Aerodynamics Applied to CrossFit

During my aerodynamics class today we were given some basic work and power equations as applied to an aircraft, but I got bored and applied them to CrossFit.

So how much horsepower does one repetition of Olympic snatch at 135lbs. from ground to overhead produce?

Work (W) = Force (F) x Distance of displacement (s)

W = 135 lbs x 7 feet (avg. displacement from ground to overhead)
W= 945 ft.-lbs.

Power (P) = Work (W)/ Work done per unit of time (t)
P = 945 ft.-lbs. / 1.2 secs. (average time for one snatch repetition)
P = 787.5 ft.-lbs/sec

Horsepower conversion (using units of pounds, feet, and seconds)

787.5 ft.-lbs./550

One repetition of a snatch at 135lbs will produce 1.43 horsepower.

Pretty awesome…and nerdy.

Similarly, when I max out on power clean at 285lbs, I produce only 2.59 horsepower.


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