Did your heart rate spike? Let’s back up.
So you’re in class and the coach is briefing you on the WOD, you’ve already picked a time on the board you want to beat and got your P.W.P. (pre-WOD-potty) out of the way. The 10 second countdown starts and it’s pedal to the metal! You finish, crawl over to the fan and whimper your time to whoever is listening to be recorded on the whiteboard.
We’ve all been here and this is an awesome feeling. But does this need to be an everyday thing? Will you make progress if you’re not always racing against the clock?
First, let’s talk about why we use the clock and it’s purpose. We believe that fitness is: increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains. Basically the ability to do a certain amount of work in as little time as possible (as safely and efficiently as possible, for all dem haters out there). Everyone in the gym wants to improve, they want to be stronger, get in better shape and be more capable to improve their quality of life and reach their goals. That my friends is why we measure and time our workouts. It lets us see if we are increasing our fitness and where we need to be better.
The clock is a really good thing but, just like anything it can become a bad thing. If you find that your palms get sweaty or you get the nervous poops pre-WOD you may have problem. If this is you I highly recommend that you pick 1 WOD every week and just work, don’t worry about the time or how fast you did it, JUST MOVE!
There is a reason we have a deload week in our strength cycles, to let the body rest and recovery. Why wouldn’t we apply the same principles to our conditioning? Remember I’m not saying stop using/worrying about the clock or pushing the pace. All I’m saying is take one day a week and focus on your movement, feel what your muscles and limbs are doing. Movement mastery comes with time, patience and a whole lot of focus. Plus let’s be real, it’s a bunch of blinking numbers on a wall. It’s OK for those little lights to not mean something once a week. So Pick a day and focus on what you are doing, feel what you are doing, understand what you are doing. A 2 minute “Grace” time is awesome and impressive but understanding your life-long potential and enjoying the process of getting there is a much greater feat.