In Athletes, Videos

January 15, 2011

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, the competitors discuss the importance of recovery from day-to-day workouts and multiple workouts on the same day. The topic fuels some heated debate among the athletes.

“I think most people don’t have a clue how to listen to their body,” Chris Spealler says. According to him, his wrestling background has given him a keen sense of his own ability and recovery needs. “I don’t look at it as like I need to be exposed to all these workouts and just wear myself out. I know my body well enough that I know how I should feel every second of that workout.”

The debate continues over whether the stimulus of failure during a workout can improve overall work capacity, and the athletes talk about how they can test that stimulus. The athletes also discuss when to put their bodies to the test.

“It’s learning how to manage work and rest. That’s a huge part of CrossFit,” Spealler says.

14min 58sec

Additional reading: Rest and Recovery in Interval-Based Exercise by Tony Leyland, published April 1, 2007.

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37 Comments on “Roundtable in Tahoe: Managing Work, Rest and Intensity”

1

wrote …

And that's why Dave Castro isn't a high-level coach or athlete... Not to take anything away from him... But, what Spealler talks about, knowing when to take your foot off the pedal, is absolutely key to high-level performances. Most athletes, even high-level ones, don't have a clue how to do this. This is where a good coach comes in. Charlie Francis is one of those that comes to mind. Or Ian King. They both have been quoted saying that in 90% of cases, with their high-level athletes, they have to hold them down, not motivate or push them. This is why training, for some of the best on-the-field practitioners, is considered art as much (if not more) than science. You can use all the studies and knowledge in the world and apply it in the seemingly best periodization scheme ever yet, if you don't listen to the body talk, you'll always be a step behind...

2

wrote …

^^agree with you

3

wrote …

Acknowledging the quote from Coach that athletes don't listen to their bodies when it's telling them to stop, that works to a certain extent. It's obvious that Spealler is comfortable working in the zone of discomfort. His results speak for themselves. CrossFit challenges us mentally sometimes more so than physically. However, finding that balance between what works and what is detrimental is key to proper training. On a side note,to word it as nicely as I possibly can, Castro just seems like a really unpleasant person in every video he is in. Especially this series.

4

wrote …

Eric,

It looks to me that Dave doesn't like to see "high level" athletes argue their own limitations.

Have you heard the statement, "argue your limitations and sure enough they're YOURS" ?

Don't be so quick to judge. Dave has been around more "high level" athletes then anybody I know in the community. I see his comments as encouraging and having belief that Spealler still has more potential, if SPEALLER is willing to push into the UNKNOWN,


ALL GREAT COACHES KNOW THAT THE ANSWER IS IN THE UNKNOWN.

The winner of the games will not be able to "game" all the workouts. The champ will have to goto the UNKNOWN.

sevan

5

wrote …

Eric...bingo. 100% agree.

6

wrote …

We call that limit the 'Gates of Hell.' No one is going to walk through the Gates and get more than a rep or two before they are burned to a crisp.

At my Level 1 cert, I was gratified to see Spealler stop and suck air now and then in his lunchtime WOD. 'Spealler has Gates,' I e-mailed my friends. 'They're a lot longer off than any of ours, but he's got them.' Seeing that he's human was reassuring.

Game it on the feeling, not the numbers, I have to keep in mind.

7

wrote …

Spealler's comment about it being irresponsible is spot on. The bottom line is that we are all human and we have physical limitations, period. I do believe most fail mentally way before they fail physically but you have to know the guys/gals in that room are walking the tight rope and it is very possible to reach that "hard" stopping point physically.

When you walk that line, the cost/benefit ratio really gets scary. How much does your risk for injury, adrenal fatigue, etc. increase?

Spealler is also right that most don't know how to listen to their body either. Your mind screams, "THIS WORKOUT REALLY HURTS! YOU SHOULD SLOW DOWN". Your body whispers, "something isn't quite right today". Frankly the body is easier to ignore.

8

wrote …

Great conversation. I don't see Dave Castro as unpleasant. He seems to me to be passionate and not scared to tell anyone how he feels. I admire his conviction and honesty. Love this series.

9

wrote …

Spealler, pound for pound, is easily the best crossfitter known to us right now. It would seem more apropriate to study his ways of training and start applying them. He has been doing this or this type of work for a long time, he has probably pushed past that "threashold" more than all of us combined, what he was saying was that being able to maintain at one level short of "The Gates" for a longer period of time ultimately pushed him and his fitness FURTHER than just rushing to the crash zone and being done. In his workouts he sustains at a pain level the is past most of ours crash level. I would be more interested to hear the question, or an entire series for that matter, on how a 5 foot nothing 138 pound guy continues to compete with and beat the best crossfitters in the world, consistantly. Who could you say has done more with what they have? It seems to me that that points to his training as being smarter and better than anyone we know right now in the community.

10

wrote …

I think some are taking for granted the "feeling" that spealler is talking about. It isn't "oh this is hard, or i'm out of breath, I should slow down and do the best I can." This guy is pushing to the brink of physiological break down. His mental acumen is such that it allows him to push well past what we fail at and go to the point of complete shut down. The difference between that and Khalipa is that Spealler will back off slightly at that point to allow for better performance. Where as Khalipa will push to utter failure. Both are supremely impressive, but I agree with his mentality for him as well as other elite athletes. As was stated earlier, most elite athletes do not have this awareness and will just keep pushing to failure. This will do more harm than good if that athlete in turn does not take the proper rest to fully recover. And as we know, many do not want to rest, but rather just want to keep going. This is when overtraining is a real possibility and can hinder performance.

I think he has such a high understanding of his body that he is fully aware of his physical state and manages that almost perfectly. This is one of the things that make him the best crossfitter, in my opinion.

11

wrote …

I'll bet Speal will squat more than Lipson after Lipson's 365 days of squatting runs him into the ground

12

wrote …

I think Dave was more or less just trying to stimulate conversation, but lipson, bro come on, wait to talk when we want advise on how to squat every day for a year, that would be the only thing in that room where you would be qualified to pass down nuggets of wisdom

13

wrote …

To start off, from the videos I have seen, it seems that Castro is someone who thinks innovatively and helps people by voicing those in a constructive manner. Basically I agree with Sevan's comment 100%

I do think there is merit to the idea that one should push past the limit in order to get a better at gaming where it is. However, I believe Spealler is pretty damn good at kowing that limit. Dave Lipson's comment about adaptation was very intriuging but if anything, I think the fact that Spealler works close to that limit so long helps his body push the limit back more so then exceeding it.

Lastly, I would like to say this may be on of my favorite journal videos ever

14

wrote …

Isn't the answer somewhere in determining if Chris Spealler is continuing to improve his performances based on his mindset? Maybe only Chris knows that answer.
I would have liked to hear Mikko's thoughts.

15

wrote …

Drinking game to this video:
You have to have a drink everytime one of the participants says "like" or "you know" and you have to guzzle your drink if they say, "like, you know".
...
I am not advocating binge drinking.. you could do it with your egg white, blue berry and flaxseed oil smoothie....

16

wrote …

The reason for the seemingly two-sided debate is because they are debating two different paradigms.

Spealer - THAT workout, (Games situations) least amount of time, or highest number of rounds.
Castro - Pushing yourself to failure on A particular workout for possible gains on a future workout.

Obviously there are physical/mental, science/art aspects of CrossFit. Knowing how to balance them is the ultimate goal. The science aspect shows us that when we push our bodies to physical and physiological failure, our body responds by becoming stronger. Doing this during some workouts will have the benefits as long as you know that on game day, you know your body well enough to manage your work, rest and intensity, the art.

That being said, maybe Spealer just looks at it as "a different workout" like he said.

17

wrote …

Just to clarify... I made a point of saying in my original comment that I didn't mean to take anything away from Dave and his contributions to the CF community, and I meant it. He knows and everyone else knows what these contributions are, and they are many... However, I still stand by what I said. I don't believe Dave is in a position to tell Speal that he isn't pushing it enough!?!?! Maybe he hasn't found all the right approaches yet, although I'm in no position to judge this (I heard that in recent years, for example, he biased his training towards strength and power, and the results speak for themselves...), but to say that he might be listening to his body "too much"... Hmmmmm. If anything, as another person posted, it's sparking an interesting conversation :)

18

wrote …

Does the conversation boil down to taking a workout until failure at every point possible (Khalipia like approach) vs. pacing yourself (Spealer like approach)? I think the more trained or the more you understand your body the closer these 2 methods become. On a 1-10 scale, for the average trainee maybe going to failure in "intensity" gets me a 7 out of 10 and just hovering out of failure to keep going I'm at a 4 or 5. I think these Elite Crossfitters hover around 9-10 for failure methods and probably 7 or 8 for pacing methods. Both are relatively high levels of intensity, but which is better for creating the long term fitness/training stimulus?

Obviously, a pacing method is better for a workout in a competition that has a long duration. But does a pacing method create a better training stimulus than a failure stimulus? The answer might be both. If you choose to go 100% as often as you can, then you might have to change other elements of your programming--more time off, less frequent workouts to avoid overtraining. If you choose a pacing like method, you have to make sure you don't just stay in a comfort zone and avoid a training stimulus response.

Complicate this by the stresses outside of your training--work, children, adqeuate sleep, getting sick can make it very difficult to figure out when to push and when to cruise. Hence, listening to your body seems very important, but how do you master that skill? I guess thats' why they are asking Spealer.

19

wrote …

I'm not sure you can argue with speals training with the results that it has produced, escpecially if you weigh the volume of it to other competitors (not that I have an exact idea of volume comparison but I believe he said in videos on the journal and mainsite that he doesn't do multiple wods anywhere close to the same level that someone like Rich Froning does). I think wrestling has given him a distinct advantage in knowing his body and his angle as a crossfit games competitor has taught him that learning how to utlilize work/rest to maximize work capacity seems more important than just dismantling himself in a workout.

Dave Castro has solid points also that sometimes you have to go to that place that is way past submaximal failure and recovery; you have to go to failure to create new boundaries, but at the same time I think speal understands that he doesn't need to go there as often. That ultimately recovery within a workout and after a workout is more important than the trashing of the physical/mental state in a balls to the wall workout. It is a fine line and that is also why the 3on/1off structure of crossfit isn't 3 "destroy yourself at any cost" wods every cycle.

20

wrote …

100% agree with Castro and Lipson here.

if a guy trains at going BALLS OUT, then he will get better at going BALLS OUT. if this guy is training this way often then with each training session his body makes ADAPTATION and can handle just a little bit more before gassing out thus bringing his threshold up just that little bit.

if I run a 400 and wait until the last 100 to go balls out, I will probably have a better time than if I run a 400 where I sprint from the starting line and gas out by 200. but, if I train going balls out from the start line every time, eventually my body will adapt and it wont gas at the 200 mark but maybe the 300 mark. eventually, my body will adapt to where I don't gas out until the 400 mark.

"gaming it" definitely has is place especially on game day, but sometimes you have to put away the stopwatch and just go for it balls out and demand more of your body to bring up your threshold thus giving you a higher threshold for game day.

21

wrote …

I think a comparison to the kipping pullup is in order here.

The kipping pullup is valuable because it allows you to do more work in a shorter time, e.g. Spealler method. This generally allows for a greater increase in work capacity than strict pullups, but

Strict pullups are valuable because they push your strength threshold, e.g. lipson, castro method.

Speal himself says that he does push to absolute failure sometimes, and strict pullups are programmed once in a while. Like Louis Simmons said yesterday in regards to strength and power, you have to balance the two as they develop. Just improving work capacity or just improving threshold strength does not seem to be as valuable as increasing the two together. I think Speal is so good at CF because his work capacity seems to be closer to his absolute strength limit than most others.

22

wrote …

First, I don't know why anyone is taking pot shots at anyone in Tahoe. Dave Castro has always presented himself as an honest and straight up dude, and Lipson is doing something that will most likely hinder his training in the name of a good cause. I don't think Lipson is squatting everyday because he thinks it's good programming. And from the few numbers/videos posted on .com, it looks like he is increasing his work capacity while squatting 365!

Second, I don't think that Speal and Castro were that much in disagreement. Speal said he does "sprint" in WODs such as tabata intervals, so I wouldn't say Chris is avoiding that component. I think everyone also missed the fact that Chris said this becomes a recovery factor, not just for that workout, but for the next day and the next day. Like Mikko said in the "1000 burpee" vid, it's not a good idea. Why? Because it hurt his ability to effectively train in the following days. I'm not going to knock the "sprint" methodology, but I think from an empirical view you have to look at what is increasing work capacity? It's clearly accepted in the room that "sprinting" is not going to increase power output for that WOD, so it seems the goal should be "gaming" as it is called, with the idea being maximum power output. If power output is increasing, than the body is being exposed to a "new" stimulus, and therefore with proper rest and nutrition, fitness is improving. That sounds like a better CFer to me.

Third, I think part of what Castro was doing was to stoke the flames for Chris. You know Chris was thinking about that conversation next WOD. If anything, we know it's always good to question what you're doing, which I think was another of Castro's points.

23

replied to comment from Juan Garcia

Its the difference between theory and practice. They are, and you are throwing theory at a guy who has tested and practiced every angle of working out. You're talking like Speal has never tested and pushed his limits on a WOD. How hard is it to see that Speal is the best trained athlete in Crossfit. Here's a thought, Speal, how about you start training like Khalipia, (who trains like you guys are talking about, head to the crash zone as quick as possible, and yet he still consitantly crashes way before Spealler does in WOD's) thats sounds like a great idea.

I think whats missing here is that Spealler has gone "there" more than anyone, he pushes harder and longer than anyone. I personally think its easier to just rush to failure and crash, it takes far more will, mental toughness and physical output to sustain at a 9 for longer period of time, live in that pain and deal with it. Its harder to do that without question. So if you see it for what it is, than Lipson's statement/question would sound more like this, "since your training has put you in a position to dominate this community, why don't you train in a way that doesn't push your fitness as far, which will ultimately make you not as fit?"

""gaming it" definitely has is place especially on game day, but sometimes you have to put away the stopwatch and just go for it balls out and demand more of your body to bring up your threshold thus giving you a higher threshold for game day."

Noboddy demands more from their body than Speal does, I think you missed completely what Speal was trying to say.

It seems like Dave was originally talking about being a coach in your box and teaching people not to stop when they think they want to, thats legit but a completely different conversation than looking at how Speal trains, he doesn't need to be taught about the dark place, or pushing to failure or breaking his limits, Speal has already done those things more than any of us, thats what he was saying, he knows his body, he knows those places and he knows how to utilize all those levels to push his limits.

Maybe its just me, but its hilarious watching Lipson try to give Spealler Crossfit advice.


24

wrote …

Very annoying conversation to watch. Could only make it half-way through. The argument was circular with no new input and Castro┬┤s devils advocate argument does not appear to be based on any evidence. Humans do have limits. Spealer does go all out and appears to be one of those people who push themselves more than some coach or peer can. I know that on many workouts I push myself more than any other external voice can push me.

25

Darren Coughlan wrote …

Great Video,

I agree with Castro on all points. On bodyweight Spealler is the best CrossFitter out there.

This discussion also highlights a flaw for alot of elite performers; They programme/Coach themselves. If Spealler had a coach to be answerable to he would undoubtably improve. And that would be scary!


26

replied to comment from Jesse Gilge

Jesse - I definitely agree.

27

wrote …

Great comments, and I agree with Sevan. Some questions arose though.

First, I wonder if Speal has changed or experimented with his training at all after these discussions? And if so what were the results?

Second, has Coach Glassman found any flaws in his initial theories due to some of these high level athletes training regimes and/or performances several years after their development?

It would be great to get some feedback from the sources on these.

JR

28

wrote …

"The greatest adaptation in CrossFit takes place between the ears." -Coach
Spealler is a great CrossFitter. He's been training in this realm for a long time. Yes he can push himself to boundaries beyond comfort or effective training levels. But how many games has he won? Maybe, like Dave was insinuating, that if Spealler would take certain workouts past his mental threshold and leave it all out there, then maybe it would result in even better numbers.
Of course you don't train like that all the time. But in this sport where you can only continue to get better, why not once in a while.
The human body can take more abuse then most people think. That's why you need to train to ignore the mind, everyonce in a while, and push to reach new limits. Dave is on to something. And Great Coaches say it all the time to their athletes.
Anyone ever hear your coach tell you to "reach deep down .." "find that fire", something to inspire the athlete to give it their "all".
Don't try to over analyze the video, just think, next time you are sucking wind, you have 1 round to go, and think you pushed yourself to the limit, Quiet the mind and push a little harder.
-this was not a stab at Spealler's games performace, I personally think the man is a great person and athlete.

29

wrote …

I'm also wondering if an important part of the conversation would also be to extend the view past the end of the workout or competition, and into your everyday life 10, 20 years down the road. I'm by no means over the hill, but even at 37 I find myself wishing I had listened to my body a bit more in my early twenties. Just a thought.

30

wrote …

I don't know if it's absolutely necessary to go into that "balls to the wall" area too often if you are training at the upper levels aka competing at the games like chris spealler. For instance in the book "The Science and Practice of Strength Training" which Louie Simmons recommends and references in his latest video they differentiate between Maximum Competition Force and Maximum Training Force. It is in reference to olympic and power lifting but I think it applies here a bit. Basically the Maximum Training Force (90 percent of Maximum Competition Force +/- a few percentage points depending on the athlete) determines the weights used in training. Rarely does the athlete venture into the MCF area. The stress of the MCF is more of a detriment than a benefit to the athlete (Louie Simmons prior to his injuries could be an example of this).

For someone that knows their body, like top level elite athletes, going from that 90 percent effort range to competition level performance wouldn't be that much of a stretch. Likewise, the ability to maintain at a 90 percent clip for extend periods or multiple workouts may be of more importance to a top level athlete than just crushing one workout and hoping they recover for the next workout. Repeated efforts at 90 percent say would be better than one at 100 percent, one at 90, one at 80, one at 70, etc. Speal demonstrates the ability to perform at a high level continously which is a testament to his training approach.

31

wrote …

Managing work, rest and intensity is short sighted if you just look at the WOD, looking beyond that to the next workout is just as important, whether it's in the next hour or tomorrow. AMRAP or for time, the goal is to do the work as fast as possible, but like Spealler was trying to explain, there comes a point where you know that completing round 3 of a five round workout unbroken isn't going to do you any favors in round five, or burning out in min 10 of a 20 min AMRAP isn't going to help you get more rounds done. Knowing that boundary and being able to walk that knife edge is what it's all about. By the same token, completely killing yourself in a workout and not being able to push hard for a few days while you recover isn't optimizing your training. I've hit the wall before on day 3 and decided that some skill work and quality time with the foam roller would be way more beneficial than a WOD, and sometimes that's a hard decision to make when your addicted to leaving the gym in a sweaty heap.

32

wrote …

Leah and Jesse -

Both Dave's are extremely knowledgable and experienced coaches. Are they better CrossFitters than Chris? No. Do they claim to be? No. Is that the question at hand? No. Please note the comments made by both Dave's regarding Chris' ability to push harder at 'certain' times - this is not in comparison to other CrossFitters. It is not relative to other elite CrossFitters, but rather to himself. Castro begs the question "do you really know?" And given his Navy Seal background, who better to pose that question than him. You want to talk about mental toughness and going to the dark place, I think its pretty safe to say he qualifies in throwing that issue out there. Dave Lipson's ability to squat over 455lbs everyday (for melanoma) and still put up good numbers in metcons at a body weight of 210-225 (on a bad day) is pretty impressive. Hold your breath with negative comments about this guy, he has more in his tank than you think.

The ability to coach an athlete to higher levels is not solely based on how great of an athlete you yourself are. Yes, it helps to have that experience but it is not the only variable.

Great conversation. Thanks, guys.

- D.

33

wrote …

#22 daniel and #23

You said it correctly. And I'll add that Castro actually DERAILED the discussion from Managing Work/Rest/Intensity, to "I think you could push yourself harder if you wanted to" (to Spealler). Castro posed a question, Chris answered, then Castro went off tangentially on a 'mental limit' sideline.
Again, refer to comments of #22,23. And I think Pat was the only one in the room who got it. Maybe he should be moderating?

Oh, and #13, "Castro is someone who thinks innovatively and helps people by voicing those in a constructive manner." Voicing those, huh? Voicing what? Ideas? Then say so.

34

replied to comment from Denise Thomas

Dave Lipson is not an "extremely knowledgable and expierenced coach", and in all the Wods he's done on video that have been posted, I dont think he's done a single one that is legit in range of motion. He has absolutely no place to say a single word to Chris, or anyone else in that room, about how they go about training, unless someone specifically asked him about squating heavy. He'squats a lot of weight and is a really strong guy, he's doing a great cause with his 360 days of squating, and seems to be a good guy, that doesn't change the fact that he has no place to give advice on Crossfit to anyone in that room much less Chris. That's not a "negative comment", that just a fact, you can take that however you want. Castro I think was playing devils advocate to get conversation going.

35

replied to comment from Juan Garcia

As a former track athlete, I couldn't let this slide. You do not become faster from simply running "balls out" day in and day out. Sure, high intensity workouts are important, but not the cornerstone of a program.


http://www.dyestatcal.com/ATHLETICS/TRACK/2005/c_hart.pdf


This is an article about coach Clyde Hart of Baylor University, aka the 400m guru. He has trained countless star 400m runners (Michael Johnson, Jeremy Wariner) by training SLOW. Not necessarily related directly to crossfit, but interesting nonetheless.


As far as the article goes, I'm glad Spealler advocates "listening to your body". I would much rather "game" a WOD today and workout tomorrow than go nuts today and be out 4-5 days.


Someone also asked what Mikko may have thought about the conversation. Here is a recent video of Mikko talking about his 1000 burpee workout. Not directly related to the conversation, but provides some insight nonetheless.


http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFit_MikkoOn1000Burpees.wmv


Sure it was a crazy workout, and he now knows what it feels like to do 1000 burpees. But what was the opportunity cost? 2-3 days of good, solid workouts? Not worth it in my opinion.

36

wrote …

From the conversation in the video, as well as the comments above, I think that we can surmise a few things about how many of us should train.

In the video, we basically see two extremes. The Chris Spealler method, which is to avoid pushing past his personal limit on almost every workout, whether training or during the games.

Then we have the Khalipa method which is to throw all your chips on the table and hope for the best. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't.

Chris Spealler, however, is unique compared to the other athletes in the room. As an athlete who has participated in a high intensity, contact sport all his life- he has had PLENTY of time to find out where exactly is limit is. Because of that, he can come closer to his limits without crossing the boundary better than anyone else. This may also be the reason why he doesn't have the same volume of work as many of the other top crossfit athletes. He simply knows how his body should feel regardless of the workout presented to him because of his experience.

I think most people here would agree that the way Khalipa approaches his WODs are not conducive to the Crossfit Games. Is he a phenomenal athlete? yes. Could he better if he was less reckless? I think so. Anyone who has watched the games has seem him burnout.

Neither philosophy bodes well for most non-elite crossfitters, and even for many of the top crossfitters.

I think the moderate strategy, one which Graham Holmberg seems to follow, is to push yourself hard on workouts, but not having the specific goal of pushing yourself over the limit. The rest of us who don't know how to walk the line between pushing just enough or too much, need to find out how to do so by trial and error. When we approach our workouts, we shouldn't necessarily try to go all out and over the edge. Instead, our goal should be to push ourselves very hard, trying to finish our workout in the fastest, most efficient way.

In the course of doing so, if we push ourselves too far we can learn from it. We gain a better sense of what our limit is and what our body can do. In the process, maybe we grow physically and mentally and increase our capacity for the next WOD. If we completed a workout feeling as if we gave maximum effort without wiping ourselves out, even better. Over time, we'll gain a better sense of what our bodies can accomplish and what we can achieve without burning out.

I say that Graham follows this philosophy because he seemed to be a bit in awe the way Khalipa pushed during his workouts. At the same time he disagreed with Spealler when he stated that he never pushed past his limit during a workout. I think it might be safe to surmise that Graham doesn't necessarily try to burn out during his workouts, but has no qualms with doing so.

I think this philosophy would be beneficial to many of the athletes in the Crossfit community, allowing the rest of us non-elite crossfitters to discover exactly what we're capable of.

37

wrote …

Hilarious watching Castro try to "call bullshit" on Spealler. Castro should be asking Spealler to share some of his training insight, not rip on him as if he doesn't know how to push himself and outright suggest he's making training mistakes. That was annoying and ridiculous.

@juangarcia....That argument about the 400m just does not fly. Anyone who actually knows training will tell you how silly that would be. That's no way to train. Might make you feel like you're a bad-ass, but you will lose.

The word "gaming" is being used throughout this discussion in a negative connotation, as if it is somehow equivalent to some kind of shortcut. Smart training is training that increases work capacity. CrossFit is empirically based fitness, remember? We do what we do because it works. We do workouts across broad time and modal domains, because it works. Let's take a look at those who are at the pinnacle of their game, and ask how they got there, and then imitate it, or reproduce it, not make some silly attempt to appear wiser by suggesting that they could do better. Some workouts that are relatively short, are essentially "balls out." These have their place. But if you have a longer duration in front of you, then you must find a way to "manage" the work output, so that you hover near the crash zone, without actually crashing. If ultimately I do more work than you, how can you argue that your method is better, when you are out of gas and dead after one round?

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