The Open is Over... Now What? Part 3 of 3
In part one, we discussed the important roll nutrition plays and part 2 discussed the importance of the movements we use and the progressions. In our final installment we discuss the importance of time. More specifically balancing time.
Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports. ~Greg Glassman
The last 4 sentences are really all about time frames for workouts. Its hard to remember but when CrossFit hit the scene in 2001 everyone thought hours and hours of long slow effort in the gym was the key. Trainers would actually discourage clients from exerting themselves. CrossFit was revolutionary by suggesting that workouts be intense. That intensity is born from the fact that the workouts are mostly short time frames. In order to get better at CrossFit you've got to keep the time short and push yourself as hard as possible during that short time. Also, keeping in mind that intensity is relative. Athlete A might be able to keep a 135lbs barbell moving for 10 minutes straight while athlete B may have to choose a 15lbs barbell to keep the bar moving at the same rate. The most important thing to remember is that both athletes are creating the same affect in their body's systems. Both of their bodies are experiencing intensity because they are moving a load quickly for 10 minutes. Therefore the improvement in health is happening in both athletes. Now if we have an athlete C who has a heavy barbell too, but is doing a few reps, resting, doing a few more, going to the water fountain... They are most likely missing the intended affect of the workout. Its still way better than sitting on the couch, but its not that miracle fat melting energy systems boost that is CrossFit. Bottom line is to choose weights and movements that allow you to keep moving at the intended rate or finish in the target time. (Choosing appropriate weights and movements can also be called "scaling." I'm sure you've heard that a few times from our coaches.) And lastly, if you don't believe me look at this year's Open workouts. The longest was 18.1 which was a 20 minute workout. The other workouts consisted of 9, 12, 14 and 7 minute time caps. Dave is trying to tell you something.
But Coach, CrossFit is training for life and sometimes life needs you to do something somewhat difficult for a longer time. Hour long workouts like Murph surely prepare us for that. Yes, you are correct in a way. Once in a while we make room for longer workouts in the 30 to 45 minute range and that's OK. However, you don't want to make a habit out of this. It can easily lead to over training and burn out. The best answer lies in the final, and most over looked, sentence. "Learn and play new sports." Learning and playing new sports is the best way to get that longer effort, take a break from the gym and have some fun. There is no such thing as a basketball game with a 7 minute time cap and a hike in the woods is definitely longer than 12 minutes. So, hit it hard in the gym lay it all out for 12 minutes, die in a puddle of sweat on the gym floor and then on the weekend get out there and play flag football in the park with your friends!