Home   |   Contact   |   Help

Get Our Newsletter
Sign up for our free newsletter to get training tips and stay up to date on Catalyst Athletics, and get a FREE issue of the Performance Menu journal.

Go Back   Catalyst Athletics Forums > Training > Fitness, Strength & CrossFit

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-02-2009, 06:51 PM   #11
Patrick Donnelly
Senior Member
 
Patrick Donnelly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 720
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Oto View Post
If this sounds familiar it should be -- it's what CrossFit did, more or less. The trouble is that I don't think their definition captures it well at all, so what else is there? If we discard that we're back to not much. [1]

But the gambit of GPP is that it crosses multiple TYPES of fitness, where not only do some cover different ground than others, but may be completely unrelated or indeed antagonistic. So you can still test them both -- but what do you do next? You can say you have such-and-such competence in one domain, and so-and-so in another, but what do they have to do with each other? How can a 500lb deadlift talk to a 4:00 mile? [2]

Having done that, you can now compare domains -- you can say, yes sir, I am "more fit" or "better" in strength than in endurance.[3] Or you can combine them however you please, and say, for instance, yes sir -- I am more fit OVERALL than I was last year. Or, heaven forbid, I am more fit overall than you are.

Now, why should this be useful? Well, maybe it's not. Maybe it's navel-gazing at best and dick-stroking at worst. But many people seem fond of doing exactly the above (cf. "But what's his Fran time?"), and even the most world-weary can probably find some value in it; for instance, comparing different programs or styles of training (what you're doing now versus what you were doing in February) and deciding which did more for your fitness. [4] Or you could make a yearly competition out of it and award money. [5]

It's just data, is the point. Before, data to represent overall fitness not only did not exist but was somewhat impossible. Now, just like stepping on the scale, you can get concrete numbers. Do with 'em what you want, even if it be nothing, but it's the necessary starting point for a lot else. [6]
1: But why does there have to be anything else? Are there throngs of people out there somewhere crying for a standardized series of fitness tests? If so, I'm sorry to say that anyone who may really want that sort of thing is probably already plenty satisfied with the CrossFit "Girls" workouts or the set of standards from CrossFit North. (I think it's CFN. It's the lv1-4 thing.) Not that their standards are any less arbitrary or have any more professional backing to them - but they are more popular and already fulfill any potential need. I give you credit for being more concise in your tests though.

2: I dunno. Why do they have to relate to each other? Do you have to relate them? Really, if you have one, that's great. If you have both, that's even more awesome. If two separate people each have one, then that's great for both of them. They've both accomplished things in their own right, but I don't think there is really a way to compare them, nor should there be a need for one.

3: You don't need tests to tell you what you're better at. I'm far better at strength than I am at endurance. I just know that since that's how my training is - strength based. From the occasional dabbling in my workouts, I know that I'm no good at sets of reps over 10 or at very prolonged, high-rep cardio circuits, mostly because I don't do them with any sort of frequency. You're good at what you do, unless you do everything, in which case you're good at nothing. Isn't that generally well-known already?

4: Don't people typically have goals with which to evaluate their programs already? I'd hope so. Without goals, I really don't think you can follow a "program" either, since a program actually has to be designed around something.

5: That's been done, as you know, for better or for worse.

6: The starting point for what else? Once again, why is it "necessary?" Data for data's sake is pointless. The one segment of the news that annoys me the most is the daily weather report - even more than all the blips about bullshit like the Octomom. The guy gets up there in front of his greenscreen and waves his arms around for a while and tells you about hi's and lo's and all that stuff, but no one really gives a shit. Do you even know what it means when there's an area of high pressure moving in, or do you even have to know? Then he goes and tells you what the temperatures will be like for the next few days and if it'll rain. "81, 82, and 81 degrees for the holiday weekend," or something gibberish like that. But what are those numbers supposed to mean to me? Spare me five minutes of my life you'd otherwise waste with your statistics and just tell me that "temperatures this weekend will all be a bit hotter than they were today, but there won't be much humidity, and there's a good chance of rain on Tuesday morning." Then for goodness' sake don't tell me what the weather was like today! I know what the weather was like today! I was outside! I experienced it!

Ok. I got a little bit rambly there at the end, but the point is the same. There's no need to make data just so you can have data. That's silly.
__________________
And yes, I'm actually holding that handstand. Get on my level.
Patrick Donnelly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2009, 08:35 PM   #12
Brandon Oto
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 299
Default

I appreciate the more Zenlike approach, Patrick. And again, to answer your question: perhaps there is no need. Clearly, you did not need this. In which case, ignore. Philosophers have been known to discuss the nature of your left nostril so there's really no telling us where to let up.

As I said, this sort of thing interests me. That's reason enough. The fact that CrossFit qua Glassman make a very big deal out of defining and quantifying fitness, however, suggests that it's an important notion to at least some people; those are the sort of people who would probably share my interest. For instance, I just watched a video on the CF site where Glassman explains how the CrossFit Games is the fundamental test of the fittest athlete in the world. This would perhaps be true according to their definition of fitness, and is almost certainly not true according to mine. Again, you may not give a shit, and that's fine. But that's the kind of thing where definitions make a difference.
__________________
Log | AGT template | Website | Stats and videos
Brandon Oto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2009, 11:39 PM   #13
Donald Lee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 646
Default

I haven't thoroughly looked over everything, but I'd like to make a few comments.

1. There are many standard tests to evaluate various aspects of fitness. For example, if you just looked in the NSCA's Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, you'd find almost every test you'd need.

2. You need to remember validity and reliability on every one of your tests, but through the internet, I guess you have to do with what you have. I don't know if you addressed it, but if multiple tests were to be done on the same day, they should be done in the following order: flexibility, power, strength, speed, muscular endurance, and then metabolic endurance.

3. You do not have any test that utilizes the Stretch Shortening Cycle, like the standing triple jump.

4. IMO, the rankings should have the novice, intermediate, advanced, elite scale, so you can have a basis for understanding the numbers. I know you guys didn't want to do that, but the tests are pretty lacking without it.

5. For the muscular endurance, there's no need for a 2-minute test for the pullups. One max set of pullups should be fine. Shoulder press for the muscular endurance is also awkward when done quickly and for many repetitions because you need to get around your face and lockouts get dubious when done quickly. Pushups or even dips are probably better bets, but people tend not to lock their elbows out on dips.

6. Linear sprinting has little transfer to agility. Agility requires changes in velocity (i.e., deceleration) and/or changes in direction. You could use the T-Test or the pro agility test.
Donald Lee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2009, 04:35 AM   #14
Patrick Donnelly
Senior Member
 
Patrick Donnelly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 720
Default

You'd probably spend your time more effectively in contemplating the nature of nostrils. Really, they are pretty fascinating when you think about it. (Not joking. For example, why two nostrils for just one nose? The only explanation I can come up with is that it helps to thin the nasal cavity and provides more surface area for nose hair to grow in order to stop various stuff from getting up in there.)
__________________
And yes, I'm actually holding that handstand. Get on my level.
Patrick Donnelly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2009, 05:34 AM   #15
Scott Kustes
Senior Member
 
Scott Kustes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 1,048
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Donnelly View Post
You'd probably spend your time more effectively in contemplating the nature of nostrils. Really, they are pretty fascinating when you think about it. (Not joking. For example, why two nostrils for just one nose? The only explanation I can come up with is that it helps to thin the nasal cavity and provides more surface area for nose hair to grow in order to stop various stuff from getting up in there.)
http://www.word-detective.com/howcome/nostrils.html
Quote:
Smelling in stereo, it turns out, actually helps us distinguish one odor from another. It also brings out a touch of the bloodhound in each of us.
http://berkeley.edu/news/media/relea...8_scents.shtml
__________________
Scott

Fitness Spotlight
Scott Kustes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2009, 11:51 AM   #16
Brandon Oto
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 299
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald Lee View Post
1. There are many standard tests to evaluate various aspects of fitness. For example, if you just looked in the NSCA's Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, you'd find almost every test you'd need.
Fair enough. I left my copy in my other pants; could you give some examples? Do they meet the criteria we laid out?

Quote:
2. You need to remember validity and reliability on every one of your tests, but through the internet, I guess you have to do with what you have. I don't know if you addressed it, but if multiple tests were to be done on the same day, they should be done in the following order: flexibility, power, strength, speed, muscular endurance, and then metabolic endurance.
That's not a bad point. We tried to walk a line between accuracy of data and not over-managing things, since people would probably ignore really onerous specifications anyway. But we assumed that people would try to maximize their scores, so they're not likely to do three tests in a row.

In any case, it really is up to the individual. This isn't a contest and it's only as useful or meaningful as you care to make it.

Quote:
3. You do not have any test that utilizes the Stretch Shortening Cycle, like the standing triple jump.
Do you mean to measure Power? If so, there's the long jump -- this uses a stretch, unless you pause at the bottom for some reason...

Quote:
4. IMO, the rankings should have the novice, intermediate, advanced, elite scale, so you can have a basis for understanding the numbers. I know you guys didn't want to do that, but the tests are pretty lacking without it.
As mentioned, it's the sort of thing that would have to be determined empirically. We were hoping to run this system through Logsitall, but there were some logistical complications; it may still happen. That would give a lot of analytical power.

Quote:
5. For the muscular endurance, there's no need for a 2-minute test for the pullups. One max set of pullups should be fine.
Is there any particular reason you say this specifically for the pullups and not the other tests?

In any case, the idea behind the 2-minute tests was to explicitly include recovery in the test; you're welcome to take a break, and the guy who can get back on the bar quicker is demonstrating better endurance, in our view.

Quote:
Shoulder press for the muscular endurance is also awkward when done quickly and for many repetitions because you need to get around your face and lockouts get dubious when done quickly.
The goal with the loading and time durations we specified was that the test would NOT become a race of who could move a bar the fastest. If 40% shoulder presses are limited in 2 minutes only by how fast you can move the bar -- that is, you won't at any point need to stop -- you're a better man than I am.

Of course, we also didn't want it to become a test of metabolic endurance (more of a danger with the squats and deadlifts), nor did we want to kill anyone (esp. with the deadlifts), so there are a number of considerations with these.

Quote:
6. Linear sprinting has little transfer to agility. Agility requires changes in velocity (i.e., deceleration) and/or changes in direction. You could use the T-Test or the pro agility test.
Can you elaborate on these?

We had a lot of trouble finding tests for these other domains that were:

1. Easily standardized (meaning, not requiring some arbitrary arrangement of cones that everyone would position differently, or the like)
2. Easy to do (not requiring unusual equipment)
3. Fully quantifiable (scored by some open scale of points or time, allowing us to spread it on the 10-point scale)
4. Clearly indicative of broad capability (not just testing a very specific skill that's unlikely to have much carryover to other instances of agility)

Coordination and Accuracy are so bad, especially on the last two points, that I'm not sure we'll ever be able to test them in this way. Agility and Balance I have some hope for, but again, those last two challenges are significant.
__________________
Log | AGT template | Website | Stats and videos
Brandon Oto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2009, 11:38 AM   #17
Garrett Smith
Senior Member
 
Garrett Smith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 4,368
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald Lee View Post
I don't know if you addressed it, but if multiple tests were to be done on the same day, they should be done in the following order: flexibility, power, strength, speed, muscular endurance, and then metabolic endurance.
Donald, what is the basis for this ordering? Is there a study or reference I can look at? Thanks.
__________________
Garrett Smith NMD CSCS BS, aka "Dr. G"
RepairRecoverRestore.com - Blood, Saliva, and Stool Testing
My radio show - The Path to Strength and Health
Garrett Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2009, 02:06 PM   #18
Donald Lee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 646
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Smith View Post
Donald, what is the basis for this ordering? Is there a study or reference I can look at? Thanks.
That's how they say to do it in the NSCA book. It could be based on studies, but I'm not sure. I don't have the book with me.

I guess some of the ordering is debatable. For example, it depends what type of flexibility test you're doing, but for most flexiblity tests out there, it wouldn't interfere with anything that comes after. On the other hand, if you did the flexibility test after other stuff, the results wouldn't be as reliable.

Also, the speed and strength ordering could be switched, unless your speed test is a 100m run.
Donald Lee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2009, 05:07 PM   #19
Garrett Smith
Senior Member
 
Garrett Smith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 4,368
Default

Good to know, thanks.
__________________
Garrett Smith NMD CSCS BS, aka "Dr. G"
RepairRecoverRestore.com - Blood, Saliva, and Stool Testing
My radio show - The Path to Strength and Health
Garrett Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2009, 05:28 PM   #20
Brandon Oto
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 299
Default

Just as a quick note, Dave Tate had a recent video in the CF Journal (http://journal.crossfit.com/2009/10/...everything.tpl) where he discusses some similar and very pertinent ideas. His "equalizer" metaphor should ring familiar if you've looked at the ways we tried to quantify fitness domains.

Good thoughts on the notion of developing weaknesses vs. maintaining/developing strengths as well. Just overall some interesting stuff and worth a look for those who were unsure how and why comparing like numbers for disparate types of fitness could ever be useful. Tate's cool.
__________________
Log | AGT template | Website | Stats and videos
Brandon Oto is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:56 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Subscribe to our Newsletter


Receive emails with training tips, news updates, events info, sale notifications and more.
ASK GREG

Submit your question to be answered by Greg Everett in the Performance Menu or on the website

Submit Your Question
WEIGHTLIFTING TEAM

Catalyst Athletics is a USA Weightlifting team of competitive Olympic-style weightlifters with multiple national team medals.

Read More
Olympic Weightlifting Book
Catalyst Athletics
Contact Us
About
Help
Newsletter
Products & Services
Gym
Store
Seminars
Weightlifting Team
Performance Menu
Magazine Home
Subscriber Login
Issues
Articles
Workouts
About the Program
Workout Archives
Exercise Demos
Text Only
Instructional Content
Exercise Demos
Video Gallery
Free Articles
Free Recipes
Resources
Recommended Books & DVDs
Olympic Weightlifting Guide
Discussion Forum
Weight Conversion Calculator