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Old 01-18-2006, 03:43 PM   #1
Matt McCollum
Member Matt McCollum is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: West Point  NY
Posts: 28
Had my first date with Barbara today - a killer!!

General question about a lot of the ladies - once I've reached failure/fatique is it better/preferable to continue working with assistance (gravitron for pull-ups, go to knees for push-ups, etc.) or to rest for a bit and then continue unassisted?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-18-2006, 05:17 PM   #2
David Wood
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 3,303

Welcome to CrossFit!

Both strategies work, and both are good.

For me, it depends on how much rest I would need to carry on unassisted. If that time is very short (say, under 20 seconds, or better yet, under 5 seconds), then I would choose rest over assistance.

But, this assumes I would get at least that much "working" time again after the rest period). If 20 seconds of rest only got me 1 more pullup or pushup, and then I had to rest again . . . well, it's time to move to assistance to complete the set.

I have to break the pushups and pullups in Barbara right from the very first round. But I can generally do all the reps with good form, and I try for mini-sets of 3 reps . . . with only a few seconds rest between each one.

Actually, I've been amazed at how much you can recover in only a few seconds. Sometimes, on the really lonnnnnnng pullup sets (e.g., "Angie": 100 straight pullups), I'll be reduced to doing them in singles . . . one pullup, drop off, pant for 3 seconds, another pullup, drop off. Still gets it done pretty fast, with a pretty high metabolic load.

(Another way to handle this is with "jumping pullups", which is a sort of assistance, I guess . . . but 100 straight is amazingly tough on the anaerobic system. Jeff Martin was talking about this in another thread recently.)

So . . . if you can do it in good form but the rest period to allow you to do that is so long that you begin to lose the metabolic element, better to use assistance and keep going.
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Old 01-18-2006, 10:27 PM   #3
Christian Hansen
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Pasadena  CA
Posts: 146
Matt, I ditched assistance the minute I could. My theory, based on absolutely nothing but my own intuition, is that for an untrained person anaerobic > glycotic > aerobic. I'm a weak skinny bastard who doesn't suck aerobically so I have a certain bias. That said, if in the real world you need to lift a 150 pound person once, lifting 50 pounds 3 times won't cut it unless you are McGuyver and there's some chewing gum and bailing wire handy.

edit: or a chainsaw but i really didn't want to go there.

(Message edited by themightypuck on January 18, 2006)
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Old 01-19-2006, 05:34 AM   #4
Larry Lindenman
Affiliate Larry Lindenman is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Chicago  Illinois
Posts: 2,769
Dave has been bringing it, great posts. I would say, like Christian, do full weight ASAP. The goal is to do the wods with no rest. I know I don't do that on most wod's and I've been doing CF for almost 3 years! Try to cut your rest periods short (under a minute), but as the workout goes on your rest may get longer. I say don't worry about it...worry about the time. Your racing yourself, don't cheat yourself, push for the best time, with the best form, with the RXed weight and distances.
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