So last week we had a day that was 80% C&J for 10 sets. The goal being to go to your 80% (+/- 5-10lbs) and hit it for 10 sets, with solid and consistent form. That means the footwork in both the clean and the jerk should be balanced, and the same across all sets. The catch in the split jerk should be solid, controlled and allow for a front foot -> back foot recovery. This weight should not require a belt, or knee sleeves – just building good, consistent movement. The importance of this at this stage cannot be understated at this ‘stage of the game’ – here is why:
- CrossFit is an efficiency sport. It comes down to how long can you repeat a consistent pattern without muscular break down. If you watch Rich Froning do Isabel you see that he has built up such solid movement patterns well beyond the capacity of 30-reps of 135lb snatches that he is able to seamlessly move through them and they all look identical. If you watch a Regional athlete to Isabel the first 8-12 reps might be efficient, then they will start to pull too much with their back, then their arms, then their grip fatigues, shoulders fatigue and they’re near failure around the 30 rep mark. If you watch a lower class athlete try 135, it is a horrid sight to watch. It starts with 3-4 moderate reps, then things quickly fall apart and they’re likely to get injured or at the very least have a dinged up back/shoulder tomorrow. The key here is to understand that everyone has a weight where they’re the “lower class athlete” and to avoid that like the plague. Watch Ben and Rich do 16.2…notice how their weight isn’t even 315 that they break down at. For most of us it was 185, 225 or 275. What weight it was for you is the weight you need to train…sometimes that is 50%, so if you’re like “ah, fuck it I need to get a higher 1RM” then you should go be a weightlifter, not a CrossFitter. As competitors you need to realize that building 30, 40, 50, 60, 100 repeatable reps at 95 or 115 is far more important than setting a new Isabel PR or doing it RX. Especially right now.
- Every season once ~December hits, we’re spending most of our time working lactic threshold and pushing our bodies/minds to get more comfortable hitting our rep threshold with high heart rates. Ideally between now and then we would create a greater rep threshold through building better movement patterns. You can have the biggest engine in the world, but if you don’t move weight efficiently you can and will be surpassed by a less fit person who didn’t “work as hard as you” (But they did work “smarter” than you). This is a key point to understand. I am a perfect example of this. I work “harder” than a lot of people. I move significantly less efficient than a lot of those same people. When a burpee workout comes up then and my inefficient hip mobility and burpee form come out, a less fit, less hard working person will surpass me with ease, making burpees look simple, while I’ll be over there making them look super laborous and dying. (I’m working on it)
- Training at 100% will always win over someone who operates at 80% capacity due to ‘nags’ or injuries that linger. Constantly pushing threshold above the desired stimulus and “going for PRs” and ego training will always leave you training with less intensity and with worse form. Again, someone who chooses to do banded strict pull-ups because they know their kipping form and longevity cannot hold up will always (in the long run) win over the guy who rails away on his shoulders and core doing awful, ugly, inefficient and sloppy kips just to “do things RX.”
The goal here is to ensure that people listen to the coaches when they’re explaining the purpose behind the workout, and embody that purpose. Also to ensure that people are taking their own health and short-comings into an honest, self-aware place so that they can make the change to move forward. The Open will come up again, if you move the same, have the same injuries and the same weaknesses in February then you simply: Did not listen, were not self-aware, did not train with intention – And you might have an ego problem.