Intensity (is relative).
Intensity, as the CrossFit methodology defines it, is exactly equal to average power (Force x Distance ÷ Time). If average power is high, thus will be intensity. This is what makes CrossFit a measurable fact and not a debatable theory. The variable most commonly associated with achieving favorable results in this sport is “intensity.” Some athletes define their intensity as volume (or load), duration, heart rate BPM, pain and callus tears- none of which are signs that lead to success. Do more work in less time and you’ll get fitter faster.
– Okay CrossFitters show up to the gym, don’t spend much (if any) time warming up, complain about the RX weights, check the board for other peoples scores, struggle through the WOD at the RX weight (may or may not have completed all their reps) and then dip out quick- maybe even before the last person is finished working out, then check-in on Facebook.
– Good CrossFitters show up, spend time preparing for the WOD physically and mentally. They perform the workout to the best of their ability and make sure they leave no one behind. They surround themselves with athletes of all ranges and walks of life to encourage and be encouraged to become better in and outside of the gym.
– Great CrossFit athletes engulf themselves into the culture of the sport. They spend an exceptionally large amount of their time in the gym working on becoming as efficient as possible in their movement, body positioning and technique. They do auxiliary strength work to better their Olympic lifts and progressions to help with their body weight skills. Great athletes always share their knowledge, encourage every single athlete, don’t get involved in the politics and are genuinely passionate about what they do. They may, or may not RX the workout.
“…CrossFit is, at its heart, is a competitive program [in which] it becomes necessary to train to failure. I must admit, I like training to failure…technical failure. [But] technical failure occurs not when the athlete or client is no longer capable of doing the exercise but, when the athlete or client can no longer do the exercise with proper technique. In training beyond technical failure the stress shifts to tissues that were not, and probably should not, be the target of the exercise. How many bad reps is too many?” – Mike Boyle, strengthcoach.com
Perform at your ability. It’s fun to challenge friends in the gym and be competitive, but not at the expense of an injury or hindering your progress at becoming a better athlete. Constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement means that your exercises, reps, sets, weights, rest etc. are changing every time you walk into the box. It’s the shock factor that your muscles need to see results. Routine is the enemy. Thus, if you routinely use weights that are too heavy for you and give you hideous form that make you sloth through a WOD, or you use weights that are too light for you that don’t give you a proper stimulus because you don’t want to get ‘bulky’ (stay tuned for that blog topic), then your results will suffer, you will likely get injured and old habits will creep back into your life.
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