Pic taken from Rodney On Earth
"I read a post recently linked to the Facebook news feed. It was written by a Crossfit trainer whom I have never met before. The author was talking about training with “intensity.” Every CrossFitter should always train at 100%! There was a mention of the “Sport of CrossFit” and a reference to the quote, “men will die for points.” Basically, the post was a big rah-rah session to encourage the readers to do every workout with 100% effort and never quit.
The post made me think about all the times in the early years of the CrossFit One World blog that I preached the same thing. The post made me think the author likely had only one or two years experience as a CrossFit trainer (but I could be wrong). You go to the Crossfit Level One Certification and there is a whole lecture about intensity. The CrossFit system is defined in one lecture as "constantly varied functional movment performed at "high intensity." You are told that "Intensity is the independant variable most commonly associated with maximizing favorable adaptation to exercise." It is no wonder that when you first start programming workouts for your CrossFit gym members, you think that encouraging everyone to give a 100% effort every workout is what works the best.
After almost five years of posting on this blog and training people at CrossFit One World, I realize the error in my early programming/coaching experiences. 100% effort should be saved for when it is needed: in competition. Training is not competition. There are no competitors at any sport that train 100% effort at every workout. Training at 100% effort every workout can lead to loss of technique. Loss of technique during a high intensity workout (on a daily basis) eventually is gonna bite you in the ass.
If you were to drive your car from stoplight to stoplight every time with the gas pedal all the way to the floor, eventually your car is gonna run into problems. Minimally the brakes and tires are gonna wear excessively, and over time, there will be wear on the engine. I know the human body is not a car, but I think you get what I'm saying. The human body is an amazing machine that can adapt and actually prosper under intital doses of high intensity training day in and day out. That's why so many people just starting CrossFit see results so quickly. (I would hope that you aren't coming to One World just to see quick results and you have a long term plan of trying to get fit for a lifetime.) Keep giving 100% effort for every workout and at some point you are likely to plateau, break, or you just simply burn out. I know for a fact that there are some of you who have suffered from one if not all three of those.
So about right now you’re thinking, “Well how much effort should I give?” Simple: never mistake “100% effort” for HARD WORK. The pedal doesn't have to go to the metal every workout, but you can “work hard” every time you step into the gym. HARD WORK doesn’t mean you have to try and crush a workout. HARD WORK means you make an effort to perform your workout better. “Better” can mean concentrating on moving well. “Better” can mean lifting heavier. “Better” can mean performing consistently throughout a workout instead of crash and burning at the end. And yes, “better” can sometimes mean being faster, but I would argue that if you are consistently working hard, getting “faster” comes naturally without the daily trip to the garbage can to spit up your lunch or flopping around on the floor in a pool of sweat.
I am definitely not saying that the intensity portions of the lecture are spewing false information, I am just telling you that if you want your CrossFit results to be successful for the long term, you are better served not falling into the 100% effort 100% of the time approach."
Author: freddy c., Crossfit One World.