Every workout has an intended purpose. It is just one small piece of a much larger picture. And for each workout to contribute to the big picture as intended, there are goals that have to be met. Movements used, weight on the bar, push vs. pull, lower body vs. upper body, gymnastics-based, weightlifting-based, “cardio” based. There are many things that make up an effective program. One of those things is the intended stimulus of each workout. What is the stimulus we hope to create from each WOD? Though it may not seem important, this is a very big deal.
Have you noticed the day’s intended stimulus written on the board? Have you heard your coaches talk about it? We share the intended stimulus so you can effectively plan your attack. Sometimes it’s easy to achieve it. Sometimes it’s not so easy. Sometimes we find ourselves in the gray area. That’s the place where you can do the WOD, or a portion of the WOD, RX’d, but by doing so you know you won’t meet the intended stimulus. Maybe it’s to complete it under a certain time, to perform a total number of reps in X number of sets versus singles, etc. This can be a difficult place to be in, but if you’re thinking of the big picture of your training and your progression as an athlete, this is the place where you set aside your ego, set aside your focus on the whiteboard, and think about getting better in the long term.
As coaches we work hard to share this message. There are times where we say to an individual athlete “go for it, do it RX” at the potential expense of the desired stimulus. This is dependent on the individual, the movement, the individual’s goals, and where they’re at with the movement. It’s always done with the big picture of that individuals progression as an athlete and it’s carefully considered. As coaches, our recommending deviation from the stimulus is also few and far between. It should also be for you.
Our goal for you is success not only on the daily whiteboard, but as a long-term athlete with many years of training ahead of you. The small things done right now turn into big things down the road. Play the long game, set ego aside, and stick to the plan. We promise it will pay off for you!