It is clear that training INTENSITY is a primary focus of CrossFit. Founder Greg Glassman has said that, “Intensity is the independent variable most commonly associated with maximizing the rate of return of favorable adaptation.” Said another way… intensity is where it’s at! So our aim to push ourselves each time we are in the Hut becomes something you get used to. You get used to feeling a little bit nervous before the clock starts- knowing where you will have to “go” physically and mentally in order to hit that intensity red line. So what I am going to say next needs to be taken in context…
There ARE times when you need to back off of the intensity.
Thera are a few scenarios… and this week you want to pay attention to a couple of reasons why you should back off a little.
1.) Back off on Tuesday if you have been attending the strength classes and are going to shoot for a one rep max front squat on Wednesday at 6pm. You have focused on various squats twice a week with the intention of retesting your performance at the end of April. You committed to strength class… so back off on Tuesday and know you get to test yourself under best-case-scenario conditions. IF you attend a training session on Tuesday perhaps go to the Oly Tech class and keep the attention on technique. OR go to a regular WOD, get in a good warm up and some skill work on the Turkish Get ups then hold back on the WOD. Perhaps don’t even do the WOD!
2.) Back off on Wednesday and maybe even a bit on Tuesday if you are signed up for the Whole Life Challenge… because the preliminary WOD is coming on Thursday in each WOD class and YOU want to put up numbers that accurately reflect your current level of fitness. Sandbagging doesn’t help… as it gives you false information once it is time to post test this same WOD way off at the end of June. The last chance to do the prelim WOD for the WLC is on Saturday at 8:45am. Back off on Friday if you are doing in Saturday!
3.) Back off WHENEVER YOU WANT! Yes, it is true. If you are excessively sore you should still get in here and go through the warm up and skill work. Move through full ranges of motion to bring good blood flow and circulation throughout your body… then back off the WOD. If you are injured, get in here and train those parts that don’t hurt. We can work around injuries but you should probably back off the intensity while you heal.
If you are a beginner you should get in as much as possible to become as familiar as possible with the movements. We won’t even LET you push the intensity until you can control your body through space… and forget about weight for now. Increase your range of motion, learn the mechanics and save the intensity for later. WE are teaching you for long term success and not for short term results- we want YOU to train that way.
Keep in mind that Greg also says: Intensity must be pursued relative to the physical and psychological tolerance of the individual. More on that topic soon!