by Jeff Martin (CrossFit Kids/Crossfit Brand X)
1. Have a plan for each WOD. Look at each WOD. Try to decide how long each round should last. Shoot for that.
2. Think about breaks. Have a plan for your breaks going into the WOD. Say you are doing Fran and your pull-up max is 10. Plan to break the first round 7-7-7 and rest 15 seconds before getting back on the bar. This will help you avoid muscular failure. If you hit muscular failure, it will take 30-40 seconds before you are able to get back on the bar and do anything meaningful. That’s a lot of time spent staring at the clock spinning.
3. Work specifically on a plan to minimize break time. Using Fran as an example again, say that 95# Thrusters are not heavy for you and that the limiting factor is cardio-respiratory endurance. In this case, your heart is hammering when you reach 11 reps, but the bar speed is the same as rep number one. Now you can put the bar down and acknowledge that it’s okay to be a pus** today, or you can continue. If you do put the bar down, have a plan: I’ll pick the bar up in 15 seconds, I’ll take three big breaths and pick the bar up, etc.
4. If you are working with a class, pick someone that is close to you in their fitness level. Before you start the WOD, tell yourself that you will watch them and break only when they do. Resolve when they put the bar down you will do one more rep than they did. When they look like they are going to pick the bar up, grab your bar and do at least one rep before they get started. Be aware that eventually they will realize what you are doing and the game will be on. Who will drop the bar first? Again, “Men will die for points.”
5. NEVER walk away from your bar! NEVER, NEVER, NEVER!
6. Understand that every time you put your bar down, you can chalk 20 seconds onto your time. Is breathing really worth that 20 seconds? I don’t think so.
7. Just finish it. When most people set the bar down, they wait until they feel better before picking the bar up again. This is a mistake. You will not feel better until the thing is done. Might as well get back on the bar and finish the work required. Little known fact: working helps regulate breathing. The hard part of Fran is the transitions. You’re gasping for air staring at the bar. Surprisingly if you clean the bar up and start doing your thrusters, your breathing will regulate. Keep that in mind while the clock spins and you stare.
Just a few thoughts.