Whenever you come to CrossFit Committed there’s always a WOD waiting for you. Maybe you don’t think about how you are going to break the sets and just start your work out. There is nothing wrong with that. But if you want to get better and feel good when you work out, it is good to think about the WOD you are about to do and how you are going to approach it. Let’s take a look at the criteria that will help you choose the right tactic.
You already know this WOD
If this is the case look into Sugar WOD to see your notes: what weight you chose and how you felt. Which is why it is important to take notes after each work out (I usually add how I broke down the sets as well). Chances are you also remember this WOD. So based on your experience or notes it should be easy for you to know if you are going to do smaller or bigger sets or go unbroken with short breaks.
A great example is the intro work out we all did when we first stepped into CFC. I have a number of clients who did this work out twice in a two week span and based on their notes & experience were able to improve their overall score by 2 or 3 minutes. I’d love to take all the credit for their improvement but the truth is each person knew what to expect and broke out the sets or the row based on their experience.
You know how your body reacts
The longer you do CrossFit the better you know your body. You know how it reacts to cardio, heavy weights, etc. If running is a challenge I choose the right speed and don’t let my ego chase after some of the fastest runners in the group. It is likely that fast runners will struggle with heavier weights and that is when I catch up with them.
You also have to know your max. You can go too heavy and there is no other tactic than taking the load off that is going to help you.
Pace yourselves well
How you pace the WOD depends on the length and incentive of the work out. If the goal is to go “all out” you should not be able to pick yourselves up from the ground after the work out is done and have a high heart rate. This usually happens with shorter work outs. When you see a longer one it is better to break it into sets and try to keep the same pace. If you have some energy left in the last round, use it and go all out. It is also important to consider my previous point as well as your personal limits.
Good sets and working with time
Knowing how you are going to break the work out can help you a lot. Of course you can overachieve it and end up breaking sets more often. But a good plan will help you both mentally and physically.
How you break the sets is up to you. Remember to also consider the type of movement you are going to do. If you like it and are good at it, it is likely that you will be able to break the movement into bigger sets.
What usually works for me with my favorite movements is breaking the sets so I do less and less reps each round. Im going to use 50 wallballs as an example, I would break this movement into 10-9-8-7-6-5-5. Or the favorite CrossFit WOD 21-15-9, I break this into 8-7-6, 6-5-4 a 5-4.
This helps me because I know that with every upcoming set I have less reps to do and I don’t have to rest as long. But however you break the sets I recommend that you don’t go until failure (as long as you are not in the last round).
It is also good to work with time. This helps throughout weightlifting WODs like Grace (30 clean and jerks for time), or workouts when one round takes up about one minute or for example every 1:10, 1:15.
You should also look at the time during other work outs. You will be surprised how much time you spend resting in front of the bar or the rig. If you break the sets right and look at the clock, and your breaks are not longer than 10 seconds, I can guarantee that you will be faster and do more reps during AMRAPs.
A wisely chosen approach to WODs can help during the week but also during the upcoming Throwdown when you will have to do several workouts in one day. So stop and think about how you are going to approach the next WOD when you are at the gym. I hope this post will help you to achieve better scores!