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Old 06-03-2014, 02:49 PM   #11
Joe Spinelli
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Re: Prescribed vs. scale/ strength vs. cardio

Miles - check out this link - it gives a good idea of where the "average" crossfitter falls on the benchmark wods. It also shows elite athlete times, just for an FYI.

the data is taken from this site where "average" users sign up and post up their times and track their workouts, so the sample size should be across a broad spectrum of athletes and locations. That site is

If you look at Fran times, the average time is 5:25-7:25. If you cannot fall within that range of time using the RX weight, you should use less weight to meet those time restraints or "domains."

It's not just about the weight as Brendan said - it's also about doing the WOD in the correct amount of time.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:02 AM   #12
Miles Roberts
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Re: Prescribed vs. scale/ strength vs. cardio

Thanks much, Joe.
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Old 06-05-2014, 02:53 AM   #13
Steven Wingo
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Re: Prescribed vs. scale/ strength vs. cardio

On those benchmark WOD times I'd sure like to see a video of the workout where someone claims to have done 61 rounds for Cindy. That is better than 3 rounds per minute. I'm not sure we can put too much weight in the "average" times reported there.
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:58 AM   #14
Josh Groves
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Re: Prescribed vs. scale/ strength vs. cardio

Originally Posted by Andrew G Parker View Post
I have felt that I am plateauing on the cardio so that prompted the original post. I've noticed, tracking my tabatas, that I've not improved in many of those over the past 6 months. And of course, the ever present windedness during the WODs. All of our results are tracked by the box and we can access them through the website. I've gotten some great advice on this thread and think that it lend to more improvements.

The fact that you've not improved on Tabata's is not particularly surprising. Most people hit their adaptions there in about 6 weeks or so if performed regularly. This is assuming they're actually performed for an aerobic movement and each round is done for peak effort. If you are doing a gymnastics movement, I've found that Tabata's can be good for practicing pacing sets, but that if you really try to hammer each round as hard as possible, you will likely degrade your form significantly.

My recommendation for increasing your gas tank is to add a couple light 15-20 minute runs in weekly, these can be done in the morning before work or whenever you can squeeze them in. Doesn't need to be intense or particularly hard, just a comfortable pace where you have a slightly elevated heart rate but can still take in the scenery; these will get your lungs used to working for a bit longer and also I've found it helps with stress and improves recovery (could swap in cycling as well, I wouldn't recommend swimming for this purpose). In addition to this, take some workouts where you know you could do them as RX'd, but that you'd be sucking wind really hard and having to rest in between reps, and drop the loads significantly. I'd recommend that you take some of the more intense barbell met-cons and try dropping to 40-60% 1RM of the most relevant movement. Definitely go heavy sometimes, but also go light sometimes, especially when you want to work on grunt cardiovascular capacity. You said you're doing strength work outside of just the metcons already, so I don't think you'll lose any strength. If anything, I'd expect your WOD times to drop and you might actually see gains in strength due to being able to better utilize your body.
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