Those who have been here before know what’s about to happen to their shoulders, pecs and triceps. So they take their coach’s advice and choose a conservative push-up number. But there’s always one dude who ignores the part about being conservative. “Screw it. I can hold 16 push-ups each interval,” he thinks to himself with supreme confidence. The first round goes well for everyone.
The experienced athletes only use half of the 20-second interval, while the CrossFit rookie, who has spent his life benching, throws down 16 push-ups. Feeling jacked up and vascular, he’s sure he’s en route to an impressive score.
Round 2 looks similar. Everyone holds his or her numbers. Then Round 3 hits and the rookie’s confidence takes a small hit. He needs a quick break after the first eight push-ups, and he ends the round with 12. He alters his game plan, still believing he’ll be able to finish with a score of 12.
“Easy, big fella. Back off a bit,” the coach says to the
ambitious new athlete.
That’s when things really start to unravel. Round 4 is even tougher, and in Round 6 it’s nearly impossible to hold six push-ups. Round 7 drops him to five push-ups, though he musters up two or three valiant attempts at a sixth, squirming aggressively to lock out his elbows, only to give up and dramatically plop flat on his chest. When all is said and done, his final Tabata push-up score is a meager three.