It’s not that hard when you’re given an inch to take it a mile. I can think of plenty of examples of something artistic where it’s just been sat with for too long and taken too far. How many examples of plastic surgery taken too far can we all think of? The same is the case with anything, which is that when focusing on the little details and making constant changes toward what we think is perfection, we lose sight of the bigger picture. We stare at the trees too long and forget about the forest around us. Actually we’re probably staring at the veins in the leaf or counting the lines in the bark at that point.
These are the times to step back and start over with the basic building blocks. Set aside all the shades of the rainbow and re-focus on the primary colors. If you haven’t noticed lately we’ve been doing an awful lot of tempo work with our lifting and body weight movements. We’re setting aside all the minutia and finer details of all of the CrossFit skill work, and rebuilding our very foundations.
About a year into CrossFit for me it was brought to my attention that I would pike during my jump on double unders. I was plenty good at double unders and had a great “Annie” time, but I knew that I could be more efficient if I corrected my form. I started from scratch with my doubles and spent about a month being frustrated basically learning how to do them all over again…but this time the right way. I’ve done the same thing with a number of movements and right now I’m doing it with muscle-ups.
A more specific example as to why tempo work is so important to the building blocks of CrossFit comes in the form of bodyweight gymnastics movements. I originally learned handstand push-ups strict with abmats, but it wasn’t long before I was shown the kip. This obviously requires less immediate strength and allows for a higher rep count. Before long I was doing kipping handstand push-ups like a champ, all the while not realizing I was robbing myself of my foundational strength. When I tried to do them strict again, I barely could do one or two. By never doing them strict, I had essentially been focusing on all the leaves of the tree while the trunk rotted away. How’d I fix it? You guessed it, back to basics…and strict handstand push-ups.
The point I’m trying to make here is that if we all need some time to get back to moving efficiently, perfecting our form, and building real strength. The good news is all three of those things are mutually beneficial and symbiotic by nature. With fitness in general we always have an opportunity to tear ourselves back down and build ourselves back up again better. Each time we should be learning from our past mistakes and tweaking the inefficiencies that may have been holding us back unbeknownst to us.
You all know what movements you avoid and what workouts you dread. Now is a good time to assess those feelings and understand the reasons why so that you can turn those weaknesses into strengths. Plug the holes in your game now while we’ve taken CrossFit and put it in slow (tempo) motion. I think a lot of you may find that certain lifts or movements that have caused you pain or discomfort in the past may merely be the result of poor form. The poor form may be the cause or even the result of underdeveloped muscle groups that have been overlooked while trying to blow through an AMRAP.
Speed isn’t always the game and the winner isn’t always going to be the one to the finish line first. First we establish technique, then consistency with that proper technique, THEN add intensity to it. By the time the dust settles on all of our tempo work and we get back to rapid fire, I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll be seeing a lot of PR’s on the board. Just imagine being able to move freely and quickly without inhibition of muscle fatigue and shortness of breath due to wild inefficiency in your movements. How great will it be to apply all of your newly acquired strength directly toward your lift rather than wasting a large percentage of it trying to complete the movement while not in the correct position for it to begin with.
This can all be incredibly frustrating in the short term, but that is why it is so important to our ultimate progress. Sometimes the only way forward is to go backward for a while. If you’ve already recognized that, then aren’t you ultimately moving forward anyway?
Pre-WOD Skill: DIPS PROGRESSION
Strength,Technique & Development: Front Squats/Thrusters Clusters:
A: (2+1. 2+1. 2+1); 4 Sets / Rest in rotation / reset
AMRAP 12 MINUTES:
12 Box Jumps (24/20″)
6 Thrusters (95/65#)
6 Bar-Facing Burpees
30 MIN AMRAP:
400 M RUN
30 WALL BALL SHOTS
20 KB SWINGS
A1: Seated DB Shoulder Press @ 20X2; 12 Reps; rest 20 s
A2: Max Rep Push Up / Roll Up in 30 Sec; rest 30 sec
B1: Seated DB Hammer Curls @ 30X1; 12 Reps; rest 20 s
B2: Max Rep Banded Tricep Pull Downs in 30 Sec; rest 30 sec
WOD: AMRAP 12 MINUTES:
12 SIT UPS
6 RING ROWS
12 BOX JUMP/STEP UPS
A: Group Warmup:
B: 5 MIN SKILL WORK: DIP PROGRESSION
C: Strength, Technique & Development: UB PULLING – TEST 1RM
In 8 MINUTES, find your 1RM Weighted PULL UP. Must be perfect body position, starting and ending at full extension. Chin over bar.
Training Option: EMOM 8 ( U-Pick # of Strict or Jumping Neg (4 Count) or Ring Row (4 Count) Pull Up (Var.)
D: WOD – Station Rotation (UB Push Focus) = May run in heats 1 Min apart.
45 SEC – MAX CAL AIR ASSAULT / 15 SEC Transition
4 MIN AMRAP: 5 HSPS + 10 PUSH PRESS (75/55) + 15 PUSH UPS
1 MIN REST
x 3 SETS (Score is total reps each round – Air Assault = Cal = 1 Rep)
* May scale HSPU to Seated DB Floor Press
Fitness (7:00 & 6:30pm):
Strength – The FRONT Squat & Thruster
WORK: EMOM x 10 MINUTES: (2 x Front Squats + 1 Thruster)
WOD: 4 SETS
2 MIN ROW + 1 MIN WALL BALL SHOTS
REST 1 MINUTE
CASH OUT: 100 SIT UPS