Thursday 160616

Take 15 Minutes to work to a 2 rep back squat

Then 5 rounds:
10 Back rack reverse lunges at 40% of 2 rep from today
20 Jumping lunges, no weight
Run 100 Meters
Rest 1 minute

Post loads and times to comments and BTWB

When there is a squeak in the assault bike and the only way to find it is to have someone work harder. . . at least that's what Clancy told Kacey.

When there is a squeak in the assault bike and the only way to find it is to have someone work harder. . . at least that’s what Clancy told Kacey.


Just when you thought we were done talking about INTENSITY, I’ve gone and found another article to hammer the point home.

This lovely little ditty will be brought to you By Courtney Shepherd with a lot of assistance of Mike Warkentin of CrossFit 204.

Monday evening, while wrapping up a class, someone came up to me and asked me, “How do I get better at burpees?” If you recall Monday’s workout, it contained 60 burpees. This athlete and I chatted for a few minutes during which time they told me the burpees were the worst part of the workout, they just kind of “slugged through them”. I get it, burpees, to most people, suck. But what is even suckier, there is nothing you can do to make them better. The only thing you can do as an athlete is tolerate being uncomfortable more and be willing to push through discomfort faster. I can’t make burpees easier, they are intense. I can only make you appreciate intensity more and your need for it. Which is exactly what I told this athlete.

“You have to do Fran today. Stop reading, close your eyes and really think about that for a moment. Note the freefall feeling in your chest, the sweaty palms and the subtle changes in your breathing. Now consider this statement:

You have to do Fran in less than 12 minutes today.

I bet you suddenly don’t feel nervous at all. You might even view the reps as a warm-up for another workout. Same weight, same reps, same workout—different results.

Intensity burns. It tastes like a mouthful of old pennies soaked in battery acid. It makes you dizzy. It causes you to writhe around on the ground trying to work the misery out of your muscles. It usually requires a period spent on your back or butt, and sometimes it sends your lunch back the way it came in. Intensity gets caught in your throat and keeps you hacking hours after the workout ends.

Intensity also brings results. Push someone out of the comfort zone and physiology adapts. Do that regularly and fitness improves dramatically. Discomfort creates adaptation, but it can be very tempting to avoid the continuous discomfort needed to keep driving adaptation—even as a CrossFit athlete who knows its rewards.

Reducing intensity can be as subtle as breaking up Fran’s 15 thrusters when we don’t have to. It’s a very minor reduction in effort, and almost no one notices—sometimes not even the athlete. Fran burns a bit less, and only 20 seconds are added to a PR time, giving him or her the opportunity to attribute the score to an off day, bad sleep or “that third burrito at lunch.”

Luckily, the athlete still stays far fitter than if he or she hadn’t done Fran, but slacking off a little can lead to slacking off a lot, which is equivalent to treating a CrossFit workout like a 20-minute roll through the sports section while plodding on the elliptical machine.

To reap the greatest benefits from CrossFit, you have to be willing to push yourself, to be uncomfortable, to suffer for reward. And most of us are most of the time. The whiteboard and the rivalries thereon are powerful motivational tools. Still, a 5-minute Fran can become a habit if you let your mind trick you into dropping the barbell well before you need to.

Remember: Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, while objects at rest tend to head to the chalk bucket.”

Mike’s point to his readers and my point to this particular Verve athlete are one in the same. It’s not enough to just slug through a workout. So you did all the reps and all the pieces, but if all of it together takes 20 minutes when the workout was suppose to take 12. . . there is no adaptation. There will be minimal benefit, other than a few calories burned. If you want a dose of intensity, if you want burpees to feel better and you want improved times in those faster workouts, then take away any and every excuse you have to stop. Don’t worry about RX, what Joe Shmo at 5:30am did, or the average time on the board. Instead, lighten the load, maybe cut the reps, and make your goal to never stop, never put the bar down, not come down from the pull-up structure. If you finish a 12 minute workout in 5 minutes, I guarantee you hauled ass. I guarantee you did not stop moving, and I can guarantee you got more from that workout than if you did the 20 minute version of it. 

So think about it. CrossFit will never get easier. Period. The better you get the harder it gets, you can push yourself even more. So rather than resting until you feel comfortable, keep going, your heart will not physically explode from your chest. Get use to being uncomfortable. Get use to how bad intensity is and next thing you know, those 60 burpees don’t seem so bad anymore. . . . it could of been 100.

**You can read Mike Warkentin’s article “Elliptical Syndrome Cripples Fran, Helen” in it’s entirety by clicking here.

**Remember Verve is closed this weekend as we host the CrossFit Football Seminar. Verve will have a track WOD both mornings at Manual High School track. Get signed up on MBO. Click here for directions.


  1. Kacey :

    Hahahaha that’s awesome.

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