Author: Josh Trahan
I hated double-unders for 4 years.
Double unders significantly decreased my standings in every CrossFit competition I was ever part of.
In 2013 they very nearly kept me from qualifying for Regionals.
The only word that adequately conveys my feelings toward them is raw hatred. Sure, part of it was because I could not do them well, but the other part was purely ideological. I could not justify their purpose. I imagined they were specifically designed to make otherwise fit people miserable. I could not power through them. I could not force them.
My custom jump rope handles actually sarcastically stated,
“Double-Unders are the truest test of fitness.”
A statement with which I wholeheartedly disagreed. But then I realized something.
CrossFit is one of the few fitness program that includes neurological adaptation as a requirement for success.
This means it incorporates skill. This means you can suck at it, and be good at it. This means it takes practice and this is what makes it feel sporty.
It also means that we must progress in skills such as Accuracy, Coordination, Agility, and Balance.
It turns out that double-unders are especially good at producing these skills, and it is an increase in capacity in these skills that transfer into the things we actually DO want to be good at.
An increase in Accuracy will help you hit the wall ball target consistently.
An increase in Coordination will increase your snatch and clean PR’s.
An increase in Balance will positively affect your overhead squats.
An increase in Agility will make all of your gymnastics more efficient.
An increase in all of these will keep you from tripping, falling, speed up your reflexes, and help you gain greater control of your individual muscles which is vital for performance.
In my quest for getting double unders, I experienced all of the above. And I have witnessed countless others experience the same.
While I still hate double unders, I have to admit there was no CrossFit movement that gave a greater sense of accomplishment once I got them!
Try these waves for practice.
And so on.
The trick to maintaining your sanity while learning double unders is to scale for success. Set yourself up for victory. No beginner should be attempting 50 double unders in a workout. Take smaller bites, take breaks, or just stop when you are having a bad day, and give yourself some time for your brain to adapt to your practice!
In our current economic climate there is an underlying idea that is killing us. That idea is that there are 2 ways to get something done.
Have someone, or some thing, do it for you
The reason this idea is so pervasive is because it’s usually true.
If I need my car washed I can either do it, or have someone/some thing do it for me. If I need my lawn cut, I can either do it, or have someone/some thing do it for me.
You get the picture.
What is problematic is when we try to apply this idea to fitness. We buy pills, and machines, and DVD’s, and cheap access to facilities—all hoping that our reward for being willing to part with some money will result in us getting what we want. After all, when I give money to the car wash, my car gets cleaned. When I give money to the lawn service, the lawn gets cut. But somehow, no matter how much money I give to pills, soloflex machines, and galactic gyms we still don’t have what we wanted—what we thought we were buying. We can see that fitness is different. It doesn’t work that way. You can’t buy it. YOU MUST DO IT.
“Surprise! You are responsible for your own life!”
Now, if fitness is not something we can buy, but something we must do, we have a new set of problems. We must remove the barriers that are keeping us from doing it. So what are some of these barriers and how does CFBB+CFSL help to combat them?
This is simply a matter of priority. I’ve met almost 0 people who legitimately can’t afford the $4-$5 dollars a day that going to a high quality gym runs. That’s less than most people spend on their daily “mochafrappachinosippi,” their iTunes downloads, or their alcohol. Most often, stopping 1 of your habits that you should probably stop anyway, if fitness becomes a priority, will likely pay for the gym.
Again priorities. You are the basis upon which everything you do and want to do is built. All of your hopes and dreams of achievement and success are limited by your health and ability to physically accomplish them. Wouldn’t it make sense to start with fitness? Secondly, you will not find a program with a higher “results per hour” ratio than at CFBB+CFSL, so you will be saving time in the long run.
With the most educated coaches in the state, we can assure your that you will not only be safe, but improve faster and reach your goals sooner than you will anywhere else. You don’t need to know what to do, how to do it, how many to do, or how often to do it. We’ve got that covered.
Believe it or not, we understand this one the most. Our entire community is built on being warm and welcoming. If you want what we want, we want you here. You are immediately on the team and part of the family just by showing up!
Maybe you aren’t convinced. Maybe you aren’t ready to jump in yet and see the transformation in your life and body that is possible here. But maybe you would like to start looking into the possibilities. That’s perfect! That’s where it starts. We have made it super easy for you to schedule some time with one of our full-time training staff to discuss your goals and how we can help you achieve them.
Just click here!
Early in my CrossFit career, I became aware of a particularly nasty WoD called “Fight Gone Bad.”
This workout is special. It was designed for MMA fighter BJ Penn to more closer match the demands of a fight than traditional conditioning workouts like jogging.
This workout consists of 3 five minute rounds followed but 1 minute of rest. Each minute of the five minute rounds requires the athlete to do as many reps as possible of various exercises like box jumps, wall balls, and rowing, and your score is the total number of repetitions completed over the course of the 17 minutes. Top scores break 500 reps.
“Measurability is a crucial component of CrossFit. It is in fact one of it’s crowning achievements. By adding measurement to a concept as elusive as fitness, CrossFit has forever changed the fitness scene. We now can tell you HOW fit you actually are by testing you.”
Measurement means things like tape measures, scales, and clocks, are now a fundamental part of what we do. That clock is our frienemy. The best and worst thing that ever happened to working out.
In the fight gone bad workout, we become intimately acquainted with that clock. The minutes of work can seem like 5 minutes, while the minute of rest begins to feel like about 15 seconds.
“Oh my God, are you serious? Did you speed up the clock?”
Workouts like this show us our relationship with time. While in the middle of things we enjoy, time flies. While in the middle of things that make us uncomfortable, seconds feel like minutes.
“This is why we don’t trust our feelings.”
I would love to see the results if I told you to WORK until you feel like a minute has passed, or Rest until you feel like a minute has passed.
People either LOVE or HATE CrossFit. One of the reasons is this OBJECTIVITY. Objectivity helps us become aware of the truth of out fitness situation. Many people avoid truth like the plague. But it is vital to any meaningful pursuit. Things like taking inventory at work, scouring your finances, honestly evaluating your relationships are not fun, uncomfortable, and essential for growth.
We see this go both ways though. Some think they are better off than they actually are, but many people we find have some hidden skills and abilities that are brought to the forefront in this process.
Kevin Williams is not far from Deadlifting 600lbs.
Jake Randazzo runs faster than my motorcycle.
Ms. Alice can squat a school bus.
Chrissy Lalonde is super agile.
Taylor Boudreaux bench presses with the guys.
This list goes on…….
Whatever we think or feel about ourselves and our capabilities, its probably inaccurate without having actually measured it. There are times we feel great and think we are improving, but the clock says, “Nope.”
Other times the opposite is true.
“The point is, living by our feelings is not an effective way to progress through life. If we want results, we gotta bust out the clock. Until you are ready for this level of honesty, you probably are not ready for change.”
The good news is, no matter where you currently are, you don’t have to stay there, or continue that path. That’s where the CFSL/CFBB community and coaches come in! We ALL start there.
Get Started Now
The potency of the CrossFit program is unrivaled. This is attributed in large part to the combining of the twin concepts of Intensity + Variety.
Intensity + Variety = Workout Density
We are mostly aware of the Variety within CrossFit. Walk into CrossFit Breaux Bridge or CrossFit St. Landry on any given day and you will be doing some type of workout made up of selections from the below list.
- High rep, medium rep, low rep
- Gymnastics, Cardio, Weightlifting
- Long, medium, short duration
- Pull, push, horizontal vertical, hinge, squat, rotate
- Heavy, medium, light
- For time, for reps
- Solo, partner
- Technical, basic
- Wallballs, DB’s KB’s, Jump ropes, Barbells, etc…
Workout Density = Quality
What happens when you train this way is a bigger bang for your buck. You get more for your time and effort. Efficiency. Results.
This leads to the concept of price and value. Price is how much it costs you. Value is what you get for that price. There is a misconception that the lower the price is, the greater the value. Unfortunately, value often declines at a faster rate than price.
It is way more expensive to pay $30 for something with a $10 value, than to pay $1,000 for something with $1,000 value.
“CrossFit is for people who understand this. Life is for people who understand this.”
I would rather do a workout that takes me to the limits of my ability and get my return in fitness and health for that effort, than spin my wheels for decades.
It’s harder. But it’s sooooo much better. And it’s really the only option. Everything else is smoke and mirrors.
Quality = Results
When you elevate the quality of your workouts. Elevate the density. You begin to see real results. You can do this in your life too. Start trimming the fat. Get rid of the excess. The things that aren’t serving you. Focus on quality in everything and watch what happens.
You don’t have to be rich. Just wise. Only do, buy, associate with those those things that make you and your life better and give you a full return for your efforts, and watch your life soar.
Come with us.
It’s summertime in the South. You know what that means… Temperatures above 90 degrees and humidity greater than 90%. This combination does not bode well for staying hydrated as it increases your sweat production, thereby decreasing your water and electrolyte levels.
Mosts ‘go-to’ rehydration drink is an unmentionable sports drink (or two) that rhymes with masquerade. These drinks contain electrolytes. That is true. But they also contain high amounts of sugar (~23g in a 12oz bottle) and artificial ingredients.
It’s a shame that we have been fed the lie that we need a particular drink to supplement our electrolyte intake.
The truth is that you can replenish your reserves in a much more nutritious, and much less damaging way. Here’s how:
- Drink enough water. The general rule is to drink at least 8 cups (as in a measuring cup – 8oz) per day. We like to keep it simple — drink water when you’re thirsty. That should do the trick.
- Eat whole foods high in electrolytes. This part is not difficult with a primarily plant-based diet (which Paleo is). Some foods high in potassium include bananas, dates, raisins, coconut, avocado, and spinach.
- Do not restrict salt intake. Salt (sodium + chloride) helps to retain fluid to keep us hydrated and is the one most depleted from sweating (and why your dog likes to lick your skin after a WOD…Salty!)
With knowledge comes power. In this case, it’s the power to decide against a sugar-laden beverage and opt for life-giving resources, instead.
Cheers to making better choices!
Alex and I were on our way home from Colorado.
We were in our new Mazda which has one of those cool features where the vehicle actually tells you how many miles you can go before your run out of gas.
Because I despise driving exceptionally long distances in a straight line, we found ourselves on a really long, really dark highway at 4am with 72 miles left in the tank.
I started keeping an eye out for a place to fill up.
62 miles til empty.
52 miles til empty.
42 miles til empty.
32 miles til empty.
22 miles til empty.
“Alex! Wake Up! Find the nearest gas station on your phone!”
“The nearest gas station is in 30 miles……….”
I immediately go into full efficiency mode. 6th gear. Speed up on the downhill to gain momentum to let off the gas on the uphill. We did 10 miles AFTER the car said we had zero left.
And we made it.
The distance ’til empty meter was wrong. It failed to account for my understanding of physics, and my will to succeed.
Your “distance til empty” meter is wrong too. Ignore it.
When you’re hot. When you’re tired. When you feel like your tank is empty and you can’t do another burpee, you got at least 10 miles left…
The Navy Seals call it the 40% Rule. Check it out here.