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Intensity is the FINAL Step in CrossFit

CrossFit methodology, when taught correctly, says to go from Mechanics, then to Consistency, and only then to Intensity. I’ll admit, there are many times when I have gotten this wrong with class. Athletes want to come in and be pushed hard. You want to feel sore the next day. You want to have that feeling of your lunges burning at the end of the workout, and to be doing that classic CrossFit sweat angel. Normally I have let our athletes do this, and it has been the wrong thing to do.

You’ll often hear myself and other CrossFit trainers say, “Intensity is the key!” And we’re right. It is. But it has to be done correctly and safely. What works better: you being able to train with intensity for two weeks and then end up on the sidelines with an injury, or you driving home safe technique, done over and over again, and then adding intensity? On the second one, you don’t end up hurt. You end up stronger than ever. You end up enjoying the movements and the classes because you’re being pushed just beyond your comfort zone, but you feel strong and proud of what you’re doing.

If it’s this easy on paper, what gets in the way? It is pretty simple. Your ego is holding you back in the box. My ego is holding us back. Everyone tells us that workouts are “good” when you end up laying on the floor in agony at the end. They tell us we should strive to only write programs that look like that. That athletes, you, want that every day. That we’re only good coaches if we can make that happen. They are all wrong. A workout is “good” when it makes you, the athlete, stronger, healthier, and safe when you leave the box.

Don’t let your ego get in the way. Scale the workouts. Ask your coach how to scale a movement you aren’t ready for. When you want to try something you aren’t sure about, let your coach know to watch carefully. Finally, listen when we tell you to scale. It isn’t because you’re less. It’s because we want you to be more.

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