CrossFit Gains: The Slow-Cooker Method – CrossFit Cerberus
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CrossFit Gains: The Slow-Cooker Method

Getting strong, sticking with it, and following the plan

CrossFit Gains: The Slow-Cooker Method

I love my husband dearly, but when it’s grilling season, he’s not the one you want fanning the fire and manning the spatula—and I’ll tell you why.  He’s really great at a lot of things, and his efficiency and organizational skills are top notch, which is precisely why he has NO patience when it comes to letting things cook all the way through.


My little brother can smoke a side of ribs all day and end up with a melt-in-your mouth meal everyone’s fighting over.  Hubs, however, has been known to serve uniquely crafted charcoal-briquette burgers that surprise our hungry herd by by still being amazingly raw on the inside.  How does this happen?  A lack of patience.  He gives up on the burgers.

Don’t Give Up on the Burgers

This has happened to me a couple of times at CrossFit (not eating burgers, but working out), and I know I’m not the only one.  What happens exactly?  We go hard, we push our limits, we feel great…and then we burn out.  We max out, we hit a wall, and one day we take a break.  And then something comes up and we take another break or make an excuse.  It’s easy to do when you’re running your gas tank to empty every single time you work out.

We’ve tried cranking the heat, throwing the burgers on the grill, and scorching the crap out of them.  We’ve tried the impatient way.  We were starving to just get things done.  And sure, they looked done, but they weren’t really what we wanted in the end.

Worth the Wait

Upon my latest return to CrossFit Cerberus, Coach Carl programmed my numbers and worked with me and my daughter to plan our steady gains and progress.  When he wrote in my beginning numbers for back squats, snatches, and bench presses, I almost laughed.  They looked ridiculously light—and I gave him a questioning look.  I’m pretty sure most of you can guess what he told me, but just in case you’re wondering, I’ll tell you.  He said, “I don’t care if you think the numbers are light.  I want you starting strong, getting confident, and practicing great movements.  The weight will come.

Slow and Steady

The slow-cooker method is good for several reasons, not the least of which being the fact it keeps us hungry for gains and keeps us from burning out.  But even more than that, let’s look at the science behind Coach Carl’s foolproof method to get us all squatting lower, performing better, lifting heavier, and achieving all-round greater range of motion.  (Sounds like the total package, right?  That’s because it is; it just takes a little patience.)

And Here’s Where We Learn Stuff

This is the part where we learn the science behind WHY it’s good to take things at a slow and steady pace.  Don’t worry; I’ll take it slow for a couple of reasons.  1)  I’m not a scientist, and 2) It took me a while to fully grasp all of this.

Part I: Creating Power

When Coach Carl showed me the graphic below, I gave him the same look I gave my high school Algebra II teacher, which was a cross between confusion and that startled/surprised look you get when you open a cabinet door and a coffee cup accidentally falls out and hits you on the head.  Errr, I sorta didn’t think I had to do a lot of mathy stuff in CrossFit.  (I gave up on that stuff and became a writer the day letters snuck into my math problems!)


After I uncrossed my eyes and managed to focus on what he was telling me, I learned the following:


F (Force) = Amount of tension the body can create and absorb

S (Speed) = Rate of muscular contraction

And things started to click.  We are working on a LINEAR FORCE PROGRAM to BUILD OUR TENDONS OVER TIME…UNDER TENSION.  We are building our very own powerhouses, but it takes time, because we need to spend time building our tendons under tension.

That’s Part I, and today that’s all we have to remember.  Well, that and don’t rush the burgers on the grill, because EWW.

Part II comes tomorrow, and we’ll talk about fun things like golgi tendon sensory neurons and brain surgery.  Ok, not brain surgery.  But really cool stuff that will explain exactly the process we’re working to get strong, improve our mobility, make our joints stronger, and gain healthy lifelong habits.  And no more math…at least not the kind with letters in it.  Promise!

And until then, stick with it, stay strong, WOD, stretch, and ignore the fact that there’s likely 10 pounds of Halloween candy sitting in a bowl in any given direction you look!


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