Double or nothing
I don’t know if I have been to a CrossFit competition that didn’t involve double unders. It has become a stable in the fitness testing arena. The movement certainly embodies much of what we are looking for in an athletic effort. It requires coordination, power, and speed. It has a decent metabolic impact depending on volume. That doesn’t mean it is a good test. At least not in the time domain or work volume that you generally see in competition. 50 double unders and for many even 100 unbroken double unders is a back pocket move. I tell my athletes not even to think about showing up to an event until you can do 50 unbroken double unders gassed and cramping. It is just one of those movements that you can’t mess up on. No one else will so you can’t either. It is because of this fact that I don’t think the double unders really merit a place in most fitness tests. Everybody can do it. The net impact of the double under is negligible. There are other movements that create a similar or greater fatigue, require equivalent levels skill, and still work as a separator. If a movement provides no challenge should we still use it for testing? We have yet to see the double under tested by itself. I wager the spectator factor has more to do with this than anything else. 10 min of double unders wouldn’t be that fun to watch. At least the first 8 min and 30 seconds. I think the last 90 seconds would be something worth seeing. There won’t be 10 min of double unders at Beast Fest but that isn’t because I think it is a bad idea.