Since starting our Advance Theory Course, I have been re-reading some core concepts from the CrossFit methodology. Most of these are ideas that are covered during the CrossFit Level 1 certification but it’s important to refresh your memory every so often.
Let’s talk about Intensity.
CrossFit changed my life in many ways. I did not have a background in sports or athletics, so my experience of intensity was subject to an off-shore, head-high day of Fall/Winter surfing.
It took me a while to find “intensity” in my workouts, and that’s not a bad thing. The journey of defining what fitness means to you takes time and patience.
At CrossFit Off the Grid, we teach the CrossFit methodology and believe strongly in the concept of Mechanics, Consistency and then Intensity. The CrossFit training manual defines this as;
Mechanics —Does the athlete know the points of performance of the movements? Can the athlete display these points of performance in all movements?
Consistency —Can the athlete perform multiple repetitions of movements well without instruction? Also, has he or she been in the gym long enough to develop a tolerance for intensity?
Intensity —Once an athlete consistently displays sound mechanics and acquires a suitable training history, coaches can introduce intensity with appropriate loads and speeds.
Mechanics simply put is technique. The ability to move properly through the core movements and moving yourself and external objects in the most efficient, effective and safe manner possible.
Consistency has two parts; consistently performing the mechanics of movement and being consistent in your CrossFit workouts. More is not better. Better is better!
Intensity is “the independent variable most commonly associated with the rate of return on favorable adaptation.” This is a process, and for most athletes, patience is necessary. This is meant to be built up over time but it is also relative to our physical and psychological tolerances.
The best way to summarize this entire post: if you can not do the movement with proper mechanics, you should not be adding intensity (which can be in the form of speed, weight, or complexity). While safety is usually our greatest concern, it is also worth mentioning that the combination of Mechanics, Consistency and Intensity is the most efficient and effective road to fitness. Sound technique will allow you to lift more weight, do more reps, faster. Increased work capacity (more work in less time) = higher average power, higher power = higher intensity, higher intensity = better results.
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