Wednesday, June 21, 2017

CrossFit MedCons - Most people do them wrong

How many times have you seen someone just standing around during a metcon?
How about that guy that does one rep sets?
There is also the RX or RX+ guy that says you have to follow the programming.

The problem is people want to be RX.  I understand that and you might get there.  You have to understand,  RX programming is designed for 25 to 30 year olds who are fit and not broken.  If this is you, then awesome.  The majority of the people I see at CF are not in this club.  Most are older, not fit yet and have some body injury they deal with daily.  RX or even RX + plus is the goal but you need to be realistic about the timeline of your goals.  I would bet a decent amount of money, if you are 35+ and have never done CF, you should not RX in the first 6 months or maybe even a year depending on your life style.

Here are some points to think about the next time you setup for a MetCon.

  • CF named these workouts MetCons for a reason.  They are high intensity energy using workouts that use your fitness.  MetCons just sounds better.  These awesome events are designed with purpose.  If you can only do one round of an AMRAP, you did it wrong.  If you blast through 2 exercises and then spend a long time on another one, you did it wrong.  The weights, the exercises and your conditioning should be chosen so you can keep moving at a moderate pace or fast pace.
  • You should be scaling or RX+ the metcon based on you, not just the programming or your buddy.  Ask a coach for help if you need it.  Some days you will feel great and can push your self but others, you will feel tired due to sleep, life or nutrition.  You should adapt the MetCon to meet the goal of the WOD.
  • MetCons are not strength building events.  They are strength using events.  The goal is never to get your front squat PR during a MetCon.  Use the strength training part of the WOD to get stronger.  As you do MetCons and it gets easier because of the strength work you have put in, then increase as necessary.   
  • MetCons should also not beat you up so bad that you don't want to come back tomorrow.  They definitely should not cause you injury.  MetCons should be a way of using your "fitness". You should leave feeling good about what you did.
  • Pick weights or exercises that allow you to go unbroken if possible.  I would recommend if the reps are 12 or less, you should be able to go unbroken most of the rounds.  Once you get above 12, you probably should break the work up into sets.  My contradiction to this is if you have a plan to break up something like Toes to Bar in sets of 4, then that is fine.  You have a plan of attacking the workout.  This could be for weights too.  BUT, this should be sets where you do the set, rest for 5 to 10 seconds or less and do another set.  You are trying to allow your grip or muscles a short recovery, that is all.
  • Work on skills and technique outside of the MetCon.  If you can't do a Muscle Up and that is one of your goals, then find a progression online and work up to it.  Use the progression exercises in the MetCon, don't spend the whole MetCon getting your first MU.    If you can't snatch, take a class or work on it outside of the MetCon.  This is how you get hurt.  This drove me insane during the Open. I get it but you had time before the Open to get your first MU and you also had the option to scale. 
  • We have all seen that guy that scales everything and does not even break a sweat.  This is not the goal.  You are not working on conditioning if your heart rate is not going up to safe levels.  We all have more ability in us than we know.  Push yourself but be smart.  I am not  saying be this guy, I am saying smartly do your best.
  • Someone is going to say but the Open should be RX so you can compare and enjoy the suffering together.  I would say you should not even do the Open workouts unless you have experience with every movement or lift.  The open is not that time to spend 45 minutes getting 2 rounds of double unders.  I know the scaled workouts had pullups last year.  If you are scaling, you should scale it beyond CF recommendations, if you can't do the workout.  At the end of the day, no one cares and you get a good workout.  If you can do the RX open exercises and weights but just can't rep them out, then have a plan that gets you the most value out of the workout.  This is different than having never done them or just can't do the workout.  The progression workouts are good because you get to see how far you can get in the workout.  That is different than I cant do the first round.

    Last thing is remember fitness is a journey and not a sprint.  If you work hard and take care of your body, you can get to RX but seriously consider this, even if you do get to RX, you are not going to Regionals and you are not going to the Games.  You are going to another CF class.  Most of us should be executing a MetCon with a plan to make the next class and so that we can continue to work our fitness, family, job and life.  

    Just my quick thoughts on MetCons

    Monday, June 19, 2017

    Rest and Recovery Week Fail

    I have to confess. I only made it 5 days.  The WOD on Friday was just too fun.  I did feel much stronger and flexible.  On down note, with the heat and high intensity, I was cardio gassed after.  It almost felt like week 1 again and it felt great.  I did a short work out on Saturday and worked on pull ups.  Sunday was a round of golf and I was sore.  The rest of Sunday was rest and bad nutrition.

    I intended to go to the normal 5:30 class Monday morning but after traveling home and getting ready for bed, it was 10:30.  Instead, I got the extra sleep and worked out in my garage.   I think this was a good choice and one I will try to balance going forward.  I am too old to recover with out enough sleep and perform well.

    Friday, June 16, 2017

    Where is the Rest and Recovery?

    I started this Crossfit, Spartan, Tennis, Nutrition and Sleep journey around the first of February.  I stated all of these because these are the core items to my fitness goals.  The problem is there is a key item that I was missing and as I get older, I need to make sure it is a priority.

    I have been able to do some things with Crossfit I never thought possible.  Doing the Murph two times in two weeks, learning how to snatch and C/J, experiencing the CrossFit Open, rope climbs and many other PRs.  Even with this, I still have many fitness goals left to accomplish.

    I did the Spartan Super and Cowboys Stadium Sprint.  I did all the obstacles except for rings and felt great after each.  Frankly enjoyed using my fitness.

    Several people have noticed my Tennis game is getting back to where it was pre ACL surgery.  Honestly most of that has to do with strength and weight loss.

    Nutrition has been an ongoing experiment and always will be.

    I have actively tried to get more sleep and unrelated but drink less alcohol.

    In someways, I have inspired my friends and family by my results but I have a lot further to go.  Some others would say I have been insane.

    I can say all of this has taken a tole on my body.  My knees have a little more pain than normal.  My elbows are sore and my energy levels the last few weeks have been low.  2 Murphs, an 8+ mile OCR run and a stadium sprint can do that to someone.  All these in 3 weeks.

    I know of multiple WODs where I should have not even got up that morning.  Like the day after doing the Murphy and trying to PR in DL.  I remember doing squats and wondering if my legs were going to explode.  I think I got lucky and could have hurt myself multiple times.

    This week I decided to completely take off from training.  I have not even done a push or burpee.  Has it been hard?  Stressful is the word I would use.  I worry about losing my fitness.  I have not taken off more than 2 days since Feb.  Taking 7 days off is going to make me fat, weak and lose my cardio right.  We will see but I don't think so.  I have spent each day doing extra stretching, foam rolling, working my lacrosse ball and even trying out muscle flossing.  I also did one session of NormaTec and Cryo.  The NormaTec message feels good and Cryo is fun.

    Crossfit likes a 3 days on / 1 day off model and I think that works fine but it does not prescribe how many weeks you should be on, especially for those of us that are using our fitness out side of the daily WODs.

    I am still not sure what kind of rest days or weeks I am going to work in but I am going to come up with a schedule for the next 2 months and make sure it has recovery.  I will post my plan and goals after I build it and document the results.

    Wednesday, June 7, 2017

    Best Simple Nutrition Advice

    Big shout out to Built By Bergeron for simple nutrition advice that everyone can follow.

    Key Points:

    • Eat Real Food, Not a lot, Mostly vegetables
    • Goals for all athletes would be 10% body fat for men and 15% for women
    • Focus on Body fat to see best performance improvements and bio improvements
    • 3 to 4 meals per day.  30% protein, 30% Carbs and rest in vegetables until you are down to the recommended body fat. Then, adjust to optimal levels.