Grind Workout vs. Threshold Workout

Grind vs. Threshold.

Whats the difference? Don’t they both hurt?

Yes, both hurt, and they do have similarities, but today we will talk about how they differ from one another. To help me do so, I’m going to use two workouts done recently that were very similar, yet meant to be two different stimuluses.

On Friday (12/17/2020) we had a workout that consisted of Wall Walks, heavy Dumbbell Snatches, and Toes to Bar. Just a couple days later on Monday (12/20/2021) we did something similar with light-moderate Dumbbell Snatches, Toes to Bar, and Rowing. Friday was a 16:00 AMRAP, Monday was a 20:00 AMRAP.

Really similar right? Practically the same?

Yes, very similar as far as the movements are concerned, but quite different in stimulus. Friday we had a Grind workout type.

Grind is meant to be heavy. The Dumbbell Snatches were meant to be at a weight that forced you to slow down and focus in on each rep, not just grip and rip. That combined with the tougher gymnastic movement of Wall Walks made for a more methodical paced workout, forcing more rest time so that you can do the tougher movement/heavier weight.

Monday we had a Threshold workout type.

Threshold is not necessarily meant to be heavy. The Dumbbell Snatches were supposed to be at a lighter weight than Friday which should have allowed for Touch’n’Go reps; less thinking, more doing. In a Threshold workout we are working at, or right below, our work/lactic acid threshold. Our work threshold is a pace that allows us to challenge ourselves, but remain consistent throughout the entirety of the workout; nothing should be so heavy as to slow us down, hence the lighter weight.

How are they similar? How are they different?

Both workout types will challenge you, and increase your heart rateGrind will increase your heart rate during the heavier lifts, but force longer rest between reps/movements allowing the heart rate to come down. Threshold will keep the heart rate up for a longer, consistent, time duration. So rather than a spike and drop, its more consistent across the workout.

Grind workouts will make you stronger when the stimulus is followed correctly. Threshold workouts will increase your work/lactic acid threshold (how consistently you can workout without needing rest) if the stimulus is followed correctly. Both workouts are crazy effective, but have different benefits. So while sometimes a workout might look the same, the stimulus will have an intentional difference.