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What to Want from Your WOD’s: 4 tips for setting crossfit goals

Just like paleo is more of a lifestyle overhaul than a diet, crossfit is more of a reinvention of your fitness standards just a type of workout to help you look good. That being recognized, setting goals for crossfit can be difficult because improving is more than just losing a certain number of pounds or gaining a particular percentage of muscle.

Here are some ways to change your fitness goals to better fit the crossfit life. (The examples are using numbers somewhat conducive to my own strength goals… mainly because I don’t do a very good job converting to similar guy goals. Sorry.)

No: I want a six-pack by summertime.
Yes: I want to have a 180 lb. back squat and be able to do 20 unbroken toes-to-bar by summertime.
Why? Because goals like a new PR for a power lift or an improved Fran time are going to get you a lot further in your crossfit journey than goals based on how you look. You can’t necessarily guarantee exactly how your body is going to change over a certain amount of time, so setting goals based on appearance might only serve to discourage you if you can’t obtain exactly what you want by your goal time. Besides, if you’re training properly and eating right, your body will get in line. Just give it time.

No: I’m going to get a 300-lb. deadlift by the end of the month.
Yes: I’m going to get a 300-lb. deadlift by the end of the year.
Why? It’s awesome to set big goals for yourself – but be realistic. If you’re at a 200 lb. deadlift today, you’re probably not going to make those kinds of gains in such a short amount of time. Set interim goals to make sure you’re working toward your big goal – 225 by three months, 250 by six, etc. Work hard, but be realistic about your gains and don’t injure yourself trying to get there too quickly.

No: I’m going to run a marathon, get a 300 lb. deadlift, and a 200-lb. back squat.
Yes: Uh… well, one or other, really.
Why? You should really set goals that are mutually agreeable. If your goals differ so greatly between the strength and endurance aspects, you probably won’t achieve any of them to the extent that you want. If running is important to you, maybe instead settle for a good 1-mile time while you are do your hard strength training. That way you won’t be upset that you’re not making the gains you want in both areas.

No: I’m really good at double-unders, so I’ll just do those every time I have free time at the box.
Yes: I really suck at handstand pushups, so I’m going to do those with my free time at the box.
Why? Don’t you hate those people who know they’re really good and something at the gym and that’s all they do? Like, that one bro who comes in and always does a million reps on the bench press, wipes his forehead, and leaves? Don’t be that guy. Spend a little time with the things you like and are good at – but devote extra time to your weak areas. Otherwise, you’ll end up cherry picking your workouts and only coming when the WOD has stuff you’re good at.

I hope this helps put into perspective the kinds of goals you should be setting for crossfit. If you have any additional advice, examples of goals that you’ve set and achieved, questions, concerns, or anything in between, please feel free to leave some comment love!

This Week’s WOD’s

Photo credit: Olivia Spry. 155 lb. back squat. Yay for a PR kind of week!

Photo credit: Olivia Spry. My 155 lb. back squat. Yay for it being a PR kind of week! (We couldn’t quite get the ass to grass picture, but I promise I don’t stop at parallel!!)

Wow, what a tough week. I feel like I’m always saying that… but really, this one might take the cake on the overall soreness factor. The heavy lifting has definitely roughed me up and my lungs have been doing some serious extra credit. Plus I look like I must have gotten into a fight by the bruises on my thighs, chest and upper back. Needless to say, I’m taking a much-needed rest day today! Here’s a breakdown of this week’s WOD’s.

Monday:

This WOD was designed to be 7 rounds for time of 35 double-unders and 3 power snatches. However, my class was too large for this (and it was way too cold to send people outside) so we did 7 rounds of each, every minute on the minute.

Every minute on the minute alternating w/ partner:
35 Double-unders
3 Power snatches
Result: Completed w/65 lb. snatch, mostly double-unders but some singles toward the end.

Tuesday:

Max rounds in 12 minutes – progressing by multiples of 3 (3, 6, 9, 12…):
Kettlebell swings (35 lb., 55 lb.)
Ab-mat situps
Burpees
Result: 18 Rounds + 12 extra kettlebell swings, Rx

Wednesday:

The impossible WOD! Apparently my coach thought we all needed some extra torture cause front squats don’t leave us winded enough…
Every 5 minutes for 15 minutes, for time:
Run 800 meters
Rest 5 minutes, then:

3 rounds for time:
10 Front squats (95, 135)
10 Push jerks, same weight
Result:
Times for each 800 m run: 3:27, 3:34, 3:28
FS/PJ time: 7:40 @ 75 lb.

Thursday:
30-20-10 Reps for time:
Hang power clean (95, 135)
Knees to elbows
Result: 13:36 @ 85 lb.

Friday:

Crossfit Total! Crossfit total is your number for the sum of your 1 rep max back squat + deadlift + shoulder press. This was the most fun thing we did this week, cause it’s really cool to use this as a benchmark to see how you’ve progressed. I was disappointed in my shoulder press because I only went up 5 pounds from the last time I did it, so that’ll be something for me to work on. However, I got new PR’s for my deadlift and back squat, so that’s exciting!

Result: 420 total.
Back squat: 155 lb.
Shoulder press: 70 lb.
Deadlift: 195 lb.

Overall, it’s been a great week. Unfortunately I didn’t have it in me today to do the ridiculous thruster/pullup/clean/pushup workout today. Five days in a row is a loooot of Crossfit, and this girl is pooped.

squat day

Amazing how much lighter it is in this position. If only we could stay here 🙂

On another note, stay tuned for some paleo recipes in the next post. I have a couple recommendations for things I’ve tried recently and liked, and I have a few friends who’ve started paleo in the past couple weeks and want to share what they’ve come up with. Have a great weekend and stay primal!