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Roundtable in Tahoe: Volume and Technique by Various - CrossFit Journal

In Athletes, Videos

December 29, 2010

Video Article

With some of CrossFit’s top athletes in Lake Tahoe, Calif., for the Rogue Vs. Again Faster Throwdown, it was a great opportunity to throw the athletes into a room and get them talking with the cameras rolling.

In this installment, Dave Lispon starts off the discussion by asking Rich Froning Jr. how much he works out.

“These top competitors, these guys who finished at the top last year, they’re all high-volume people. I mean they’re doing multiple, multiple workouts a day,” Lipson says.

Ben Bergeron of CrossFit New England says it’s a matter of “the 10,000 rule: 10,000 hours to master something.” This sparks some debate among the competitors.

Chris Spealler says his training regime is a result of his prior athletic background in wrestling, but he isn’t a high-volume athlete.

“I work out once a day until, like, eight weeks away from a competition, then I’ll start to do two-a-days, maybe three-a-days,” he says. “There’s no way that volume can sustain.”

The athletes then discuss whether it’s more practice or talent that takes competitors to the top. To Spealler, it’s not just the talent or the practice but the search for the most efficient movement that is “the art of CrossFit.”

“I think that’s mastery of your own abilities; it’s not a mastery of CrossFit the sport,” Pat Barber adds. “That’s what I think this 10,000 hours will give someone.”

8min 47sec

Additional audio: CrossFit Radio Episode 130 by Justin Judkins, published July 28, 2010.

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13 Comments on “Roundtable in Tahoe: Volume and Technique”


wrote …

This is a great video with some thought out insight. I gotta say I am jonesing for the Sealfit video part 2. I have been watching my computer clock and checking the journal all day for the new post.


wrote …

Great video! I loved all of those:) Thanks


wrote …

As I watch these videos I'm really starting to comprehend the difference between CrossFit the GPP workout program and CrossFit the sport.


wrote …

Love these roundtables!!!! I really like Barber's insights in vs CF Games training. I would like to see an interview with him on how he trains. I also think it would be a great insight to see what the tops dogs do from begining to end of a training session. How they warm-up/cool down, skill train and mobility train and for how long. This would be good information for new people too. Everyone that I have introduced to CF is always so eager to just jump into the WOD.


replied to comment from Matthew Willard

I'm with you on this one. I've been doing Crossfit on my own since about the summer after dropping my previous bodybuilding style of training of the past 20+ years. I generally pick a WOD that I think I can handle (normally scaled via Brand X) and that can be done in my globo gym without the risk of losing the spot to someone else who thinks the equipment is unoccupied. My times and strength numbers have consistently gotten better. However, there is no ring, rope climb or sand bag work. My warm-up normally consists of hip and shoulder mobility work I got from Kelly Starrett's posts in the Journal.

On occasion I may do a metcon after some strength work but mostly I do either a strength type workout (deadlift or squat)or a metcon type WOD (after my warm-up) and some jump rope work (no double-unders yet)if there is time permitting. I get to the gym later in the evening so lately I've just had time to warm up, work out and bounce. Since it's so late at night, I don't get the chance to practice any skill stuff like pistols, hand stand push-ups, L-sits or double-unders because I need to get home to eat. No real cool-down work either.

So I too would like to see a complete training session to get an idea of how much time I'd be spending in the gym. And to see if that is something I can work into my schedule. Being 7 months away from 50, I'm not looking to train with the type of volume that leads to competing. I'm just trying to stay in a good state of conditioning and take off some fat. So if I can scale a session accordingly, that would be great.


replied to comment from james darden

I dont think there is one correct answer to how you should train even when following mainsite. Do whats best for you given your current situation. Mix it up a bit, try different variations and different ways to train.
I usually warm up with the burgener warmup + standard CF warm up and add a few different movements to it. One day it can be pistols, the other it can be HSPU.
Then I do the MobilityWOD, its amazing, eod. Then I will do some heavy lifts and after 5-10min rest I will do a metcon with the same lift.
I usually do the mainsite wod and depending on what it is ill mix it up with my own lift or metcon. If its a heavy hero wod ill usually just do that.

A normal training session will take me 1-1½ hours, depending on how much warmup and Mobility ill do. That works for me...


wrote …

Always love these roundtables. Side note, anyone see the Nate posts for today? Kristan beat everyone at guys weight! Everyone, all the guys, all the girls....everyone. Thats just crazy, I am extremely jealous of all the people that get to work out with her, that has to be a great constant push to keep going.


wrote …

Pat Barber is the man.
He was one of my level one cert. instructors.
His character and attittude is infectious in the best way.


wrote …

spealler is looking so awesome these days. the extra muscle he's put on makes him look like an animal. if spealler was 5'8" to 5'10" in stead of his 5'5" he'd own even more than he already does. the fact that he competes at the level he does with these guys who are 5'10" to 6'0" who weigh between 185 and 200 is incredible.


wrote …

Great discussion, as always.

I am 42, just started RXing consistently and I am killing it... However, I am a long way from being competitive in the games. I did two-a-days for a couple of months and my metcon significantly improved, but strength flat-lined... When I returned to one-a-day the opposite occurred.

I would love to hear a "non-games" volume discussion. Please reply if you have some thoughts.


wrote …

I believe Holmberg is right on...the more you see, the more you do, the better prepared you are. One needs to be calculated in the volume of a workout, but if done right the benefits are undeniable.


wrote …

There was a bit in this where one of the guys said that there was the guy who was trying to squat snatch who "just didn't get it", and the other guy who said something like "this room is full of raw talent".

Fundamentally wrong thinking guys! The room was full of people who at some stage in their lives just didn't get the squat snatch.

OK so the guy you see "not getting" something is just a guy who hasn't yet acquired the movement skills to accomplish the task. If you want to get good at something you have to practice.


replied to comment from Duncan Beattie


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