Archive for November 24, 2010

Intensity 101…A Step by Step Plan

Posted in Crossfit Philosophy on November 24, 2010 by Crossfit Sioux Falls

Thrusters with INTENSITY

OK, OK…we’ve all been there, you approach a set of 20, and plan out your mini sets prior to starting. “4 sets of 5…oh sh*t…scratch that, 5 x 4 instead…” I mean who cares??? I did my 20 reps right??

Coach is just yelling to yell, it’s what he is here for…it’s just random instruction and I got a workout in.

Well I don’t blame anyone if they don’t want to believe me…therefore I brought my friend “CrossFit” with me to crack an egg of knowledge on you.

Coming straight from a community that has been working with this brand of FITness for years, the CrossFit prescription is “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement.”

-The constantly varied is easy, just look at the board every day.

Functional movements may not be as obvious, but it’s just the fact that the movements you go through during class will apply to your daily life whether you know it or not. But what is this “Intensity”?

Again letting the CrossFit model speak for itself, “Intensity is defined exactly as power, and intensity is the independent variable most commonly associated with maximizing favorable adaptation to exercise.”

Why do I care again??
“Because compound or functional movements and high intensity is radically MORE EFFECTIVE at eliciting nearly any desired fitness result,” says CrossFit.

Why I am letting CrossFit making me sound smarter than I am? Because just like you don’t work out just work out…we don’t coach, just to coach. We want results and the fastest way to those very results? You guessed it… “Intensity”.

Being intense doesn’t mean you have to load up the bar with 500 pounds and grunt your way through a back squat.

Being intense also doesn’t mean you have the fastest time possible.

Even if you can’t currently perform a full body squat due to flexibility limitations, you can still be intense.

Instead of cranking out 20 as fast as you can at a comfortable depth, let’s eat a few seconds and get 1 centimeter deeper with each squat with our chest up, weight in our heels…all that good stuff. So here my form recognition was more intense, maybe tomorrow you can be more mentally intense.

When you approach that set of 20 you say “here we go, AMRAP this round”, this time you crank out 8 reps…well hitting 8 versus a predetermined 5 is more intense. It was nothing magical, it’s something everyone is capable of doing this TODAY.

Heck…you hear coaches talk about “Unbroken” go for it. Take a couple extra seconds before starting a set, get your breath and try and do the full 20 without stopping. Mix it up and maybe go a little heavier with the weight one day, or maybe be more vocal during the WOD while encouraging other athletes suffering at your side. If you haven’t picked up on it, intensity = results. Why do you think some WOD’s are less than 10 minutes? Because when done at high intensity, it will yield better results than an hour of the same exercises done without intensity.

Being intense doesn’t mean you have to or should sacrifice technique and range of motion. Nor does it mean we should be nazis about it. Finding that balance is what we will work on every day you step into the box. Think long term, it would be great to have a little faster time tomorrow, but most of us are merely training for life. So I don’t care if your Fran time is 2:00, or 20:00…be intense and get those down to 1:58 and 19:58, a PR is a better you. How do I PR??? Intensity my friend.

This is also a reason we encourage rest days… if you don’t, you will lose intensity, that is just the way it is. NO ONE…and I do mean NO ONE, is immune to this. If you train everyday…you need an intensity reality check, and will delay results. Remember CrossFit is observable, measureable and repeatable. Check your journals, check your PR’s (Personal Records). Don’t take my word for it…the proof is in the paleo pudding. CrossFit is open source and doesn’t pretend to hide its methods…we don’t make this stuff up.

Anyhow…find a way to be more intense…give CFSF that and we can promise results and will leave you setting new, higher goals both at the box and out.

Forging Elite Fitness.

Yours truly,