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

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Old 03-10-2007, 08:40 PM   #1
Jason Needler
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I'm still getting the hang of this new way to workout. I finished in 11:08 today, but had to take a couple breaks. Should I have paced myself to complete the whole routine without breaks? Or is it better to really push as hard as you can (when going for time, at least) and take short breaks as required?
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Old 03-10-2007, 11:26 PM   #2
Kevin Burns
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Hi Jason. I had the same question and the answer is that you should scale your workouts so that you can keep moving.

Unless the workout specifically calls for breaks (like barbara) then you should try to continue without stopping.

This doesn't mean you can't take momentary pauses to catch your breath. Most people have to when they are nearing the end of the WOD but if your taking breaks longer then 30 seconds you should probably scale down the workout a little bit.

Better to keep a continuous level of intensity rather than dramatic peaks and valleys.

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Old 03-11-2007, 05:41 AM   #3
Lynne Pitts
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Moving to WODs
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Old 03-11-2007, 06:04 AM   #4
Jason Billows
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I posted this same question about a year ago. I had mixed answers but the one that made most sense to me from a CF perspective was "yes", to both options.

In other words you should do some workouts with a slightly lighter load so that you can push hard the entire way through and others with a heavier loads where you are forced to take some short breaks.

I don't know if this is the best approach, but it made sense to me.
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Old 03-13-2007, 03:31 PM   #5
Jason Needler
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Okay, thanks for the input.

I was doing one the other day and had to take about two "breathers", probably about 30 secs each. Wondered if I was doing anything 'wrong' ... besides sucking, cuz I was WAY sucking on that workout.

I'm doing "Cindy" tomorrow (I know, I know, doing them all in the wrong order), the main scaling I can do is adjust is the weight on the Gravitron (which I know I will have to use after about the 3rd or 4th round of pullups). I think I'll try to not let the Gravitron assist me more than 1/2 bodyweight and see if I can maintain a reasonable pace ... not too worried about the squats or pushups, much stronger on those than pullups. Yes, pullups will definitely be my sticking point tomorrow.

Back to my original question, I think the WODs that are "for time" and "as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can" should be paced for a near constant work effort - dare I say metcon? Other WODs with clearly defined sets (like 1-1-1-1) seem better for incorporating breathers. At least, that's how I'm interpreting it for the time being.
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Old 03-17-2007, 06:14 PM   #6
David Sailor
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The metcons are the ones designated "for time" and AMRAP in 20 minutes. ME days are maximum effort for various set and rep schemes. The ME days, take time as needed between sets, you are shooting for max weights.
The metcons are totally different, push as best you can for the entire time. Personally, I find the first time with a new workout the hardest as I'm trying to figure out the approach. I always underestimate how long it will take. Once I've done it once or twice, I try to take a more analytical approach to it, that is, how do I best approach the workout to try and beat my previous time? As far as pacing goes, I think striving for a steady state works better than selling out and having to regroup, at least mentally.
For example, I've done "Helen" 5 times so far. Each time, I record the speed of my runs (on a treadmill) and where any breaks were during the swings and pullups. I found that running a steady pace each time was far better for me than blowing out the first run and paying for it the rest of the workout.
I guess the best is to try it various ways and find out what plan- steady state or selling out and recovering works best for you. David.
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Old 03-18-2007, 02:36 AM   #7
Steven Low
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1. Going all out will specifically increase your lactic acid thresholds in terms of metcon workouts.

2. Pacing yourself will allow you to increase your total power output which, in a sense, is basically increasing your ability to work in all 3 energy pathways (phosphagen, glycotic (lactic acid), oxidative).

Both are useful.

Blowing yourself out will inevitiable increase #2 threshold which will allow for more total power output after your body as adapted. Increasing #2 and its efficiency will do the same as #1 albeit a bit slower. Basically it's a tradeoff just like working strength vs. endurance is, but they compliment each other overall.
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Old 03-25-2007, 07:13 AM   #8
George Brothers
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this has been discussed much in the past.
i think if you search under the keywords put out (no breaks) or cop out/sell out (breaks) some interesting reading is there.
one thing i note in these discussions is that while there is much mention of working different systems and such there always seems to be little mention of the mental benefit from doing either. i usually see a lot of testimonials concerning progress people make with crossfit and similar workouts but these are usually outlined as increases in say pullups or weight deadlifted or a time on a certain workout. the intangible is that these workouts help you develop mental toughness especially when you are "putting out". so for the original poster, you will benefit from both schemes physically but keep in mind, no pun intended, that no breaks, pushing as hard as you can till time is up gives you a gut check to refer back to in other times of physical hardship either games, competition, combat, stressful situations or just everyday physical challenges like digging the car out of a snowbank.
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Old 03-28-2007, 04:17 PM   #9
Greg Hamilton
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this is a great thread for beginner to intermediate level crossfitters. we spend a lot of time trying to decide and/or make sure we're doing metcon workouts 'correctly'.

i'm still nowhere near where i'd like to be but much better than i was when i started 7 months ago. my approach to metcon workouts has definitely evolved with some experience and i expect this is the same with everybody. the nature of appoaching varying workouts seems as if it should be dynamic; this is the nature of crossfit.

i have done many of the metcon workouts multiple times now, and more recently i scale down weights and speeds and body positions/angles to where i believe i can complete the workout without broken sets. these scale-downs are literally a bit embarrassing to post sometimes, but they give me a base and i can build from there.

jason, i use the gravitron often for high rep pullup workouts. depending on the total number of pullups and the total number of rounds, i have different recorded weight assistances that i'll try to decrease over time. i've also found a few workouts where jumping pullups seem to make more sense than the gravitron. over time you'll begin to realize what seems to work best for you. neither of us will need the gravitron for knocking out massive amounts of pullups in the relatively near future, right?
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:29 AM   #10
Todd Angel
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IMHO, Crossfit metcon workouts mean to do the prescribed work in the least amount of time possible or AMRAP of course. Since crossfit is the sport of fitness i think it can be valuable to develope a strategy for some workouts. Knowing strengths versus weaknesses make me manage my challenges just like in the real world. The work is not going anywhere so just do it as best as possible. Like the filthy 50's, strong on push presses, box jumps etc, struggle miserably on knees to elbows and such. Crossfit levels the playing field because it involves everything. To get right to the bottom line, push when you can push and manage the stress / overload when you have to. Just get it done as fast as possible.
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