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Embed code for: Erik Dobbins The CrossFit Affect-2
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The CrossFit Affect:
The Differences between Adult Male and Female Participants
Completed as a requirement for the Master’s Degree in HPER
Emporia State University
December 3rd, 2015
The CrossFit Effect
Our country has been facing a crisis, what kind of crisis? A health crisis. The United States is known to be one of the unhealthiest nations in the world. The United States of America when ranked in the topic of healthy lives, we rank 11 worldwide (The Commonwealth Fund, 2014). This has led to a big push in not just eating right but finding the ‘right’ exercise program is also important. In 2003, a study was developed in two different Midwestern universities, they would have one hundred thirty-one participants both men and women were placed in a randomized controlled exercise program for sixteen months, the authors found that this would prevent women from gaining weight, while it produced weight loss in men (Internal Medicine, 2003). This study showed that in order to maintain a healthy life style, men and women need to exercise. The focus of exercising in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle has created several different creative ways to exercise; some people have founded many different forms of fitness such as daily yoga, hot yoga, running, hiking, biking, weight training and many others. There is one that came out of Santa Cruz, California in the year 2000 that would shake the fitness world, this form of fitness is known as CrossFit, founded by Greg Glassman. This would revolutionize not just how people exercised but also how they ate and lived their lives inside and outside of their local CrossFit gym or otherwise known as the ‘Box’.
Previously mentioned, there have been many different forms of fitness that have been created to fit this need of improving Americans health. CrossFit cannot be mistaken with a form of fitness training known as ‘cross-training’. What is cross-training? The definition of cross-training is the training for more than one sport at the same time or training several different fitness components at one time (Kenney, Wilmore, & Costill, 2012). This can be seen in schools, many students during the summer partake in a summer strength and conditioning program where they have to get ready for not just fall sports but also their upcoming winter/spring sport seasons.
Greg Glassman, in 2000, developed this specific form of fitness known as ‘CrossFit’. This type of fitness was developed to meet the various needs of the participants, in order to not only increase their health but also provide a fitness that improves the individuals’ life. The CrossFit program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive; also this is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience (CrossFit, n.d.). After the introduction of CrossFit by Glassman, a form of fitness has been discussed in relation to this program known as ‘Functional Fitness”. The Mayo Clinic describes this functional fitness as exercises that train your muscles to help you do everyday activities safely and efficiently (Mayo Clinic, 2015). CrossFit has really adopted this ‘functional fitness’ into their program, every movement that they use in any workout, for the most part, can be translated to the real world.
In 2000, CrossFit began as just another exercise program to help benefit the participants lifestyle but it has changed in a huge way from 2000 to today in 2015. In 2007, CrossFit introduced the first ever ‘CrossFit Games’, this would not only help the growth of CrossFit from just in Santa Cruz, California but also worldwide with participants from Europe competing in this event. This has event has evolved in itself but hasn’t deterred from what it was created to do, it was created to find the “Fittest Man or Woman” in the world. From starting on a Ranch in California to now where it is displayed on ESPN and around the world on the internet.
CrossFit has taken a hold of the fitness community. CrossFit can be found in almost every major city in the United States. But, surprisingly there has not been many formal studies done with CrossFit. Specifically, there has been no formal research done on the separate effects on female and male participants of CrossFit. CrossFit has been proven to be effective in improving fitness through reaching certain intensities.
The Ohio State University’s Department of Human Sciences allowed for a study to be done while using the CrossFit method. The study was to measure the CrossFit-based high intensity power training to try and find if it improves aerobic fitness, along with body composition. They had 23 males and 20 females present through this study, they would have them run through various workouts for a ten week period and the results conferred that through this CrossFit-based program that both aerobic fitness and body composition improved greatly (Smith, Sommer, Starkoff, & Devor, n.d.). This study would show how CrossFit can improve both level of fitness and physical well-being of the participants. Another study on CrossFit titled “Relative Intensity of Two Types of CrossFit Exercise: Acute Circuit and High-Intensity Interval Training”, this was developed by a group of individuals from Saskatchewan, Canada. The purpose of this study was to describe and compare heart rate and perceived exertion responses to two different CrossFit-based multimodal exercise session and examine the differences in responses by novice compared to experienced participants (Butcher, Judd, Benko, Horvey, & Pshyk, 2015). The participants were of both novice and experienced level through multiple CrossFit workouts that they would find the readings of their heart rate before, during and after the workouts. Butcher, Judd, Benko, Horvey and Pshyk concluded both models of the CrossFit workouts can be used to elicit a significant heart rate response and that both models are a great way to improve both novice and experienced participant’s fitness levels (Butcher et al., 2015). The purpose of this study was to identify the impact of a CrossFit program had on its participants but also to find the differences between male and female participants.
The purpose of this study was to identify the impact of a CrossFit program had on its participants but also to find the differences between male and female participants.
The participants of this study were eight males and eight females (N= 16) that belonged to CrossFit H.I.T. and Run based out of Collierville and Memphis Tennessee, CrossFit classes were held six times a week with various times participants could attend but had an opportunity to attend “Open Gym” on Sundays from 1pm to 3pm. The base age of the participants was ages 21-65. Information was gathered by the participants filling out a survey given to them. They were selected due to the fact that most of them have been involved with a CrossFit-based program for more than six months and that they did not need a parent consent to fill-out the questionnaire.
Permission was given by two parties, first the Emporia State University HPER Graduate program and secondly, the owner/head coach of CrossFit Hit and Run. After permission was given, participants were given their surveys. The given survey would ask a total of ten question such as age, gender, years of experience in CrossFit, how many times per week they participate in CrossFit? How much they enjoyed CrossFit? Before starting this program, how many days per week did they exercise? How many hours each day did they spend inside a CrossFit “Box”? How did the feel overall since starting CrossFit? Then the last four survey questions were yes or no questions such as, would you recommend other people to participate in a CrossFit program? Did your diet change after starting CrossFit? Did other aspects of your life change besides your diet? Finally, did your muscular strength and cardiovascular conditioning improve after starting CrossFit?
The survey was assigned to the participants so that their data/information can be recorded and organized in order to find any differences both mental and physical that may be present between male and female participants of this CrossFit program. The survey assigned had a scale with numbers ranging from zero to ten, the scale was created to help organize and analyze the data that is being received. The participants were given two weeks to fill out this survey on their spare time; the participants signed the survey notifying that they were giving permission for their data to be used in the report.
The purpose of this study was to identify the impact of a CrossFit program had on its participants but also to find the differences between male and female participants. It was earlier hypothesized that there would be a dramatic difference between males and females through the survey they were given. The surveys were given to eight males and eight females (N=16). The survey given to the participants had a total of ten questions for them to answer.
The surveys ten questions were divided into two different groups, the first group of questions from question one to question six, and the participants were given four different options to choose from for their answers. The second group of question ranged from question seven to question ten. These question had two options to choose from, either yes or no. There were two questions from the survey that had inclusive results, question seven which asked “Would you recommend other people to participate in a CrossFit program?” The second question is question ten which asked “Did your muscular strength and cardiovascular conditioning improve after starting CrossFit?” The answers from these two questions did not show enough difference between female and male participants to show any deviation.
In order to analyze the data an ANOVA test was implemented. Question one stated “How many years have you participated in CrossFit?” the results showed that men were slightly more experienced in CrossFit than the women participants. The standard deviation from question one did not show a significant difference between the participants. Question two stated “How many days a week do you participate in CrossFit?” results would show that the female participants participate more in CrossFit at the most six times a week whereas the male participants results show that they participated at the most three to five times a week in this particular program; statistics proved this by the females reaching a max of six to eight day option and males reaching the three to five day option on the survey.
Question three stated that “On a scale of 1-10, 10 being a lot, to what degree do you enjoy the CrossFit program?” This would be the first opinion based questions the participants were asked, the results from both male and female participants proved that for the majority of each group of participants thoroughly enjoyed their CrossFit program. The male participants’ results show that the mean of answers selection was higher than that of the female participants at 3.652 to the females 3.375. Question four asked, “Before starting CrossFit, how many days per week did you exercise?” Both participant groups showed that they exercised at most five days a week and at the least, zero to two times a week. The standard deviation from question four between the male and female participants did not vary in great detail.
Question five would state, “How many hours each day do you spend inside a CrossFit ‘box’” The results from this question were identical on both sides, both of the means of the male and female participants was found to be 1.25. There was no significant difference between the two participation groups. Question six was another opinion based question which stated, “How well do you feel overall since you started using CrossFit? 9-10 being fantastic” Even though both groups would reach the max of the answer options on the survey, females mean of was higher than that of the males. Females mean was 3.875 and the males mean was at a 3.375. This shows that female participants generally feel better than the male participants from this survey.
Questions seven through ten were simple “yes or no” questions, participants would receive a one for yes and a two for no. Question seven and ten results were inconclusive due to the fact that there results were too similar. Question eight stated “Did your diet change after starting CrossFit?” The results would show that more females did change their diet after starting CrossFit, based on the fact that the mean for females was less than that of the males; the mean of females was 1.125 and the mean for males were 1.25. Question nine asked, “Did other aspects of your life change besides your diet?” Just as question eight, the results would be the same for question nine. The mean of the females were lower than that of the male participants, the means were the same as that of question eight, mean of the females was at a 1.125 and males was at 1.25.
Results showed that out of the 10 questions given to the participants, the question that proved to have the biggest deviation was question six (F= 5.091) which was “How do you feel overall since you started using CrossFit? 9-10 being fantastic.” The standard deviation for females was discovered to be 0.354 and the male’s deviation was 0.518; for the same question p was found to be small in value at <0.001 for the female participants and for the male participants p was discovered to be 0.085.As previously mentioned, the female participants feel better after starting a CrossFit program more than the male participants have stated through this survey. By using the ANOVA test, it was discovered that only one out of ten questions were found to show a true difference between males and females from the survey given to the participants. The final results from the test deemed that overall that while male participants are more involved with CrossFit classes during the week with more years of experience, the females show that they come out on top from the survey based on the female’s feeling better after starting the CrossFit program and changing their eating habits and lifestyle after being involved with CrossFit but overall all participants show a growth through CrossFit.
Results of this study that there was not much of a deviation between males and females besides question six which showed the greatest deviation out of the ten questions from the survey. The participants (eight males and eight females) were given ten questions to find any deviation between the participants. No physical or emotional differences were found in this study; in which this study did not allow for individuals to be supervised during their performance to find any physical differences.
The findings from this study were interesting due to the given wide-range of questions but given a select number of options for answers based on the fact that the responses needed to be quantified. In the beginning it was hypothesized that their might be a great deviation between the male and female participants of this CrossFit program, but the results from the survey would demonstrate something different. The hypothesis and the results would conflict with each other from this survey, in which it has to be known that based upon this survey that there is actually no relative difference between male and female participants of a CrossFit program, be sides the fact the biggest deviation was how each male and female participant felt different after starting a CrossFit program.
The biggest problem with this study was based on the fact it was all based on a given survey to the participants to be completed on their spare time. The reason why this was a big problem was due to the fact some of the questions were opinion-based and the participants were given a selection of answers. This was proven by the lack of deviation provided from the results of the survey, as mentioned previous one out of ten questions were found to have a meaningful deviation, this question asked the participants “How do you feel overall since you started using CrossFit? 9-10 being fantastic.” Again this question was the only one found to have a meaningful deviation. This would prove to be a huge limitation in the study’s results.
A study presented by the Department of Human Sciences at The Ohio State University titled “CrossFit-based high intensity power training improves maximal aerobic fitness and body composition” This study was developed to study the effects of a CrossFit-based high intensity power training program on aerobic fitness and body composition, they took 23 male participants and 20 female participants in this study. All of the participants would perform these different workouts in a CrossFit affiliate under the supervision of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). They would find that after a 10-week program both aerobic conditioning and body composition of all individuals of all fitness levels and genders (Smith, Sommer, Starkoff & Devor et al, n.d.). This study proved that CrossFit based program can be very beneficial to the participant, no matter if they were male or female.
One can state that due to this study given by The Ohio State University Department of Human Sciences proves that CrossFit is very beneficial. Due to this, there hasn’t been much research on the physiological or psychological differences between males and females during their performance of these CrossFit workouts. This leaves a lot of questions unanswered such as “Is there a difference between heart-rates of male and female athletes?” or “How long does it take for male or females to reach their VO2-maxes in a workout?” All of these questions are very interesting.
Further research needs to be done to find any meaningful differences between male and female participants, it is suggested that this research should be done under supervision of CrossFit certified trainers and fitness professionals where they use heart-rate monitors or any other piece of scientific equipment to find correct information and do not use surveys as a basis of the research. It is believed that the use of these specific types of equipment could lend information about physiological differences between the participants.
Butcher, S. J., Judd, T. B., Benko, C. R., Horvey, K. J., & Pshyk, A. D. (2015). Relative Intensity of Two Types of CrossFit Exercises: Acute Circuit and High-Intenisty Interval Exercise. Journal of Fitness Research .
CrossFit. (n.d.). What is CrossFit? Retrieved from CrossFit, Forging Elite Fitness: http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/what-crossfit.html
Internal Medicine. (2003). Effects of a 16-Month Randomized Controlled Exercise Trial on Body Weight and Composition in Young, Overweight Men and Women. Internal Medicine Vol 163 Issue 11, 1343-1350.
Kenney, W. L., Wilmore, J. H., & Costill, D. L. (2012). Physiology of Sport and Exercise Fifth Edition. Champaign: Human Kinetics.
Mayo Clinic. (2015). Functional fitness training: Is it right for you? Retrieved from Healthy Lifestyle: Fitness: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/functional-fitness/art-20047680
Smith, M. M., Sommer, A. J., Starkoff, B. E., & Devor, S. T. (n.d.). Crossfit-based high intensity power training improves maximal aerobic. Retrieved from http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/CFJ_Devor_CrossFit_Publication_1.pdf
The Commonwealth Fund. (2014, June). Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, 2014 Update: How the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally. Retrieved from The Commonwealth Fund: http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/fund-reports/2014/jun/mirror-mirror
RUNNING HEAD: THE CROSSFIT EFFECT 1
THE CROSSFIT EFFECT 12 o the participants to be completed on their spare time. The reason why this was a big problem was due to the fact some of the questions were opinion-based and the participants were given a selection of answers. This was proven by the lack of deviation provided from the results of the survey, as mentioned previous one out of ten questions were found to have a meaningful deviation, this question asked the participants “How do you feel overall since you started using CrossFit? 9-10 being fantastic.” Again this question was the only one found to have a