“Impress me with intensity, not volume.”
- Greg Glassman
Volume and intensity are two completely different things. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking about the volume that CrossFit Games athletes are training. They are often working out multiple times a day for hours on end. What is severely overlooked is the intensity in which those athletes train even with their high volume. They have conditioned themselves to a level where they can train high volume WITH high intensity. That is hugely what separates them from the other 99% of CrossFitters.
For those of us who don’t have four hours a day to train and have come to the realization that we are not training for the CrossFit Games we need to focus on what we can do to reach our own fitness goals.
“Intensity is the independent variable most commonly associated with favorable adaptation to exercise.”
This means that we need to show up to the gym with an attitude of giving it our all for the entire hour. Intensity means forcing a few more wall balls to finish the set when our brain is telling us to let it drop to the floor and rest. Intensity means running out the door full speed even when we know the clock will expire before we finish our lap around the building. Intensity means getting out of our comfort zone today so that we are fitter in the days to come.
“Intent without dedicated action is simply not enough. Action without a clear intent is a waste.”
- Steve Marboli
Intent in CrossFit carries its own enormous value that is often overlooked, and in my opinion is just as valuable as intensity for getting results. We all have the option during the warm-up to move with the intent to get our bodies properly warm for the workout ahead. We can go through the warm-up with all of our intent focused on getting warm while practicing each movement with perfection as our goal. We also have the option to go through the motions of the warm-up without any intention nor focus on using that time for improvement. The same goes for our strength work and workouts. If our intent is to move to the best of our ability and get the best workout possible each day then we need to care less about the weight on our bar, difficulty of a movement, and RX next to our name. We must choose the load or scaled movement that will allow us to intentionally move as perfectly as possible so that it becomes the only way we know how to move.
If you have extra time to spend at the gym decide what your intent is with that time first. If you are going to show up early to do mobility then you should be focusing on completing your mobility drills with 100% effort so that you can move better and feel better. Surfing your phone while using a foam roller as a back cushion is not mobilizing with intent. Likewise, if you have time after class to put in some extra work decide what your intent is for putting in that extra time. Decide what your weaknesses are or what movements you need to practice and spend your time focusing on those. If you just like to sweat and don’t care about improving specific things that is fine too. Put forth the effort and intent on pushing intensity and sweating. Don’t just go through the motions.
Whatever you do, decide what your intent is. Reflect on your level of intent before you complain about not being good at certain things whether they are movements that show up in warm-ups or movements that show up in the Open.
Our job as coaches is to help you reach whatever goals you have in mind and we will always do our best to keep you on that path. Ultimately, however, you have to take ownership of your intensity and intent in the gym because they are both 100% in your control, and they are both keys to becoming the fittest version of you possible. It doesn’t matter if you see CrossFit as a mode of competition or simply your desired way to work out, you should be giving your intensity and intent more attention.
- From Guest Blogger: Coach Tom
Benchmark Fridays brings us Diane today! Check back to August 11, 2017 to see the weight you used, version of handstand push up you performed, and where your time was. As always, record these workouts and every workout so that you can take advantage of measurable and repeatable results in your fitness!
Workout for Friday, April 20
Handstand Push Ups
Ring Dips or Matador Dips - Strict
Pull Up Progressions V2