The Measure of Fitness

Here in CrossFit Land we measure power as a gauge of fitness. It is how we know whether we are gaining or losing ground in our efforts. Power is derived from intensity, which comes in various forms.

Power can be defined several ways. In cycling terms I was familiar with “Power=Strength+Endurance”. In mathematical terms, Power = Force x Distance / Time. The simplest way to remember it, is “being able to move large loads over long distances quickly”. A simple CrossFit way of breaking it down to it’s simple elements. All of the above definitions basically say the same thing. Think about it. If you can Deadlift 225 Lbs faster this time than last time over the same distance (height, length, whatever), your fitness is obvisouly better and your power has increased.

Since everything in CrossFit is quantifiable, that is to say we can apply a number of some sort to our efforts to gauge progress, it makes sense to compute power output from time to time with certain WOD’s to see where we are. Yesterdays WOD was a great one for this. If we use the Power Output Calculator, courtesy of Greg Everett and Catalyst Athletics (an awesome CF affiliate site with the focus on Oly lifting), we can determine our fitness as defined by power. Let’s look at my numbers in yesterday’s WOD and as done on 9/10/08. We’ll use 20 minutes as the time parameter since both attempts were in that ballpark.

9/10/08 – 5 Rounds – Max reps                  10/17/08 – 5 rounds – Max reps

Bench (BW = 175)                                          Bench (BW = 175)

Pull Ups                                                        Pull Ups

Squat (BW =175)                                           Squats (BW = 175)

1- 15/ 25 / 15                                             1- 17 / 30 / 15

2- 10 / 15 / 12                                            2- 11 / 22 / 12

3- 8 / 13 / 10                                              3 – 9 / 17 / 12

4-  7 / 12 / 10                                             4 – 8 / 15 / 12

5-  7 / 12 / 10                                             5-  7 / 14/ 12

T: 47 / 77 / 57                                              T:  52 / 98 /63

Work Performed                              Work Performed

94114.6 Joules                                           109367.02 Joules

9596.87 Kg-m                                            11152.16 Kg-m

69418.93 Ft-Lbs                                         80669.11 Ft-Lbs

Power Output                                   Power Output

78.43 Watts                                                  91.14 Watts

.11 Horsepower                                           .12 Horsepower

57.85 Ft-Lbs/Sec                                         67.22 Ft-Lbs/Sec

Not too shabby an improvement over a month and on an empty stomach, thanks to intermittent fasting. So, when someone asks you for proof that you are fitter, faster, and stronger, you can geek out on them like I just did and crank out some numbers. Then start acting like you know what you are talking about, throw in some terms like WOD, Joules and Horsepower in there and you will amaze your friends and they will going out to drink with you thinking you’re a freakin’ nut. No seriously, this is a great tool to gauge things. You will find that sometimes an increase in weight can actually work against you as the clock slows, but that most likely will later lead to increased physical adaptation, which then means more power.

Got power?

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