If you want to increase your performance in any way, be it strength, endurance or sheer size, then “progressive overload” is king. Simply put, it does more, more often. Everything from putting more weight on the bar to reducing seconds in a workout, or doing more reps in the same timeframe when it counts, is increasingly our goal.
Having a handful of benchmark workouts that you repeat on a regular basis is a surefire way to track your progress and set goals that can be forgotten in your pursuit of profit. And nobody does benchmark workouts like CrossFit. ‘The Girls’ are a series of workouts designed to test you in a wide range of strengths and abilities. In fact, having some of the girls rotating heavily is a reliable quick way to fitness.
My personal favorite is “Grace”. Simple and somber, you will load a bar and lock it 30 times from the ground. You will tackle it with a handy twist: every time you let go of the bar, you will receive a 10 burpee penalty. Not just your burpee for the garden. With each rep, you’ll jump sideways over the top of the bar, which will make the height of your jumps and the quality of your reps to a certain extent.
Before charging your bar, chalk your hands and take off your t-shirt preventively, read my professional recommendations for training, then find the full session below. Do our best to Grace, don’t you?
CHOOSE YOUR POISON
The Rx weight (Latin for “as prescribed” or CrossFit Chat for “standard”) for Grace is 60 kg for men. But unless you’re an aspiring competitive crossfitter, that number is pretty arbitrary. At its core, this is a sprint workout, so you don’t want to load up your three max reps and grind through a hundred burpees, but then again, if you shed the weight and can get all the repetitions non-stop, you have beaten the goal of the workout and have likely under-sold yourself . Aim for a weight that you can safely get through the first ten reps. Thereafter? Hold on as long as you can …
This is where that burpee twist gets interesting. If you try this workout you will find that you have two main options. Both have their merits, but like a seafood pizza from a two-star kebab establishment, they also have their risks. You could break the reps into bite-sized pieces from the start to avoid fatigue at the expense of more burpees than you might otherwise be able to do. The danger here is to increase the length of the workout and be forced to slow down and catch your breath and book yourself extra time in the pain cavity. Your second option is to press hard with your presses and avoid those burpees at all costs that destroy the legs and lungs. The danger? If you fail with the barbell too soon, you may find that you can’t recover quickly enough, leaving you with triples, doubles, and maybe even heartbreaking singles. This will cost you a lot of burpees.
BREATHE IT IN
There’s no doubt about it: this one is gaseous. If you want to keep a pace at which you can complete minimal burpees in a respectable amount of time, then oscillating between strained breath and panic hyperventilating is not a strategy I would recommend. Being mindful of your breathing is the low hanging fruit of increased performance. As you do your barbell work, remember to synchronize your breathing with your repetitions, take a nice big breath before your first pull off the floor, tighten your core, and let the air out as you push overhead. If you get tired, consider adding an extra exhale / inhale as the bar lands on your chest to help expel more carbon dioxide. With your burpees, take into account the fact that your chest hitting the floor is likely to beat the wind out of you anyway. Use this to your advantage: try to breathe in deeply while still on your feet, and then let it fall – the deck naturally provokes the exhale.
1) Clean and press barbellsx 30
Once your barbell is loaded, put your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the bar just above the center of the laces. Fold down with a light band in the knees with a flat back and grasp the bar with an overhand grip just outside the knees (A). Dig your feet in the ground and create tension all over your body, stand up explosively, use the momentum to pull the bar up before diving in and twisting your wrists to “catch the bar high on your chest.” “. (B). Inhale deeply and bend your knees, diving down to draw strength from your lower body before going back up and pushing the bar overhead (C). Under control, lower the bar to your chest and then to the floor. Go through this. You don’t want to let go of the rod, but if you fling the rod from floor to ceiling you either went to the light or you are in the red and seriously risk burnout.
2) Burpee over bar x 10 every time you drop that bar
Once you let go of the bar, rotate your body ninety degrees so that the bar is by your side. Take a deep breath and drop into a push-up position, then directly on the floor. (A) When your chest hits the floor, exhale. Jump your feet back towards your chest before explosively standing up and throwing yourself sideways over the barbell (B). Once you land on the other side, stand up straight, open your chest, and take a deep breath before repeating.
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