Be impressed by intensity, not volume. – Greg Glassman
One of the hardest things for people to grasp about CrossFit training is the level of intensity we are looking for. For the majority of people, their experience with fitness has been aimlessly wandering the weight room looking for an empty machine or spending 2 hours mindlessly spinning their legs on an elliptical. It’s also important to note that people that choose to exercise that way generally have a much lower level of fitness than those that choose a high-intensity form of exercise like CrossFit.
It is not uncommon for people to feel they need to work out more when they first start CrossFit. They are not used to the concept of doing a 10-minute workout and being done. They feel they need to do extra running or do multiple workouts in a day to get a better result. Usually, the result they are after is a lower body fat percentage. CrossFit has demonstrated the opposite is true.
We want you to workout smarter not more! We vary the length of our workouts and the intensities typically follow. The longer the workout the more sustained effort we are looking for. The shorter the workout the harder we want you to push or the more “intense” it is. Take all the energy you’d spend in running those extra miles and put it into your 6 min AMRAP of Box Jumps and Overhead Squats. It is the density of your intensity that delivers amazing results. Not lower intensity spread out over longer periods of time all the time.
Intensity is much less comfortable but much more beneficial.
This is why I want you to go as heavy as you can on each set when we lift heavy. This is also why I may ask you to scale weight to something that is lighter than your ego wants to lift during a MetCon (metabolic conditioning). With a little lighter weight you can move faster and with more intensity. As your strength, intensity and work capacity improve we’ll be able to increase the weight and have you move at the same level of intensity. I’ll always be more impressed by increased intensity over an increase in volume (the overall amount you workout). Always be chasing increased work capacity through increased intensity. If that’s how you approach CrossFit the results will come quickly.