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RX Science for CrossFit

What does it take to be a great CrossFit Athlete? Elite fitness is not just going hard all day, every day. It's working smart and focusing on both strengths and weaknesses, it's doing the aerobic work, the strength work, the power work and the horrible vomit inducing work. RXscience helps you to understand what your body is currently capable of, where it can be pushed to and how best to do it. The information gathered can help you to tweak your programme, and your sessions, to develop every area of your physiology.

Our testing is split into 4 key areas for CrossFit success

Anthropometry

Anthropometry is the study of human body measurements.

Our anthropometric tests will look at your basic physical make up such as height, body mass, limb girths, limb lengths, lean mass and fat mass. This form of testing is completed by ISAK* accredited Sports Scientists via skinfold calipers in the first instance (other methods available on request). Using ISAK (International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry), and other, specified techniques your fat mass to lean mass ratio is calculated and when combined with your other test results we can make a clear assessment of your physical strengths and weaknesses. Further to this, using normative data, your physical stature can be compared to other CrossFitters to calculate areas where you will be more or less suited.

As CrossFit is largely a strength to weight ratio sport the stronger you are for your size the better you will perform in most activities from running to weightlifting. The information, and support, you will receive can help you to redesign your body to suit the nature of the sport. Optimising your physical make-up can help you improve in events you have previously struggled with - you might find you make up places in competition!

Power

Power is the rate of doing work.

Our tests will show you how much power you can produce in simple tasks which are commonly used in CrossFit training and competition. How quickly and effectively you can complete the task gives an indication of how 'powerful' you are for your body. Using gold standard light sensor technology, we can accurately measure your movements and compare to other professional athletes across strength and power sports.

The tests themselves are simple to complete so any level of athlete can do them. They involve counter-movement jumps, squat jumps and depth jumps from various heights. This means we can calculate your power from various movements utilising scientifically validated equations. As bodyweight movements such as jumps, wall balls, skipping as well as Olympic weightlifting movements require different levels of force, the development these are crucial to improving your training and competition performance. They will identify your force-velocity characteristics so we can inform you whether strength type movements or velocity type movements are key for your development.

Due to the technical nature of the jumps we will assess your mechanics and give advice on how to become more efficient in each movement. Improving a basic box jump and making yourself more efficient can mean your competition WOD performances will improve fairly dramatically.

Strength

Strength is the ability to produce and withstand force.

Our strength tests utilise the latest technologies to calculate the greatest force that you can produce. As part of our approach, we use force plates which measure your movements 1000 times every second. This testing is derived from that of British Athletics and British Weightlifting where it is used with some of the strongest and most powerful athletes in their field. Using our custom built isometric squat rack we can calculate the force you can produce from your optimal 'power' producing position similar to that of your second pull in the Olympic weightlifting movements.

Due to the isometric nature of the test, all technique is removed and a true 'raw' strength value can be garnered with next to no risk. This is completed bilaterally (both legs) and unilaterally (single leg) and compared to our database of strength athletes to assess how you compare. This information is extremely important for CrossFit athletes as limited strength will effective nearly every WOD. In conjunction with the anthropometry, and power data, this information can help to target your areas for improvement and further develop your training regime. It might be you allow an increase in body mass during a period of time because your foundation strength is not adequate to progress further in your Olympic lifts - there are many scenarios to consider and we can help advise.

Lactate

Lactate is an acid produced in muscles during strenuous exercise.

Our lactate tests help explain the burn you feel during those workouts that push you to your limits. Lactate is a naturally occurring metabolite in the human body which exists at all times but is elevated by increased activity. We utilise scientifically validated testing methods to assess your ability to produce and utilise lactate in your own Box – no need for a trip to a lab. We use your rowing ergometer and get you to complete a step test which is used to assess your production of lactate at each increasing intensity.

Due to the whole body nature of rowing we can get an accurate measure of your lactate production, where it starts to increase and where it accumulates so much you can't continue. This test isn't for the faint hearted but can make a huge difference to your training. During the tests you will be monitored both subjectively by our experienced physiologists and objectively via a heart rate monitoring system. The information will be reported to you and will explain the reason you burnout during certain workouts. You can use this to help pacing in these WODs so you can keep going for longer. The lactate information is equally (if not more useful) for your training sessions.

The CrossFit athletes who we developed this with now use this information to training in the exact zones for improving their weaknesses. Remember training isn't all about working to failure every day. It's about being specific and improving what needs improved and working on specific exercise techniques and energy systems at the right time. Doing this will give you better long term adaptations and remove those plateaus. In an upgraded version of this test - we can also look at your cardio-respiratory system in action and see how this part of your engine compares to your competitors out there.