Overhead Squat

Matt did 15.5 in Hawaii.  Not a bad place to do a terrible workout!

Matt did 15.5 in Hawaii. Not a bad place to do a terrible workout!

Heavy Days, Scaling, and Your Fitness

Everybody loves a sexy metcon.  It’s true.  The sweaty long shit-show of a workout that is good for dinner table conversations and producing a “badass” feeling as you walk the streets of Boulder.  But what about the sexy strength day?

Many times we see athletes pack intensity and determination into a metcon but they come up short in transferring the same effort level into a heavy lift.  We’ve posted many times in the past on the reasons why it’s important to go heavy on your heavy days.  Here’s another reason.  It’s affects your scaled effort in the metcon.

Take athlete X.  They walk into max effort clean & jerk Monday.  Seven singles to get to a heavy one rep.  They see today as an easy day and contemplate going for a run this evening to “get in a real workout” while they day dream and work through the class with no focused effort.  They work up to a semi-heavy lift, obviously below their potential – say 125 pounds.  But let’s say if they had put in the same effort level as they do in a Helen or Cindy, they would have clean and jerked 140.

Flash forward to the following week when the shop rolls out a workout with clean and jerks, running, and pull-ups.  A true metcon that is taking people somewhere around 10 minutes.  The coach says, “To get dialed in to the weight you should use for this workout, take 65% of your one rep max clean and jerk.”  The athlete scales their effort from the previous Monday and completes the workout.  They’re disappointed when they feel that the workout was a little less challenging than they anticipated and they have one of the fastest times.  It all goes back to the clean & jerk Monday!

The athlete’s effort scaled to 65% based on 125 pounds: 81
The athlete’s unobtained potential effort of 140 scaled to 65%: 91

THAT’S A 10 POUND DIFFERENCE!  Imagine what that would do to your power output, metcon potential, and your productivity over months and months of training.  And your fitness!?

The point is that you heavy days are just as important as your metcon days.

When you make the transition to appreciating and going after both, then you have evolved as a CrossFitter.