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When to step up Metcons - Big Dawg help please
Posted: 24 April 2008 04:46 PM   [ Ignore ]
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The question is ‘When to move up to Big Dawg?’

I know it’s topic that comes up a lot so I wondered if there might be a different approach that would yield a more consistent answer. - But the question should be altered to

When to move up to Big Dawg for specific WODs?

Take Fran for example - I scale to #65, and I’m approaching the optimum 3 to 5 minute time for the WOD. Once I get into this range with my scaling, I’ll then move to Rx’d and aim for 3-5 minutes again. Not very scientific, I know!

Does this seem like a good approach?

If so, it would be extremely helpful to know the ‘ballpark’ range to aim for in specific WODs.

For example, today I did Angie(75s) in 18 and a bit minutes but I see (both here and on HQ) that people are doing it as Rx’d with times up to 40 minutes - so would I be better at Rx’d now, knowing I could do it in 25?

It seems to me that the science behind the WODs in terms of metabolic effect is very solid, as is GD’s approach to scaling - would it not then be possible to come up with a list of optimum timings for metcon WODs that would help non-elite athletes to prgress through scaling?

Cheers

kraaft

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Posted: 24 April 2008 06:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Kraaft,

If you haven’t seen it, here’s a long discussion on what you’re trying to accomplish in a metcon.  (Note that even though the topic starts on one subject and moves to another, it’s a good discussion.)

http://www.crossfitbrandx.com/index.php/forums/viewthread/3590

When you move up is a function of a couple variables.  And, after this discussion, I wasn’t so anxious to get to Big Dog for a variety of reasons, most of them being the metabolic benefit to staying lower in the dog chain. grin


For instance, my Fran goal is to every time I get to 5 minutes give or take (sub six), I’ll move up in weight.  I know there’ll be some fiddling in there, but it will work itself out. 

TP

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Posted: 24 April 2008 06:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks TP.

I’m in no hurry to get to Big Dawg (I’ve been CFing for 8 months and I had expected to be in the Pack for at least a year) - and I think I understand the idea of maximising metabolic benefit…

The key is that you’re doing the same as me with Fran - When you get to 5 minutes, you increase the weight - Pack or Big Dawg is irrelevent I guess.

What I’m asking, is if 5 minutes is the target for Fran (to instigate an increase in load) what would be the target times for other common WODs?

Cheers

kraaft

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Posted: 24 April 2008 08:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I knew I’d seen this thread before ...

Check this one out - pretty much the same question you are asking I think

http://www.crossfitbrandx.com/index.php/forums/viewreply/47149

Doesn’t really provide you with a straight forward answer but maybe a different perspective to look at it.  I guess perhaps, the best question to ask for a given workout, rather than what time you should be aiming for is “what is the intended stimulus of the workout?”

Fran is a flat out sprint, as is Elizabeth, Grace and the like.  Helen is a slightly longer affair so a little pacing is required but the effect is profoundly metabolic.

Angie is also intended to be metabolic so if you are quickly reduced to belaboured single pull-ups you are gonna miss the boat. 

Forget the time but scale so you are moving fairly steadily and breathing very heavily. 

Pretty sure I saw a graph in the CFJ many moons ago where they plotted the athlete’s heart-rate throughout Angie.  As they progressed from one exercise to another the heart rate stepped up as the drills got relatively easier and they were able to move faster and more continuously.

Cheers, kempie

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Posted: 24 April 2008 09:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks Kempie.

Maybe, I’m missing the point?! I do understand what you and TP have said and I agree - I’m a CFer! Maybe I can make my point clearer?! (I’ll try!)

I thought that the different WODs are supposed to have differing metabolic effects?

Take Helen as an example. She is designed to have a certain metabolic effect within a certain timeframe. Us mere mortals use GD’s scaling to find a level where we are getting the same (scaled?) metabolic effect. Now let’s say for a Helen as Rx’d, the optimum timeframe to hit the metabolic pathways as designed, was 7-9 minutes (for intended stimulus).  I may sub a 1pood KB until I can get my numbers down to this and then go as Rx’d. (Like TP and I have done with Fran) - But if I don’t do this, it’s feasible that I might do my 1pood Helen in 6 minutes - thus missing the intended effect? No?

So what I’m asking is if the ballpark for Fran is 3-5 minutes (for her intended metabolic cost) what is the ball park for the other common metcon wods?

Sorry for convoluted question - i’m not being awkward for the sake of it - I just want to get my head round it!

Cheers

kraaft

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Posted: 24 April 2008 10:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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kh - Metric has asked the same question and I believe he has done some research on this. He may not have an elegant spreadsheet that says XXX WOD is intended for YYY effect and ballpark times should be ZZZ. Rather, I think he explains his process of analyzing each WOD and draws his own conclusion as to the goal or ballpark time. (You may need to wait til he wakes up in NZ.)

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Posted: 24 April 2008 10:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Great, thanks FD. That sounds promising….

kraaft

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Posted: 24 April 2008 11:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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KH,
I have watched your progress and am impressed by your sensible approach.  Coach used to say that the WOD was intended to crush elite athletes.  That being said most people who do CrossFit seem to think that they should be able to do the WOD’s as Rx’d within 6 weeks, and if not, somethings wrong and they need to do something else so that they can come back and do the WOD’s as rx’d. 
My discussion of the 5 minute Fran came from an overwhelming number of people recommending that the way to get better at Crossfit was to quit CrossFit and do Starting Strength.  That it would help you do the WOD’s as Rx’d.  It will help you lift the weight as rx’d…...slowly.


I’ll add more later as I’m off to the gym now.

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Posted: 25 April 2008 12:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Thanks GD! Some of us do listen…

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Posted: 25 April 2008 01:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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KH…

RE: Your question about what times are good for benchmarking other WODs the way the sub 5 time is for Fran.

There’s a thread in this topic called “Are you a Brand X Underdawg”. The list is about 10 of the benchmarks and what GD considers “a very good time” for the specified WOD. It’s not everything but it’s a good start.

Of course, he and the other Big Dawgs are constantly lowering their times,  hence the sub 3 minute Frans, 7 minute helen, 13 minute Angies.

How I personally judge when to go up is ask Jeff. LOL. Just kidding. I do ask his advice quite a bit because that is a luxury I have. Generally, I pick a goal time that is a little bit better than my current time and work until I get there, hopefully using tips and advice from the trainers who know how I work in certain types of workouts. When I get a time that is within light years (5 or 10 minutes) of the other big dawgs, if I am not using the prescribed weight or exercises, then I take it up a notch.

I’m in the last half of my fourth year of CrossFit, and I’m pretty much doing Big Dawgs 98% of the time, but my times are not always comparable to the other dawgs. Right now, I’m still learning to manage my rests and constantly having to work on getting past the point of metabolic distress in my workout where I’m just DONE.

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Posted: 25 April 2008 02:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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So here is some hypotheticals on how I train people who work with me privately. 

Male does Fran with
1: 65# in 5:00. 
2: 75# in 7:00
3: 65# in 4:15
4: 80# in 6:30
5: 70# in 5:15
6: 85# in 7:30
7: 75# in 6:00
8: 95# in 8:30
9: 95# in 7:30

2-3 years go by

20: 95# in 2:50
21: 100# in 4:00


Angie

1: Puppy level 15:00
2: Pack squats and sit ups/Puppy push ups and pull ups 15:00
3: Porch squats/ Pack sit ups and push ups/ puppies pull ups 15:00
4: Pack squats, sit ups, push ups and pull ups/ 20:00
after more sit ups/ push ups/pull ups/ and squats to equal porch after
5: Porch squats, sit ups, push ups/Pack pull ups

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Posted: 25 April 2008 02:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Allright-now I’m confused.  We seem to be back to time vs. form.  I’ve been trying to work on good form first, and then time follows.  As an example: on Angie, I scale to 50 pushups because my form is so horrible.  I could do pushups that are even more shallow so I could crank out 100, but wouldn’t you rather have me do 50 that are better looking than 100, even if it’s not as heavy a metcon benefit?

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Posted: 25 April 2008 03:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Radiosound,
The above is hypothetical.  Should also include a visual of me standing there quietly correcting form and telling the person when to break, and assessing their progress.  The above was presented to show how I might move someone working with me along.  The example of Fran could be extended to Elizabeth, Grace, Isabel etc… the example of Angie could be extended to Cindy, Chelsea Mary etc.  Form is first, and each example should be taken that the person is moving on and up in weight or reps because form and ROM are solid.

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Posted: 25 April 2008 03:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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radiosound - 25 April 2008 02:54 AM

Allright-now I’m confused.  We seem to be back to time vs. form.  I’ve been trying to work on good form first, and then time follows.  As an example: on Angie, I scale to 50 pushups because my form is so horrible.  I could do pushups that are even more shallow so I could crank out 100, but wouldn’t you rather have me do 50 that are better looking than 100, even if it’s not as heavy a metcon benefit?

The answer to this question is in 2 video articles of Coach Glassman’s lectures titled “Technique, Q & A”. They appeared in the March and February 2008 Crossfit Journal.

The PITA answer to the question “Do I concentrate on form or on intensity” is, “Yes”. Crossfit has a protocol for achieving both and when you hear both parts of the lecture the PITA answer makes complete sense.

If GD or any of other Cert attendees (this is a regular feature of the certs as far as I can tell) wants to paraphrase Coach, they’re welcome to. I could try, but you really need to hear Coach G’s take on it, not my interpretation of it.

Edit
GD posted his response while I was typing mine and checking on breakfast cooking. I still recommend watching those video articles.

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Posted: 25 April 2008 04:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Also watch the video of David doing the Box Jump workout.  Great form, smooth movement fast.  But listen to us coaching him to finish the movement and making him repeat reps.

Which would you rather I be, on time or at the right place.  The answer is pretty obvious, I want you to be both on time and at the right place. LOL

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Posted: 25 April 2008 04:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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FirmDancer - 24 April 2008 10:42 PM

kh - Metric has asked the same question and I believe he has done some research on this. He may not have an elegant spreadsheet that says XXX WOD is intended for YYY effect and ballpark times should be ZZZ. Rather, I think he explains his process of analyzing each WOD and draws his own conclusion as to the goal or ballpark time. (You may need to wait til he wakes up in NZ.)

The “Metric method” and if anyone starts calling it that I’ll be so pissed off, is still in development, but stands up to comparison with empirical results so far.

The criteria I use to find target times for WODs are as follows, in descending order of priority:
[list=1][*]Any timeframe GD gives, eg the famous 3-5 minute Fran.
[*]The Underdawg times LauraR mentioned and which are recorded in this post http://www.crossfitbrandx.com/index.php/forums/viewthread/1100/
[*]An even spread of GD’s, Top Dawg’s, IBEATUATXFIT’s times here and looking at the times posted on the main site’s comments. I look for certain key people there too, Kelly Moore, OPT, Speal etc. The names I’ve mentioned consistently post the best results for any WOD and give me the stretch goal (eg the 3 minute number for Fran), the lower target (the 5 minute number for Fran) is a best guesstimate for now.

Oops. Missed Big D and Kempie off my list of benchmarkers, sorry guys.[/list:o]
I do the same for the AMRAP workouts. Given the as RXed time frame but with fewer reps on individual exercises or lighter weights, I look for the range of rounds achieved by those same key people, so for me Cindy has a 20 round target in 20 minutes. When I hit that I move up. Good for Cindy as rxed seems to be 20 -30 rounds with some statistical outliers like Kelly Moore getting 30 plus. Currently I’m stuck on Pack, 19 rounds and change dammit!

I hope this helps a little. Unless GD tells me I’m being an idiot I intend to come up with exactly what FirmDancer describes, a spreadsheet listing the metcon WODs and times or AMRAP targets that spell out when people should move up a level.
Please understand that I’m a very analytical person and I will look for formulae and patterns even where they don’t or shouldn’t exist. It worries me that GD doesn’t post exactly the list you’re asking for kraaft hund. It tells me I’m missing something. What that might be is a discussion I plan to have with him if my trip in July comes off, because it would take 5 minutes to sort out in person, but hours of typing.

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Bad coaching is dangerous, poor movement is dangerous. Ego is dangerous.
CrossFit, properly scaled to the individual is the safest and most efficient program available for strength, conditioning and movement.”
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