Yesterday’s Lessons

Concrete wall+lacrosse ball+pectoral=a happy Rich M.

Concrete wall+lacrosse ball+pectoral=a happy Rich M.

Yesterday’s WOD was a broken up version of Helen that had the same amount of work in it as the classic benchmark workout. Yet, times were routinely at least a minute slower than Helen times, if not more. I kind of had a feeling that would be the case when I programmed the WOD and why, and I checked with the day’s coaches to see if I was right.

It’s all about transitions. Transitions have the ability to make or break your time. The workout doubled the amount of transitions in Helen and it showed in the times. Transitions are often seen as a time of rest, but in reality, they are a chance to push your pace. You may not be able to do another handstand pushup, but you can do a deadlift. You may need a rest before you could do another muscle up, but a clean is much easier. However, most people will rest far too long in between those movements. Look at transitions not as an opportunity to rest, but an opportunity to use different muscles.

Another thing the coaches mentioned that slowed everyone’s times down was jogging or walking from the door to the kettlebell after the run. Especially in a gym the size of CrossFit West, you are going to lose a lot of time coasting from the door. Remember those transitions! Continue your run right up to the your next station and your time will dramatically improve.

I have a saying that I use a lot with my kickboxers and fighters. Speed is the space in between movements. Most people punch and kick with the same speed. They really do. The time from when a ‘fast’ fighter lifts his or her foot off the floor and impacts the target is pretty much the same with just about everyone. Variables like leg length (distance to target), reactive or reflexive speed, and how relaxed the fighter is while kicking play a part, but the sheer speed is pretty similar. Where a ‘fast’ fighter really gains speed over a ‘slower’ fighter is in combinations. Speed, therefore, is how fast a person can link together various movements. A ‘fast’ fighter will have less of a gap in between the movements that make up a combination, and is thus ‘faster’.

It is exactly the same thing with the transitions in a WOD.

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