Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Week 4 data download and Mike's analysis

Mike has been tearing it up this year doing some great plots.  Head on over his way and enjoy his commentary.

Quick note for analyzers out there:  Jeff has scraped the latest data (thanks, Jeff!).  His comment on the dataset, as well as the link are as follows:

From Jeff:
This update includes several new features:

- Regional Ranks per event in addition to Overall Ranks per event.
- Masters Divisions now properly account for bubble ages (44 yrs old now, but will be 45 in July)
- Age07 is Age in July. Is only different than "current age" for 390 bubble Masters.

Data file can be found here:

Predicted 12.5 performances

Hooray for HQ!  As many have figured out, 12.5 is the exact same workout as 11.6 last year, which cleverly allows people to judge their improvement from one year to the next.  What's super nice, is that it also allows us to ask questions that would be difficult to answer.  For example, is the field of crossfit open participants getting better as a whole?  Without the constant variable that 12.5 provides, this question could only be answered with vast amounts of speculation.  Answering it now, will just require a comparison of raw scores from one year to the next.

For people interested in last year's performance scores for 11.6 (the same as 12.5), here are the cumulative plots for the participants that finished all 6 workouts, in the main male and female categories.  It looks like the 50th percentile for men is slightly below 90 reps, while for women it's about 73 reps.  For those headed to regionals and aiming for the 95th percentile, aim for 125 reps and 110 reps for males and females, respectively.  Of course, it all depends on your given situation and your standings now.

The final data for workout 11.6, which is the same WOD as this year's 12.5.  My speculation is that the curves won't change too much from last year's to this year's, although I've been wrong before, plenty of times.

Also note, for men, if you're on the cusp of regionals, have a BMI of around 26-27 and a height of 5'10" and below, you should rock this thing.  This workout heavily favors the shorter and huskier as seen here in the below figure, plotting the average score for each height weight combination.  Details of how to interpret the figure can found in this previous link.

Predicted relationship between height/weight and WOD 12.5 performance.   If you have a BMI above 30, you may be in trouble (blue areas).  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Week 12.3 percentile plots

One thing I have trouble doing with the leaderboard is quickly scanning how many reps you need to rank in a certain percentile.  This is especially true after Thursday, where droves of scores make scrolling through the leaderboard the devil.

Here - I make it easy! Thanks to Andrew, I've managed to scrape the leaderboard and plot cumulative distributions for week 3.   Want to know how many reps you need for the 50th percentile?  Just go to the y-axis, go to 0.5, and run your finger across until it hits the pink (Ind. Women) or Blue (Ind. Men) lines.   Drop down, and then there's the target number of reps.  Going from reps to percentile is also pretty easy, just reverse the process.

Caveat, this is still pretty early, so the curves could change a bit, especially at the extremes (ie near 0 or near 1).  Ballpark though, I bet it'll work for most people.

Oh, the little bump on the pink line near low percentiles?  That's apparently a few folks that have trouble doing a toe-to-bar.  I wondered about that myself.

For those interested in the code, I've enclosed the matlab file I used to scrape the pages and organize it how I like it.  It's definitely rough around the edges, so if somebody would like to use it and make it better, by all means!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WOD 12.1 - Early plots and analysis

Thanks to miked and killers411, newcomers to the crossfit analysis scene, we have some early plots and discussion points!  Thanks guys!

Miked has plotted the real distributions and fitted distributions of the WOD 12.1, for all athletes, including masters.  He's also very nicely calculated the mean and std of each of these groups and included them in the legend.  Notes:  the masters distributions are hard to see because the y-axis is number of athletes, and of course the number of athletes in the non-masters groups dwarf that of the masters.

Also, he's plotted performance against height and weight, and done some modeling of workout performance and workload.  Outstanding stuff and it'll be fun to see some more.

Here's the link from miked.

Killers411, has done a nice number comparison of each region, which suggests the open has grown 2.5 times since last year!  The fight for regionals will certainly be tougher with all these newcomers.

...and the link from killers411.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Group thought: Questions to ask during the 2012 open....

Jeff is doing a great job providing a complete dataset this year (see last post for a link), which will allow many people to play with the data and come up with interesting analysis.  It's a ton of hard work and we're very fortunate to have him donating his time to this effort.

That said, what are some of the burning questions people want to ask of the dataset?  Hopefully by getting the questions out, we can have folks discussing the data and questions together.

Here are some of the things I'd like to see during the games.

1)  I'm fond of the height/weight plot for each workout, as I think it gives a quick informative picture of what each WOD.  By week 3 or week 4, is it possible to predict what the last wod should be?  One of my standing predictions is that wall ball will be a part of the open.  I think it's one of the few exercises that helps taller athletes.  Erg likely falls into that category too, but I have trouble thinking that would be required.

2)  At the end of the games, will it be possible to answer how much a year's worth of training helps?  This is a bit tricky, because we'll need someway of understanding if the overall performance of open participants has changed over the years.  Has crossfit's emergence and popularity shifted the performance curve down? 

Feel free to post your own questions, about a specific WOD or of the games overall.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Crossfit Open 2011 dataset, for download

At some point I thought I would write something up more formally about the 2011 Open, but that moment has certainly passed.  Many folks have asked for the data from the 2011 Open, and here it is!

The funny thing is, I have some suspicions that the 2011 Open dataset might be better than the 2012 dataset for the height/weight analyses.  Why?  Part of it is the registration process.  In 2011, when athletes registered, they were asked immediately for their height and weight.  In 2012, these questions have been eliminated, although folks can enter this information freely in their profile.  As a result though, I expect that volunteered information for height/weight will fall off dramatically.  Who knows though, with how big the Open is getting maybe it won't matter?

Click here for a .csv file of the 2011 Open dataset, courtesy of work done by Greg Perkins.  The dataset includes all athletes, including athletes that did not finish all six workouts.  The column headers should be:
- athlete ID,nameURL,age,sex&division,height,weight, overall-points,overall-rank, score1,rank1, score2, rank2, score3,rank3, score4,rank4, score5,rank5, score6,rank6  

Click here for some helpful matlab scripts, including one that breaks the overall dataset into separate structures for each competition category.

And here for some information about the .csv file and descriptions of the matlab scripts.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Calling all fellow xfit nerds - help!

So the open is just around the corner... and so is my PhD thesis defense!  I defend April 12th, and this next month or two is going to be jam packed for me.  I'm trying to assemble one more manuscript before I finish and I have yet to start writing - yikes.

I'm almost certain that I won't be able to maintain the blog as well as I did last year - and let's be clear, Greg Perkins was a HUGE help in helping me acquire the data in last couple of weeks of 2011.  Without him I probably would have spent many more hours just trying to mine the data.

So at this point, I'm trying to start a discussion among people who would be willing and capable of helping out this year.  I can host the 2012 blog, or somebody else can if they prefer and want to make it look all fancy (instead of the terrible book background I've been using).  I can share the matlab scripts I used to generate the plots last year, which can be easily adapted to other languages.  

I'm just brain storming now, but we need people who can do the following:

1)  Understand how HQ is posting the workout scores on the website, and figure out a way to dump these scores along with all the other athlete information (name, region, age, height, weight) etc.  Greg, are you still around these days?  Do you think your nid trick will work like last year?

2)  Take data dumps in relatively real time and play around with the data, pose a few interesting questions and make some rough plots.  Ideally, this person would also be writing something to go along with their plots.  I can facilitate here a bit and help the crowd.

3)  Folks that can take the plots and clean them up a bit for presentation purposes.

I think that's all for now.  Please comment if you think you have the skill and desire to help!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Need help making it to Regionals? Try moving to Central East…

Welcome back everybody!  It seems like some folks are stumbling upon the blog once again now that the 2012 Open is around the corner.   After getting a few encouraging emails I felt renewed (reenergized?)to post again.

Where were we?   Ah yes, the Central East region boast some serious crossfitters, including last year’s world champion, Rich Froning, and the 2011 winner of the Open, Dan Bailey.  On the women’s side, Central East had the pleasure of hosting the beautiful and talented Julie Foucher.  Why would I recommend a move to that region?

Well if you’re striving for regionals, you might look at those who qualified last in each region, to figure out which one is the ‘easiest’.  Last year, and I believe this year as well, the top 60 men and women in each region move on to regional section of the competition.  The difference then, between qualifying and not qualifying is beating that 60th person.

Plotted below is a chart showing the overall 2011 Open placement (listed in parathesis) of the 60th person in each region.   I’ve left Asia, Africa, and Latin America off the chart, where Crossfit is still expanding and the number of athletes is small relative to other regions. 

In the United States, the Central East’s 60th person finished behind all other US regions, for both women and men.   The region to region comparisons can be striking.  For example, Southern California’s 60th male finished 508th in the open, while Central East’s finished at 1042*.   Another way of stating it – Central East’s 60th man would have placed 101st in Southern California.  On the women’s side, Central East’s 60th placer would have come in at 113th in the Mid-Atlantic region, which… cough cough… borders the Central East region! 

Comparison of the last place qualifiers (ie 60th man/woman) for regionals*.  The numbers represent the overall 2011 Open ranking of these athletes.   Asia, Africa, and Latin America not shown.

The suggestion to move for my US readers is, of course, made in jest.  Whether the competition last year predicts the competition this year is uncertain, and I hesitate to make any bold predictions.   It’ll be fun to find out this year though!

*Note:  My definition of 60th placer may not be the 'true' last regional qualifier because I'm using the overall worldwide Open results, rather than breaking down the athletes into regions (which is how HQ actually does it), and then back calculating their overall Open results.  The reason I've done this is simple: laziness.  I've done enough checking though to say with strong confidence that the plot overall is quite accurate, just not perfectly accurate.