151218 – WOD Ratings

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I’ve been throwing around the idea that if we as Crossfitters know what element of fitness a particular WOD is supposed focus on we might be more successful.  According to CF’s definition, fitness can be broken into 10x elements/categories.

  1. Cardiovascular / respiratory endurance – The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.
  2. Stamina – The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.
  3. Strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.
  4. Flexibility – The ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.
  5. Power – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
  6. Speed – The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
  7. Coordination – The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
  8. Agility – The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.
  9. Balance – The ability to control the placement of the body’s center of gravity in relation to its support base.
  10. Accuracy – The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.

Several of the above components are intertwined in my opinion… ie. power is a combination of strength and speed… sorta… coordination, agility, and balance all rely on each other.  Because of this, I’m going with my motto “keep it simple stupid”, and going to lump certain categories together and omit flexibility altogether since mobility should be worked on outside of WOD-time, either before or after.

  1.  Strength/Power… power just has a time component
  2. Cardiovascular Endurance… stamina also.
  3. Speed… I almost want to put power here.
  4. Coordination/Agility… we’ll lump balance and accuracy in here as well.

So essentially, I like to look at it like this… 1) how much work can you produce, 2) how long you can sustain a working pace, 3) how quickly you can get the work done, 4) and how well you combine the elements of the work into a beautiful athletic movement.

To the newbie or even the veteran, what exactly a WOD focusses on can be confusing.  If we as Coaches could identify these 4 components, and convey them to athletes, it could serve three purposes.

  1.  Encourage the coach to really analyze a WOD, which can only fully prepare them to be the best coach they can be, better serving our clients.
  2. Educate athletes, so they can focus on what the WOD is supposed to accomplish.
  3. Help both the athlete and the coach with scaling decisions.  For example, Grace should be a 3-5min WOD.  If a male athlete’s 1RM C&J is 145#, doing the WOD Rx’d is going to turn into a 30min effort… cardiovascular endurance is NOT the focus of this WOD.  Scaling where they can finish the WOD in 5min while being at the same intensity as everyone else should be the goal.

If we could rate each WOD in all 4 categories 1 to 5 (1 = least, 5 = most).  Some examples might look like this…

  • I might give “Fran” a rating like this… 2, 5, 5, 3
    • 2 for S/P because the weight is relatively light and pullups are regular pullups.  135# Thrusters and C2B pullups might push this number to a 4.
    • 5 CC because of the high oxygen demand and the fact that if done correctly, you should hit maximum heart-rate in the middle of 21x pullups… and it hurts.
    • 5 for Speed because to get a descent time, you must cycle through both movements quickly with minimal rest… and your transition times between movements must be minimal.
    • 3 for C/A because both movements require a fair amount of complex movement patterns, especially if butterflying the PUps..

Some others… IMO.

  • Murph – 3, 3, 2, 2
  • Isabel – 4, 2, 2, 5
  • Karen – 2, 4, 3, 3
  • Annie – 1, 4, 5, 4… and a 5 in the “frustration-factor” if you don’t have DUers well.
  • Grace – 3, 2, 3, 3
  • Nate – 3, 2, 3, 5
  • Amanda – 5, 3, 3, 5… Amanda get 2x 5’s because of the technicality of both movements while fatigued gets REAL very quickly.  BTW, this is my all-time favorite Girl-WOD.
  • Cindy – 2, 3, 2, 2… I’m gonna add a “boring-factor” of 5 here as well.
  • CrossFit Total –  5, 1, 1, 2
  • 5k run 1, 4, 4, 2

My point being, if we embrace what the focus of each WOD is we will reap the most benefits in fitness gains.  Not every CF WOD has to be a 20-30min beat-down like Cindy or Murph… our goal is not just to “leave tired”.  Days when we are lifting heavy, understand that our WOD rating is maximum focus on all-out strength, lots of rest, and very little focus on the other elements… you aren’t going to leave a pool of sweat and experience panic-breathing doing OHS 3, 3, 3, 3, 3.  Days when we do Fran, our focus is on speed and endurance, purging one’s soul as quickly as possible, and less on the others… also, be prepared for a case of the “shakes” and a dry-cough for the rest of the day.

Post thoughts and your ratings to comments.

Outlaw Barbell

1) Clean complex from knee(clean pull, power clean, squat clean) 1×1@50%, 1×1@60%, 1×1@70%, 1×1@75%, 1×1@70%

2) Press behind neck from split position.  Work up to 3 sets of 3 at moderate intensity

3) Overhead squat 1×3@60%, 1×3@70%, 1×3@80%, 1×3@90%, 1×3@95%

4) RDL 1×3@50%, 1×3@60%, 1×3@70%, 1×3@75%, 1×3@70%


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