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Josh E Lundgaard 12-15-2006 06:56 AM

I thought I had a pretty good understanding of the purpose of metcon workouts like Cindy, but after reading the comments page lately I'm beginning to question myself.
If the purpose of a WOD is to stress the metabolic energy pathways, wouldn't it be counter-productive to refuse to use assistance if you lack enough strength to maintain energy output? For example, if a person lacks sufficient pulling strength for Cindy, only achieving 4-5 rounds due to having to break the pulls down into singles and struggling with muscle failure, doesn't that negate the purpose of the WOD? Shouldn't you strive for constant output for 20 minutes at what ever level you can maintain?
I'm not saying that a person shouldn't work on strength. Obviously, that would be a weakness that needs to be addressed, but should we ignore training the other aspects of fitness while we wait for the strength to come?

Mike ODonnell 12-15-2006 07:20 AM

If your pulls are getting more into the strength range and not the glycolic transfer, then yes you probably should adjust if this workout is your metcon focus. You can adjust to pullups with a band, jumping pullups, angled ring pulls, etc....always modifications.

You have to make sure that your goals meet your workout. If it's metcon, then you need the appropriate resistance that will keep your metabolic pathways going. Other days you may focus on strength and that's when you hit the lower reps. But if you are doing too much strength, then your body will not recover from the overtraining. I found that out with my pullups, as too many felt like my CNS was frying. So find your metabolic pullups and your strength pullup techniques.

Again, everyone's needs and goals may differ. So what one person's pullups may be to them....may be the complete opposite to you. Find what works for your body and you will see improvements.

Chris Kemp 12-15-2006 07:27 AM

Josh, not sure what comments have been posted for today's WOD but if you tank after 4-5 rounds due to pull-up failure and still have plenty of time left, that would be the perfect time to fall back to a sub. Jumping pull-ups, band assisted, beginner pull-ups (see or even body rows. Do whatever it takes to keep moving fairly steadily.

One method I used with some success was to scale down the pull-up reps to 3 per round. Once I got 18 - 20 rounds with that, I moved up to 4 then on to the full monty.

Or you could check out They post scaled versions of the front page WOD three on/ one off. Here is a work and family safe link to today's WOD at BrandX:


Appropriate scaling on WODs like Cindy will allow you to get the met-con benefit while still improving on your weaknesses.

Cheers, kempie

Neal Winkler 12-15-2006 07:57 AM

It might be helpful for you to go through a period where you focus solely on strength, then come back to the WOD after you have a better strength base. You can't have strength endurance without strength.

Josh E Lundgaard 12-15-2006 08:19 AM

Thanks for the comments everyone. This was my third date with Cindy, and as of today I have always used assistance (green jump-stretch band), going from 10 rounds to 16 rounds to 18 today with two rounds of unassisted. I am trying to strike a balance between strength and metabolic on this one, and feel like I've done it so far. I don't want to soley focus on strength because I started this program in September due to being diagnosed with metabolic syndrome (high BP, cholesterol, resting pulse, and weight starting to climb). I need the metabolic work in addition to the strength, and frankly I'm just a normal guy looking to be fit through a broad range of areas. The only reason I brought this up was to make sure that my reasoning for the assistance was sound. Strength is increasing well enough to keep me satisfied, and all of the metabolic indicators are back to normal (even starting to shade lower) for me. As was stated, I guess everyone has different goals. I will never be monster strong (at 19 I weighed 107, at 155, 37 YOA), but I am above novice on all of Coach Ripps strength standards. I'm getting there...

Steven Low 12-15-2006 03:29 PM

Technically you can do both.. if you're highly conditioned enough. Just work on strength for a few lifts or bodyweight exercises and then do metcon. That's what I have been doing recently for gymnastics and it works pretty well.

But yeah usually for metcon you have to scale it to your abilities (some stuff on the front page are scaled to people's abilities or at least they've built up to where it is).

Andrew G. Greenberg 12-15-2006 06:43 PM


so does doing a few lifts and then doing metcon dilute the effects of either? just wondering, not trying to challenge.

Steven Low 12-18-2006 01:43 PM

I haven't seen any negative effects.

I'm pretty sure it does at least a bit though... but the benefits you gain from doing both outweight the small dilution IMO.

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