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We Play The Sport Of Fitness

October 29, 2008

Intensity. What does that mean to you? How do you measure the intensity of your effort in a workout? Elevated heart rate? Breaking a sweat? Grunting and making lots of loud noise? Puking? I’ll bet your definition has changed since you began CrossFit. I know mine did. CrossFit is an intense way to workout- it’s hard! But the payoff is that for some sick reason its satisfying and fun, and we cant wait for the next workout. That is a distinguishing factor in CrossFit. We are making fitness a sport. We are a family, and we cheer for each other, we push each other, we compete with each other. All of these factors have a positive effect on our intensity. In reality we bring the best out of each other. The fitness levels of each participant may vary greatly, but the thing each one of us can experience is the same level of intensity. How so? Well imagine an elite CrossFitter shows up at C3 and does the Kelley workout with us and gets it done Rx’d in 18 min. Then lets say on the very same day someone who is brand new to CrossFit learns the movements and does 2 rounds scaled way back in the same amount of time. Who was more intense? To determine that we need to observe more factors. If the newbie is laying on the ground, chest heaving and incoherent for half an hour and the elite athlete walks away from the wall balls and hops on the rower and then bangs out some double unders- well the intensity award goes to our first timer. Why because intensity is relative to each and every athlete. That elite athlete, albeit an impressive performance had a lot more to give! He should have had 12 min! The newbie was as intense as possible and had nothing left to give after the workout and was working at their MAXIMUM INDIVIDUAL INTENSITY. We don’t want to sideline ourselves either. So what about safety? Can you hurt yourself from to much intensity? Absolutely and that is not our goal. That’s why it is more important to learn the hierarchy of development 1. Technique- there is no better faster way to get hurt than to have atrocious form and try to add a lot of weight. Learn and master technique first. If you have questions- Voice them. 2. Consistency- OK you can squat with the proper technique. How many times before your technique falls apart? Being able to maintain the correct form for the duration of the workout is a necessary skill. 3. Intensity- This is where the results are. You are working at a higher power output, with heavier loads. The formula we are interested in at this point and in CrossFit is- FORCE (how much weight) multiplied by DISTANCE (how far did you move it) divided by TIME (how quickly you moved it). That is how we can calculate=POWER. Boil it all down and this is what we are after. Another way to say it is “Work capacity across broad time and modal domains.” The ability to do a variety of things over a variety of time frames- no matter if it requires endurance, power, speed, etc- with high intensity. The military calls this GPP- general physical preparedness. Remember specialization is for insects. If you only have one or two aspects of fitness life and CrossFit will leave you lying in a puddle of your own sweat, or other undesirable body fluids. Everyone has shown tremendous ability to learn the movements, make necessary improvements and adjustments and then not shy away when the time comes to ratchet up the intensity. If I say “if you want to sub push-ups for heavy benching…” or “you can scale back to 3 rounds…” I get a unanimous group response basically saying- “No way-bring it on!” That is intensity. That is the sport of fitness. That is why we are all seeing astounding results.


5 Rounds For Time
10 Dead Lifts 225
40 Sit-ups
200m Sprint

Scale as needed

This was up a few weeks ago. Probably not the last time you’ll see it either. Can you spot the key features of a correct Deadlift we execute. (maintaining mid-foot, chest-up, securely neutral spine not rounded, knees then hips but in one movement)

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