why high rep workouts are no bueno, and my new idol

Let me just tell you that I had the most amazing time last week!  By last minute happenstance I was able to come across a ticket for The Outlaw Tour.  For any of you that aren’t familiar with “the way” then you should educate yourselves here.  Rudy is a flippin’ genius.  Things that hadn’t made sense to me, even after 4 1/2 years of crossfitting (is that even a word?)  have come to light.  I’m not going to spill everything I learned there in one post but I will share one of the most important, in my opinion, tidbits of info.

But before I do that, (you like that little teaser there? ;) let me just share a picture of me and the beautiful Elisabeth Akinwale.  Elisabeth in action:  I guess you could say that I have a girl crush!

She came in 7th in the crossfit games this year and she is very motivated to come out on top next year.  Watching her lift was so inspiring.  She was easily snatching 185 and has a 1 rep max of 200!!!  This is more than most men.  I didn’t get to see the 200, but working out 20 feet from her was one of my coolest fitness moments.  Even if I was only snatching a mere 105 or 110 ( I cant remember)  however, I did successfully snatch 115 yesterday!  A little weak, but I’m owning that one for now!

Now on to the juice.  Playing off the title of this post…I learned last weekend why long, high rep workouts blow.  First let me start off with a question.  Which do you think makes you stronger?  A. 100 butterfly pull-ups  or  B.  25 strict, weighted pull-ups?   which one makes you faster?   A. 2, 800 meter runs or B. 10, 100 meter sprints?  This isn’t a trick and I know that I’ve answered question two right here on this blog a few times.  Seeing as how I’m an anti-long distance runner who sometimes runs long distances. (oxymoron, I know, but I enjoy being contradictory.  It keeps life interesting ;).

So, hopefully you answered B for both questions.  I’ve noticed some gyms in my area are programming these insane workouts almost every day of the week!!  Met con workouts that take an hour.  Where you run a mile and do 100 push-ups in your warm-up.  Then you do on to do a 40 minute workout of random crap!  Amazingly enough (thick sarcasm there) these gyms are not turning out any good athletes.  Why? because these athletes are broken!! They are never going to get faster!  I mean, they will to a point, but pretty soon there will be no PR’s getting hit.  They are going to plateau, pretty much forever until something changes.  I know from personal experience.  I was one of those who loved long, drawn out, high rep workouts.  But my clean and jerk never went up.  My snatch stayed the same.  Or in Layman’s terms, I wasn’t getting any stronger.

So, if this is you, or this is the way your gym programs, give them the finger and do your own thing or find a box that’s worth a crap. Here’s some tips to fix this problem right now!  Everyday, pick a weakness.  My weaknesses are toes to bar (stupid stupid toes to bar!) and handstand walks/push-ups.  Take 10 minutes a few times a week to perfect your bad areas.  Take 20 minutes a day to work on Olympic lifts.  Don’t max out every day, but go heavy and and change it up.  One day do high hang cleans or snatch, one day do from the ground, one day off the boxes.  Then take 15 minutes to work on strength. Mainly front squat and back squat, but you can always throw in push jerk, dead lift, bench, weighted pull ups, dips etc.  Then take 12 minutes to do a met con.  Something fast and intense.

This is one hour of gym time at its absolute best!  You are getting a complete, well rounded routine that will make you stronger and faster.  Forget that 40 minutes of push ups, pull-ups and and kettle bell swings.  Do it the right way and when you have a benchmark workout, you’ll be blown away by how strong you feel!!

PS if none of this made sense to you because your workouts are spent on a treadmill, elliptical or even worse, a leg extension machine, please consider that what you are doing is a complete and total waist of time :)

That’s all for today kids.  Next time I’ll come back with even more juicy deets.

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2 thoughts on “why high rep workouts are no bueno, and my new idol

  1. Hello! Could you talk more about your diet. You mentions a few months ago how you switched things up with eating some grain, etc. Just curious how that was workin out for you. Thanks :)

  2. Wooow you got to meet her. This girl rocks. Just found your blog! Love it! I found it very helpful. I like how the information is pretty concise. Thanks!

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