Workout of the Day

The Right Tool for the Job


Last Thursday's training called for ten 30-second maximal effort intervals on the air bike. The training was designed with one primary focus: intensity. Of course, “intensity” is sometimes used as a catch-all word to describe anything difficult. In this case, we are using the term “intensity” in a precise and literal sense to refer specifically to maximal power output. Our focus was on training intensity, both as an attribute of our training and as a skill itself.

To do this, we chose a tool that is intentionally simple and, to put it simply, hard to screw up. This allowed the athlete to focus on the skill of intensity (“how much energy can I put into pedaling this darn bike?”) without the added noise of a high-skill movement. If the same work intervals had been prescribed with a higher-skill movement -- something like a dumbbell clean, a snatch, or a muscle-up, for example -- we could still certainly achieve intensity, but the level of achievable intensity would be limited by the skill. An athlete with anything less than mastery over the snatch would never achieve the same power output as they could on the bike, because their focus would be occupied by properly executing the complex movement.

One tool is not better than another. There are times when a snatch is appropriate in an interval setting and there are times when the air bike is a better choice of tool. The tool chosen must reflect the intention of the training. Is our focus on the skill of hip extension? We will necessarily abandon some level of intensity, then, as we choose movements that layer on complexity. Are we looking to focus on intensity exclusively? Then a simple movement that can be scaled to any skill level is most appropriate. Every day of training has an intention, and the right tools for the job are chosen to match that intention.

What do the tools chosen for today’s training tell you about our intentions?

- PS


  • In 10 minutes, for total cumulative time:

    • Max time L-hang

    • Max time ring support hold

    • (Rest as needed between attempts)


  • 2 rounds

    • 60s max pull-ups

    • 60s max handstand push-ups

    • 60s rest

    • 60s max pull-ups

    • 60s max strict push-ups

    • 60s rest