Test of Physical Working Capacity in Crossfit

Фотографии: 

V.V. Volkov, S.A. Eremin
Laboratory of Sports Medicine and Physiology "Heraklion"
V.N. Seluyanov, professor, Ph.D.
Laboratory of "Information technologies in sport" of Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Moscow

Key words: functional diagnostics, physical fitness, CrossFit.

Introduction. Nowadays the new sport - CrossFit has become widely spread in our country and around the world. Competitions usually include three kinds of exercises, namely for strength, strength endurance and general endurance. Therefore, training of a crossfitter comprises a set of strength and local strength exercises. The main objective of training sessions is to train a comprehensively developed athlete, ready for any extreme situation (like in war or in survival in extreme conditions - a natural disaster).

In order to control consistently physical fitness of a crossfitter one is to know the level of functional capacities of the physiological systems and muscles which do the main part of the competitive activity, particularly of the main groups of arm, leg and body muscles.

Proceeding from the analysis of competitive activity in CrossFit, the bulk of the work is done using gymnastic and weightlifting equipment, a lot of jumping, a little less work on a bicycle ergometer and a rowing machine and a minor part using running load.

To perform these actions effectively the hypertrophy of the extensor muscles of the hip and knee joints, the shoulder, elbow and wrist flexors and extensors is required.

So, in foot work the key muscles are as follows (in order of importance): glutes, quadriceps, hamstring and calves, while in arm work these are: lats, spinal extensors and flexors, deltoids, biceps, triceps and forearm muscles and obliques.

These muscles are most actively involved while pedaling the bicycle ergometer and rotating the arm ergometer pedals.

Consequently, informative indicators of the local muscular performance can be obtained by testing crossfitters using the leg and arm ergometers.

While monitoring the dynamics of athletes’ physical fitness it is necessary to compare the achievements of a specific athlete with the pattern characteristics of athletes of different physical fitness levels, so the purpose of the current study was to determine the local muscular performance of arm and leg muscles, as well as of the state of the cardiovascular system of the strongest crossfitters of Russia. Scientific papers on the current range of problems have not been found in the available literature.

The purpose of the study was to develop standards for physical fitness of crossfitters based on the laboratory functional test (n = 10).

Materials and methods. In order to evaluate the levels of physical development and functional status the following indicators and research methods were used:

1. Body composition or percentage of different tissues in a human body - characterizes the athlete’s active to inert body mass ratio.

2. Maximum stroke volume index (MSV) is related to the stroke volume at rest (SV) - SV at rest characterizes the left ventricular dilatation degree, and as a result - the capacity of the cardiovascular system.

3. Maximum alactic power (MAP) is the evaluation indicator of the percentage of the myofibril mass in active muscles (arms, legs and body) of a crossfitter.

4. Working capacity or oxygen consumption at the level of aerobic threshold (AeT) - characterizes the force of the oxidizing MB displayed during the aerobic mode of the power supply.

5. Working capacity or oxygen consumption at the level of anaerobic threshold (AnT) by which the percentage of the mitochondrial mass or oxidizing power of active muscles can be estimated.

6. Working capacity at the level of maximal oxygen consumption (MOC) - characterizes the maximum aerobic power and potentialities of the cardiovascular system.

A total of 10 athletes - elite crossfitters, champions and medalists of All-Russian competitions (5 males aged 29 (b=2) and 5 females aged 23 (b=3) - were involved in the study. The data retrieved from the works by V.V. Feofilaktov et al., 2013, were used as a control group.

The functional status was tested on the premises of Laboratory of Sports Medicine and Physiology "Heraklion".

The testing included echocardiography, bone densitometry, body composition analysis and determination of speed-strength and aerobic capabilities of leg, shoulder and arm muscles.

The study of the body composition was pursued according to the method of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry by means of the GE Lunar Prodigy densitometer.

SV at rest was measured with the help of the high resolution ultrasound scanner Logiq E9 GE.

The indices of AeT, AnT and MOC were registered during a step test using the leg and arm ergometers Lode with the help of the gas analyzer Cosmed. The primary stage of the load and its increase at each successive stage of the testing on the leg ergometer was 30W for males, 20W for females. On the arm ergometer - 20W and 15W, accordingly. When testing lung ventilation, oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide emission and heart rate were also measured. Every 2 minutes the load increased gradually and lasted until an athlete refused to continue.

Speed-strength capabilities of the arm and leg muscles were evaluated by the rate of the set-up resistance and by the maximum tempo of pedaling bicycle ergometers (5-7 sec) in the MAP testing.

Results and discussion.

Table 1. Anthropometric characteristics of elite crossfitters

Sex

Height,

cm

Weight,

kg

Fat,

%

Mineral density,

g/cm3

ST at rest, ml

MSV,

ml

Х

σ

Х

σ

Х

σ

Х

σ

Х

σ

Х

σ

 Male (5)

173

6,6

79,3

4,1

11

1,4

1,42

0,03

112,6

8,3

150

8,7

 Female (5)

161

2,8

64,6

4,9

20,7

6

1,32

0,21

77,6

13,8

108

12,8

 Male (216)

177

6,9

69,3

9,5

9,8

3,0

1,2

0,2

71

36,77

100

21

 Female (435)

164,6

5,8

56,8

8,9

15,5

3,8

1,11

0,15

45,5

13,44

78

18

MSV - is calculated by the formula by V.N. Seluyanov et al., 2005

SV = (W +0.3*MB)*100/(HR* 3.75*(( HR/190)0.2 -0,69)), where W – power at the level of AnT, W, MB – body mass, kg, HR – heart rate at the level of AnT, bpm

As is seen from Table 1, the mean height of male and female crossfitters is slightly less than the statistical average data of students, and the body mass of male crossfitters is significantly higher by 10 kg (14.3%), and that of females - by 11 kg (19.4%). Taking into account that the body fat percentage in athletes is less, it indicates that great body mass is mostly determined by the muscle mass component of the body.

Bone mineral density in athletes is significantly higher - 18%.

Stroke volume at rest and maximum stroke volume in athletes are also significantly higher than those of students. This difference is statistically significant (р<0,001) and amounts to 48%.

Table 2. Functional indicators of leg muscles

Sex

AeT,

ml/min/kg

AnT,

ml/min/kg

MOC,

ml/min/kg

MAP,

W/kg

 

Х

σ

Х

σ

Х

σ

Х

σ

Male (5)

22,8

3,9

38,6

7,58

46,1

3,73

12,2

0,7

Female (5)

24,5

2,8

36,2

1,5

42,1

2,83

11,2

1,2

Male (216)

15

5

30

7

46

8

8,5

1,5

Female (435)

12

4

27

6

42

7

6,5

1,6

 

Table 2 represents the data on the functional fitness of leg muscles. It is clearly seen that

MOC of legs is not statistically significantly different (p>0,05). However, there is a significant difference between the indices of oxygen consumption at the level of aerobic and anaerobic ventilatory thresholds (р<0,05). The difference at the level of speed-strength fitness is 40-50% (p<0,001).

Table 3. Functional indicators of arm and body muscles

Sex

AeT, ml/min/kg

AnT, ml/min/kg

MOC,

ml/min/kg

MAP,

ml/min/kg

Х

σ

Х

σ

Х

σ

Х

σ

Male (5)

21,1

3,2

33

3,9

42

5,3

10,4

0,4

Female (5)

19,6

3,7

30,8

3,6

38,7

3,7

9,6

0,7

Male (216)

5

2,2

15

4,1

21

5,5

8,2

3,2

Female (435)

4

2,1

10

3,5

18

4,9

5,8

3,4

 

Table 3 represents the data on physical fitness of the arm and body muscles while testing them on the arm ergometer. It is seen that the difference in oxygen consumption exceeds twofold the oxygen consumption at the level of anaerobic threshold and MOC of arms (р<0,001). The level of speed-strength fitness is also statistically significantly different (р<0,001) by 20-65%.

Conclusions.

  1. Physical development of crossfitters is distinguished by high indicators of muscle mass, increased bone mineral density, substantial growth of the myocardium, providing large stroke volume compared with students.
  2. The levels of functional fitness of the leg and arm muscles of crossfitters are statistically significantly higher than those of students, arm and body muscles are especially well trained, the indicators of oxygen consumption are at the level of anaerobic threshold and lactate threshold.

References

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Corresponding author: fitclub@list.ru