Friday 100611




5 rounds for time of:

21 thrusters, 75#/45#

21 Double-unders

Post time to comments.


Jenn, determined to make each swing perfect!

Today's WOD is a couplet with 2 great movements: the thruster and double-unders. Some would wonder why we've been hitting double-unders in the skills sessions lately. The answer is because we all need practice with them in our attempt at proficiency. CrossFit Alexandria ( wrote this post about the relevance of double-unders that's pretty interesting. And in the post, you'll see it references thrusters as well, which makes it especially appropriate to show up along with today's WOD!

One of my favorite people, Vanessa Wheeler, posed a very interesting question the other day. Why do we need to be able to do double-unders? Vanessa hasn’t practiced double-unders much, & from what I can tell – absolutely despises them. Her question gave me a great chance to revisit some things & think about exactly why we use the movements that we do.

I once heard Coach Glassman say that the reason he originally picked most of the basic CrossFit movements, was because they wouldn’t let him do any of the things he wanted to at the Globo gyms he had worked at, & when he opened his own place he wanted to do everything he wasn’t allowed to do. Funny, but interesting. The best movements have been outlawed by the mainstream fitness community. If you read my post on jumping, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Coach’s original desire to do the movements he wanted to do, has now been encapsulated in something known as, “The 10 general physical skills required for optimal physical competence.” Most of the basic CrossFit movements fall into many of these categories.

The double-under, ironically enough, may fall into more of these categories than any other movement. As I discussed this with Vanessa last night, I started to really have a “light-bulb” moment about the double-under. I could go through this & break down what part of each physical skill the double-under utilizes, but that would take too long (& I have dealifts to do). Basically, the only category you could argue that it doesn’t fall under, is flexibility. Then again, you could counter that there has to be enough ankle flexion to be able to jump high enough to get the rope under the feet; therefore, full-range-of-motion ankle flexibility is needed to perform the movement. Huh. Is the double-under actually the greatest of all CrossFit movements? It seems to fall into all 10 categories…

Alright, that may be a bit of hyperbole. the double-under is probably not the greatest movement (anyone who’s ever done a Thruster would certainly agree with me on that), but there’s got to be something to the fact that everyone has such a hard time learning them. We almost always see the widest time discrepancies on days when there are double-unders in the workouts. Yesterday’s best time was 24 minutes faster than the slowest (13 minutes to 37 minutes) – that’s a gigantic difference. How many main stream fitness movements require as much practice as the double-under? Nautilus chest press? Dumbell curls? Elliptical? I think you get the idea.

Therein lies the genius of the CrossFit movements. The harder the movement is to perform, the more aspects of fitness required to perform it. The goal is “optimal physical competence”, right? All that to say – keep practicing your double-unders. And, when you get home tell your spouse (or significant other), that those whip marks all over your body are a part of your progression towards “optimal fitness”…or something like that.


4 thoughts on “Friday 100611”

  1. Jenn, you are so hardcore! Look at your face, it is a face focus, commitment, drive and most importantly, craziness! That’s why I love ya!

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