September 9, 2012

Sunday 120909

Rest Day

NickBono_50thbdayinafgahanistan_th.jpg

Enlarge image

"Brigadier General Paul Funk II just celebrated his 50th birthday on April 29th, deployed in Afghanistan. As an Armored Cavalry officer, he has always focused on fitness, but since starting CrossFit six months ago, he has worked himself into the best shape of his life. He takes each one of the 'Hero' workouts personally, and adds them to the diary of the Soldiers who have sacrificed all, while serving their country under his Command."
- Nick Bono


"An Answer," by CrossFit Chief Scientist, Dr. J.A. Glassman, presents a thorough, evidence-based response to the unsubstantiated claims made in the Consensus Paper on Extreme Conditioning Programs in Military Personnel by the Consortium for Health and Military Performance (CHAMP) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

Posted by Pukie at September 9, 2012 5:00 PM
Comments

Salute to all of our veterans!

Comment #1 - Posted by: Cris Lejan at September 8, 2012 5:09 PM

I have been waiting for this "Answer" since I went to the Science of Crossfit Certification. Thank you for the hard work. This is a game changer.

De Oppresso Liber

Have Fun, Train Hard,

Billy

Comment #2 - Posted by: CrossfitBilly Olympic Crossfit at September 8, 2012 5:41 PM

GEN Funk... Forward Big Red One!

Comment #3 - Posted by: Gill at September 8, 2012 6:46 PM

I have been trying to access the podcast by Gray Cook and Mike Boyle where they trash crossfit but it has either been removed or blocked on every site I have tried, including Boyle's website. Anyone know how to find it?

Comment #4 - Posted by: Troy at September 8, 2012 8:08 PM

The Consortium's "Concensus Paper" immediately reminded me of the National Science Institute's position paper on the potential dangers of Reardon Metal in Ayne Rand's "Atlas Shrugged". A scare tactic full of vague, unsubstantiated assertions made to further a not-so-hidden agenda. I can't believe the ACSM printed that garbage.

Comment #5 - Posted by: Shu at September 8, 2012 8:11 PM

Interesting. There was a recent CANFORGEN in the Canadian military that essentially said "CrossFit is bad because you might get rhabdo. Don't do it" (https://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=107294.0)

Is this actually some kind of coordinated media/"academic" campaign?

Comment #6 - Posted by: David V at September 8, 2012 8:30 PM

Kinda makes me embarrassed to show my ACSM PT cert next to my name.

Comment #7 - Posted by: Khulk at September 8, 2012 9:03 PM

Respice Finem Eternis!

Comment #8 - Posted by: Brandon Thomas Clark at September 8, 2012 9:52 PM

Respice Finem Eternis

Comment #9 - Posted by: Brandon Thomas Clark at September 8, 2012 9:52 PM

Hah, that consensus paper is laugh, all I'm gonna say is:

Haters gonna hate.

In all honesty, it's a shame Glassman had to spend so much of his time responding to it. A beauftiful retort either way.

Comment #10 - Posted by: Keen-NZ at September 8, 2012 10:50 PM

Fantastic article that NEEDED to be published. I was fortunate enough to be in a meeting with Coach, Jimi, Brian, and the authors of the Consensus Paper back in April of this year. The Consensus Paper is nothing but an inflammatory hack piece with absolutely no scientific data, on which to stand. In truth, it's an editorial piece that they tried to pass off as factual.

The authors in the room even admitted that it lacked data on which to stand and also admitted that CrossFit programs like those at Fort Hood and West Point were well executed and

Many personnel in the room were also so emotionally tied to their programs and their belief that standard military physical training was ideal that they could not conceive CrossFit could possibly be a superior means to prepare Service Members for combat. One individual from Fort Benning became so irritated when his program was questioned that he hung up on everyone in the middle of the meeting.

As an Army officer with 20+ years of service in and 10 tours in combat, I am professionally embarrassed by his actions and many of those associated with CHAMP and this article. To many, their own rice bowl / pet project is far more important than actually preparing Service Members for combat and articles with a dearth of true scientific data like their Consensus Paper are a waste of tax payer's dollars and a simply unconscionable for an organization that espouses itself to "focus on the health and performance of the warfighter".

This is their mission statement: "CHAMP is a Uniformed Services University (USU) and joint service effort that focuses on the health and performance of the warfighter. We are a joint medical resource for the Department of Defense for education, basic and clinical research, and clinical expertise in the area of military unique human performance optimization."

Here is their link: http://www.usuhs.mil/mem/champ.html - it is work and family safe - let them know what you think; your tax dollars fund them.

Thank you Coach and Dr. Glassman for writing this important document and I just hope it is able to viewed objectively by those at CHAMP and perhaps they will move in a direction that is beneficial to the warfighter and also demonstrates responsible use of tax payer dollars.

Don

Comment #11 - Posted by: Don Clarkson at September 8, 2012 11:03 PM

Sunday musings…

1) Jobs. Need more. ‘Nuff said.

2) Job. “The best job is the one you don’t need. That way you have permission to do what needs to be done. You can always do the right thing.” Sheri Lansing (?)

3) Life. “We’ve added years to life, not life to years.” George Carlin.

My bid is that those of us who are doing CrossFit add quality years to our lives. We can expect our senescence to be much freer of decrepitude than that of our predecessors, which will allow us to spend less time simply checking the required boxes of our days.

We are also adding a communal life to our years, at least those of us who are members of an Affiliate gym or who engage the online CrossFit community. I’ve had more substantive conversations about more varied topics with the people I’ve met in the CrossFit community than I have in my medical community. We engage one another. We join together in our WOD’s, join together in living.

We cram just as much life into every time domain as we do work in our WOD.

4) Anniversary I. We did “Haddie”, the memorial WOD for our beloved pet that left us this time last year. The WOD included Burpee PU and runs; Haddie had a stroke in her spine and for the last two years of her life would continually fall while running, only to pick herself up and keep going. Tough chick.

Pets, dogs in particular, teach us some valuable lessons. We learn responsibility because they depend on us for the essentials of life. Every day we see what unconditional love looks like when we are smothered in puppy love upon awakening. Heck, we get it when we return from a 90 second errand.

And we learn how to say goodbye. Our pets teach us that life is finite. Our love cannot change that, nor can theirs. Before we say goodbye to our people we typically have to say goodbye to one of our dogs. It’s a lousy, ouchy lesson; it’s a measure of their love for us that they typically handle it so much better than us. We are left with memories, and even here our dog teaches us about remembering our loved and lost.

Who, after all, really remembers anything truly bad about their dog?

5) Anniversary II. Mrs. bingo and I just celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary. My “Better 95%” and I have been together 30 years in all. Pretty cool. Actually, VERY cool. One of my CrossFit buddies noted that my ROI on that 5% I contribute is pretty huge!

Marriage is hard work, and given the atmosphere around here right now it’s probably not very cool for me to offer any advice, so I’ll just channel the grace offered to me on this occasion by another CrossFitter. Robin hoped that “[our] wedding day was the day that we loved each other least.” If CrossFit is seeking to become a better you tomorrow than the you of yesterday through the work you’ve done today, perhaps we can say this about marriage:

Seek to have more love tomorrow than you did yesterday by loving more than you ever thought possible today.

I’ll see you next week…

Comment #12 - Posted by: bingo at September 9, 2012 4:51 AM

About to dive into Dr. G's response. Nearly lost my breakfast reading the "Consensus Paper." Filled we fuzzy words like "possibly" and "could" and "might". Agree with Shu@5.

David V@6: do a search through old CFJ articles for the real trial done with a Canadian regiment that instituted CF for their PT. If memory serves, no injuries, significant increase in physical readiness.

See also CF Radio interview with Andy Stumpf re: CF trial as PT for SEAL candidates at BUDs which resulted in the hire of a well-known CrossFit trainer/athlete as director of S&C at BUDs. In addition I believe there are several articles which discuss the utility of CrossFit as the fitness program of choice for SWAT programs written by SWAT operators.

This reminds me of the kerfluffle that almost wrecked a certain Marine Colonel's career when he set up a CrossFit gym at Camp Pendleton. The civilian contractor providing the equivalent of a commercial gym complained when it discovered a drop in utilization as the Marines gravitated to the CrossFit facility (outfitted with the equipment from the original CrossFit Santa Cruz). They no longer really call it CrossFit anything, but I have recent personal confirmation that the facility has moved to LARGER space and is busier than ever.

The folks defending "traditional" PT as part of the Consensus Report, as well as the contractor getting its hat handed to it at Pendleton, remind me of the proverbial buggy-whip manufacturers...

Comment #13 - Posted by: bingo at September 9, 2012 7:02 AM

Happy anniversary Bingo and congratulations my friend!

My lovely Wife and I just celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary on Sept. 5. You are right about marriage being hard work, but indeed most rewarding.

Hope you got her something nice dude :)

-Jer

Comment #14 - Posted by: Playoff Beard at September 9, 2012 7:29 AM

Made up yesterday's WOD, details there.

Sweat drops on my iPhone as I post...

Comment #15 - Posted by: Playoff Beard at September 9, 2012 7:30 AM

@ Bingo

Congrats on the 27 yr anniversary!

Spot on regarding marriage, pets, and the CrossFit community. Thanks for sharing, and I look foward to your weekly musings to create some quality introspective. Make it a great week.

Comment #16 - Posted by: Halvy at September 9, 2012 7:43 AM

I don't know where to start with the issues I have about that response. First, how do you lump together Insanity with CrossFit? I don't see the similarity. Whereas CrossFit can get you "shredded" and will help someone get a better body composition, I've never understood that to be the point of CrossFit. That SNAFU alone speaks to the real issue: people don't understand CrossFit. When I attended the CF level 1 cert at Fort Benning, GA we had the honor of having Chris Spealler speak to us and even prescribe, specifically for Army personnel, what a training week should look like with intense training and REST and still meeting the requirement of doing PT 5-6 times a week.
I am literally fuming about this horse-crap response. All I can think of is the word: WEAK. I'm sick of seeing weak Soldiers. I'm sick of "expert" advice that preaches moderation and mediocrity. I'm sick of people fainting over the word "overtraining" (check out Coach Burgener's thoughts on overtraining: spot on) and if I see one more Soldier do exercise ball crunches to strengthen their "core" I'm going to lose my f&^*king mind.
I'm sorry about the tone of this post and if some of it doesn't make sense it's because I haven't made it to cup number 2 of coffee. I love CF and all that it's done for me and a lot of my fellow Soldiers and I take issue with "experts" who don't truly explore the pros vs. the cons of CrossFit.

Comment #17 - Posted by: Josh at September 9, 2012 7:50 AM

Happy Anniversary Bingo, and Mrs. Bingo! As always, loved the musings.

Comment #18 - Posted by: ScottMacArthur at September 9, 2012 2:51 PM

When I teach CF, as an instructor, to my fellow brothers and sisters in Arms, my main goal is to prevent injuries. Moreover, it's to show them that an hour of work including warm up, and cool down can equate to a better exercise routine than the 2 hour drag that they were once used to. It works for some, and others it doesn't.

Comment #19 - Posted by: alao at September 9, 2012 6:05 PM

Got to meet Gen Funk this deployment on July 4th. Brought us pizza and near-beer. Good guy to say the least.

Comment #20 - Posted by: Duane at September 9, 2012 11:27 PM

M/ 38/ 134 lbs/ 5'-6"
I did Isabelle - with 115 lbs in 10:20
Isabelle - 30 snatches with 115 lbs
I did this one with 115 lbs to see how it would feel.
I was doing some triples, some doubles and some singles. Each one with a few seconds of rest between reps at least.
I might have had a miss or two, or not 100% full extention at the top for 2 reps.
I WISH I could drop the weights from the top occasionally when really tired.
My body feel super tired and beat up this morning.
NEXT time I'm using 120 lbs. The more I get used to doing more reps at a medium to heavy load for me, the more confidant I'll get to doing heavier reps for lower reps.
I felt pretty good overall, and I was pulling under the bar prettty well.
Shoulders were a bit overextended at times. I have to practive snatch balance to practice getting into a better catch/ in the hole position and I have to not get my feet too wide at the bottom.

Comment #21 - Posted by: Anton at September 10, 2012 7:33 AM

Timing off, no rest yesterday (Sunday), shortest wod ever @ Y, fit it in 5 mins prior to closing:

Tabata 185# DLs: 6's across the board = 48 total.

Day later, feels great. Deadlifts solve lots of things. Think I'll try 205 or 225 next time.

Comment #22 - Posted by: matt h 51m 5'11" 3.9.11 at September 10, 2012 6:12 PM

I recently attended a Cross Fit Level I certification program; I was also a member of the ACSM/CHAMP consensus conference and document writing group. I could not have been more impressed with the quality of the instruction during our two day seminar; the fitness construct was excellent, and the focus on the importance of fundamental movements was outstanding. The personalized instruction on the fundamental movements was the best I have ever attended....I learned alot. I was most impressed with the concept of scaling to avoid injury for those not prepared for completing a task. That being said, I am very disappointed in the "Answer" and the response to the Consensus paper. Individuals, in my opinion, have missed the point of the manuscript completely. The emergence of warriors participating in commercial programs is a concern because many warriors might do a traditional program in the military, and then do a commercial program later in the day, potentially inviting an increased propensity for injury. Traditionally non commmisioned officers program physical training for units...kind of tough to do if they lose control and individuals are doing their own thing. In addition, we move warriors from post to post and should have the expectation of some unformity of training. Many warriors, however, may move to a new unit and find themselves asked to do a program that they have not been trained in, again potentially inviting injury as they try to keep up. While I recognize that warriors are finding a workout and fitness satisfaction in Cross Fit or other commerical programs that may feel is deficient in their unit training, the participation in multiple programs is potentially a concerning problem! Having been an author of many evidence based research papers, I can tell all cross fitters the intent of the manuscript was never to be an evidence based document (consensus documents are by definition the lowest levels of evidence...but they are a start); there is little to no evidence on this topic published in the peer reviewed medical or scientific literature. The intent of the ACSM/CHAMP meeting was very simple...try to identify what is known and unknown, identify gaps, identify areas for future research, and if possible make recommendations to improve or insure safetey for those who engage in these exercise programs, in addition to traditional military programs. This publication was attemtping to get something out into the peer reviewed literature to generate more thought and research in this critical topic. The manuscript in turn literally just reiterates what was discussed, positives and negatives (most anecdotal), questions and concerns, and most importantly outlines a research agenda. The paper raises questions...that's what good scientists do. In the end, the paper makes several recommendations for those who utilize extreme exercise programs as they have a high engagement in the military. The manuscript NEVER states that Cross Fit should be labeled unsafe...in fact the discerning reader will find quite the opposite. What are they?

"To this end, recommendations to improve efficacy and safety of Extreme Exercise Programs (ECPs) are as follows:
1. Conduct regular careful inspections of designated exercise equipment and areas to evaluate safety and efficacy of planned exercise within the existing environment.
2. Introduce ECPs to new participants gradually with a specific, stepwise progression (acclimation) to exercise intensity,
duration, and advanced exercises.
3. Individualize supplemental conditioning programs (particularly ECPs) based on fitness, training goals, and job specific functional needs and demands, while limiting full participation in ECPs to those already very fit and healthy.
4. Anyone with a clinical condition or health status that would contraindicate participating in ECPs or other high-intensity physical activities should not be allowed to participate until
medically cleared.
5. Ensure suitable rest periods (adequate duration and frequency) between sets of exercise and include regularly planned days of reduced or no supplemental conditioning, especially just before or after exhaustive military training,
to optimize recovery, promote positive training adaptations, and minimize excessive fatigue.
6. In addition, planned appropriate variation and periodicity throughout each training cycle are imperative.
7. Discourage Warfighters from using caffeine and/or other stimulants that mask fatigue so they can endure excessive supplemental workouts and exceed appropriate workloads.
8. Monitor closely for the emergence of overtraining signs and symptoms such as unusual fatigue and/or muscle soreness,musculoskeletal injuries, and rhabdomyolysis, and promptly refer for immediate medical evaluation with obvious indications of muscle breakdown, such as dark
brown urine or severe muscle pain.
9. Examine profile rates and other indicators of reduced performance capacity (e.g., fitness test results, run times, persistent fatigue, and excessive muscle soreness) to provide insights into evolving overtraining."

Now maybe I went to a deficient Level I certification, but 90% of these recommendations were reiterated by the faculty to insure safety. For those of you have not read the paper, and just heard that it lambasts Cross Fit...please read it yourself. Our intent is to get scientists excited about studying this area, and policy makers excited about funding needed research. Cross Fit may well produce better warriors...who knows? Lets find out, and in the meantime, lets keep our military safe by following nothing more than common sense guidelines.

Comment #23 - Posted by: Sports Doc at September 10, 2012 7:05 PM

Sports Doc, 9/10/11, 7:05 PM

>>I am very disappointed in the "Answer" and the response to the Consensus paper. Individuals, in my opinion, have missed the point of the manuscript completely.

At least you weren’t disappointed by the Consensus Paper.

>>The emergence of warriors participating in commercial programs is a concern because many warriors might do a traditional program in the military, and then do a commercial program later in the day, potentially inviting an increased propensity for injury.

A concern to whom? Is there a concern at CHAMP and ACSM for the extraordinary rates of illness, especially clusters between 50 and over 90 injuries in a single day of traditional military PT? A concern about the reasons behind the defection from traditional PT to CrossFit?

>>Traditionally non commmisioned officers program physical training for units...kind of tough to do if they lose control and individuals are doing their own thing.

The military has a dilemma trying to maintain discipline and uniformity in PT when their own textbooks prescribe individualized conditioning.

>>In addition, we move warriors from post to post and should have the expectation of some unformity of training.

A danger in moving from post to post under the same training regimen is not adjusting for climate.

>>Many warriors, however, may move to a new unit and find themselves asked to do a program that they have not been trained in, again potentially inviting injury as they try to keep up.

Asking warriors “to keep up” is the antithesis of individualized conditioning.

>>While I recognize that warriors are finding a workout and fitness satisfaction in Cross Fit or other commerical programs that may feel is deficient in their unit training, …

This is the same understatement found in the Consensus Paper. The demand for conditioning instead of traditional PT has caused and likely will continue to cause wholesale changes in military PT.

>>the participation in multiple programs is potentially a concerning problem!

From the CrossFit standpoint, participation in exercise outside CrossFit is hazardous.

>>Having been an author of many evidence based research papers, I can tell all cross fitters the intent of the manuscript was never to be an evidence based document (consensus documents are by definition the lowest levels of evidence...but they are a start); there is little to no evidence on this topic published in the peer reviewed medical or scientific literature. The intent of the ACSM/CHAMP meeting was very simple...try to identify what is known and unknown, identify gaps, identify areas for future research, and if possible make recommendations to improve or insure safetey for those who engage in these exercise programs, in addition to traditional military programs. This publication was attemtping to get something out into the peer reviewed literature to generate more thought and research in this critical topic.

In spite of all this, the article was neither evidence-based nor peer-reviewed. It was an unsupported view-with-alarm paper, disguised as CHAMP and ACSM policy but in fact nothing but the personal opinions of its authors, who had lost their major influence over military PT.

>>The manuscript in turn literally just reiterates what was discussed, positives and negatives (most anecdotal), questions and concerns, and most importantly outlines a research agenda. The paper raises questions...that's what good scientists do.

Good scientists are skeptical. They build models based on data to propose Cause & Effect relationships with which they make predictions, and accumulate data to validate their models. They use adjectives with quantified definitions. They eliminate all subjectivity.

Except where CrossFit has been officially adopted, no data exists to show the level of participation in CrossFit or the other ECPs, or to show any correlation between injuries and ECP participation.

Increased injuries with increased supplemental participation in CrossFit is likely. Decreased injuries is likely with full and sole participation in CrossFit.

>>In the end, the paper makes several recommendations for those who utilize extreme exercise programs as they have a high engagement in the military.

According to what is available from the conference and the recent ACSM Summit, the only program CHAMP and ACSM considered was CrossFit. The so-called High Intensity Training (HIT) converted to Extreme Conditioning Programs (ECPs) is a sham category, a cover comprising infomercial hyped programs plus CrossFit.

>>The manuscript NEVER states that Cross Fit should be labeled unsafe...in fact the discerning reader will find quite the opposite. What are they?

Did you see the conference presentations by Zambraski and Deuster with their distortions and misrepresentations of CrossFit?

>>"To this end, recommendations to improve efficacy and safety of Extreme Exercise Programs (ECPs) are as follows:

The implication is clear: the efficacy and safety CrossFit is lacking, and the concern is elevated.

>>3. Individualize supplemental conditioning programs (particularly ECPs) based on fitness, training goals, and job specific functional needs and demands, while limiting full participation in ECPs to those already very fit and healthy.

Supplementing is a bad idea. Don’t supplement with CrossFit, replace traditional PT with CrossFit. Use the time left over for ground school.

>>4. Anyone with a clinical condition or health status that would contraindicate participating in ECPs or other high-intensity physical activities should not be allowed to participate until medically cleared.

This applies especially to traditional military PT, where everyone trains in unison and where large clusters of injuries are occurring.

>>5. Ensure suitable rest periods (adequate duration and frequency) between sets of exercise and include regularly planned days of reduced or no supplemental conditioning, especially just before or after exhaustive military training, to optimize recovery, promote positive training adaptations, and minimize excessive fatigue.

Don’t forget hydration.

>>Now maybe I went to a deficient Level I certification, but 90% of these recommendations were reiterated by the faculty to insure safety.

So you would testify that 90% of the efficacy and safety recommendations are already in place at CrossFit. You need to go over your check list and let CrossFit know where the 10% remains in need of attention.

>>For those of you have not read the paper, and just heard that it lambasts Cross Fit...please read it yourself.

But it does, first by lumping CrossFit in with silly programs, by misrepresenting it (especially at the conference), then by raising alarms with zero data.

>>Our intent is to get scientists excited about studying this area, and policy makers excited about funding needed research.

I hadn’t thought of the commercial value of the Consensus Paper to prime the government pump.

>>Cross Fit may well produce better warriors...who knows? Lets find out, and in the meantime, lets keep our military safe by following nothing more than common sense guidelines.

CrossFit is producing better conditioned warriors, and it is doing so safely. The way to prove it is to set up a trial. CHAMP and ACSM should simply send a best team or two to the Games and see how military PT compares. And if you don’t think the Games are appropriate to the military’s missions, I’ll see if suitable adjustments can’t be made.

Comment #24 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at September 11, 2012 11:09 AM

Dr. JA Glassman, First, I again remind you that I am both a Cross Fitter, and a member of the ACSM/CHAMP writing team. Unfortunately you, like some Cross Fitters (which I hope is the minority), just don't get it. READ the paper. See the forest through the trees...PLEASE. What does it conclude? What does it STATE? It concludes that there is no evidence in the literature to support that any extreme exercise programs have been shown to increase risk of injury. More research is needed, and if you do engage in extreme exercise...don't be stupid. That's what it states....there is no hidden meaning. Others may want to use it that way...but that's what the paper concludes and states. The paper gives clear guidance for individuals who choose to engage in these programs....NEVER does it say...DON'T. If I were the Chief Scientist or Chief Medical Consultant and I wrote "An Answer", it would not be 92 pages...it would be closer to 92 words...again reiterating..."no evidence." In all honesty, the strongest statement in the literature to say that Cross Fit is not more dangerous than any other exercise activity, is the CHAMP/ACSM paper. I would stand by that if asked.

The CHAMP/ACSM paper is peer reviewed and literature cited by pubmed....the standard. The article was critically reviewed, screened by blinded peers and reviewed by an editor as well. It is not painted or intended to be an evidence based paper...it is a thought paper reflecting a meeting to discuss a topic that is a concern in the sports and medical community. I regularly have professionals and patients ask me if they feel participation in Cross Fit is both prudent and safe...my answer is there is no evidence to the contrary...proceed at your pace and have a good trainer....know the "box." Your "An Answer" is undoubtedly not peer reviewed...you should send it into a journal for publication in the peer reviewed medical or scientific literature for publication...you might want to consider cutting it down a little, cutting out the personal attacks which generally are not well received in the publication literature, and add a co-author who has atleast one peer reviewed publication in the medical or exercise science literature. As you have heavily criticized the authors of the Consensus paper in your manuscript, you might also note that they collectively have hundreds of peer reviewed publications on exercise, nutrition, exertional heat illness and exertional rhabdomyolysis. I have no comment on your science interpretation. The meeting consisted of experts...again, their conclusion was no increased risk and a call for research.

You are absolutely naive to think that Cross Fit is exempt from causing injury...that there is no evidence for rhabdomyolysis. All you need to do is go to a sports medicine meeting and take a look at the posters and abstracts...you can note a small but real number of reports of injuries associated with an extreme exercise program...to include Cross Fit. I have personally treated a number of injuries associated with Cross Fit, as well as regular training injuries. I have personally managed patients (soldiers) in the hospital with exertional rhabdomyolysis from Cross Fit workouts lasting less than twenty minutes...two of which have not fully recovered for over two years...do I write them all up for the literature...no...did they happen ...yes they did. A recent Cross Fit instructor reported to me they had a rhabdo while in competition...it happens...if you deny that injuries and rhabdo occur associated with Cross Fit...you are out of touch. That being said...injuries and rhabdo occur with all other exercise efforts all the time...but don't tell me, or your membership, it doesn't happen with Cross fit...insulting to the intelligence of the Cross Fit membership.

As the Chief Science Officer, I am sure you have read the latest Best Practices Recommendations for Collegiate Conditioning Sessions...jointly endorsed by multiple organizations including the National Academy of Sports Medicine, the NCAA, the National Athletic Trainers Association, The American Medical Society of sports Medicine, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association, among others. This manuscript Casa et al: Journal of Athletic Training 2012;47(4): 477-480., lays down the gauntlet on dangerous conditiong in collegiate athletics that causes injuries and death. A great read with prudent recommendations for all of us...including Cross Fit.

Finally, we have the military. In the military there are regulations and standards...they wear the uniform the same way, they load heavy weapons with a system, they run firing ranges with a system familiar all over the country, and they used to run PT by standard. That has changed with the advent of many excellent off the shelf programs like Cross Fit. Obviously there have been problems with military physical training buy in, and there are many excellent concepts in programs like Cross Fit. The new Army PT program has adopted many elements you would find familiar. This is an issue the military is confronting...as you know, many leaders firmly believe in Cross fit and its warrior ethos...talking to some of them...I concur and would not challenge them. CHAMP, a military organization, which hosted this conference, IS dedicated to the health and welfare of warriors, and is tackling many tough topics....the impetus for this conference came from the ground up...from warriors from all services who were either injured or concerned about injury. Individuals like "Don" should be glad there are organizations like CHAMP that will step up to the plate to address tough questions that may not be politically correct...to be skeptical...to question.


In summary...again...READ the paper....don't read into it. It’s actually extremely neutral, and helps more than hurts programs like Cross Fit...while there is a concern...that is real among health professionals...there is no evidence to support an increased risk of injury. Hopefully it assists in moving science forward by generating true research in this exciting area.

Finally...your paper was outrageous in its personal attacks. I am embarrassed as a new Cross Fitter in your approach...and if you have a professional conscience, you should be ashamed! Professionals know how to communicate without making it personal...in particular those who claim to be a Chief Scientists. If you can't see how that would detract from true science and credibility, you need to go back and review how scientific literature is written...even literature that is just a summation of a meeting.

And if you choose to respond, try not to use your technique of criticizing line by line by line...look at the big picture first...what the message is, and craft a response to what I am sincerley trying to communicate to you.

I would be happy to talk off line about a real research project, as you suggest, if you are sincerely interested...let me know how to contact you.


Sports Doc

Comment #25 - Posted by: sports doc at September 12, 2012 5:58 PM

M/32/6'5"/215 Beginner

6 rounds @ 43:42
95lbs for thrusters
45lb plate for swings

Comment #26 - Posted by: Bubba at September 12, 2012 6:10 PM

Who are those guys?

Take the top 30 athletes from the recent games...
(even some of the women..but thats another issue those generals can't deal with yet.)
Add military skills training to the highest level.
Who in their right mind wouldn't want this bunch on their team.

CF is designed to make this possible from practically anybody.

Comment #27 - Posted by: Stewart Jensen at September 12, 2012 10:11 PM

Bingo (comment 12), congratulations to you and your better 95%!!!! My wife and I are approaching 21 yrs.

I am disappointed in the Army's position on CrossFit, but not surprised. We have witnessed a deliberate pussification of our military, especially the Army over the last 20 years. We now have mandatory "resiliency training"!!! What the hell is that? How does the American Army have Soldiers that require such "training"?

Well, when CrossFit is deemed dangerous, it's no surprise!!! Way to go coach, but the Army leadership won't read it. They don't want to read or hear the truth.

Comment #28 - Posted by: Curtis at September 16, 2012 7:44 AM

Sports Doc, 9/12/12 @ 5:58 pm

A response to your comment has just been posted in the Journal at the link to "An Answer", above.

Comment #29 - Posted by: Jeff Glassman at September 20, 2012 5:55 PM

Sports Doc = Francis O'Connor

Comment #30 - Posted by: Russ Greene at January 11, 2014 8:19 PM
Post a comment






Remember personal info?