For those of you who don’t know, we get the workouts we program straight from CrossFit.com. They’ve been posting one workout a day, 3 days on followed by 1 day off, every day for the last 22 years. The current time and place we are following along with has included many 5K rows. A lot. Since January 1 of this year, by my count, we’ve done it three times. There’s more to come (although writing it here – “out loud” – makes me feel like it’s actually not all that much – three times out of almost 90 days).
For those of you who also don’t know, we’ve started working with the “Best Hour of Their Day” mentorship group. They put out a ton of great content all over the place, but one thing they did recently was a podcast with subject matter expert, Chris Hinshaw.
Chris Hinshaw was an ELITE marathon runner. He stumbled into NorCal CrossFit back in 2013 after his marathon days were over. He knew he needed strength as he was beginning to age, and he fell in love with not only CrossFit, but also its star athletes. He felt as though their ability to be super strong, but also have pretty good endurance, was unmatched in the fitness world. He did think to himself though, “What if their endurance was GREAT?”
If you enjoy nerding out on things health and fitness related, I strongly recommend giving the entire podcast a listen. This is just part 1 of 2.
If you don’t though, I’ll sum it all up right now: Chris noticed a glaring weakness in the CrossFit community’s fitness. He noticed that the majority of workouts were really skewed to doing 5-20 minute efforts max and even those 20 minute efforts were really just a bunch of random interval periods layered on top of each other. Yes, even the 20 minute AMRAPS with two or three movements that we do aren’t TRUE 20 minute efforts. Think about it. NO ONE, not even me, spends the ENTIRE 20 minutes moving without stopping. You might do a certain number of reps of an exercise, take a break and then get back at it. Even though there wasn’t a SET rest period, you still took one. That’s still interval work as far as your body is concerned.
Real endurance work is a SUSTAINED effort of at least 15 minutes or more. There’s just one little tiny problem with endurance work in CrossFit. Volume. Volume never comes before intensity. Not in the dictionary and certainly not in CrossFit. Why not? Well, suppose I wanted you to build deadlift endurance and had you deadlift for 15 minutes straight. What would happen to your back? Exactly. It is because of this that most of our TRUE endurance work has to be relegated to running, rowing and biking.
Now, why is it important to build this true aerobic base for CrossFit? Well, take about 70 percent of the workouts we do – most of the time the rep range is anywhere from 7-21 reps of something before moving onto the next movement. Would anyone consider that A LOT of reps? No, generally speaking the rep ranges are small. Now, what is the fastest way to do a workout? Correct. Unbroken. Take “Fran” for example. Let’s say I have pretty good pull-up strength and a 95/65# thruster is light for me. If I do it, moving at 70 percent, and I SUSTAIN that without stopping, it’s gonna get done quickly. The rep ranges in most of our workouts are USUALLY so small that as long as you stay moving it’s going to get done relatively quickly, even if you aren’t moving fast. Well, what’s one sure fire way to practice NOT STOPPING in a workout? Exactly. Long rows, runs, or bikes.
The reason most of us struggle to complete workouts in a designated amount of time is because we STOP. We are either working at a pace that is not sustainable OR we just haven’t practiced NOT STOPPING enough. I would love to say that I push it to the limit each time but we all know that’s not true. We just need to practice not stopping more.
To learn more about how you can live your best life by getting more out of your fitness, text us at 210-361-3114, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or schedule a time to come in & chat with us.