Every year around the Holidays the small box in Southern Hungary called Testakademia (Body Academy) programs a WOD that would make most of us shudder. Simply called the ‘1000’ – it is a pick-your-poison workout for time.
It goes like this. Pick a movement. Do 1000 reps. Log the time.
Some athletes completed 1000 situps and burpees but the real feat of the gym was 1000 rope climbs by one of the coaches. It took over 6 hours and the athlete destroyed several pairs of shoes in the process.
After 4 years at this game I though I have seen everything. Now I have to pick my 1000.
What is yours going to be?
Recently a friend switched to a box where they always do double WODs. A benchmark WOD then 15 min AMRAP. Heavy lifting with hard MetCons. You get the idea.
There are constant arguments for and (mostly) against doubling up max intensity workouts without proper planning. I experimented over the years with various programming of this and here are my conclusions.
– it is not possible to PR two max effort workouts back to back. Sort of makes sense as a rested second WOD would beat a tired one.
– if you want to double up two WODs – leave a few hours in-between. This is moat common and used in competitor training.
– Schedule heavy lifting days (5/3/1, SL or 5×5) on their own without high intensity Metcons. Same logic here: one of them will suffer as heavy lifting recovery is longer than a few hours
– CF Endurance and metcons do well on the same day as sprinting recovery is much faster than heavy lifting recovery
Bottom line: intensity amd recovery is a well studied field and we CrossFitters should heed the wisdom of old.
With that in mind I’m off to programming my Summer Double WOD season..
For years vacation has been a time when I had some extra time for maybe a double WOD or visiting new boxes for a drop-in. This summer my programming requires heavy lifts (5×5) combined with CF Endurance’s increasing distance sprints. Being at DisneyWorld this weekend both got challenged. The heat makes outside running much less fun and I ran out of weights at the hotel gym for the lifts.
So I find myself in a new territory: forced deload week. 40% of the planned weights, treadmills (!) and compensating with the 8-10 mile walks in the parks. Should be. A walk in the park, that is.
Every summer my business and personal travel schedule keeps me away from my home box. In fact, when I started CrossFit 3 years ago, I was thrown in to learn all about programming quickly because most travel destinations had no CF gyms. (Well how much that changed…).
Back in 2011, Aimee, my first coach patiently explained the programming template and structured my first month of remote training. After a while things started to make more and more sense. In fact, understanding programming can be very useful to address skill issues, weaknesses or training plateaus. So then I developed my first training template. In many was I keep returning to this one 2 years later as I’m combining strength, metcon and endurance again.
Since then programming creatively became the way of life on business trips. In fact, the travel WODs were in many ways much more demanding than life back in the Box. Some examples that I loved were the Heaven and Hell Week in Beijing in 2011, the 12 Days of Xmas the same year, the Month of benchmark WODs in 2012, Combining SEALFit with the CrossFit routine in 2013.
After a while I tried to distill my travel WOD learnings into some overarching training wisdom with varying levels of success here, here and here.
For this summer’s travel season I’m sure more dubious wisdom shall follow.
This month is my 3rd year of CrossFit and it’s a good time to take inventory of where I am now compared to back in 2011. To keep it simple and CrossFit-like – I decided to make it measurable in 3 categories: fitness, family and community.
– Clean +44%
– Deadlift +56%
– Max double unders +3000%
– Row speed +71%
– Fran speed +263%
– Cindy rounds +205%
Friends and Family
– % of family now in CrossFit: 75%
– hours of quality sports time together: +400%
– # of friends who joined CF with me: 17
– # of CF boxes visited around the world: 117
– # of new friends I made with CrossFit: so many
– # of times I discuss CF with people I just met: always
So where does the journey go from here?
In CrossFit, we are never done. As we get better, we’d better get better. While I improved my own performance 2-3 fold in most movements, my peers challenge me even more every day. When you are doing Crossfit, you are not a generalist as some people think, but a specialist in more and more things.
I checked my Beyond the Whiteboard (BYWB) stats and realized something amazing about this sport and the challenge it has: 2 years ago my gymnastics and lifting results put me in the top 30% of the Crossfitters who post on BYWB. Now while I have gotten twice as good in those movements, it is barely enough to keep me in the top 50%.
The point is that while we are improving in this sport, the athletes of the sport are getting better at a rate never seen before. I cannot think of any other sport where the average athlete and the community as a whole can post this kind of measurable, real improvement. I’m glad to be part of this fun, crazy movement of ours.