Thursday, September 1, 2011

Obsession with EPICNESS

Do you have an obsession with epic workouts? I'm guessing that as a CrossFitter, you probably do. I just saw a video of a CrossFitter in Scottsdale do 1000 pull ups and 1000 push ups for time. It took him over 4 hours to do it. 2009 CrossFit Games champion Mikko Salo did 1000 burpees in 82 minutes.

I suppose feats of strength/endurance/etc. have been occurring throughout history. From Wikipedia, Jack Lalanne in 1957 (age 43) swam the Golden Gate channel while towing a 2,500-pound (1,100 kg; 180 st) cabin cruiser. The swift ocean currents turned this one-mile (1.6 km) swim into a swimming distance of 6.5 miles (10.5 km). Dean Karnazes ran across America in 75 days, totaling over 3,000 miles and averaging 40-50 miles per day. Diana Nyad swam 102 miles at age 30 in 1979. And the list goes on.

There's something appealing to ridiculous workouts whether it's the work itself or explaining to people you just did 100 pull ups, 100 push ups, 100 situps, and 100 squats for time and watching their jaw drop. To those seasoned CrossFitters, you know this workout as "Angie" and for some of you, it's not even that epic.

It's easy to get caught up in the EPICness of these workouts, but also realize the importance of BORING workouts. By that I mean 5x5 back squats, 7x1 shoulder press, 400m sprints, etc. Yes, some of you might like these movements over others, but at the end of the day they don't get as much glamour as those epic metcons. I think it's important to focus on a solid foundation, especially when it comes to strength. A lot of the athletes who do these major EPIC workouts already have a great strength and cardio background. (plus they're usually genetic outliers) Just because you see a video of a guy doing 1000 handstand push ups doesn't mean you should try it.

Know your limitations, and every once in awhile, go for one of the hero workouts or longer metcons. But the majority of your time should be spent getting strong and building a solid foundation, not killing yourself every other day with muscle-wasting workouts.


  1. LOL. It's so easy to get caught up in our love of beating ourselves up it's good to be reminded of the importance of having a good foundation so we can a) go harder next time and b) not incur injuries.

  2. Couldn't agree more, P.Lentus. After you've been crossfitting for a while, you have to fish where the fish are to get your continued gains and PRs. Are you going to run 400m THAT much faster, or are you going to speed through the deads and OHS faster because you're stronger? chasing the magic metcon dragon is fun sometimes, but continued progress requires attention to the fundamentals.


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