A. Work up to heavy set of the following complex: high hang clean + hang clean + front squat.
B. 2×2 clean pulls (add 10-20% of weight from A).
C. 3 rounds, not for time:
5 single leg KB/DB deadlift (2 hand), heaviest possible
5 single arm KB/DB press (per arm)
10 pistols per leg
I thought I’d write a short note about yesterday’s workout, and how for some people it might not have seemed “hard enough” or “long enough”. Basically what that should tell you is that we didn’t get the scaling quite right this time. If doing knee raises didn’t seem like much of a challenge… do something else next time, like hanging leg raises (straight legs), or try the full movement (i.e. toes-to-bar). If the kettlebell felt light… use a heavier weight next time. Sometimes it’s difficult as a coach or an athlete to assess what a given weight will feel like during a particular workout. Sometimes we get it wrong, but this is where your workout log comes in handy. Note your time and weight used, and how it felt, so you know for next time.
Just because a workout is short doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be tough. Different workout lengths are geared towards different energy systems, but the underlying theme is that you should be striving for intensity, regardless of the workout length. The actual degree of intensity may vary between workouts, but it should be high for that workout.
In a vaguely related vein, this next bit has been floating around in my mind for a while now. The essence of it is this: take responsibility for your own fitness and health. An alternated title might be, “Do The Research”. I think that what we do in the gym will make you stronger, fitter, and more capable human beings. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be doing this.
Sure, we make things easier for you by providing programming and coaching, but at the end of the day, you are the ones training your bodies and minds. If you have some residual tightness from a previous workout, spend some time working on it before the next workout. Spend some time at home working on mobility — every day. If you are working towards a skill, research it. Ask questions. Experiment. Try stuff out. Research some more. Figure out what works for you. What makes your body work the way it does? Not quite happy with your squat? Check out mobilitywod.com or the posters in the gym and find some stuff to work on. Athletes (yes, you are an athlete!) succeed because of their own personal motivation. Good coaching will help, but without some intrinsic motivation, success will not happen.
Going away on summer holidays? Figure out some workouts that can be done with minimal equipment (google “travel WODS”, for a start). Work on your squats, your handstands, pull-ups, locomotion drills, whatever. You can do a ton of stuff without any equipment at all.
Make sure your nutrition is dialed in. This is absolutely critical. The best gym habits in the world cannot overcome poor nutrition. My first recommendation for reading material for most people is usually the book, “Why We Get Fat”, by Gary Taubes. There is a slowly growing consensus that the nutritional guidelines that have been promoted in the last 20 to 30 years with regards to processed carbohydrates (flour, bread, grains, etc.) are flat out wrong. A full 80 percent of your body composition is determined by your nutrition, and the remaining 20 percent is a combination of exercise and genetics. Eat real food, not processed food.
And last but not least… just show up. That’s the hard part. Ask yourself whether you are making it in to the gym often enough to make progress. No matter how good a workout is, if it’s only happening once a week, it’s not enough. I’ve told most people this in person, but it’s worth reiterating. Working out twice a week is the bare minimum you need to make progress. I know some people have other training goals and programs and/or life gets in the way, but if you really want to get better at the movements of CrossFit and the movements of life in general, you need more exposure to them.
I’m not singling anyone out — far from it. These are just some ideas I’ve had kicking around in my head as a result of many interactions, and I think they are worth giving some thought.
Keep up the good work… and be patient! Put in the time, and the results will follow.