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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Krissi (upside down) and Mari going through some front lever drills.

Mackenzie doing Day 4 of the On-ramp.

Back Squat


A great workout to get strong with. Remember that HQ isn't looking for a 3 rep max, but rather a 3RM for the day. Lift as heavy as you can for the day.
One of the poorly understood aspects behind Crossfit is the physiological response elicited by the stressors (WOD) Crossfit prescribes. With constantly varied time and modal domains it is nigh on impossible to accurately test improvements from one workout to the next. With a singular modality sport such as rowing or weightlifitng an input exhibits a certain output and the variables are so simple that a coach can accurately predict what worked and what didn't. They can then replicate this stressor and see if it keeps working. This is impossible in Crossfit.

Yesterday we did "Helen". The combination of stressors leading up to this (looking back two weeks or so) will have to be accurately replicated for another test of "Helen". Or for that test to be considered scientifically relevant. But what we see is that there are far too many inputs to accurately define one as causing the specific desired output. Next time we see "Helen" it is very likely that the workouts leading up to it will not be the same, indeed that is the hallmarks of Crossfit. Can we then consider this a true test of "Helen" or just our "Helen" for the day? It is this variability that precludes scientific testing, instead we must rely on anecdotal evidence as to the efficency of Crossfit.
And the anecdotal evidence says it works. How many of you hit a PR on Total? Or some improvement in weight moved and distances covered faster in one of the many workouts we've done? Rather than consider Crossfit as a mix of stressors, we must consider the program (the unique mix of constantly varied functional movement at high intensity performed across broad time and modal demains) as a single stressor. In this we lose scientific specifics, but gain an answer to our general question "What works?": Trust the program, but do all of it. Don't skip the heavy days and don't skip the distance days. Everyone loves a kick ass metcon, but a lot of the real work happens in those distance and strength days. Who knows you might like the specific work more.

-Paul Siegel


  1. Paul - great blogging man. That is GREAT advice to put up. Since I've been just showing up and "taking my medicine" including the metcons (i hate) and heavy days (love) ALL my workouts are improving. Like you said it works BEST when we don't pick and choose the workouts. Just work hard on all of them! Cheers!

  2. Paul, I'm confused about what you said about 3RM vs 3RM for the day..I was looking on the discussions on the mainsite and someone said that when it says like 3-3-3-3-3, it means you increase the weight each time but if it's 5x3, then it'd be the same throughout....?

  3. 5x3=sets across: where each set of 3 reps is the same weight for all 5 sets.
    3-3-3-3-3= Progressively loaded: Each set of 3 should be heavier than the one before it.

    So ideally on the last set of 3 you will lift the most weight you can thus giving you your 3RM. Sometimes this number goes up and down not always giving us a personal record. Which is why it should be as heavy as you can go today, rather than ever.

  4. Today

    WOD 12/8
    800m Run
    30x{Hip & Back Ext, GHD SU, Hip Ext, K2E, Back Ext, AbMat SU}
    Felt pretty solid on this one. All the heavy work I was doing has definitely strengthened the core. Probably should have gone a little slower with better form, but as there was no one there to critique me....
    Also got my first 2 floor pistols on each leg today.

  5. what the hell is a floor pistol?

    6 AM again today, CHACE, where were you?

    See you all in a couple of days.

  6. ...I think it's just a regular pistol, cuz he's been doing them on a box.

  7. HAPPY BIRTHDAY VILAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. :):):):):):) Thank youuuuu Naate!!