Make It Count (Thu 10/7/10)

By October 6, 2010CFMC Blog Archives

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Reposted from Feb 17 & 18, 2010

Would you climb halfway out of a hole? Would you stop halfway when crossing the street? Climbing halfway out of a hole is a hell of a lot easier than having to climb ALL the way out though, isn’t it? Damn right. How about the street thing? That’s not even hard, but maybe you just don’t feel like taking those last 5 steps. Yeah, neither of those makes much sense. The results in both cases are binary: you’re either out of the hole or you’re not; you either cross the street or you don’t. It’s as simple as that.

Every movement in CrossFit has the same binary quality: either it counts or it doesn’t. Look at them like crossing the street – if you don’t get all the way across, you haven’t crossed anything. That’s how you should treat every movement in CrossFit: unless you do it all the way, bottom to top, every single time, it doesn’t count. The top half of a pushup is not a pushup. The top half of a squat isn’t a squat. If you’re going through all the trouble of doing the workout in the first place, then do the whole workout, not just the top half of it.

Keep in mind, this rant is not about technique…I’ll save the technique rant for another time. This one only deals with what counts as a valid rep and what does not. The message here is that “almost a pullup” does not count, even if that “almost-pullup” comes after an unbroken string of 49 perfect ones. But if that 50th pullup is the ugliest squiggling monstrosity ever attempted in the history of pull-ups, it counts as long as it starts with locked out arms at the bottom and ends with their chin over the bar. Otherwise, it ain’t no pullup.

Another issue that doing only the top half of the workout raises is the validity of the time or score of that workout. For example, in the named workout “Angie”, your ability to do 100 pullups, 100 pushups, 100 situps, and 100 squats is what is being timed. If you do any of the reps of any of the movements with less than the full range of motion required for a valid rep, then not only did you cheat on the workout, but your overall time is meaningless since you never finished the workout. Your time doesn’t reflect 100 pullups, 100 pushups, 100 situps and 100 squats, it reflects how long it took you to do a bunch of crap movements that got worse as you went on. It’s like the Barry Bonds record-breaking homerun baseball in the Hall Of Fame with the great big asterisk on it.

Remember, in CrossFit we measure Power Output. Power Output is what gives us all the wonderful benefits we enjoy from doing CrossFit. That’s Force times Distance divided by Time. If any one of the reps don’t go through the FULL range of motion, the total Distance is lower than what it should be, and your total Power Output is therefore lower as well.

So whatever the WOD calls for, do each rep of each movement all the way, bottom to top, every single time, until you’re done. The moment you accept a crappy rep as “valid” in your mind, you’ve cheated yourself of achieving your maximum potential. If you suck at that movement, watering it down by doing it halfway when you start getting tired is not going to remove it from your list of “things I suck at”, and it certainly isn’t going to make you a better CrossFitter. Force yourself to do it all the way, bottom to top, every single time, until you’re done – even if it takes you a month to finish the workout – and you will be amazed at how quickly you become good at it and everything else.

Today’s WOD:

Just another obstacle course

Yep, it’s time to play with the “new” gym a little bit. Get ready for some fun!

Paleo Challenge Note:

I’ve been asked to remind everyone to email your Paleo logs in order to remain eligible for all prizes.