Jackie

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CrossFit Benchmark WOD – "Jackie"
For Time:

  • 1,000m Row
  • 50 Thrusters -45 lb.
  • 30 Pullups

Jackie, Greg Amundson …[wmv]
Jackie (CrossFit Kids)…[wmv][mov]

Compare to November 2007 and  January 2008.
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Great depth and overhead positions on these thrusters!
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Much talk is given to the concept of scaling in CrossFit: We want
anybody, regardless of age, ability or fitness level to be able to
workout with a high level of relative intensity. Weight can be reduced
on weightlifting movments, mechanical advantages can be given for
challenging bodyweight movements (think band assist etc.) and distance
can be reduced on monostructural activities. No news here.

For
the beginning CrossFitter, scaling is most likely a necessary step. The
goal here is to introduce some quality movements at a level that is
appropriate for 'ramping-up' your work capacity. After a few weeks or
months, the question of 'how-do-I-take-my-shit-to-the-next-level?' must
be addressed. There are several issues to consider…

…the
most important of which is mechanics. As long as your mechanics are
maintained at a safe level where the best ROM possible (range of
motion) is achieved, you are good to go. Struggle is to be expected
here. It is OK to struggle when scaling up to a more difficult
variation or weight, as long as the struggle is safe. This concept is
often overlooked. The trainee is too quick to assume the new weight or
movement is inappropriately difficult. This comparison is a mistake, as
the old weight or movement is being used as the reference point and
logically, the new step will be more challenging. You can't fall into
this mind-trap! These workouts and movements are hard and you can
expect to have to break up sets into bite-sized pieces. It might not
seem apparent, but what you are experiencing is improvement!

Now that the technical concept of 'it-will-be-harder-but-that's-the-point' is understood, let's talk specifics.

The
first step is learning to identify what is an appropriate load for a
given workout. The rep scheme will be your best road-sign.

If
a workout has a relatively low rep count (in this case 10 or less),
feel free to go a little heavier. It will be expected that a set of 10
or even a set of 5 will be broken up…maybe even several times! If you
fly through a set of 7 every round for 5 rounds, it's time to step it
up. Keep this in mind.

If a workout has a relatively high rep
count (10-30), pick something that will allow you to keep moving. If
you are breaking things up into 2s and 3s during a set of 30, it is too
difficult.

For bodyweight movements, ask your coach about the next step up. Here's an example:
In
a recent workout we performed a lot of ring dips (in the Rx'd or as
written version of the workout). Ring dips are hard, even for the
strong. That being said, in order to mimic the demands of the workout,
you must choose a difficult variation, even if you are scaling. Here's
a theoretical hierarchy from the top down:

Ring Dips—>Bar
Dips—>Feet elevated pushups—>Pushups on parallettes to
increase ROM—>Regular Pushups—>Knee pushups.

Notice there are many degrees here. Don't get stuck just defaulting back to your plain-jane standard.

Now,
if you are a person who typically performs knee pushups for most of
your work during high rep workouts, this would be a good time to do the
lion's share of your reps as regular pushups. You will have to break
them up. This is ok. The dude (or dudette) who is chipping away at the
ring dips is doing the same thing.

Things are a little easier
when we are talking weightlifting or monostructural activity. Simply
put more weight on the bar (have your coach check your mechanics) or
get out the gate faster on your rowing or running. Again, don't worry
if you have to break things up later or you burn out halfway through.
Your gym, filled with your compatriots, is the best place to experience
this 'blowing-up'…they won't let you pack it in while facing
adversity.

Now get out there and challenge yourself! This is what improvement feels like!!

Adrian 'Technical_Terms' Bozman

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