Nov 30th, 2006
By Max Lewin
Today we give thanks to Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855), a brilliant mathematician.
Gauss was born in Brunswick, in the Duchy of Brunswick-LÃ¼neburg (now part of Lower Saxony, Germany), as the only son of uneducated lower-class parents. According to legend, his gifts became very apparent at the age of three when he corrected, in his head, an error his father had made on paper while calculating finances.
[A] famous story, and one that has evolved in the telling, has it that in primary school his teacher, J.G. BÃ¼ttner tried to occupy pupils by making them add up the integers from 1 to 100. The young Gauss produced the correct answer within seconds by a flash of mathematical insight, to the astonishment of all. Gauss had realized that pairwise addition of terms from opposite ends of the list yielded identical intermediate sums: 1 + 100 = 101, 2 + 99 = 101, 3 + 98 = 101, and so on, for a total sum of 50 Ã— 101 = 5050 (see arithmetic series and summation). (For more information, see  for discussion of original Wolfgang Sartorius von Waltershausen source.)
Now what, you may be asking yourself, does this have to do with crossfit?
Well, when a workout such as "Linda" with 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps comes up, it gives you an easy way to calculate the number of reps in the workout. Using the example of Linda, X=10(10+1)/2, so X=55. This works for any such scheme.
Thanks to Sam L. for bringing this to our attention.