Programming for intensity…

We get it. The thought of getting a productive workout done in 15 minutes or less seems like it has little incentive.

When first starting CrossFit the majority of us feel the same way. For me personally, I was used to “feeling” like I had done longer workouts or “more work” in the gym when I was doing my old routine of cardio and lifting on separate days. When I look back at the past 12 or more years of my experience with this method of training, my workouts on average are likely around 15 min/day. I have the results I was looking for in regards to both performance AND body composition.
The key, intensity. It boils down to hard work day in and day out. Not every day needs to be a light your hair on fire kind of day where you see the white light. To see results you need to consistently work hard.
I think this is where some people miss the point. We like to feel like we have done “more” with a longer workout that we slog through and work up a good sweat. I for one would much rather do these kinds of workouts for the pure comfort of it than the classic couplets and triplets that elicit intensity. The shorter variations are just flat out tougher. Mentally and often physically when you really go for it. Keep in mind we should STILL do long-duration workouts from time to time for the sake of variance. 20 min + once/week and 40 min + every few weeks is a good starting point if you’re looking for some framework. The shorter and more intense workouts also don’t include a comprehensive warm-up and any accessory or post-work I like to program. All in all, this is a full 45-60 min of work that has my heart rate elevated.
If you want a well-rounded base of fitness, programming for intensity is key in my opinion. Following this way of training over the past few has given me all the fitness I need in and outside the gym.

Work smarter, not harder.

Like I mentioned above, programming for intensity is key.
And if the 8 min AMRAP doesn’t light your hair on fire, then you didn’t go hard enough😉


– Pitts

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