the spaz of fitness has arrived

Rx’d “Ideals”

In Training, WOD on May 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm

One of the earliest posts I wrote on this blog was a long-winded Jo-ified rumination on scaling vs rx’d WODs. I wondered why CrossFit workouts prescribed specific weights rather than recommending a percentage of the athlete’s one rep max. This discussion popped up recently on the CrossFit forums, and the general consensus seemed to agree with my suspicions– that CrossFit began regulating weights to make the sport a “competitive” one. Apparently, when CrossFit first emerged, a lot more of the workouts involved percentages rather than prescribed loads. According to the forum discussion, the “prescribed” numbers were conceived with the “elite” athlete in mind. This athlete (male) ideally boasts a 200lb Press, 300lb Clean, 400lb Squat, and 500lb Deadlift. If we scale for women (usually 70% of the men’s weight), the “elite” female CrossFitter has a 140lb Press, a 210lb Clean, a 280lb Squat, and a 350lb Deadlift.

If you’re even close to my size or skill level, or even remotely in the vicinity of a normal human being, those numbers are probably daunting at first. However, I reminded myself and I’ll remind you now that I know a number of athletes who are currently competing at regionals without those numbers.

However, even if we don’t take these as likely or even attainable goals, I think these rough estimations offer a useful perspective. This is purely theoretical on my part, but I want to experiment a bit with this information. For example, if I’m going to try a WOD for its metcon effect rather than a benchmark time, I can get a sense of how much I should scale in order to achieve the same metabolic stimulation. So… if Fran is ideally performed with 65lb thrusters by a woman with a 140 lb press… and I currently have an 85lb strict press, then 85/140 = 60%. 60% of 65 is roughly 40lbs. So… theoretically, if I wanted to do Fran for a metcon rather than to find my true Fran time, I would load the bar with 40lbs.

Anyway… yesterday I took it easy because I was a bit sore following lifting + striking class. I did:

Power Cleans 5×3

Ring Dips 3 x to failure

and the metcon I so enjoy: AMRAP 15 minutes, 100m sprint, 125m row, 20 double-unders


This morning, I went in for the Saturday WOD. We had an unusually large class for a Saturday morning, which was nice to see. We also had a visitor– a woman who used to be a member of Hybrid Athletics (of Rob Orlando fame). Her presence reminded me of both my ambition to and anxiety of visiting other CrossFit boxes. I’m so comfortable in this environment… some part of me still worries that I’ll misrepresent our gym and look like an incompetent idiot the first time I try to WOD in a foreign environment ;). Anyway, I enjoy the relaxed pace of our Saturday mornings, though today’s WOD was super short:

3 rounds for time

400m run

6 Thrusters (105lb/75lb)

8 Ring Pushups

12 Russian Swings (1.5pd/1pd)

My shoulders were still shot from striking… I think I could have done 75lb thrusters one by one, but I scaled to 65 so I could do them without dropping the bar. I figured more strain on my shoulders would’ve been counterproductive for recovery, and slowing too much between movements would’ve defeated the “conditioning” goal for my Saturday.

T-minus 3 days until I leave the country. And my apartment’s still a disaster…


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