The Most Important Thing About Fitness…
What is the most important thing in order to achieve your fitness goals? It is one word people, intensity. As simple as the word is, contrarily it requires a very long winded but important explanation. Do not be afraid of the word intensity, keep in mind that this is a RELATIVE term. The intensity in which we all measure our workouts, or our output, can ONLY be compared to our own best effort possible! You can not compare your intensity to that of the person next to you. We all have our levels of intense but remember that your goal each and every day is to bring your best most intense effort possible, because if you can do that you will flourish. If you show up every day, work hard, but never really push yourself to that point of discomfort, and never reach your maximum intensity , you will never reach your full potential.
Let us break this down a bit. Intensity is Power Output. We can directly measure power output in every movement or workout that we do. This formula is Force x Distance / Time = Power and again Power = Intensity. All that means is this, the more that we move large loads, long distances, very quickly we can directly measure our intensity level. This is why we track our workouts and write down results. Each and every day that we post your results to the board we are measuring how intense your effort was. The only caveat to this is that we must keep our technique, so we move optimally, and hit full range of motion. Otherwise we are not hitting that Distance part of our formula that is necessary in order to have maximum output of power.
Here is a little science for you biology aficionado’s. Neuroendocrine Adaptation is a change in the body that most affects you either neurologically or hormonally. Most bodily adaptations from exercise are in part or completely a result of a hormonal or neurological shift. An exercise regimen that can produce a high neuroendocrine response will lead to higher muscle mass, greater bone density and greater fat loss, than a regimen that does not elicit such a response. So what exercises increase neuroendocrine response? Movements that include heavy weight training, short rest between efforts, high heart rates, high intensity training, and interval training. Does this sound familiar to anyone? This is CrossFit, or at least a large part of the methodology. All hormonal responses vital to athletic development are substantial increases in testosterone, insulin-like growth factor, and human growth hormone, which most people would pay big money for in the form of exogenous therapy (steriods). Exercise regimens that elicit these responses produce both great athletes and healthy human beings!
Now how do you get yourself to maximize your ability to be intense? That is the question of the day! The answer, however, is not so simple. You have to be willing to work extremely hard and not be afraid to put yourself into that place where you really truly feel uncomfortable. The more you make the uncomfortable feel comfortable, the more likely you will be able to go to that “dark place” more often. I am not saying that in order to get results you must go 100 percent maximum effort every day, but what you should be doing is pursuing that ability. Find motivation from all things in your life and know that if you can make YOURSELF push through unpleasantness in the form of a workout, you can push through any endeavor that comes your way in real life. That is the true value of finding that intensity switch, being mentally strong. But we will leave that for another conversation. Please heed this advice. Do not be afraid of intensity. Knowing that intensity is relative, we all must be in a constant pursuit of the highest intensity we can safely achieve! That is why we push you all through the hard workouts that we do. We are know as a hard working gym and that should make you all very proud, if we were not pushing you, and the workouts were not hard, we would be doing you all a HUGE disservice! So please spread the word, to anyone who says CrossFit Valley of the Moon, or CrossFit in general, is too intense let them know, “That is the point! Intensity = Results!”
I hope you all enjoyed my soliloquy on intensity and gleaned some information on the subject.
Enjoy your next workout intensely!
Spenser Scott CFVOM