Workout of the Day

Following the Recipe

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If I handed you and nine other people the same list of ingredients and told you each to prepare a dish for me, there’s a good chance I’d end up with 10 completely different dishes. Ingredients are a starting point, but they’re not a recipe, and they’re certainly not a finished product.

Flour, eggs, butter, milk, salt, baking powder -- what is it?
Pancakes? Biscuits? A crust? A messy, uncooked pile of dough? It depends on how it’s prepared, cooked, etc.
And there’s more. Beyond simply addressing what the dish is supposed to be, there’s the additional question of how the dish actually turns out. Are our pancakes large and fluffy? Dry and nearly inedible? Doughy? Gooey on the inside but burnt on the outside? The outcome of the recipe has more to do with the execution than anything else. The same ingredients in the same proportions can be the best meal you've ever tasted or something that even the least discerning of rodents would turn their nose up at, and it all comes down to execution.

The same goes for training. Two people can follow the same exact training program for a year and garner two completely different results. The reps, sets, time domain, volume, and implements can all have some effect on our execution, but some of what goes into our training can’t be communicated in reps or weights alone. We’ve all likely experienced this firsthand. Simple, easy to execute movements can be turned from a warm-up level of intensity to a gut-check maximal effort with the addition of speed and the omission of rest. Consider completing the infamous workout “Fran” -- 21-15-9 reps of thrusters and pull-ups -- at a leisurely pace, just a few reps at a time. The weight is light, the total reps are relatively low, and the movements themselves don’t demand any inordinate amount of skill or strength. Now consider the same work done in an all-out effort, as quickly as possible, and you have some of the most intense minutes of your life. It should be no surprise that the outcome of these two different approaches to the same work will be wildly different.

This execution element is each athlete and coach’s opportunity to squeeze optimal adaptations from the training. The ingredients may look the same on paper, but the outcome can be wildly different. We’re after big fluffy pancakes here, not burnt, inedible discs of dough.

- PS


5/18/17

  • Deadlift - 3,3,3,3

  • 16 min EMOM

    • Odd: 10 strict supine ring rows

    • Even: 10 DB clusters (AHAP)