By Freddy Camacho Crossfit One World
MATH AND CROSSFIT
You may have never thought that math plays such a big part in CrossFit programming. It’s simple really. With every workout we program, we crunch the numbers and figure out how long a workout should take. This is essential to programming. Some days we want to take you mid-range (10-15 minutes), some days we want a burner (5-7 minutes), and on occasion, we want to take you long (20 minutes plus). When figuring out timeframes for workouts, we take into consideration athletic ability, full range of motion, transition times, and exhaustion/musculature failure. In the end, we come up with the timeframe a good CrossFitter should finish the workout. It’s the coach’s job to consider this timeframe and provide ample time in the training session for everyone in the group to finish within the hour.
The numbers are figured out. 99% of the time, we are spot on. The top athletes at our gym finish right around where we figured they would finish. Unfortunately, every now and a workout result gets posted on the dry erase board that doesn't add up. Unfortunately, it's a good chance that the posted result is not legit.
The first thing all of you should be doing when you see a workout is figuring out how long the workout is going to take you per movement per round. For example: Let’s say that the workout is a “chipper” that is 5 rounds of 10 pull-ups, 20 push-ups, 30 squats and 40 double unders. The first thing I do is break each movement down. I can butterfly the pull-ups pretty consistent for all ten reps for all 5 rounds, so I figure 8-10 seconds on the pull-ups per round. I can do the push-ups unbroken every set, but know that the last 5 reps might take me a bit longer in the last 2 rounds so on average, 18-20 seconds to do the push-ups. The sqauts done at full range of motion are going to take me 1 second per rep so 30 seconds per round. The double unders can be done in 20-25 seconds if I don’t mess up. So, on average the work alone for this workout is going to take me about 1:25 per round. Factor in transition time and rest time when I start to hit exhaustion and I am figuring 2:00 to 2:15. This does not even include any mess-ups on the double unders which add 5 seconds per mess up. Say I miss one double under per round and now I am at 2:20 per round if I am killing it every round.
That is the math behind figuring out your workout. I am constantly watching the clock as I train and know if I am falling off the pace or not. This is smart training. You can figure out your workouts and push yourself harder or take it easy, the choice becomes yours.
Do the math and make sure you math adds up. Some of you are occasionally posting some bogus times. The biggest thing I see is people not counting their reps properly. I usually see this on “chipper” workouts that have lots of body weight movements in the 30-40-50 rep ranges. 26 is not 30. 31 is not 40, and 38 in not 50. You may not think I am watching any of you working out, but I do watch and on occasion I will count your reps as you are trianing, especially when people start pointing out to me that someone has a couting issue. I have seen several people count horribly. I don’t think it’s my job to tell you that you miscounted your reps, and I don't think it is my job to count your reps for you through a whole workout. You should care enough to count your reps proper. If you think you counted wrong, DO MORE REPS. I am not going to call you a cheater, but anyone else who is counting your reps might be giving you that nickname.
I was always of the opinion that some people just don’t realize that they are counting less reps. Sometimes the mind doesn’t think clearly when you stress it out with high intensity exercise (Read my SicFit article :WOD Drunk). Unfortunately, it seems to always be the same people who can’t count right, and it was pointed out to me that those same people never do MORE reps. Good point right??
Another issue that causes some pretty crazy times to be recorded is range of motion. Cut the movement short, and it is obviously going to be faster. (Read my Superhuman post from last year’s Crossfit Games sectional qualifier) For some of you, you get moving so fast that your range of motion gets worse. It doesn’t dial back to looking good again until you slow it down. In this crazy world of CrossFit training, everyone is watching what everyone is doing. The first thing people do when they walk into the gym is walk up to the dry erase board and check everyone’s posted results. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone staring at the board comment something similar to “yeah but his/her range of motion is always bad.” People start to doubt your results, which sucks because even when you do kill a workout, people still doubt you.
Keep in mind that I said 99% of the time we can guess how good a top CrossFitter at One World will do on any given workout, but every now and then we are wrong. Nothing makes me happier than being wrong. It means that there was stellar performance. Watching someone completely destroy a workout is pretty awesome to behold.
In the end I guess it really doesn’t matter whether you are doing your workout right or not. It’s your workout and if you are happy with what you are doing, then who cares right? BUT..... you can get better results if you slow down a bit, do all the reps proper and do all the work prescribed. You don’t need to be the fastest in the gym.
Do the math before your workout and see how close you can be to what you estimate. Math works. Use it. If you are way off, maybe there is a chance you missed some reps or even a whole round. Try counting out loud if you think you have a counting issue. Chyna always makes fun of me because when I get tired, she can make out the sound of me counting my reps out loud when I start grunting. At least I know I am counting right.
Another article by Freddy C.
Another article by Freddy C.
At the time of this writing, there are six people (3 men/3 women) claiming 600+ reps for Workout #2 of the CrossFit Games Open. The workout is as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of 9 deadlifts (M:155#/W:100#)/12 push-ups with a hand raise at bottom/15 box jumps (M:24"/W:20"). Yes, you read that right.... 600 or more reps! For the purpose of this post, I will use an even 600 reps. To achieve 600 reps, a person would have to perform 16 rounds + 9 deadlifts + 12 push-ups + 3 box jumps...in 15 minutes!!! WOW!
Time for some math (YAY)!!! There are 900 seconds in 15 minutes. 900 seconds divided by 600 reps is 1.5 seconds per rep. At 1.5 seconds per rep, in order to complete 600 reps you would have to finish a round every 54 seconds without any rest or transition time. WOW!
I figure that even if you drop the bar on your last deadlift and flop right down to a push-up AND you jumped out of the push-up burpee style for the box jumps, you still have a total of 2-3 seconds of transition time between movements per round. That means in 16+ rounds, You would lose anywhere from 34-51 seconds of transition time total over the course of 15 minutes.
Let's say the transition time is on the low side at 34 seconds. That means the total seconds that you are actually completing 600 reps shrinks down to 1.4 seconds per rep. You are now completing a round every 50.4 seconds without any rest. WOW!
I did an "air round": A simulated straight leg deadlift with no bar or stick, push-ups without raising my hands, and standing jumps with no box or tuck (about an 8"-10" jump). I made sure I hit full range of motion on the "air deadlift" and the push-up. It took me 40 seconds to complete the round. That means to achieve 600 reps, I would only have 10.4 seconds of rest time, or what I call "wiggle room", per round to maintain pace. And remember, that is with no weight, no hand raise, and no box. WOW!
Please don't get me wrong. I am not outright calling anyone a bullshitter, but is 600+ reps AT FULL RANGE OF MOTION PER THE MOVEMENT STANDARDS really possible? I truly believe that a person can have a big cardiovascular engine, but you gotta admit, these numbers are nuts!! I wish just one of those 600+ rep performances was on video because that would be something worth watching. 600 reps at full range of motion is a serious work output. I'd love to see someone do the real math and figure out what the work output was in horsepower or something like that.
CrossFit has gone crazy. I remember when Jason Khalipa won the 2008 CrossFit Games and everyone thought he was a juggernaut who would never be beat. Last year he took 16th place at the CrossFit Games! I remember when a person with a sub 3 minute "Fran" was a freak of nature, and now I have people telling me that they routinely see attendees hitting sub-3 minute Fran times at the Level I Trainer Certifications.
Pretty soon, I am expecting a CrossFitter to have the ability to fly. We shall see.....