Big Set Yourself Up

Do you ever think about your intentions with a particular workout? Another way to say it is, what’s your “why” - Why do you do CrossFit?

For a lot of people, it’s about progressing. Progressing can mean a lot of things, but for some it means becoming stronger, faster, and more efficient. The name of the game is intensity, which in CrossFit methodology/philosophy equates to fitness - i.e. the more work you can do in less time, the fitter you are. Run a mile as fast as you can today (let’s say 10 minutes), and then run that same mile in 1 week at 9 minutes, it’s clear you’ve increased your fitness in the capacity running demands, many would categorize as cardiovascular fitness.

So how do you get better at doing more work in less time in CrossFit? Well the most simple way, which I think most people do, is to show up and give your best. If that’s as deep as you want to go, perfect, it’s not your why. But if you want to take it to another level, there are many ways to approach a workout that don’t always meet the eye that can help one increase their CrossFitness.

For example, take todays workout: 50 chest to bar pull ups 50 toe to bar 50 DB step up 50 wall ball 50 burpee. One approach would be to understand your pace, break it up appropriately and achieve the fastest time your capable of. Great, that will work. But another way to look at this workout, and many other workouts, is a “big set” approach.

Think about a person who is fitter than you (again, if this isn’t your “why”, this may not apply). Can they do more pull ups and toe to bar in a row/unbroken? That is actually a clear marker of the fittest in the world - they can do a TON of unbroken reps.

So if we’re always breaking sets up in chunks of 5 or less to achieve the fastest time overall, which again is an excellent strategy - are we really setting ourselves up for optimal progress longterm?

Ok, say you approach the next 10 pull up workouts with this “big set” approach. Forget about the overall time, that’s not the point right now, it’s time to take a step back to allow an adaption for 2 (or 3 or more) steps forward. Todays workout for example, Sequoia started with 27 or so chest to bar pull ups, a horrible idea if he was trying to achieve the fastest time, BUT what he’s doing is building another capacity - his stamina and strength endurance to be able to do more unbroken reps in the long run.

After a few months or more of this “big set” approach, how do you think those smaller more broken up sets will feel when The Open comes around? How do you think they’d feel if you’ve broken all your workouts up early and often? Is this making sense? Thoughts?

In other news, Stacy looking super solid and smooth as she usually does in the gym. And how’s that Jerk!!


1 Clean and Jerk
Rest :60
*Building to 85-90%

For Time:
50 Chest to Bar Pull Ups
50 Toes to Bar
50 DB Box Step Ups (50/35# per hand) (24/20")
50 Wall Balls (20/14#)
50 Burpees