Memorial Day weekend is a very special weekend in the CrossFit community. It’s a weekend where almost all CrossFit gyms program the CrossFit Hero Workout Murph, in honor of Lt. Michael Murphy, who died protecting our freedom.
The CrossFit Hero Workout Murph is:
Run 1 mile
100 pull ups
200 push ups
300 air squats
Run 1 mile
Wearing a weight vest (20 lbs men, 14 lbs women)
It’s a test of endurance and mental fortitude.
This year was the first year I did it alone at home. I did it early in the morning before it got hot, and it felt special being alone, as if it meant more to honor Murph’s sacrifice for us.
This is one of my all time favorite workouts. It was the first one I ever did when I first took a CrossFit class, and I still remember how I couldn’t move afterwards. I’ve done Murph now a dozen times and will do it again probably another dozen. It never gets old; it’s always challenging; it’s the least we can do to honor such a hero.
Two days ago, I did a CrossFit Hero Workout called Coe, a seemingly simple CrossFit WOD from looking at it:
Ten rounds of
10 thrusters at 65 lbs for women (95 for men)
10 ring push-ups
I finished in under 20 minutes, which is short for a CrossFit Hero Workout and didn’t think much about it — until the next day when every time I went to lift my arms over my head, it hurt.
That same day, I decided to do Flight Simulator, a Crossfit Notable workout that involves jumping a bazillion double unders. I didn’t think much about this either — until the next day and my right calf was seized up again.
Incredibly, this didn’t bother me. What bothered me was the next day when my shoulders were still sore and my right calf was even worse. It was at this moment I got completely fed up.
I can’t run. I can’t jump. And I can’t do a bazillion reps without thinking about it first. This is what is bothering me. Everything I do from now on has to be strategically planned. God, this sucks.
This week I posted on how frustrated I was with working out and then being too sore or too tired to do anything else. Well, I’ve decided it’s time to pivot my strategy after reading this article.
TAKING REST DAYS IN CROSSFIT
At the beginning of the year, I thought I needed to workout more, to push my body more in order to see the results I want to see. Well, for five months now, it hasn’t been working. I’m stronger mentally (which is important), but it’s not my primary goal.
Hence, I’ve decided to cut my workouts and take more rest days and try that for 5 months and see where that gets me. So I’m quitting HIIT workouts because, although I love them, I’m always physically exhausted afterwards, which is not why you workout.
You work out to have more energy to do the things you want to do, not the opposite.
And I’m adding in a rest day in my CrossFit routine in the middle of the week. For the last couple of months, it’s been challenging to do the whole week so I’m hoping to improve on this as well. I’m hoping to give my body and my brain the rest it needs.
In our last blog post, we talked about ignoring time caps so you can get to the part of the workout you want — the heavier weight part.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss how and why you should not let the clock rule.
BEATING THE CLOCK IN CROSSFIT
Many people get caught up on time in CrossFit. Many CrossFit gyms do as well. You’re always pushing yourself to “beat the clock.” But why?
One reason is because you’ll work harder and get more interval type training when you race the clock down. And there is a time and place of this. However, there also is a time when you ignore the clock and do your own thing.
When you’re not worried about the clock, you go at your own pace. You do the work how you want to do the work. You don’t care how long it takes as long as it gets done. You take short breaks when you need to. You go until you finish.
For me, this is how I work out most of the time. I go at my own pace. I break when I need to break. I don’t stop because it’s been 20 minutes. I go until my body says it’s time to quit. I don’t care what the clock says.
If I want to push myself, I’ll attend a CrossFit class. But mainly I push myself in CrossFit competitions or the CrossFit Open. That’s about it.
I think more people would try CrossFit and do CrossFit if they didn’t have some kind of standard to live up to, say doing 5 rounds in 10 minutes.
Try working out without worrying about the clock. See if you’re more motivated.
I remember a few years ago when I first started CrossFit that I would get frustrated when I got time capped. Some CrossFit boxes are particular about this and become upset if you keep working out after time is called. That would just annoy me.
CrossFit and Time Caps
Being time capped in a CrossFit WOD was particularly irksome when it was one that climbed in weight, and I wouldn’t get a chance to try the heavier weight.
Today was one of those CrossFit workouts where the weight climbed, but today (like most of my workouts), I ignored the time cap. I got to do the heavier weight (in today’s example, it was thrusters), and I got to do a bunch of them.
Then I realized something: I’ve gotten stronger since last year because I’ve done heavier weights more frequently because I never time cap myself. I just do the workout until it’s done or keep going because I like the challenge and the rush.
It’s a shame CrossFit classes have to time cap because of the limited time they have. Try to workout more by yourself with no time cap, and you’ll see results, guaranteed.
Enter another dilemma to working out that many face — you’re too sore to go and do the things you want to do.
In part one of this blog series, we discussed how the reasons to workout are overblown because you are so tired after your workout session that you don’t want to go and do anything else. Here, it’s a very similar situation.
For me, I’m sore all the time. My muscles are tight, even after a massage. And there are days where it’s hard or even painful to move. Recently, I’ve been wondering what it’s like to not feel like this all the time. Is this worth it? I keep asking myself. Lately, I’ve begin to question my workout routine.
THE NEED TO CHANGE IT UP
As I’m experimenting with different workout routines, I’m still trying to find the right balance between being physically fit and being too sore to enjoy my physical fitness. I’m trying a new strategy: more rest days.
Instead of busting my ass 6 days a week, I’m going to cut that down to 5 whereby I do nothing at all on those 2 days and then do active recovery on the days I’m spent.