The New Three Dimensional Definition of Fitness: Part 1


This concept started with me having what I call a belief in
fitness that is I was of the view, still am of the view
that there was a general physical capacity that would
lend itself well, generally well, to any and all
contingencies to the likely, to the unlikely, to the known, to the unknown. Little
different than the fitness is required for, say, sport. In fact, one of the things it demarcates,
delineates, defines sport physiologically is how much we know about the
physiological demands. And so, I look at a guy like this, Mr. Prefontaine, rest in peace, I don’t think a 400-pound bench press would have helped his efforts or made him a better runner. Understand that? And if you want to be a
bench press competition I don’t think training with him would have gotten you there either. But that’s because we weren’t looking, he wasn’t looking for a broad, general and inclusive fitness, he wasn’t looking for fitness that would prepare him for the unknown and unknowable though,
hey, maybe that might have made a difference in his, in his demise. Interesting bit of
speculation, but we’re chasing headlong this this concept a fitness is a broad,
general, inclusive adaptive capacity, something again that
would prepare you for the unknown and unknowable and went to the literature to look for
and that could find shit, you know, and the stuff we did find seemed either esoteric, irrelevant, logically flawed, scientifically flawed, even for the
stuff that came from the best scientific minds. To date the American College of Sports
Medicine cannot give a scientific definition fitness. They give a
definition for sure but it contains nothing that can be
measured. In scientific definitions that includes unmeasurable things are not
scientific, though it may look like it. Could have
all kinds of words like neurosynaptic facilitation, I mean you can really get fancy with the language and
throw some Latin at you, but if in the end if it’s not measurable you
don’t have a good definition. And so, we started playing with it and it came up with three operational models. You’ll see what they are. They were
kinda clumsy but they had utility and they guided us,
kept us on this path and I’ll share with you what they are. Jim Cawley and Bruce Evans of Dynamax, they make these med balls over here, poor guys have gone completely senile but
still it was a big contribution. It’s a great, great med ball. In their prime, in their days vigor and vitality, they produced a
list of physiological adaptations possible for
an exercise program and this includes cardiorespiratory
endurance, and you can get these from the “What is Fitness?” article, you needn’t
write them down, I want you to just get an overview here what we’re
talking about. They listed these 10 general physical skills they called ’em
and really what they did is they represented the gamut of potential adaptation, physiological
adaptation, to an exercise program. That is, you can improve
cardiorespiratory endurance, stamina strength, flexibility, power speed, coordination, accuracy, agility and balance. Ten. They gave reasonable definitions to each of these 10 so that they were seem fairly distinct. Couple of notes here– nature has no obligation to recognize
these distinctions, it’s completely man-made. This is an abstraction, a construct, a model made by a couple of coaches and exercise physiologists to help us understand fitness better. Well, what we did with this
that was a surprise to the guys came up with the list, they said they had one of these
damn it moments where they wish they had taken that next step, let the other shoe
hit the ground, if you will, was we said that he or she was as fit as you were
developed in breadth and depth in those 10 capacities. And to the extent that you were
deficient in one relative to any cohort, that is, the guy standing next ya, you
were less fit. OK? Simple. This is a balance, a compromise if you will, you probably understand of physiological adaptation. Second model. This is kind of a statistical model based on training modalities. Here’s what we’re going to do–I’m gonna take a big hopper you know like we pick a lottery winner
and throw in all the cards and envelopes and turn the thing and pull out your winner, right, you’ve seen that before. What we wanna do is I wanna load this thing with his many skills and drills from as
many different sports and strength and conditionings you can come up with, and I mean it could
be B-skip drills from track, agility ladder work from football, it could be a one rep
max bench press, it could be Fran, Helen and Diane from the CrossFit workouts, any of our Hero workouts, those are all CrossFitters that we lost. It could be, fuck, I’ll put Pilates in, some yoga shit in there, I don’t care. I’m not gonna exclude anything, the
more the better. Fill it. Now, line everyone up, turn the
crank, pull something out and put it to the test, give it the Pepsi challenge. Here’s the contention, he or she that
performs best at these randomly assigned, physical task is fittest, and it may very well be that the fittest
man on Earth is about 75 percentile in terms of what you pick
out, you understand? In fact, best at many things would tell
me immediately that you’re not as fit as you could be. Want a for instance for that? I’ll give you one, you got a 4:10 mile, I’m gonna tell ya I know thousands of people a whole lot fitter than you are, because part of the adaptation to get
you a 4:10 mile is it probably coincides with a max bench about half
body weight in a vertical leap a 3-4 inches. And I get a 4-minute mile, it’s
especially true, and we get under that and it’s just it’s absolutely certain, absolutely certain. You got 900-pound back squat? Let me tell you, you walk funny, you can’t really run, you can jump up
boxes too well and you’d be hard-pressed to run a mile without
stopping four or five times. That’s just how that is. It’s not a character flaw, that’s part
and parcel of the adaptation. Now if you tell me I’m living for a 900-pound back squat, great, I’m all for it. I can tell you put you in touch with
Dave Tate, he’ll get you there. Mark Rippetoe, he’ll probably get you on your way. You want a 4-minute mile, I’ve got people who can help you with that, move you in that direction. But you are not advancing your fitness
in doing so. What you’re doing is advancing a very
narrow bandwidth specialized capacity, that’s what you’re doing, no value judgment
here. So, we have a statistical model where we’re looking at skills and drills, and what I’m talking about his balance and compromise, breadth and depth, capacity breadth and depth of training
modality, OK, different skills and drills. The other one, the first one if you
remember was this balance about adaptation, physiological adaptation. I got a third–there are three metabolic pathways, turns out there’s a fourth in there, someday probably a fifth, sixth and seventh, we fundamentally don’t care, but you put
power on this axis and duration of effort here, time and the first one looks like that, second one looks like that, third looks like that. The real point
here is that this is a high-power, about a hundred percent of max human
output of your output, this one’s oh probably 75
percent, maybe 70, authorities differ. This one could be about 40 percent
this one craps out here at about 10 seconds, this one peaks at about 60 seconds, this one terminates at 120, and this first one here, this
long one starts real low and doesn’t fade in any
reasonable time for which I have patience or interest. Right? These are engines, engines that produce ATP. What is that? It’s the currency of all
effort of all energy output, doesn’t really matter. High-powered, short duration. Moderate
powered, moderate duration. Low-powered,
long duration. Yes, they have names: phosphocreatine
or phosphogen. Go ahead and forget it, you’ll be better off if you did. Lactated or glytorictic, and oxidative or aerobic–these two are are anaerobic and this is aerobic by definition. Good, forget it all. Guess what? Our thought is that you are as fit as you are balanced in capacity in all three of these engines.
The human being is a vehicle with three engines on
it let’s get ’em all workin’, does that make sense? How fuckin’ crazy is that, huh, simple. And you tell me not as a fourth engine, well fuckin’ rev that one up too. How about a fifth, sixth or seventh? Am I like, no forget them. No, let’s get them too. Now turns out we were maximizing, very
likely maximizing in a global sense, maybe historically, we we’re maximizing
the output of a pathway that would no one knew existed. How? Through constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement. If you want to remember something, remember that, and Tony gave it to you in the prescription, constantly varied, high intensity, functional
movement, of which the WOD on the website is nothing but an example, alright? So, breadth and depth balance in
bioenergetics and the biochemistry, the engines that fuel all human activity. By the way, you’re all in one of the
states right now and all three engines work all the time to some extent, kinda
cool, they idle, others rev, they rev, others idle, two will rev, one will idle, doesn’t matter. But right now you’re using one of these dominantly, oxidative. The key is sustainability. Are you doing right now something
you can only do for 10 seconds, I hope I’m not that fuckin’ boring, but you know you can probably not, I go a little longer than 10 seconds, Coach. Could you do it longer than two minutes? I think I’ve already proven you can ’cause everyone’s still looking I don’t see anyone eyes
closed. This one, ah, so right now you’re doing
aerobics, isn’t that cool. You get really fit this way, right? Balance in physiological adaptation–
coordination, accuracy, agility, balance stamina– you got it? Balance in the skills and
drills from a sundry of sports, throw ’em in, turn the crank, pull it out, statistical kind of game. Balance in bioenergetics in the molecular mechanisms that create
all activity– sleeping, eating, fighting, it’s all
there– we don’t even need to know how many
there are or where, we just want them all balanced, and then we move forward and we launched, the workout, the WOD, put up the website. And use these three operational models and they’re operational and therefore kinda clumsy, but they had utility they kept us on track. Let me just give you some of that. In the hopper model turning the crank and pull
something out, check this out. Everyone here probably knows what it is you don’t want to see come out of the hopper. Got a sense of that? There’s something you’re like, oh that would be fucked. And there’s probably something, too, that you’re like, man, this would be a great one. But if you’re like everyone else, and you’re standin’ there and the crank’s turning, you’re saying some kind of silent prayer.
Dear God, don’t let it be … and there’s something you just don’t want to be
confronted with. Here’s what I have learned about fitness, about sport training, about preparing yourself for
the unknown and the unknowable. There’s more traction, more advantage,
more opportunity in pursuing that thing that you don’t
want to see come out headlong to put more time into that thing you’re already good at. That thing you don’t want to come out is
a chink in your armor, and in addressing it will make a
difference for you in ways you’ll never be able to predict prior to to the experiment. Never be able to
predict, and we have countless examples of this from I amateur and
professional sport. Aand really the heart of this is that
we’ve learned some things about GPP that the world never knew before– general physical preparedness. Someone’s
taking notes, so I’m gonna just run with that a little bit here and give you some fuel
on this. There’s more opportunity to advance
athletic performance in advancing GPP beyond whatever you think its current
state is than there is more specific strength conditioning training,
specific to the sport. I don’t care who you are, you could be eight-figure ball sport megastar or a UFC champ or the guy next door, there is some significant, glaring deficiency in your
GPP and is a correlate to that just give
your clinical centers it will take me, at most, at most two
hours to find it. Two hours, I guarantee I’m gonna have it
nailed down, we will confront you, relative to other people at your
performance level, this is something you suck at compared to them. I don’t care who you. Fixing that
will give advantage where it doesn’t make sense, maybe mechanically or
metabolically. Why do more pull-ups make for better
skiers, I’m not quite sure. We’ve got some theories, but we demonstrated it’s a fact. Do we need to know the why of it, the
actual mechanism? Not really. I’m in the business of just
advancing performance. So, we got the three models, we’re doing
constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement as a an attempt to stay true, these
are more like lighthouse guideposts, you know, a litmus for us than
anything else, and we’re plugging along and we’re doing WODs and we’ve collected data and we start analyzing this data and looking at it and
looking at, and what does it really mean to do Fran? What does it really mean
to do Helen? What does it mean to say that your time went from seven minutes to six minutes to five minutes to four minutes? And some interesting things kinda came
out of this. Now, work is force times distance divided by time. And apologies, just a little bit of algebra here, maybe I shouldn’t
even said that word but don’t let it scare you. Force times distance divided by time, essentially, what is it weigh? Distance, how far did you displace it upward? Time, how long did it take? Now, the
functional movements–this prescription here is constantly varied, high intensity,
functional movements. The functional movements are defined as well as by any
other definition, they have a unique
capacity to move large loads, long distance and quickly. This turns out to be power. Now, in workout like Fran–does anyone know what that is? Show of hands if you do. Look, here’s a
thruster, I front squat, drive 95 pounds overhead, that’s one rep. Do 21 of those, then 21 pull-ups
and it’s basically 21 times chin over the bar, anyhow. The kip is the most efficient way to do
that. Twenty-one pull-ups then go back. Fifteen of the thrusters, 15 up pull-ups, 9 of each, stop the clock. And we get a time for it, OK? The work required for Zack to do Fran is constant. It doesn’t change, unless your height
changes, the distance we travel, the load changes, your weight changes or the bar
changes, but as long as you are you’re current–what are you, 5’8″, 5’9″? 5’10”, as long as you stay 5’10” and your weight doesn’t change and we stay at 95 pounds and we don’t change our standards for range
of motion, and we do not, then every time you do that workout, the work is constant. So, we do it some first time here and we
get some time one for it. And if we do it on another date I’ve got the same work–don’t do scare you–and I get a separate time. Now if I go to divide these, if I want to compare these two here, check this out. You guys remember how to do this. We take the denominator here flip it, right? These are the same and they cancel. Now suppose there were some error and
there will be, we know about it those of you who have got a math/physics background, you a doc? PT? Just a smart kid. That’s good. As long as this work is constant, it
is, any error incumbent inherent that lies within our methodology of measurement and how we’re doing is we’re … I’m measuring the weight with a scale, I’m measuring the distance you travel with a tape measure and I’m measuring the time with a watch. There’s really not a lot of error there. But there are some interesting things
as we’re calculating the body’s displacement by you looking at the center
of mass, blah, blah, blah. It is your error, it is constant error, the error
that is here is it here when I do with the second
time. But what happens when we go to look at the map? What happens is, though, the work and its
error cancels and the ratio of the second time we did
to the first time we did it describes my progress to the accuracy and precision of the fucking watch, which is really enormous, it’s the best of my tools. It’s better than my scale, it’s better
than my ability to use a yardstick. It’s time. It’s watch, it’s easy. So what are we looking at here, well we’re
looking at it we’re looking at changes in power we’re gonna change is a power and we
didn’t have to study this much longer to come to this understanding. That if I put power on this axis and duration of effort here, and say we take a handful of efforts
that take approximately 10 seconds to do and measure their power output, and get an average. And I can do this at 30
seconds and I can give you examples, but it doesn’t really matter. We can keep
playing this game, getting these data points and then graph
this thing. What I’ve done here technically,
mathematically, with adequate scientific accuracy and precision is I have graphed an individual or I could
do this with the company, a group, a battalion, a platoon or a country. I have measured work capacity across broad time and model domains. By the way, this power is work capacity. Here, we’ll draw it again pull it out of the rubble here. Power
equals force times distance divided by time. Work–that’s work per unit time, work
capacity, power is work capacity. I have a measure here of your work
capacity across broad time from short duration to long duration doing a bunch of different things at
each duration at each time limit. I have measured your work capacity across
broad time and modal domains. And what this means is that the area
under the curve gives me scientific, accurate and precise
measure, scientific measure, valid measure of an athlete’s fitness. And we’re the first people to have ever done that. Now, I’ve got exercise physiologists scratching their heads and and calling it dangerous and it is dangerous ’cause it’s fucking up their position in the market. And calling me an asshole, but you know, I don’t have anyone out of exercise physiology who’s refuting this and what’s interesting is when we show this to physicists, chemists, engineers, you know what they say? Why, of course, there’s no other way to
assess the capacity of something be it rocket, motorcycle, truck, humvee, tank, I wanna know what does it weigh? How far did it move and how long did it take? It turns out that everything else is
derived from that or entirely irrelevant, like is it blue or
green? You know, we don’t care. You with me?

6 Comments

  1. Where are all the haters commenting on this video?

  2. excellent

  3. Isn't it slightly sad that this guy is not in great condition himself.

  4. More pull-ups = better skiers? Cool. I love watching these.

  5. Genius!

  6. Who is this fella?

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