Understanding CrossFit’s Triple Threat

CrossFit Victoria BC - the guyz rocking a Metcon exercise
Jer and Darin rocking the Met-con!

You hear the coaches talking about the various types of WODs during class times. But do you know how to classify them yourself? Here’s what you need to know to stay in the CrossFit loop.

Lingo: Gymnastics

Gymnastics moves are classified as exercises that establish functional capacity for body control and range of motion. In other words, these exercises help you build the strength and flexibility you will need to transfer over into your other workouts. Gymnastics moves are body weight movements such as pushups, pull-ups, situps, squats, lunges, ring dips, muscle-ups. Anything where moving your own body weight is the maximum load.

Lingo: Weight lifting/O-lifting/Heavy lifting/Power lifting

The weightlifting modality comprises the most important weight training basics, Olympic lifts, and power lifting, where the aim is primarily to increase strength, power, and hip/leg capacity. Exercises may be such things as the snatch, the clean, the jerk, push press, deadlift, wall balls, kettlebell swings, tire flips, etc. Essentially, weight lifting is any exercise where you’re using an external weight.

Lingo: Met-Con

Metabolic Conditioning is mono-structural activities commonly, and mistakenly, referred to as “cardio”. The purpose of these Met-Con WODs is primarily to improve cardio respiratory capacity and stamina. Such exercises would include running, rowing, jumping rope, biking and swimming. Metabolic conditioning does involve some cardio respiratory responses, but it essentially different. The exercises themselves are not called “cardio”.

Lingo: Cardio

The definition of cardio is any exercise that involves or improves oxygen consumption by the body. Cardiovascular endurance refers to the use of oxygen in the body’s metabolic or energy-generating process. Basically, any movement that raises your heart rate to a higher level, and causes your body to require increased oxygen consumption, is a cardio respiratory move. This can include things from any of the “Triple Threats”, meaning the three areas of CrossFit: Met-Con, Gymnastics, or Weight lifting. For example, doing 30 snatch for time is likely to increase your heart rate, much in the way that running1000m will. It feels different, but it still creates the same cardiovascular response in the body. See how that works?

Hopefully this helps unravel the mystery of what makes up your daily CrossFit WODs.  Any questions? Ask us!

Today’s Workout:

Buy In – Ring support hold practice

WOD “G.I. Jane”

* check out the video below on how to do this exercise *

Elite: 100 burpee-pullups

Zone 4: 75 burpee-pullups

Zone 3: 50 burpee-pullups

Zone 2: 5 rounds of 5 burpees, 5 pullups

Zone 1: 5 rounds of 5 burpees, 5 jumping pull-ups

Cash Out – 4×6 knees to elbows (adjust to ability)

Check out the video of Angry Kitten doing a few Burpee pullups in GI Jane


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