Real Science

By Greg Glassman

In CrossFit, Videos

June 24, 2010

Video Article

How does an affiliate owner truly convey in words the theories and methodologies of the CrossFit practice to a new client? Many grab at “constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity” as a life preserver, hoping to lure the new client in with a fancy definition. CrossFit founder and CEO Greg Glassman has some blunt advice for anyone looking who offers big words to clients who might not understand them:

“You’re fuckin’ up,” he says in front of a crowd at FilFest 2010.

Although the “constantly varied” line carries enormous weight, the definition itself is largely not for new clients. It’s better suited for those with a firm grasp of science. Following this line of discussion, Coach Glassman is spurred to talk about the litany of useless scientific information in the exercise-physiology business.

8min 41sec

Additional reading: A Beginner's Guide to CrossFit by Greg Glassman, published Oct. 1, 2004.

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48 Comments on “Real Science”

1

wrote …

I love how CF embraces simplicity.

2

Coach: FUCKING BRILLIANT!
This is exactly what I try to teach my kids in research methods: science is nothing fancy, it's not to be afraid of. It's simple, and simply being curious! The coolest thing about science is that you get to be the kid who ask "why?" And it's fracking fun as hell!
I might show this to my research class.
Great stuff!
Thanks!

3

wrote …

Within simplicity is truth. Truth is brilliance.

4

wrote …

Well put Glassman

5

wrote …

I love videos from Glassman.

My favorite thing about CrossFit is that it doesn't presuppose you're too stupid to understand. You really don't need a Ph.D in Exercise Physiology to understand this stuff. Give people the information. The stupid ones will choose to ignore it; the rest of us will actually use it.

6

wrote …

AFAIK it was Albert Einstein who said "If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself."

Outstanding Coach

7

wrote …

"Simple facts build to elegant truth." Great video, thank you.

8

wrote …

Coach touched on health a bit and I hope he continues to show increased health markers through CrossFit methodology. The 3-dimensional health/fitness model is brilliant and I can hardly wait for the day that results are shown through scientific method.

I am on my late '40's and been CrossFitting for just over 2 years. Before I started this program (Main Site programming exclusively) I thought myself to be of average to slightly above average fitness. At that time my average systolic reading was around 133-138 (pre-hypertension); Diastolic 80-85. Today my systolic averages in the 117-122 range, diastolic 75 - 79. To me, these are the type of numbers that matter and I am curious what other measureable health indicators CrossFit is improving. Hell, these are the numbers many of your clients can relate to.

9

wrote …

I STRONGLY disagree with Mr GLASSMAN!!!!!
For Crossfit to evolve and because we all know performances will become stagnant, it will have to dig deeper in science. It means diggin deeper in conceptS that are WAY beyond knowing how to use a watch, reading the scale etc.
WE MUST TALK ABOUT THE KREBBS CYCLE BECAUSE IT IS PART OF REAL SCIENCE!!!!!!!
WE MUSTN'T REDUCE OURSELVES TO STOP WATCHES AND MEASUREMENTS....
Even the KREBBS CYCLE and all the rest isnt hard to uinderstand.
IF concepts arent well explained , blame the person explaining. Dont blame the science.
When in the foundation training it is written that the CROSSFIT is essential ANAEROBIC. what does that mean?
I find it almost insulting that a trainer does not need to know all that.
If A COACH were to ADD CROSSFIT in his or her program, wouldn't IT be important to know what type of energy system CROSSFIT primarily uses? How can we talk about Energy SYSTEMS without talking about the KREBBS CYCLE.

10

wrote …

Well communicated Coach.

11

wrote …

It is simple as Coach says, but I also somehat agree with Cervau, in that, cf trainers need to know what the Krebs Cycle is and how it works. I also believe that they should be very familiar with all of the energy systems...what system does a marathoner prmarily use and why? A sprinter? How about a CFer? Why does the answer make a CFer that much more fit? Still, Pat Sherwood said it best...

12

wrote …

CF is the simplicity behind the complexity. The hard part was done, we have a model that works. It's great to see how CF is evolving.

13

wrote …

He keeps going back to work capacity. Does the person with the highest work capacity automatically becomes the healthiest? does max work capacity lead to the best health and longevity? There has been a lot of exercise science done by the Europeans but I don't see a lot of that science being used with CrossFit. I have been reading SuperTraining by Volshansky and Siff and there is a lot of very interesting stuff in there. They offer operational definitions of fitness and have had a lot of data to analyze. To say that everyone who doesn't agree with you is "fucking stupid" is a bit much I think.

14

wrote …

I believe Michael and Cervau are missing the point. In the beginning of the video, the questions was brought up that when they give the definition of CrossFit, they get a blank stare of a potential athlete.
Coach glassman states that the definition is too technical.
Thereshould be a an elevator pitch of what CrossFit is, and then you may go deeper into defining what CrossFit is about and how it works, and the whys.
Those are the essence of science: observable, measurable, and repeatable.

Coach Glassman is not saying that its not important for the athlete or CrossFit Coach not to know the importance of human anatomy, phsiology, biomechanics, etc.

As a Coach myself that has a BS in Health and Human Performance and several certifications within and out of CrossFit. I see and understand those important aspects of human movement.
But as my athlete is excuting a box jump, I'm not going to say "good job on increasing the SSC!"

You must be able to communicate at many different levels and be able to change and adapt what you want to say to others.

You might want to watch the first two minutes of the video again. Or feel free to contact me at CrossFitEclipse.com

15

wrote …

Coach always gets me fired up, thank you!

"For us it starts with measureable: weight, how far did it travel, yardsticks, stopwatches..."

"Science is experimentation, every WOD is an experiment."

16

wrote …

Dear Cerveau Gauche,

I am forced to admit it, you GOT me. Although the times of all my work outs keeps falling i am forced to admit that like everyone else "we all know performances will become stagnant..." so today i took your advice and dug deeper into science. I looked up the Krebs cycle on Wikipedia and my mind is just insanely blOWN.

Immediately i programmed myself a workout to take advantage of this new fountain of KNowLEDGE. well I didnt use the stop watch like you said so im not sure if im fitter than yesterday but here is the entry in my workout journal for your inspection:

"Dear workout journal, was feeling rather stagnant lately. did a workout while imaginingg the inner workings of the Krebs cycle. Do not know time or weight or distance moved because i have found out there are 3 new tenants of fitness 1. Complex SCIENTIFIC stuff 2. CAPITAL letters 3. The kre BS cycle. Wow; oh man do i feel fit. I feel so fit I am going to go ask my science teacher to make me a postworkout shake because that guy was talking about ATP like nobodys business the other day. I bet his shake will be SO COMPLEX i cant even understand what he puts in it.IM ADDING SO MANY ENERGY SYSTEMS TO MY WORKOUT OH MAN IM FEELING CRAZY FIT.thanks Cerveau Gauche for blowing my mind."

Sincerely,
Chad McKay

17

replied to comment from David McKay

nice use of sarcasm. I bet that has worked really well for you in relating your messages to others throughout the years.

18

wrote …

Love the simplicity. We all need to remember that its more birthday party than it is physics class.

19

replied to comment from ben green

Not necessarily the healthiest, but can healthy actually be measured? What takes precedence? BP? RHR? HDL/LDL? Work Capacity? I think it much easier to correlate work capacity with physical fitness, with fitness being the level of physical capability. In other words, the person with the highest work capacity for a specific set of movements would be the most fit/capable of a tested group for that specific set of movements.

20

wrote …

One note though...

I clicked the link from crossfit.com, and the first thing I see right in the middle of the page is "You're f** up". Can you start indicating if links on the crossfit main site are work and family safe (wfs) the way you force them in the message board?

21

wrote …

to jared,
coach Glassman has a video on how health is defined: the ability to maintain a high work capacity over.....

so an athlete is only healthy in all those different domains: age, blood pressure, etc...

and thats correct about work capacity in those set movements, but modal domains. so you are to work in a variety of domains or variance: changing duration, equipement, movement patterns, etc.

I'm not saying you are wrong, just that Coach Glassman has touch on those areas :)

22

replied to comment from Cerveau Gauche

I understand the thought that trainers (CF or not) should not be "watered-down" by neglecting an introduction to energy systems/KREBS/BLAH; however, I have to agree with Coach on the concepts taught in educational institutions around the world. I have a BS - Biology, a MS - Sports Science & Rehabilitation, and a DC degree. I can't count how many times I have been through the Krebs Cycle, but I can count how many times knowing the ATP produced has helped me with patients - ZERO. Perhaps indirectly, but, seriously, it has very little application value with training or treating people. On the contrary, functional movement assessment, correction, and/or training made up a very small fraction of my overall education. Yet, that is what I do every single day, many times a day.

I think Coach is trying to elucidate the disconnect in what is being taught and what is being applied. At this point in time, much of what is taught is never/rarely directly applied. That needs to change. Sure we don't want people to be "watered-down" from an educational standpoint, but we don't want people to be "super-saturated" with information that cannot be directly applied to improving someones life.

23

wrote …

Coach hit a point that cuts to the heart of fitness troubles that I have seen at the fire department that I work at. Not wanting to go from the inside of the fitness "know" to being kicked to the outside of that circle. Even if the fitness data that you have based your whole life on is " bad science " It's hard for anyone to admit there basis of what they do fitness wise was based on crap. It's easier to blame the person not the method.

24

wrote …

Basically, does work capacity across broad times=longevity? I dont know how much "science" there is on this point, but im not convinced that maximizing your power output for decades will make you even most "fit" at 90. I feel like there is diminishing returns at some point of the 3d def of fitness if the curve is really high in your 20s-40s. I guess we will just have to wait and see aye?

25

wrote …

I agree with the points made in this video, but I started to wonder whether, in terms of Crossfit as a competition, if the science is carrying through into the results.

In competition there are athletes with different body sizes (affecting the variable of mass in the "work capacity" equation) performing equal distances for equal repetitions. So a 200lb athlete running a mile in 6:00 would tie a 150lb athlete running the same mile in the same distance. But the 200lb athlete, in physics terms, did more work (mass*acceleration*distance). So to say that both athletes are equally fit would be scientifically inaccurate according to the crossfit definition of fitness.

The same could be said for moving weight through more distance because of height differentiations.

Obviously adding all these calculations into the competition is a lot more work and harder to measure. I don't really know what to make of it myself, but thought I'd throw it out there for pondering.

26

replied to comment from David McKay

Mr McKay,
You have to understand many of us who love CROSSFIT see it as another way of training. It doesnt possess the monopoly of the truth in terms of fitness.
If I am a strength and conditionning coach and I want to integrate CROSSFIT in my program. I need to understand CROSSFIT's physiological profile.
Mr McKay, I bet you that even programming will soon and must become very scientific, if it is not already. The trainers should and must understand that there is SCIENTIFIC RATIONALE as to why programming a certain way works!!!!!!
Yes you can science by measuring and taking time with a stop watch and scale. But what are you going to do with that data? How useful is it if you dont understand what is influencing work capacity?
I have the feeling that he is saying, " just use your stop watch and scale and measuring tapes and leave the science to smart people. Science for you is simple and the mathematicians, the chemists and the exercise physiologists, the real one will understand what work capacity is.... you trainers, just measure, weight and scale."
What wever Mr Glassman says isn't the GOSPEL and can be challenged. I have the feeling that many of you have lost their abilities to question anything CROSSFIT. I love CROSSFIT and I can still question it!!!!!

27

replied to comment from Luke Osborne

Well said Mr Osborne!!!!!

28

wrote …

In order to be an effective coach/trainer it is essential to know the background behind what you practice. Yes we can increase the capacity of our clientele by following the crossfit model but as a trainer you should know why you are doing the exercises with a particular duration/intensity etc and what energy systems are being effected etc. Crossfit may not subscribe to the traditional perodization scheme but it does employ its various concepts in a more random manner (muscle endurance one WOD, power the next, anaerobic power etc). The main variable that differentiates crossfit is the constant variation of the stimulus. Personally I'd be curious to see if the top crossfitters do not employ some aspect of periodized training. I have a hard time believing that they wouldn't attempt to peak for the crossfit games for example by using build phases etc etc.

29

wrote …

Every time I watch a Glassman video I cringe when I hear the f bombs drop. It is so distracting from the message being delivered. He says things like:

"I'm an a-hole, I f dogs."

and

"I really enjoy our critics because they're f'ing stupid. Every single one of them."

Really? Is that necessary?

30

wrote …

It is essential to know the background behind what you practice, but how many times do you get clients who actually ask you to describe; in strict, biochemical terms, what is going in their muscle fibers? The majority of people don't care or aren't interested in this, and if you start talking in those terms, you are just going to make people feel stupid and drive them away. This article was about keeping things simple for the clients.

31

wrote …

Question then:

This is Louie Simmons' list of pre-requisites for his Westside certification:

WESTSIDE BARBELL
Scientific & RESEARCH EXAMINATION
CERTIFICATION STUDY GUIDE

This part of the examination will test your retention and knowledge of important factors when deciding, making, and practicing workouts as a strength coach, trainer, or any related field. Before this test is performed, the tester must be well-read in the following literature.

1) Science and Practice of Strength Training, V.M.Zatsiorsky.1995 Human Kinetics

2) Science of Sports Training, Thomas Kurtz 2001 Stadion Publishing

3) Westside Barbell Articles, DVD’s, Louie Simmons copyright

www.westside-Barbell.com

4) Basic Physics Karl F. Kuhn 1996. John Wiley & Sons Inc.

5) Westside Barbell Book of Methods. Louie Simmons

6) Supertraining 6th ed. Mel Siff 2003

7) Explosive power and jumping ability for all sports T. Starzynski, H. Sozanski 1999.

For those of you unfamiliar, "well-read" is science-talk for "know this shit cold". I'm sure the Krebs cycle is in there somewhere; Does this mean Simmons is wrong?

I agree completely with the idea that you need to dumb things down for a client, but I disagree wholeheartedly that trainers shouldn't be concerned with the theory or science behind the methods simply because it's unlikely they'll have to verbalize it, which is what I took from the video. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that ignoring the academic and theoretical side of exercise is akin to doing exactly what Globogyms do with their trainers; Teaching the basic methods and ignoring everything else that makes a someone a quality coach.

Just because the methods taught by Crossfit are much better and more effective for the clients doesn't mean that the end result for the trainer isn't the same; A one-dimensional, uneducated Crossfit Zombie who has no idea what anything else (good or bad) in the industry is. Swap "Bodybuilding" for "Crossfit" in that last sentence, and you have your typical Globogym trainer. If a grasp of the 9 basics and a knowledge of zone tables is all you think makes you a trainer, that's fine, but you're in for a world of hurt long-term, no matter how good you are with a calculator.

I like the message (dumb it down for your clients), but the rest strikes me as garbage. Trainers shouldn't be limiting themselves to ANYTHING, even if all they teach is Crossfit. In fact, I'll say that its very important that a Crossfit trainer is not just versed in Crossfit, but knows bodybuilding, S&C and every other method (and the science- or lack thereof- behind them) COLD. In fact, I think its vital.

In the same vein that "Increasing work capacity across broad time and modal domains" will scare off an unconditioned client, you stand no chance of converting a bodybuilder, cardio-queen, or someone entrenched in any program other than Crossfit unless you know what their program is, why its inferior, and can explain- IN PLAIN ENGLISH- why your stuff is better. As someone who's been there, I know unequivocally that "because I have this here yardstick and stopwatch and I writes yer times on this here whiteboard" won't cut it with anyone who knows- or thinks they know- exercise, and especially not at triple the price per month of a Globogym. If you don't know what DOGGCRAPP is, and why it does what it does, how do you convince a guy using it that flipping tires, picking up stones and rowing on a C2 at high intensity is a better way to build strength?

If I get an unconditioned client, I give them the basics; I'll make it so you can get up the stairs without having to stop for air, or so you can pick up your 100lb St. Bernard, or so you can fit into that $2000 dress for your wedding. And I'll show them the multitude of ways we'll track their progress. If they press for more, I'll tell them, in very, very plain English, why I'll get them better results, although in all probability, I'll never once have to explain anything to them other than how long it will likely take and how important what they eat is, so long as they see the results they want.

But if I have someone with an athletic background, like, say, a junior hockey player who's spent spent 6 months at Gold's trying to bulk up, but has lost the quickness that got him drafted in the first place, I'm going to have to explain to him exactly what the hell he's done to himself to cause the setback so he doesn't go and do it again, and what he's got to do (and what I've got to program for him) to get his quickness back. And, to do that, I'm going to need something more than an L1 cert and enthusiasm- I've got to know WHY.

Now, for some people, having a stable of unconditioned folks with basic fitness needs who never question anything may be perfect; I'm more than convinced it's a lucrative game plan. And, if that's all you're looking for, then perhaps you'll never need more than the basics, because the odds of you looking stupid when someone asks you a question are slim and none, so long as someone educated doesn't come in.

However, personally, I want folks who come to me with a challenge. I want, nay, demand, that at least a portion of my clients come to me with something more than "I want to drop 20lbs for beach season". I want someone who's spent an off-season adding 10lbs of muscle and now can't make the optimal 40 yd. time for the combine. I want a LEO who was stabbed/shot because he gassed in a fight with a perp and couldn't roll the guy off when the dude landed on him. I want someone who's skeptical of my program because he believes the garbage Gold's and M&F has fed him, and his guns are HUGE, so why should he give up his concentration curls and packets of "Recovery" shakes and "More Muscle" powder in favor of Crossfit and Paleo? I WANT those clients, because it challenges me as a trainer, and makes me better. And, when I get them, I want to not just convince them that what they were doing before is inferior, but also to PROVE to them just how good my program is, and why I'll get them where they NEED to be, and give them the knowledge and ability to stay at that point, or go even further if they choose. To do that it won't just be about training; I'll need to educate my client, which means I myself must be educated, not just in my chosen methods, but in the ones I'm trying to disprove, as well as the biology and science behind both. If I'm not, I'm not fulfilling the other half of my promise; To educate the client so the mistakes made before never happen again.

So, I don't think one should ignore either the inferior methods or the theory behind exercise in general- on the contrary, I think its vital EVERY trainer knows that material- along with basic biology, physics, anatomy and kinetics- cold, if only to be able to properly dissect and disprove the lies and garbage in the mainstream that your clients will surely bring you. After all, if you're calling out the mainstream as the propagators of lies and BS, shouldn't your trainers be a model of knowledge instead of rabid fanatics who just (figuratively) scream "increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains!" and "I am a scientist! I have a stopwatch!" louder and louder in an argument?

If nothing else, look at it this way; 2 years ago, how many Crossfitters were box-squatting? If we'd segregated ourselves from everything but Crossfit's "accepted" methods, would any Crossfitters be box-squatting now? And why did we try box-squatting? Because we were presented with the explanation of how it worked from men who knew WHY it worked. When the Dave Tate videos came out, it wasn't just "here, do this"; Tate explained EXACTLY why he was doing what he was doing, and showed people WHY it worked. Simmons' involvement as an SME has continued on that. THAT's a trainer's job.

Crossfit's about having no limits, and being able to adapt to anything life throws at you. Most importantly, it's about what works; Fitness thieves and whores- You take what works, integrate it into the system, and make it your own. In order to decide what works, you need to know why and how it does what it does.

Why would we get away from that just because we have a decently scientific way of measuring things?

32

replied to comment from Jason Ashman

although a bit long-winded, i really like where you're coming from Jason. good stuff.

33

wrote …

What are the rules about the way we express ourselves on here? The usual taboo words are to do with sex, religion and defecation. Is it only the sex words we can use or is it ok to use the others too?

34

replied to comment from Luke Osborne

Luke, I understand what you're saying, and I agree that you can't truly measure work performed without taking a competitor's height and weight into account.

But in the context of competition, the goal is to determine who is most fit to perform a given set of tasks regardless of those factors. CrossFit is designed to prepare an individual for the unknown and unknowable. Life will present such situations and life doesn't care whether you're old, young, fat, thin, male, female, or whatever demographic one cares to designate. I feel that CrossFit competitions are tailored to reflect this, so that whoever comes out on top in the end is the most fit.

-Schyler

35

replied to comment from Schyler Turpin

Agreed, Schyler (I like that name too). What they do makes the most sense in terms of "fit for whatever life throws at you".

It's just interesting to me that the person who is most fit this way is not necessarily the person with literally the highest "work capacity over broad time and modal domains". There seems to be a slight and probably for all practical purposes meaningless gap in the definition of fitness and the test for the persons with the highest degree of fitness

It would be interesting if they spent the time and looked at, say, the top 5 male and female finishers at the games, and measured their body weight and height and everything and actually precisely calculated their work output over broad time and modal domains and looked to see if there is a difference in the results because of height/weight differentiation.

Either way, the competitors at the games are the most fit athletes on the planets and the crossfit methodology is going to be the same that it is, which is awesome and extremely effective.

36

replied to comment from Cerveau Gauche

CG, If I argued that all that scientific background in such so-called science as the krebs cycle is the reason why no one produced CF like results before CrossFit, I don't think you could defend the so called scientists that for all these years didn't use their superior knowledge to produce superior results.

If I knew the krebs cycle cold, it would not change how I program or deadlift at all. If I know the difference in aerobic and anaerobic it doesn't mean I can run faster. It's fun to know these things, from my perspective, but it doesn't make me more effective than the guy down the street who has his athletes moving well, working hard, and training with CF intensity.

More knowledge is always better. The question is - given a finite amount of time, will you advance your craft as coach or athlete farther by dorking around reading about the Krebs cycle, or by getting on the floor with athletes to see how they respond to programming and figure out how to make them better, faster.

The answer to this question will be revealed over time. We'll see if one particular coach or coaching philosophy produces the best crossfitters in the least time with the best injury stats.

I don't think Coach said we should refuse to learn more. His point was that for years, folks pretended to be 'scientific' but didn't use their science to produce better athletes. They used their science to sound impressive at conferences and in papers no one read. (Mr. Simmons by contrast learned from experience and research and proved what he learned in competition)

If you were going to train a coach, do you think they'd blossom faster if they learned how to teach complex movements, develop crossfit style programming, and educate their clients about nutrition - or learn bio physical trivia? Over time, there's no reason why a professional coach shouldn't or wouldn't learn it all; it's about prioritization of the essential knowledge, building a base in skills which directly convert to helping athletes perform. Those are the big rocks. Krebs cycle is sand or perhaps pea gravel.

If you can write an article which highlights what you know about the Krebs Cycle or some other detailed bio-physical bit that you've learned, and which could be used by a CF coach, then what is stopping you? That's what the Journal is for. Stop preaching and start teaching, I think you'll find CFers are eager to learn from anyone who offers practical knowledge because they know every second counts. Paul

37

replied to comment from Jason Ashman

Jason - I wouldn't argue your well thought out post, but still think you'd get the point this way.

If you take a coach and have him/her dig into all that reading, and I take another coach and have them spend the same amount of time learning how to see and correct movement, and how to teach fundamental of nutrition, and how to modify CF programming for a diverse crowd, which is likely to make better athletes?

It's great to read from a variety of sources (I hope to read every one of those books one day), but it's neither essential or even practical to start with that kind of learning. The coach that gets their hands dirty in the gym getting athletes to move well can add a book to his/her knowledge base at any time while they are already building elite athletes. Paul

38

Daniel Schmieding wrote …

These criticisms are laughable.

I'm fascinated by many published studies and works regarding physiology and human movement.

That being said, the 2 people who got me in the best shape of my life knew nothing outside of the specific movements and sport they were teaching me. Proficiency in gymnastics relied very little on "scientific theory," and a whole lot on practice. Is it interesting to learn the "why's?". Sure. Did any of it help? Not as much as stretching and listening to a coach yell "point your toes!"

Regarding anybody taking offense to Greg "dropping the f-bomb," you are not going to reform this man's presentation, nor would it carry the same weight with many. I don't care to compare him with great orators of the past, but I know my original attention to the uniqueness of CrossFit would have been compromised had he sounded more... politically correct. I have heard many critiques of Glassman's choice of words, phrases, speech in general; I have yet to hear or read any of these people making more sense in a more profound way.

39

wrote …

Paul,
" I don't think you could defend the so called scientists that for all these years didn't use their superior knowledge to produce superior results."
So what exactly are you saying? So Louie Simmons just recommends all of those books for shits and giggles and not because any of that "science" had ever been used to produce "superior results"? Are world champions not considered "superior"? I guess not until they do Fran huh....

40

wrote …

Understanding basic science (Krebs cycle, aerobic vs anaerobic) IS important.

Knowing the difference between aerobic and anaerobic won't make you run faster as Paul mentions. But if you apply the knowledge properly, you would know WHY you can train at high intensity and skip the long, slow distance training and still improve your "aerobic conditioning". It is not essential, however to know this. An astute coach or athlete can learn this through experience.

Another example can be made about the benefits of the squat. Correctly identifying the muscles used and the physiological impact of the squat would lead you to believe it's a good move. Watching an athlete becoming a beast by squatting, also works. Or you could make a blanket statement like 'squatting is bad for your knees'.

Just because a "scientist", coach or anyone else chooses to ignore or NOT apply this information does not mean we should disregard the basic science about why it works. Just disregard their advice; or better yet, teach them.

41

wrote …

I find it very ironic and amusing that in the foundations of CrossFit it is stated,

"The world’s most successful athletes and coaches rely on exercise science the way deer hunters rely on the accordion."

I hear music baby! ;-)

42

wrote …

Sounds to me like the technical info needs to be scaled, just like the WODs do. Different athletes need to know more or less physiology. And knowledge of sport science is a skill for trainers. So would an ability to teach it effectively. So would an ability to build a community at an affilliate that valued good form, nurturing newbies, and self education.

With respect, if you a dozen books to tell a kid that he's blown his acceleration and power-weight ratio, fine. It just sounds like common sense to me.

43

wrote …

Inspired by Jason Ashman and for everyone who reads the journal and has stock in this fitness experiment.

I enjoyed the comment and hope you push for a CF journal entry. Making a statement about the "status quo" of crossfit is necessary and more need to understand the pursuit of realistic fitness. I applaud your effort of searching for challenging trainees, what would life be without these efforts and the enlightening involved, especially for a trainer who is and wants to be "educated" in fitness I for one don't subscribe to any crossfit affiliate method of training or their programming, I believe in picking and choosing what I deem most appropriate to achieve my current goals. Which I so happen to believe is the ability to perform function movements at high intensity. I'm always searching/pushing for that new movement, exercise that works and is what my body needs to achieve those goals, thinking about what my current goals are and not dishing out 100 bucks a month for someone else to educate me. I believe it is this pursuit of knowledge in fitness that is the key to success. But that can be stated as what separates the trainers from the trainees. The pursuit of functional fitness is paramount to success in crossfit and life in general and I think the experimentation involved will benefit anyone who gives it a shot and its the trainers responsibility to explain the questions involved.

Thanks for you time and listening to my ramblings but I think it has become overwhelmingly necessary for our community to be smart about what direction we are heading even us unaffiliated types who believe in and have a stake in this social-fitness experiment! We have to get out there and educate the masses on what it means to be fit and how to do it. As the popularity of crossfit grows and the demand for smart trainers increases I see this as something special for our nation. What a great resource we have. What a great program we can share to unite people in a common cause and pursuit which we so greatly lack as a people. I don't know the future of the crossfit business but the ideology I hope can make a permanent impact. What a great dream of a nation of people who are smart, fit, and bound together! Will fitness one day be labeled as important as the rest of our American ideals? We can only hope so!

Ryan

44

replied to comment from Ryan Huseman

Ryan, What I'm saying is it's fine to go study the science, it's good, it's great, it's virtuous, but it's not what makes great athletes.

Mr. Simmons didn't start by reading the science. He got sweaty in a gym and gained massive strength. He learned by doing, achieving, failing.

After that the reading was usable to exceed what he gained experientially. No one reads books to be or build champions. It's at best a complimentary activity.

Here's another one for you. Will I get faster stronger by doing what Mr. Simmons teaches or by doing what Mr. S teaches and reading all those books? Will I be a better coach by coaching what I learn from Mr. S or by coaching by what I learn from Mr. S and reading all those books? I'll wager it'll hardly make a dime's worth of difference. I'll still do the reading because I'm a geek that way. But I see no evidence that the extra book learning's going to have any meaningful impact.

As for your sarcasm at the end, I think we're talking about two different topics. Mr. S did and does build champions, both before and after he got injured and re-engineered how powerlifters are built. He's the exception in that he seems to have mastered both a fair amount of academic material and trains champions. The vast majority of the rest of the champions in the world are not built by PHDs who do research. They are built by guys who spent a boatload of time training a boatload of athletes while measuring the inputs and the results.

45

replied to comment from Luke Osborne

Yeah, man. That would be pretty interesting to delve into.

Amended: Fitness = work capacity across broad time and modal domains with respect to individual dimensions.

eh?

46

wrote …

Repeatability & reproducibility of the measurement system as define by Coach Glassman is important. Crossfit data gathered on human performance could create a better world by improving man's understanding of the Krebs cycle.

From personal experience, the medical community struggles to treat a broken krebs cycle - i.e. mitochondrial disease. Coach Glassman is right, a PHD can give an impressive lecture on the Krebs cycle, but what good does it do if this PHD cannot improve or fix it? Crossfitters work to improve it every day and in my opinion this is more than what most neurologists could say.

47

replied to comment from Craig Descoteaux

Craig,
I, too, have a BS in exercise science as well as a few other certs (none Cf sadly). I thank you for your professional response, and I understand that his main point is to not preach the science, it is to show them. But, as so many others have already mentioned, I still believe it is vital to know the underlying factors of our physcial abilities/capabilities.

48

wrote …

Does anyone know of the report that Coach was talking about that was prepared for the State of California by Dr. Glassman? Is this something they are planning on giving out info on? I'd like to read the original report.

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