21 Thrusters (95, 65#)
21 Thrusters (95, 65#)
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Coaches Corner with Coach Geoff
Intensity vs. RX’d
I will be the first to admit that sometimes I get carried away and let my ego get in the way of a WOD. Sometimes I’m a little to ambitious and go to heavy on certain movements and end up paying the price. I am constantly learning things about myself, about programming and coaching, that I want to pass on towards all of you. With that being said one thing I want to address is the common misconception between Intensity and doing a WOD Rx’d.
Greg Glassman, knew was on to something when he founded CrossFit and came up with the Three-part Charter: Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity. It all starts with proper mechanics, can you execute functional movements with proper form? Next comes consistency; can you set up in that position over and over and repeat repetition after repetition without form breaking down even when you’re tired? If you got the first two down, then and only then do we increase our level of intensity during training.
Let’s break down what intensity is. This comes from an article Pat Sherwood, wrote in the CrossFit Journal. Pat is a Massachusetts native, Seminar Staff Trainer, and close friend of CFNE. “Intensity, as we define it, is exactly equal to average power (force x distance / time). In other words, how much real work did you do and in what time period? The greater the average power, the greater the intensity. This makes it a measurable fact, not a debatable opinion. Intensity and average power are the variable most commonly associated with optimizing favorable results. Whatever you want from exercise comes faster with intensity. It’s not volume or duration or heart rate or even discomfort. Do more work in less time (without overdoing it), and you’ll get fitter faster.”
The first year of CrossFit I made the mistake and thought I needed to lift heavier to get stronger and fitter, and time didn’t matter. I sacrificed form, and technique and eventually wound up on the disabled list. I thought I knew everything there was to know after playing college football and lifting with a strength and conditioning coach. Don’t get me wrong I still saw results but I wasn’t maximizing my potential as a CrossFit athlete. During my time off, while rehabbing and recovering, I took a step back and looked at the bigger picture. I read article after article on the journal and promised I would change my method of training. Even today I am smarter about scaling for myself, whether it be reps, load, movements, etc. and it has paid off tremendously.
Let’s take a workout like “DT” for example. 5 Rounds for time of 12 Deadlifts, 9 Hang Power Clean, 6 Push Jerks; prescribed weight is 155/105. The ideal time frame were looking for here is anywhere from five minutes (games level athlete) to the twelve minute cut off. The reason we have time cap’s on workouts is to have you get that “stimulus” were looking for. You don’t have to worry about a WOD going on for an hour, so you know you have X amount of time to crank out as many repetitions as you can and push yourself as hard as you can. We also have time caps because it helps keep all of you safe. We want to prevent injury and overtraining as much as possible.
We’re all wired the same way at CFNE so I understand that as CrossFit athletes we always want to prove something to ourselves. Sometimes we get carried away trying to move that heavy load, or end up moving poorly with more no reps than good ones. Sure, we get that sense of accomplishment, but did I really gain anything physically or become any fitter, by not hitting the standard? Chances are probably not, I’m just going to be really sore and beat up the next day.
What I’m trying to say is, that you are all so lucky to be able to come to CFNE and be coached by some of the best athletes, and coaches in the world. Ben, knows what he’s doing, so trust him and trust his coaches. You have no idea how many other boxes around the country follow OUR programming. Why? Because it works!! Therefore if a coach recommends you scale a weight or rep scheme to stay inside that stimulus, leave the ego at the door and listen. Move like butter, increase your intensity and remember smooth is fast, fast is smooth. There will always be a next time and another time to PR!!
“Performance is directly correlated with intensity. Intensity is directly correlated with discomfort.” – Greg Glassman