Game It

At last years CrossFit South West Regional I was in the first heat of every single workout.  On one hand it was nice to get each workout over with.  On the other hand, it was a bummer not to have a chance to watch the other athletes go first in order to come up with a good game plan.  My poor game plan for one workout in particular stands out to me to this day.  It was 5 Rounds: 2 Muscle Ups, 10 Power Cleans (105) 200m Run. Without having a chance to watch others do the workout, my game plan was to string together both muscle ups in every round.  Also, because 105lbs was very light for me, I planned to string together all 10 cleans each round as well.  I figured I could leg out the run as a “recovery” of sorts, and make up the time on the Muscle Ups and Cleans.  In retrospect, this was not the best plan.

The problem was that in order to string the two muscle ups together each round, I ended up having to take too much extra rest in order to be sure I did not have to drop down from the rings between reps.  I figure I lost about 5-7 seconds each round as a result.  And by stringing all 10 cleans together each round I became so fatigued that the 200m runs became much too slow- 10 seconds a round lost perhaps?

After the workout my CrossFit friend Chyna Cho of CrossFit One World (who is coached by John Welbourn of CrossFit Balboa) said to me, “I saw you charging in to string all those cleans together and I thought, ‘don’t do it Joc. Don’t do it!’  You should have done five and five.”  Chyna then proceeded to tell me that she “games everything.”

See, Chyna had a better game plan.  Rather than simply stringing together reps, Chyna went into the workout knowing that she would do one muscle up at a time followed by 5 cleans, a quick breath, then another 5 cleans, etc.  No matter what, she would stick with her plan.  It didn’t matter if she had energy to do more in the first round, this was her game plan and she was sticking to it.

Well, it sure worked out for Chyna because she advanced to the 2010 games while I stayed home.

Now, if you simply do CrossFit to get stronger and fitter than I suppose that a game plan isn’t as crucial.  One could even argue that going hard out of the gate, regardless of whether fatigue will set in and slow down your overall time, will actually be better for your fitness.  After all, over time you’re sure to gain the work capacity needed to last longer each time before you start to slow down.   But if you enjoy a healthy competition between classmates and friends; or if you have signed up for the CrossFit Open and have aspirations to be a competitive CrossFitter then having a good game plan is a must.  And if you’re really lucky you may have even had a chance to see others complete the workout first in order maximize your strategy.

When it comes class time, do you game your CrossFit WODs?  Do you go fast out of the gate?  Or do you pace your workouts?




4x 2:30 Second Rounds/ 1 min Rest

250m Row

10 Toes to Bar

Max KB Swings (2P/53)