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

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Old 12-18-2008, 10:40 PM   #1
Caleb Johnson
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Forging mental fitness?

I've always found it interesting how simply having to think a little bit during a workout can make it so much harder. For example, there's a huge difference between running 3 miles by yourself, and running it while having to think of, and call cadences.

I've been trying to incorporate this into some of the workouts I do, or have clients do. So far, we've done some KIMs games, where a group of people get about 30 seconds to see several objects I've collected, and then complete a WOD. At the end of the WOD, they have to tell me everything they remember about the objects: Size, location next to other objects, direction they are facing, color, etc... the person who tells me the most is finished with the WOD, while everyone else gets a little more work to do, like 25 burpees or something.

Another one I've had done to me that's particularly nasty is a push-up workout. You do one push-up, and then say the letter "z." You do the next push-up, and say the letter "y." Everytime you do a push-up, you say the next letter in the alphabet, going backwards. If you get the wrong letter, or take too long to think about it between push-ups, your last push-up doesn't count.

Anyone got anything else that requires a bit of thinking before, during or after the WOD?
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:26 PM   #2
Charles Bennington
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Re: Forging mental fitness?

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Anyone got anything else that requires a bit of thinking before, during or after the WOD?
Dude, I can't even keep track of my rounds! The last thing I'm doing is mental exercises...
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:51 AM   #3
Patrick Janes
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Re: Forging mental fitness?

there was quite an interesting discussion on this kind of idea, on the board, years back... it would be of particular interest (and was in the discussion at the time) to LEOs or similar, where being able to think clearly while under physical duress, is important.

personally, I'm with charles... during a tough WOD, I get one of my kids to count for me.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:09 AM   #4
Caleb Johnson
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Re: Forging mental fitness?

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Originally Posted by Charles Bennington View Post
Dude, I can't even keep track of my rounds! The last thing I'm doing is mental exercises...
I would definitely agree that some WODs are too intense for this. After "Fran" it takes me about 5 minutes before I remember my own name! But for military/LE, having some occasional exposure to this kind of routine is as important as working out after eating. Doing 50 burpees with a full stomach sucks, but it's good to know you can do it. The same applies to having to think while being oxygen deprived.
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:26 AM   #5
Vanessa Sisson
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Re: Forging mental fitness?

I see where you are coming from, Caleb. But, I just wanted to add that there's some research that suggests that vigorous exercise stimulates the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF makes new learning possible by enabling the brain's nerve cells to grow and interconnect. So, exercise = increased levels of BDNF = enhanced ability to learn.

So, perhaps just the exercise in and of itself is enough to enhance mental capacity without the added mental exercises.

That and I'd be deeply annoyed if you tried to make me recite the alphabet backwards while doing pushups.. Just thinking of your trainees.
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:43 AM   #6
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Forging mental fitness?

In college, we used to discuss whatever homework problems had us stuck between sets. It seemed to help on both the problems and the lifts.
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:25 PM   #7
Emily Maisannes
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Re: Forging mental fitness?

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Originally Posted by Charles Bennington View Post
Dude, I can't even keep track of my rounds! The last thing I'm doing is mental exercises...
Yeah, I did a bonus round in one WOD. It was supposed to be 5 rounds and halfway through round 6, I started doubting myself and realized my folly. I completed the round anyway.
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:14 PM   #8
Jared Ashley
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Re: Forging mental fitness?

I have two words for you: chess boxing!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_boxing (WFS)
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:21 PM   #9
Charles Bennington
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Re: Forging mental fitness?

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Originally Posted by Vanessa Sisson View Post
I see where you are coming from, Caleb. But, I just wanted to add that there's some research that suggests that vigorous exercise stimulates the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF makes new learning possible by enabling the brain's nerve cells to grow and interconnect. So, exercise = increased levels of BDNF = enhanced ability to learn.

So, perhaps just the exercise in and of itself is enough to enhance mental capacity without the added mental exercises.

That and I'd be deeply annoyed if you tried to make me recite the alphabet backwards while doing pushups.. Just thinking of your trainees.
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:17 AM   #10
Doug Blankenship
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Re: Forging mental fitness?

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Originally Posted by Charles Bennington View Post
Dude, I can't even keep track of my rounds! The last thing I'm doing is mental exercises...
+1

I leave a piece of paper and a retractable sharpie near the area where I'm doing my WOD and will make a quick mark or marks depending on how many rounds I have completed. Say for instance Im doing Cindy, once I complete five rounds I always mark down 5 then take off for another five then mark down 5 again once Im done with that five.


There is know way I'm even going to attempt to try and think about anything other than setting a PR on any WOD.
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