The Crucible

October 8, 2009 1:00 PM

Posted in The Games »
5 Comments » on this entry

Games09Winnas.jpgThe scope of the CrossFit Games extend far beyond crowning the fittest athletes on the planet. In the greater context it is an experiment we are all involved with, the purpose of which is to elicit the best practices for producing measurable, observable and repeatable results in elite human performance. Each athlete at the games contributes in some way to making CrossFit better, and to improving our understanding of fitness and how it can, and should be achieved.

Coach Glassman paraphrases in 'The Crucible,' the latest video produced by Marty Cej and John Buffone of BNN . "You got a better way to train people? A better way to rest? A better way to eat? If it doesn't show in force, distance and time... if it doesn't show up in improved work capacity, then we can dismiss it. And if it is there, we can't ignore it. The method is important; the narrative is a byproduct, but the data is everything. these are proving grounds... this is a place to test your shit."

Hypotheses and narratives about the superiority of training methodologies have no credence without results. The individuals and affiliates that are on or near the podium every year must be doing something right. "Take Calgary, for example. A town of one million people had four individual athletes in the top 16, plus an affiliate team in the top four." This type of data draws attention.

"Number one, it takes dedication," says Michael Fitzgerald of the successes acheived at Optimum Performance Training in Calgary. "You can't just say I'm gonna be an elite CrossFitter. You have to hone your tolerance for this. Anyone can snatch a heavy snatch, anyone can get a really big bench press. But how many people can do a sub 2:30 Fran, a sub 15 Filthy Fifty and a sub 7 minute Helen... with a heavy snatch! Then you're a CrossFitter, and that takes a lot of dedication."

The Crucible... [wmv] [mov]

5 comments on this entry.

1. ken c wrote...

October 8, 2009 8:42 PM

taking the lead on defining what is fitness and having a games to test what is fitness is brilliant. whoever lays claim to the best training method can either come test themselves at the games or basically go talk to the wall about how crossfit isn't creating fit people. either way crossfit defines the parameters of the discussion.

2. Latham wrote...

October 10, 2009 10:52 AM

I would LOVE to see some Olympic athletes come and compete. I bet a short distance runner, a gymnast, a swimmer or a decathlete would put in an amazing performance.

There was a video posted about a year ago of an Olympic swimmer doing Fight Gone Bad at an affiliate. He scored 430 or so, and at the end just commented "that was a good workout" without appearing out of breath.

Anyone know if any Olympic athletes have already competed at the Games?

3. Malecki wrote...

October 10, 2009 12:44 PM

does anybody know where to find that video? i'd love to see it being a swimmer myself.

October 10, 2009 4:25 PM

Olympic athletes are the best of the best. However, I chuckle at the statements that claim if "so and so did CrossFit, they would be amazing at it". That stands to reason with every sport. Take that same olympic athlete, or any world class athlete for that matter, and chances are that if every person had the opportunity to try that same sport, the athlete in question would not be the best at it.

Michael Jordan was arguably the best basketball player of all time. Gretzky, the greatest hockey player. However, those statements aren't made with an asterisk even though the vast majority of the world never even tried either of those sports.

People make some very valid comparisons regarding olympis athletes and their potential, but until someone comes and wins the games in the CrossFit 'Proving Grounds', then they are not the best. They're just another Dan Marino, putting up amazing numbers, but never doing it in the only venue that counts.

No disrespect meant towards anyone. I just didnt see this angle being mentioned enough.

5. SYD wrote...

October 11, 2009 10:13 PM


I understand what you're saying, but I'm not sure you can draw that comparison.

DISCLAIMER: I love Crossfit as a competitive sport. I wouldn't change a thing about it.

I say that because I don't want to offend anyone that claims this is their sport. I love it as a sport as well. However, it is the sport of training. The elements we use cross over into a huge number of sporting disciplines. It's for this reason so many sports are adopting the philosophies of Crossfit.

The reason I say this because it is not unreasonable to assume that a World Class Decathelete may do well in Crossfit. I would even say it's naive to assume they wouldn't. There is no question that these individuals are very familiar with high intensity training and pushing through the pain. They certainly do O-Lifts as snatch, dead lift, and cleans are utilized to increase power in track athletes, football players, hockey players, etc, etc

There is cross over of Crossfit into athletics because it is the sport of training.

A basketball player like Jordan didn't grow up utilizing ice skating as a form of improving his basketball abilities. Baseball players don't shoot three pointers. The point is, there is little to no overlap from sport to sport. So, to say Jordan is a great basketball player and should therefore be a great baseball player is illogical. There is no real overlap.

However, these high caliber athletes are used to high intensity varied movements and there is a good chance they will have utilized a number of the Crossfit techniques.

The difference is these high level athletes aren't just good at training. These are individuals that have proven that they are athletically superior in some way to others. When you add to their gift hard work you'll find they are tough to beat.

Tommy is a great example of just what roll athleticism plays into success in Crossfit. He's brand new and goes out and crushes guys who have been in it for years. He crushed many of our superstars.

Why? Because he played high level athletics (College Football) which means A) He's an above average athlete B) He is accustomed to years, and years of high intensity training and certainly had a range of familiarity with the disciplines executed in Crossfit.

As the purse gets higher, and the Crossfit culture grows, you will see more and more high caliber athletes rise to the top.

I guarantee 2010 will show new names that come out and shock everyone. These will be high caliber athletes with little "experience". "Little experience" is not accurate as they will all have trained in high intensity, varying modes, of exercise. This coupled with their athleticism will be tough to beat.

We haven't even talked about the mental aspect of these athletes.