CrossFit like you Olympic Lift.
I am am a big believer of staying in control when training CrossFit. There are a few things at play when getting into a CrossFit WOD. Do you ever get nervous as the clock counts down 321 go? Are there movements that you dread seeing come up in a WOD? Do you ever feel like you hit peak exhaustion quickly and then are just left to drag ass through the rest of the WOD until you finish in a big pile of pain?
Have you ever noticed that we often work between 70%-90% when Olympic Weightlifting?
Strategy is very important to personal success in the gym. Spend time analyzing what you are going to do during the WOD. Have a plan but be willing to change the plan if things do not go accordingly. How will you approach the entire workout? Where are you expecting to take breaks to allow some recovery and flush lactic acid?
Its completely normal to feel nervous and experience fear in the face of a WOD that you know is going to hurt. During the 10 second countdown to start the WOD, work on clearing your mind and taking deep breaths. Confidence is so important in life. See your workout with all the confidence that you can muster. This is an excellent opportunity to stand in the face of adversity and get comfortable. You are in control.
When the WOD starts, initiate with controlled deliberate movements. Everything needs to be as perfect as possible. Slow pacing with excellent movement patterns trumps speed. Personally, I like to try and work at about 80% capacity. Now this percentage is a moving target. I may start relatively slow at around 65%. As the round continues, my capacity to work decreases while my fatigue increases. As I start to fatigue and build up lactic acid, my body will start to redline and I will feel like I am at 100%. This is usually about the time I will be looking to break or finish a round or movement. It reminds me of trying to operate a temperamental engine.
In a WOD with planned rests, I will try to finish each round at 100% while still trying my hardest to maintain healthy body positions. And in almost every single WOD, I will try to find that point where I can sprint to the finish at absolute 100%. Again, all while avoiding poor body positions.
Remember to stay positive at all costs. Work to maintain a calm resolve. You are strong and powerful. You are in control. You have this! Now get in there and have some FUN!
5 Rounds for time
9 Front Squats (135/95)
9 Pull Ups
rest 90 seconds between rounds
Here is what I feel is my best example of working at my personal 80%. I stayed pretty well recovered throughout this WOD by moving slowly from station to station. I did lose a little focus on the last clean of the 3rd round and dumped the bar. Otherwise I was able to execute this WOD fairly close to my plan.
Clean and Jerk
9X1 at 90%
9X1 at 100%