Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's called training

There's a tendency in CrossFit to make everything about competition. I'm not talking about the Games. That is a competition. I'm talking about the WOD, whether it's MainPage, an affiliate WOD, or your own programming you're following. People follow the MainPage to compete against everyone else on the same day. On the message boards, challenges go up to compare times in a metcon taken from someone's log. In our own training, we break out our favorite workouts and try to bust them out in a few seconds less than the last time we did them; we chase new 1RMs more often than we should; or we tackle some obscene workout from a MainPage video or the Qualifiers to see where we stack up. There's nothing wrong with this by itself. As Coach says, "Men will die for points," and so the competition provides valuable motivation to push through the pain that accompanies most CF workouts - to generate the intensity needed to get the most out of our training.

The problem comes when the daily competition takes the place of intelligent training. Last fall, I took this to the Stupid Zone. Last fall, I got in a contest with some folks on the message boards to see who could first get 10 consecutive muscle ups. I got stuck at three before my efforts to Grease the Groove led to some unpleasant elbow problems. Somebody else developed their own arm problem. We called the contest off, and as far as I know, none of us has made it to 10 still.

Lately, I've been doing workouts from the Games and Qualifiers, to train the kinds of heavy metcons I'm likely to face, but also to see how prepared I am - how I stack up against top competition. When I stepped into CF Central CT tonight and saw that they had max deadlifts programmed, I had a notion to try the brutal Sunday WOD from the Great Basin Qualifiers. However, after warming up with 155# cleans, common sense got the best of me. It didn't make sense to tackle another workout that would leave me staring at the bar wondering when I'd be able to complete my next rep. I needed an intense metcon, so I decided to cut the workout in half.

The decision paid off. I pushed to my limit. I had a couple failed reps on the cleans and C2Bs; I fought off room spins for a moment during each round; and I ended up lying on the ground for a couple minutes waiting for the pain to stop. Post-WOD bliss wouldn't come for a while, but I felt great about this (even if I wouldn't have been competitive).


Shoulder triplet
Dynamic mobility drills
Mountain climber burpees, 5x5
Burgener w/u
15 C2B pullups

Power clean/clean couplets 95, 135, 155x4


1,000m row
3 rounds:
    5 cleans, 155#
    10 C2B pullups
    15 box jumps, 30"


Rayna said...

Crossfit does tend to lead to competition and I can see why. I've been sucked in too.

Sometimes it's good to remind yourself that the real reason your there is for the training, not to see whose score you can beat.

Nice work out... but... what exactly is a mountain climber burpee???

Patrick Haskell said...

A mountain climber burpee is when at the top of the pushup in a burpee, you do a mountain climber - pulling one foot up next to your heand and then the other. Five by five of this is simply five burpees with five mountain-climbers at the bottom. I haven't tried them in a metcon, because aren't terribly intense compared to other fun burpee variations, but they make for a decent warmup.