OPEN SERIES – WEEK 5: Workout and Tips

This week we’ve got another challenge for you. A mental challenge, a gut check. How comfortable are you with being uncomfortable? Find out when you take on:

Open Workout 12.1

7 minute AMRAP
Burpees to a 6 inch target


Before you turn up your nose, hear us out.

Recall our post a few weeks ago about our workout categories: skill, strength, and suffering. Last week, we did a workout that required a good amount of all three BUT to get to the suffering, you had to have the skill and the strength. It was a different twist and one we haven’t approached too often in our classes. This week, we’re going to give you the simplest and most effective workout you’ll ever do. It’s not sexy and it sure as hell falls under the “suffering” column but what we want to ask you is this:  Can you turn your mind off and hang out in discomfort? Can you set a goal and get to it? Can you keep going even though everything in your body is screaming at you to stop?

Burpees are no fun. We all agree on that. But if you told me I could only choose one body weight movement to do for the rest of my life to stay fit, I would say the burpee. A thousand times over. There are obvious reason – it’s a compound, multi-joint movement; there a multiple varieties; they can be done strict or explosively; they train your cardiorespiratory system likely better than any other body weight movement (yes, even running…remember, intensity matters). But there is one, big, maybe-not-so-obvious reason:  they are mental. They train mental toughness better than anything else. There’s a reason you hate them:  they’re hard and they require you to turn off your brain and work.

Admittedly, we like when there’s snatching or toes-to-bar in a workout. First of all, they’re sexy and flashy and they look cool. They’re social media worthy. Second of all, they give us pause, a break in the middle of our workout (and you can admit this to yourself or not but we all know it’s true). They require skill or strength and that usually means we have to take a deep breath mid-workout to set up and nail our lift or start another set of pull-ups. Burpees do not give us pause. You rarely see Instagram posts of someone doing burpees. And we can all do them. Even on your first day at CrossFit, you were capable of doing a burpee. Drop on the floor and pick yourself up. How functional and simple is that?

So here you are, faced with seven minutes of these suckers. Some of you are saying “Boooooring…” Some of you are saying “Hell no, not in a million years! What a dumb workout!” Some of you are saying “What’s the point of that?”

Well, here it is:  How comfortable are you with being uncomfortable? How long can you turn your brain off and just move? Can you stick to a plan even when your muscles and your lungs are telling you to stop moving and time seems to be ticking by so slowly you swear the clock is running backwards?

Dare yourself. Come in on Friday and dare to find out. Set up a plan – a goal per minute, a goal per 30 seconds – and see how long you can stick to that. And when you think you’re starting to hurt, keep this in mind: it’s not pain you’re feeling, it’s discomfort. Pain is a broken leg, it’s losing a loved one, it’s smashing your finger in the door. Burpees don’t cause pain – they cause discomfort and we humans can handle quite a bit of discomfort when we want to. Use the tools we’ve helped you develop: Breathing, efficient movement, Jedi mind tricks (kidding…). Test yourself on Friday. Test your fitness, and even more so, test your mental toughness. You might just be surprised what you’re capable of when you turn off your mind and just go.

You’re tougher than you think and capable of more than you imagine.

-Coach Caitlin

On Saturday at noon, we will be running Open WOD 15.1a & b

15.1a, AMRAP 9
15 TTB
10 Deadlifts (115/75)
5 Snatches

Immediately into 15.1b, 6 minutes to establish:

1RM Clean & Jerk