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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 05-28-2003, 12:10 PM   #1
Scott Parker
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any suggestions?

i'm asking because i just did sunday's WOD ans scored a pathetic 13.72 (85lbs./1167 sec.) there is only one post in that day's comments, and i don't even come close to that!

so how does one figure out how much weight to use?

is it based on bodyweight?

do you take into consideration the instructions in the WOD? (maybe i should have used this weight for tuesday's WOD, since there wan't an empahsis on time, and gone a little lighter today to crank out faster reps perhaps?)


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Old 05-28-2003, 02:34 PM   #2
David Wood
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There's an old joke that goes:

How do you get good judgement?


How do you get experience?

Bad judgement.

I think practice will gradually teach you what you need for different exercises. And I don't think there's any serious harm done if you end up with "too heavy" or "too light" a weight . . . the same workout done with 20 lbs more will end up with a slower time, and a very different experience . . . but still a good workout.

If you do the first round and you KNOW you're going to crap out on later rounds, change the weight (Lord knows I do).

For me, I find that I can maximize my score on WODs that are scored as "weight used / time taken" by going lighter and faster . . . getting the denominator of that ratio down (less time by going lighter) seems easier, and to have more impact on the ratio, than trying to take the numerator up.

But, that may be just me . . . your mileage may vary. And, the same workout done heavier and slower will still be a fine (and challenging) workout.


(Can you tell that I still make my living doing mathematics? As my daughter says: "Daddy, you are such a nerd.")
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Old 05-28-2003, 03:58 PM   #3
David Werner
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I think your analysis is very insightfull. Using math is a pragmatic approach that gives us an understanding of the real power issues. Now that you have me thinking about it I'm going to calculate the difference in power output of the two approaches in my own workouts. The approach that requires the most power is the right approach for training and the wrong approach for maximizing scores. I suspect that lighter weight/faster time returns lower power requirements when using real workout results and this is why you prefer it.
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Old 05-29-2003, 08:52 AM   #4
David Wood
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Actually, it's even more pragmatic than it sounds, and it's partly driven by the (purely) mathematical nature of the ratio.

If you're currently achieving some particular time with some particular weight, then lowering the time by 20% (at that weight) will do more for the ratio score than increasing the weight by 20% (at that time).

Reduce the time: 1 / 0.8 => score = 1.25
Increaase the weight: 1.2 / 1 => score = 1.2

Of course, this assumes that you CAN lower the time by 20% without changing the weight, which, in fact, I probably can't (not without meeting Pukie, anyway).

If you just achieve the same proportional change in both (e.g., a 20% reduction in both weight and time), the ratio score (which you correctly identfied as the power output) doesn't change.

In fact, there will always be some tradeoff between increasing/decreasing the weight and simultaneously increasing/decreasing the time, and that tradeoff will be unique to each individual at their specific level of conditioning at that time.

Because of this, there will be a specific load level that will allow you to maximize your power output (expressed as the weight / time ratio).

This load will (obviously) vary between exercises, and hopefully increase with more training.

Experimentation will eventually help you find that load at which you currently can express maximum power (i.e., finding the load where you can get a 6% reduction in time for a 5% reduction in load . . . or vice versa, a 6% increase in load for no more than a 5% increase in time).

For me, this usually ends up being what I think of as a "light" load . . . a lot lower than I would use if I were trying to grind out 5x5 with no time goal, for instance.

Increasing the load at which your power is maximized is one of the many training and fitness goals that CrossFit tries to pursue.

Sorry for the rambling post. As is often the case, if I'm wrong on any of this, I would be happy to be corrected by people who know better.

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