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Long Metcons vs. Short Metcons: Why We Have Both

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When coaches take their CrossFit Level 1 Training course they are taught many important things to help athletes succeed inside of the box walls. One of the most important, if not the most important thing, is how to properly program for your athletes.
 

Programming is an art and a science. While coaches understand the thought process behind the method, it can sometimes leave athletes scratching their heads.
 

CrossFit is defined as, “constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity across broad time and modal domains.”
 

Without getting massively into the details, we wanted to take the time to explain what proper CrossFit programming looks like and how CrossFit 1080 does an amazing job of it. Coaches are taught that through CrossFit programming they are to give their athletes (Note: these are all simplified for ease of reading for our athletes):
A wide range of movements: Gymnastic, weightlifting and endurance movements
Broad time domains: Very short metcons to long metcons
Load: Body weight movements, light weight, heavy weight
Reps: Few to many
 

Good programming will have a combination of all of those throughout the week without over-doing certain aspects. Now that you have a better understanding of programming, let’s look at performance.
 

Do you ever get done with a shorter metcon and feel like you barely broke a sweat? That can be really frustrating when you came to the gym to work your butt off, right? Are you craving a long, grueling metcon that makes you want to cry in your own puddle of sweat afterwards?
 

Consider this. If it’s a shorter metcon with lightweight movements, you should definitely still be breaking a sweat and working your butt off. You do not need a long metcon to make a sweat angel on the floor afterwards. If you’re not breaking a sweat and it’s “too easy”, then simply put, YOU are taking it too easy. If it feels easy chances are you need to up your intensity.
 

Let’s take a Tabata workout for example:
3 rounds: (12 minutes total) :20 seconds on :10 seconds off – Air squats, Sit-ups, and Rowing.
Easy? Sure. Challenging movements? Not really. But…. but… next time instead of leisurely doing your air-squats, go as hard as you can for those :20 seconds. If by the 3rd or 4th round of :20 seconds your legs aren’t lit up and burning, you’re not going hard enough.
 

When we program, we program for the entire week. If you only come one or two days you will miss out on a lot of the variety of workouts that we do. Doing all short metcons isn’t good and doing all long metcons is the fastest way to burn yourself out. Variety is key and that’s what we will continue to program for you.
 

If you LOVE the long chipper (4+ movement) workouts, we generally do those on the weekends.
 

Show up, work hard, be stronger than your excuses and remember the CrossFit definition, “constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity across broad time and modal domains.”

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