Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Barbara--For two minutes, everything is ok.

Two minutes. This is the rest period between five ferocious rounds of classic body-weight movments. This is also the interval of time the heroic Crossfitters (The Tuesday Twelve?) had to contemplate the next round of fun. But why Barbara?

Barb is a workout designed around a heavy volume of movments that can be performed without any equipment, besides your person. More importantly though, Barbara is a lesson in programming. We consistently find that this workout has a far more horrific effect on the athlete precisely because we rest two minutes between sets. It turns out that intensity is maintained as the athlete has had time to recover. Thus the athlete isn't ultimately overwhelmed by the muscle fatigue associated with simple, unbroken, high volume body-weight pieces like pull-ups.

But, Barbara is also a lesson in making simple programming more complex by manipulating work-rest intervals. So, if you find yourself trapped in a bathroom (airport, hanger, hotel), you can develop programming that is more sophisticated than simply "more of everything."

Most importantly though, last night demonstrated that our athletes are capable of performing massive volume without training for massive volume. Big volume workouts ultimately have less utility to us in the long run. But, seeing a woman who a year ago could not perform a single pull-up, bang out a hundred is a sight to behold. Nice job Pam Lauper.

Barbara is a ego check. But, it can teach us the value of two minutes.

Great Job Gang!

Coach K

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