If you are new to CrossFit there is going to be a whole lot of information and terms presented that you might not be immediately familiar with. That is ok and completely normal. If you ever have a question reach out to one of the coaches. The stuff here is simply extra. A good portion of it comes from Silver Comet CrossFit, some like a few of movement demo’s come courtesy of CrossFit HQ. Take your time, starting into CrossFit is a process. There are an infinite variety of movements, many building on skill progressions from basic movements. Some examples of those would be the Olympic Lifts; the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk all start with a mastery of the seemingly simple Air Squat and the Hand Stand Push Up (HSPU) starting with developing a competency of a regular old push-up.
The beautiful thing about CrossFit is that it is inherently scalable. Scalable, what does that mean? In short, we believe that the needs of a world class athlete and your Grandfather only differ by degree not kind. When we say scalable we are talking about adjusting things like load (weight), distance or time to every athlete’s current level to make sure everyone in the Box achieves the desired stimulus (outcome) of the workout.
How does this workout in practice? Let’s take a quick example, 2 random athletes out of a class. One athlete is only a couple weeks into CrossFit after 10 years of not really being physically active, the other athlete is conditioned and has been doing CrossFit about a year but only has really started understanding some of the higher skill gymnastic movements. The Work Out of the Day (WOD) is something like the classic CrossFit “Girl” WOD Fran. The CrossFit “Girls” are a collection of classic CrossFit WOD’s which were the original basis for testing fitness, all were given female names. They make-up some of what we refer to as benchmark WOD’s. These are WOD’s that will turn up every so often as a way of competing against your former self to measure your progress. Fran in particularly nasty couplet (only 2 different movements) which most CrossFitters have a love/hate relationship with. The two movements are Pull-ups and Thrusters. A Thruster being a combination of a Front Squat and a Push-Press. A Front Squat being a squat with the barbell held in the front rack position, across your deltoids at your clavicle and a Push-Press being an overhead lift starting from the Front Rack position using the dip and drive of your legs to assist your arms in pushing the bar overhead to full lockout. Fran is a round of 21 reps of each of these movements, then a round of 15 of each, then a round of 9. It should be a very short intense WOD, less than 7 minutes or so. The Rx weight (Rx meaning as prescribed or written) is 95 pounds on the barbell for the men and 65 for the women.
In our example, our newer athlete is still working on the consistency of her Air Squat. So she will be doing Air Squats instead of Thrusters, also as her tendons and ligaments are still adjusting to physical movement we are going to use Ring Rows instead of Pull-ups. This allows us to moderate how much or how little weight she will be moving. We will probably also cut the rep scheme down for her to maybe 12-9-7 depending. Our other athlete can run a 5k in 23:00 or so, she is well conditioned but as mentioned still building on the gymnastics work. For her, we will probably leave the rep scheme at 21-15-9. Lower the weight on the barbell just a smidge to say 55 pounds but the pull-ups might be an issue. She may have pull-ups but 45 in a workout would be a big stretch for her to get done in under 7:00. So for her we would probably use a band (exactly what you think, a giant rubber band) under her feet for the pull-ups. This will allow her a full Range of Motion (ROM) on the movement but assist her in continuing to work. Both of these athletes, if scaled correctly to them should finish around the same time as each other and any athletes that performed the work-out RX’d.