Fast=Good. Too Fast=Bad (Thu 9/16/10)

By September 15, 2010CFMC Blog Archives

There comes a point in every CrossFitter’s career where technique begins to break down in order to shave a few more seconds off the time. This OK to a certain extent, but the breakdown needs to be more carefully monitored. Let me explain…

Let’s say you’re learning how to type. You place your fingers on the home keys (I’m amazed I remember that term from my middle school typing class) and carefully begin sounding out the words as you type them letter-by-letter, sounding like an old LP record player that’s been slowed *way* down. This is great – you’re learning where your fingers need to go to hit the right letters and all, but you need to push the limits of your newly acquired abilities and hit some wrong keys once in awhile or you’ll always be typing at the speed of a snail on quaaludes.

The flip side of this is trying to go too fast before you’re ready. If all you know are the home keys and you start banging away at the keyboard as if you’re trying to type the complete works of William Shakespeare in less than an hour, you’re going to end up with a lot of unintelligible crap that means nothing. You’re also not going to be improving your typing skills at all; in fact you’ll be severely stunting them.

Both of these are easy problems to identify and fix when we’re talking about typing, but oddly enough people don’t seem to be able to recognize it (much less fix it) in the gym. That’s ok, that’s what the coaches are for – you just have to trust us if we say you’re going too slow or (more likely) too fast. Remember, we’re here to help you get better, and if slowing you the hell down is what the doctor orders, then follow the orders and do it right.

In the case of typing too fast before you know how to do it, you end up with a bunch of random letters that you can erase with a couple clicks of the mouse. If you go too fast with the barbells, kettlebells or any movements where technique is important, you end up with bad habits that are hard to break, plateaus in your gains, and quite likely severe injury. In the words Dave ‘Chef’ Wallach, “For the love of all things athletic, DO IT RIGHT or PUT DOWN THE BAR, pause, focus and LEARN HOW TO DO IT RIGHT!! … and don’t say, ‘but that will make me slower’… don’t. Just don’t. Please. Don’t be a ‘clock weenie’.”

Being fast and right is cool. Being fast and stupid is not.


Snatch 1-1-1-1-1


3 Rounds for time:

25 Goblet Squats (16kg/12kg)
10 Burpees
25 Kettlebell Swings (16kg/12kg)
10 Burpees


30 Med Ball Clean Box Jumps

  • Julie G.

    Thank You Tai. I knew you could be sweet if you really wanted to. LOL. I LOVE ALL 3. Big PR tomorrow!!!!

  • Angelina

    Burpees… again? 🙂

    I figured I’d share my view on a dairy free life. I gave up dairy about 3 years ago and I don’t miss it and I felt a lot better when I did. If you plan to continue to live a dairy free life but miss some of the tastes, then one thing I like are nut cheeses. There is a commercial brand called Dr Cow. It is pricey but there are also recipes you can follow to make at home. I personally would use something like this in moderation.

    Here is one recipe:
    Pepper-Crusted Cashew Goat Cheese
    3/4 cup raw cashews
    6 Tbs. canola oil (I don’t think there would be an issue using olive oil here)
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    1 Tbs. tahini
    1 1/4 tsp. salt – omit if you are salt free
    1 tsp. cracked black peppercorns or coarsely ground black pepper

    1. Place cashews in large bowl; cover with 3 inches water. Soak overnight.

    2. Drain liquid, rinse cashews under cold water, and drain again. Purée cashews, oil, lemon juice, tahini, salt, and 2 Tbs. water in food processor 6 minutes, or until smooth and creamy.

    3. Place large strainer over bowl, and line with triple layer of cheesecloth. Spoon cashew mixture into cheesecloth. Fold sides of cloth over cheese, and form into 6-inch-long oval loaf. Twist ends of cloth and secure with rubber bands. Set in strainer over bowl, and let stand 12 hours at room temperature. Discard excess liquid. Chill.

    4. Preheat oven to 200°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap cheese, and scrape into 7-inch-long log on cheesecloth. Rewrap, and twist ends to secure. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 35 minutes, or until cheese becomes set on outside but still soft, turning occasionally. Cool, and chill.

    5. Unwrap cheese. Sprinkle with peppercorns, pressing to adhere.

  • Angelina

    Ok and if you want something as a condiment, an almond feta might be good to put on your veggies to spice them up some.

    Almond Feta Cheese with Herb Oil

    1 cup whole blanched almonds
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    3 Tbs. plus 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
    1 clove garlic, peeled
    1 1/4 tsp. salt (feel free to omit)
    1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
    1 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves

    1. Place almonds in medium bowl, and cover with 3 inches cold water. Let soak 24 hours. Drain soaking liquid, rinse almonds under cold running water, and drain again.

    2. Purée almonds, lemon juice, 3 Tbs. oil, garlic, salt, and 1/2 cup cold water in food processor 6 minutes, or until very smooth and creamy.

    3. Place large strainer over bowl, and line with triple layer of cheesecloth. Spoon almond mixture into cheesecloth. Bring corners and sides of cloth together, and twist around cheese, forming into orange-size ball and squeezing to help extract moisture. Secure with rubber band or kitchen twine. Chill 12 hours, or overnight. Discard excess liquid.

    4. Preheat oven to 200°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap cheese (it will be soft), and transfer from cheesecloth to prepared baking sheet. Flatten to form 6-inch round about 3/4-inch thick. Bake 40 minutes, or until top is slightly firm. Cool, then chill. (Cheese can be made up to this point 2 days ahead; keep refrigerated.)

    5. Combine remaining 1/4 cup oil, thyme, and rosemary in small saucepan. Warm oil over medium-low heat 2 minutes, or until very hot but not simmering. Cool to room temperature. Drizzle herb oil over cheese just before serving.

  • Mark.B

    —–> Slow and Stupid

  • Amir

    Sooo sleepy at work!! Been up since 3:15 Coffee not working. NEED A REDBULL!! Dam you Paleo Dam you!! maybe I’ll try some burpees…

  • Julie G.


    I think you need to bring in a sample Pepper-Crusted Cashew Goat Cheese for me to try. Who knew you could make Faux cheese? THX

  • Dan

    I can’t tell you how good 5 Guys smells…

  • Sophia

    Thanks for all the recipes, Angelina!

    Last night’s dinner was another success! I’ve been pleasantly surprised with my dinner creations. I would have never known Paleo could be so tasty!

    Last night’s dinner:

    Baked Chicken w/ broccoli and cauliflower


    4 medium size chicken breast
    3 cups broccoli
    3 cups cauliflower
    Sea salt
    Roasted garlic
    Olive oil
    Ms. Dash onion and herb seasoning
    Persian dried herb mix – parsley, dill, fenugreek, and chives
    Balsamic vinegar

    1. Toss veggies in olive oil and roasted garlic; sparkle with salt, pepper, and paprika; and place in baking pan.

    2. Season chicken with salt, paprika, Ms. Dash seasoning, and Persian herbs. Place chicken on top of veggies in baking pan.

    3. Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over everything.

    4. Bake

  • Amir

    My favorite Persian Salad


    Diced cucumbers
    Diced tomatoes
    Diced red onion
    Lime juice
    Sea salt

    Combine first four ingredients and toss with lime juice and sea salt.

  • Angelina

    I love cucumber salad! I also like to mix it up with things like Red wine vinegar or other types of vinegar and other herbs.

  • daniel.zaudtke

    I thought Cashews were under the same category as peanuts. A “bean” and therefore a no-no.

  • Angelina

    Oh I don’t know if they are not allowed but cashews are a tree nuts like almonds while peanuts are a legume.

  • daniel.zaudtke

    Carinitas with Pico de Gallo:


    * 1 tablespoon olive oil
    * 6 pounds boneless pork shoulder
    * 1 cup ground cumin
    * 4 dried New Mexico chiles, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
    * 1 onion, quartered
    * 6 cloves garlic, halved
    * 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
    * 6 cups water
    * 6 tomatoes, chopped
    * 1 onion, chopped
    * 2 tomatillos, husked and chopped
    * 2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
    * 1/3 cup lime juice
    * 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


    1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the pork in the hot oil until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Place into a slow cooker along with the cumin, New Mexico chiles, quartered onion, garlic, and 1 minced jalapeno pepper. Pour in the water, cover, and cook on High for 6 to 8 hours, then reduce heat to Low and cook until the pork is tender and easily shredded, 12 to 16 hours more. Once cooked, remove the pork and vegetables to a large bowl and shred finely with two forks. Mix in enough cooking liquid to moisten the meat to your taste.
    2. Prepare the pico de gallo 2 to 6 hours before the carnitas will be ready. Combine the tomatoes, onion, tomatillos, and 2 minced jalapeno peppers in a mixing bowl. Season with lime juice, and pepper. Mix well, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

  • daniel.zaudtke

    Quick and easy vegetables:

    This is outstanding with any kind of vegetable:

    Heat 3-4 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy skillet. Throw in chopped onion and a couple minced cloves of garlic, saute until brown. Using the Olive Oil tasted better than butter when I did this with asparagus.

  • Julie G.

    Friend of mine from Floridas blog. I am going for the scallops this weekend.