Prescription part five “Intensity is defined exactly as power, and intensity is the independent variable most commonly associated with maximizing favorable adaptation to exercise.”
Intensity is the third piece that completes how we do fitness in CrossFit. The first part is constantly varied. This is so that the program is balanced around as many variations as possible to fill in as many weaknesses as possible. The second is functional movement. This is useful because the elements that make a movement functional are more effective and efficient for training. The last element of CrossFit training is intensity. Intensity is relative from person to person like a max heart rate can be. Intensity is trained but also measurable. Intensity directly correlates with power output, so it is measured by the same three components: work, distance, and time.
We measure intensity from workout to workout, comparing similar days and keeping notes on both qualitative and quantitative aspects of the training session or workout. We know if you do 10 rounds of Cindy (A circuit of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats for 20-minutes) and then next time we do 12 rounds, we increased intensity, meaning our training is making us fitter. These movements can be scaled or modified to meet each athlete where they are at, but because of intensity we can track the work being done.
There are many markers of intensity and power from workout to workout. Focusing on certain movements over others can be beneficial. Scaling one exercise up and another down can target weakness while giving our strengths attention. Intensity overall is important to exercise because the increased stress causes our body to grow and learn. All three components of intensity cause stress, and when we add all three together with a fixed amount of time or work to be done, we can quickly find results.
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