CCF Max Aerobic Power WOD's - a "new" approach to increase your fitness!

CCF Max Aerobic Power WOD's - a "new" approach to increase your fitness!

10 October 2016

Max Aerobic Power, sounds pretty cool hey?

Well you will see it quite regularly in the CCF Programming over the next couple of months so I thought it could be good to explain Why we are doing these, and How I think you should approach them for best results.

Confusingly enough, the Max component of these WOD's are actually best described as a non max effort.. Instead, we aim to get the most total work done by pacing ourself with a speed prescription allowing us to finish with the most reps possibly done in the time frame of each WOD.

Each of these MAP-WOD's will have a "% Effort Prescription" which will be higher the shorter the parts of the WOD's are. And basically speaking this should make a lot of sense: we can go harder the shorter the WOD is right?
What we can't forget however is that the % description is meant to give you an indication of how hard you should go to be able to keep your speed throughout the entire block, and throughout all pieces of the WOD (see explanation below). So, if one round takes you 1 minute at your speed and the WOD is 3 minutes, then you should get 3 rounds on the dot in that block. 

Now what makes this a bit tricky in the beginning is also the fact that your speed should be the same in all blocks of a MAP WOD. So if you get 3 rounds in the first block, then you should be very close to or just above 3 rounds in the next block as well. 

The difference between minute 1 and minute 3 in a 3 minute block is that it is way harder to keep the same speed in the last minute, but if you have done your pacing right you should be able to do so.

Let me explain the %-effort prescriptions and the above might make more sense, 

  • Let's start with tomorrow's WOD, 4 sets of 3min AMRAP @ 90-95% Effort/1min REST:
    This WOD have 4 different couplets with reps that will allow you to go unbroken and hard, you should move between movements swiftly but not try to absolutely sprint the speed of each rep. 
  • Here's another example coming in a couple of weeks, 4 sets of 4min AMRAP @ 85-90% Effort/1min REST:
    The difference here is that the speed/effort prescription is slightly lower than in the 3 minute pieces. Once again we should be able to go unbroken, but if you think going from one movement to another without break will stop you from keeping this speed all the way through then you need to take a few breaths between each movement already from the start. 
  • And lastly, the longer version we have planned for you - 4 sets of 5min AMRAP @ 80-85% Effort/1min REST:
    Here we see an even lower speed/effort prescription and you have to be a bit careful with your pace from the start. 

What these all have in common is that they are not meant to be easy. Instead keeping your speed should be very hard in the last piece of each block, but doable, AND repeatable in the next block!

What they also have in common are a few really cool benefits:

  1. They build Fitness in a very cool way, by pacing your self the right way you will simply get the absolutely most reps done in the total working time = highest possible intensity across these WOD's = results.
  2. You will learn what is Your best pace in certain time domains, which can arguably be the best lesson you can learn as a CrossFitter. 
  3. You will get to practice a bunch of different movements in one WOD, which leads to an increased skill base. 
  4. They are fun, and instead of working for 20min in one type of WOD it's almost like you are doing 3-5 different WOD's in one big session!

One thing that is super important for this to happen is that you trust your coaches to set you up with the right version of each movement in these WOD's to create the "unbroken but not all out" kind of scenario for you.

How do we know this is working:

I used to do these a lot my self in my competitive CrossFit "career" and can without a doubt say that they helped me a lot in becoming fairly good at this sport back in the days. I first found the concept from and have since studied and tested different variations throughout the years with great results. We have also had our competitive athletes do these with great success over the last couple of years and even more so lately, and now we have finally figured out a great way to get this type of training in to your classes as well!

Lastly, the reason why I chose to use Rich Froning as the poster boy for this post is simply because he is arguably the best example of someone who knows how to pace himself. At the CrossFit Games you almost never saw Rich go all out, he almost always started each WOD deliberately slow and then when the field starting to tire out he put in his highest gear and won. Even more remarkable is how that worked for his longevity, it's a well known fact that Rich always started the last day of competition at the Games from behind and somehow through his amazing capacity managed to win his titles by simply outlasting the rest of the field when they showed signs of fatigued after several days of competing.

And on top of that, Rich is probably known as the best moving CrossFit athlete of all times. Moving well and becoming a great athlete - coincidence? I think not.

"All Out? Nah you know, just doing some axle bar thrusters while checking out my hair on the big screen..". 

Besides that, if you have been following any of Rich Froning's training you will also see that he have used these type of workouts and "non all-out efforts" in his own training over the years and that have clearly worked quite well... 

I'm super excited to see these type of WOD's becoming a favourite among you, our CCF members, and would love to get your feedback on them when you get a chance. 

Coach Chris