Disclaimer: I paraphrased these questions, they are not direct quotes.
Topic #1: Running & CrossFit
Starts @ 1:34
Running often beats me up causing joint strain, muscle cramps, etc. Is this always a sign of poor running form or bad shoes, or could this just be something where I need to incrementally build running volume?”Nick | New York City
First ask yourself, why do you want to get better at running?
…because I want to get better at all fitness-related skills.
…because I want to be personally competitive in running-focused events.
…because I want to get better at running to improve performance in the Sport of Fitness
- for each of these you will attack it in a different way.
Trouble Shooting Your Pain in Running
Start your investigation moving through this hierarchy…
- Body Size (more body weight = higher forces = more strain)
- Running Form (economy, striking patterns, etc.)
- Surfaces / Terrain / Gear (not all are created equal)
- Volume (progress maximum of 10-15% per week)
- Different systems adapt at different rates
- Hair, nails, stomach lining, menstrual cycles – cycles of newal are pretty quick
- Connective Tissues takes years to remodel: tendons, ligaments, bones
- You put a big engine on a tiny chassis
- Different systems adapt at different rates
• Be patient
• Wave Volume
• Focus on Skills & Drills
• Vary Terrain
• Do accessory & maintenance work
Topic #2: Running & Assault Bike
Starts @ 10:57
Is there standardized equivalent between the two types of cardio training? So for example ‘Helen’ involves 400m Runs, is there a way to accurately substitute that with an AirBike interval?”Pete | Greece
So, if the question is… Is there a standard conversion that is widely accepted between running and the AirBike? The answer is no.
- Each AirBike is different is how difficult it is. That goes for between brands and between models within the same brand.
- Running is a locomotion activity while AirBike is an erg-based activity. One you are moving your bodyweight, the other you are working against external load.
- 200-lb Male might substitute a 30-Calorie AirBike for a 400m Run
- 100-lb Female might substitute a 14-Calorie AirBike for a 400m Run
- Both of those could take the same amount of time for those athletes
What Substitutions Make Sense? (This goes for any cyclical activity)
Option #1 is Distance to Calories (or visa-versa): Take the distance (or) calories and convert it to the opposite using your best guess based on your experience. For example, if I want to substitute the first and last mile runs of ‘Murph’ for the AirBike, I’ll do a 100 Calories instead.
Limitations for using Distance to Cals: This is an okay option for single modality pieces (e.g. 2k Row or 120 Calories for Time), but I wouldn’t use this to make substitutions in mixed work because it changes the pacing dynamics. For example, I would pace ‘Helen’ different with a 400m Row substitution vs. a 25 Calorie substitution.
Option #2 is Time: This is what most class use, and it is something that the coach makes up and feeds to athletes. If 400m runs takes the average athlete 2:00 to complete, then how much distance can the average athlete get through in that amount of time? Maybe it’s a 1k AirBike.
Limitations of using Time: Each athlete’s proficiency varies for each cyclical movement.
Option #3 is Heart Rate at Pace: If I run 400m at my desired workout pace for ‘Helen’, my heart rate averages 145 bpm when fully rested. Then I hold a pace when rested on the AirBike that results in my heart rate averaging 145 bpm and note my average wattage. Then I hold that average wattage for how long it took me to run that 400m at 145 bpm.
Limitations of using Heart Rate: Heart rate, stroke volume and cardiac output are different for each erg based on the number of muscle groups involved and the orientation of the body. For example, running has a higher sustainable heart rate than biking, and biking is likely higher than SkiErg, which is likely higher than swimming.
Confused? Probably. …here’s how I would attack it.
Make substitutions based an single athlete, on a given workout, to get the desired outcome. There is no one-size fits all approach.
Topic #3: Big & Tall Athlete Troubles
Starts @ 18:29
Why do Big & Tall Athletes struggle with certain bodyweight movements like Double Unders and what can these athletes do to overcome these weaknesses?”Andrea | Switzerland
Big & Tall Athletes have two ‘stikes’ against them that makes things tough in the Sport of Fitness.
Big = Higher than Average Weight
This means it takes more force to do all bodyweight activities
Tall: Higher than Average Height
This means you have to move a further distance on every single rep on any movement that has the Range of Motion as the Standard, like Weightlifting and Gymnastics. (e.g. Squat below Parallel, Shoulder-to-Overhead Lockout, etc.)
Tips for Maximizing Performance for Big & Tall Athlete
- Manipulate your bodyweight in the offseason, if it aligns with your goals
- Be efficient & economical
- Spend time developing gymnastics proficiency (e.g. skill work)
- Work with a Coach who understands how your needs differ from the average athlete. Learn more about my Remote Coaching service here.
Related Read: Considerations for Big & Tall CrossFit Competitors
Topic #4: Reclaiming a Love of Training
Starts @ 25:35
Say I’ve hit a training plateau. What type of training template do you recommend for getting back into consistent and productive training? Would that be something like a ‘back-to-basics’ approach or a ‘do what’s fun’ approach?”Ricardo | California
Let’s go through 3 different scenarios, depending who you are…
#1: If this is an athlete who is competing at a fairly high level and their progress is starting to stall, then it might mean doing more limiter-focused work and doing less for a period of time to rebuild resiliency and adaptability.
#2: If this is a person who is a relative novice who stopped having “beginner’s gains,” then the answer might just mean choosing to double down your energies on getting better and chasing forever diminishing improvements.
#3: If this is a person is a consistent gym-goer or class member that has stop enjoying training and that has halted their progress, then adding fun back is hugely important. This might me writing your own met-cons, going mountain biking, just doing Weightlifting or whatever other activity your are currently finding fun.
Once you feel a renewed excitement about training, then go back to a ‘Base Cycle,’ where the focus is building back into fundamental movements.
A really simple of a base cycle could be doing a lifting program to improve your CrossFit Total (Back Squat, Strict Press, Deadlift) combined with easy cyclical aerobic work.
Last Thought on This Topic: Progress isn’t linear. The best road forward may mean you need to backtrack for a while. That’s a hard sell for a lot of athletes.
Topic #5: Recovering Between Sets
Starts @ 30:19
During #004 you talk about recovering during nasal breathing. What are your other recommendations as it goes for recovering in between sets?”Rachel | Netherlands
Speed of Recovery is an important quality for athletes in various sports.
- For american football players it is recovering between plays and between quarters.
- For soccer players it’s a recovery walk or jog between short bouts of sprints.
- For cyclists is recovery between stages of mult-day races.
- For Weightlifters it is recovering quickly between workouts.
- For CrossFit athletes, it is recovering between sets or rounds of a workout and then again between events at a competition.
The way you recover optimally with vary greatly based on the type of work it is, as well as what is coming after it: strength vs. mixed work vs. between workouts.
Strength: Relax –> Heart Rate & Blood Pressure Regulation –> Visualization –> Arousal –> Lift
Mixed Modal Intervals: Don’t suppress your natural inputs (breathe normally), walk / move easy / flush, manipulate your state and level of arousal to get to a ‘place’ that is ideal for your next interval.
Between Workouts: Movement, Aerobic Function, Mobility Work, Sleep, Nutrition, Body Work, Meditation
Informative rants on various topics within the Sport of Fitness.
No fluff, No BS. Just practical ways to help you improve your fitness.
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