By: Alvie Hafen
We all have a little bit of a competitive side in us. This is one of the reasons Welded classes are so successful in creating results. You are working out right next to other members who are doing the exact same work. This environment pushes us to go harder, to create intensity, and to keep going even when your mind wants to quit.
I have been doing Welded for almost 9 years now and going on 8 years of coaching. I am going to share some tips and strategies that I use when I workout.
Oh wall balls how you hurt me, and yes they still do after 9 years.
Lets take a workout with a high volume of wall balls. For example:
Toes to bar
In this workout you want to be able to keep moving consistently. You don’t want any long breaks or just to stare at your wall ball. I broke every set of wall balls into sets of 10, with a 6-8 second rest. Sure I could have done all 30 unbroken, but what good does that do me? It would gas my lungs, spike my heart rate, and build up the muscle fatigue in the legs and shoulders. I still have so much work to do! I don’t want to destroy myself in the first minute of the workout.
So what is the take away?
-Break early. Sure you may be able to go unbroken, but how will this impact the rest of your WOD?
-Keep the heart rate down. We have all been there will a spiked heart rate, its hard enough to breathe with that, let alone workout.
-Don’t go till muscle failure. Smaller sets, with short rests will help reduce muscle fatigue.
-DONT Blow your WOD in the first two minutes. 100% of 1 minute will not get you very far in a 15 minute workout. Control the heart rate, pull back on the reins a little bit
Know Your Strengths, Know Your Weaknesses
Deadlifts have always been a weakness of mine. Heavy or light, set of 1 or a set of 50. It doesn’t matter. I struggle with this movement. But I can manage my weakness in a workout and not let it destroy me.
Welded Open 16.4 and 17.4
13 Min AMRAP
55 deadlifts 225/155
55 wall balls 20/14
55 calorie row
55 handstand pushups
In 2016 my score was 196 with a tiebreak of 9:46
In 2017 my score was 213 with a tiebreak of 8:30
Sure I did get more fit in that year, but my strategy in 2017 was different than 2016.
I tried to do sets of 10 on the deadlifts in 2016. The first two sets were good, but that 3rd set I hit a wall hard. Muscle fatigue set in, my legs were shaking, my core was giving out. I tried to do sets of 10 like the other guys, but this was my weakness. I soon fell to doing sets of 3 and finally finished, but the damage was done. My legs were shot, my back was tight, and my heart rate was spiked. This made the wall balls and row very difficult and time consuming.
Now fast forward to 2017. The same workout came around. I knew how to attack it this time. I did sets of 5 from the very start. 11 sets of 5 with about a 5 second rest between sets. This saved me, sure I was a little slower than some other guys off the deadlifts, but I felt good! I cruised through the wall balls and attacked the row without an aching back. This allowed me to get a much faster tiebreak time and allowed me more time on the HSPU.
So take a little time to think about how you want to attack the workout. Know your strengths, know your weaknesses, and if you aren’t quite sure how to attack a workout, ask a coach!! We are here to help. We have been doing this a long time and have many WODs under our belts. Good workouts and workouts that didn’t go as planned, but taught us a thing or two.
The Open is right around the corner! This is an excellent and fun way to test your fitness. And it keeps track of all your old scores, so you can see how much you have improved. I have my scores from all the way back in 2011! As Leo would say, “Move fast, move well, see you on the other side.”