Mastering the double under can be a frustrating skill for many, and an even harder one to coach. The setup is similar to a jump shot in basketball. I can show you how to hold a ball. Where to position your hands on the ball. How to position your feet. How to bend your knees and snap your wrist. All the basic mechanics are pretty easy to relay. But shooting a free throw with no one guarding you compared to shooting a fade away 3-pointer with someone in your face are two completely different things. I can’t tell you how high to jump or how hard to snap your wrist. That’s something you need to figure out on your own. You need to develop that touch and that only comes through practice. But once you have that touch it doesn’t leave you. You know from 5, 12, or 23 feet out how hard you need to snap your wrist to make that shot.
Eventually you start stringing a few double unders together, and you’re so excited that you forget to count your reps, or even breathe. It doesn’t matter that you look like a child throwing a temper tantrum; you got three double unders in a row and you should be proud of that accomplishment. But once you’ve moved past that point, your double under should be a calm, steady zen-like movement. This movement can be an active recovery or a complete gasser. That all depends on you.
This is evident with most of the top CrossFitters, especially at the Regionals and Games level. Those who make it to the final workouts are not redlining the majority of the time. They’re steady and consistent. They’re not peeling themselves off the floor after each workout. They’re maintaining that 85% effort. The difference is that their 85% is a far greater work output than most people’s 100% effort.
Stay calm. Focus on your breath. Focus on your form. Get into a good position, not a broken one. Stop throwing temper tantrums and going into the first round freak out. Maximize your 85%.
Originally posted to the Blog of Larry Palazzolo on 5/15/13.