Bringing back the INTENSITY!
Hello CFC members and friends. The coaches have decided to start a monthly blog with a post from one of us each month covering hot topics such as workout trends, recipes, breaking down new movements, motivational pieces, etc. Let us know if there is something you would like to see covered in one of our future blog posts!
Our first post comes from one of our newer coaches, Melissa Giambrone. She has been with the Cornerstone family for over 2 years now and active in CrossFit for 3.5 years. She loves to compete locally and recently finished in the top 100 in the Central East region.
This is a powerful word that can be used to describe several different experiences in our lives. I want to cover the INTENSITY we are trying to achieve at a high level during our class workouts. Many of us fall into an accidental workout hiatus after The Open every year. We go from riding a weekly high from pushing ourselves harder than we have ever pushed with our entire community cheering us on back to "normal" class time. It's time to start pushing ourselves to that same level of intensity during our daily workouts in class and maximizing our time at the gym.
Jeremy Jones, who handles our gym programming, recently released an article to the coaches that broke down intensity and maximizing the full 60 minutes of class. Have you felt like you needed more at the end of class? Feel like you didn't do "enough"? I posted some of JJ's points in bold below. There are some great ideas on how you can get more out of our daily programming and increase the INTENSITY which produces RESULTS.
- Go hard on the group warm up with the class. Do extra reps if necessary. Do not ‘stroll’ through this part of the class to save yourself for later workouts.
The point of the warm up is to get WARM! Your heart rate should be elevated and you should be breaking a sweat during this period of class to prepare for the gymnastics, lifting, and metcon part following. Make this fun and competitive! "Win" the warm up by performing the most air squats, doing the most jumping jacks, running the fastest, holding stretches for the full amount of time. GET WARM!
- Be aggressive with the skill practice. Use a clock to do reps on the minute.
- If there is a lift that day, do extra warm up sets. If there is 7 working sets, plan on doing 4-5 warm up sets at a lighter load. Go lighter on the ‘working’ sets, and minimize rest. Add a movement on your own to do between sets (like a few strict toes to bar, some yoga or gymnastic static holds, a loaded carry like farmers walks, overhead walks, etc.)
- Do the metcon with the appropriate scaling/progressions to get maximal intensity.
Just because you CAN do a movement or certain weight does not mean that you NEED to. Take a look at the scaling guides daily for the workout and pick movements and loads that will allow you to finish within the guidelines. A 45 minute Fran and a 2 minute Fran are not going to produce the same long term results for your fitness level. Listen to your coaches if they suggest a different load or movement...we are trying to preserve the intensity level of the workout for you!
- Immediately after the workout (or 1-2 minutes after), do a cool down or cash out. Keep the difficulty/loads easy and plan on moving for another 4-6 minutes.
Grab your equipment before starting the metcon and do the cash out/cool down. Do it.
One of the main reasons most of us were attracted to CrossFit in the first place is the sense of community during class. Go HARD during your workouts, cheer on the people around you, and push yourselves to the same level as if this was an Open workout or a competition. How many of us have wanted to give up at some point during a workout but kept going when there were people screaming and cheering at you to finish that very last rep?
As a coach and an athlete, I have found it difficult to replicate the intensity level I reach during class when working out solo. My point in bringing this up is that you should always make an effort to jump in with class. Do not skip a workout or opt to do something else because there is a movement that isn't your favorite or the workout intimidates you. We will get you through the workout together, as a community, and push you to your full level of intensity.
I can not wait to see how strong you all finish the month of April. Let's get to work!