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Old 03-27-2007, 08:36 AM   #1
Mike ODonnell
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Default Is Fitness a Sport?

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.
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:04 AM   #2
Greg Everett
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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.
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:41 AM   #3
Robb Wolf
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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...
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:49 AM   #4
Steve Shafley
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I'm out the door. NO TIME TO COMMENT FULLY!

I guess the forum will take a turn for civility.
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:56 AM   #5
Danny John
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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.
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Old 03-27-2007, 10:11 AM   #6
Mike ODonnell
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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....
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Old 03-27-2007, 03:16 PM   #7
Ron Nelson
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Default what is he rambling about now?

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.

fitness=not so much
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Old 03-27-2007, 03:39 PM   #8
Gary John
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Nope, not a sport, nor a religion.

Though, it does attract a lot of goofiness.
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:20 PM   #9
Pierre Auge
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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!
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Old 03-28-2007, 06:36 AM   #10
josh everett
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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
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