Sprinting is about 3 things: Strength, Power and Speed. If you want to add all Olympic events, then you might as well add Endurance. 9 out of the 10 events in the Decathlon consists of Strength, Power and Speed.
So Crossfit is basically fitness by specializing in “not specializing” :)
Crossfit likes to break down their fitness into these 10 categories:
- cardiovascular endurance
Thus Crossfit’s workouts are primarily HIIT (high-intensity interval training), Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, and running at all speeds. But the real secret to their success is a Cross-varied workout with Functional Movements at High Intensity in a Community or Social environment.
There is some similarities in the events, but Track & Field is all about achieving the best time or distance. Period.
My only caution against Crossfit is doing high-rep Olympic lifts with maximal weights are simply dangerous, and a recipe for major injuries.
There is a study based on 450 CrossFit participants over a one year period with a finding of 56% injured. The breakdown is Shoulders (29%), lower back (16%), knee (8%); 59% were “overuse” injuries.
Now, in defence of CrossFit, Track athletes get injured too. Look at me with my full Achilles rupture!
So, is CrossFit good? Yes, but it’s not for everyone.
How fast do CrossFit’ers run 400m?
Over two years ago, I was inspired to write an article on CrossFit and the 400 meters. Brant Cebulla wrote an article on How fast do CrossFitters run the 400m sprint? He posted his instructions here for gathering data and the methodology.
In Cebulla’s data set, he used over 5000 records, and just focused on 400m times.
How about expanding that to over 70,000 records, and include Clean & Jerk, Snatch, Squats and the 400 meters?
There was some manual cleanup! (MS Excel is wonderful with sort and delete) I got rid of all 400m times greater than 180 sec (3 min) and anything less than 48 (Really?)
For weights, anything less than 20Kg is removed because that is the weight of the bar!
For Open men under 30 years old, and 1057 results, we used the Median value as it will not count empty cells:
This looks reasonable, even though the squat at 160Kg is 3.5 plates on each side (20kg plates)… and snatch should be about 80% of Clean and Jerk. Impressive numbers.
The full results?
Respect the 400 meters!
Looking at these 400m times, it’s fair to say that running the 400m does take genetics and training, if you want to be state, provincial, or nationally ranked sprinter!
For example, in the UK alone (2017 rankings from thepowerof10.info, men’s 400m time ranged from 44.74 to 53.0 with 982 men. The average (median) under 30 years old Male Crossfitter did 65 seconds! For Women under 30, it’s 79 seconds.
And it gets worse with age, obviously.
It’s also worth noting that we do not know when they ran the 400m. Was it after an intense HIIT session? Were they fresh with a proper 1 hour warm up with drills and strides?
I do my track workouts first, then I do weights. So my weight room numbers will never be as good compared to being fresh (or sadly, when I’m injured and do weights only!)
Using a Scatter plot
In order to identify the outliers, take a look using a scatter plot. You can see some Crossfitters running a respectable low 50 or high 49 :) though I suspect most, if not all, of these times are manual hand times! And you know my thoughts on hand timing from previous articles :)
In terms of Clean and Jerk vs. Squat, this scatter plot doesn’t surprise me as there is a correlation between these two events. I think 100kg C&J (2 plates) and a 140Kg Squat (3 plates) are respectable numbers, at least for a non-weightlifter :)
So there you have it. Data Science at it’s best. (Thanks Fabien for your work) Please post your comments below, or on Facebook.