December 3, 2013
The “Chelsea” WOD (and her friends)
The workouts of Angie, Barbara, and Chelsea, are
super simple (being comprised entirely of common calisthenics),
very tough, dramatically reinforce the pull-up, and yet each
presents a different metabolic challenge.
Angie and Barbara, contain pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, and squats.
Chelsea contains pull-ups, push-ups, and squats but no sit-ups.
For each of these three workouts the pull-ups clearly present
the greatest challenge. And, in the workouts’ aftermath, most
athletes expressed surprise at their significant lat, rear delt,
and biceps soreness. At CrossFit the pull-up is sacrosanct and
everyone needs more. Angie, Barbara, and Chelsea support
these values and aims
The real story with these three workouts though is perhaps
hidden by their obvious similarities. Each offers a distinctly unique
metabolic stimulus. (Though, each is completely exhausting.)
Angie represents about 20 minutes of continuous work. Even with
the necessary breaks in the pull-ups and push-ups the exertion is
largely steady from start to end. For most, the tempo picks up
with each new exercise. This workout has a strong aerobic flavor
that increases throughout the workout.
Barbara demands roughly 3 minutes of all out work punctuated
by 3 minutes of rest repeated for a total of 5 intervals. At about
3 minutes of work and a 1:1 work to rest ratio this is an aerobic
interval. Though three-minute efforts reach into aerobic turf
they are short enough to still have a strong anaerobic character
Chelsea timed out is at 40 seconds of work for most followed
by 20 seconds of rest repeated for up to 30 minutes. At 40
seconds “on” and 20 “off” this is an anaerobic interval with an
abbreviated rest, which imparts a strong aerobic flavor. This is a
hybrid interval like our Tabata interval.
Angie, Barbara, and Chelsea differ in metabolic demands
and each shifts these demands throughout the workout.
With Angie the work becomes steadier as the workout
progresses. For Barbara each round takes a little
longer and consequently increases aerobic demands
while the rest remains constant. And, with Chelsea the
rest shrinks as each round takes longer and longer to
complete but cannot exceed 1 minute, so the aerobic
quality asserts itself through diminishing rests.
It’s a pass/fail type thing. If you make it 30 minutes – you pass.
If you don’t, note how many rounds you successfully completed and this is your benchmark score to be used for future reference.