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Mike ODonnell
03-27-2007, 08:36 AM
Ah....let's see if we can keep this one civil...but I would really love to hear an in depth technical analysis from both sides of "is fitness a sport"? Or....should it be? Or....shouldn't it be? Pros and Cons of the scientific nature please....no mudslinging on this one.

Interesting trains of thought....for some it may be the competition they look for....for others it may just be preparation for another sport....I see both sides of the coin....much like PL is a sport....I see advantages and disadvantages depending on who the person is and what is their true end goal?

Let the games...so to speak...begin. I'll referee.

Greg Everett
03-27-2007, 09:04 AM
I say if you want to make fitness your sport, more power to thee. However, the primary trouble is for any sport to be contested, there must be a concensus on what that sport is. CF has arrived at a very articulate and reasonable definition of fitness, but said definition has yet to establish itself anywhere but within the CF community. So I think at this point, claiming fitness as a sport is premature. CF is the sport. Claiming a CF athlete beat a non-CF athlete at "fitness" when the test of fitness was a CF workout is unfair because that non-CF athlete has not prepared specifically for CF training, not knowing (or agreeing) that's what fitness is.

Robb Wolf
03-27-2007, 09:41 AM
Damn...you guys are smarty pants. MOD I think you hit on some key elements...something can be a sport but one can obviously choose how one that sport is approached (means or an end). I think Greg's assessment of the current state of Cf is pretty accurate. The idea for the CF games is an interesting one and may bring the CF approach into a legitimate sport. Lots of infrastructure to create however. Just the CF total is a tough one to judge. Do you just grab the rules and regs from PL for the squat and DL? Do you allow a sumo stance on those movements? Not much functionality but one can move a boat load of weight.
Do you drag in the former Olympic press rules? Do you allow a standing, bent press? Important stuff to figure out.

With regards to the Hopper one can theoretically pull anything out. I remember one of the CF championships that CF north ran had basket ball free throws at the end. Great idea...they had a small penalty for missed shots I think...but it quickly became evident that shooting the ball with little or no intent in making the basket was smarter, even with the penalty, than really setting the shots...is that really a gauge of fitness? Certainly some strategy I guess, but related to the problems of judging the CF total which is only 3 movements...the hopper movements need strict guidelines for many movements. What REALLY constitutes a KB swing? How do you penalize for missed swings? Thrusters? SDLHP? it becomes a truly daunting task to codify all those movements and have legit standards AND it is going to be damn hard to get a set of referees who can find consensus on ALL the movements! If this is not done then its destined to be a slap-dick affair with no real standards and "close calls" creating some seriously bad feelings.

This will occur to someone at some point and the logical suggestion will be to limit the endeavors to certain movements or easily quantifiable movements...which removes the random element and encourages one to play to the event...and this violates the "constantly varied" part of CF.

I think it's an ambitious idea...but it's going to be tough to implement IMO. I think the team element is very compelling and it draws many people...but our emphasis on personal training has brought out a load of people who have absolutely no desire to do a group class. Different people, different needs and wants.

As to the efficacy of the sport of fitness...I think it is hugely time efficient and provides remarkable return on investment. I mean somewhere between 1 and 3 hrs a week can keep you in pretty damn good shape. i did a quick warm up the other day and then did 400m run, 10DL @106KG, 10 Push press @50kg, 3 rounds. It took 12 minutes and I was torched. I stretched and the whole endeavor took ~30 minutes. That is pretty time efficient. Now the Rip and coach Glassman have figured out that max effort work is important for CF performance (cough) that is easily addressed as well.

I'll say this however...CF WODs were NOT used in Glen's fight prep. But that is a forthcoming PM article...

Steve Shafley
03-27-2007, 09:49 AM
I'm out the door. NO TIME TO COMMENT FULLY!

I guess the forum will take a turn for civility.

Danny John
03-27-2007, 09:56 AM
Fitness is the ability to do a task.

One can reproduce with literally dozens of health issues. Health is the optimal interplay of the organs.

So, no. Fitness is not a sport. "Tasks" can be made into sports. Sports tend to have rules and some kind of recognized system.

Showing up at my house and getting your ass handed to you by a combination of squats and sleds or whatever is not a sport. It is training. It is funny, too, but that is beyond the point.

No. Fitness is not a sport. Sorry. No one recognizes how many step ups you do in a minute as a sport. No one cares. Making me care hurts my head.

Mike ODonnell
03-27-2007, 10:11 AM
I like the competitive aspect of doing something that will make you try harder...much like doing runs with a stopwatch...I always try to push and beat my old time....however...it is training in my life...as I compete in other areas. Plus so many variables like Robb said....what counts...what doesnt count...I think when you are dealing with just personal records it's a way to guage improvement and motivate...however in a larger group sport like event, there are no clear definitions. I also think safety is a huge issue....if you are running around doing bodyweight...you may be fine...but add in high rep heavy DLs and it takes one bad pull and your back is f*&#'d. So again...it all depends on the individual and their ability to control their own movements safely and judge their own cheating methods as there is a way around everything.

So I guess I come out with....fitness workouts as a guaged competitive activity in a controlled environment are beneficial to improving a fitness level due to increased motivation, a somewhat fun factor, however the safety factor decreases...and if you are training for another sport, getting injured isn't going to help out. It will vary from individual to individual...but I have enough competitive sports in my life.....fitness is just a way to keep me healthy and competitive in the other sports. But for some.....it may be the only sport....and if it makes them healthier then go for it, but that's their cup of tea. But I don't plan on seeing it in the next Olympics.....unless it was the Ab Lounge....that would be amusing.

Also forming a sport around a training model really only serves to isolate that model even more and more from mainstream acceptance. Wouldn't a better route being training one way, and then showing up to a recognized sport, and then showing others through excellent performance that the fitness program does get results? Otherwise....I think it just takes a "step" (pardon the pun) back and says....Hey we do step aerobics...and we are the best at getting up and down on a step.... Ummm....ok but I play football and there are no steps on the field....so how does that help? I think any fitness program serves better to show results in established sports....not creating their own. (If they are trying to get more acceptance from the mainstream that is)

I guess the same could be said for Bodybuilding....is it a sport? Well for those that spend hours a day in the gym....yes....for those that compete elsewhere...no....

Ron Nelson
03-27-2007, 03:16 PM
You can make a "sport" out of almost anything. Look at golf for the love of Pete. Hit ball with stick; chase ball down; repeat; tap in hole. Yay!

When I was a kid, we used to organize races around my grandmother's mobile home (yes, Ron's descendants lived in trailers, like you're surprised). Just me and the cousins (with me losing) running. Not like a track meet, just running. Then we would do something like who could hit a tree with a rock from the farthest distance or some other stupid shit. Just something to compete and break the boredom of being stuck in Woodlake, CA in the middle of July. Normally, some of these activities would be looked at as pastimes; we took them as sport because we were competing.

It brings me to this point: I agree with Dan. Fitness is the ability to do something. Training is the means to end, IE competing in a sport. If you decide that the actual training is the sport, you've turned the world on its ear. It's funny, but that's probably what both attracted me and sent me off from CF. The competition in the WOD. It's where I started to see people posting bullshit times and performances just to compete. It's a workout, not a prelim for the Nationals. Fitness is what happens when the training goes well and you're ready for your sport.

We can make a game out of any training protocol and call it "sport," but it isn't one unless we know how to determine a winner and a loser.

Bowling=sport
fitness=not so much

Gary John
03-27-2007, 03:39 PM
Nope, not a sport, nor a religion.

Though, it does attract a lot of goofiness.

Pierre Auge
03-27-2007, 06:20 PM
Danny,
Fitness is the ability to do a task? So in your inability to do any multitude of tasks you are unfit! Therefore you are agreeing that Fitness is your ability to deal with whatever task is at hand...

I agree with that definition of fitness, I think the problem is that though you associate fitness with performing one task I associate it with performing any task. And that your association of being a world class competitor in one sport makes you fit except that your adaptive stresses are singular and segmented. Therefore any real life and opposing stresses will hinder that creating a less then optimal contributer, because they are only able to perform a task, not many!

Being strong makes you adapt to cardiovascular stressors more easily, sure.
But you actually have to apply that stress sometimes not just talk about it.

Fitness according to the definition we are refering too can be a sport by definition that we are accomplishing tasks. We don't need to know what the task is to make its accomplishment competitive. If you do then you simply have no imagination and a lack of imagination is boring.

Fitness can be sport by your own definition!!! The only reason you would claim it not to be is opinion and decision.

Websters Dictionary
Sport: - an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.

That pretty well sums it up I think, I think some people just don't know how to have fun!

Hey and Danny, I'd be up any time to have my ass handed to me by a combination of squats and sleds, and maybe you could teach me how to throw because thats one I ain't too good at!

And you'd be welcome to come to my place and get your ass handed to you with some standing back tucks, levers, hand walking and something we call curling! Wait you'd probably be pretty good at curling, all I know is that its a sport, it's even in the olympics and it doesn't even involve any physical exertion though tons of skill. What it does require is a high tolerance for Canadian Beer which surprisingly causes everybody's physical exertion to go down and skill to go up... It's also a hell of a lot of fun, and thats the point, quit trying to suck the fun out of everything people!
Piece! ;)

josh everett
03-28-2007, 06:36 AM
Robb & Pierre you guys made great points.
On a side note... just an observation but for a bunch of guys who claim to have come over here because they do not like what is going on at crossfit you guys sure do spend allot of time discussing content & ideas derived from Glassman and crossfit.com
I personally like the idea of fitness being a sport... finally there is a sport that I'm really good at! So for my own selfish reasons i'm claiming fitness and crossfit are sports :)

joe murphy
03-28-2007, 06:45 AM
bowling and golf are games. we know this because you can drink beer and smoke cigars during the event, therefore = game.

fitness is a concept. or a condition. its no more a sport than height.

Hemingway said there were only 3 sports: auto racing, mountaineering, and bullfighting, because of the risk of death. I guess he should have added shotgunning.

a further distinction is one ball sports - rugby, football - and two ball sports, like boxing, judo, heavy events, and wrestling. and no ball sports - basketball, baseball, swimming, etc.

but fitness is not a sport. this we know.

Mike ODonnell
03-28-2007, 06:49 AM
On a side note... just an observation but for a bunch of guys who claim to have come over here because they do not like what is going on at crossfit you guys sure do spend allot of time discussing content & ideas derived from Glassman and crossfit.com

Josh, it's conversations like these where I see people with great uncensored arguements from both sides that I never saw at CF. Plus I will not deny the impact CF has on the fitness world, however it was no longer a place to openly debate such ideas or question alternative training to compliment it.....that's where the PM filled the void for me. That...and keg parties...oh the parties. :D

bowling and golf are games. we know this because you can drink beer and smoke cigars during the event, therefore = game.
don't forget softball and curling....Pierre will be so happy I threw in curling...

Allen Yeh
03-28-2007, 07:06 AM
don't forget softball and curling....Pierre will be so happy I threw in curling...

What about polar bear chasing?

Jesse Woody
03-28-2007, 07:24 AM
Personally the most important aspect of coach Glassman's assertion of "The Sport of Fitness" is the unrivaled ability of some competitive format to motivate beyond any other motivation. He's absolutely right, I can have a guy come in complaining about not getting enough sleep, drinking too much over the weekend, his girlfriend is mean, etc...There are two options, I can pull him to the side and say "Man, I know you can push through, you're tough, just give it a try...yada yada" and he gives me a half-assed performance. If, on the other hand I say "That's cool, here's your name on the board, you're competing against this 50 year old woman and you can choose whether or not to let her smoke you..." He will bust his ass despite the excuses.

I eluded to this a bit in my APK article "Knees, Jerks, and Objectivity" (http://www.americanparkour.com/content/view/919/222/), which was a response to the oft-repeated maxim that Parkour shouldn't...or absolute COULDN'T be competitive. I even referenced Dan John himself!

I agree with Robb about the fact that a standardized competitive format for "fitness" will be a difficult task to complete, but if you start with a concise definition, i.e. "What Is Fitness" and apply a testing standard that allows for little deviation from this definition, I think it's possible.

Danny John
03-28-2007, 07:45 AM
I have to agree with all posts that agree with me.

So, Competitive Cheerleading. The bane of high school in the new millennium. It's a sport. Drill team in Utah: a sport. You see, I think cheerleading is cheerleading...one who leads cheers.

Argue that: cheerleading is a sport.

Greg Everett
03-28-2007, 08:22 AM
On a side note... just an observation but for a bunch of guys who claim to have come over here because they do not like what is going on at crossfit you guys sure do spend allot of time discussing content & ideas derived from Glassman and crossfit.com

This forum is not and should not be considered anti-CF. Those of us who run it continue to believe in CF's merits. Discussions of the program, whether its strengths or its weaknesses, are welcome--mindless CF bashing is not.

We try to be extremely lenient with the content herein--I've locked only one thread since this forum was born--but I do expect a certain degree of civility and reason regardless of thread topic. So let's all play nice, or the napalm strikes shall begin.

Billy_Brummel
03-28-2007, 09:42 AM
I don't think fitness can be turned into a sport. It seems to me that fitness standards vary far too much from person to person, whereas the standards of basketball, football, et al do not. Per Robb's post, the evaluation of performance is far too subjective to compare scores across a wide spectrum. There may be some subjectivity involved with the more classic sports - ie fouls, penalties, etc.- the main goal--scoring--is not. However, if it takes an attempt to turn fitness into a sport to get more people on board with a healthy lifestyle, I'm all for it. But no, fitness is not a sport.

Pierre Auge
03-28-2007, 12:11 PM
Billy,
the flaw in your argument is this: It seems to me that fitness standards vary far too much from person to person, whereas the standards of basketball, football, et al do not.

Yes they are sports because someone decided what the rules of football and basketball were at some point in history, until somebody did that football was just a game people played.

Same with CrossFit they've decided what the rules were. So those people who choose to compete within those rules can now honestly say that they are competing, not just playing a silly game with no rules.

Take the NFL and the CFL two sports both stemming from Rugby both having similar rules but with slight variations (yeah you're going to say CFL football sucks, but its actually quite good, its just different) two sets of rules, but both are sports, and if you say that CFL football isn't a sport its been around longer than the NFL so F you!

I'm all up for cheerleading being a sport under those same conditions, it requires great skill, physical exertion, its fun and it has competitive rules, those who compete play within those rules and are scored accordingly. Therefore Sport! And hey who wouldn't be up for having a professional cheerleading league with spots on ESPN every other night? HEY HOT CHICKS DOING GYMNASTICS TO POP MUSIC MOST IMPORTANTLY WEARING CUTE LITTLE SKIRTS! Cheerleading is so a sport, in fact if other countries can catch on I think it could work at the olympics. Guaranteed it would attract bigger crowds then that stupid Weightlifting game that some of us play ;)

(Quick note Cheerleading has been a competitive university level (college for you people you know who you are) sport here in Canada for over 25 years.)

Argue that one DJ! Maybe if you helped them be stronger they would get better and more athletic and you would garner a greater appreciation for it?

I think you're just afraid of that which you do not understand? Am I right or am I wrong?

Jesse - Even Parkour could be competitive, all that is needed is a competitive goal - in military obstacle courses the goal is time.

MOD - Polar Bears don't get chased they do the chasing. I've seen one play with a full sized pickup truck like it was a chew toy! Yeah scary shit!

Josh - I love CrossFit, I Teach CrossFit, I also teach gymnastics, weightlifting, kettlebells + more. Teaching is what I'm good at, I love it. A bad teacher only teaches what he finds easy to teach because he already knows it...

A good teacher can, does and wants to teach anything because its the teaching that is the greatest of learning processes.

The true teacher has the greatest thirst for knowledge.

Anyway I'm dumb... And use too many exclamation points!!!

Mike ODonnell
03-28-2007, 12:24 PM
Yeah like I am going to listen to any Canadian after watching this....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zgeocr3iCM

Hide and seek....Olympics 08!

I also agree to keep Cheerleading as a sport....so I have something to watch on ESPN2 on Sat afternoons and evenings....we hold up score cards at the bar...

Yael Grauer
03-28-2007, 12:48 PM
Josh - I love CrossFit, I Teach CrossFit, I also teach gymnastics, weightlifting, kettlebells + more. Teaching is what I'm good at, I love it. A bad teacher only teaches what he finds easy to teach because he already knows it...

Actually, I would really love to know what sport (if any) Josh is bad at. I mean, we nailed Wolverine's weaknesses so why not Josh's?

Pierre Auge
03-28-2007, 12:55 PM
Josh from what I recall surprisingly is bad at push-ups? Am I right? Thats something!!! (Am I thinking of somebody else Josh?)

Yael Grauer
03-28-2007, 01:06 PM
Josh from what I recall surprisingly is bad at push-ups? Am I right? Thats something!!! (Am I thinking of somebody else Josh?)

Now, would that be the sport of push-ups, or just push-ups? ;)

josh everett
03-28-2007, 02:02 PM
The list of athletic endevors that I am not good at is too long to list. Swimming would be one where I'm under the 50 percentile for sure. Pushups...I have done 88 straight, I'm sure i could do 100 if cash was on the line. Danny John I'm sorry to admit I'm not very good at throwing things...never figured out the discus, and i dated a heptathlete in college that could throw the jav about 5x further than me...very humbling.
Atleast my girlfriend doesn't out clean & squat me like the other Everett on this forum :) sorry i had to do it.
Upon further review I don't think cheerleading, Golf, bowling, or Nascar are sports and I wish they would stop wasting my time putting them on ESPN & sportscenter. Fitness probably isn't a sport either but crossfit is the sport of fitness.

Greg Everett
03-28-2007, 02:25 PM
i dated a heptathlete in college

Have you been tested?


Atleast my girlfriend doesn't out clean & squat me like the other Everett on this forum :) sorry i had to do it.

Not hard to do when you only date girls who weight 75lbs or less. Sucka.

josh everett
03-28-2007, 02:33 PM
To add to the what is josh not good at list...
I just wanted to put something into perpective...
In the crossfit world I'm considered an elite athlete. My best sports were football and track & field. There are thousands of college scholarships offered for these 2 sports I however was not good enough to earn a scholarship.
I'm obviously not an elite athlete I'm just very good at working out.

Greg Everett
03-28-2007, 02:51 PM
if armpit hair growing were a sport, josh would be world champion.

Derek Simonds
03-28-2007, 02:56 PM
I might have mentioned it before because cheerleading comes up quite a bit around here, I was on a competitive cheerleading squad. I actually enjoyed it. I got into it because I messed up the tendons in my ankle before my senior year and couldn't play soccer. We competed in several different state wide events and even went to nationals. Was it hard, yes, was it hard in the way we think of sport no. In fact even when I was competing I didn't think of it as sport. Did that mean that the rest of the squad felt the same, nope there was a lot of them really wrapped up in the sport aspect.

If the yearbook pictures ever surface I might have to slink my way out of here.

I have a very simple belief "perception is reality" If your perception / world is wrapped up in cheerleading than cheerleading is a sport to you. I think the same thing goes for people wrapped up in xFit. I was at the largest youth gymnastics meet in the US a couple of weeks ago. My son competed level 4 USAG with his team. While we were there I watched some rhythmic gymnastics competitors. I thought what is this crap but they definitely treated it like a sport.

I agree with Ron that one of the things I like about xFit was the competitive aspect of the WOD's. I train alone and would bust my azz to try and get into the top half of the remarks. It gave me something to shoot for. That alone doesn't make it a sport just good training.

Dave Van Skike
03-28-2007, 03:10 PM
I haven't honestly given Crossfit a go, but it seems sporty, sort of like sporty spice.. Just kidding.

I don't task stands on any of these sort of things if I can help it but.........
it's too easy to show disrespect regarding sports that one hasn't tried. Similar problem with "fitness". Sorry, but fitness simply is the abilty to perform a task. To take a crossfit analogy back, if fitness is a sport is health a sport? Or because it less far on the continuum its only a game?

These analogies are too narrow. The fact that Josh can crush everyone here like a bug at "Fran" is not a quantifiable gauge of him being more fit at anything other than "Fran." I suspect he enjoys many other advantages in many other athletic endeavors. By the same token, I can wax the floor with him at my chosen "sport" (this is pre conjecture of course. Done any downhill mountain bike racing or desert enduro racing lately Josh?) This is not to exalt me or diminish him: it is to say, sport is a poor label for gauging Josh's effort versus my effort. I'm good at this, he is good at that. This type of comparison is stupid. I propseo a different way of thinking about "this thing" (fitness, cross-wangly, weightlifting, blather) These physical culture endeavors, (like eeek... bodybuilding or parkour) are not so much sports as Arts.

Really the things people are talking about here, are elements of physical culture (not just the Eugene Sandow handlebar moustache sense) that defy definiition as "sports" in the winners losers sense. That may come off as Pollyanna, why can't we all get a long but I the Arts, works much better than trying to use a limited definition, (sport) to define a thing (fitness) which is somewhat of a moving target.

Billy_Brummel
03-28-2007, 03:10 PM
Pierre,

Even though CF has established rules for their game, in my mind, the notion of what constitutes a DL or a Snatch or a Squat involves a subjective decision made by a judge. So what you have is a sport where success depends on an official's decision-a factor that would make it lose its sporthood. I was arguing against fitness' sporthood based on the varying definitions of the exercises, not so much based on the lack of any rules. I just don't feel that judges and sports can go together. And I don't think that for anything to be legitimate, it has to have the label of sport. I just happen to have a very narrow view of what a sport is. No love lost for fitness here.

Dave Van Skike
03-28-2007, 03:13 PM
Pierre,

. I just don't feel that judges and sports can go together. And I don't think that for anything to be legitimate, it has to have the label of sport. I just happen to have a very narrow view of what a sport is. No love lost for fitness here.

Boxing to the death?

Dave Van Skike
03-28-2007, 03:17 PM
Derek, that was very brave of you. I think I actually mean that.

Jonas Lind
03-28-2007, 03:26 PM
"Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively"

Seems to be one of the more common definitions of the word - sport.

Can't relly argue why CF shouldn't be able to call it a sport. I like the idea.
For me, alarmbells are going off when someone calls fitness a "lifestyle"...

Ron Nelson
03-28-2007, 03:46 PM
To add to the what is josh not good at list...
I just wanted to put something into perpective...
In the crossfit world I'm considered an elite athlete. My best sports were football and track & field. There are thousands of college scholarships offered for these 2 sports I however was not good enough to earn a scholarship.
I'm obviously not an elite athlete I'm just very good at working out.

OK, I haven't read everything on this thread. . .yet, but this wins for summing up the whole debate. Fitness is not a sport. You can be very good at working out, like Josh. That doesn't make you good at a sport.

By the way. Screw all you motherf^%$#s who chastise bowling and softball for being sports. I happen to be good at both. Piss off.

I do like to see everyone who wasn't good at conventional "sports" coming on and promoting combat sports as sports and trashing other "one ball and no-ball" sports for being less than manly. I think it's funny. If you're good at hitting someone, then you're now good at a sport. If you could have skated, you would've played hockey. Take that, Pierre.

I'll even concede that NASCAR is a sport for the fact that the drivers have incredible endurance. Don't think so? Try driving 500 miles on the Interstate, let alone on a banked track. Personally, I'll take Moto GP and Superbikes for racing, but hell, racing is a sport.

Finally, I agree with DJ for agreeing with everyone that agreed with him. I agree.

Cheerleading a sport? In those outfits? Ready? OK!

Yael Grauer
03-28-2007, 03:59 PM
Fitness is not a sport. You can be very good at working out, like Josh. That doesn't make you good at a sport.

Conversely, you could also be great at a sport and suck at working out...

Robert Allison
03-28-2007, 04:11 PM
Conversely, you could also be great at a sport and suck at working out...

I think this, and Ron's post it references, make good points. The qualities that comprise athleticism include, but transcend, fitness alone. I know of many people who are relatively fit, who are not particularly good athletes. We have all probably heard the stories of college & pro athletes who don't put up particularly strong workout numbers but shine when it comes to performing on the field.

Having said that, I think a lot of this comes down to semantics and how you define “sport,” and also how you define “fitness.” There are obviously certain aspects of fitness that are already sports (track & field, weightlifting, triathlons, etc.) But to create a sport, as I understand the term, out of a more generalized concept of fitness becomes a little trickier, because, as other posters have noted, achieving agreement regarding evaluation standards would be difficult, if not impossible.

With CrossFit, this tension has been present from Day 1. In the very first issue (I believe) of the CFJ, they challenge Mark Allen’s status as “The World’s Fittest Man.” But whether he is or isn’t depends on whose standards you are using. Using CrossFit’s standards; not so much. But by the standards of the triathlon world, he was, at the time, almost certainly the fittest man in the world. Because it is unlikely that there will ever be a consensus of opinion regarding what standards should be used to evaluate fitness, it will probably never be a sport in the sense that football or basketball is.

If the CrossFit folks (or any other group of like-minded individuals for that matter) develop physical activities that for them is “sport,” then I guess it is (for them). Certainly, having a competitive element in a workout is often a positive stimulus. But if there is no broader acceptance regarding the standards being put forth, is it really a sport? More to the point, if CrossFitters are the only people who accept the CrossFit definition of fitness as being the true litmus test, wouldn’t it be more accurate to describe it as “the sport of CrossFit” and not “the sport of fitness?”

Frank Needham
03-28-2007, 04:38 PM
Phssssssssst.......that's the sound of me letting the air out of the tires. I think this debate really misses the whole point of fitness and working out, and for that matter, sports. Why do people love sports? It is a microcosm of life. And why do people, and least those who care, work out/stay fit? To be prepared for life. Don't intellectualize things that don't need it.

Pierre Auge
03-28-2007, 06:03 PM
Ron,
just for your information I played Junior A level Hockey. I was a fourth liner but I was there!

Like I said no one else has to agree with the standards, rules and competitive aspect of the sport but those competing in it... Thats my argument. If Josh and I are athletes of "Displaying Work Capacity, in Multiple and Varied Modalities" and Josh kicks my ass then I will more then happily want to get him back for it and do my very best to kick his ass later...

I'm just saying that everything is subjective and the argument is MOOT! Life is a matter of degrees and the degree with which you agree me with doesn't matter. Frankly if I expected you to agree with me any of the time I'd pack myself up and get out of this whole thing.

But here is my last argument: How could fitness be a sport in the form with which it is being presented?

Imagine this scenerio:
Hopper Style WOD: (2-4 exersises seleted from a hopper)
For time:
Run 10km
Bike 10km
Row 10km
Swim 1km

WELL barring some accident I think a triathlete would probable be likely to win!

Or
Snatch 5 Rep Max
Clean & Press 3 Rep Max
Hammer Throw Distance
Kettlebell Swings

Danny John any chance you could win that?

21-15-9 (AKA Die-Fran ala Pierre Auge)
95# Thruster
225# Deadlift

Josh could you take it?

My point is that it will be an interesting experiment to see what comes out of the hopper, and even more interesting to see who comes out on top, because it could be the most unlikely person. How much fun is it when someone attempts your sports and displays a piss poor performance? It's good entertainment. But how exciting would it be to put yourself in a position that maybe your sport wont be the one your competing in today? That moment of vulnerability where you don't know what is going to come next is what makes it fun, challenging, athletic, and good for you. How boring your life must be that you are only willing to participate in activities that only include people who think exactly the same way as you do... Variety is the spice of life, and I think life is much fuller being a great amateur than a bad Pro! If you are or have the potential to be a great pro then by all means, just don't waste my time arguing over something you care nothing about!

HAHA this would suck:
4 rounds for time:
Run 800m
Row 500m
10 Deadlift 225#
25 Burpees

Either way I have no chance of winning. This year!

Josh, sorry about the push-up thing obviously I confused someone else with that memory, hmmm you've got me thinking now!

Yael Grauer
03-28-2007, 06:09 PM
This reminds me of George Carlin:

http://www.boredatuni.com/stuff.php?stuffId=11

Russell Greene
03-28-2007, 06:09 PM
Robert, I agree. I don't see why the Crossfit Games can't be considered a sport. The real question that we are arguing about is whether or not Crossfit is fitness, and therefore whether or not the sport of Crossfit is equivalent to the sport of fitness. If you, like Dan John, think that fitness means SPP, then a GPP competition calling itself the sport of fitness doesn't make much sense. If your definition of fitness is more generalized, then the idea that the Crossfit games could be the sport of fitness makes more sense, since it is a competition focusing on general fitness.

Regarding the question of standards and judging, powerlifting and gymnastics are both sports, and both depend heavily on judging. I agree that standards need to be standardized (imagine that) and universally applied for the competition to have any meaning. For example, in my insignificant opinion, squats must reach full hip extension at top and go below parallel on every rep and pullups must reach chin over bar to count. For that reason I would not consider people trying to get better times in the WOD comment section to be a sport unless one is competing with people in the same facility following the same rules.

Jesse Woody
03-28-2007, 06:10 PM
These physical culture endeavors, (like eeek... bodybuilding or parkour) are not so much sports as Arts.

I would argue that any established sport is as much an art as either of these endeavors. Gymnastics: Sport/Art, Climbing: Art/Sport, Running the 100m: Sport/Art.

If there is a consistently measurable aspect to a chosen competition, then you can apply the broadest definition of sport to any art of your choosing. Parkour in its purest form is an art, as there is no set standard for consistent and measurable progress (much like climbing...though the grading system comes slightly closer...not by much though) A competition that featured standardized obstacle courses that would be completed for time by various competitors to test the varied skills required for successful Parkour application could easily be a sport.

Robb Wolf
03-28-2007, 06:12 PM
REALLY interesting stuff. Quite a few thoughts rattling through the gray matter.

Dan-
I do really like your distinction of an event that has been trained for and success in that event not necessarily being an indicator of "fitness". That said I don't think it's hard to imagine that the Olifts, sprinting and some tumbling (perhaps cheer leading?!) might prep one for quite a number of things ala crossfit.....one might have nice physical attributes with which to work, but it is no guarantee of success.

Many of the CF chics get more airplay than Eva-T but how many of them could have EVER been a multiple time olympic athlete and world champion? Put any of those girls on skis and have them do a GS run against EVA...just have a meat wagon at the bottom of the hill to transport Nicole and Annie's organs to a tissue bank. Again however some gymnastics, tumbling and sprint work will improve damn near anything.

I love the idea of classifying these things as "ART". Genius.

In many ways whether or not something is a sport is determined by how/if one may codify WHAT constitutes that sport and how success may be interpreted. I love watching gymnastics...for similar reasons to what i think Dan alludes to with regards to cheer leading it is tough for me to fully embrace something as sport that is 100% dependant upon judging. Now obviously football has judging...but it is pretty obvious when a football is run through the goal line. It is obvious when a goal is kicked in soccer. This is even one of my gripes with powerlifting. judging is a huge component of the competition. Olympic lifting obviously has judging but even with a press out on a clean and jerk (missed lift) the bar went from the floor to overhead.

So with regards to building a Crossfit sport, think I touched on this previously, IF you want to legitimately make it a sport then you need to codify ALL aspects of the competition, but if crossfit can be ANYTHING (constantly varied functional movements etc. etc...) that will be impossible, which will mean settling on some specific potential movements...and we have just recreated the decathlon, but with new movements that may appear in a random fashion. Nothing new under the sun?

Josh brings up a great point. Josh is a top tier crossfitter and in his words an "OK" strength athlete,yet his level of foundational strength is SOO far beyond that of the average crossfit participant as to make the comparisons pointless.
Now Josh has used concepts from CF to further his training but he is not typically following the WOD or anything really resembling it. Significance? strength precedes strength endurance and one will develop significant levels of foundational strength best if little or no endurance work is performed simultaneously. Yes...smart GPP will help but the key there is SMART.

So if one wants to rock the Sport of Fitness (still to be determined if it can be classified a sport, or if it has anything to do with fitness) one needs to approach the olympic lifts (or a serious foundational strength program) as the route to success at crossfit...and success in this arena will NOT be arrived at by indirect of variable route! I find this particularly interesting: The E-ticket for being a crossfit stud is not arrived at by a RANDOMIZED approach. I'll be the first to agree that is an excellent approach for generalized strength endurance, absolutely not for strength.

Mike ODonnell
03-28-2007, 06:50 PM
Funny....I know of a pro player...probably makes 5 mil a year....top % in league points...and can't do more than 2 pullups....I've seen it....but does that matter to him? Nah....does he need to? Not really....

All in all...there is no one definitive answer as it is based on personal opinion....Ron like softball...I like hockey...Pierre like curling....DJ throws....someone else bowls....in the end, we do what we want.....fitness is a means to an end for some....others it is a way of life....is Bodybuilding a sport? Depends on who you ask.....hell I'll just find the 3 things I do best....skate, drink and repell women....and try and make that a sport so I can get the "gold"!

There is no happy ending....as hockey players hate figure skaters....sprinters probably laugh at distance runners....and the ongoing saga of what makes sports so entertaining.....and the fact that poker and dominos is on ESPN2....personally I'd rather call this a sport just to watch it....
http://youtube.com/watch?v=22svT-Npwg8
http://youtube.com/watch?v=QkBkZpK-fYQ

Yael Grauer
03-28-2007, 06:56 PM
Josh brings up a great point. Josh is a top tier crossfitter and in his words an "OK" strength athlete,yet his level of foundational strength is SOO far beyond that of the average crossfit participant as to make the comparisons pointless. Now Josh has used concepts from CF to further his training but he is not typically following the WOD or anything really resembling it. Significance? strength precedes strength endurance and one will develop significant levels of foundational strength best if little or no endurance work is performed simultaneously. Yes...smart GPP will help but the key there is SMART.


Josh, what are you following? If you don't mind me asking. (I've probably missed it buried in this board somewhere.)

Derek Simonds
03-28-2007, 07:22 PM
Tonight while grappling I was thinking over this thread. I have to say I agree with everyone.

In triathlon there is an unwritten law, you can't call yourself a triathlete if you haven't completed a race in the last year. I don't really compete in anything else. I grapple 2 - 4 days a week and am looking forward to competing in the masters divisions of some tournaments but haven't yet.

Whats my point? I guess it is a sport to you if you pay the entrance fee, lace up your shoes, put on your gear and toe the line to see if you are better than someone else whatever the activity. I think we have been all around this a sport is whatever a group of people agree to.

Why else would there be an "Obscure Sports Quarterly" magazine and ESPN 8 the Ocho:D

I am a non competitive triathlete. The only person I ever race is myself. That way at least I have a chance at winning :) . But I still compete in fact here is my next race. http://www.escapetomiamitriathlon.com/

This is a kick ass triathlon, I enjoy the sport of it and encourage anyone who wants to join me that it is a blast.

Yael Grauer
03-28-2007, 07:32 PM
Whats my point? I guess it is a sport to you if you pay the entrance fee, lace up your shoes, put on your gear and toe the line to see if you are better than someone else whatever the activity. I think we have been all around this a sport is whatever a group of people agree to.

Since you brought up grappling... Some of the best fighters in the world have absolutely no interest in competing. So is it still a sport? Their lack of desire to compete has absolutely no reflection on their skill level. For example, one of the guys I train with who has never competed and has no intention to is training a cage fighter who he taps out regularly. I asked him if he wanted to compete and he said he considers training a competition--maybe they don't go all out with dirty tricks like they would in a real fight, but when people tap out they do it for real... Is it still a sport if you don't pay your entrance fee? And what about things like cross-country? Even if you train the same way in and out of season, does it cease to be a sport if you're not competing? Just curious here.

Mike ODonnell
03-28-2007, 07:41 PM
But I still compete in fact here is my next race. http://www.escapetomiamitriathlon.com/

Wimp...the real escape to Miami starts in Cuba....way too much swimming for me....and I don't consider anything on a cardboard box a sport. :D

Danny John
03-28-2007, 07:58 PM
I asked my lawyer if I could post here.


(Joke: see "Secret Thread" post 400)


People have asked me excellent questions throughout this thread, but I am afraid to answer under threat of lawsuit.

Having said that: I still think everyone is right, save those who are obviously wrong.

By the way, a man in a coma can reproduce (see "The World According to Garp" for details). Therefore, we can be "fit" enough to reproduce even in a coma.

(Tears off "Word of the Day Toliet Paper)

Ergo, I still agree with my earlier statement.

I'm Old School on this one, folks. Everyone knows that...I am going to always think that the Olympic sports and the basic body of accepted professional sports set the standards for performance. NO ONE cares about your training numbers...save when they carry over to something that others want.

It seems that most men...according to the nine million hits that gymjones.com received this month (!!!)...want to look like the actors in 300. Women seem to like the look, too...according to the informal polling done by me.

So, Mark Twight is on to something!

Now, if you want to step into a discus ring (standard size), throw into a sector (standard size) with a discus (standard size), you will be judged by a standard.

The distance you threw.

No ONE cares about the rest...save my sister-in-law who thinks Mac Wilkins is, and I quote, "a hunk."

Please, we need to move this along before I am sued.

Mike ODonnell
03-28-2007, 08:02 PM
"according to the nine million hits that gymjones.com received this month (!!!)"

Holy #@&^

Russell Greene
03-28-2007, 08:59 PM
What does it matter if other people care about a sport, or your numbers? All of these terms and ideas are b.s. human constructs, anyways. They can mean whatever we want them to mean, and their meanings change with time.

Many more people care about golf and baseball than olympic lifting. Which do you prefer?

I'm not going to let the average American television viewer or some arbitrary standard of sportiness determine whether or not something is worth my training time, or whether or not it is a sport.

If you told someone you were getting into mixed martial arts thirty years ago they would have told you that nobody cared about it and that you'll never be the best boxer or wrestler or martial artist if you try to mix all of the disciplines together. Now look at where MMA is, and compare that to the state of boxing.

Allen Yeh
03-29-2007, 03:07 AM
At least my girlfriend doesn't out clean & squat me like the other Everett on this forum :) sorry i had to do it.

Dude you almost made me spit my water everywhere! Still funny though.

Pierre Auge
03-29-2007, 05:52 AM
DJ,
I'm on page with you. I feel good about it!

Kevin Anderson
03-29-2007, 07:30 AM
Many more people care about golf and baseball than olympic lifting. Which do you prefer?


My answer to the question above is both. I think someone who is good at baseball is more likely to also have the capacity to excel at other sports than someone who is not. A lot of fitness freaks suck at other sports and that is why they are fitness freaks. We had a guy that trained with us last winter at the olympic gym who is now competing for the last spot on the roster with the texas rangers. He had no previous experience with the lifts and picked it up very quickly, he could also jump through the roof.

All sports are recreation and a luxury unless you are getting paid. Have a pullup competition with someone or against yourself and call it a sport. Fine with me. Anything can be a sport, some are just better than others, depending on who you talk to.

How bout buns up?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butts_Up

Derek Simonds
03-29-2007, 07:51 AM
I asked him if he wanted to compete and he said he considers training a competition--maybe they don't go all out with dirty tricks like they would in a real fight, but when people tap out they do it for real... Is it still a sport if you don't pay your entrance fee?

Great question I really don't know. Once again I am back to the perception idea. If you perceive you are participating in a sport than you are. I totally understand what Danny John is saying as growing up if it wasn't stick and ball or summer Olympics it wasn't a sport to me.

Wimp...the real escape to Miami starts in Cuba....way too much swimming for me....and I don't consider anything on a cardboard box a sport. :D

Yeah that last 75 miles is a little rough. You ought to consider coming down and doing the triathlon. We will hit South Beach Friday night get good and CHO loaded (notice I didn't say just loaded) relax on Saturday and compete on Sunday. It would be a blast!

Ronnie Ashlock
03-29-2007, 08:07 AM
How bout buns up?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butts_Up

Oh, the painful, humiliating schoolyard memories.

Kevin Anderson
03-29-2007, 08:17 AM
It was a great game. The youngsters in my neighborhood know nothing about it. I've been trying to teach them but our rules were a bit different than the wiki entry.

Josh Whiting
03-30-2007, 04:21 AM
I'm not sure whether fitness is a sport or not. However I'm sure that sometimes it can be benificial to treat it as such, and isn't that really what GG is getting at?

James Evans
03-30-2007, 04:32 AM
I've scanned through this a few times without giving it too serious a thought but a couple of things have recently occured to me. This may be an outpouring of ideas so be warned.

A lot of this is our definition of a 'sport'. And our reasons for training.

Primary reason I started training was to support participation in my chosen sport, rugby union. I know longer play rugby regularly but I continue to train. I like lifting weights, I like pushing my self to the point of puking. Deadlifting 2x bodyweight is not conducive to running 12 miles with ease or cycling 60 miles but I enjoy cycling, I enjoy running, I enjoy deadlifting (kinda) so I accept that I'm blunting development by mixing and matching, because this is what I want to do. This is what I do in my spare time. Is this my 'sport' or my 'hobby'?

Dan would suggest that training is not a sport because it is a means to an end, not an end in itself (but I accept that I may be putting words into Dan's mouth). Training is the bedrock to his throwing but he has come to love his training as much as his throwing and an element of his training has introduced him to another sport, Olympic Lifting. I think we are getting blurred divisions here.

Let's look at 'fitness' directly. It has already been mentioned that a lot of gym bunnies, very fit gym bunnies, are not very good sportsmen and women. The time spent in the gym is available to them because they are not doing anything else with there lives (ie ball game at the weekend, track meets, tennis tournaments etc.) I notice in the UK a lot of girls detest sport/fitness at school and then enroll in an expensive gym come their twenties to join the body image war on weight gain and because "well, doesn't everyone have gym membership?". Suddenly the woman who was rubbish at games at school can tell me how to use a C2.

But what are these trips to the gym? A lifestyle choice? A hobby? A sport? The quest for Size 0?

I think a bit of all of them.

Now over to CrossFit. Those who come to CrossFit with a strength background tend to thrive. I think a lot of these people are involved in some sort of sport. These are the top performers. And there are those who do follow the instructions to learn new skills and play new sports. I think those who get involved in Oly Lifting through CrossFit are a good example (and an example of one of the really great postives of CrossFit). But I would suggest that at the grass roots of CrossFit are those who scale every workout, who do nothing but CrossFit, who see CrossFit in every other fitness system they come across on the internet (sorry, that's a cheap shot on my part), who have found their 'sport of fitness'. Wallball shots for time are the only competition they'll ever want (for now). And so the CrossFit Games are their Olympiad, an ultimate goal from a system that has been really good to them.

And that's not that far removed from a CrossTraining Competition. Don't smirk, I assumed that was what CrossFit was when I first heard of it.

The skills that the gym bunnies sweat on in their plush corporates become in turn a competive sport:


1. THE BIKE - 3 km
2. THE ROWER - 600m
3. CHINS (with 2 sec hang) - 10 reps men, 6 reps women
4. SQUAT THRUSTS - 60 reps
5. BENCH JUMPS - 120 reps
6. BOX STEP-UPS (14"box) - 100 reps (men 10kgs each hand, women 5kgs each hand)
7. ABDOMINAL CRUNCHES - 60 reps
8. SHOULDER PRESS - 40 reps (men 25kgs, women 15kgs)
9. THE TREADMILL - 800m at 6% incline
10. BENCH PRESS - 40 reps (men 40kgs, women 25kgs)

Why then can fitness not be a sport?

This guy would say it can be:

http://www.planet-x-bikes.com/triathlon/index.php?module=announce&ANN_id=218&ANN_user_op=view

Hywel Davies was pretty phenomenal at CrossTraining. He came from a rugby background (as a good Welshman), used to work as a teacher but trained two hours a day and made sure that if the requirement was to bench 40kg 40 times then he could do it 60 times. He has won Tough Guy several times:

http://www.toughguy.co.uk/

(server may be down)

and on one occasion come second having lost a trainer and run the last mile with only one shoe. He can run a marathon in around 2 hours 40 and is now a highly competitive triathlete.

This is an ok site on CrossTraining:

http://www.dbmax.co.uk/

You'll see older photos of Davies and note that he has slimmed down a bit now he is a triathlete. I would imagine he is still pretty strong though. I think the bloke rocks. Probably would not have made it as an adult rugby player though.

I really don't think CrossTraining is much different to CrossFit other than one is competition and one is a GPP system. Forget the tools used. Somewhere out there in Cyberspace I here the cry that Greg A would kick Davies' arse...yawn.

And on a final note look at the nature of two sports, the first being the area Davies has moved into, triathlon. This is the fastest growing sport in the UK. Seeing as most of the population is focusing on getting fat that's not too hard. But what to do most amateur triathletes do with their time? They spend weeks training across three disciplines to compete maybe once or twice a year.

It's not like playing soccer every weekend, or running cross country on a Sunday morning. I think triathlon is fitness as sport for most participants. But a triathlon is competive I hear you say? Only really for the top 100 max. The majority out there are competing against themselves or their training partners. Just the same as in a marathon. They don't turn up thinking "I could bloody win this today". This the ultimate expression of an extra length in the pool, a better time on the treadmill, a few more lbs on the bench.

The other example is Indoor Rowing. A hell of a lot of oarsmen and women take part in these competitions but a hell of a lot more have come from encountering the C2 in a gym and deciding this will be their primary fitness tool and then discovering they can compete as well! Have a look at the indoor rowing community some time, they don't seem interested in a lot else.

Is Indoor Rowing a sport or not? Or is it just an expression of fitness?

Pierre Auge
03-30-2007, 11:57 AM
James,
good post!

I look at it this way, for me it was a means to an end! My sport was my Job, survival as a soldier, once it got to the point where that question became fairly rediculous as I was way above standard then it became something else. Something that I was asked to share with the other soldiers. Eventually it became something else, a passion for helping others. Then it became something else, I'm not really sure what it is yet but I love doing it.

The argument I read that most of the Fitness for Fitness folks are not good athletes is frankly hog wash and I'm sure comes from not dealing with any of these people at all.

Everyone has priorities - Some are Athletics - Some are Parenthood - Some are Job Stability - Some are Survival in the Middle East!!! I train guys who deploy constantly some of them former National - International level Athletes, they do this because it meets their requirements!

Too many people focus too much on that top 1% of the population and assume that we should apply their requirements to everyone else. That is frankly bullshit we should be focused on the requirements of the individual and apply to them what they require...

From my experience the vast majority require that they get off their fat asses and be generally skilled in order to keep themselves alive! Their reasons for showing interest in competing in the Sport of Fitness is just that an incentive to keep training hard or harder for survival! Just like any other athlete has an incentive to train harder - to throw farther - to lift more - score more goals - make money - pick up chicks - whatever!

Here's my suggestion that top 1% is easier to train then the other 99% why? Because its the 99% where most of societies problems reside, and dealing with our own problems is hard enough let alone dealing with everyone elses! Thats why I say let the cops the soldiers the house wives and college kids play their sport of fitness who are we to say its not a sport or is?

Why do our opinions even mean anything?

Lastly if you suggest that these Sport of Fitness types are not good at any sports then compete against them at their own game and kick their asses to prove your point! If you can good for you, if you can't then well you'll have your answer...

Mike ODonnell
03-30-2007, 02:01 PM
anything more to this thread would be like the dog chasing the tail...nothing that hasn't been said already....so I will leave with my idols that keep me inspired
http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Third_Party_Photo/2007/03/30/1175273703_4121.jpg

Steve Shafley
03-30-2007, 08:01 PM
I'm too far behind to comment on anything.

Robb Wolf
03-31-2007, 08:20 AM
anything more to this thread would be like the dog chasing the tail...nothing that hasn't been said already....so I will leave with my idols that keep me inspired
http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Third_Party_Photo/2007/03/30/1175273703_4121.jpg

MOD-

I'm surprised you did not come clean with your real "Passion (http://www.turkishwrestling.com/)".