Here is where CrossFit is unique, unlike any other training regime. Most “traditional” methodologies of training believe in strength training like we do (functional movements) and they believe in cardio like we do (increase aerobic and anaerobic capacity). The difference is that in CrossFit we actually have learned how to attack the cardiovascular training through workouts that include functional movements. An example is what you did yesterday. “Grace” 30 x clean and jerks for time. It is merely a single modality workout, where you repetitively lift the same bar time and time again. On paper, or the modify system you may look at a workout like that and think 2 things. 1. That looks pretty easy. 2. I wonder what we are doing for cardio?
The two things I would say to those are simple. 1. It is only easy if you go slow. A lot like anything else in life EACH AND EVERY WORKOUT we do in CrossFit is as hard as you make it. The reason I’m such a big advocate for scaling and doing it the right way is because if you don’t scale a workout like “Grace” appropriately it will turn into 10 minutes of clean and jerks, which….isn’t hard. The reason it isn’t “hard” is because if you go TOO heavy, you never sustain the cardiovascular deficit from going fast, which is our goal. The classes I got a chance to coach were given clear goals of everyone being finished in 6 minutes and most trying to be sub 4 minutes. This causes the athlete to be fast to the bar, a touch faster than most “would like to be” and still challenge your ability to move the weight not just from fatigue but also because the weight is challenging enough. 2. If this workout was not challenging your heart and your lungs you simply didn’t go fast enough! To me, these workouts are the most scary. They are scary because I know how they feel, like running 400 meters as fast as I can, and that hurts BAD. Also, the margin for error is very small. I’m unsure if many of you think about this, but anytime we do a benchmark workout you should be more nervous than others….why? It should get you fired up because this is HOW WE MEASURE OUR PROGRESS, there is more on the line, if you don’t improve, what does that say about how hard you’ve been training? I’m always afraid of this. If I don’t improve I’m disappointed, upset, I reflect, what could I have done better? Am I not as fit as Last year? The thoughts continue…….specifically though for a workout that is this fast, I could miss 1 rep or not lock my legs out on 1 jerk and get 1 no rep….and it will result in me getting a slower time. So, not only do I know I”ll be tired and trying to hold onto the bar for 30 in a row, but I have to think about hand placement, where do my feet move to? How close can I keep the bar? How can I balance moving as fast as I can but also making sure I don’t miss any reps? A lot of things pass through my mind, and then I”m free when the clock starts, its just time to execute…..let go of everything I “feel” or “think” and hold on for dear life. Not many workouts are like this, but “Grace”, “Isabel”, “Fran”, “Diane”, Elizabeth”, “Karen”….these are all workouts that last under 5 minutes for me and test me in every way….I would prefer do longer workouts like many of you so I can relate….the fact is….these short ones are the ones that test us the most. Watch the video below of Dan Bailey crush “Grace” in a very cool video shot by CrossFit HQ out at the Ranch in Aromas, Cali.
**Even in this video Dan a “pro” CrossFitter does a great job of showing what threshold training is. He is literally moving as fast as he can, and some of his reps are questionable and in a competition he would receive a small dose of no reps from a judge, but he does a fine balance of toeing the line in order to go the hardest place he can find. Dan is also very short, had I done this with him side by side…and still unbroken….he would beat me by at least 10-12 seconds due to the difference in how far the bar must travel, he kills it…..watch it.**
200 double unders
Burpee broad jump x 50 yards