"Building base" is a well understood term in most endurance sports. It acknowledges some fundamental aspects of periodization, and has a clear place in the season respective of the sport. It is also something that I see a lot of people having a problem understanding when it comes to applying the same principles to the sport of CrossFit.
This session was part of my recent program that has more to do with healing injuries, and also resetting motivation than it does with any specific goal. My take on most GPP programs is that you need to wax and wane according to motivation. Right now, seeing as there is nothing on the calendar, I tend to just do whatever appeals, which can get fairly reckless if you are in a. gym that has a proper work ethic. Intensity for no reason (catharsis is a reason) only minimizes potential. Without a proper goal there is nothing to measure the efforts by, or even more importantly: something to measure progression by. So, for me, whenever I lack the insight I make a concerted effort to work on skills, weaknesses, and yes, I participate in "building base", which is to say: I go slow, I build volume, I try and make all of the movements that I do more efficient, which doesn't happen at high speeds.
I set these sessions up typically by aiming for 90-minutes. but the goal isn't just to make it to the 90 mark, its to do the movements effortlessly. If at any time the movements start to push me into the "too hard" realm, I pull the plug and walk away, next time aiming to extend the session by 5-10 minutes longer. This is a completely different feeling than the task accomplishment mentality that follows most CF programs, whereby everyone is a tough guy unless they are a quitter. But the basis for most training is under the premise that you want the bare minimum stimulus for adaptation. This is for obvious reasons – if you aren't following then here is an example: If you could get a strength response from back squatting 80% x5x5, what would the purpose in doing 80% x10x10? If you got the response from half the volume why continue, why limit the potential for an added training session by going deeper? Most of it has to do with ego.
Unlike most strength and power training, there are very good indicators that the cardiovascular system has been well affected. One of these is known as "cardiac drift", it is the moment that an easy effort at a given speed takes just a little bit more effort, at which point the effort is stopped.
This session is a take on that and applied to the gym world, it isn't directly the same thing as building efficiency in a mono structural movement, but it is as close as I can come to the same feeling.
10min easy bike
dynamic floor work
EMOM till efficiency failure
10x of each (unless stated otherwise):
-cals assault bike
-DB snatch @ 50lbs
-DB clean @ 2x50lbs
-Bulgarian split squat (10 each leg)
-GHD sit up
I made it 61min before I felt that the intensity was too high to be useful. I like a mix of movements, some taking a little more effort and others being a bit easier, this enables me to sense recovery between, but if you've never done this before try and make each station last about 20-30 seconds of 80% effort. I will try and push a similar session 10-15minutes longer in the next attempt until I can hit 90, at which point I will just vary the movements and then start to add reps and take away time. This is what we call "pushing out the walls" in order to make room for intensity.
heads up: the movements should be mostly aerobic, doing anything in the realm of CP or ATP is not the same thing, it isn't wrong it is just a different stimulus.