Smooth is Fast
Hey Vic City,
The goal in many of the class workouts is to get the fastest time possible - getting the set amount of work done the quickest. The mistake that people commonly make, is that to get the fastest time, you need to go as fast as you can from the start. If a workout lasts more than 3 minutes, then going as fast as possible from the start will not be sustainable and won't likely lead to your best score. Imagine sprinting as fast as you can on the Assault bike, you won't be able to hold that pace for very long. It is essentially the same thing in most of our other WODs, with just different movements.
Just this past week, a member completed the Row/Wallball workout with the strategy to go all out from the start. Since the duration of the workout was greater than seven minutes, sustainability at that pace wasn't possible. As the workout progressed in length, their speed started to slow considerably, and the transition time ballooned as well. The athlete was able to finish it, completely gased, with a good time. However, knowing that a better time was possible if a different strategy was implemented, they came back during Open Gym time, later in the week to try a different strategy. The result, about a 40 second improvement from the initial score.
What's the take away?
Going all out, in longer or even mid length WODs, isn't usually the ideal game plan. Smooth is fast. The smoother we are with our reps, usually the more efficient we are. The more efficient we are, the more energy we save for later in the workout.
I've attached a video of an old Open WOD, with Sam Briggs (former CrossFit Games champion, and currently winner of two CrossFit Sanctional events for the 2019 season). The workout has a lot of similarities to the first WOD in the class. Check out the points I've highlighted, and watch the video to see Sam Briggs in action (from 2014).
Things to watch in this video:
1. Smooth - doesn't panic or rush
2. Sets rope down each time to make it easier to grab each round
3. Uses least amount of energy needed for the snatches
4. Doesn't waste time with chalk
5. Hands stay relaxed on the double unders
6. Form really only starts to break down at the end
7. Speed increases as the WOD goes on
If the top score in the world can look like this, we can probably take some tips as we move into a very similar WOD.
Think about being smooth, and not to rush in either of these workouts. You have to move at a quick pace the whole time, but smooth is fast.
Part 1 - AMRAP 7
10 Power Snatch (55/75)
35 Double Unders
FG - 15 DU+40 Singles
TG - 35/45, Singles
-Rest 10 min-
Part 2 - AMRAP 7
3 Thrusters (65/100)
3 Chest to Bar Pull-ups
(continue to add 3 reps each round)
FG - Chin over bar Pull-ups
TG - 45/65, Jumping Pull-ups