For the next few weeks, we’ll be focusing our training on higher skill movements, continuing the progression from basic strength exercises to more complex. Last cycle, we added in some kipping practice and dynamic movements like power cleans and push presses. For our next focus, we’re working on even more difficult movements with the benchmark Amanda.
Contrasted with our last focus, Angie, which was the epitome of high volume CrossFit, Amanda is a very low volume couplet consisting of 9,7, and 5 reps (just 21 reps each) of squat snatches and muscle-ups. To get a faster time in Amanda, one can’t get by on brute strength alone (although of course getting stronger helps). Instead, it is a test of how well technique has improved in two of the most highly challenging movements in CrossFit.
Our approach for this workout will be to put an emphasis on getting sufficient practice in those two exercises. For our snatch days, we encourage you to worry less about the amount of weight on the bar, and more about being consistent. Oftentimes, a PR in the snatch comes not from increased loading, like a back squat, but from being able to hit most of your snatches at higher percentages. When you can hit at least 4 out of 5 reps at 85-95% of your one rep max consistently, you can be sure that a PR is near.
For muscle-ups, we’re pairing strict muscle-up work with kipping practice, because getting stronger will help you get a few extra reps when you get tired. We’re also working negatives to help build stability and control through the hardest part of the muscle-up, the transition. Our goal is to improve the amount of reps for those who have muscle-ups, and see if we can get people with the requisite strength their first muscle-up! And if you’re not there yet, we are going to continue to build on the pulling and pushing work we’ve been improving since March. We’ve seen a lot of people get their first pull-ups and push-ups ever, and we want to see that trend continue.
For this focus, we’re also pairing Amanda with a 1 mile run time trial. This is because, contrasted with Amanda, which very few people can complete RX, running is something anyone with healthy joints can do (although that’s not to say running isn’t a skill to be developed, because it absolutely is). The mile run is a phenomenal test of cardiovascular capacity and a near-perfect distance to test. For a more thorough analysis of why, see former marathoner Mark Sisson’s take here: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/better-than-a-marathon-the-1-mile-challenge/#axzz4G0syhhB7
While we do a lot of running in CrossFit, a lot of times we use it as “active rest” when it’s included as part of a workout. During this cycle, expect to see running by itself much more often, so that you can push appropriately and improve your capacity.