Renaissance Periodization | How to Rate your WODs Renaissance Periodization Renaissance Periodization | How to Rate your WODs

How to Rate your WODs

by Jacob Tsypkin | Aug 23, 2017

Jacob is the author of "Fitness as Sport," a book we highly recommend for competitive fitness athletes. It really dives into the deeper methodology and provides a great breakdown of how to set up your training to become better at sports like the CrossFit Games and Grid.


The implementation of light, moderate, and hard days for RP clients who do CrossFit is a source of some confusion. It’s not quite as easy to measure training volume in CrossFit, where it can seem like sets and reps don’t tell the whole story.

Below are the results of a survey I sent out to a group of my athletes who have been using the templates successfully for an extended period. The training displayed is an actual week of training they went through recently (with slight modifications for individuals, but the bulk of the work was similar.) Their ratings are how they actually rated those days.

I’ve also included an estimated training time, which accounts for total time in the gym, including warm-up and cool down, as well as my comments on whether I agree with the ratings given.

Training Day 1

EMOM 12, alternating:

  1. a) 2 Snatch, 85%
  2. b) 6 Muscle-Ups

Power Jerk 8 @ 6, 8 @ 7, 8 @ 8

Run 8x300m @ 9, work:rest 1:2


Estimated Total Training Time: 120 minutes

Comments: I agree with the 50% who treated this as a “moderate” day. The training volume simply isn’t very high.


Training Day 2

Every 2 minutes for 8 sets:

3 Power Cleans within 20 seconds

Notes

Start at 70%. Add weight each set until you are finished, or until you cannot complete the set within 30 seconds. If the latter comes first, reduce the load and finish the workout.

Back Squat 8 @ 6, 8 @ 7, 8 @ 8, plus two down sets (load drop)

Romanian Deadlift 10 @ 7, 10 @ 8, 10 @ 9, plus one down set (load drop)

For Time:

@ 0:00

200' Sled Push, moderately heavy

9-15-21

Thruster, 95#/65#

GHD Sit-Ups

200' Sled Push

@ 6:00

15 Calorie Row

9-15-21

Overhead Squat, 95#/65#

Toes-to-Bar

15 Calorie Row

@ 13:00

50 Double Unders

9-15-21

Squat Clean, 95#/65#

Pullup

50 Double Unders

Estimated Total Training Time: 150-180 minutes

Comments: Agreed. This is a legitimate hard day.


Training Day 3

Overhead Squat 10 @ 6, 10 @ 7, 10 @ 8, plus two down sets (repeat)

Notes

Use your strongest grip width.

5 Rounds For Time:

18 Kettlebell Swings, 32kg/24kg

9 Strict Handstand Pushups, 4.5"/3" Deficit

5 Rounds For Time:

15 Triple Unders

3 Legless Rope Climbs, 15' Ascent

30 Pushups


Estimated Total Training Time: 75-115 minutes

Comments: This is absolutely a moderate day, not a hard day, despite feeling very challenging during training.


Training Day 4

Row 10,000m @ 6

Estimated Total Training Time: 60 minutes

Comments: There is no universe in which this is not a light day.


Training Day 5

Every 2 minutes for 8 sets:

3 Power Snatches within 20 seconds

Notes

Start at 70%. Add weight each set until you are finished, or until you cannot complete the set within 30 seconds. If the latter comes first, reduce the load and finish the workout.

For Time:

50' Handstand Walk

30 Dumbbell Snatch, 70#/50#, alternating

50' Handstand Walk

30 Pistols, 24kg/16kg, alternating

50' Handstand Walk

30 Chest-to-Bar Pullups

50' Handstand Walk

30 Single Arm Overhead Walking Lunges, 70#/50#, alternating arms every 5 reps

For Total Reps:

1:00 Clean & Jerk, 175#/125#

1:00 Wall Ball, 20#/14# to 14'

2:00 Clean & Jerk, 155#/105#

2:00 Wall Ball, 20#/14# to 12'

3:00 Clean & Jerk, 135#/85#

3:00 Wall Ball, 20#/14# to 10'

Estimated Total Training Time: 75-115 minutes

Comments: Similar to day three, this may feel like a hard day while you’re doing it, but it just isn’t.


Training Day 6

Clean & Jerk 60%x1, 65%x1, 70%x1x2

Pause Back Squat, 2" above bottom position 6 @ 6, 6 @ 7, 6 @ 8, plus one down set (repeat)

For Time:

Row 500m

15 Muscle-Ups

Row 500m

15 Burpees over Rower

Row 500m

15 Bar Muscle-Ups

Row 500m

15 Burpees Over Rower


Estimated Total Training Time: 60-75 minutes

Comments: I’m going to disagree with all of the respondents on this one. This is a light day. The clean & jerks are so light and so low volume as to essentially constitute a warm up. This isn’t really any more volume than you would expect to handle in a typical 1-hour class.


Final Comments: The important thing to remember is that the ratings of “light, moderate, hard” are not measurements of exertion, but measurements of training volume. A three minute CrossFit workout can feel very, very hard, but it doesn’t do much in the way of depleting substrates and it doesn’t cost a whole lot of calories. Look at the amount of work you’re doing, not the way it feels. 

RP note from Nick Shaw: Building upon this great breakdown by Jacob, it's also important to note (as shown in the surveys) that it is ENTIRELY possible for different folks to rate the same workout differently. This is in large part due to genetics and goals. If somebody is trying to GAIN weight, they may round up their workout rating to get more food and the opposite could be said for somebody cutting (round down your workouts ratings). It's important to focus on your individual response to the templates and your goals. A workout may be a textbook "moderate" day, but if you're not losing weight (and that's your goal) it may be wise to rate it as light.