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June 12, 2014 at 8:30 pm

Friday 06/13/14

in: Workout

WOD:

Three sets of:
Romanian Deadlift x 6-8 reps
Rest 60 seconds
Ring Dips x Max Reps
Rest 60 seconds

Then:
For time
Row 1000m
30 Hang Power Cleans (135#/95#)
50 Wall Ball Shots

Power Hour:
10 Rounds for time
3 Ground to overhead (185#/120#)
10 Barbell roll outs

Post loads and times to comments.

Amber gets ready to shoulder an atlas stone at Power Hour.

Amber gets ready to shoulder an atlas stone at Power Hour.

To Flop or Not to Flop?

What do you do immediately after yelling “Time!” after a WOD? Do you drop onto the floor and start making sweat angels or rolling around doing the bacon sizzle. CrossFitters are known for several characteristics and one of them is definitely the post-WOD flop.

I remember as an endurance athlete we were always taught not to lay down after a hard race because it was bad for your heart. That appears to be just an old wives’ tale because if that were the case, my heart should have exploded years ago. When I first started CrossFit I never did the flop, mostly because of this old wives’ tale. Then I did Tabata Medicine Ball Cleans and after that last round I instinctively hit the floor in near perfect sweat angel form. It felt so good, mostly because it was all I could muster and it didn’t require any effort. Since then, hitting the deck after a hard WOD happens several times per week for me.

Some in the community refuse to do it and even refuse to let their athletes do it. They see it as a sign of weakness. Mikko Salo, 2009 CrossFit Games Champion once famously (he’s famous as far as CrossFit goes) said this of the post-WOD flop:

“I once read an article about it: when animals surrender they go lying on their back. From then on I decided I would never go lying on my back. It’s a sign of weakness and surrendering. I’m never lying on my back.”

A recent article on the 70′s Big blog, Stop Flopping After a WOD, made this same point and even took it a step further. They discussed the possibility that you are hindering your recovery when you flop because you are negatively affecting venous return from the exercising muscles.

My personal thought is that this all sounds good on the surface, but I really wouldn’t put too much stock in it. If mentally it makes you feel tougher to “walk it off” after a WOD, then do so. If you hit the deck after giving it your all on a WOD and it makes you feel good, then do so. Since I’m not an antelope out on the savannah and the WOD is not a “lion”, I’m really not that concerned about “surrendering” to it. Maybe I just don’t have that vivid of an imagination.

While the venous return argument sounds pretty sciency I’m not convinced that it is. Again, going back to my endurance days, I would never have laid down or sat after running a marathon. We always walked it off and if possible we went for a light recovery jog, only to be left nearly crippled from muscle soreness for several days afterward. Two years into CrossFit I ran a 50 mile trail race and almost immediately after finishing I plopped my butt down into a chair afterward. I was back in the gym 2 days later. While my personal anecdote may not be the most robust scientific evidence ever, it’s enough to let me know that hitting the deck after a WOD isn’t killing my recovery.

At any rate, flop or don’t flop, I don’t think it’s a very important question, but that’s just my opinion. What’s yours?

  • I fall to the ground and immediately enjoy the fact that I just worked my behind off. Jay, will not surrender!!! We will agree to disagree :)

    Posted by: Angelina 7:49 am on June 13th, 2014
  • Never Flop! Never Surrender!.. unless it’s next to the big fan. That big fan feels so good.

    Posted by: M. Cordell 9:37 pm on June 12th, 2014
  • I’m confused on how lying flat inhibits venous return??? My favorite part of the WOD is lying on the ground after unless I feel like puking! Then I have to walk around a bit.

    Posted by: Tracie 9:18 pm on June 12th, 2014

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