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No Intensity, No Results
By Andréa Maria Cecil

In Coaching, CrossFit
July 24, 2016
PDF Article
To move all significant health markers in the right direction, do more work faster, trainers say.

The only way to know intensity is to experience it.

It is not a mythical creature born of grunting loudest, sweating most or cheering excitedly. It is also not a matter of opinion. It’s physics. Scientifically speaking, intensity is defined as power: force multiplied by distance, then divided by time. Simply put: Intensity is doing more work faster.

“You have to teach people how to do it,” said Chris Spealler, a member of CrossFit Inc.’s Seminar Staff and a seven-time CrossFit Games athlete who owns CrossFit Park City in Utah.

Fran, for example, is a workout most of the general population should be able to finish in roughly 7 minutes or less, he explained. The workout calls for 21-15-9 reps of thrusters and pull-ups. For an athlete who is trying to break into that time domain, Spealler provides the road map: Do the 21 thrusters and 21 pull-ups in no more than 2 sets each, and the break can be no longer than 5 seconds. At the end of that round, the clock should read “2:00” or “3:00.”

“Giving people targets is hugely helpful, and I think that’s where a lot of affiliate owners miss it in the application,” Spealler said.

He continued: “Really, intensity is being comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

That discomfort—doing 5 more reps when all you want to do is stop—is how you become fitter.

“Intensity is the independent variable most commonly associated with maximizing favorable adaptation to exercise,” CrossFit Founder and CEO Greg Glassman wrote in April 2007’s “Understanding CrossFit.”

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