Physiological Adaptation Through Intensity

We are conditioned to think more = better. I’ve been there in training. Eventually the more turns into less. Your body will burn out. Your central nervous system can only tolerate so much. Your joints can only take so much repetitive movement. The result of double days and extra running on top of strenuous exercise inevitably lead to over-training and energy.

The goal of CrossFit is intensity. If you are working out 2-3x a day you cannot train at 100% intensity. One or both workouts will be at sub-optimal intensity. You know you have another workout to do, so you aren’t working as hard as you should. Or you do and you don’t have enough gas in the tank to go 100%. You have just trained aerobically, not completely bad, but if you are trying to get stronger, faster, and move heavy loads long distances as fast as possible with maximal intensity, you won’t be able to.

More workouts seem like the thing to do, when all we really need is regular class attendance and maximal output when we show up. Leave it all on the table, every class. There are a few athletes that come to mind that do this every class. They are rolling in agony most of the time when the clock dings for the finish.

Is this you? Do you need more intensity? Do you push so hard you don’t wanna workout again? That’s the intensity we are looking for. You couldn’t fathom doing another rep today.

CrossFit programmers may be tempted to use excessive volume. This occurs with more than one training session a day (i.e., double days). In some cases, athletes may even attempt more than two sessions. This pitfall affects those trying to emulate the volume sometimes used by CrossFit Games athletes. Games athletes’ training is not representative of what CrossFit programming should look like. Multiple sessions a day are not 55 of 83 Copyright 2017 © CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved. V4.0-20170621KW DAY 2 L2 Certificate Course Training Guide appropriate for 99 percent of CrossFit athletes (less than one percent of those who participate in the Open go to the Games). Even multiple workouts in one extended “session” should generally be avoided. Extra sessions and/or extra workouts may help performance in the short term but often lead to overtraining, higher risk of injury, and burnout in the long term. Double days help Regional or Games athletes prepare for high-volume competition and can help them get in more volume so they can advance certain skills relative to their competitors. Generally, however, there is actually a decrease in intensity across sessions. As Coach Glassman asserted, “Be impressed by intensity, not volume.” If a client is looking to be competitive, very gradually and cautiously increase volume. For example, start with additional skill sessions (e.g., double-under practice) in areas in which the athlete is not as proficient, not multiple workouts. Look at and assess what the athlete cannot complete, then add “volume” by way of working on these skills. The volume should gradually increase over the long term


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