On May 30, 2009, Coach Greg Glassman told participants at a CrossFit 101 seminar at CrossFit By Overload that he has a big problem with the fitness industry in general and even some CrossFitters: there is too much in the way of unsubstantiated claims and too little in the way of evidence. At the heart of the issue is the failure to distinguish between narrative, data and method.
Narrative is a story. “I’m the greatest trainer in the world” is an example of narrative. If not supported by data and method, narrative has little value. But, too often, discussion about fitness begins and ends with narrative. Nothing else is offered.
Data is concerns something that is measurable, observable and repeatable. “All 35 members of my gym, 20 of whom are female, have muscle-ups” is an example of data. But not everyone with data is willing to share it.
Method is the exact approach you took. What did you do that worked? Implementation of the Zone Diet would be an example.
The most useful structure is to begin with data, follow with method and conclude with narrative. But sometimes the narrative comes first and is used to justify data and method that are sketchy or non-existent. Don’t make the mistake of attaching any importance to that form of discussion.