Volume vs Intensity

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.

crossfit training

It is not uncommon for people to feel they need to workout 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 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 put as much intensity as you can into each workout. 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 (haha that rhymed) that delivers amazing results. Not lower intensity spread out over longer periods of time.

I love the quote from Coach Glassman above. If you tell me you went out and did some extra running and expect me to be excited about it you’ll be disappointed. But if you come into the gym and give it everything you’ve got for however long the WOD is and you end up in a puddle of spit and sweat on the floor I’ll be super excited.

  Intensity is much less comfortable but much more beneficial.

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 a 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.

Now go move better