8-20-18... You're Not a Loser....

If you don't finish the allotted rounds of a workout within the time cap you are a loser.  You are absolutely the worst person ever, and I can't believe you would even show up to attempt a workout.  I mean come on.... how can you start working out for possibly the first time ever and not finish the workouts that are programmed for elite athletes?  I expect you to show up on day 1 and absolutely crush everything, beat everyone in the gym and after that be able to do it again after a 10 minute break....

Of course I'm joking here.

It sounds ludicrous doesn't it? 

Many of our members have never been a part of a workout program in their entire life, and 99% of our clients have never done workouts designed like this before they join our program.  Yet, if we "only" finish 4 rounds instead of the programmed 5 within the 18 min time cap we treat ourselves like we are absolute losers.  We go to the board and say things like, I only got 4 rounds and did step ups instead of box jumps.  We say it like it's a bad thing.  Guys and gals, you just busted your tail for the entire allotted time of the workout.  You got a kick ass workout in.  Your body will adapt from the work put in, and you'll progress towards your overall goals.

It's the equivalent of taking a new born baby and yelling at them for not being able to run a 10 second 100m.  Come on!! Let's get them to crawl first, then walk very wobbly, then walk steady, then grow, then run, then perfect run, then practice for years and years and years, then do everything possible to maximize genetic potential and then if they are Usain Bolt, then run a less then 10 second 100m.

You see what I'm getting at?  These workouts are designed to create a stress for the best athletes in the world.  Take any elite level athlete and put them into our classes and they will struggle because we will scale it to the point where they do.  It's what's beautiful about our program.  It is infinitely scalable.  We can scale it up and make it harder, we can scale it down and meet your fitness level and both ways we achieve the desired outcome of the workout.

The point of training is to create a stress that creates a stimulus that you can accommodate from.  There's a common misconception that a time cap on a workout is there because we only have a certain amount of time in class, and many people think that if they hit the time cap they some how didn't get a good enough workout in because they didn't get to "finish." This line of thinking is just entirely inaccurate.  When I program a workout, I program it to create a specific physiological response.  If I put an 18 minute time cap on the workout it means one of two things or possibly both...

1) The workout should be scaled appropriately for you to finish within the 18 minute time cap.

2) That amount of stress should not be endured longer then 18 minutes.  For that particular workout, after 18 minutes it becomes a point of diminishing returns and can actually become less beneficial and more detrimental if you continue to go past the allotted time.

In exercise physiology it is good to go long some times, but it's not beneficial to go long all the time.  We stress every different energy system and time domain in order to create an overall systemic response long term.

Intensity is always greater then duration in terms of physiological response and many times if you go longer then the time that is programmed intensity has to go down because the effort can not be sustained that long.

I know that's a lot of mumbo jumbo, but here's an example....

When I first started doing this type of training in 2007 I found this workout called Fran.


Thrusters and Pull ups

Prescribed weight on the thrusters is 95lbs.

I was pretty strong then so I could press 95lbs but my work capacity was not that high.  My ego, however, was very high so I stacked 95lbs on the bar.  It took me over 20 minutes to do this workout.  Probably closer to 30 minutes.  Did I get a decent workout in?  Sure, but imagine if I would've scaled it correctly.

Top times on this workout are under 3 minutes.  At that point for me to do that in under 3 minutes I would've needed a PVC pipe.  The workout is designed to be very intense for a very short duration of time.

Which do you think would get a better physiological response?

Completing the workout as prescribed with the 95lbs and taking 20+ minutes to do it?


Completing the workout in under 5 minutes with a 45lb bar and banded pull ups?

If you guessed the latter you'd be correct.  Intensity trumps duration every time.  So completing the workout in 5 minutes would've created a better response in my body for the next 72 hours.

Even CrossFit Games competitors (arguably some of the best athletes in the world) don't finish some workouts under the time cap set forth during the CF Games. 

Everyone, times out some times.  Everyone needs to scale some times.  In the end, it's about trusting your coaches, completing the workout to the best of your ability, creating the desired response from the workout, and celebrating your personal best effort.  Do these things, and you'll continue to progress.




Back Squat while resting complete sets of auxiliary work



400m run

KB swings x 21

Pull ups x 12

3 rounds for time

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