:
http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=2090

But let's not revive an old flame war on here. Siff can no longer defend himself. :)

Tom Woodward
05-15-2009, 02:07 PM
I mostly just read and lurk here, but had to give props to Glenn. Great post sir.

Chris H Laing
05-15-2009, 04:55 PM
I hate to say it, but I think Glenn is wrong...gasp. But I think you can say your fit without asking the question fit for what. If you are prepared for anything life throws at you than you are fit.

I think crossfits definition of fit is to be fit for everything, so that you can run a fast mile, kick some ass in wrestling, and lift heavy stuff over your head, or do any and every other task that comes your way. I'm not saying crossfit is the best way to get this kind of fitness, but personally I think they have the best definition of fitness out there at the moment.

Dave Van Skike
05-15-2009, 05:26 PM
no. let's pause and consider the word Procrustean (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procrustean)


cf's definition is that you'll be ready to "try" anything. by their own definition, as soon as you start to show a glimmer of promise, meaning an above average but not yet elite level of ability (600 DL, 400 bench, 4 minute mile) you're no longer "fit".

this obfuscation is awesome marketing but it's also a totally retarded misappropriation of the plain language. we already have a word for what CF is and does. In the classic, pre-steroid era sense of the word..it's bodybuilding.

Chris H Laing
05-15-2009, 06:05 PM
Disagree again, Dave. Nothing in crossfit states that as you approach elite level athletic ability that you are not fit, so long as you dont compromise other aspects of your fitness to get to that point.

Also, I wouldnt consider crossfit bodybuilding, even though I'm sure many people use it for that purpose. The ones who really excel at crossfit are the ones who are in it for the performance that crossfit style training develops.

Steven Low
05-15-2009, 06:30 PM
Er, the very fact that you're going to approach elite ability means an inordinate amount of time has to be spent training to reach that level. With Crossfit it is pretty much impossible to get to that level.

And which definition are you talking about? 10 skills? or work capacity?


Personally, and I don't take it as a knock to you... you're pretty new relative to training than most us here... (heck, I'm pretty new to training relative to most of the people here).

I don't think we have enough experience to actually comment on this topic having not reached any significant ability level ourselves. Plus, the very fact that we live in the luxury where we can eat, drink, train, educate ourselves, etc. when and where we want to unlike most of the people in the world precludes us from experiencing a lot of that.

Jonathan Owen
05-15-2009, 06:43 PM
Just my 2 cents,

I think the word elite gets thrown around a little too much. Lance Armstrong, in his prime, was elite. Naim Suleymanoglu(however you spell his last name) was elite, Michael Jordan, Michael Lewis, Nolan Ryan etc...Being an elite athlete is (in my mind) not cleaning house in the local mens league, but being dominant at a high level of competition.

Steven Low
05-15-2009, 07:09 PM
Just my 2 cents,

I think the word elite gets thrown around a little too much. Lance Armstrong, in his prime, was elite. Naim Suleymanoglu(however you spell his last name) was elite, Michael Jordan, Michael Lewis, Nolan Ryan etc...Being an elite athlete is (in my mind) not cleaning house in the local mens league, but being dominant at a high level of competition.
Then what do you think about the "tables" like these

http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/DeadliftStandards.html

I believe this table (and the other standards) were in either SS or PP... I don't recall exactly.

Chris Forbis
05-15-2009, 07:31 PM
Then what do you think about the "tables" like these

http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifting/DeadliftStandards.html

I believe this table (and the other standards) were in either SS or PP... I don't recall exactly.

They were in PP, I do believe.

I think the word elite gets thrown around a little too much. Lance Armstrong, in his prime, was elite. Naim Suleymanoglu(however you spell his last name) was elite, Michael Jordan, Michael Lewis, Nolan Ryan etc...Being an elite athlete is (in my mind) not cleaning house in the local mens league, but being dominant at a high level of competition.

Absolutely. I loved Liar's Poker.

And Nolan Ryan was more an example of longevity at a high level than he was elite. He never won a Cy Young...

Alex Bond
05-15-2009, 07:59 PM
According to Rip's Practical Programming, elite is when you require programming at a >one month level, which is like the opposite of Crossfit. But Rip's definition have to do with rate of adaption, not accomplishments and feats.

glennpendlay
05-15-2009, 08:14 PM
Chris,

Can you really be prepared for anything life throws at you? Can you even come close? Personally, I think this is wishful thinking, and maybe even a dangerous fallacy. This might be the meat of our disagreement.

Dont get me wrong. I believe in being as prepared as I can. In fact, when the zombies come, my house just might be the last one in Wichita falls with the lights on.

And I think that when the zombies do come, and all the sudden all the physical training is all set to pay off, that you would be better off to be healthy, without a trick knee or banged up shoulder, than able to lift an extra 50lbs over head, which is why I think that a whole bunch of balls to the wall training to be "prepared for life" is a bit off the mark.

I love training. I think everyone should do it. I especially like lifting stuff over my head, and I think if you dont have a barbell, kettlebell, stone, or some such implement over your head at least a time or two a week, then you must have a testosterone deficiency. I mean, how could doing that NOT be fun? But I think if you do it balls to the wall, and dont admit that you do it for other than practical reasons, you are kidding yourself.

If you really want to be prepared for shit... there are many things you could do that would matter more than 50lbs added to your clean and jerk, or 30 seconds off your mile time. You could get some good suggestions here

http://www.m4040.com/Survival/Survival.htm

glenn

Chris H Laing
05-16-2009, 03:36 AM
Personally, and I don't take it as a knock to you... you're pretty new relative to training than most us here...


True that Steven. I have around a year and people like you have at least a few. People like Glenn have been training longer than I've been alive.


Can you really be prepared for anything life throws at you? Can you even come close? Personally, I think this is wishful thinking, and maybe even a dangerous fallacy. This might be the meat of our disagreement.

Honestly, I myself dont believe you can be prepared for anything in life, which is why I no longer follow mainsite crossfit. I am much happier working on strength, with a little metcon sprinkled on as a finisher. That said, I still think that the goal of crossfit is to get people as prepared as possible for any and every eventuality.

And I think that when the zombies do come, and all the sudden all the physical training is all set to pay off, that you would be better off to be healthy, without a trick knee or banged up shoulder, than able to lift an extra 50lbs over head, which is why I think that a whole bunch of balls to the wall training to be "prepared for life" is a bit off the mark.

I completely understand what you're saying here. Crossfit causes a lot of injuries, but its not necessarily the workouts that are too blame. People get overzealous and throw themselves as hard as they can at a workout before they get their technique dialed in and thats how they get injured. There are plenty of crossfitters that dont have nagging injuries, and when the zombies do come, in my opinion, they will be the best prepared.

Donald Lee
05-16-2009, 08:42 AM
If wanting to be physically prepared for everything were really the goal, CrossFitters would be better off learning martial arts/self-defense, parkour, mountain climbing, etc. Skill training is usually much more important than just being able to run around and do a bunch of stuff without tiring. Motor control just doesn't sprinkle itself over everywhere because you can do the big lifts and do kipping pullups.

Justin McCallon
05-16-2009, 09:50 AM
I still think that the goal of crossfit is to get people as prepared as possible for any and every eventuality.

People actually bought that line? That's just a lame marketing gimmick.

CF's goal is to increase work capacity over broad modal domains, and the main site and all the affiliates pretty much only focus on that as it relates to easily-implemented weightlifting/bodyweight workouts. It's just a cool concept that gives gym rats a chance to compete at something.

That said, I think some of the hate is a little over-the-top. It's a given that neither a top CF'er nor a decathlete is going to be very elite at a single thing. That doesn't make the totality of the accomplishments any less impressive, imo.

glennpendlay
05-16-2009, 10:03 AM
Donald,

I agree. Knowledge trumps all in most pursuits. So before we "argue" about the efficacy of this training program or that one, we ought to just admit that we train for fun, to be strong, to look good, or whatever... and stop trying to justify it with some kind of ass-kicking or survivalist nonsense.

As for me, I train because I enjoy the hell out of it, because I dont want to be 40 and fat and out of shape, because I want to maintain my health for as long as possible, and because its just cool to lift heavy stuff.

And sticking to the always relevant zombie theme, when they come, I know my 357 mag will be more useful than my clean and jerk.

glenn

Chris H Laing
05-16-2009, 10:06 AM
If wanting to be physically prepared for everything were really the goal, CrossFitters would be better off learning martial arts/self-defense, parkour, mountain climbing, etc. Skill training is usually much more important than just being able to run around and do a bunch of stuff without tiring. Motor control just doesn't sprinkle itself over everywhere because you can do the big lifts and do kipping pullups.

Many crossfitters do other sports besides crossfit, and they use crossfit to get better at their sports. Rob Miller uses it for rock climbing, Pat Barber uses it for volley ball, Dutch uses it for hand ball (or something...). The point is that their increased fitness from crossfit lets them spend more time working their sport specific skills without getting tired as quickly as people who just do sport specific skill work, which gives them an edge over the competition.

People actually bought that line? That's just a lame marketing gimmick.

CF's goal is to increase work capacity over broad modal domains

How does increased work capacity over broad time and modal domains not prepare you for random tasks? If you give me a situation, I am pretty sure I can give you a reason why increased work capacity would benefit you in that situation.

glennpendlay
05-16-2009, 10:08 AM
That said, I think some of the hate is a little over-the-top.

I have not mentioned CrossFit in any of my posts on this thread. I am talking about the attitude, no matter where it comes from, that "extreme" amounts of training or extrame forms of training are somehow justified in a practical way. I think some people tell themselves that, some of those people are CFers and some are not, and I just disagree with this concept.

Chris H Laing
05-16-2009, 10:33 AM
I have not mentioned CrossFit in any of my posts on this thread. I am talking about the attitude, no matter where it comes from, that "extreme" amounts of training or extrame forms of training are somehow justified in a practical way. I think some people tell themselves that, some of those people are CFers and some are not, and I just disagree with this concept.

Well said Glenn! It is not crossfits fault that some people push it too hard too fast and end up injuring themselves.

Jonathan Owen
05-16-2009, 12:53 PM
They were in PP, I do believe.



Absolutely. I loved Liar's Poker.

And Nolan Ryan was more an example of longevity at a high level than he was elite. He never won a Cy Young...

Yeah! I am an idiot! I meant Michael Johnson.

Stephen,

I think those standards are impressive, and I have a teammate who meets the 181 Lb. elite standard and pulled it in competition with 575, to set a national teen record when he was 19 yrs. old. I would never presume to diminish his accomplishment, or anyone who hits the numbers on that list. I am not even close to hitting the elite # for my weight. That being said, the elite standard for an adult male 320#'s+ on that table is 617. Andy Bolton has pulled over a 1,000 in competition, Konstantinov has pulled 948 @275,the elite standard by the table for that weight is 602. In my opinion, (whatever thats worth) the title of elite athlete carries significant weight, and means you are one of the top performers when compared to the rest of the competitive field. This is mostly due to my experience at my first Oly meet; I had a big head because I was training like, "An elite athlete", I was brought back down to earth very quickly, when I watched someone like Peter Musa. I look back and wonder how I had such a high opinion of myself, when I was nothing but a beginner(still am), with very beginner #'s.

Garrett Smith
05-16-2009, 02:03 PM
Jonathan,
IMO, each person would have to define "elite" status for each sport, unless it is already done (ie. in PL).

For example, in basketball, I would say that anyone playing at the college and NBA level is elite...or an easier way to say someone is elite in a very general sense is that they make their living at it (or at least pay the bills).

To say that only a handful of people in a sport are "elite" is a bit too restrictive. Limiting it to probable future "Hall of Famers" is too far IMO.

Every level of athletics is going to have their "elite", be it tee-ball or pro sports.

I'd have to say I also doubt that Rippetoe and Kilgore took their consideration of "elite" standards lightly. You may disagree. I personally think that anyone DLing 3x BW is in very elite company.

Dave Van Skike
05-16-2009, 02:24 PM
elite is a troublesome word. PL is weird because, for one, there are so many feds that national records and state records esp. get contested by maybe 4 people in the class at a given meet.

Elite is contextual. When I raced the Elite Class in MTB, I was by no stretch elite, on a given race there would be 40-50 other guys contesting it but about 3-4 guys who were wining 90% of the time. They might be considered elite but that's it.

So, in terms of context, if there are but a handful of people worldwide who can do something, that's elite...the 99.999999th percentile guys, the 5.14 climbers, etc.

the problem with specialization versus general phys ed type bodybuilding (cf) is that someone who's barely good, just a decent deadlifter (600) or an who has an OK snatch, (120k) has made SIGNIFICANT efforts towards their goal but has just scratched the surface of what's possible in that arena. whereas the CF bodybuilder is "ready for anything" but not even capable of the bottom end in the specialized discipline. Does this mean some aren't capable? no, in fact lots of people use similar methods all the time to shore up weaknesses..but when you spend all your time hunting weaknesses, you don't build any strengths. So when it comes to being truly competitive in an specific arena, (like football) for the most part the "CF method" won't take you there, and most CF'ers don't even try, what's worse is the foundational principal (fitness (http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/false-dilemma.html)) of the "method" is dismissive of anyone who does.

Justin McCallon
05-16-2009, 03:24 PM
I have not mentioned CrossFit in any of my posts on this thread. I am talking about the attitude, no matter where it comes from, that "extreme" amounts of training or extrame forms of training are somehow justified in a practical way. I think some people tell themselves that, some of those people are CFers and some are not, and I just disagree with this concept.

Glenn, (as much as I hate to say this) I disagree with you over some points and agree with you on others. But, that point wasn't directed at you. I agree with you on this point.

The part I disagree with you about (and we just might have to disagree) is the general fitness terminology. I understand your "fit for what" point, and it makes sense. I also think that the "when the zombies come" theory of CF is pretty stupid. But, as a general point, whatever you want to term it, CF's goal of increasing work capacity over broad time and modal domains makes sense to me. I consider this "general physical fitness." I think your "fit for what" question is a "specific physical fitness" question. You were obviously more specifically fit for wrestling when you were doing it.

But, general physical fitness, as I think it should be defined, is about being most fit for a random strength/power/endurance/agility/speed/stamina event (or combination) that does not require significant experience or other skills not listed. I think you CAN train and develop that. I don't think it will have any more carry over to "real life" than Oly lifting, but it's something fun to develop and challenge yourself with, I think.



Also, I didn't mean to come out as overly authoritative. It's just my opinion, but I personally disagree with some of the sentiments of some of the posts. i.e.
by their own definition, as soon as you start to show a glimmer of promise, meaning an above average but not yet elite level of ability (600 DL, 400 bench, 4 minute mile) you're no longer "fit".


I think the top CF athletes are going to be much more elite at CF in a few years (like MMA athletes a few years back), but eventually overall they will be every bit as elite as the top powerlifters, runners, etc, in the same way that the top decathletes are as elite as the top 100m sprinters. They aren't elite in any one discipline, but in an overall sense, they are just as elite. Maybe only .05% of the population can bench 500 lbs raw. Likewise, only .05% can bench 325lbs raw, run a 5:15 mile, and do 50 pull-ups (Made up numbers). The two athletes are equally elite.

Fake edit: now that I see what you are getting at, I actually mostly agree, Dave. I think the idea of main-site CF should be used to get better at either CF, or to provide a background for something that requires very similar physical skills (i.e. MMA).


How does increased work capacity over broad time and modal domains not prepare you for random tasks? If you give me a situation, I am pretty sure I can give you a reason why increased work capacity would benefit you in that situation.

As Glenn (and others) mentioned, if you want to be ready for something random, increasing your general physical fitness (the definition me and you use) is not going to help much relative to reading survival guides, or joining the Marines, or getting rich. I haven't seen a "AMRAP: go into the wilderness and survive for a day" WOD.

Dave Van Skike
05-16-2009, 04:21 PM
so cf is like a liberal arts degree, you can follow along in just about any conversation but you don't really have anything to say?

I'll agree to disagree. the words elite and fitness have been so heavily abused in this discussion as to no longer be useful.

the CF spectrum of health and fitness is cute and maybe even important but like a lot of intersting ideas, there is nothing holding it up but spit, clay and bombast.

likewise, the idea that specializing in not specializing will somehow help the football (specialist) athlete is ludicrous.

to be effective, the eventual end of CF football will be "football practice" only using fresh terminology...oh wait, that's just marketing...how perfect.

Justin McCallon
05-16-2009, 04:35 PM
Haha, I think the liberal arts degree analogy is great, actually (aside from anything inferring that it's less work).

the words elite and fitness have been so heavily abused in thsi discussion as to no longer be useful.

I'm assuming that we can at least agree on "elite" to mean "better than x% of society," right? If x% doesn't change anything as far as our disagreement. If elite is top 1%, ok. If it's top .005%, ok. If it's top .0001%, ok. Pick whichever point you want. If a bench presser can bench more than 99.9999% of society, he's an elite bench presser. If a powerlifter is at the top 99.999%, he's an elite powerlifter. A powerlifter might not have any one lift that is considered elite, but the ability to do all 3 is. He is an elite powerlifter, not an elite squatter/deadlifter/bench presser.

I'm not going to pimp CF's methods or their competitions (both I think could be improved), but theoretically CF competition seeks to find the most elite generalist. That might sound like a contradiction, but it's not. It's the same as having an elite strongman that would not be considered elite in the Atlas Stones. When 99.999% (or whatever number you think is the cut-off) of society cannot do the totality of what the elite CF'er can do, that makes him elite.


likewise, the idea that specializing in not specializing will somehow help the football (specialist) athlete is ludicrous.

I have always agreed with this. Endurance runners should not train the same way as powerlifters. Reasonable people can disagree over the totality of GPP vs. SPP work, but CF's original claims in this area were definitely ridiculous. I think they've softened their stance recently (i.e. see: CFFB, which I would guess you don't think goes far enough).

glennpendlay
05-16-2009, 06:08 PM
Is fitness really definable? Or at least is it definable in the same way VO2 max, strength, the speed of light or the atomic number of selenium (34, by the way) is? I looked around around online and found these definitions...



fitness fitĚness (fĭt'nĭs)
n.

1. The state or condition of being physically sound and healthy, especially as the result of exercise and proper nutrition.
2. A state of general mental and physical well-being.
3. The state of being suitably adapted to an environment.


Main Entry: fitĚness
Pronunciation: 'fit-n&s
Function: noun
: the capacity of an organism to survive and transmit its genotype to reproductivelyfertile offspring as compared to competing organisms; also : the contribution of an allele or genotype to the gene pool of subsequent generations as compared to that of other alleles orgenotypes


fitĚness (fĭt'nĭs)
n.

1. The state or condition of being fit; suitability or appropriateness.
2. Good health or physical condition, especially as the result of exercise and proper nutrition.
3. Biology The extent to which an organism is adapted to or able to produce offspring in a particular environment.



fit⋅ness
  /ˈfɪtnɪs/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [fit-nis] Show IPA
ľnoun
1. health.
2. capability of the body of distributing inhaled oxygen to muscle tissue during increased physical effort.
3. Also called Darwinian fitness. Biology.
a. the genetic contribution of an individual to the next generation's gene pool relative to the average for the population, usually measured by the number of offspring or close kin that survive to reproductive age.
b. the ability of a population to maintain or increase its numbers in succeeding generations.



So, with all that we basically have a state of being healthy and the ability to successfully reproduce and keep the genotype alive and well. Certainly nothing very specific there. Is it any wonder we are arguing about not only the definition, but how to maximize "fitness"?

Crossfit, from what i understand, is defining fitness as how much work you can do over broad time and modal domains. And being able to do a lot of work output in a wide varieties of situations is admirable, for sure... but is it synonymous with health and preserving the genotype? Some might argue it is... but its certainly an arguable point.

I would argue that the training involved in trulytrying to MAXIMIZE everything from your one rep squat to your mile time... is probably not conducive to overall health, particularly on a long-term basis. And this is not a knock on CF. I think ANY activity, taken to a competitive extreme, is no longer about health. Lifting weights with some degree of moderation is healthy, competing in powerlifting or olympic weightlifting is not "healthy". Running a couple of miles a couple of times a week is healthy. Being a competitive marathoner is not "healthy"...

I dont have anything against the CrossFit workout routine... frankly I enjoyed that sort of training when I did similar stuff in high school wrestling, and i think its certainly much better than the globo gym alternatives. But you take anything to its competitive extreme, and its no longer about health.

As usual, just my opinion.

glenn

Justin McCallon
05-16-2009, 06:52 PM
Yeah, I don't have a good enough understanding of "health" to have any idea whether 'maximizing the amount of work you can do across broad time and modal domains' will help you become more healthy. Most legitimate health research seems to involve moderate intensity exercise for 30 minutes, AFAIK.

Either way, whatever you want to call it, CF aims to enhance work capacity over broad time and modal domains. This intuitively seemed like fitness to me, but I don't really care what the term is.
Whatever the term is for this, I consider it a term for general application. And then when you are talking about physical preparation for a sport, I'd consider it a specific term. I used general fitness and specific fitness. Either way, I think we all (most of us?) agree on the concepts, and that's what matters.

glennpendlay
05-16-2009, 07:07 PM
About the word "Elite". I would personally define Elite as being competitive at the top level. Not world record holder, not best of all time, but also not just conforming to a table of pretty arbitrary numbers in a book, or better than the rest of the guys in your gym.

So, according to my definition, if you can show up at the weightlifting or powerlifting or chess or handball national championships, and have a chance of getting on the medal stand, then you are elite. In weightlifting or powerlifting, thats probably going to mean 4-5 guys in each weight class.

of course, this assumes that the national championships is truly the national championships, so this might be difficult in powerlifting.

By this definition, I would also include all major league pitchers to be "Elite" pitchers. Lets face it, there have to be about 1 million kids who try and dont have the talent to compete in the majors for every one pitcher who gets to stand on the mound in front of 50,000 people and get paid 5 million a year to do so.

glenn

Jonathan Owen
05-16-2009, 08:35 PM
Garrett,

I meant no disrespect towards Rippetoe and Kilgore.

Gavin Harrison
05-16-2009, 11:11 PM
Yeah! I am an idiot! I meant Michael Johnson.

Stephen,

I think those standards are impressive, and I have a teammate who meets the 181 Lb. elite standard and pulled it in competition with 575, to set a national teen record when he was 19 yrs. old. I would never presume to diminish his accomplishment, or anyone who hits the numbers on that list. I am not even close to hitting the elite # for my weight. That being said, the elite standard for an adult male 320#'s+ on that table is 617. Andy Bolton has pulled over a 1,000 in competition, Konstantinov has pulled 948 @275,the elite standard by the table for that weight is 602. In my opinion, (whatever thats worth) the title of elite athlete carries significant weight, and means you are one of the top performers when compared to the rest of the competitive field. This is mostly due to my experience at my first Oly meet; I had a big head because I was training like, "An elite athlete", I was brought back down to earth very quickly, when I watched someone like Peter Musa. I look back and wonder how I had such a high opinion of myself, when I was nothing but a beginner(still am), with very beginner #'s.

http://www.goheavy.net/records/viewrecordset.aspx?recordsetguid=4dddfdb9-46c5-401b-8d7d-13f80fce4046

USAPL probably one of the bigger feds with a bunch of raw lifters. If the records for the heavies and super heavies is the 600-700 range.. 600 is a reasonable elite ranking..

Andy and Konstantinov both compete geared, which I am not saying to diminish their lifts (They're awesome! I think a lot of the best lifters compete geared..) the charts from practical programming are intended as general guidelines for raw lifts.

glennpendlay
05-16-2009, 11:21 PM
geared, and "geared". U all know what I mean without saying the S word. And the S word changes a lot.

And in that note, props to my good friend brad gillingham, who recently deadlifted 400kg, or 881lbs, and is IMO, the best deadlifter in the world. because he did it under IPF rules, and drug testing, and used a hook grip. Andy bolton eat your heart out.

glenn

Patrick Donnelly
05-17-2009, 12:34 AM
And in that note, props to my good friend brad gillingham, who recently deadlifted 400kg, or 881lbs, and is IMO, the best deadlifter in the world. because he did it under IPF rules, and drug testing, and used a hook grip. Andy bolton eat your heart out.

And for those of you who haven't seen it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4U1TGu1phs

Thumbs of steel!



(Good discussion, by the way.)

Timothy Scalise
05-17-2009, 01:50 AM
And for those of you who haven't seen it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4U1TGu1phs

Thumbs of steel!



(Good discussion, by the way.)

wow, that is impressive even more so under drug testing. I wonder what his thumbs look like after that pull using the hook, I mean mine get bruises after my heavy days, and his lifts are way beyond mine. WAY beyond.

Jonathan Owen
05-17-2009, 06:58 AM
http://www.goheavy.net/records/viewrecordset.aspx?recordsetguid=4dddfdb9-46c5-401b-8d7d-13f80fce4046

USAPL probably one of the bigger feds with a bunch of raw lifters. If the records for the heavies and super heavies is the 600-700 range.. 600 is a reasonable elite ranking..

Andy and Konstantinov both compete geared, which I am not saying to diminish their lifts (They're awesome! I think a lot of the best lifters compete geared..) the charts from practical programming are intended as general guidelines for raw lifts.


I don't mean in any way to scoff at the elite #'s in the table, I also don't mean to say that only the world record holders are elite. I do think that the title should be reserved for the very best in a class of competitors(purely my opinion), and I think others on this thread have expressed this much more effectively than I did.

The records on that list are impressive! As is Brad Gillingham!

Dave Van Skike
05-17-2009, 08:31 AM
http://www.goheavy.net/records/viewrecordset.aspx?recordsetguid=4dddfdb9-46c5-401b-8d7d-13f80fce4046

USAPL probably one of the bigger feds with a bunch of raw lifters. If the records for the heavies and super heavies is the 600-700 range.. 600 is a reasonable elite ranking..

Andy and Konstantinov both compete geared, which I am not saying to diminish their lifts (They're awesome! I think a lot of the best lifters compete geared..) the charts from practical programming are intended as general guidelines for raw lifts.

USAPL records for the 242s and 275s are in the upper 7's low 8's.

a 600 pull would barely place at a local show, geared or no even in the 220's....


and Big Brad is the best drug free deadlifter alive...

Brandon Oto
05-17-2009, 12:28 PM
Just a passing comment...

I had the thought a while ago that the reason it can be hard for people to respect a goal like "GPP" is because it's wholly under your own definition. This is also a benefit, of course, because you can do what you want, but set against an athletic goal like playing football (where the challenges are what they are, and it's up to you to adapt to face them), a "sport" where you get to decide what's good and what's important seems to be lacking some sort of the competitive challenge. One of us might decide that his high OHS makes him a badass whereas his poor ring work isn't important; the long jumper KNOWS if he's a badass because he's winning meets. Or he's not.

One of these is the way that life works; the other isn't. I like and respect fitness and GPP as a training goal, but I think this is a very real consideration and accounts for a lot of the disrespect held for it by many, and on some level, legitimately so.

Garrett Smith
05-17-2009, 04:49 PM
Just a passing comment...

I had the thought a while ago that the reason it can be hard for people to respect a goal like "GPP" is because it's wholly under your own definition. This is also a benefit, of course, because you can do what you want, but set against an athletic goal like playing football (where the challenges are what they are, and it's up to you to adapt to face them), a "sport" where you get to decide what's good and what's important seems to be lacking some sort of the competitive challenge. One of us might decide that his high OHS makes him a badass whereas his poor ring work isn't important; the long jumper KNOWS if he's a badass because he's winning meets. Or he's not.

One of these is the way that life works; the other isn't. I like and respect fitness and GPP as a training goal, but I think this is a very real consideration and accounts for a lot of the disrespect held for it by many, and on some level, legitimately so.
The reason I think it can be hard for some to respect "GPP sport" and "GPP athletes" like those in CF is twofold, for reasons stated by Brandon above and by Patrick in his blog.

In the sport, the "chosen" events are under the control of the event organizers...these can obviously be skewed towards one competitor's strength (or another's weakness), as has already been witnessed this year.
Depending on the events chosen, the lineup of so-called "world's fittest people" can be completely different based on the events contested.

This is not true of any other sport. Or, if I am mistaken in that absolute statement, it isn't true of any major, well-accepted sport that I can think of.

glennpendlay
05-17-2009, 05:02 PM
The reason I think it can be hard for some to respect "GPP sport" and "GPP athletes" like those in CF is twofold, for reasons stated by Brandon above and by Patrick in his blog.

In the sport, the "chosen" events are under the control of the event organizers...these can obviously be skewed towards one competitor's strength (or another's weakness), as has already been witnessed this year.
Depending on the events chosen, the lineup of so-called "world's fittest people" can be completely different based on the events contested.

This is not true of any other sport.

I'm not so sure about this. Think strongman... When you think about it, strongman competitions are amazingly similar to the CF games. In fact you might say that the CF games are kind of "strongman lite"...

And strongman is pretty popular. On TV all the time and everything.

glenn

Dave Van Skike
05-17-2009, 05:57 PM
strongman for weak people? ...can i get it on PPV?
seriously, we already have that...it's called the lightweights...and really strong CF'ers can do very well there.

glennpendlay
05-17-2009, 06:34 PM
strongman for weak people? ...can i get it on PPV?
seriously, we already have that...it's called the lightweights...and really strong CF'ers can do very well there.

Not exactly... But strongman is, in reality, a test of strength and anaerobic endurance... I mean anaerobic endurance is a BIG part of strongman. CF games is, really, just about the same thing but with more of an endurance/anaerobic endurance slant to the events.

Does anyone here follow strongman enough to be familiar with the controversy about the events beginning to slant to much towards endurance instead of pure strength? I think that was even a factor in the starting of one of the off-shoot federations...

I actually think that a CF type games would be pretty cool, if it had say 10 standardized events, ranging from max DL and max press, to a few Fran and Grace type things, then maybe a fight gone bad and Murph... and maybe then a 10k row to a 10k run or something... or both, who knows. Just in general, 10 events ranging all the way from a couple pure strength 1 rep max tests to some to a couple of pure aerobic endurance tests... you know, the whole spectrum, from one extreme to the other.

It would be sort of like the decathlon, but the emphasis would be more on testing different energy pathways than testing different skills.

I can tell you what... thats something I would watch on tv. I think the key would be to standardize the events, so people could really train for it. And, of course, to make sure the events went all the way from pure strength to pure aerobic.

Justin McCallon
05-17-2009, 08:31 PM
I like the idea of adding a lot more events, and testing a wider variety of "fitness attributes." I thought last year's Games along with almost all the regional competitions were a step backward from the 2007 Games. All the regional events are 5-10 minutes and consist of a few of the same exercises (deadlifts, burpees, c&j's, CTB pull-ups). I don't see these competitions as measuring "broad time and modal domains."

But, I think what makes training for CF competitions more exciting is the randomness involved. You have to shore up all your weaknesses and be ready for anything to be thrown at you.

That said, the biggest problem with this is the difficulty of creating a fair competition. Some of the Regional competitions were notably horrible (i.e. Canada West on one end and Northwest on the other). And it's a little unfair when Glassman says he is going to test "broad time and modal domains," and people train for that in certain ways, and then Glassman puts up a line-up events that don't really test his definition of fitness. And the community has such an endurance slant that the events are so light.

And, I would like to see more "modal domains" than the handful of exercises that CrossFit posts on its main site. Sprints, agility type exercises (CF Dirty South did this and that was cool), unbalanced weights, etc.

The bottom line is that the totality of the contest needs to reward the person with the highest overall level of general fitness (or whatever you want to call it), or it's a "who is the best at CF" competition instead of "who is the most fit?"

Timothy Scalise
05-17-2009, 10:35 PM
I got a friend that was at one of the regional qualifiers. He said that as a small guy, he would like to see them balance the events more, they were much more geared for big guys with heavy clean and jerks and deadlifts. He could do the weight that was there, but not as fast as a 200 pound guy that also is in great shape could do, my friend is about a buck 30.

Chris Forbis
05-18-2009, 06:00 AM
I actually think that a CF type games would be pretty cool, if it had say 10 standardized events, ranging from max DL and max press, to a few Fran and Grace type things, then maybe a fight gone bad and Murph... and maybe then a 10k row to a 10k run or something... or both, who knows. Just in general, 10 events ranging all the way from a couple pure strength 1 rep max tests to some to a couple of pure aerobic endurance tests... you know, the whole spectrum, from one extreme to the other.

It would be sort of like the decathlon, but the emphasis would be more on testing different energy pathways than testing different skills.


I like this idea of standardizing the events. That might make a pretty good thread, "What would your ten events be?"

For curiosity's sake, how would you decide who wins the max deadlift? Would you weight class it, or do you divide the weight pulled by the competitor's bodyweight?

Garrett Smith
05-18-2009, 06:29 AM
Great little video of Josh talking about CF:
http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFitGames09_JoshEverettCFExposeWeakness.mov
He doesn't like working on his weaknesses because he trains for the fun of it.

Gant Grimes
05-18-2009, 08:52 AM
I'm not so sure about this. Think strongman... When you think about it, strongman competitions are amazingly similar to the CF games. In fact you might say that the CF games are kind of "strongman lite"...

And strongman is pretty popular. On TV all the time and everything.

glenn

1. SM competitors know their events and can train for them.
2. SM competitors aren't as juiced.

There was a thread on CF arguing for standardization a year ago. I was for it, others weren't, I lost interest.

Jacob Rowell
05-18-2009, 09:41 AM
I'll chime in as a lightweight strongman.

There's certainly an element of the unknown in strongman competitions. I've done a few contests now, and each of them were changed to some degree from what was originally stated, and each had a surprise to it. Events get changed, implements aren't standardized, etc.. It's becoming quite popular to put on entry forms "Come strong, and you won't have to worry about it", in reference to the event lineup. And if you're training for several contests at the same time, forget training specifically for one event, at one contest. Make sure you're decent at everything that could come up, and well, be strong. Sounds familiar, maybe...

CF Games - "Make sure you're decent at everything, and be X". Where X can be anaerobically conditioned, high power-output, large work capacity. Whatever floats your boat.

It's been my belief for a while now, that strongman and CF have a good deal in common. Also, Strongman implements can be integrated in CF metcons quite well, especially the shorter/heavier variety. I've added in sandbag clean and presses, log clean and presses, tires, and axles with success.

And, at least for lightweights, someone who is strong enough to get by, good with the events, and extremely well-conditioned, can do well. I've been generally faster on medleys and timed/endurance events than guys a great deal stronger than me.

If only I can remember how this relates to CF Football...

Dave Van Skike
05-18-2009, 09:47 AM
1. SM competitors know their events and can train for them.
2. SM competitors aren't as juiced.

There was a thread on CF arguing for standardization a year ago. I was for it, others weren't, I lost interest.


true...I'm focusing on two meets for late summer, I know the events and the weights and i'm training them now..(Pleaz god may it work this time.)

the thing about standardization is that no matter what you do, outdoor sports like SM and HG will always have a bit of game day weirdness....9 times out of 10, this will favor the guy who's more prepared...so what's the big deal? standardization just makes the event fun to plan for and run...

.if you just want to test how someone deals with random adversity, take away their pants and make them ride public transit for a day.

Justin McCallon
05-18-2009, 04:32 PM
I think part of the "ready for everything" deal is being interpreted in a way different from how I interpret it.

I think CF is talking about a purely physical readiness for physical competition that doesn't involve high skill-work.

(The one exception is that you are expected to be competent in a handful of weightlifting and bodyweight exercises that everybody does)


Also, to the poster that asked whether a 1RM deadlift event would be judged according to weight -- Of course not. The little guys have such a huge advantage on every bodyweight movement. The big guys have an advantage on the weights. It's incredible how often people in the CF community complain about something as light as a 275lb Deadlift being unfairly heavy. The guys that are 220lbs (generally) aren't complaining every time they have to do a push-up. If they can't control their bodyweight, they are expected to drop some poundage.

Imo, the weights in the competitions are really too light.
The top CF competitors (people in the CF Games) are averaging probably around a 450lb Deadlift. That is 45% as heavy as world record. (1008 lbs)
Comparatively, I would guess the average 3 mile time for the top CF'ers is around 19 minutes. That is about 65% as fast as the world record. (12mins?)
And, I used deadlift for the strength one because everyone does it and everyone lists it. But, comparing raw squats, C&J's, or snatches would probably be an even bigger discrepancy.
(Maybe this isn't a fair way to think about it? I guess the average person can probably run 3 miles about 40% as fast as the top runners, and I know the average person can't DL 400lbs)

Rafe Kelley
05-18-2009, 06:19 PM
Sorry to digress but I wanted to touch back on the fitness as survivability argument. I expected someone to bring up the survival skills argument and it is good one theres more to it at as well. If survival is your goal you could also be focusing on living in low danger places, on conflict avoidance strategies you could own or gun or train a guard dog etc all arguably more valuable for your survival in modern society then being able to climb a wall or throw a right cross.

That said this things are not related to physiological fitness a big scary dog maybe a better bet to keep me safe then a mean right hook but I myself am not physiologically fitter due to having said dog. For me the goal is about physiological fitness and question is what is the best working definition of that. If your trying to define a general approach to physiological fitness I think that the best task/tasks for which you can aim to prepare your body are those that have value towards survival against a wide variety of possible challenges. Fran is not a challenge that matters to me training to be able to fight, to climb, to swim, to run and jump are. I hope that makes sense.

No disrespect to those who choose to orient their training differently, I train ultimately because i enjoy it not because I expect to need it use it in my life so if your really really just enjoy lifting heavy stuff more power to you, pursue your passion.

That said I think there is trend here towards seeing specialized performance as somehow more important then general ability. If your goal is make allot of money as athlete that is certainly true but if your goal is ultimately about what is the best type of physiological fitness then I think crossfits point about nature punishing the specialist is extremely cogent. It is absolutely true that generalist species, like Rats, Dogs, common wild cats, cover wider areas of earth have bigger populations and survive ecological changes better. Something very like a small wolf has been around for a few millions years the much more impressive "elite" Dire wolf lasted a few 100,000 years, the basic common wild cat type has been around even longer sabretooth cats keep developing and dieing off. Humans are generalists and if we look at modern hunter foragers who our beast analog for how we developed general fitness is the standard 1000 pound deadlifts ain't.

Justin McCallon
05-18-2009, 06:27 PM
I think the "survivability" argument in that sense is ridiculous. The likelihood of you running from a tiger, needing to out-swim a shark, or overpower a cub, is so incredibly remote that if anyone says they are training with survivability as anywhere close to a primary goal, then they are stupid.

Note: I see this contention as different from the "health" improvement thing.

Steven Low
05-18-2009, 06:33 PM
Also, to the poster that asked whether a 1RM deadlift event would be judged according to weight -- Of course not. The little guys have such a huge advantage on every bodyweight movement. The big guys have an advantage on the weights. It's incredible how often people in the CF community complain about something as light as a 275lb Deadlift being unfairly heavy. The guys that are 220lbs (generally) aren't complaining every time they have to do a push-up. If they can't control their bodyweight, they are expected to drop some poundage.

Increasing the weights past a certain point you're going to start eliminating many people from contention especially on a timed basis. Comparing a lightweight's 1 RM to middleweights's 5 RM to a heavier person's 20 RM there's a huge disparity in either time or points that you're going to see, but not so much on bodyweight movements UNLESS they're very high reps since most "fit" people can bench at least 1.5-2x their bodyweight which makes pushups very submaximal.

Point being if we're "keeping it fair," the people that are going to win out in the end are the "middleweights" which generally are the people that do best in CF competition.... like 160-200 lbs guys. You rarely see anyone do well over or under that weight.

Imo, the weights in the competitions are really too light.
The top CF competitors (people in the CF Games) are averaging probably around a 450lb Deadlift. That is 45% as heavy as world record. (1008 lbs)
Comparatively, I would guess the average 3 mile time for the top CF'ers is around 19 minutes. That is about 65% as fast as the world record.
And, I used deadlift for the strength one because everyone does it and everyone lists it. But, comparing raw squats, C&J's, or snatches would probably be an even bigger discrepancy.

Wow Justin.... you're really trying to compare running to weightlifting like that?

At the very least, take the raw lifts from drug testing federations..

Rafe Kelley
05-18-2009, 06:37 PM
Your missing the point the point is that the physical abilities that allow us to survive are those most important to defining physiological fitness.

As far as the unlikelihood argument I call bullshit. I have been ambushed and had to fight I have had to chase somebody down working as bouncer. I have had friends who have had to dig themselves out of snow banks, or crawl back in bounds after breaking their ankles, I have seen people crushed on work sites were people had to scramble to get shit off them. The argument to me that that they possibility of ever needing use your physical skills in survival context is vanishingly unlikely is patently false and short sited.

Emily Mattes
05-18-2009, 07:02 PM
Rafe, there's a difference between "Impossible" and "vanishingly unlikely." The majority of people will never encounter situations like the one you list. Situations in which physical fitness is necessary for your survival of course exist, but they do not exist in the great numbers in which they used to, and the number of situations goes down every day.

Justin McCallon
05-18-2009, 07:12 PM
Increasing the weights past a certain point you're going to start eliminating many people from contention especially on a timed basis. Comparing a lightweight's 1 RM to middleweights's 5 RM to a heavier person's 20 RM there's a huge disparity in either time or points that you're going to see
I agree with this and have made the point several times. That's why I think every event needs a 1rm event.

Wow Justin.... you're really trying to compare running to weightlifting like that?
It's the first time I've really thought about it. And actually I don't think it's fair. Deadlift raw vs. equipped is basically the same (the suit doesn't make much of a difference), but I guess you're right about steroid use (what is CF's stand on this?).
I like numbers. I guess the best way to look at this would be to take:
(a) The average person's strength/endurance with 2 months of real training, and
(b) The world record
And then see where the top CF guys are along that line.


Your missing the point the point is that the physical abilities that allow us to survive are those most important to defining physiological fitness.
I don't agree. That would make running speed unbelievably important and everything else not.

Rafe Kelley
05-18-2009, 07:15 PM
The majority of people must lead very boring lives ;) . That said I still think the vanishingly unlikey argument is over played to use the old saying shit does happen and people are regularly assaulted, fall down in the woods, get in car accidents etc, our modern life is comfortable enough for us to forget allot of the time that their are still dangers out there that does not mean there not out there or or to unimportant to consider. Its hard for me to believe that people really live such sheltered lives the can't even imagine that fitness might be important for survival. The more I mention the more incidents I can think of.

Rafe Kelley
05-18-2009, 07:18 PM
I don't agree. That would make running speed unbelievably important and everything else much less important.

I don't see how that follows at all, what has running speed got to do with fighting of an ambush or orienting yourself in they are when you have fallen of building or cliff, or swiming when your ship goes down. What makes you jump to the conclusion that the solution to the majority of emergency physical situation is running speed?

Justin McCallon
05-18-2009, 07:21 PM
I don't see how that follows at all, what has running speed got to do with fighting of an ambush or orienting yourself in they are when you have fallen of building or cliff, or swiming when your ship goes down. What makes you jump to the conclusion that the solution to the majority of emergency physical situation is running speed?
I've practiced MMA long enough to hear just about every good instructor start by saying that most of this stuff is for sport, and if you are getting assaulted and want to come out safe, the best thing you can do is run in most every case.

I guess there's not a lot of empirical data on this point, but I feel very confident that the physical skills that are most beneficial for most Americans to survive are coordination (shooting a gun, driving a car), speed and agility.

Rafe Kelley
05-18-2009, 07:39 PM
Well I have been in enough fights to say running away isn't always an option and fighting isn't by any means the only possible life threatening situation. I would say the most common life threating situation in the community I grew up in were construction accidents, my dad has fallen or had to jump of a roof a good half dozen times, and most of the guys he worked with had similar stories I had ladder collapse under me once not to bad of fall scared the shit out of me though cause I almost fell of the roof the later was on too. Then theres the collapses, machinery accidents, etc. Being able to move well, to fight, to be enduring and strong and think quicky and effectively under stress are all important as far as I can see in survival in the past and now when the shit hits the fan.

Justin McCallon
05-18-2009, 07:42 PM
It sounds like if your goal is survival then instead of spending hundreds of hours a year in the gym, you'd be better off spending your time working a non-construction job, living in a safe area, and carrying/learning to use a gun.

I live in a big city (Atlanta) and I don't stay at home all the time. I don't have close-encounters with death, and in any close encounter I can think of, my general fitness would have had absolutely nothing to do with helping me survive.

Rafe Kelley
05-18-2009, 07:47 PM
Just cause you have been lucky doesn't mean the possibility of something happening isn't still out there. I grew up in a bit more of rough community that's true , maybe that effects my perspective but I think your deluding yourself if you think its vanishingly unlikely something might happen to you or your can narrow down the possible solutions to that problem to running away, or owning a gun.

Justin McCallon
05-18-2009, 07:56 PM
The number of people that die from accidents every year is pretty small. Of those, most are car accidents, in which general physical fitness won't really prepare you for. Construction accidents are pretty damn rare, and if you're afraid of them, then the solution is to not work construction. People do get shot/robbed, but really not that often. The solution to that, again, is to not live on the bad side of town, not to increase your fitness.

Again, life ending events, statistically, don't happen that often. When bad things do happen, physical fitness (especially crossfit training) is almost certainly not going to have any more than an absolutely minimal impact. If you want to maximize your chances of surviving, enhancing your physical fitness is not anywhere close to the best way to go about it.

I'm not going to say more on this point and I think I've derailed long enough.

Rafe Kelley
05-18-2009, 08:18 PM
Yeah I have been distracted from my point as well, I know emergencies happen I have seen to many find arguments dismissing their liklihood credible, agree to disagree, its not my main point. The point is we evolved under circumstances were there were consistent threats to our survival those threats were diverse in nature and we evolved a generalized physical capacity to meet them even if it is literally impossible for your to end up needing those skills to me they still provide the most logical guide for developing general physiological fitness. You may feel free to specialize knowing that you may never need that general capacity but if you want to understand develop general physical capacity evolutionary logic offers us clear guide to what it is and how it is developed.

garrett stack
05-19-2009, 03:03 AM
Just to point out from anecdotal evidence from people I know that have been in a car accident or arrived at one cops, firemen etc guys with a lot of muscle tend to come out much better than their lighter smaller counterparts. Stands to reason really.

Justin Chebahtah
05-19-2009, 08:22 AM
Justin makes some really good points. I think most of us are kidding ourselves if we say we are training for "survivability" or the unknowable. Occam's razor is a good guide in this case. I googled how many people are stranded in a snow bank or crushed by an I-beam and its statistically meaningless. I'm not going to walk around in a big rubber suit all the time because lightning can potentially (get the pun?) strike me. Of course it happens....but very rarely.

That being said, it doesn't mean we should just be satisfied with living in the nice part of town, getting your CCW and carrying a .40, and getting shuttled around via helicopter to avoid auto accidents. Training is still good for you and fun to do. Maybe you like strength training, maybe you like running 10 miles at a time (I don't), maybe you like having big gunz, maybe you like IWCABTAMD. Whatever, do what you like.

FUN FACTS: Construction can be dangerous, but those factors can be mitigated with proper training and equipment. The construction guys I work for (I'm an engineer/desk jockey) work with very high voltage equipment, and have over 500,000 manhours without any OSHA recordable injuries.

Craig Brown
05-19-2009, 08:34 AM
I personally think almost everyone on a board like this trains because they enjoy it. Maybe we enjoy what it lets us do in other arenas, but there's a tendency to life-and-death views that are kind of unrelated. Most people in MA aren't in it for self defense. That's the excuse to justify the time and cost. Most people are in the gym because they like it, think it will improve how they feel, and make them look better. I train because it's fun, I feel better, and (looking at most 42+ year old dudes that don't) I look better because of it. I can argue all week about the hows and the why's, but I just enjoy it. It lets me play hard while getting hurt less. I also have a strong desire to be 75 and hell on (two) wheels. Just my view, obviously.

Gant Grimes
05-19-2009, 08:37 AM
What the hell has happened to this thread?

The point is we evolved under circumstances were there were consistent threats to our survival those threats were diverse in nature and we evolved a generalized physical capacity to meet them even if it is literally impossible for your to end up needing those skills to me they still provide the most logical guide for developing general physiological fitness. You may feel free to specialize knowing that you may never need that general capacity but if you want to understand develop general physical capacity evolutionary logic offers us clear guide to what it is and how it is developed.

This is a good point, and you should have made it awhile ago. Cavemen had to be equally prepared for fighting sabretooth tiger or hunting the wooly mammoth. Over time, threats diminished and substitutes became available. It's hedging your bets, time management, etc. and there's nothing wrong with that.

I train for a specific sport. It is extremely unlikely that I will ever be attacked by another man, weighing 178-198, wearing a double weave gi, on a padded surface somewhere. But I can fight reasonably well, and I can run even better. My shooting skills are also pretty decent. I have enough general physical capacity to get me through anything else.

The arguments you made above do not apply to >99% of the training, city-dwelling population.

Rafe Kelley
05-19-2009, 12:16 PM
That was the point I was orginally trying to make Gant, I just got side tracked. I am not saying that everyone should be generalist and that if you enjoy judo you really aught to be throwing away the Gi and training in street clothes and focusing on responses to ambushes, I just think it makes a far more logical approach to generalized fitness than IWCABTAMD or an infinite hopper of physical tasks of equally mundane nature.

In defense of my other point, according to the CDC Accidents are still the the 5th highest killer in this country and I would argue physical fitness is potentially beneficial in many different types of accidents including car crashes if you reactions are faster your more likely to get your hands in front of your face as you blow through your car window, if your muscle mass bone density etc are higher your less like to get thrashed. Just as an example of the potential benefits of fitness both my older brother and one of closests freinds dad, who both happened to a gymnastics background and were generally very fit were both involved in head on collisions and ended up front flipping in the air and landing on their feet, my brothers involved two fourwheelers, and my freinds dad was hit by a car turning into an intersection on his motorbike. Someone without the air awareness and physical strength they had might not have walked away from those accidents which would have course been entered in as motor vehicle accidents.

Dave Van Skike
05-19-2009, 01:35 PM
that is pure silly and about 7 million points removed from the original discussion. Oddly the answer is probably the same to this and related questions:


quesitions:

Will a program of more GPP help the football player?

Will a rigorous program of gymastical jackassery improve your odds of surviving a violent motorcycle accident?

Will regular yoga practice help the powerlifter increase his total.....?

answers:

Some, but not much.

All of the crap we've been debating here is a delusional misunderstading of context. All in all, when the chips are down, nealry all "methods"pale in comparison to doing the basics really well. Once upon a time, CF was all over this idea...Now we have CF endurance and CF football and hopefully soon, a CF substitute for Diet Coke.


The football player gets stronger in the offseason, eats his veggies and drills the postional elements of the game until he's bored out of his skull, then he run stairs.

The motorcyclist doesn't take stupid risks, is hyper alert to roadway surface and surrounding traffic flow, covers the front brake and wears helmet.


The powerlifter becomes an absolute technician with his form, constantly works on his weaknesses and ruthlessly checks his ego when selecting percentages.

These things we know work. Most of the rest of it is stuff we hope works.

Rafe Kelley
05-19-2009, 02:27 PM
Dave I am not trying to answer the orginal question the Debate has obviously gone in another direction. If the question is to football players need a Crossfit style GPP program I think the answer is no. As far as evolutionary fitness I think doing speed lifts is important being able to clean something is an important skill, however if I am developing a specialized parkour program the benefits aren't worth the cost in time better spent practicing parkour.

The question I am interested is can we postulate a generalised type of physiological fitness that is logical and worth pursuing.

Dave Van Skike
05-19-2009, 03:13 PM
The question I am interested is can we postulate a generalised type of physiological fitness that is logical and worth pursuing.

no.

fitness is contextual.

Justin McCallon
05-19-2009, 04:07 PM
You can increase your physical capacity to do work over broad time and modal domains.

Emily Mattes
05-19-2009, 04:11 PM
You can increase your physical capacity to do work over broad time and modal domains.

Goddammit, I am so fucking sick of that phrase. What does it even mean anymore?

Justin McCallon
05-19-2009, 05:13 PM
That your overall ability to do a broad range of purely physical tasks increases...

Brandon Oto
05-19-2009, 05:27 PM
That your overall ability to do a broad range of purely physical tasks increases...

Just the ones that produce a bunch of work.

Oh, and if we're going to just add the work together, you're going to have to find a way to quantify the value of having more modal domains. Otherwise I'm just going to do five thousand reps of 5lb curls and do hueg work.

Dave Van Skike
05-19-2009, 05:45 PM
i'm not sure that modal domain has any meaning for people outside of CF.

Justin McCallon
05-19-2009, 05:55 PM
i'm not sure that modal domain has any meaning for people outside of CF.

I don't know exactly what you're saying by "[doesn't have] any meaning." i.e. it doesn't help with anything else, or people just don't know what the term is...


Brandon, I don't see what you're getting at, either. Curls would be one modal domain, and the time it takes to do 1000 reps would be one time domain... The fact that you're good at that one thing doesn't mean a whole lot.

Emily Mattes
05-19-2009, 06:00 PM
That your overall ability to do a broad range of purely physical tasks increases...

I know that, I know what it technically means.

But that phrase, to me, represents everything that's wrong with Crossfit: it is both uselessly broad and its endless recitation represents those followers who wax poetic about the program without bothering to learn anything about fitness aside from "Crossfit is the best EVER!" It's like an incantation that will summon the Glassman Genie and put an end to the debate.

"How will Crossfit improve my powerlifting?"
"Broad time and modal domains! Broad time and modal domains!"

"How will Crossfit improve my 100m run?"
"Broad time and modal domains! Broad time and modal domains!"

What time and modal domains? How do you define work capacity? What the hell are time and modal domains, anyway? Anything you want them to be? In what way are you improving and how quickly? Everything is improving, forever?

It's effectively worthless. It's not an argument or a description of what Crossfit does, it's fancy-sounding jargon that falls apart when you start actually thinking about specific goals and how to achieve them.

George Mounce
05-19-2009, 06:13 PM
....when you start actually thinking about specific goals and how to achieve them.

More work capacity isn't a specific goal, so I believe you hit the nail on the head Emily. I for the most part stay out of CF debates now as I've said my piece a million times over. CF makes you great at CF, it makes you good at any one specific task. The funny thing is CF mantra also says its trying to get you in the top 20%, not the top 5%. Hence the reason for the creation of the CF games, and not a bunch of strictly CF people (please reread what I just typed and italicized) invading sports and competitions around the world. Because they cannot win them. Specificity will eventually win out over non-specialization when it comes to competition unless you build the competition around the construct of anything goes. Even those elite who do dabble in CF require the fundamental training of their "modal domain" to remain dominate against others.

Sorry for the rehash of what most know already. I just had to put it into my own words.

Ben Smith
05-19-2009, 06:24 PM
Would it be safe to say that CrossFit is an exercise program for:

a. people with no specific athletic goals (people who just want to "get in shape" - nothing wrong with this, it just means they are not athletes)
b. compete in CrossFit (people who pursue CrossFit as their sport, "specializing" in the movements and "modal domains" that CrossFit prioritizes)

?

?

Dave Van Skike
05-19-2009, 06:42 PM
I know that, I know what it technically means.

But that phrase, to me, represents everything that's wrong with Crossfit: it is both uselessly broad and its endless recitation represents those followers who wax poetic about the program without bothering to learn anything about fitness aside from "Crossfit is the best EVER!" It's like an incantation that will summon the Glassman Genie and put an end to the debate.

"How will Crossfit improve my powerlifting?"
"Broad time and modal domains! Broad time and modal domains!"

"How will Crossfit improve my 100m run?"
"Broad time and modal domains! Broad time and modal domains!"

What time and modal domains? How do you define work capacity? What the hell are time and modal domains, anyway? Anything you want them to be? In what way are you improving and how quickly? Everything is improving, forever?

It's effectively worthless. It's not an argument or a description of what Crossfit does, it's fancy-sounding jargon that falls apart when you start actually thinking about specific goals and how to achieve them.

Emily, I like your style. Are you familiar with IGX?

all the jargon blather aside, what I'm saying is that there isn't a single substantive element of CF that hasn't been part of the physical culturist idea since the pre-steroid bodybuilding era.


health and physical strength as a continuum...check
weightlifting complexes...check
odd object lifts and games...check
Peripheral Heart Action, check...
gymnastics...check...
Olympic Lifting, check...
randomly removing shirt whilst lifting...check.

sounds like bodybuilding to me....not that there's anything wrong with that.

Patrick Donnelly
05-19-2009, 07:50 PM
Goddammit, I am so fucking sick of that phrase. What does it even mean anymore?

Agreed. If I ever hear anyone try to feed me that garbage in person... I can't even imagine...


My input on some of the recent topics (previously typed elsewhere, then copy & pasted here - if you've read it or simply don't care, feel free to skip over).

Re: "Fitness"
The CrossFit program puts the attainment of Fitness upon a pedestal - it also follows its own definition of that term: "increased work capacity of broad time and modal domains." That catchphrase is a recent one and shows a drastic change in the philosophy of the program. Back in October 2002, Greg Glassman described improving work capacity though ever-changing workouts as a way to attain fitness, an improvement in your general physical skills. Now, it is Fitness. Now, the only way to be Fit is to train those "broad time and modal domains," ie. CrossFit.


Re: Survival Justification
Lately, I've played with the idea of simply doing my conditioning work "for completion," using a single exercise. I might do a heavy set of Zercher lifts with a high number of reps that lasts for a little while, or I might take my tire sled for a walk. By the end, I'm definitely tired, sometimes, I'll even lie down to catch my breath. However, I don't do it daily and I don't time it, since Fitness is not my goal. I don't even try fool myself into thinking that sometime in the next few months that I'll be in an emergency where I'll have to drag a huge chunk of rubber in order to save human lives, and especially not that I'll have to do it five or six days a week.

Re: CrossFit Competition
You cannot have a sport where the rules of the game have the ability to change widely from each match to the next. How can a winner be defined within a set of changing parameters? If you held one competition, and one athlete beat out the second place guy by a phenomenal amount of points, and you held another competition three months later, at a time where neither athlete had made substantial improvements, and the scores were reversed, who's the winner? The second guy, because he's the most recent winner? If the competition workouts had been reversed, the first guy would be the most recent. They can't be equal athletes, because they both excel in different things. If a Fit person is well rounded, then would the guy who placed third in both competitions actually be the winner? There are just fundamental problems with holding these sorts of competitions.

With the case of strongman, it's not widely varied - at least, not to the literally infinite amount of "variation" that CrossFit workouts have. It's pretty varied, but it's all very much biased towards strength (you wouldn't see a 5k run in the WSM) and there are a number of very common events you can expect to see (eg. Atlas stones).


On another note, the WSM guys actually are pretty widely accepted by the general population as actually being the world's strongest men... Not just among their own inner circle of competitors... Something you don't really see with CrossFit...

Justin McCallon
05-19-2009, 08:16 PM
Part of this is that I think people are using different ideas of what CrossFit "is." And, part of that problem is that it can be interpreted as many different things. You can consider it a specific workout program (the main page WODs as prescribed), a set of different workout programs (including CFFB and CFE), a set of principles (which I outlined awhile ago), or even a sport in itself (the CF Games). I tried to make it clear what I was talking about by not mentioning the word "CrossFit" and instead using WCABTAMD.

As far as the last page, I was talking about CF as a sport in itself. If you don't want to call it a "sport" (which is defined as "Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively"), then it is an attempt to measure who has the highest WCABTAMD.

I'm not arguing that all athletes should follow the main site CF. I think it's a pretty good (albeit not optimal) set of background training principles for MMA athletes and people with goals very close to increased WCABTAMD. Other than that, if you very broadly interpret the principles (I outlined these several pages ago), they're pretty good for many different sports (i.e. Everett's WODs are what I would consider a very broad interpretation of CF principles and applying them to Olympic Weightlifting).


compete in CrossFit (people who pursue CrossFit as their sport, "specializing" in the movements and "modal domains" that CrossFit prioritizes)

Hmm, this almost worked for me, but if the CF competitions were done "right" the modal domains in the games would be very unpredictable.


Emily -- I don't know what you are trying to argue here. I have not claimed that maximizing WCABTAMD is the answer to improving your powerlifting total or 100m dash. I also don't see how you think the concept of increasing WCABTAMD is "uselessly broad" or "effectively useless."

Some of this you just might have tried so hard not to be "brainwashed" that you avoided reading about the concept.
What time and modal domains?
The totality of them. It's supposed to be broad. That's the point. A modal domain is like a way of moving, or an exercise. A modal domain could be to skip 100m, to run 100m, to run backward 100m, etc, etc. You want to maximize the totality of the possible modal domains.

How do you define work capacity?
(Ability to generate) Power. Power = Work / Time...

What the hell are time and modal domains, anyway?
I explained modal domains above. Broad time domains would be the range ofpossibe times. So anywhere from less than 1 second to over 5 hours.

In what way are you improving and how quickly? Everything is improving, forever?
That is obviously up to you. Greg Everett talks in Plandomization at focusing on specific areas while doing just enough of the rest to maintain your abilities.

Honestly, no offense, but I don't think you are grasping the concept. Either that, or you think I'm arguing for something I'm not.

Part of this is a kinda abstract, i.e. "how many points in time are between 1 second and 10 seconds?" But, if you think abstractly, I think it's a cool thing to compete in. In very basic terms, it's like a contest to be the best, overall, at everything from running a marathon as fast as possible to clean & jerking the max weight. The main site of CF has one program for maximizing WCOBTAMD. Everett takes a diferent approach, which I like more.

The biggest problem to me is that after Glassman thought of such a cool concept and the idea of competing to see who has the highest WCOBTAMD, his competitions were not great measurements.


CF makes you great at CF, it makes you good at any one specific task. ... Specificity will eventually win out over non-specialization when it comes to competition unless you build the competition around the construct of anything goes.
??? If this is what you and Emily are arguing, you aren't arguing with anyone.

what I'm saying is that there isn't a single substantive element of CF that hasn't been part of the physical culturist idea since the pre-steroid bodybuilding era.
I don't really care that much about whether CF came up with something new or not, but if this is your line of thinking, then has anyone come out with anything new?
Can you show me any pre-1960s programs that: (a) employed the ordinary concurent method, (b) mixed running/rowing, gymnastics, and weightlifting in highly-intense cardio circuits, (c) performed highly varied 1-5 rep max work about 3 of every 12 days, and (d) randomized their workouts?

I mean, yeah, if you broaden things like crazy then all this stuff was around forever. AFAIK people lifted external objects, ran, and did bodyweight movements about 2500 years ago. In that sense, nobody has come up with anything new since then.


It's pretty varied, but it's all very much biased towards strength (you wouldn't see a 5k run in the WSM) and there are a number of very common events you can expect to see (eg. Atlas stones).
I hope you don't interpret this the wrong way, but if this is your stance then you're just missing the point, too. WSM is centered on "strength" and can potentially have any set of events to test that. If WSM started to pick specific events, then it would not be a contest of who is the strongest, but instead who is the best at Atlas Stones, or deadlift, or log press, or whatever.
I really don't see how you can say the random WSM events make a legitimate sport, but CF events (which aim to test WCABTAMD) do not make a legitimate sport.

Joe Hart
05-19-2009, 08:26 PM
How bout this "do what you like". Screw what science and webster's dictionary says. CF Football is fun in an odd way. It gives me some structure to lifting heavy shit and making the neighbors wonder about me. Then again I do other stuff too. If you have a goal then you know what you need to do. CF might cover that it might not. Lets give this a rest it is almost making it to the enormous size of that thread in community that got shut down because we were being funny.

I wish could remember what it was...damn beer.

Andrew Wilson
05-19-2009, 08:49 PM
Anyone watching "4th and Long"... started thinking while these guys were puking.

Dave Van Skike
05-19-2009, 09:10 PM
I don't really care that much about whether CF came up with something new or not, but if this is your line of thinking, then has anyone come out with anything new?
Can you show me any pre-1960s programs that: (a) employed the ordinary concurent method, (b) mixed running/rowing, gymnastics, and weightlifting in highly-intense cardio circuits, (c) performed highly varied 1-5 rep max work about 3 of every 12 days, and (d) randomized their workouts?




Note sure where you got c, everyone does that. ..and d sounds like PE class from 5th grade on.

couple books to consider: Keys to Progress, John Jesse's Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia, The Way to Live.

Justin, the problem here is you keep using words that are part of this weird specialized lexicon. Modal Domain isn't real...there is no biological modal domain, I can't eat a modal domain. How does it help me win? will it get me a beer? These are my concerns.

If modal domain doesn't help me meet my goals, it's useless.


PS...The answer to who is strongest is always going to be "it depends"

strength is a skill, WSM tests mega strength and micro endurance over a bunch of different events, which are learned. same thing with the snatch and clean and jerk. who's stronger...it depends on how you measure.

Justin McCallon
05-19-2009, 09:47 PM
Note sure where you got c, everyone does that. ..and d sounds like PE class from 5th grade on.
I used the word "and" because it does all of them in the same program. If you could link me to a program that is essentially the same as CF from the 1950's that would end the discussion.

That said, I really don't care much about this point as I couldn't care less whether or not CF is revolutionary.


Justin, the problem here is you keep using words that are part of this weird specialized lexicon. Modal Domain isn't real...
So your problem is with the term and not the concept? A modal domain (I have never actually looked this up, haha) is just a movement pattern with a certain amount of resistance. i.e. the time domain may be ten seconds. You want to maximize power output over that ten seconds. The modal domain can be agility cones, or reps on bench press with 145lbs, or 1-leg squats, or whatever.
What other term would you like me to use to describe "a movement pattern, possibly with a certain amount of external resistance?"


there is no biological modal domain, I can't eat a modal domain. How does it help me win? will it get me a beer? These are my concerns.
There is no biological slowly.
That doesn't make any sense at all, does it?

Again, I have not suggested that increasing WCABTAMD will help you compete at your sport. I happen to be "defending" a CF-coined concept, but that doesn't mean I agree with everything CF has said. I don't. And, in fact, I have tried to make it a point over and over that increasing WCABTAMD is not the ideal way to train for your sport unless it's MMA or something less popular that is kinda similar (basically, your sport needs to require a very broad spectrum of abilities).
Additionally, again, the CF main site WODs are not the only way to increse WCABTAMD... Another way might be doing strongman as a LHW for 3 years and then joinining the track team or something.
There are competitions that, in themselves, test to see who has the best WCABTAMD. This doesn't mean that getting good at these competitions means you'll be a great rugby player.


If modal domain doesn't help me meet my goals, it's useless..
This might help clear up all the arguments (basically, I think you are assuming I'm arguing something that I am not). Let's make an analogy.

You: I do strongman (I think? or were you the cyclist?).
Me: There is a thing called "spatial intelligence." (I think) You can improve your spatial intelligence, and there's various ways to measure it. (Note: I would not be saying ANYTHING else, or making any kinds of implications)
You: But how will that help me with strongman?! What is the point of improving spatial intelligence if it doesn't help me get better at strongman?!
Me: I never said it would help you get better at strongman. I'm just saying that you can improve it and theoretically measure it.


strength is a skill
I understand what you're saying, but I think of log presses, c&j, tire flips, etc to be skills (I understand strength is very broad, and that you have to apply strength to different movements, and a person strong in one might be relatively weak in another).

who's stronger...it depends on how you measure.
Words like "strength" and "flexibility" and "speed" are definable. If something is definable, you can generally determine who is stronger by measuring it (at least theoretically), and you can get a set answer. And then there's no debate.
(In reality, what really happens is that something like 'strength' is defined exceptionally broadly, and so it would include an infinite number of lifts and movements of external objects, and it therefore becomes hard to form a concrete answer when one guy is really strong in one set of ten lifts, another is really strong in another ten lifts, and they've never done the other million movements that would theoretically be needed to be tested in order to reach a concrete conclusion ... but if someone is really good at overhead press and jerk, it stands to reason that they're really good at seated overhead press, and so you can make inferences and make decisions)

Gavin Harrison
05-19-2009, 10:14 PM
Justin & Dave,

The argument is getting silly and overly long winded, I think. But here are my observations and opinions, going to try to keep this short.

YES, crossfit can be worthwhile, yes it increases fitness per crossfit's model, yes it's may be a good way to stay healthy and fit into old age, though, so do a lot of things besides being sedentary.

But here's the thing you need to realize, Justin.. we're talking about sports performance here. Greg Glassman himself has said, if you're training for sports you know the domains, skills and times even when it starts and when it stops, so you can and should train according to those parameters. So then, why crossfit? Well, say you're training for military, LEO, or firefighting. You don't know any of the things you do with sports, so how do you train for it? By training GPP almost exclusively, maybe focusing on a few aspects given typical job requirements.

Now, here's what Dave's been saying. If you're not training for ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR, sport or career, then you are doing what is classically known as "Bodybuilding" in the pre-steroids, even pre-contest era. What people have classically done for bodybuilding is even VERY SIMILAR to what CF currently employs.

They did things like:
1. Train in circuits of calisthenics / weights.
2. Perform sometimes low number heavy or high number lighter repetitions for a given number of sets/reps.
3. Run, Swim, Do Cartwheels, Jumping Jacks, Skip Rope, Ride a Bike, etc, etc, etc for "Cardio" or to lose fat.
4. Do various gymnastics strength and skill type work to help develop the upper body, including ring work.
5. Perform feats of strength.

The only way crossfit potentially differs from this model of bodybuilding is perhaps the part where they would combine running and weightlifting/calisthenics into one workout and perform workouts for time.

So, basically, crossfit can be good. If you're training for sport, your GPP should probably be geared towards that sport if you choose to do GPP at all, though it's probably a good idea too. Crossfit is about the same as old old school bodybuilding if you're not training for sport or career, and probably not the best choice for specific sports training.

Dave Van Skike
05-19-2009, 10:59 PM
something,something,WCABTAMDCFModalDomainspatialin tellegenve.....

there is also a little something called nose hairs. they can be measured and can be improved, but I'm not sure that has anything to do with strongman or running or WCABTAMDCFModal,...

so technically, you win.;)

Arien Malec
05-19-2009, 11:02 PM
Stop, please.

Justin McCallon
05-20-2009, 05:17 AM
This is frustrating because no matter how many times I say it, my point is not sinking in. I have even tried making analogies.

I have two points AND NO OTHER POINTS AT ALL. They are (1) that you can improve WCOBTAMD, and (2) that you can have a contest (the CF Games -- kinda like how a strongman contest tests strength) to test who has the highest WCOBTAMD.
Note: This is like saying "you can improve strength." And then it would be like you guys are actually arguing against that and I HAVE NO IDEA WHY?! It is a very very very very simple, easily agreeable point.

I guess that because CrossFit uses the terminology "WCOBTAMD" that whenever I say it people all of a sudden want to make me defend every thing CF stands for. And why do I have to use WCOBTAMD over and over again? Because nobody accepted the fact that "fitness" is WCOBTAMD, and I want to try as hard as I can to talk about CONCEPTS and not terms. Dave's original argument was that "fitness cannot be improved." My argument was that you CAN improve WCOBTAMD.

Here are some points I'm not making:
CrossFit is good. NOT MAKING THIS POINT.
CrossFit is the best way to increase WCOBTAMD. NOT MAKING THIS POINT.
Improving WCOBTAMD will help you with your sport. NOT MAKING THIS POINT.

YES, crossfit can be worthwhile
I never argued this. I tried as hard as I could to say that I was not talking about CF at all.


we're talking about sports performance here.
Who is "we?" Because if it includes me, then no. Again, I have said time and time again that I am NOT arguing against this. Can you find any quote from me in the past 3 pages that shows I am arguing this?

If you're not training for ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR, sport or career, then you are doing what is classically known as "Bodybuilding" in the pre-steroids, even pre-contest era.
People that train to improve WCOBTAMD as their sole goal ARE training for something in particular. They can compete in the CF Games.
This is like saying "if your sole goal is to be a strongman then you are not training for anything in particular, so you're bodybuilding." In fact, you are training for strongman!

And come on, someone post a training routine from a pre 1960's bodybuilder (or anyone) that looks legitimately similar to the main site CF WODs.

Gant Grimes
05-20-2009, 08:22 AM
I might ban the next person who writes "work capacity across blah blah blah." I'm embarrassed that I now know the acronym WCOBTAMD.

Since you have two points, Justin, I'll respond and hopefully help this go away. Hint: brief arguments are usually more effective and better understood.

(1) that you can improve WCOBTAMD

Yes. You can improve this ad infinitum. If you add in endurance juggling, hanging by your feet from trees, and miming with a weight vest, you could "improve" this even more.

I realize you're not arguing for it, but you're getting resistance because most people here feel that, as a goal, improved WCOBTAMD, once your work your way through it, is stupid.

We all have our niche, general as it may be. Does an elephant need to learn to climb? Does a turtle need to work on its speed? Does nature really punish the specialist? A quick glance through the plant and animal kingdoms will tell you this is a very silly idea.

Improving WCOBTAMD is basically spending your time attaining half-assed competence in bunch of things that suck and a few that are cool. Most here would rather spend their time on the stuff that's important to them.

(2) that you can have a contest (the CF Games -- kinda like how a strongman contest tests strength) to test who has the highest WCOBTAMD.

Theoretically, yes. But you'd need about 20 events over 10 days of competition. Until that happens the CF Games is merely an exhibition of randomly selected athletic skill.

Because nobody accepted the fact that "fitness" is WCOBTAMD, and I want to try as hard as I can to talk about CONCEPTS and not terms.

Because it's not. Fitness is the necessary mental, physical, and emotional capability to achieve the job at hand. If you're a CFer, fitness is improved WCOBTAMD. If you're a bodybuilder, fitness is a good physique, good pharmaceuticals, and a good front double biceps pose. If you're a surgeon, fitness is a big brain, steady hand, and laser-like focus over hours. If you're a wrestler, fitness is speed, power, strength endurance, and quickness. If you're a bum, fitness is a bottle of cheap gin and a park bench to sleep on.

Michael Houghton
05-20-2009, 09:35 AM
I was at the cert, and one of the interesting points brought up was that the general physical preparedness you get from CrossFit allows you to be more efficient at learning the skills that are particular for your sport. The athlete needs to be able to work for long periods of time at a particular skill in order to get better at it. If they are unable to do a cone drill 4 or 5 times in a row without being wrecked, doing that drill is worthless. I think that this is the basic premise of using CrossFit and then gearing the workouts towards Football sport specific times, exercises, etc.

Please excuse me if I just made no sense at all, just a thought.

William McDaniel
05-20-2009, 09:36 AM
If you're a bum, fitness is a bottle of cheap gin and a park bench to sleep on.

That is my new favorite quote of all time. Well done sir!

Gant Grimes
05-20-2009, 09:41 AM
Welcome to PM, Michael. Obviously it's necessary to have a baseline of fitness for any endeavor (maintaining a stance, running an out pattern, etc.). If that is missing, some remedial work is necessary.

As a former pro, what is your take on CFFB and its effectiveness for various levels (novice teens new to lifting, players with several years' lifting that have presumably stopped growing taller, and professionals)? Will main page CFFB change depending on the season, or is this up to the S&C coaches to program for this?

I talked to Justin just a little about this yesterday. I'll have more time with him this afternoon.

Michael Houghton
05-20-2009, 09:48 AM
As a former pro, I wish I'd had this stuff around when I was playing. Believe it or not, I'm in so much better shape now than I ever was. I believe that during season, the programming will change. The programming stuff that we went over was pretty good. The amateur level is basically a linear progression, like SS. As you get into the collegiate level, it's a bit more complex, with a couple of cycles. (I have my notes somewhere). The professional level we did not have time to get into, but it was based on the fact that high level athletes, and even more experienced ones need something more than just the linear progression in order to get stronger and make progress in the weight room. This was explained by talking about Max Mormont, who needs to be creative and work for 6 months on stuff before he PRs by like 5 lbs.

As far as other stuff, they said that if you have other exercises, or have athletes that can't deadlift normal, then it is up to the S&C coaches to work on this. Hopefully this makes sense, I know you all know about the SS stuff, but just wanted to let people know what I learned. It was interesting to see the theory behind all of this stuff this weekend. I put together a powerpoint of my notes, and want to get clearance before I send it to people. I don't know how that works.

Hope this makes sense.

On another note, I have started my foray into Oly Lifting, and will be visiting here more often. Should be fun!

Garrett Smith
05-20-2009, 09:50 AM
I'm with Arien. Let's make it stop.

Gavin Harrison
05-20-2009, 10:20 AM
Who is "we?" Because if it includes me, then no. Again, I have said time and time again that I am NOT arguing against this. Can you find any quote from me in the past 3 pages that shows I am arguing this?

This thread is about "Crossfit Football", which should probably be considered GPP geared towards Football, thus sporting performance in football... not work capacity.


And come on, someone post a training routine from a pre 1960's bodybuilder (or anyone) that looks legitimately similar to the main site CF WODs.

Jack Lalanne used a lot of circuit type training, as well lots of hand balancing and calisthenics, etc. Other bodybuilders of the time also used rings, not sure about Lalanne.

I was at the cert, and one of the interesting points brought up was that the general physical preparedness you get from CrossFit allows you to be more efficient at learning the skills that are particular for your sport. The athlete needs to be able to work for long periods of time at a particular skill in order to get better at it. If they are unable to do a cone drill 4 or 5 times in a row without being wrecked, doing that drill is worthless. I think that this is the basic premise of using CrossFit and then gearing the workouts towards Football sport specific times, exercises, etc.

Please excuse me if I just made no sense at all, just a thought.

Yes, this is how I think of it. Everything for sports is always founded on some type of GPP. If you don't have an good base to build on you wont go far. Even powerlifters need GPP, otherwise they wont be able to get through an intense workout or be able to recover quickly enough for the next. The extent a powerlifting needs GPP, and the type of GPP, varies great from Football. Either way, the GPP is not the focus of the training, but the sports performance is, which also needs tons of specific strength, speed, endurance, technique and skill work, but GPP is the foundation.

Kevin Perry
05-20-2009, 10:38 AM
I got lost somewhere at the beginning and then I saw something widicnsihsfhs or whatever and it must have taken me 15 min to figure out what you guys were talking about.

Justin McCallon
05-20-2009, 11:40 AM
Ok sorry. I guess I have trouble stopping an argument without either agreeing the other person is right, or feeling like my point is actually understood. The discussion was kinda abstract and moved significantly from the original point we were discussing. That was dumb, sorry.

Justin McCallon
05-20-2009, 11:44 AM
Ok sorry. I guess when I am having a discussion with someone and there is a disagreement over something, I have trouble stopping without either agreeing the other person is right (which I regularly will do), or feeling like my point is actually understood. The discussion was kinda abstract and moved significantly from the original point we were discussing so I guess that even though the point was pretty innocent, it was kinda confusing. That was dumb, sorry.

Chuck Kechter
05-20-2009, 03:49 PM
This thread made my head hurt.:( :)

Allen Yeh
05-20-2009, 04:35 PM
I got lost somewhere at the beginning and then I saw something widicnsihsfhs or whatever and it must have taken me 15 min to figure out what you guys were talking about.

I still don't know what they are talking about.

Dave Van Skike
05-20-2009, 04:45 PM
I got lost somewhere at the beginning and then I saw something widicnsihsfhs or whatever and it must have taken me 15 min to figure out what you guys were talking about.


Nose hairs, Kevin...I'm talking about nose hairs. Puleeeez Keep Up.

Allen Yeh
05-20-2009, 05:27 PM
Mr. Wolf says STFU about CF Football!

http://robbwolf.com/?p=554

heh!

George Mounce
05-20-2009, 07:01 PM
Mr. Wolf says STFU about CF Football!

http://robbwolf.com/?p=554

heh!

Not sure what an omelet has to do with CF Football.

George Mounce
05-20-2009, 07:05 PM
Yes, this is how I think of it. Everything for sports is always founded on some type of GPP. If you don't have an good base to build on you wont go far. Even powerlifters need GPP, otherwise they wont be able to get through an intense workout or be able to recover quickly enough for the next. The extent a powerlifting needs GPP, and the type of GPP, varies great from Football. Either way, the GPP is not the focus of the training, but the sports performance is, which also needs tons of specific strength, speed, endurance, technique and skill work, but GPP is the foundation.


World class athletes don't need GPP. Go read the Usain Bolt thread. They only need to get better at what they are doing. Hate to tell you but CF and GPP doesn't work for quite a few people to get better at their sport.

Steven Low
05-20-2009, 08:16 PM
World class athletes don't need GPP. Go read the Usain Bolt thread. They only need to get better at what they are doing. Hate to tell you but CF and GPP doesn't work for quite a few people to get better at their sport.
I think they are referring to GPP in the sense of being able to recover from workouts.

But then again, that is almost built into the GOOD program(s) anyway.

Gavin Harrison
05-20-2009, 08:17 PM
World class athletes don't need GPP. Go read the Usain Bolt thread. They only need to get better at what they are doing. Hate to tell you but CF and GPP doesn't work for quite a few people to get better at their sport.

I think you're misinterpreting what I said. I do not define GPP as crossfit or anything remotely close to it. I also said, the GPP necessary for all sports is different. I have no idea about running, but I doubt Bolt does nothing but run 100m and 200m singles at 100% intensity as his only training, and I very much doubt that his genes are so elite that he can dominate so much without doing any training at all.

Good GPP for most sports is probably just enough, maybe a little more, than what you need to be able to get through the tough workouts that make you better at what you do, while still being able to recover for the next, and enough to provide some injury prevention. Specific conditioning or strength for the event I won't consider as GPP. It doesn't directly enhance your ability to perform in your sport, but it does increase your ability to train specifically for your sport.

Also, as a side note, CFFB would be an insanely better approach to S&C compared to what a lot of high school and at least one college football programs currently use..

Justin Lascek
05-20-2009, 08:49 PM
I feel like you guys are sometimes using the term GPP when met-con would be more appropriate. In either case, the terms should be defined.



Also, as a side note, CFFB would be an insanely better approach to S&C compared to what a lot of high school and at least one college football programs currently use..

Correction: CFFB is a better program currently. There are a set amount of tools to be utilized that will be more productive in enhancing performance. Take a saw for example. A saw can perform a job much easier, faster, and more efficient than other tools. However, that saw has the potential to cause some serious damaged if used inappropriately (think cuts, gashes, severed limbs, and seemingly accidental massacres). You need someone to teach you how to use the tool if you are going to use it well.

I think they are referring to GPP in the sense of being able to recover from workouts.

But then again, that is almost built into the GOOD program(s) anyway.

Hey Steven -- hope you've been doing well. I have some reason to believe that an increased GPP will help recovery from the primary training. I agree that "GOOD", or well thought out, training programs will have recovery properly added in. What we don't know (but maybe could conjecture about) is whether or not an added GPP will enhance said recovery, adaptation, and thus supercompensation. I am of the opinion that increasing metabolic conditioning does this (which, as I mentioned earlier, is not equated with GPP).




Will main page CFFB change depending on the season, or is this up to the S&C coaches to program for this?



It will, Gant. Or rather, it should. However...

Thing 1: Let's look at CrossFit.com's early programming. It may be effective for some, but not for others. Total performance/work capacity/fitness (I equate these terms) may have benefited from an enhancement in programming, methodology, etc.

Thing 2: Irregardless of program quality, we are all individuals. As such, a program should be made to fit the individual and their needs.

Thing 3: With that being said, there are still some qualities of human performance that cannot be neglected, regardless of goal (but this getting off topic, so I'll leave it at that).

Thing 4: Thinking along these lines means that CFFB main page may or may not be applicable to all football teams using it (think novice, intermediate, and advanced level athletes). What a 2A high school in Louisiana may require is going to be different than a D-II college team.

Overall Thing: The coach implementing a CF Football program will still have to do that: program. He (she?) will have to program according to their athletes. We can brainstorm the variables that come into play in or out of season:

Nutrition, rest, weekly practice schedule, frequency of training sessions (strength and/or met-con), training advancement among individuals (moving from novice to intermediate programming), game day, morale, etc.

Coaching and programming are an art. This will not come easily to people, and the efficacy of this program is dependent on programming.

We'll find out if individual coaches use the saw to make a clean cut, or slice their femoral artery open.

glennpendlay
05-20-2009, 10:03 PM
Overall Thing: The coach implementing a CF Football program will still have to do that: program. He (she?) will have to program according to their athletes.


I know several GOOD high school and collegiate football strength coaches. Very appropriate workouts. Do a great job.

The bad ones, currently, often at least, copy the training from a high profile program. Often its not appropriate, or well coached.

Off-season and in-season football training will always have to do a few things, like speed work, agility work, skill specific work (running routes, blocking, tackling, etc), anaerobic conditioning, and strength work. And they will have to mix and match these things in appropriate amounts throughout the year. Good ones do a good job programming and coaching, bad ones dont.

So, and this is an honest question, and not sarcastic, if in your words, any coach is going to have to, "program according to their athletes"... and mix and match these differing parts of football conditioning according to their own standards... then what is CF Football?

Again, considering the circumstances, I understand if your first instinct is to take this as argumentative or something, but I assure you, I am honestly interested in your answer of how CF football is going to improve football training... given your own analysis of the programming situation as quoted from your post.

glenn

Justin Lascek
05-21-2009, 02:12 PM
I know several GOOD high school and collegiate football strength coaches. Very appropriate workouts. Do a great job.



Very good point, Glenn. I would agree. I some times don't do a great deal of thinking on the positive end of the spectrum regarding strength coaches.

I'm sure most agree here, but CrossFit affiliates do a horrendous job of including strength in their training regime. Furthermore, if they do, they program their met-cons around it in a way that doesn't leave much room for strength recovery (the most important characteristic of performance) because of a lack of understanding of the stress-recovery-adaptation process.

With that being said, I (sometimes) shudder to think of what people who lack this understanding, or just lack good sense and logic, will do to their athletes.

...

Now to your question. Don't worry, I'm not taking offense or assuming sarcasm. I am sane.

You ask "What is CF Football?" because I say it will be individualized, right? What I meant in the previous post was similar to what you just said in yours; some strength coaches will try and implement a program that their athletes are incapable of making the most efficient progress on. Kind of like your reference to copying a high profile program.

And as an aside, we don't have to consider the circumstances, because that would just get in the way of validating (or not validating) any kind of good CF Football can have.

I define metabolic conditioning as an activity that is using normal patterns of human movement (including those unrelated to a specific sport) to maintain a high work output for as long as possible as well as minimizing the time in between bouts of said high output. Until I improve the definition, the output is relative.

Now I guess I have to sorta validate the reasoning for including metabolic conditioning. Think of a team sport. Ask an athlete from said team sport what it is that limits their ability to physically perform late in a game. The answer is broad, so I have to assume it is something like, "My shot on goal didn't go in"/"I missed the three point shot"/"I didn't catch the football"/"I didn't make the tackle". I'm not taking into account mental mistakes, but that possibly could be relevant.

So for whatever reason, the athlete doesn't perform a given skill that requires some kind of technical proficiency. A 'strength and conditioning' coaches job isn't to improve that proficiency. It is to get them strengthened and conditioned enough where strength and/or conditioning won't be the limiting factor in that performance, especially late in the game.

You can probably see where I'm going with this. The foundation of everything is strength and strength training (this includes Olympic lifting). Yet strength, and the other physical skills that you mentioned (that must also be improved), can be augmented by additional metabolic conditioning. My line of thinking is if you prepare the athlete in a way that makes them experience much higher levels of output than they would ever experience in a game, trying to sustain those high levels of output, and then try to minimize the recover time in between those outputs, then it will improve the conditioning for the athlete to perform whatever skill of proficiency they need to, especially late in a game when conditioning becomes inherently necessary.

I've seen hematocrit and hemoglobin levels increase very significantly in just four weeks in someone who improves their metabolic conditioning (with strength training, of course). Currently I can't be convinced that those adaptations, as well as others, will not assist in an improvement of conditioning and thus performance.

So the theme I was trying to present in the first post was that if all of these different adaptations are going to occur in the most efficient way possible, then programming to do so is a bit more complicated than what conventional wisdom holds.

Not to mention the strength and conditioning field in general is a bit lacking.

Dave Van Skike
05-21-2009, 02:36 PM
Justin,

Almost everyone still awake on this thread understands how and why conditioning work is important and how it relates to athletic performance in a game like football.

Glenn's seemed to me to get at, what about CF football template is inherently better than a non retarded football coach programming the training specific to his athletes.

This would seem to require at least a passing knowledge and description of the pitfalls that even good coaches fall into with their athletes and why CF football will improve upon that. What, for instance is better about CF football than what Joe De Franco is doing in terms of tailoring programming for his individual athletes?

glennpendlay
05-21-2009, 02:51 PM
Justin,

I think I can boil down your response to "we need metabilic conditioning (or more metabolic conditioning, or more varied metabolic conditioning) so that we can more effectively utilize our strength/speed/skill in a game environment, particularly late in the game"

Is this accurate? If so, I would guess that there is an inherent assumption on your part (and not saying your wrong) that the average football team doesnt have adequate metabolic conditioning, and that CF will fix this, and maybe even that this is how CF Football is going to be better than current FB training methodology, or improve current FB training methodology.

And, I did slightly misrepresent my thoughts when I asked "then what is CF Football". What I was thinking was more in line with "How is CFFB better than current FB training", or "How is CFFB going to improve current FB training?"

Hopefully I am accurate in the meaning I took from your post, and in my assumptions of your underlying positions. If so, this could definately be a useful discussion.

glennpendlay
05-21-2009, 03:38 PM
To Dave, and Justin


Justin has said in a very direct way that CFFB IS BETTER. He has also said that whether a coach implements CFFB or not, he/she will still have to program specifically for his athletes.

Now, understand I am not trying to play "bait the CFer here"... I have a good friend who knows Justin and says good things about him. So I am interested in his analysis of the situation.

And I think I explained how I see the situation in an earlier post. There are certain things that must be done to train for football. Metobolic conditioning, speed work, skill work, strength work. All coaches, good and bad, do all these things. Good ones program them and coach them well, bad ones dont.

i THINK that Justin has indicated that he believes that an increased emphasis on metcon is how CFFB is better than the current thinking on FB training, I will wait for him to confirm this. And maybe for him to explain how CFFB programing can be better given his statement about each coach still having to program according to his own individual athletes.

And just to be honest, I expected Justin to emphasise the metcon aspect of CFFB, and its superiority... and I disagree. I actually think that most football programs include TOO MUCH conditioning work throughout most of the year... and I think that if I have understood his position correctly, we will have an interesting discussion.

glenn

Dave Van Skike
05-21-2009, 08:59 PM
mods,

wtf, over?

no one was out of bounds here.

Steven Low
05-21-2009, 09:12 PM
mods,

wtf, over?

no one was out of bounds here.
Hmm? I don't see anything unusual?

Thread isn't locked either.

Dave Van Skike
05-21-2009, 09:20 PM
post toasties.

Gavin Harrison
05-21-2009, 10:28 PM
Glenn,

I'd tend to agree with what I believe your position is.. a player (particularly linemen) who's just getting laid out every play is pretty much useless, regardless of his metabolic conditioning level. Runners who can't drive into people wont go far. Etc.

But like I said before in regards to bad programs... I know of one school in particular whose given training is really bad... the S&C guy even throws in random stuff for seemingly no reason.. and has gotten at least one kid fairly grievously injured because of it.

glennpendlay
05-21-2009, 10:41 PM
Gavin,

I know a ton of BAD programs. I also know a few good ones. i ALSO know the restrictions in terms of time/number of platforms/number of kids... that these HS coaches labor under. And I know the "ideal" programs that many of them would like to implement if they didnt have said restrictions.

I just wonder how CF Football will improve all this. Honestly and sincerely... if they have a better idea, then I will be all for it. And if they do, then I think Justin is a smart guy and he will articulate it.

glenn

Noel Welsh
05-22-2009, 01:26 AM
Justin,
What I was thinking was more in line with "How is CFFB better than current FB training", or "How is CFFB going to improve current FB training?"


Here are my thoughts:

Let's assume CFFB will be fairly effective -- moreso than the average program -- and therefore a fair number of programs will benefit from adopting it. With this assumption in mind, I want to consider three different categories of coaches, and how they might benefit from CFFB:


Good coaches. They know what they're doing and won't benefit from CFFB
Bad coaches, who are too stubborn, stupid, or arrogant to change what they do. They won't benefit from CFFB.
Bad or mediocre coaches who want to improve. They will benefit from CFFB. If they follow CFFB their players will stronger/faster/etc. By doing something that actually works they can begin to understand what is effective and how to construct their own effective routines. Hopefully the CFFB exercise demos, when they come, will be high quality like most of the CF ones and so coaches can see what a real squat/DL/whatever looks like. The forum should also be useful. In the same way that CF was the "gateway drug" for many people here, I hope CFFB will send people to more specialised sites where they can acquire more detailed knowledge.


An anecdote: I'm not in the US and I have no involvement in (American) football. However I do study at a University that consistently finishes in the top 3 in the British Universities competition, and I believe has the best Sports Science dept in the country. I train at the same gym as our rugby team, track guys, and so on. Their training is rubbish -- endless sets of curls, 1/4 squats and so on. I'm stronger than 90% of the guys at the gym and I'm a 70kg weakling. I know the rugby team has a coach, and I'm sure he's trying to do a good job, but judging from what I see in the gym, and the number of injuries I see at the few games I go to, it isn't that effective. The competition is equally weak so the results don't seem adversely impacted, but I'm sure better training would make a huge difference on the pitch and might get some guys to the level where they could compete professionally. CFFB would probably be a great place to start.

Basically, I think there is enormous value in high quality readily available information. As many people have said there is nothing new in CF. However placing all that information is one place and making it (mostly) freely available does a much better job of dissemination than a bunch of high priced Human Kinetics texts will ever do. CF has certainly made an enormous improvement in my training (and I don't follow the CF WODs). I think CFFB can do the same.

Gant Grimes
05-22-2009, 07:57 AM
DVS, what's up with the thread? I don't see anything.

Ok, we all recognize that a baseline level of conditioning is needed:

1. to be able to work on technique in practice and drills
2. to utilize these techniques with greater efficiency through improved speed/power/strength/accuracy/coordination
3. to continue to apply these techniques throughout the course of a game or match*

(*In the case of rugby, the demands of which are completely different than football.)

So the question is, why is CFFB better than another protocol for preparing athletes for football.

Let's assume we're talking about HS football players with a coach in charge of programming the S&C program from pre-season, in-season, off-season, and summer.

Tom Woodward
05-22-2009, 09:50 AM
If a high school kid is serious about football and plays any position other than place kicker, wouldn't they be best served by doing a pure strength program for a few months to begin the off season? I've met very few 16 year old football players who couldn't stand to gain 20 pounds of muscle.

It looks like the amateur version of CFFB is similar to SS, but with lower lift volume, back to back lifting days, and extra met cons to maintain conditioning. Why not just do starting strength for a few months and then when spring football practice picks back up, start upping the conditioning.