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

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Old 06-14-2006, 05:20 AM   #1
Graham Tidey
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When doing FGB and tabata this, do you pace yourself to get a respectable average each round, or go hard, fast and ugly from the start, facing fatigue quickly? I've been "going ugly" since I started, it's alright, it seems the most CrossFit thing to do, but my scores aren't what they could be. What are your tactics?
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Old 06-14-2006, 05:45 AM   #2
Chris Kemp
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Graham, I think the best answer would be mix it up for a couple of months and see what happens.

Maybe manage your efforts for a higher score (which means higher total power output if a slightly blunted peak power output) for a couple of months then try selling out or going ugly early to test your results.

Also, don't mistake managing a workout for wimping out - I generally find it is just a longer path leading to you laying on the floor ready to sell your soul for more oxygen.

Anyways, if you search for the term selling out there have been a couple of good threads on this.

Cheers, kempie
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Old 06-14-2006, 05:49 AM   #3
Patrick Datoc
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I started CF in late January. I'm still improving and seeing benefits by pacing myself and then "going ugly" at the end. My guess is that the elite CF'ers go ugly from the start.
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Old 06-14-2006, 08:03 AM   #4
Matt Gagliardi
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Not really Patrick. This is discussed the past the terms "managing" and "selling out" have been used instead of "pacing" and "going ugly".

I was lucky enough to be Greg Amundson's scorekeeper during FGB at the Colorado seminar last November. He paced/managed it right from the start (and had the high score), and took things up a notch or two on the last round.

IMO, it's a question of whether you're looking for long-term gains ("go ugly") or the best score on that given day ("pace"). If you "go ugly" early, it's very likely you're going to push yourself to a point where you must take longer breaks over the workout. Over time as you adapt to the extremely high output that will be beneficial...but it'll kill your score on that given day.

Just my $0.02

BTW...I'm sure there are certain workouts (Fran comes to mind) where the truly elite folks (Greg A., Josh E.) are "going ugly" from jump. But that's a workout that lasts just 2-3 minutes. Attempting to keep up that power output for the length of a FGB or other WOD that's longer than a couple of minutes would verge on suicidal IMO.

(Message edited by h2o_goalie on June 14, 2006)
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Old 06-14-2006, 10:11 AM   #5
Dan Strametz
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You summed that up pretty good Matt. Graham as you will find there are several approaches to the WOD. FGB that's a killer. Try taken your best exercises and hit them hard and then the others pace. Again that's yet just another approach. Example: box jump - I have seen high numbers for people that just step up and step down (no jump). Find what works.
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Old 06-14-2006, 11:34 AM   #6
Russ Greene
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I'm not convinced that sprinting in the beginning is best for long term progress. I would think that whatever keeps the average power output of the workout highest would be the best for progress. Sprinting too early means the beginning is really high power, and then the rest is slow and weak. You sacrifice the average power output of the whole workout for a fast first few minutes. Good idea once in a while, sure, but best for long term progress all the time, I'm not sure about that.
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Old 06-14-2006, 12:28 PM   #7
Matt Gagliardi
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Ross, if you're always working at your average you're not going to do a very good job of forcing your body to adapt to increased power/work demands. You've got to push it, or you'll stagnate.
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Old 06-14-2006, 03:12 PM   #8
Lynne Pitts
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Moving to the WOD section.
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Old 06-14-2006, 06:19 PM   #9
George Brothers
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go to this link in the archives:
scroll down to may 12, 2003
take a look at the picture enlarged and read the short explanation below it.
based on that i think that you would want to alternate pacing and going ugly in order to develop these pathways.
there are definitely different wods that will focus on each of these plus you could modify some wods to focus on a pathway, ie a moderate pace through fgb would probably hit the glycolitic and oxidative pathways while a fast pace would work all 3.
to see how to work these pathways via work, recovery and repetitions then scroll up to may 16, 2003 and enlarge the image.
does this make sense to you?
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Old 06-16-2006, 07:22 AM   #10
Mike Quon
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Going ugly is necessary IMO in order to improve fitness. I started a thread about this a while ago. However I do performm "paced" workouts from time to time as I feel they are beneficial when preparing for a test day/event.

Using tabata on my bike for example. If I "go ugly" right off the bat I usually manage 140+ RPM's for the first few reps and then power output drops dramatically the last few reps to under 130 RPM's. When pacing I can usually maintain my RPM's in the mid to upper 130's and then push to the 140's for my last couple reps.
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