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Workout of the Day Questions & performance regarding CrossFit's WOD

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Old 08-20-2007, 08:09 AM   #1
Matt DeMinico
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WOD thoughts on "As prescribed" with rest vs "Scaled" straight through

I've been meaning to ask this, and the companion thread to this (intensity vs high score) reminded me to ask this question:

When doing a "timed scoring" WOD like Fran, Linda, etc... Do you think it is more important to do them as prescribed, breaking sets up and taking breaks to recover (because otherwise you would hit failure multiple times and have to rest anyhow), OR to scale the weight or exercise down to a workout that you can *barely* complete in one continuous workout with no rest?

Basically, let's look at Fran:

Thrusters: I can *do* 95lb thrusters, but no way I'll do 21 of them without resting. If I scale it down to 75lbs, I can do them straight through, more likely 70 lbs or less to make sure I can finish all the sets continuously.

Pullups: When I'm fresh, I can pop off 15 pullups and MAYBE push it to 21... maybe (but don't forget I'd already be huffing from doing 21 thrusters, so I'd more likely get in about 8 pullups and have to rest at this point). If I kept pushing, my next set would suffer horribly because I would have fried myself, and I might only be able to get 3 or 4 in. Then I'd be struggling to finish the 21, let alone the 15 and 9 that are still to come.

So, would it be of more benefit to people if they were to scale these types of workouts so they could finish them in a continuous set? Like for me that'd be maybe 70lb thruster, and jumping pullups (ideally I'd slap on a 20lb or more weight somehow for the pullups though, as regular jumping pullups are way too easy at this point for me, it'd be very little benefit)

It'd kinda be like in the CFJ where they recommended approaching your rowing goals from different angles (time focus, distance focus, etc...) Maybe we could even figure out what weight we need to scale down to to get a sub-3:00 Fran and hit it, just to feel what it's like. Then build up from there.
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Old 08-20-2007, 08:33 AM   #2
Mark Reinke
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Re: WOD thoughts on "As prescribed" with rest vs "Scaled" straight through

I believe scaling is a necessity for anyone first starting out with the WODs, considering most people need to develop just their movement patterns. However, in order to become more efficient to the prescribed weights, you need to do the prescribed weights. Whether that be in an all out attempt at "Fran" with 95lbs, or a different 95lb thruster WOD. Even do a few outside of the WOD's to get used to it. You've probably seen people who do cable pulldowns week in and week out, but can't do a single dead hang pullup? They're everywhere! I think the most beneficial and addictiveness to the whole CrossFit methodology is directly related to being humbled. Then working up from there.

Last edited by Mark Reinke : 08-20-2007 at 08:35 AM. Reason: sentence structure
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:16 AM   #3
Chris Kemp
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Re: WOD thoughts on "As prescribed" with rest vs "Scaled" straight through

Matt, if you are able to do sets of 5 or more thrusters with 95lb then I would suggest the faster road to success with Fran would be to do 95lb thrusters. Likewise, if you can do 15-20 pull-ups you will not derive much benefit from resorting to jumping pull-ups.

Instead, progress is going to be made by carefully managing your efforts. If you top out at 12 thrusters before blowing up, limit yourself to 7's with short disciplined rest periods. Likewise, short sets of quick pull-ups before they start to drag will speed up your time, especially if they leave you fresher for the 15 and 9 rounds.

Apart from seeing if you can make yourself blow chunks, I don't see any benefit in scaling down to the point where you can go sub 3 when it appears strength endurance is your primary limitation.

For others, who may not be capable of even 5 thrusters with the Rx-ed weight or more than 1 or 2 pull-ups, I think scaling is appropriate. But would only recommend scaling to a weight they can accomplish 7 reps or so before breaking - NOT so they could hit 21. That would be too light to elicit any worthwhile strength benefit.

Cheers, kempie
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:38 AM   #4
Trevor Thompson
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Re: WOD thoughts on "As prescribed" with rest vs "Scaled" straight through

absolutely, take small steps, build a base, then go go go.
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Old 08-20-2007, 02:25 PM   #5
David Wood
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Re: WOD thoughts on "As prescribed" with rest vs "Scaled" straight through

Awesome post / advice by Kempie.

I'm coming back from shoulder surgery (still scaling thrusters) but plan to be following that advice very soon.
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:25 AM   #6
Chris Kemp
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Re: WOD thoughts on "As prescribed" with rest vs "Scaled" straight through

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wood View Post
I'm coming back from shoulder surgery (still scaling thrusters) but plan to be following that advice very soon.
Dave, really happy to hear that you are on the path to recovery fella. I know it's been a long road.

Cheers, kempie
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:39 AM   #7
Raymond Kaplan
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Re: WOD thoughts on "As prescribed" with rest vs "Scaled" straight through

I would contend that the golden words in the advice above is "short disciplined rest periods". Most people, myself included, let their brains get the best of them, and the rest periods get out of control. I've put up some of my best scores by doing less then I could possibly do at the moment, but holding myself to a strict pacing or rest period I made the time up later on. (a la Cindy)

I'd reccomend 2 - 5 deep breaths, regain your center, balance that chakrah, and drive on. You'll be suprised how much power you've got stored away.
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:29 AM   #8
Dylan Eddy
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Re: WOD thoughts on "As prescribed" with rest vs "Scaled" straight through

i read a similar thread and the answer that made the most sense to me was "do both" Crossfit is about variety, ive found taking short disciplined rests (i use the 2-5 deep breathes as well) produces the best time, but it taxes my mind and body in a different way than going all out and resting only when im gassed, then trying to push on. i think both appraoches have value. although the all out till gassed style may be more mental than physical......
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:24 AM   #9
Joe Waguespack
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Re: WOD thoughts on "As prescribed" with rest vs "Scaled" straight through

I always found that by doing the WO as rx'd was the best way for me, no matter how long it took me. For example, my first introduction to this style of training was the now famous "300" workout. When I fist attempted that WO it took me over an hour but I made sure I did all the reps with the weights rx'd. I would do that WO every other week or so mixed in with Crossfit WOD's and my time kept getting better and better. I eventually burned through it in 15:16. As long as you are capable of lifting the rx'd weight without risk then I say just push through and watch your time drop every time you do it.
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Old 02-10-2008, 08:29 PM   #10
Dale F. Saran
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Re: WOD thoughts on "As prescribed" with rest vs "Scaled" straight through

Two thoughts on this deceased equine that has been mercilessly flogged:
1 - When I first came to CF, the one person who treated me absolutely decently was Chris Kemp. He's the reason I got hooked on this community. I have never seen him give bad advice. Ever.
2 - I'm a little ways into a journal article that I'm going to submit on the idea of "intensity" between "managing" efforts/WoDs, and "selling out". I know there a bunch of threads using those terms. I'm trying to come at the question of "which is better" from the perspective of "increased work capacity" - both in a physics sense and in an everyday life sense. And to explain what "intensity" really means. If I could just give up the day job....
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