& The Other Door
The Efficiency Rating & Physical Conditioning

The Efficiency Ratio (ER) in brief....
  uses the mathematical language of measurement to describe the rational facts of athletic performance. This lets us physically condition ourselves and other creatures for improved performance and fitness and fairly rank the measured outcomes achieved. It applies to all actions as repetitions (reps) over distance and time. It also lets us test our word-concepts which problematically are useful to bringing such positive results. In short, the empirically-based ER also has the root authority to describe its own applied successes as well as those of the concepts we'd no longer haphazardly have to use to prescribe our training regimens. As also within the scientific method, it finally lets us more accurately predict such future performances than a strict adherence to our pet theories otherwise would alone.
  The formulaic ER derives to rate and prorate impartial measures as times, distances and reps. For instance, it prorates a split efficiency ratio/rating (an SER) which tailors to an athlete's unique performance abilities first to be measured. This proration will improve many times which the ER first measures from that athlete's profile if followed. These times occur between the athlete's "sprints" at shorter distance and that at greatest distance. Significantly as predictable, initial ER profiles show the middle-distance ones to be weaker before we use that profile with its SERs. This occurs under two conditions if first the input is accurate. (There's no immunity here from the computer axiom "garbage in garbage out!) First, the athlete must be in and act under similar physical conditions. Second, there must be at least three times and distances input where at least two occur after allowances for the athlete's also-measurable buildup to a maximum speed. This condition applies to all athletes beginning with a standing start if the main activity doesn't include a starting action, such as the dive in swimming, which often is faster than the main activity later repeated (e.g., the stroke.)
  Other ER applications include that of the Power Rating (PR) to let us rank the performances of individual athletes in addition to those "tracking" ERs which provide the invaluable training profiles. That PR applies to give equal weight to the sprint times arbitrarily measured at the 100 distance and an ER computation used to measure the athlete's efficiency loss as a correlated stamina at longer ones. It also lets us rank individuals impartially for their performances as an "apples-to-apples" comparison for those classified events which essentially feature the same activities. It's then that we also can establish a baseline for establishing improvements in performances by reference to individuals and these classified groups. Then we even can establish a ranking of best performances within and between such classes given an allowance for the activity differences.
  As a personal aside and in order to make these abstractions more real, let me say that I opened my mind to such neglected possibilities while my two children were AAU club swimmers. I first entered their times and distance values into my calculator. Lo and behold, I found results which tended to replicate themselves for other swimmers regardless of stroke. Next this also happened for runners, speed skaters and others. I also considered that my kids' coaches only had their pet concepts from which to design their training regimens, ones they imposed on all their swimmers as a single group. These experts had some success, yet I had to believe there was something more than "negative splits," "fast and slow twitch muscle fiber," and "lactic acid buildup" within clearly distinguishable "aerobic," "anaerobic" and "stamina" constraints.
  Why not put such concepts to the test? Why not go right to the rational dimension of that human source which relegates all such controversial concepts to the cautious scientist's requirement for predictive validation through common measurement. Why not indeed!
  Yes, those concepts arguably also have utility, but how better understandably to know their utility for conditioned athletic training then to put them to that test? It's then that I ask you to do so with our aid. The initial group profiles and your own initial profiles are FREE after all! So feel free to put these claims to the test. You even truly may find my essentially-simple discovery to be revolutionary. Be among the first. Don't give the competitor the initial advantage. Don't play catch up!  
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Last modified on June 02, 2000