When people try new restaurants, I often ask them how they liked it. If they did like it, you know what a lot of people say?
“It was great! They give you so much food!”
But I’ve been to enough restaurants that give you enormous portions of terrible food to believe that more does not equal better.
Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit, wrote in 2007 that “Intensity is the independent variable most commonly associated with maximizing favorable adaptation to exercise.”
It’s something we (myself included) forget a lot in the CrossFit world. We’re so caught up in the “more is better” mentality that we think Volume (how much you train) is the route to fitness. More workouts equals more results, right?
We see the elite CrossFit athletes doing 4 or 5 workouts per day. They do strength, then a metcon, then olympic lifting, then a run, then a metcon, then more lifting maybe… And we think that since they do it, we should probably do it too.
But the amount of training they do is not what makes them great. And more workouts, or longer workouts aren’t going to make you great either. What makes you great, is Intensity.
Going all out twice a week will get you way farther than doing a light workout 5 times a week.
Here are the 5 hardest workouts I’ve ever done… They left me dizzy, I couldn’t speak, I barely knew my name, I think maybe I saw Jesus:
- The third time I did Fran (21-15-9: thrusters @ 95lbs, pull-ups)
- The first time I did 12.4 (AMRAP in 12 minutes: 150 wallballs @ 20lbs, 90 double-unders, 30 muscle-ups)
- The second time I did 10x100m sprints with 90 seconds rest
- EMOM x 20 minutes: 50′ sled drag @ 200lbs
- “Gwen” 15-12-9 of clean and jerks, touch and go only
Total work load across ALL 5 of those workouts is less than 40 minutes.
If you can do an 8 minute AMRAP and then go for a run, you didn’t go nearly hard enough.
The answer, the secret, the key to amazing results isn’t volume, it’s intensity. It’s not doing more, it’s going as hard as you possibly can.