Thursday, September 3, 2009

CrossFit ATL 4001 Peter B.

Workout of the Day

HQ WOD is Run 5K


Four rounds for time of:
30 Wall-ball shots
30 Sit-ups
Run 400 meters

Wall-ball with 20-pound ball. Post time to comments.

The Wall Street Journal reports that many former competitive endurance athletes have had to reduce intensity as they age: Older, Wiser, Slower.  As might be expected, their definition “intensity” is muddled, and seems to mean a high heart rate.  But there are major problems with heart rate as a measure of intensity.  Golfers have high heart rates when the stakes are high.  Race car drivers have also very high heart rates.  CrossFit has a different definition of intensity.  Intensity = force x distance ÷ time = average power.  For more on this subject, read the CrossFit Journal article: Understanding CrossFit.

“But no aspect of functional movements is more important than their capacity to move large loads over long distances, and to do so quickly. Collectively, these three attributes (load, distance, and speed) uniquely qualify functional movements for
the production of high power. Intensity is defined exactly as power, and intensity is the independent variable most commonly associated with maximizing favorable adaptation to exercise. Recognizing that
the breadth and depth of a program’s stimulus will determine the breadth and depth of the adaptation it elicits, our prescription of functionality and intensity is constantly varied. We believe that preparation for random physical challenges—i.e., unknown and unknowable events—is at odds with fixed, predictable, and routine regimens.”
  –Greg Glassman

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Showing 16 comments
  • Chandler Alford

    Uh, I hate to be the one to say it, but power does not always equal intensity. Technically, the “parameters of those variables do not match.” I saw a lot of intensity during “Elizabeth” yesterday, but that does not always mean there’s an “equal” power output. On the other side, everyone is different. For one person, the power required to lift a certain weight may or may not be as intensive compared to another athlete.
    Also, I saw this this morning: You might want to think twice before drinking that soda pop:), cuz I know I will. Not only that, Pepsi is EVIL!

  • Steve

    That article was kind of a muddle. I read a different definition of intensity into the article — I think the author really meant large training volumes that allowed the athletes to be competitive. And if I fit a line through their data points in the article, I learn that elite endurance athletes drop training volume/being competitive because of: medical conditions, joint injuries, boredom, and the competing priorities of family and career eating into training time.

  • peterbassi

    I’m gonna nerd out here for a minute:
    1) intensity = energy / time
    2) energy = power * time
    intensity = power * time / time
    power * time / time = power
    intensity = power

  • Jeff

    (Mass x Distance)/Time is the scientific equation for power. It’s why kipping pull-ups are an overall more powerful movement than strict pull-ups, even though your arms/shoulders are doing less work each rep. The same mass and distance in less time is more powerful.
    I completely agree about the intensity factor, though. The power equation does not take into account factors like endurance levels, heart rates, etc. which are critical to individual intensity.
    For example, I did Fran the other day with Peter. He did it Rx, and I scaled to 65 lbs. He beat me by a minute or so with more weight and more body mass. Obviously his power output was much higher. I would like to believe, however, that my intensity did not lag nearly as far behind as I was doing everything I could to work my ass off.
    I guess my point is that I see intensity as a personal measurement whereas power is calculated independent of the individual.

  • Dave Hodges

    “(Mass x Distance)/Time is the scientific equation for power.”
    Not quite. Glassman made the reverse mistake in a talk when he said that three of the fundamental measurable quantities of the universe were “force, distance, and time.” No, they are mass, distance, and time.
    Power is equal to force times distance over time. Mass times distance over time is momentum, not power.
    “The same mass and distance in less time is more powerful.”
    It’s a matter of force and distance. If you lifted a weight ten feet in the air on the moon versus ten feet in the air on earth, the work would not be the same.
    “I guess my point is that I see intensity as a personal measurement whereas power is calculated independent of the individual.”
    I agree with this completely. To maximise power (or intensity according to Glassman) output often requires that we scale our workouts. If I do “Grace” as prescribed, it takes me fifteen minutes. If I do the girlie weight, it’s a LOT less. I get a much more intense workout with the scaled weight.

  • Heidi_CFATL

    Made up Elizabeth today, as RX, squat cleans and all. Ring dips suck 22:27.

  • Stephanie E

    Did Elizabeth yesterday, Rx’d 14:16. However, my enjoyment was short-lived as my car is totally kaputt and I stalled 3 times on the way home.
    Thanks for the jump David!!

  • Ken

    I do agree that intensity is a relative term for people. But power output is a measurable quantity. The big difference amongst peoples power output is in the time they can sustain certain power levels, and the max levels they can obtain. And these two are often traded off. Typically mechanical machines good at maximizing power are often not good at sustaining it, even at moderate levels.
    Chandler and I are good examples. His maximum power output over a short time (seconds) is significantly higher than mine, but I can likely sustain a higher (but not max) average power output than him for a period of time extending 5-10 minutes.
    I think both activities (power over small and long timeframes) are intense, and ideally you would be good at both, but i think the nature of training various time scales and modes of exercise preclude becoming the “best” at either timescale.
    And in other news, I think that mixed running and wall ball, etc activities are not good replacements for pure runs if you are not good at running. You can be good at one and not the other, and vice versa. Both are necessary, and I would advise people trying to improve their pure running to do the 5k run…but this is just my two cents…

  • Margaret

    I second your two cents, Ken. Everyone should run the 5ks. But then, as I slowly creep towards becoming a more powerful being, my only hope in the interim is the lesser power outputs over very extended periods of time, say over 20 mins.


    Don’t try an over analyze it. The point is that we have measurable workouts. We can measure time, distance, and weight.
    If you move the same weight the same distance faster today than you did two months ago, you got better and probably performed at higher intensity than YOU did last time. Some other dude’s level of intensity doesn’t have any affect on your intensity.
    Just do the met cons as fast as you can with good form and you’ll be ok. Chances are slim that we will be doing any workouts on the moon. If we do, we can scale the workout for the difference in gravity.

  • Rob M

    New WOD:
    Grace on the Moon
    30x 810lb Clean and Jerks

  • VAS

    30 moon muscle ups scaled to iron crosses

  • VAS
  • Dave Hodges

    I wasn’t trying to contradict Greg Glassman, CrossFit, or any subsidiaries thereof. I was only commenting on a miniscule error. I agree with the thrust of the discussion here.
    Anyway, I made up the two WODs from earlier:
    Weighted pull-up: 58-68-73-78-81.5-83-73
    And then I did Elisabeth with 105 lbs [PR by almost a minute and increased weight].

  • Matthew Queen

    My day just got infinitely better. The Green Ranger is officially stepping into the ring with UFC. Let me write that again in case you’re in as much disbelief as I was. A freaking Power Ranger is getting into UFC.
    If you read the article you’ll see that the writer says that he’ll refrain from any lame jokes at the guy’s expense b/c this guy’s got balls. Do you realize how many guys in the UFC would love to beat the shit out of a Power Ranger?
    I hope he wins every fight. Ever. Even fights he’s not in.

  • Jeff

    Today was an interesting workout. It was one Bethanie and Mike did in CA
    With a partner, alternate between:
    (1 each 95# Deadlift, Hang Power Clean, Front Squat, Push Press)
    (Run 400m)
    Switch as soon as the runner returns, and go until your combines sets of lifts equals 100.
    33:20 – pretty fun

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