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Old 11-05-2008, 10:53 AM   #1
Alan O'Donnell
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Boston, MA
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Default about crossfit met-con...

So I have a confession. I kinda just don't like doing met-con workouts.

My question is basically how many of them I should slog through, given my athletics goals.

Background: I was a very competitive soccer player in high-school, but decided not to play in college. I graduated in 07, so it's been about 6 years since I played at a high level, and my endurance is completely and utterly gone. Not a scrap left. I still look like a soccer player though: 5'10", thin, very strong legs, about 175 lbs (I think it's the thick legs, I have a sixpack etc. and don't see how I could weigh much less than 165).

I started working out at Crossfit Boston this past March, was out of the country all summer, and started up again about a month ago (so about 3.5 months total time crossfitting). I've made great strength gains over the past six months (I couldn't do any pullups when I started, and I got my first strict muscle-up a couple days ago, etc.), but I frankly suck ass at the met-con stuff. It hurts my soul - I love love love the gymnastics stuff, and I enjoy working on heavy lifts, but I just get no enjoyment whatsoever from met-con. I think I'm too used to breathing heavily in the context of chasing a ball to do it in a gym. I have trouble really pushing myself since I kind of just don't care that much - I'd settle for a 12 minute fran time if I could do a free-standing HSPU.

Does this make me a terrible person? Given that I mostly care about getting really good at gymnastics/capoeira, is it reasonable to ease up a bit on the met-con, or should I just suck it up and get good at it again? I'm wondering because the met-con really knocks me out and limits the time I have to work on gymnastics when I'm fresh.

Kind of an open-ended question, sorry about that, but I'm curious what you guys have to say. Thanks, Alan
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:26 AM   #2
joe waguespack
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I think it will all depend on what YOU want to do. Of course if you were a professional athlete then there would be workouts/exercises that you would have to do wether you liked it or not, or if you were preparing for a specific contest of some sort then I would say suck it up and do what you have to do. But if you are training for sheer enjoyment and the health benefits then do what you want. If I was walking around with a natural six pack and didn't have the problem of gaining bodyfat easily the only thing you would ever see me doing is strength based barbell and kettlebell workouts, because thats what I enjoy. Unfortunately being genetically pre-dispositioned to being a chubbo, met cons are kind of a necessity in my routine, but I still usually make them something I can enjoy like barbell complexes or high rep KB work (still metabolic but with a strength/power endurance focus) If your goal is to be good at gymnastics, then focus on that. All of that "kind of being good at a bunch of things, but not great at any of them" Crossfit stuff, isn't the training gospel. In order to be really good at something , specialization is needed. Do what you want is the bottom line, if you hate met con work, don't do it. If you like gymnastics and strength work dive in head first. Besides I would venture to say that many of the gymnasts I have seen are in much better shape and have better athletic abilities than a guy that can do a 2:00 Fran. Just my opinion.
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:30 AM   #3
Jacob Rowell
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Sounds like you have fairly specific goals which don't include CrossFit. I own a CrossFit gym, but I'll freely say, if you're not looking for what CrossFit offers, why do it? You're spreading yourself unnecessarily thin if you're putting time and effort into something you don't: A) want to do and, B) need for any particular reason.

Most people who come to me are looking to get "fit" generally speaking. We're a little strength biased, but still, offer a quick effective solution. You want something entirely different. Go lift, work on your gymnastics skillz, and enjoy yourself.
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Old 11-05-2008, 12:13 PM   #4
Gant Grimes
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If stapling your lip to your desk isn't consistent with your goals, would you still do it?

You're fortunate to have Jon Gilson and EC at your disposal. They are both knowledgeable and can recommend something for you. If it's not CF, they will probably tell you that.
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Old 11-05-2008, 02:31 PM   #5
Júlíus G. Magnússon
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It sounds like you should definitely drop the metcons all together.
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Old 11-05-2008, 04:10 PM   #6
Mike ODonnell
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Who let in another Irish person from Boston? Damn......this place is going to turn into a bar.....
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Old 11-05-2008, 05:06 PM   #7
Craig Brown
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It's really a case of whatever works for what you want to do. I like met-cons, but they negatively impact some things I like. I also ride my bike as my main form of transit, so I get some coverage there. Currently with some chronic hip/low back issues I can't really do anything heavy...weirdly enough I'm doing a form of density training that is working great. Who'd a thunk it?

Goals determine the program.

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Old 11-05-2008, 07:06 PM   #8
Alan O'Donnell
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 51

Thanks for the responses everyone - they were interesting to read, I was expecting more of the "suck it up" variety.

I'll definitely keep going to CF Boston (everything about the place is awesome, including Jon and EC), but I'll try limiting the met-con. Hopefully I can find some soccer leagues to play in and do my endurance work that way.
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Old 11-05-2008, 08:50 PM   #9
Steven Low
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I choose to focus pretty much all of my training towards bodyweight strength and gymnastics skills + explosive leg stuff for Parkour. I like that so that's what I'm going to do.

I don't do metcons because it's not on my list of priorities (if I do they're generally short). I don't run X miles because I don't like running long distance because I think I need endurance.

Do what you want to do. Period. If you ever feel like you don't like something.. don't do it. Or at least evaluate whether it may be helpful or not long term to your goals.
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:40 AM   #10
Garrett Smith
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I'm in a very similar situation to yours.

My interests right now, strength-training-wise, revolve around OL and gymnastics. I find that too much metcon of any sort really sucks a lot of life (and thus progress) out of those two pursuits.

For conditioning, right now, my needs are fully met by weighted hill walking and/or walking with DB exercises (HeavyHands) and the odd GS KB workout (I'm working on getting one solid KB workout in a week). I find the walking is not only relaxing and gets me outdoors, it also gets the HR up for a longer period of time and it doesn't interfere with my other workouts at all--I look at it almost as active recovery.

If you don't like it, don't do it--because your brain will eventually rebel. Don't think of it in a negative way, as in "limiting metcon", think of it as doing the things you LIKE to do. If you get a hankering for a metcon, then do one--but don't overdo it if you haven't done much in a long time--that could be ugly.

Ie...don't do Murph your first metcon back...bad idea. We've been over that before here.
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