How To Improve CrossFit Muscle Ups With James Fitzgerald


The muscle up means something different for everyone. Over the course of a season, it may be mechanical for some where you would do them in a non-fatigued setting, which could be done in an EMOM (every minute on the minute) in a non-fatigued way. just to gain control, and you can build volume (more reps) very easily that way. And then over the season, you can start adding components to that. Preferably, you don’t want to go from putting into a skill setting to putting it into metabolic conditioning components. because you’re just going to bring upon fatigue and learn how to do muscle ups when you’re tired (ie poor form). If you don’t do them well, your body won’t increase efficiency/output over time. The best way to do it over time is to do it in non-fatigued settings to slight-fatigue settings, into fatigued settings with the same kind of movement, into fatigued settings with complementary complex activities that go along with it. and then, like you’re seeing here, in a competitive season or a pre-comp season, you’ll test the muscle up with different kinds of scenarios. What Brian and Hank are going through is the dose response that you’re trying to get from the couplet is 50 double unders (DU) + 4 muscle ups (MU), 40 DU + 4 MU, 30 DU + 4 MU, 20 DU + 4 MU, 10 DU. The point is to find 1 skill, in this case the muscle up, to focus on in the couplet at high speed, high amount of breathing, and low skill on the other movement. That’s important, the double under cannot be challenging for them. Otherwise, it’s going to take away from our goal which is high breathing and a good bottleneck of the muscle up. The way you choose your reps, in this example it was ironic because it comes down to 1 rep at the end, You take their AMRAP scores (max unbroken reps) – Brian is 19 and hank is 17-18 – You take that amount and put it into the training session, so the total they are doing in this little piece is 16. I’m choosing that number at a high rate because I know it’s their AMRAP. Because they are going at a high rate with a movement in between, those muscle ups will get challenging quickly. If you do it, you are trying to do it at a high rate to get to a bottleneck in the muscle up with fatigue. That trains your brain to work with fatigue in that skill component. The next level above this would be to put something really complex or CP (creatine phosphate) ATP or muscle endurance piece with the muscle up and then training it in endurance or single sets over time to complement it. The whole premise is basically for these 2 guys to make it competitive because they are in their competitive season where they have to learn their strategy and pace, and they also have to train and test it. You can see that both Hank and Brian are tiring; I told them they have to go hard enough to almost the point of failure. Both of them do get to that point right here with only 1 rep left which is awesome. That’s the whole point, to get to that point and learn how to deal with it in the moment. I hope you’ve learned some good principles to progress muscle ups as well as more complex skills in fatigue states. They finish up within 1 second of each other. I hope you enjoyed that little doozy of a couplet!

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