This past weekend we held an in-house seminar at EDX CrossFit titled “Metcon Pacing and Strategy.” During this open forum discussion, we went over what I call “The Three B’s of Metcon Success.”
In a mixed model workout where you will be moving both objects and your body under a high heart rate. There are a lot of variables that need to be controlled to avoid becoming overwhelmed. I have reduced the athlete’s focus to 3 simple points of concentration to lower perceived exertion and improve efficiency.
Strength training builds strength by improving the coordination and speed of movement. Executing these movements in a metabolic conditioning scenario no longer builds strength or coordination. Rather we are EXPRESSING our current levels of strength and coordination under a state of duress. This expression with decreased rest and higher stress raises your heart rate. When your heart rate goes up, your body is asking for more oxygen. Your initial focus is to provide your body with what it is asking for. The fix is simply to BREATHE MORE.
Pro Tip: Open your mouth, keep your face relaxed and intentionally breathe more frequently.
The practice of strength training whether done with weights or #calisthenic exercise develops body awareness in different positions. The second “B” references knowing what position your back is in at all times.
With weights, you learn to brace the spine by engaging the obliques and transverse abdominus muscles. In calisthenics, you brace by creating a hollowing position of your core musculature. This is done by slightly crunching the bottom ribcage down to your hips until your lower back flattens.
The fix is keeping your core muscles engaged to increase movement efficiency.
Pro Tip: Stick your fingers into your obliques and use your core muscles to push your fingers out.
The final “B” is all about the booty. In #metcon workouts, almost all the movements are primarily hip dominant. Having familiarity and a good level of skill development with the movements obviously will help. Even if you have been working out like this for a while, fatigue eventually will hit. You will get bogged down from less than efficient patterns. You will get tired from pacing incorrectly caused by working at a power output that is not sustainable for you.
In these inevitable scenarios the fix is to focus on using your hips to drive movement.
Pro Tip: Move your hips faster.
These 3 focal points are not a shortcut to the promised land BUT they will help gain more control over your headspace. Better control of the mind results in better control of the body. Try to integrate these 3 pieces of awareness into your next metcon workout and I can guarantee things will feel much better. You may not land on top of the leaderboard immediately but you may notice a steady improvement in your overall finish times.
See you in the gym!
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