By Mark Wood
What is the one thing you should include in every training session to maximise your results? Intensity…
Most people are looking for something that will get them a quick result, or a step ahead of everyone else. New programs, diets and even changing their gym because they think another gym will get a better result (it might, but not for the reasons you might think).
YOU NEED INTENSITY
Intensity is defined as the measurable amount of a property. A light bulb is more intense if it’s brighter, just like the heat is more intense if it’s hotter. In training, the harder you work, the more intensity you bring.
This is where so many people slip up though. They think that intensity is a set point, like how a ruler has 0cm to 30cm.
With training it doesn’t work like that.
Intensity is defined as a percentage of what you are capable of. The stronger you are the more you are expected to lift to maintain intensity. The quicker you can run, the faster we expect you to run. This means that as your fitness increases, your rate of work will also increase.
Casual runners always start out with limited cardiovascular fitness. They head out and do 5km and it takes them 30 minutes. After a few months, their cardio has improved which means they should be able to complete the 5km quicker.
Here’s where the problem lies for some people.
They don’t increase the pace…
They keep running that 30-minute 5km, but never get any quicker. They stay where they are. They are no longer working as hard as they did before and their results start to fade.
In CrossFit, you should always be pushing it a little further each session. The first time you do a squat it feels hard, the thought of adding weight seems ridiculous, but after a couple of weeks you can now squat a bar and some 5kg plates. It feels just as hard as the squat did a few weeks before.
The difference is that now the squat without weight feels easier. As a % of your capability, the weighted squat is just as intense as the unweighted was in the week’s prior.
This is why you should never compare the weight you are lifting with someone else. Sure, it may be a goal to lift that weight, or to run that fast. However, if you are working just as hard, pushing yourself to the limit then you are getting the results. This is what makes CrossFit so available to everyone. You can change the weights, distance, reps and time to suit each person so they get the best workout possible.