When I first began CrossFit, it was all about 1) test and retest, and 2) go as hard as you can.
I was told that "Intensity is the secret sauce".
Part of that statement is still true. Intensity, when used correctly, can produce great results. Think of the TV commercials we see or used to see....P90X, HIIT anything, Taebo, etc. = doses of high intensity, used appropriately.
However, if you only chase intensity, it will eventually lead to burn out, adrenal fatigue, weakened immune system, soreness that never goes away, injuries for sure, etc.
Even many Games level athletes talk about how their training has created negative health effects and that they have moved on to something different. Those still competing at a high level have mastered their recovery but still deal with the occasional injury and burn out.
This is not about bashing the sport we love, it is just a reminder that Intensity needs to be used properly.
What is the point we are trying to make?
We could almost sum it up in one simple statement: "Stop worrying about your score on the board". Specific, yet, it could imply numerous things.
Competing is fun, I get that. Not a weekend Competition, but each day in class. There is a bond, a camaraderie built over duking it out in the trenches.
Scores on the board, however, are a guide. A map of sorts.
If you try to go all out, in every workout, especially with improper rest and recovery (day to day), you will certainly have adverse side-effects.
Stop competing every time you are there, start training!
We could likely write numerous blogs to lay this out. For today, let's summarize.
- Build a good base.
This is why we do our Strength component. Lift with a purpose! Slow and controlled, time under tension. Getting stronger means less chance of blowing out your knee slipping on ice. Helping keep you active into old age. Fewer trips with groceries. Not to mention, more muscle = a higher metabolism!
Finally, keep good form! If you can not maintain excellence for sets of 10 = wrong intensity or too much weight. Lower the weight, do it right, or risk injuries and lack of mobility in your future.
- Metcons/WOD's should not all be at 100% effort.
Everyone is a bit different, and each workout is different. Learn when and where to push.
Have a 25min chipper today...maybe nice and easy at 50-65% would be better. 16min EMOM....short and fast, BUT maintainable bursts with some rest every minute. Stressed out, little sleep, dehydrated....light and under 50%. Actually, you should probably take a nap and go for a walk.
When to go 100%? Maybe 3-4 times a year....when all the stars align, you feel great, and we retest one of your favorite workouts.
- Rest PROPERLY.
Some of you can certainly come 5 days a week. Some, 3 is more than enough. If you make it 5 days a week, then number 2 above should be even more important. Either way, if the body feels drained, do not abuse it more = wrong intensity! Take it easy or let it rest.
- Stop worrying about the score.
Many of you do a great job here, but too many still short (skim) reps, don’t go full range of motion, throw form out the window. Your body will thank you when it begins to get the correct stimulus instead of having to dig its way out of a deeper and deeper hole.
If your body had a "feeling perfect" line on a graph, it should never go more than 3 days without coming back up to or above that line...which happens with rest days and proper pacing. More may seem better but beating yourself up will end in disaster.
If the coach does not mention it, ask what the intended stimulus should be. We promise, the right speed, weights, and form, will equal better results.