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

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Old 12-03-2003, 04:36 AM   #1
Departed Joseph is offline
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This is a nitpicky question, but I gotta ask. Are the WODs conceived to be done in the order they are posted? It seems that some are obviously so, and others I'm not sure about. I ask because my access to equipment is not consistent from day to day, so I find that I either have to reshuffle or skip.
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Old 12-03-2003, 01:38 PM   #2
Mike Minium
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I think the order is extremely important. Having said that, here's how I'd rank the WOD scenarios, from most ideal to least ideal.

1. Follow the WODs in the order they're posted.
2. Because of equipment access, shuffle the WODs around, but still hit all of them with a 3-day on, 1-day off pattern.
3. Skip WODs as needed due to lack of access to equipment.

I can't remember which CFJ (mid-2003) it is that addresses the art/science behind the WODs, but if you're able to get your hands on that CFJ, I think you'll find that the order and coupling of the WODs is key.

Hope this helps,

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Old 12-03-2003, 08:33 PM   #3
David Wood
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I agree with Mike about the preferred ordering, but I'll stick my neck out and argue that the difference among these alternatives probably isn't as great as it seems . . . although how important those differences are depend on your goals and critical requirements.

My two cents:

If 1) "follow the WODs in the order they're posted" is the ideal, let's assign that an arbitrary 100 points. How much are the others worth?

I'll estimate that 2) "shuffle the WODs around, but still hit them all in 3-1 cycle" is about 95 points.

Hitting them all in a 5-on, 2-off cycle is probably about 93 points.

#3 ("Skip WODs as needed due to lack of access") kinda depends on what you do when you don't do the specific WOD.

If you do a CrossFit-style workout (which I would very roughly summarize as (almost) anything that:

a) hits several major muscle groups
b) in a manner that severely taxes them
c) over a 30-second to 3-minute working time,
d) repeatedly),

then you're probably going to be at 90 points (i.e., 90% "as good" as the ideal).

If you just plain skip working out, well, it starts to fall off pretty badly.

3 out of 4 or 5 out of 7 days: about 90 points.
4 out of 7: about 85 points
3 out of 7: about 80 points
2 out of 7: about 60 points (big drop)
1 out of 7: probably about 50 points. (Note that I think it would be very hard, maybe impossible, to train CrossFit-style only once/week . . . you'd be meeting Pukie every workout.)

But even that 1 out of 7, if it's only 50% as good as the ideal, is still INFINITELY better than 0 out of 7 (scores 0 points), which is what the average American does.

If my assessment of lost effectiveness is correct, you only lose about 10 or 20 percentage points across Mike's 3 options, depending on what you do on the days you have to skip the WOD.

Does this much loss matter? Depends on what you want from your fitness. For me, who has no major fitness-related goals other than not gaining weight, staying healthy, and recreational skiing . . . it doesn't matter. Achieving 80% of the ideal is entirely sufficient to meet those goals.

If I had a job where being in top physical condition really mattered (e.g., fireman or LEO), then I don't think I would settle for less than 95% of the ideal (e.g., Mike's #2 above).

If I was a professional athlete, where physical condition was absolutely everything, I think you've got to go for the ideal.

Long post, my apologies to those who went to sleep in the middle . . . I tend to try to quantify everything.

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Old 12-05-2003, 02:02 AM   #4
Departed Joseph is offline
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Posts: 21
Thanks for the replies. If anyone knows which CFJ that is Mike referred to, I'd like to read it. David, that's a good perspective. I'm just an average Joseph trying to fight off middle-age so I won't tie myself in knots stressing about it.
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Old 12-05-2003, 05:47 AM   #5
Lynne Pitts
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If you go to the Crossfit FAQ and look at the CFJ Article question, you'd find the Feb 03 CFJ might be what you're looking for.
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