OHS to Failure

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IMG_8952 WOD
For Max Reps to Failure:
Overhead Squats

  • at 185 lb. M/135 lb. W, rest 5 min.
  • at 135 lb. M/95 lb. W, rest 5 min.
  • at 95 lb. M/65 lb. W

CrossFit Instructional Videos on Overhead Squats:
Jesse Disch on Overhead Squats…[wmv][mov]
Overhead Squatting Safely…[wmv][mov]
Overhead Squat Basics…[wmv][mov]
Overhead Squat Elements…[wmv][mov]
Overhead Squats (Mark Rosen)…[wmv][mov]
Overhead Squats, Bodyweight x 15 reps (John Brown)…[wmv][mov]

IMG_8912 IMG_8913

Managing Your Way to Mediocrity

by Jon Gilson, Again Faster

Patrick and I went to the track last week to blast through a quartet
of four hundred meter sprints.  He blasted, and I ran like a
prosthetic-free amputee.

There was a brutal headwind,
inexplicably extending three-quarters of the way around the track.  It
was an interesting twist, but I don’t think it caused my paint drying,
grass growing slowness.  That honor belongs to my ever-so-awesome habit
of managing my way through daily workouts.  

This practice is
score-driven, meant to maximize the numbers on the whiteboard for any
given level of fitness.  Basically, you perform a workout multiple
times, systematically varying your strategy in an attempt to either
maximize work or minimize time from attempt to attempt.  The idea is to
find the limits of your ability, and to exist at that level.

central tenet of CrossFit is intensity.  Movements are pursued with
aplomb, chasing the elusive goal of ever increasing work capacity.

ability management has a monumental downfall—the latent tendency to
cause detraining.  If one trains at the limits of ability, never trying
to push the pace beyond current capacity and never exposing the body to
an overwhelming stimulus, improvement does not occur.  Even worse,
ability slowly travels in the other direction, gathering speed on the
gradual slope of suckdom.

The importance of this most basic of
training principles, known as adaption to imposed demand, did not flash
in my little brain until I’d been regressing for two solid months.  My
fastest four hundred was a swollen 1:21, a full twelve seconds off my
personal best and ten seconds slower than my previous performance.  

doesn’t sound that horrible until you realize that the world’s fastest
athletes can run more than a quarter of the track in that time.  Ten
seconds is an eternity.

The culprit was management.  I was using
running as a moving rest period, sandbagging each interval in an
attempt to preserve capacity for other movements.  The cumulative
effect was a dramatic decrease in ability, and I deserved every inch of

The central tenet of CrossFit is intensity.  Movements
are pursued with aplomb, chasing the elusive goal of ever increasing
work capacity.  When we throw sport into the mix, ranking athletes and
posting scores in black and white, the goal skews toward winning, and
intensity suffers in favor of score maximization.

performance is not an unspeakable evil, but awareness of its potential
to hurt long term development is a must.  Unless there are medals,
money, or everlasting glory at stake, it is wise to conduct every
exercise with the ferocity of a midsummer hurricane.  You might burn
out today, but you won’t for long.

I’m banishing management from
my athletic toolbox.  Next time I charge into a gale-force headwind,
I’ll do so with all-out effort, knowing that anything else is a recipe
for mediocrity.  If I limp in, unable to do a single thruster, pull-up,
or swing, so be it.  At least I’ll know I gave it everything, and the
only direction is up.


  1. Lisa Ray says:

    Lisa, 6 at 132 lb., 15 @ 95 lb., 40 @ 65 lb.

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