Intensity vs. Moving with Purpose

Intensity vs. Moving with Purpose.png

By: Coach Paul
Crossfit Inc. described the methodology of programming as “constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity across broad time and modal domains”. Where I have seen a lot of people get hung up is on the words “high intensity”. What does it really mean?

Well, for most it means go as hard as possible, each and every day. As simple as that and maybe that does sound like a way to get fit and get results. Just go hard and by pushing yourself, you’ll get that summer bod. Right?

Not exactly. First, lets talk about intensity. This variable in a workout has some underlying variables in itself. 

When choosing intensity, some questions must be asked first.

  • How am I feeling? Is my energy high enough to support a hard effort today?

  • Did I sleep well the last couple nights?

  • Is my body recovered? Are muscles sore or feeling fresh?

  • What is the length of the workout and am I proficient in that time domain?

Depending on how these questions are answered, you may find that days workout one to push the pace on and bump the intensity up. If feeling down, tired or sore – likely to be a day where the intensity is low.

This is why we use the word “cycle” when talking about the fitness pieces programmed throughout the week. My description for what cycle means is:

  • FOCUS ON QUALITY, I am not concerned with how many rounds or reps you complete. Move based upon how you feel for the day so if you feel good – you can CHOOSE to challenge yourself with pace or load.

I like to swap the word intensity out for “moving with purpose” because my purpose will vary based on the day. If I feel good, then my purpose may be to push my abilities or even if I feel good it may be a day to move light, sweat a bit and go home feeling as fresh as I arrived. But at the core of it all is QUALITY OF MOVEMENT. Often times the hardest part of a workout is knowing when to not just ease off the gas pedal and slow down, but when to not push that pedal at all and ride along on idle.

Because of the factors that can go into what intensity means for each person, let your coach help. We are here to assist you when choosing loads, movement variations and even the effort to go at for the day. If ever in doubt, ask us and we can help determine what the goal for the day should be!