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95 vs 85: Math and Women’s Rights

June 08, 2016

One of our coaches was asked by an astute exerciser last week the following question: If men’s RX is 135, clinic and women’s RX is 95, dosage why does 85 turn up as RX sometimes?

The answer is fairly simple, yet complicated.  It’s my call.  Back in the early days of CrossFit, 135/85 were generally the RX for workouts like Elizabeth or Grace.  Or were they?  The website didn’t actually say – you had to look up videos to learn this.  There is an old video of Greg and Annie doing Elizabeth in which Greg uses 135 and Annie uses 85. I’ve attached the video to this post.  It takes a minute and a half to talk about the weight Annie is using.  They finish at almost the same time.

In CrossFit, one of our primary equations for programming workouts is for Power, which is Force (the weight of the object you move) times Distance (the distance you move the object) divided by Time. CrossFit defines Power as Intensity. If the increased load on the workout causes the time to increase, your relative Power, or Intensity, drops.  So, bigger weight doesn’t always mean a better workout.

But I think you know this.  Wallballs (where we move an object a great distance), light barbells (where we move the barbell quickly) and Burpees (where we move our bodies over a long distance quickly) are often the most memorable.  It’s because it allows us to keep our intensity high.

So, I program 95 pounds a lot for the ladies.  But I generally do it for Cleans, maybe for Jerks.  Our ladies crush this weight on the reg.  I have found that for the Snatch, 95 is pretty close to many of our ladies 1 rep max.  So keeping the weight just a bit light allows many of you to move very fast and spend as little as time possible staring at the bar.

We do a similar trick with Wall Climbs and even Pushups from time to time.  I’ll program less Wall Climbs, like 3 for guys, 2 for ladies to keep the intensity high.

Now, what happens when everyone is constantly smashing workouts like Isabel at 85?  And by smashing it I mean doing it around 3 minutes.  And by everyone I mean 5 to 10 ladies posting scores in that domain.  Then the weight will go up.

So there is a little bit of math involved.  Now, am I sitting at home with a calculator figuring out intensity?  You bet I am.

No, I’m not.  That’s in the back of my head, but mainly I am thinking how would Alison, Kelly, Amanda, Christine or Anna, or any number of our female athletes handle this workout.

Workout of the Day

OTM 20

Even 5 Handstand Pushup

Odd 5 Toes to Bar

Every minute perform 25 Doubleunders

The reps have gone down, but the DU have gone up.  Find an appropriate scaling option and go for it.  Sub for non-DU will still be 20 seconds of attmepts.

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