It’s something that’s not always recognised, but, Crossfit thrives on intensity, not volume. The secret is “ keep workouts short and intense” and “be impressed with intensity, not volume”.
There are those who passionately believe that the core method, and indeed most classes should be just 60 minutes that include a warm up and cool down and one workout.
Crossfit staff seminar trainer James Hobart discussed his views in the Crossfit Journal, on the volume v intensity debate. It’s an issue often raised on the Crossfit level 1 and 2 trainer course. Clearly volume has a siren call. To be an elite crossfitter you need to be able to do multiple workouts, therefore, so the argument goes, the more the better.
Before you accept this at face value, there are some factors you need to consider:
If an elite athlete adds more volume to their regime, it’s built on rock solid mechanics and ability. So the argument goes, if you are scaling your workouts, extra workouts are not the answer. Specific strength and skill building solves that. “Increased rehearsal of poor movement patterns and shoddy mechanics is a losers gambit”. The winners get to those extra skill/strength classes, : the ones that fix your issues. Volume is not the cure. Effective coaching and teaching is!
Volume isn’t necessary if the goal is simply getting fitter. On a long term, athletes will continue to build work capacity across broad times and modal domains with a single daily dose of “constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity”
Never the less, many effective athletes do add volume. Here are their secrets: No matter what extra work or volume you add, you still go “balls to the wall “ in your core Crossfit workout. You must still end up on the floor having a physical and mental break down at the end of that 5-20 minute workout. HOWEVER If you you are doing your workout of the day, and you are reigning back (only say working at 60% intensity) because you know you have 3 more workouts, a bicep session, some Zumba and a 5k run planned, that’s where it goes wrong.
“You don’t need harder workouts, you need to go harder in your workouts,” Games veteran Tommy Hackenbruck quipped on Instagram.
If you really want to boost your performance, here are some clues. Work your mobility until you move like a supple leopard. Fix your injuries. Learn how to eat well. Get enough sleep, and work with our strength and gymnastic expert coaches to get the skills and strength you need.
Above all, hit the workout hard!
This said, every body at Crossfit London recognises that our met-con classes fill a need. London life can be super stressful, so for some its great to loose your self among friends in an hours sweat festival. It just happens, thank god, that our hour sweat festivals are really, really good!