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Feb152013

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Why Are We Discouraging Failing?

     You may have noticed that we've been strongly discouraging people from failing on their lifts this cycle.  The rational behind this is two fold.  Firstly, when you fail, it means you've tested your absolute limit. You've gone to the horizon of your capacity and fallen over the edge. In the context of Testing new rep maxes, this is okay and a necessary part of strength training.  However every day is not a test and we don't want you to max out to failure with any regularity. Our day in, day out workouts should be considered Training and an opportunity to go a little bit heavier than your previous efforts without reaching your absolute limits.  Training to failure too often can be taxing on the central nervous system and actually slow down your progress. If you focus on going "a little heavier than last time" you keep pushing the ceiling of your potential a little big higher instead of busting right through it and having no where to go but back down.
     The second major reason we want to make failing a rarity is for the psychological stress and negative expectations it can put on you.  If you've trained yourself to think, "okay when things get hard I've got an easy escape route in bailing" you learn to give up more often and associate missed reps as a regular part of your routine.  They don't become significant, they don't become a wake up call on where you're at.. they just become the norm.  This can subtly undermine a lot of your self expectations and the mindset you bring into your lifts. 
     All that being said, we don't want you to avoid lifting heavy and training hard. Once your technique is in order, you're expected to grind through lifts.  Maximal Effort Method training is a staple of our programming and one of the best ways to get strong. It should feel difficult, it should feel heavy and you should expect to fight for it. Just like in real life, you don't start fights you don't think you can win, especially on a regular basis, all that does is screw with your confidence and send you limping home.  A skilled athlete doesn't need to miss reps to know where their potential for the day is.  They have an innate sense of what they're capable of and when to call it quits.  Any missed lifts moving forward should be considered learning experiences on your physical capacity, psychological outlook, technique and always put into the context of the intended training stimulus for that day.

_______________________
Travel Inside A Black Hole vsauce
Getting High On Snake Venom Vice (NSFW)

Reader Comments (21)

that snake venom video is mesmerizing. what a loon.

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterariel

Is there a conspiracy among the coaches to repeat as many of the WODs from Hail to the Queen as possible in the 2 weeks following? Because DIANE.

6:01. I scaled to 135# deadlifts and 20# DB press. I kind of wish I'd done the deadlifts Rx, even though this would have taken me considerably longer. I finished 5 seconds behind Wonder Twin.

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStella

Also: Good luck on Sunday, CRASH-Beasts!

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStella

There is a Crossfit in Kandahar. Yeah, that Kandahar. Its slogan is: "You only wish a rocket attack would stop this workout"

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

Excellent article on bailing. If I may add: bailing on all lifts isn't great but bailing on squats is really bad. Messed with your head for a while.

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

the best crossfit shirt ive seen in a while: http://www.forgingelitesarcasm.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/winner.jpg

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterariel

God this whole news about Pistorius killing his girlfriend is awful.

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterasta

I did my Crash B 2k Row last night because I'll be away this weekend.

6:55.4.

My goal was sub 7, so mission accomplished. I was able to hold my splits steady and didn't fade on the 3rd 500 as I did in the test last month: 1:41.4, 1:45.3, 1:45.0, and 1:43.7. I was surprised that my 3rd split was actually faster than my second. I think I owe that to Nick's master coaching and distraction techniques. Having him coach me through shaved some time off for sure. Afterwards I felt like I had just smoked a carton of cigarettes while someone punched me in the throat. I sat down in the white chair and literally could not get up for a while. My legs didn't work.

Thanks to everyone that cheered me on. My split floated up to 1:48 at one point and an encouraging group yell inspired me to get it back down to 1:45.

I enjoyed the Crash B program. I am definitely a fan of Coach Nick and it was fun to work with him. There was a point where I found out I couldn't go to Boston for the event, went away for the holidays and then got sick where I had barely been on an erg in 3 weeks and thought about dropping out. Nick told me to finish anyway and do the race at SBK, so I went all in the rest of the way. I particularly enjoyed the last week full week where we had 6 extremely grueling workouts to get done. Nick challenged us not to break, and they were rough, but it felt good to get through them. There was a lot of bonding that week with fellow Crash B'ers over shared agony.

Good luck to my Crash B teammates in Boston on Sunday. I wish I could be there (though not in place of the Caribbean). I am expecting to see some very low numbers.

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBen W

I did Diane in 9:45 - is there a "slowest" record? Since it was my first-time doing it, I guess i could call it a PR!

I did the deadlift at 225# and started with the dumbbells at 50# each.. What was I thinking? After the first set, I had to drop down to 40# dumbbells.

I think this is actually my six-month anniversary of Crossfit - thanks to all the great people at CFSBK, its really making me so happy these days.

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

I misread that first link as "Training Inside a Black Hole" and I thought "that sounds really heavy."

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTodd

Strength make up in office:

Squat 45x5, 95x5, 135x4, 185x3, 225x2, 250x5x3
Press 45x5, 75x4, 95x3, 105x2, 115x5x3
Chins 5, 30x5

Stopped by the gym on the way in to grab my shoes, stopped at Modell's to pick up a belt to leave in the office, had to interrupt press for a 10-min standup meeting, but I hit all the lifts again (just barely on the last set of chins). Psyched. Can't believe I'm still going up every week.

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTodd

FP#15

Bench
235x3
255x3
275x3
300x1
315x1

Everything paused. Not feeling much energy today.

Dumbbell Row
130x15

Had a few aborted attempts on the left side as the dumbbell fell apart on my foot.

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy

Finally got a little lift in after about 2 weeks of being sick. I don't even know who I am anymore. Worked up to a few squat singles at 335 and called it a day.

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFox

"Diane" with Arturo
9:30 as Rx'd
Did all my Deadlifts unbroken
Did all my HSPUs strict and broken up into many, many sets.

First time doing HSPUs in a long time. They need some work but are good enough to get me through a workout. I'm a little old school and prefer them strict.

Afterwards I did some A/R for about 15 minutes then Arturo and I Zercher carried the heavy ass sand bag (HASB) around the block trading off when one of us had to drop it. Hello spinal erectors!

Interesting videos today. Also if you missed it, the art video from yesterday is pretty rad.

February 15, 2013 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

A.
Three sets, not for time, of:
Muscle-Ups x 6 - 5 - 5
Double-Unders x 50 - 50 - 50
Toes to Bar x 12 - 13 - 12

B.
For times:
(Based off of 315#)*
5 Power Cleans @ 80-85%
Rest 2 minutes
10 Power Cleans @ 70-75%
Rest 2 minutes
15 Power Cleans @ 60-65%

Round 1
255#, 1:50
Break down
3.1.1**

Round 2
225#, 2:00
Break Down
All Singles

Round 3
205#, 1:52
Break down
5.5.5

Note
* I should have based off of 275# which is my best Power Clean. That would have given me a better stimulus. Using my 1RM Squat Clean was just a bad idea.
** I failed on the 5th rep (3x).. then I finally squat cleaned it which was very ugly.

C.
Three sets of:
Deadlift
*Set 1 – 8 reps
*Set 2 – 6 reps
*Set 3 – 4 reps
Rest 3-4 minutes between sets

Take a few sets to build to the weight that you will use for the first set of 8 reps. The loads selected for the sets of 8, 6 and 4 reps should be challenging, but not a max effort.

(245x 4 - 295x 4 - 335x 3)
355 - 385 - 405

Note
+ All work set were dead stop with about a 3-5 sec pause at the bottom, because it is harder then touch and go..

D.
For time:
Row 1000 Meters
50 Handstand Push-Ups

Time
10:10
Break down
Row: 3:35.5 (split time/1:47.7 - stroke rate/26)
HSPU: 1.9.5.5.5.5.6.4.5.5

Rest exactly 2 minutes, and then . . .

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 5 minutes of:
15 Ring Dips
30 Double-Unders

Total
3 rounds + 14 Ring Dips
Break down
RD: 15 - 8.7 - 6.5.4 - 6.5.3
DU: All unbroken

February 15, 2013 | Registered CommenterJoshua Martinez

The snake venom guy is a creep. I still want snake venom face cream.

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCrystal

Back in the eve and pressed after a client hour. Not so bueño. Worked up to 155x2 then failed at 165, went back to 155x1x3.

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFox

I AM SO PSYCHED. i got two PRs at open gym tonight!

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterariel

@Ben Whitney you are exceptionally badass, I'm so sorry friend that I could not be there to race with you. Doctors orders + a 13 hours workday = a really bad country song

@Stella I LOVE YOU thanks for letting the cat out so I know a WOD I really like is on deck for tomorrow. I'll be there early and surly.

There was something else but I don't remember now.

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJB

Jenna Jerman has ruined/improved my life with octopus videos.

Now obsessed with owning an octopus in a specially-made octopus aquarium.

Resulting feelings of shame associated with my status as human-colonizer-oppressor.

I just also remembered that i LOVE eating octopus and now I'm really in a pickle!

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermichele

OG -- big thanks to Josh for all his coaching tonight!

Went for a new 1RM on my squat since I missed last Saturday's final exposure being sick!

Definitely still felt a bit on the weak side, and like I hadn't squatted in almost 2 wks.

45x5, 95x4, 115x3, 130x2, 145x2, 158x1, 168x1 (PR!), 175x1FAIL!

Hit 165 at titsday, so this is a lil 3lb PR on my squat. Think I had 170 or 175 in me, maybe in full health. Felt some weird tingling on the right side of my abdomen with the heavy squats. Not sure why/what this is... from the weight belt? From something I did earlier in yoga today creeping in sensation wise later on? Nerve pinching from asymmetry? Will watch it over the next few days and log any pain to see what's happening.

Thanks to J. Fid for the help!

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWhit H

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