WOD’s for the week of 9-28 to 10-2. Words about variance and specificity.

September 27, 2015

For the next five weeks the programming will be pretty metcon dominant.  Here and there, you’ll get some lifting in the front half of class, some technique stuff, a muscle endurance piece every now and then, but the bulk of things will be couplets and triplets in the 8 to 20 minute time domain.  If there’s a “classic” or “regular” CrossFit, this is probably it,  and this is a potent and valid way to workout and will cover the fitness bases of probably 85-90 % of you just fine.  You might have heard me talk about giving people what they want as well as what they need.  This next 5 weeks is definitely biasing towards what people want.

By that I mean, (in general at least) workouts that are metabolically hard.  The “I thought I was going to die”, high heart rate, multi event workouts.  Workouts where you are not limited by lack of technique, or lack of mobility.  Often workouts where, just as you are about to burnout and stop one action, you’re done and onto something else.  I often call these workouts “water cooler WODs” as in, you tell you co-workers about the crazy shit you did at the gym that morning.

A steady diet of “water cooler WOD’s”  will indeed get you fitter, to a point,  and then you’ll maintain a decent level of fitness,  such that your health markers will be addressed and will stay within normal, healthy ranges, or (if you started in a bad state)  your numbers will move toward healthier.  This is often enough for the suzie-soccer-mom, desk-bound-dave, Basic-Bro’s of your general population. And if you’re one of them, there’s nothing wrong with that per se, but I would respectfully encourage you to aim a little higher than that in some way, shape or form.

If and when you DO decide that “you know what,  I  *AM* more than a basic Bro.  Imma raise that bar”  and you get a little ambitious, THEN we need to adjust what your training looks like.  We need to reduce the VARIANCE, in favor of SPECIFICITY.

As I have progressed in my own training,  more and more have I directed my efforts to improving one or two specific things in the short term, rather than try to cover all bases all the time in the hopes that doing so will be create a “tide that raises all ships”.  I’m now more of a nautical handyman that jumps from ship to ship and fixes them one at a time, secure in the knowledge that once I have “fixed the ship”  IE- learned a movement, a motor pattern, a technique,  it may regress somewhat, but even so, will remain at a higher level than BEFORE I put it on the front burner, so to speak.

Here’s an example:  In March and April, immediately after the 2015 Open, I took two months away from any sort of impactful ballistic work,  like cleans or pullups or box jumps, and devoted myself to building a lactic/aerobic base.  Every week I’d do a ten minute max effort on the Rower, The Airdyne and the Ski Erg.  At the start of this effort I was getting in the low to mid 170’s calories on the Airdyne.  At the end of 2 months I broke 200. (That’s about 14%).  In May and June I shifted focus to improving my Olympic lifting.  I picked a fairly simple Olympic program, did THAT 3-4 sessions per week, and was only able to get a single ten minute Lactic acid/Aerobic session in.  At the end of June my I pr-ed my snatch at 171,  not great, but a ten pound jump (6-7%) in a movement that, when I left it to “broad, general, inclusive programming” hadn’t moved consistently in over 4 years.  My best 10 min airdyne had fallen to 182.  In July and August I was strength focused doing a lot of Front Squatting, and a little sidetracked by a small shoulder injury and my best 10 min Airdyne during THAT period was 185.

In other words, when prioritized, I jumped from the low 170’s to 200 with concerted, focused effort. THEN even as that the 10 min max effort pieces were demphasized I was able to hold onto roughly half of the gainz I had made even as my focus shifted to another fitness domain.  It’s THIS pattern that is the key to your improvement beyond a modest, slightly-above-the-average-jerk at-Buffalo-Wild-Wingz level of fitness.   Front-burner some aspect of fitness,  maybe your 5k row,  maybe your deadlift,  maybe your HELEN time, get that aspect to jump and then turn your focus elsewhere. This is particularly true of the more technical, precise, and/or balanced based efforts. Olympic Lifting. Handstand progressions. Double Unders. Those action need, not just flight time, but FREQUENCY. You must return to and practice those actions often before the motor pattern is at your command.

Just something to think about as you embark on WOD’s for the Week.

MONDAY- Four, 5 Minute couplets for max reps per couplet. Meaning you will have 4 different scores.

3 Minutes in between to rest/transition.

A) 5 Front Squats 135/95, 20 Abmat Situps
B) 10 Calorie Row, 5 Wall Walkups
C) 10 Pistols (20 airsquats), 10 T2B
D) 10 Burpees, 10 Sandbag Ground to Shoulder @ 60/40

TUESDAY: At 9 minute intervals for cumulative total time. 3 attempts.
10 Deadlifts @ 275/185
20 Box Jumps 24/20
4 Lengths Sled Push @ +90/+50

WEDNESDAY- A) 10 Minutes, Clean and Jerk Practice. B) For time 10 Clean and Jerk @ 205/125 Run 1 Mile, 10 Clean and Jerk @ 205/125.

THURSDAY- Fight Gone Bad Format (Three 5 minute rounds. 5 actions, each 1 min for max reps)
Push Press @ 95/65
Airdyne Calories
Lunges 40/25 single dumbbcell
KBS @ 24/16
5m Shuttle Run.

FRIDAY- A) Ten minutes Kipping progressions. B) 21-15-9 Overhead Squats @ 95/65, Pullups.



  1. Suzy soccer mom says thank you ;). I’m excited for this week!

    • Kate, while I’m glad you’re excited and appreciate the comment, you’re actually someone who does what I refer to, which is to say, biases your training and “specializes” in order to accomplish a totally legitimate, not unambitious goal.

      • Unfortunately I’ll have to modify a lot this week as I taper for my ‘goal’ of a decent time at Sunday’s half. Still, all these workouts look great to me.

  2. Monday started with C 80 rx, D 66, A 113, B 41.

  3. Monday: starting with A first. Partnered up Glen who taunted me through the entire series!
    A = 100 RX
    B = 40 RX
    C = 103 scale to Air Squats
    D = 48 Rx

  4. Performed in order and RX
    A 127
    B 49
    C 60
    D 74

  5. A- 91, Rx
    B- 40, scaled the wall walk-ups
    C- 164, scaled to air squats
    D- 55, Rx

  6. In order:
    A. 129rx B. 32rx C. 73rx D. 66rx

    • Great numbers

  7. In order & all RX:
    A: 87
    B: 32
    C: 40
    D: 52

    I was happy to see pistols! I used to be able to do them a lot faster than today…need more frequency with this one!

  8. A: 105@55#
    B: 35 (scale walk-ups)
    C: 143 (K2C; Air squats)
    D: 40

  9. I went in order ABCD all rxd

    A 101
    B 40
    C 62
    D 54 (I couldn’t find an efficient way to pick up that sandbag)

  10. Went in order ABCD all rxd

    A 101
    B 40
    C 64
    D 52 (I couldn’t find an efficient way to lift that sandbag)

    • Sorry for the duplicate. I didn’t think it posted.

  11. A: 81 @ 75lbs FS
    B: 30
    C: 60 scaled pistols and t2b
    D: 68

  12. Started with D:
    C)90 air squats and 1 rd t2b then degraded to k2c

  13. Monday in the order as written…

    A- 101 RX
    B- 72 scaled wall walk ups with 10 HSPU/round
    C- 113 airsquats
    D- 50 RX

  14. A 150
    B 45
    C 80 (band/HKR)
    D 67

  15. B. 41…C. 120 w/as….D. 62…A. 77

  16. A – scaled weight to 75 lbs – 96
    b – scaled wall walk-ups – 28
    C – scaled everything – 112
    D – 60 (finally no scale)

    I scaled life today.

  17. Andrea
    D. 88
    A. 125rx
    B. 41
    C. 113 (air squats)

  18. A) 105 RX
    B) 43 RX
    C) 85 Air Squats
    D) 54 RX

  19. A: 57 (scaled squats @ 75)
    B: 32 (rx’d but wall walk ups felt sloppy)
    C: 110 (scaled to air squats & K2C)
    D: 31 (rx’d but darn that sandbag is awkward to lift!)

  20. I was assigned to BCDA

    A 100rx- my abs were already shot- I am in so much trouble tomorrow!!!
    B 26rx- wallwalk ups are my kryptonite
    C 60rx
    D 67- no jump in the bupees (calf)

  21. B – 105rx
    C- 42rx
    D-58 with banded pistols
    A- 63rx

  22. Monday
    A: 107 (scaled FS to 95 lbs)
    B: 44 rx
    C: 121 AS
    D: 62 rx

    First day back since my back injury, scaled anything that could remotely affect my lower back …as I will moving forward. Liked this workout though.

  23. D. 68 Rx
    A. 100 Rx
    B. 38 Rx
    C. 116 scaled air squats / K2C

  24. A. 105 RX
    B. 40 RX
    C. 116 – scaled both, 20 air squats/rd
    D. 66 RX

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