MATH AND CROSSFIT
You may have never thought that math plays such a big part in CrossFit programming. It’s simple really. With every workout we program, we crunch the numbers and figure out how long a workout should take. This is essential to programming. Some days we want to take you mid-range (10-15 minutes), some days we want a burner (5-7 minutes), and on occasion, we want to take you long (20 minutes plus). When figuring out timeframes for workouts, we take into consideration athletic ability, full range of motion, transition times, and exhaustion/musculature failure. In the end, we come up with the timeframe a good CrossFitter should finish the workout. It’s the coach’s job to consider this timeframe and provide ample time in the training session for everyone in the group to finish within the hour.
The numbers are figured out. 99% of the time, we are spot on. The top athletes at our gym finish right around where we figured they would finish. Unfortunately, every now and a workout result gets posted on the dry erase board that doesn't add up. Unfortunately, it's a good chance that the posted result is not legit.
The first thing all of you should be doing when you see a workout is figuring out how long the workout is going to take you per movement per round. For example: Let’s say that the workout is a “chipper” that is 5 rounds of 10 pull-ups, 20 push-ups, 30 squats and 40 double unders. The first thing I do is break each movement down. I can butterfly the pull-ups pretty consistent for all ten reps for all 5 rounds, so I figure 8-10 seconds on the pull-ups per round. I can do the push-ups unbroken every set, but know that the last 5 reps might take me a bit longer in the last 2 rounds so on average, 18-20 seconds to do the push-ups. The sqauts done at full range of motion are going to take me 1 second per rep so 30 seconds per round. The double unders can be done in 20-25 seconds if I don’t mess up. So, on average the work alone for this workout is going to take me about 1:25 per round. Factor in transition time and rest time when I start to hit exhaustion and I am figuring 2:00 to 2:15. This does not even include any mess-ups on the double unders which add 5 seconds per mess up. Say I miss one double under per round and now I am at 2:20 per round if I am killing it every round.
That is the math behind figuring out your workout. I am constantly watching the clock as I train and know if I am falling off the pace or not. This is smart training. You can figure out your workouts and push yourself harder or take it easy, the choice becomes yours.
Do the math and make sure you math adds up. Some of you are occasionally posting some bogus times. The biggest thing I see is people not counting their reps properly. I usually see this on “chipper” workouts that have lots of body weight movements in the 30-40-50 rep ranges. 26 is not 30. 31 is not 40, and 38 in not 50. You may not think I am watching any of you working out, but I do watch and on occasion I will count your reps as you are trianing, especially when people start pointing out to me that someone has a couting issue. I have seen several people count horribly. I don’t think it’s my job to tell you that you miscounted your reps, and I don't think it is my job to count your reps for you through a whole workout. You should care enough to count your reps proper. If you think you counted wrong, DO MORE REPS. I am not going to call you a cheater, but anyone else who is counting your reps might be giving you that nickname.
I was always of the opinion that some people just don’t realize that they are counting less reps. Sometimes the mind doesn’t think clearly when you stress it out with high intensity exercise (Read my SicFit article :WOD Drunk). Unfortunately, it seems to always be the same people who can’t count right, and it was pointed out to me that those same people never do MORE reps. Good point right??
Another issue that causes some pretty crazy times to be recorded is range of motion. Cut the movement short, and it is obviously going to be faster. (Read my Superhuman post from last year’s Crossfit Games sectional qualifier) For some of you, you get moving so fast that your range of motion gets worse. It doesn’t dial back to looking good again until you slow it down. In this crazy world of CrossFit training, everyone is watching what everyone is doing. The first thing people do when they walk into the gym is walk up to the dry erase board and check everyone’s posted results. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone staring at the board comment something similar to “yeah but his/her range of motion is always bad.” People start to doubt your results, which sucks because even when you do kill a workout, people still doubt you.
Keep in mind that I said 99% of the time we can guess how good a top CrossFitter at One World will do on any given workout, but every now and then we are wrong. Nothing makes me happier than being wrong. It means that there was stellar performance. Watching someone completely destroy a workout is pretty awesome to behold.
In the end I guess it really doesn’t matter whether you are doing your workout right or not. It’s your workout and if you are happy with what you are doing, then who cares right? BUT..... you can get better results if you slow down a bit, do all the reps proper and do all the work prescribed. You don’t need to be the fastest in the gym.
Do the math before your workout and see how close you can be to what you estimate. Math works. Use it. If you are way off, maybe there is a chance you missed some reps or even a whole round. Try counting out loud if you think you have a counting issue. Chyna always makes fun of me because when I get tired, she can make out the sound of me counting my reps out loud when I start grunting. At least I know I am counting right.
Start a running clock and perform the following:
- Row 4 minutes for distance
- Rest 1 minute
- Row 3 minutes for distance
- Rest 1 minute
- Row 2 minutes for distance
- Rest 1 minute
- Row 1 minute for distance
Your score is total distance rowed.