On General Physical Preparedness

On General Physical Preparedness

October 21, 2014
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Dear Coach Ray,
1969 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia or 1970 Pontiac GTO?

Whoa… random…

Ok…well let’s look at a few figures: The Karmann Ghia had something like 57hp while the GTO was available with up to 370hp. I’m pretty sure we can save ourselves some time and say that it would be no contest at the starting line.

These two cars are apples and oranges. Where the Karmann Ghia quite embarrassingly lacks in power it makes up in endurance. The VW was rated with a fuel economy of about 23mpg. The GTO was lucky to get 9. Which is better? Ehh…

That’s kinda like asking “Who is more fit? A marathon runner or a powerlifter?”

A top marathon runner can complete 26.2 miles in a little over two hours. That’s disgustingly fast: well under 5 minute mile pace. A powerlifter would probably be lucky to do 10-12 minute mile pace

A top powerlifter can squat over 1000 pounds. Elite marathon runners would likely struggle squatting their own bodyweight.

So who is more fit?

In CrossFit, our definition of “fitness” is quite different from what one may expect. Our goal is to not be a specialist but to be well rounded.

If you were to pit a marathon runner, a CrossFitter, and a powerlifter against each other in a competition with various types of tasks, who would come out on top?

If event number one were a running event, I think it’s safe to say the runner would win. The CrossFitter would probably come in second. The powerlifter would stumble to the finish line in third.

If event number two involved lots of heavy lifting, the powerlifter would definitely be the victor. The CrossFitter would most certainly come in second. The runner would not do so hot (and that’s being generous).

Throw in a workout that has a mix of everything, and the CrossFitter would very likely come out on top. The second and third place finishers would be a toss up.

This is why our workouts tend to be a seemingly random mish mash of different types of movements, rep schemes, loading demands, and time domains. We want to prepare you for the unknown and unknowable. We want your fitness to be one that is inclusive and well rounded. You may not be the best at any one thing, but you’ll be pretty darn decent at just about anything life or sport can throw at you. Our speciality is to not specialize. We call this “General Physical Preparedness” (GPP).

So which is better? A 1969 Karmann Ghia or a 1970 Pontiac GTO?

If it were me, I’d pick a 1970 FJ40. More power than the VW, but still not nearly as much power as the GTO. Probably get about the same gas mileage as the GTO, but being an SUV it’s much more versatile, can go anywhere, and much more practical… GPP up the wazoo.

Boom.

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