“Extra work”

After the 2014 season we set up one team and made Regionals as a gym. We had a “try-out” type system in place and chose 4 guys/girls to make the team. As a group we all had drastically different schedules, where none of us could get together at the same time. I used the old blog as a way for us to know what extra work to do to prepare us for Regional training that year. Because the blog was public, and people love to ask the question “hey what are you doing?” others started in on some of the extra work. This started us down the path of ‘more is more.’  More is more is a concept that is set up perfectly for the 2017 mind. ‘I want it all, and I want it now and I don’t like waiting on the process/perfecting the fundamentals so let me keep trying to hack the system and cram and get everything I want now.’  The problem became that people started doing extra work, or coming to skulls before they had completed very old school, original CrossFit benchmarks. Some people even did extra work before they could complete each class of the week RX, let alone with intensity. Seriously, think about that? It would be like saying “Oh, I was shanking a bunch of shots out on the range and can’t putt yet…but I want to go compete in the US Amateur at Whistling Straits.”  And still even worse, some people came to Skulls or did extra work when they were injured and had to scale class or skip it entirely!?

Just like I said it’s important to understand what your process is, it is also very important to have a strong understanding of the CrossFit process. Because many of you are “new school” CrossFitters, you likely haven’t spent the time researching the classic Benchmarks. It is the argument of Greg Glassman that until you can complete these benchmarks, you are not well-rounded enough, intense enough, or do not move well enough to advance beyond them. My contention is that this should be a self-assessment tool for yourself to see the things you’re focusing too much on, and the things you’re not focusing enough on. Re-evaluate your individual process accordingly and don’t concern yourself with what others are doing for their extra work (or what other people’s process might be). Here they are:

  • Tabata DU Unbroken (35+ reps)
  • 2k Row <7:00 / 8:00, 1 mile run under 6:15 / 6:45
  • Front Squat 1.5x BW, Deadlift 2x Bodyweight, Strict Press 1x/.75x BW
  • C&J 1.5x BW, Snatch 1x BW
  • (Old school) 10/6 UB MU, (New school) 15/10 MU, 25/20 CTB, 45/40 Pull-ups
  • Karen <5:30 / 6:00, Fran: <2:45/3:00, Jackie: <6:00/6:30, Amanda: <5:00/6:30, Diane: <4:00
  • Murph: RX <50:00, DT: <6:00, Tommy V: <12:30/14:00, Nasty Girls: <6:30/8:00
  • Row 500m (Lightweight) <1:28/1:50 (Heavyweight): <1:23/1:45, Run 400m: <1:05/1:15
  • Another fun grouping of tests from Glassman

If your first reaction to some was “that’s so easy” and others as “pfft, yea right” – That’s a problem.

If I were to see an athlete who can complete each of those tests (or 90%+), I would then look next to:

Beep test, Macho Man, Prison Rules, 21-15-9: 315/225 DL/BJ, the Seven.

Until you’re able to complete that grouping of tests, the best thing for you is going to be:

  1. Attacking each class workout with maximum intensity. No plan, no pacing, no fear, no hunched over breaths, just maximum intensity. This is the only way to “get there” for most of these things. You will never get there on the row/run/girls workouts if you’re afraid of approaching ‘the line.’
  2. Sticking to maximizing classic movements, class gets you great at the basics. Take note of how many classes you are able to RX with intensity. Take note of where you sit in runs/rows, are you at the top of the pack for lifting, but that back of the pack for rowing/running?
  3. Creating your own extra work workouts (with a coach, or training partner) that will maximize improving in those areas. Let’s say I struggle at running and big sets of Muscle-ups: 5 Rounds: Run 800m (max effort), 10 second transition, 2 Max effort sets of Muscle-ups with a 15s break in between. Rest 2-3 minutes between. That provides direct value to you, but does not provide direct value to me. Better for me would be: 4 Rounds: 30 Overhead Squats @ 75lbs, Max effort HSPU, rest 2 minutes.

This is where owning your own training, communicating honestly and being in a good place of self-awareness will maximize your ability. Last year I took meetings individually with people, and gave them these types of things. They were not always maximized or followed through on, so that is step 2: Do the work. For those who I feel like are well-rounded in the areas listed above, smart enough to own their training from a place of good self-awareness, and mature enough to complete the extra work in a time/place/space that is not going to be at a detriment to the gym or their ego – I will grant some extra training. Until then, use M-F for #1 & #2, and use Saturday/Sunday for #3. Email me questions/concerns and write ups and I’ll be glad to give workouts to address your weak points in the targets above.

Days of process completed: 12/14

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