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Old 12-08-2009, 09:47 PM   #1
Chris Salvato
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Default Skill Standards for Building Strong, Useful, Adaptable Athletes

I normally don't do this kind of thing here but the site that I have been working on with Steven Low recently had a very major release. We have been working collaboratively with APEX Movement, a Parkour gym and facility located in downtown Denver, CO. We were working on a set of skill standards to help beginning athletes walk through the basic milestones associated with various skills from running to rowing to gymnastics to o-lifting to parkour. We are hoping that these standards really step up people's game for fitness and parkour to help bring it to the next level.

For a brief intro into the standards and the article, check out Ryan Ford's video on YouTube. Ryan is one of the collaborators from the APEX Movement facility.

The full text of the article can be viewed here on the Eat. Move. Improve. site or downloaded as a PDF for your convenience here.

Thanks again for being such an awesome community! I can't wait to hear your input regarding these standards!
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:31 AM   #2
Brandon Oto
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This seems vaguely familiar.
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:23 AM   #3
Chris Salvato
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Yup, I just realized that CF North wasn't mentioned in the intro - so i will change that tonight.

Aside from that, CF North's standards were generated for a completely different reason. We definitely appreciate the work they have done but it didn't apply to one of our main demographics - the PK community - especially because of their heavy focus on metcon abilities.
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:02 AM   #4
Garrett Smith
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I think saying you got the idea from the CFN standards would be plenty.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:06 PM   #5
Brandon Oto
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Meaning no offense, but I'm also curious whether you might have gotten some of the ideas from the work Joe and I did -- we discussed it a while back http://www.performancemenu.com/forum...ead.php?t=4626
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Old 12-10-2009, 11:19 PM   #6
Chris Salvato
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Actually, Brandon, I didn't even know that existed.

If I had known I would have sent the article to you pre-release. We would have definitely been able to make good use of it. After going over the standards, if you have anything that you want to add then let me know and we can talk about it.

I apologize for the redundancy Ryan and I (and as far as I know, steve also) had no idea that even existed.
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Old 12-11-2009, 04:52 AM   #7
Brandon Oto
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Steve certainly knew as he had input into it -- but no worries either way. You've been gentlemanly about it and our purposes were quite different. You basically took the step we didn't want to: assigning normative rankings to various points on the curves and labeling them as certain types of goals. We were just trying to create those curves, and also didn't have the gymnastics/parkour emphasis.

Can we assume -- based on the parkour context of all this -- that your rubric is intended specifically for the development and classification of self-locomotion? I notice that even your strength goals that require manipulating an external object are all given in the context of one's bodyweight.
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:54 AM   #8
Jeff Bonn
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I want to say I am quite happy to see what both of you (Brandon and Chris) are doing. I am of the opinion that fitness must be uniquely defined and independently measurable.

I come from a mechanical engineering background and I have to develop clearly defined (no ambiguity or redundancy) requirements that are independently measurable (both my company and the manufacturer must be able to agree the requirement is met).

Ultimately all measurements must be reducible to some derivative of length, time and mass. Force is mass*length/time^2 for instance. This may seem pedantic, but without taking a theory or approach back to it's constituents you can easily get out of science into politics. For this reason the CF concept of power (force*length/time or mass*length^2/time^3) is nice. It is difficult to clinically measure but it meets the reducibility requirement. The measurement issue is dealt with of course by holding all but one of the variables (mass and length) constant and looking at variance in the other (time). Mass however does change and it's influence is not entirely linear. So short of using a dynamometer (completely doable) power output is subject to significant variation if indirectly measured with a stopwatch.

The other side to this is the 10 general skills (or 6). I feel I'm not adequately experienced in the athletic realm to say if they are inclusive or not, but they are not all reducible or independently measurable, as Brandon's piece noted. I feel this is where the black box approach can be quite helpful. Flexibility is key to some tasks, and not so much to others. Likewise the flexibility of a specific element (the shoulder girdle versus the hamstring) has different effects on different tasks. Because this "network" of effects is not obvious (and I'm guessing not quantitatively understood by the research community) it has to get black boxed. By this I mean that you have to understand that it has an influence, and you may measure it, but you cannot say an inch or degree of increase ROM at this joint in this direction leads to a certain amount of improvement in such and such task. You may however attempt to back the connection out of the black box by looking at the task and the ROMs and see what connections appear to exist.

There is an analytical method called neural networks which varies inputs and look at outputs and by numerous such combinations (realizing that an input may affect multiple outputs and multiple inputs may affect a single output) one develops a picture of the black box' internal layout. This has value in the vein of athletic research AND in the clinical practice of it as well. One thing CF HAS done is develop a reasonable expectation of making public performance data. While most of the data collection is likely so poor (from a controlled research standpoint) that it's not comparable, some data from some sources could be used to start to fill in the holes in the black box.

I hope you'll all pardon my verbosity and pedantry, but I agree that this "ephemeral sport" is in need of scientific clarification...and I hope I can be part of it.
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:33 AM   #9
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Jeff,
It's good that you want to help. Maybe you'll get different treatment than others who have come before you from CFHQ, but I'd say that's a snowball's chance in hell.
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Smith View Post
Jeff,
It's good that you want to help. Maybe you'll get different treatment than others who have come before you from CFHQ, but I'd say that's a snowball's chance in hell.
While I have an interest in "improving human performance" I have a dramatically decreased interest in doing it with or through CFHQ. I think they have crested and will wane (or improve). Either way the business of improving GPP (or more specific endeavors) stands on it's own merits and results, not some banner.
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