Implementation Part Three: "The late Col. Jeff Cooper observed that 'the fear of sporting failure is worse than the fear of death.' It is our observation that men will die for points."
This quote represents that peak intensity is difficult to achieve alone. Tapping into that "red line" zone best lends itself to hitting a benchmark workout and participating in the CrossFit Open, a competitive setting. The principle holds regardless of the test, generally for both heavy lifting and metabolic conditioning.
Power output and technique are most important when looking at relative and maximal intensity. The best test will also be the most intense. Heavy days are easy to evaluate - how much more can you lift than the last time? Conditioning is measured in a few ways: A generic long-distance run is evaluated by distance or time of completion. Met-cons, however, are more daunting (think Fran or Jackie). This intensity is different - trying to beat the clock while intertwining weight training, endurance, and bodyweight exercises across many time durations and rep ranges.
A scenario like the CrossFit Open is another phenomenal (and almost impossible to replicate) path towards pushing oneself. Benchmark workouts are often intense for the individual, and when the workout has more on the line than a personal best, such as a score on a custom leaderboard like in the Open, intense reaches a whole new level.
In either case, putting in the little extra work during the last few seconds of a workout, or striving for a personal best to tie or beat a friend is thrilling. This type of intensity can not be tapped into very often, and when we do, a solid base of mechanics and consistency is critical. Meaningful work as a beginner athlete will achieve bigger and better successes and overall growth as the athlete continues in fitness.
The base of mechanics and consistency in our fitness is the most important to overall success. Building a solid base will ensure that the path to competition is paved. Beginner and intermediate athletes must start by practicing mechanics and consistency in fundamental skills as a prerequisite to "fancy" "fun" skills. Practicing and developing these skills will allow room for intensity down the road.
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