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

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Old 07-18-2005, 01:57 PM   #1
Brad Smith
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Okay, I posted this under COMMENTS but it might not get answered since it's a ways back now so I'm going to try here. Just looking for feedback on the assistance question at the end. Thanks in advance for your help!

Finished my FIRST WOD!!!

Thrusters 1x21, 45 lbs (bar only)
Pullups 3x7, full ROM, last 7 were assisted
Thrusters 1x15, 45 lbs
Pullups 7+8, form starting to suffer
Thrusters 1x9, 65 lbs
Pullups 4+3+2

16 minutes

I felt like maybe I dogged it a little so, after getting on the foam roller for a few minutes for a pulled muscle in my back from LAST MONDAY'S pullups, I did some squats (3x8x135). In retrospect, maybe I should have worked on some technique on some of the other exercises that I'm not familiar with but I didn't feel tired enough so I did the squats just to hit the same muscles in a little different way.

My upper body definitely played out before my lower body did. I've been focusing on core stuff for a while. I've been doing a lot of work on DL's and pullups but not with very high reps. I definitely need to improve strength-endurance overall but especially with upper body moves. By the way, I haven't done any isolation stuff in over a year and a half so that's not the problem.

??? Should I have spent more time to get all the pullup reps in w/o assistance at the expense of time or use the assistance to keep the lungs and heart rate up???
Posted by BradMM at July 18, 2005 11:37 AM
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Old 07-18-2005, 02:19 PM   #2
Chris Kemp
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First thing Brad, congratulations on your first WOD!! As you have found out, they are a little harder than they look.

As far as Fran is concerned, when I first approached her I used a little assistance to keep the pull-ups moving along and get some of the conditioning benfits rather than grinding it out. Just in the same manner you modded the weight for the thrusters. That way you get a bit of each of the fitness benefits of the full Fran. Maybe use a weight that will let you get each round of the pull-ups in three equal sets, then try stepping it down next time round.

Other WODS (such as yesterdays Cindy) use more sets but less reps per round. Maybe you could mix things up by hitting these WODs unassisted to maximise the strength benefits.

This is one approach (which has worked for me), however I am sure that others will have alternatives for you. What you decide will depend to some extent on where you see your weaknesses.

Good luck and just shout if I can be of any further assistance. Congrats again,

cheers, kempie
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Old 07-18-2005, 02:35 PM   #3
David Wood
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Brad: My response (in the comments) was late, but here it is/was:

BradMM: Both strategies are good. For myself, I'd say at 16 minutes total, you did the right thing (i.e., assistance to keep the pace up). Fran is *supposed* to be fast, furious, and hyperventilating, not a slow, controlled strength work. So, yes, cut the weight and or use assistance to get the time down around 12 - 15 minutes . . . and then add weight / reduce assistance.

Definitely, though, work on the pure strength stuff at every opportunity . . . you'll need that, too.
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Old 07-18-2005, 02:57 PM   #4
Brad Smith
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Chris and David,

THANKS A BUNCH for the feedback!!! I learned, once I started doing the w/o, that I didn't really know the answer to some of these questions so I just guessed what would be best. It raises another question for me... apparently some w/o's are working aerobic energy systems and some are anaerobic... is that the point? I like the part about focusing on my weak links to guide my own choice of how to do these.

As to strength, I'm not saying that I am strong compared to others - I feel in pretty good shape for a 51 y/o - but I have been working more on strength than on the other facets over the past year which is why I think CrossFit is just what I need. My calculated DL PR is 340 but I've only actually done 315 and my squat PR actual is about 225. I used to do 45 lbs weighted dips but that's fallen lately and I used to bench 225 but, again, that's fallen with my focus on back strength and DL's. I can do a handful of pullups with no problem - even lightly weighted - from touching the toes to the ground (I'm tall) to touching the chest to the grips (neutral grip) but I crater when I have to do the higher rep stuff. That's my weakness and that's what I think WOD's will help me with! I'm so excited to be here!:rofl:
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Old 07-18-2005, 04:00 PM   #5
Jim Aldridge
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I understand the dilemma. I started about 2 months ago and I had much the same question: Do I plod through with more resistance and not get the "lung-busting" experience? or do I reduce my weights, go fast and furious, and get winded with my workouts?

I don't think either is necessarily wrong. I just wouldn't want to choose one approach to the exclusion of the other for EVERY workout. My personal solution is to use the middle day of the three day on cycle to do the black box ME (maximum effort) workouts described in the April issue of the performance menu out of Crossfit Norcal. If the first or third day of the cycle is a "go heavy" instead of "go for time" workout, I will substitute a "go for time" workout and go at it as fast and furious as I can.

This does a couple of things. First, it gives me a day in between my two "for time/fast and furious" workouts in which my body recovers a little bit from the metabolic stress of such workouts. That has really helped me out as a beginner because I was feeling pretty run down trying three "balls to the wall" WOD's in a row. Secondly, I feel like I am "covering my bases" (strength/power development AND endurance/metabolic conditioning) in every three day cycle, and doing crossfit has shown me how much help I need in BOTH of these areas. I am not sure that this it the BEST approach, but it is working well for me.

Hope this helps,
Jim
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