5X1 3-Position Clean (low to high) + Jerk – heaviest possible, rest 60-90 sec.

-then-

12 minute AMRAP of:

5 Power Cleans 75Kg/52.5Kg
10 Toes to Bar
15 Wall Ball 20/14#

 

Consistency: in all its forms – Colm

You’ve seen the sign down here at CrossFit Ireland – “Consistency: The Difference Between Achieving Your Goals and Not”

First things first. You need to consistently get here. This is really just the beginning. If you really want to make progress with this you’ll need to be consistent with everything you do here.

We have the phrase that “Everything is Everything”. A great example is the Front Squat. The Front Squat is the receiving position as the Clean, it’s the same as the Wall Ball, and virtually the same as the Overhead Squat and High Bar Back Squat (with minor differences). The principles of the clean and power clean and hang clean are all the same, they just have different start and end positions. What we’re saying here is that you must aim to make every lift you do like every other lift you do. If you allow yourself to do 100 wall balls in a metcon on your toes, and you really want a clean PR, when the weight gets heavy your body will default onto its toes and you’ll lose the lift.

(By the way, the technique we describe in class is the most efficient and safe way to move. It may require taking a step back from a “gunthery” PR to fix an old pattern but it’s worth it for long term health and progress.)

Carrying on from the idea that everything is everything, make sure all your lifts are consistent. If you’re 20% back squat looks perfect, but your 80% looks high, knees cave in, you take a walk forward and look down at the ground, it’s time to address this. If you want to make serious progress, make sure that 20% looks like 80% and 105% looks like a demo lift too. Obviously there’s going to be technical issues with everyone’s lift that will become more apparent with heavier loads but ignoring them for the sake of making lifts is a hiding to nowhere.

We’ve essentially two types of days with the barbell. Training days and test days. If it’s a training day, you want to make damn sure that you’re hitting your lifts. A miss or two on the snatch is okay (if it’s just a brain fart or a momentary lapse of concentration). Make sure that the vast majority of your lifts are hits. On testing days, it’s okay to test the limits and see if you can hit that new PR. Again though, we want to only have 2-3 misses in total. Otherwise we’re just engraining bad movement patterns and we’re less likely to succeed in future. By and large, the best lifters don’t miss.

Consistency also needs to be applied in metcons (timed workouts for those of you who are new to all this CrossFit terminology). It’d be absolutely stupid if someone told you they sprinted the first 50m of a 5K race. Heck, if you sprint the first 50m of a 400m race and try to hold on it’d be stupid. Yet this is exactly what we do in metcons. We sprint out the gate and then try desperately to hold on. If you watch Rich Froning Jr – Fittest on Earth according to The CrossFit Games – he’s consistent. His technique looks the same at the start as it does at the end, he never looks rushed or panicked, and at times it looks like he’s moving along at a comfortable pace. He’s consistent, and that’s what the sport rewards.

If the metcon involves a movement which is at or near your max, or you’re likely to hit muscle fatigue very quickly (like push ups/pull ups) you are much better served aiming to have a consistent rest period throughout the workout. If you start out with 20 seconds rest between push ups, and by the end you’re missing reps with 2 minutes rest, you would be much better served resting for 60 seconds consistently throughout the workout. That way you can realistically move down to 40-50 seconds next time, and gradually lower the rest interval .

When we do interval workouts (workouts with timed rest or a set rest period, e.g. Rest 1:1) this is the perfect opportunity to practice working on consistency. They’re designed to help you develop pacing and know where your flat out pace is, and what your consistent pace is.

Part of this I’ll admit is with CrossFit, the weights and movements make it difficult to predict a pace. Add in technical requirements that fall apart when you’re fatigued (e.g. timing of a snatch, double under, etc) and it makes it all the more difficult to predict a pace. Muscle fatigue also comes into play here. Rushing into the redzone may be cool and make you feel like you’re getting a good workout, but if it means sloppy technique, slowing WAY down and gasping for air while you desperately try to recover, you’ve performed worse than you were capable of. In your day to day training, you are FAR better off moving consistently at just below your maximum pace, saving that redzone for Max Effort tests or all out sprints. In fact, the ideal approach would be to get gradually faster as the metcon progresses, sprinting towards the finish instead of limping over it.

Don’t take a myopic view of a workout. Letting go of technique just to move that bit quicker or because you really want X Kilos on your lift today is incredibly short sighted and in the long run stunts your progress. This workout isn’t the be all and end all, it’s part of a larger scheme.

Consistency, it’s more than just showing up.