Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Sweet Smell of Success

Travelling around, I am fortunate enough to workout with some of the most humble, gracious, never-see-'em-coming ass kickers this side of anywhere. The commonality observed from watching (read: getting my ass handed to me by) the super-humans is not usually inherent talent. Usually it is the decidedly less-sexy concept of work management.

Now I'm not talking about 'gaming' a workout to capitalize on your strengths and pace through your weaknesses. Although a fair bit of this is done on some level by all of us (it's only natural to look to where you will excel) I refer instead to the concept that rest is usually not something that is needed, but something that is wanted. This is a powerful distinction.

CrossFitters are big on measurable, observable and repeatable data records. How much did you do and how long did it take you? Was it faster/heavier/further than last time? Or simply, did you improve?

The best CrossFitters take this one step further and incorporate this method into their rest periods.

Try this over the next several weeks:

In the middle of some heinous met-con when you are ready to take a breather, pick a measurement. It could be number of breaths, steps taken in a slow circle, counting to a number in your head, or anything else that's a relatively steady time indicator. Let's use breaths.

Every time you stop, decide how many breaths you will take to re-start. No matter what. Even if it means only one more rep and then the next batch of pre-determined breathing.

Let's say the number is 10. Once you can wrap yourself around this limited rest, start trying to shave it week shoot for 8 breaths. Eventually you will have pared yourself down to the minimal rest that you need to keep moving. You will surprise yourself with how quickly you get moving again and how many more reps you are capable of once the rest-inertia is broken.

Experiment with this concept and keep a quick note in your workout log. What's the worst thing that could happen?

See you back on the West Coast,

-Adrian 'counting-to-three' Bozman


Brett_M/31/181cm/85kg said...

Hi from down under, just thought I would say that I really enjoy this blog SF is right up there with my other fav from the USA Freddy's one world.
Its great to get the personality and knowledge of the coaches regularly and I look forward to seeing you in Sydney next month(Fingers crossed).

Anonymous said...

Take a good look at the pic folks 'cause I won't look like that in 3 months. No, I'll still wear hideous outfits & I'm keepin' the hat (love the hats), but my tummy will no longer protrude past my chest. Thanks for putting the final nail in my coffeecakesnickerseattin' coffin Adrian.

I see and have heard that some of you are having people sponsor you per point on FGB. How is that done? I have a team at work who will sponsor me for each point over my last total.


Anonymous said...

I use breaths, and I try to only give myself 3...cuz that's all Pam gives me when we're partnered up. Even when she's not around, I still hear her voice counting and only giving me 3...I think its cuz she scares me a little...but in a very good way.

Don't know if you read the blog PL, but if you do, thanks!


PS Cunningham used to do the same thing with me- he's a good nut, too!

Anonymous said...

Never thought about this. I look forward to applying it.


FilthyBrit said...

It's Friday. And as the Coaches always say, I expect to see full extensions!

Person said...

The challenge of reducing/minimizing mid-workout rest needs is one of my very favorites.

It's psychologically "weighty," too. I struggle w/ it. It just plain scares me to force myself to get going again when I don't feel -- in some vague sense of that word -- like I'm ready to do so.

I'm not clear about the source or nature of this fear. Maybe I'm afraid that I'll drop a barbell on my head or eject my spine through my neck or just melt. But any such thing has yet to happen, which is at least moderately telling evidence. And I can tell that it's very, very good to master this fear.

Person said...

An oldie, but a goodie:

"New Nietzschean Diet Lets You Eat Whatever You Fear Most"