by Daniel Solano
In 2015 I made a decision to step away from a regular CrossFit routine and focus on power lifts. That meant more workouts with an emphasis on strength and less on metabolic conditioning (metcon) style workouts. As a result I lost a considerable amount of conditioning. To put it in perspective take a look at my Helen times from 2012 – 2015:
01/2012 – 10:25
06/2012 – 9:58
01/2013 – 10:08
05/2014 – 11:59
10/2015 – 13:55
Let’s fast forward to November of 2016 when I decided to get back on the bandwagon and do CrossFit regularly again here at Yellow Rose.
In the last ten months I have had the pleasure of working out with and coaching a really great group of people. It has been a fantastic overall experience, but there was still something that was not quite right about my workouts.
I was crushing the strength component of the WODs (the result of my time off to work on lifts) but doing very poorly on the metcons. Honestly, I expected that, but it became a problem when I noticed that I wasn’t really improving on my metcons over time. It wasn’t until May or June that I realized what was slowing me down. I was going as prescribed. Better known as going rx’d.
I was going RX on every workout and I wasn’t improving.
I came back to CrossFit in November with the mindset that I am an rx’d athlete because that is what I was when I left and proceeded to do the workouts as such. My metcon scores would beg to differ with me though. I was getting time capped (or close) or would have very poor AMRAP scores. In the beginning I made excuses for myself.
I’m just getting back into it.
I’m getting old.
I’m much heavier now than I was then.
Those were my go-to’s… but you know what they say about excuses and all of them stinking.
Anyway, I was not getting any faster at my metcons and it took a few months but I determined that going as prescribed wasn’t helping me. That is not to say I wasn’t getting a workout. I was but I was not making improvements. Someone completing Grace (30 Cleans & Jerks 135/95) rx’d in 4.5 minutes and someone else finishing in about 10 minutes have both worked out, but the person that finished in 4.5 minutes got the more intense workout.
And THAT is where we see our improvements in CrossFit.
When we are able to really dial up our intensity. Greg Glassman (founder of CrossFit) has been preaching this for many years. In Fitness In 100 Words he states, “Keep workouts short and intense.” That was published in 2002. Here in 2017 I had forgotten about that.
I have stopped doing workouts as prescribed for the sake of saying I did the workout “rx’d”. Now I consider what it is going to take for me to complete the workout and maintain a relatively intense pace throughout the whole thing. Sometimes that means reducing weight, modifying a movement, adjusting rep count, or maybe even a combination of these. This change in how I approach a workout has already begun to have its positive effect on me.
On July 31st we did Helen and I finished at 12:43.
I will conclude with a quote that I came across a while ago that summarizes what I would like you take away from this blog. It is from a CrossFit coach that is a former NFL player and has competed at the CrossFit Games as an individual and on a team. A team that won two years in a row in 2012 and 2013!
“You don’t need a harder workout, you just need to go harder in your workout.” – Tommy Hackenbruck
Next time you workout, notch up the intensity even if it means doing less weight.