"Prepping for Murph: Part 1 - Why So Many Wall Balls?"

With Murph on the horizon, I know that I need to prepare the lower body to handle 2 miles of running and 300 air squats at bodyweight. To use myself as an example, I need to be able to carry 170 lbs. 10,560 feet and squat 51,000 lbs.
 Photo Courtesy of: Samantha Chin

Photo Courtesy of: Samantha Chin

Every week for the last month or so I have been getting asked one specific question, “why so many wall balls?!”  I get it.  Wall balls are usually on the lost of "Top 3 Least Favorite Movements" for most CrossFitters, but they do serve a purpose in training.  

As coaches, our responsibility is to provide you with thoughtful and intentional workouts. The goal of these workouts should be centered around an event or overarching goal, so we have a metric to follow.  You may or may not have noticed, but we have been emphasizing movements that will prepare you for Murph on May 28th.  What is Murph you ask? See last weeks blog post if you are unfamiliar.

Now, at first glance, it may seem pretty easy to program workouts.  Pick movements that are hard, add some reps and rounds, pick a few weights, add a time cap and watch the heavy breathing begin!  

I assure you, it takes more than that. Programming workouts, in my opinion, is an art form. You have to consider the following:

  1. Loading: how much weight will be moved?
  2. Volume: how many times will that weight be moved? 
  3. Intensity: what is the desired stimulus of this movement?
  4. Overload. how will this particular movement affect an individuals ability to work out the rest of the week, in relation to all of the other movements programmed?"

You still might be asking, “why all of the wall balls?”.  Let me explain.  When I sit down to program a workout or write a strength cycle, I look at what we are trying to achieve.  With Murph on the horizon, I know that I need to prepare the lower body to handle 2 miles of running and 300 air squats at bodyweight.  To use myself as an example, I need to be able to carry 170 lbs. 10,560 feet and squat 51,000 lbs.  How did I find those metrics? 

5,280 (distance of 1 mile in feet) x 2 = 10,560 feet.  170 lbs. (my current bodyweight) x 300 = 51,000 lbs.  

Let's look at this past Monday (5/07/18) and see how that correlates with my numbers:

  1. Back squat. 3 x 8 @ 245 lbs. = 5,880 lbs. moved (not including BW)
  2. 96 Wall balls. 20 lbs. x 96 = 1920 lbs. moved (not including BW)
  3. The total amount of weight moved = 7,880 lbs.

From a programming perspective, this is helpful.  I am moving roughly 7,880 lbs. on Monday.  This number keeps me well behind the 51,000 that will be moved on Murph, therefore it allows me to look at adding more volume later in the week.  

So there you have it.  The increased amount of wall balls that you have been seeing is all about preparing you for Murph.  We want everyone to be in the best shape they can be for that day.  This year it will be my 8th time completing Murph.  Every year I am always amazed how certain parts chew me up, but that is what makes it special. 

Stay tuned for more blog entries, where I will break down all of the other movements you will see in Murph! 

- Coach Danny