Get out of your comfort zone – it’s Doomsday!

Thursday 9.07.15


We do CrossFit for life. We run, jump, lift and do pull-ups not just to get better at running, jumping and doing pull-ups but to become more useful human beings and prepare for the unknown and unknowable or at the very least, whatever life might throw at you.

At the last training camp I went to, one of the coaches (Rudy Nielsen) talked about Doomsday Theory – the concept of you getting so used to training and/or performing movements in a set manner and what would happen if you rocked to a comp with different movements standards (that you hadn’t trained/prepared for) – would you tank or would you excel?

A couple of years ago, I competed at the local Smash Clash comp. One of the workouts included 40kg Snatches with a 20kg men’s bar. At the time 40kg was my 1RM but because I usually snatched that on a thinner 15kg bar I was completely caught by surprise. To top things off they’d also run out of chalk. How the hell was I supposed to do this?! Snatch a guy’s bar and with no chalk too –  I wasn’t mentally prepared for it at all. Yes, I did end up getting through the WOD but perhaps I might have done better had I of practiced/prepared myself for different scenarios?

Do you have a “thing”, habit and/or preference that you must have or do to be able to perform a particular movement and/or workout? Maybe it’s lifting on a set platform or using a particular barbell? Perhaps you only do pull-ups in a set spot and have a preference for how thick the bar is. Would you be able to do handstands push-ups without the comfort of an ab mat? Can you do muscle ups close to a wall or do you need [your] rings in the middle of the gym? Could you use thicker rings? Could you do a muscle-up on ropes?

Do you always train at the same time every day, or with the same training buddy? What would happen if you lifted with another person that loaded the bar up differently to what you were usually used to? How would you perform if you trained at 6pm instead of 5:30am? Would it totally mess up your mojo?

Say you found yourself in a natural disaster after a tsunami, earthquake or perhaps something completely unnatural like a zombie apocalypse. If a tree fell on your mate (or your mum) and you had to do some heavy lifting, would you tell them to hang on a second while you grabbed your training gear, put on your weight belt on and chalked up? I don’t think so. You would just pick up that damn tree. What about lifting yourself up and over a wall or up into a tree – what if the branch was thicker than our regular 32mm pull up frame? Would you be ready for that?

I hope you get what i’m trying to say here.

I want you to think about what it is that you would struggle to go without or struggle to change in your regular day to day training.

Perhaps it’s the need to take your shirt off when you train, or that platform you just ‘have to’ stand on, or that barbell you must use or a particular skipping rope. I’m not sure if you realised this but the coaches hid the chalk away yesterday – How did you cope without it? Did it get into your head or did you actually get through the WOD without falling off a bar/barbell and dying? Did you really need that super-magical white dust as much as you thought you did?!

Change up your barbell (girls: use a 20kg), try lifting without knee sleeves or a weight belt, use less chalk or no chalk at all, train with someone different, train at a different time, find a different platform, lift without Oly shoes. Try pull-ups and T2B without gloves. Life favours people who can deal with change over people that cannot.

We’re all creatures of habit but every now and then it’s good to shake things up and get out of your comfort zone. Try it for yourself by doing something different or going without in your next workout and mentally challenge yourself by embracing the mantra: “less is more…”

What is it that you need to shake up?

~ Coach Becca

A: snatch max in 15 mins

B: 3×10 back squat (10 min)

C: For Time:
21 Handstand Push Ups
15 Thrusters 60/40kg
9 Bar Muscle Ups

FF version:
21 push press @ 40/30kg
15 Thrusters @ 40/30kg
9 burpee pull-ups
Post loads and notes to comments.

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  • Ivan L says:

    Missing chalk. Never noticed. OK, so maybe a little.
    A. 66kg. 1kg PB. Not sure whether I am happy about this or dirty about the two times I got 70kg up overhead and didn’t stand it up. Soon, damn it.
    B. Worked with Tim W. Always a pleasure. 80, 85, 90. Hard enough but could go a little heavier. Nervous though because I am still recovering from hamstring tendon strain from 20rm back squat last year.
    C. For once glad not to have bar muscle ups. FF for me. 2:55.

  • Amanda C says:

    A. Wasn’t a max snatch kind of day for me so I practiced getting under the bar quicker with 22.5kg
    B. 40kg
    C. 5.59 FF with 25kg

  • Nikki says:

    A: 35kgs- new 1RM finally!! Felt pretty good, but failed 37.5kgs.
    B: 45kgs, 50kgs, 55kgs. I wasn’t too sure what to start with for these, but next time I will probably start at 55kgs.
    C: 5:03 FF (30kgs and jumping pull ups).

  • tim says:

    A) 40kg*
    B) 80/90/100 (legs were smoked from yesterday but Ivan inspires)
    C) 3:25
    *Got some good tips from Beck, my head gets it but still dropping 30% of lifts even at 40kg

  • Kathleen says:

    I shamelessly love chalk. While I survive without it, I’d much rather be able to use it. I should definitely train without it more often.

  • Marc D. says:

    Feeling good after an extended break… Nice to be back!

    A) Didn’t PR snatch, got under 75 a couple of times, but could quite get it. Awesome to see Ewan smash 90 like it was nothing!
    B) Got it done
    C) 3:31 FF. I enjoyed this.

  • Lex says:

    A. 30Kg. Tried and failed on 32.5 a few times so just did some more at 30 to get the hang of it.
    B. 35kg
    C. 4:06 with 20kg and jumping pull ups. In hindsight probably should have done 25Kg. Next time.

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