On January 6, 2009, Coach Greg Glassman was invited to give a presentation on CrossFit to over 100 future leaders of our nation’s military from the National War College at the National Defense University’s Baruch Hall. He presented on the same stage where President Bush, Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, and Colin Powell also addressed the students of the National War College. Present in the audience was Lt. Gen. Frances Wilson, President of the National Defense University.
This is the second half of the talk (there was an extensive Q&A session, forthcoming). Coach Glassman explains both the basis for and implications of our comprehensive definition of fitness:
Increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains.
Work capacity, which is nothing other than human performance, must be evaluated in the same basic physical terms of MKS (meters-kg-seconds) used to describe the kinematics of everything else in the universe. How far can it move itself or another object, what is the mass (weight, colloquially) of that object, and in what time period? Anyone claiming to be able to deliver fitness in any form has an obligation to defend that claim with these universally accepted terms, familiar to eighth graders.
Coach asks, Why have these basic calculations not been done with athletes and soldiers? Well, they are being done now. CrossFit is the only place these criteria are consistently assessed in a measurable, observable, and repeatable manner.
Going one step further, in which domains can this performance be achieved? The demands of combat are varied and substantially unknowable. For soldiers to be fully prepared for war, they must be capable in both broad time and modal domains.
11min 53sec (An audio-only version is also available)
This notion of work capacity as the essence of fitness is also covered by Coach Glassman in the following videos:
Adaptations, Part I...[wmv][mov]
Adaptations, Part II...[wmv][mov]
Adaptations, Part III...[wmv][mov]