This was the exact same workout as 11.6 last year and as such, there really hasn’t been much to say about this workout.
First of all, its seven minutes of agony. Worse, in my opinion, than the burpees because the ascending repetition scheme just ruins people mentally and because you cannot fail on a burpee but you can on thrusters and pull ups.
There really isn’t much to say about the movements. You can look at everything I have to say about the thrusters on my wall ball post. The chest to bar pull ups are only slightly different than regular kipping pull ups and I might get into that in a longer post later. However, that’s not what I’m going to talk about here.
What’s relevant here is talking about working in short energy pathways.
Seven minutes is too short to rest. Its too short to use chalk. Its too short to drink water. Its too short to do anything other than work.
Yes, in a workout with pull ups like this your grip will start to go. However, taking the three to five seconds to drop, chalk, and get back on the bar adds up really quickly. Alternating your grip and switching up which hand is pronated will allow you to keep working without wasting any time.
I don’t hate chalk. I use it for what its good for. In a wod like this I think its an excuse to waste time. The more time you spend on the bar, the more repetitions you’ll get. Brilliant, right?
It’s the same for the thrusters. The best way to do them is to rest in the front rack. Pretty much every expert (real, not internet) cites a difference of six seconds between resting in the front rack versus dropping the bar.
The biggest difference in saving time was how you rest. Its pretty much inevitable that you will need to take some rest at some point. Unless you’re some form of cyborg there is no way to go that hard for that long.
Pretty much everyone hit lactate acid burn out around the 4:30-5:30 mark. That was regardless if they were on the round of 15 or the round of 9. So my goal both times I did it was to get as many repetitions as possible before I hit a wall.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to rest, especially if you choose the less efficient means of dropping the bar.
I’ve already decided my Crossfit New Year’s Resolution is to learn how to rest with a barbell in my front rack. Currently, I am fully incapable of doing it because it still feels like work.
The biggest difference maker I saw was not letting people turn their back on the bar. I did not do any formal tests, but I did do a little bit of a social experiment.
My friend Harpa is pretty intense. We like to joke with her about this a lot, but instead of sharing an exaggeration I’ll be honest. She’s as intense in a WOD as any athlete is in a big game.
She’s done the WOD a total of three times in her life. I was there for the two more recent ones, but we’ll say that back in the day when this was called 11.6 she got 89 repetitions.
She did it on Thursday and scored 86 repetitions. Which is awesome. A very respectable score, but she definitely had more in her. When she did it on Saturday she crushed it with 102 repetitions.
The difference maker was not allowing herself to turn her back on the bar. It seems like it wouldn’t make that much of a difference, but apparently it was good for sixteen repetitions. She is certainly not one to take excessive rest, but keeping herself facing the bar just made it either easier to get back on the bar or harder to justify not getting back on the bar.
I had a seventeen repetition PR too, but that was probably more to do with fact that I’m in a lot better shape now than I was a year ago than any sort of rest strategy.
I think forcing yourself to rest in the front rack is more than you can ask of most people, but never turning your back on a barbell is an accomplishable goal for everyone.
I don’t know why I get so irate at the Whole Foods by my parent’s house, but I rarely get angry at the Fresh Market in Columbus.
Maybe its that I’ve become used to getting disappointed at the Fresh Market. Or maybe its because I’ve become like my Grandfather and being on a first name basis with everyone that works there makes it harder for me to blame them.
Either way, every time I go to the Whole Foods I leave feeling like I want to start a small fire in the corner or at least shit in the sink.
There are a few options here, and maybe someone can help me settle on the most likely.
1. It’s a terrible use of space. I feel like 70% of the store is filled with bull shit. If you get lost and move off the outside aisles your more likely to leave with some form of Himalayan soy based bamboo douche than you are with food. I know the store’s target audience is the theoretical and literal Buckhead Betty, but for real selling that quantity of non-food stuff in the grocery store bothers me. It’s not even useful stuff like light bulbs, toilet paper, or screws. Its stupid shit that confuses me. I don’t even know what it does and that makes me confused and irate like a badger that you put in an office chair and spin around a lot.
2. They push vegetarianism to a stupid level. Its actually not that bad, its just stand out pretty abruptly to me. Not that I really care that they have a vegetarian section or anything like that (which is redundant since every food store has a produce section), but that almost all of the books push vegetarianism. Yea, that is the belief of the corporation, and no one is forcing me to buy it, but it bothers me.
3. Stupid people. Granted anytime I see more than three people I start hating them without any cause. Its worse at the grocery store. Every fat person I see buying a gluten free cake should walk away feeling like they survived a brush with death. Pretending that eating pretend health food is actually healthy is stupid and I want punch them all.
Actually that was all hate.
So I’m one week into my six week work trip and I thought I’d give an update on this traveling Paleo experience. Its the last week of the Open and I’m currently back in Columbus for my friend Dave’s wedding and to do 12.5 with my friends and hopefully future teammates.
I got up into Dahlonega Monday morning and checked into my barracks room.
First of all, the scenery up there is amazing. Second of all I am literally about to recreate the Shining due to lack of internet. All work and no internet makes Matt a dull boy.
So here’s what the room looked like when I go there:
Well it’s more horizontal here. In fact it’s actually right side up. Spartan, but right side up.
So I needed to get some stuff to survive. For about the cost of twenty bucks I bought the following survival essentials:
You’ll see some organic eggs, some mushrooms, some olives, a wooden spoon, coconut oil (apparently not pictured because I’m an idiot), a wooden spoon, and a cast iron pan.
I was amazed to find coconut oil in a Wal Mart in Dawesonville, GA, but hey stranger things have happened to me pretty recently. Seasoning the pan in a barracks room is a bit of a pain in the ass, but whatever. I’ve made mushroom omelets every morning since getting up north. Super fancy hotel breakfast style.
I’ve eaten out most of the other meals, so I’ll cover that another day.
I also bought everyone who reads this blog a present!
Post dibs to the comment. I don’t know that I have even five readers, so there’s probably no rush.
Ok I am feeling a little dense for not totally understanding this 5×5. I know I am supposed to stay at the same weight I just have trouble knowing what that weight should be. Any tips?
Basically, 5×5 means five sets of five repetitions. 3×5 would mean three sets of five repetitions. 5×3 would mean five sets of three repetitions.
Yes, stay at the same weight for all of these. You will do all of these at a percentage of a maximum or at a set weight. So it’ll always read something like 5×5@75%1RM.
However, you are a beginner (which is a good thing because you have near unlimited potential to grow), so you wouldn’t be doing any sets or repetitions like this for a long time. As a beginner you will either find a new repetition maximum every week or work up to the heaviest set that you can find in a limited number of sets.
So Find 5RM would be take as many or as few sets as you need to find a 5RM. So if you find a 5RM in 2 attempts than you’re good and your done, if you find it in 205 attempts, than it takes you 205 attempts, and so on.
I could also program something like you have 10 minutes to find a 5RM, so you do as much as you can to find that once you are done warming up, or immediately following another workout, or what other rules simon says.
5-5-5-5-5 means that you have 5 attempts only to find your 5RM. So you don’t count any set that is below 60% of your final set. So if your 5RM front squat is 300lbs and you squat: 45x5x2, 135×5, 225×5, 245×5, 275×5, 285×5, 300×5 than you are within the limits of that workout.
This is because everything below 225lbs was just a warm up because it was below 60% of the maximum that you lifted and therefore wasn’t enough weight to really count as a working set. However, if your sets looked like this: 45x5x2, 135×5, 225×5, 245×5, 255×5, 275×5, 285×5, 300×5. Than you did one set too many.
We do this so that we limit the volume lifted during the session during the working sets. Your warm ups should be pretty standard and light enough that the extra work will not affect your working sets. Doing an extra set is sometimes ok, when you’re chasing the dragon. However, on a beginners program doing that extra volume will be too much work and thus too much to recover and get gains from.
Which brings me to my point about how it reads like you say it.
So if you do 135×5 and you told that to your best friend it would sound like: “Julie! I squatted 135lbs five times”.
If you squatted 135x5x2 and you told that your least favorite friend it would sound like: “Stephanie! I squatted 135lbs five times twice (read: for two sets)”.
If you squatted 3x5x60%1RM and you told that to your favorite Crossfit coach it would sound like: “Matt! I squatted three sets of five repetitions at 60% of my 1 rep maximum, you’re an asshole!”
Where to start is kind of a personal thing that you need to learn by experience. Mark Rippetoe said at the Starting Strength Seminar that there isn’t a lifter in the world strong enough to go straight to a loaded barbell.
He recommends, and I agree, that no matter who you are or what the movement is that you need to do at least two sets of five repetitions with the 45lb bar or lighter (45x5x2).
I would than recommend that you lift a manageable weight that you know is between the bar and 45% of what you are working with for one set of however many repetitions you are working with.
I sometimes like to do a set between 50-60% of my maximum for fewer repetitions.
So let’s work this out hypothetically.
If you have a 185lb back squat 5RM and you are given the work out back squat 5-5-5-5-5. You know that you want to be at 185lbs at the third set and save two more for new personal records to write on the white board.
For this I would recommend that you do two sets of five repetitions with the forty five pound bar (45x5x2). Than I would do a set of five repetitions at 65lbs which is 35% of your previous 5RM (65×5 or 65x5x1). I would than do a set of three repetitions below my 60% which is 95lbs or at my 60% which would be 115lbs just to make sure I’m ready to make some big jumps (95x3x1 or 115x3x1).
Now its time for the first set of 5′s. I wouldn’t make the small jumps early on.
Next I would say go to 135lbs which is about 75% of your previous 5RM. The next set would be a pretty big jump to 165lbs which is 90% of the previous 5RM. The next set is 185lbs.
These jumps are not science, they are an art and they depend on how you feel. For a beginner, you can expect pretty big jumps between every set. This is because you’ll go through a novice adaptation period where you are getting PR’s like homeless people get body odor.
Hope that clears it up.
So the wall ball post got me thinking about accuracy. I did pretty much everything this weekend with college basketball playing in the background. I’m not a huge fan by any regards. I don’t really even follow it until March. I used to, but going to a college that’s terrible at sports leaves you feeling disenfranchised.
So besides the fact that I don’t really have anyone to cheer for (I cheer for whichever school I have less reason to hate), I just kind of admire the difficulty of play.
I’ll also admit, that even the biggest blow outs were more fun to watch than most of the Crossfit WODs. I guess that’s not entirely, true because I have a lot emotionally invested in everything that happens in the Open as a coach and as an athlete. There is nothing better than seeing first muscle ups or someone setting a PR that you know on a personal level.
This is not going to turn into one of those how would this advanced athlete do at Crossfit kind of blogs. Basketball is self selecting for tall people. Being tall makes both weightlifting and gymnastics exceptionally difficult. Imagine squat snatching something that you have to first pull over six feet into the air.
What I will say is that basketball is all about accuracy.
Not saying that these guys don’t have crazy capacity in pretty much all regards, but the accuracy is crazy. I would have to assume that nowadays there are some pretty advanced ways that they help develop accuracy and hand eye coordination in these athletes.
Granted, I’m sure a lot of it is developed just by specialization and genetic factors. I know plenty of tall people who were awful at basketball because they were so uncoordinated.
Anyways, it’s pretty interesting to watch the juxtaposition between athletes in a very specialized sport like basketball and watch average joe’s and firebreathers alike struggle through WODs that may or may not suit their strengths. Anyways, March is exciting.