Time Caps: Friend or Foe
Time Caps: Friend or Foe?
The time cap is one of the most interesting aspects of CrossFit. There are many different opinions on how it should be used. Some believe that the time cap should always be used as a way to measure progress, while others think that it shouldn’t be used at all!
What do you think? Do you agree with any of these ideas?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
What Is A Time Cap?
A time cap is simply a measurement of time. It’s not just a number, but rather a symbol representing the amount of repetitions that have been completed. For example, if you complete 100 reps in 15 minutes then you would count that as 1 repetition. If you complete 200 reps in 30 minutes then you would count that as 2 repetitions.
So what does this mean exactly?
Well, it means that you have completed the given number of repetitions. You could use this to gauge your progress over time.
Why Use A Time Cap?
There are several reasons why you might want to use a time cap. One reason is because it allows you to see how much weight you’ve lifted in a certain period of time. Another reason is so that you don’t get bored when doing the same exercise over and over again (which will eventually lead to burnout). A time cap is not a magical fix-all solution to your problems, but it is still an effective way to structure your workouts.
Why Not Use A Time Cap?
There are some people who believe that a time cap shouldn’t be used at all. They believe that this takes away from the purity of CrossFit, and by making things more accessible it takes away from the core values of what CrossFit was designed for. Others believe that it is necessary to measure progress so you know what needs to be worked on.
For example, if you can only do 20 push-ups in 2 minutes then that means that you need to focus on your upper body strength. On the other hand, if you can do 20 push-ups in 60 seconds then that means that you’re already fairly strong and need to focus on your stamina. Both of these are necessary for the overall success of someone doing Crossfit.
How To Use A Time Cap
Using a time cap can be very useful, however you need to be careful how you use it. If you’re just starting out then you most likely won’t need to worry about this for a while. The first thing that you should know before using a time cap is your one rep maximum. This is the most weight that you can lift with good form one time. You should be able to set a goal for yourself that is based on this number.
There are many different types of goals that you can have, but the most common ones are:
Beat your previous time cap record
Beat your previous one rep maximum
Beat the recommended times cap
Beat the world record (This one can be quite difficult depending on what it is)
Keep in mind that these goals can be very difficult to accomplish for those who are just starting out. If you’re someone who has been working out for a while and you’re still trying to beat your previous 1 rep maximum then maybe Crossfit isn’t for you. If you’re new to Crossfit then it’s recommended that you start with the recommended times caps and work your way up from there as you get stronger.
What Should My Time Cap Be?
This is another important question when it comes to using a time cap. The time cap is going to be different for each person and will depend on your previous experience with working out in general. The main purpose of the time cap is to make sure that you’re able to push yourself, but not to the point that it becomes unhealthy. The following are some recommended time caps based on your previous experience:
Beginner: Less than 1 minute
This is only recommended for those who are completely new to working out. Even if you think you’re in good shape, starting off with a 1 minute time cap can be fairly challenging if you don’t have any previous experience. As your experience grows then you can increase it to the following levels.
Intermediate: 1-2 minutes
Once you get past the beginner’s level then you can start to increase your time cap by 30 seconds to 1 minute intervals. By this point you should already have a good idea on what you’re going to be working on during each session. If your 1 rep maximum is less than 225 lbs then it’s recommended that you stick with the beginner time cap, as you probably haven’t developed the strength that is required for the intermediate cap.
Advanced: 2-3 minutes
This is only for those who are fairly strong and have been consistently working out for at least a year. Even those who are in this category can still only manage the recommended time cap on certain exercises. You may be able to do more, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. As with the previous interval, once you get stronger you can increase your time cap by 30 second intervals from this point.
Elite: 3 minutes and up
You aren’t considered elite just because you can do a certain amount of time caps, you have to be smart about it as well. Only those who are truly in great shape and have years of experience should even attempt this. If you’re at this level then you most likely don’t need any advice on what to do, as you’ve already mastered all the basics and are only improving your abilities.
What Exercises Should I Use For Time Caps?
The exercises that you should use with the time-caps method are the ones that you are most familiar with and skilled at. These shouldn’t be exercises that are new to you, as you need to have full control over them before increasing the time caps. You can, however, experiment with exercises that are outside your normal range of motion and skill set as you improve.
The following is a list of exercises that are commonly used with this method and are recommended for all levels:
These two exercises are the best all-around strength builders. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore all other forms of training though, especially if you’re looking to get technical.
The Time-Caps Method is a very safe and efficient way to train, but it’s not without its flaws. One of the main issues is that it tends to bore people very quickly, thus leading to lack of motivation. To avoid getting too bored you can change your time cap or the exercises you’re doing every once in awhile. As for the time caps themselves, there’s two major issues that tend to crop up due to the length of them.
The first and most common mistake is that people will get too excited and try to do more than their body is ready for. This can cause injury and unnecessary setbacks in your training. The best way to avoid this issue is to take your time and build up to longer time caps gradually. Don’t increase your time cap unless you’re fairly certain that you can handle it.
The second and less common mistake is that people will get too comfortable and settle with the time cap they’re most familiar with. This isn’t much of an issue for beginners, but those who have been using this method for a long period of time may start to feel like they’ve hit a plateau. You can avoid this by mixing up your exercises every once in awhile. If you’ve only been doing air squats for 6 minutes, then change it up and do wall sits for 6 minutes.
Remember that this is a supplementary training method and shouldn’t be the only thing that you do. You should also focus on your other training methods like weight lifting, gymnastics, and endurance training as well. This will allow you to diversify your skills and abilities so you’re not a “one trick pony”.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Friend or Foe of the US Labor Market: Why Congress Should Raise or Eliminate the H-1B Visa Cap (CL Cromwell – Brook. J. Corp. Fin. & Com. L, 2008 – HeinOnline)
- Interleukin-18 in intestinal inflammation: friend and foe? (B Siegmund – Immunity, 2010 – Elsevier)
- Arterial calcification: friend or foe? (R Nicoll, MY Henein – International journal of cardiology, 2013 – Elsevier)
- Connective tissue growth factor: friend or foe? (BS Oemar, TF Lüscher – Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and …, 1997 – Am Heart Assoc)
- Macrophages in tuberculosis: friend or foe (E Guirado, LS Schlesinger, G Kaplan – Seminars in immunopathology, 2013 – Springer)