Speed

Big Matt S takes on the Airdyne. This is not your parents' exercise bike.

In my martial arts classes, I have a saying about speed. Speed is the space between movements. For example, picture a high kick to the head with the right leg followed by a high kick with the left. Once the foot has been lifted off the ground, there really isn’t that much difference in the time it takes for the foot to travel to the head from person to person.  Most people are about the same speed, even people who are considered fast.  Where a big difference is made is the transition from one kick to the next. After contact has been made with the right kick, in the example above, whip the leg down and almost stomp the foot in order to get the left leg up. Thus, speed is the space between movements.

The same can be said for a lot of CrossFit WODs. Last week I had the pleasure of watching some pretty fast Frans, including a very legit 2:12. I noticed that the 2:12 Fran wasn’t driving the bar up any faster than some of the other Frans, but he was pulling the bar right into the squat much faster.  He also went from barbell to pullup bar and back very quickly.  Again, speed is the space between movements.

Think of a lot of repetitious movements in CrossFit.  Remembering that speed is the space between movements, how can you make them faster?  You could actively pull the kettlebell down into the bottom position rather than letting gravity bring it down after it floats above your head.  The same goes for the kettlebell snatch. Don’t let go of the bar during light weight cleans, such as Grace. On fast deadlifts, really push the hips back starting as the bar descends from the top of the lift so that the bar is right in front of the shins and your weight is back towards the heels, thus setting you up perfectly for the next rep.

Of course, transitions are wrought with potential time saved or time wasted.  Getting from one movement to another rapidly will strip seconds from your time. So will taking little breaks more often rather than big long breaks. Every time you transition from one movement to another, do a couple reps of the new movement before taking any kind of break. If there is a run of some sort between movements, never walk to your equipment after the run, always move quickly.

Speed is is the space between movements.

What are your tips for speed? Please post to Comments.

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