Time & Energy

In every workout we’re working with time and energy.  We want to use both to complete good reps, and make progress towards our best score possible.  Here are a few things to consider that can help maximize your time, energy, and performance.

Waste Not, Want Not

Whether it’s a task priority or time priority metcon, every second that ticks on the clock is affecting your score.  If the workout’s for time the goal is to complete it as quickly a possible, so your score’s obviously going in the wrong direction as time continues to move and you don’t.  In an AMRAP every moment we’re not getting reps, or transitioning directly to the next exercise is a waste of our finite amount of time.  We all do some time wasting things mid-workout, including just staring at the bar when we think we don’t have the energy to move it (this is where preparation comes in).  Drink water, chalk up, and have a plan going in, so nothing is wasted.

Plan to Pace

Proper prior planning prevents piss-poor performance.  Every workout has a pace, and should be planned for, so we can continue to advance through the rounds, rather than stare at the floor, hands on knees, gasping for air.  Think of it like running.  You wouldn’t try to run a 5k at your best 400m, or even mile pace, would you?  So why would you dive into an AMRAP 20, or task priority workout that you know will take at least 15 minutes moving at a rate that is unsustainable for that duration?  It’s OK, and even good to be surprised with a little something extra to push through the end of a workout.  It’s less good (but still a learning experience) to be suddenly tapped out in the middle of a metcon.  Know yourself, know what you’re capable of, plan your pace, avoid wasted energy, and pleasantly surprise yourself.

No “No Rep”

This past weekend at the Garage Games New England Team Throwdown the team I was on with coaches Stacey, Joe, and Erika finished 2nd.  No doubt I’m pleased with how we performed, but there was one workout that left us scratching our heads.  The first workout on Sunday was a chipper of 80 deadlifts, 60 burpees, 80 power snatches, 60 burpees, and 80 clean and jerks that could be partitioned among the team members as desired, with one athlete working at a time.  We didn’t finish within the 12 minute cap.  Our time ran out.  Maybe we could have tried a different approach, and fortunately we crushed the final event to secure our standing, but I believe the “no reps” are what got us.

A “no rep”, whether from a judge in competition, or self-administered while exercising in solitude is a waste of time and energy.  You’ve done almost enough to cover the full range of motion, but not enough to count towards completing the task.  No rep.  You’ve used nearly the full amount of time and energy required to execute the movement correctly, but it technically resulted in no forward progress.  No rep.  This is especially important for those in the CrossFit Fenway family with upcoming competitions.  It’s better to be a fraction of a second slower, but certain that you’ve completed the entire range of motion, than to try and cut corners, only wasting time and energy when you hear “no rep”, and need to do it all over again.  Finish every rep, and just say no to “no rep”.

October 26, 2011
Front Squat 3-3-3-3-3


5 Deadlifts, (125kg/85kg)
10 Dumbbell Shoulder-to-Overhead (45#/35#)
15 Box Jumps (24″/20″)

15 thoughts on “Time & Energy”

  1. Front Squat: 95 kg – PR
    WOD: 3 rounds + 1 Rx

    Would’ve liked to get more rounds done, but went for Rx instead. After the workout, Stacey talked to us all about proper scaling for a workout, and perhaps for an 8 minute AMRAP, it would’ve been better to scale and get more work done in that short period of time.

    Note to self – start scaling more during the WODS and “do more” rather than succumb to the draw of Rx when it might be possible, but not neccsarily appropriate.

  2. FS: 50kg PR

    WOD: 4 rounds at 50kg deadlift, 25# shoulder to overhead.

    this workout was harder than i thought it was going to be and was generally not my best showing. it’s been a rough week for me so far.

  3. FS — 47kg, failed at 50 x 2…and the failure was 80% mental

    WOD — 5rds + 4 reps @ 60kg DL and 25# S2OH…it was tempting to go heavier on the DL but the last thing I need is a sore back going into the weekend. This was a nice little burner.

    1. And great post, Eric. I try to envision you giving me a disapproving look whenever I want to put more chalk on dry hands or adjust collars mid-WOD.

    1. For those interested in the Bangladeshi Virtual assistant I was describing in the 7pm class last night I found her on odesk.com

      $1.50 an hour (that was her posted rate). I’ll let you know how the first task goes. For those of you who asked, her name is Odhora.

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