12 Truths About Training and Intensity

Page:  1 Next »
Print

As the 2013 Open season nears, have you had a moment to think about how you have been training for the past year? If this is your second or third Open, do you feel like your training has made you a better athlete than last year? Hear what these experts have to say about training and find out how much applies specifically to your training. Let’s start with Jon Gilson of Again Faster, who “reveals” 5 truths about training:

“The Truth”

1.) You will not get stronger without overload.

Simple math: If your average power output isn’t increasing, then you are not making gains.
This one is simple. Training has two guiding principles — volume and intensity. The first refers to the number of repetitions performed, while the second refers to the relative demand those repetitions place on the body. Over time, you must expose your body to gradually increasing volume in order to reap fitness benefits. You must keep intensity high throughout.

I like to track this in my workout log by recording the total amount of weight lifted in any session divided by the number of repetitions performed in that session. This calculation gives an average weight per repetition. This number must increase over time, or you’re just spinning your wheels.

Tony Gentilcore of Cressey Performance offers another perspective on the role of progressive overload in building absolute strength.

While it’s the most obvious place to start, surprisingly, there are many trainees who fail to grasp the notion that progressive overload is key when it comes to strength. Simply stated: The body will adapt to any stress placed upon it, and in order to get stronger, you need to make certain that you force the body to do so.

Need more be said? If you are not developing absolute strength, then you will not see many gains. Look at any of the CrossFit Games athletes if you need to convince yourself — their strength numbers are monstrous and their WOD times are smoking fast. Not a coincidence.

2.) You will not get bigger without eating more or smaller without increasing energy expenditure.

Are you eating enough? …lifting heavy and often will only increase lean muscle mass if the attendant caloric intake will support the new tissue.
All the girls want to get smaller and all the boys want to get bigger. Most women try to get smaller by eating less when they would be better served by increasing their energy expenditure. Most men try to get bigger by increasing their energy expenditure, although they’d be better served by eating more.

Each gender should take a page out of the other’s playbook.

Eating less only serves to lower your metabolic rate, meaning your body will attempt to conserve every precious calorie for future use. What goes in stays in, stored as fat. Rather than lower their metabolic rate, women would be better served by lifting heavy to maintain lean muscle mass and exercising with high intensity to ramp up fat-burning.

In the same vein, lifting heavy and often will only increase lean muscle mass if the attendant caloric intake will support the new tissue. The boys need to take in more food, not lift more. Nonetheless, they’ll spend three hours a day in the gym, burning off those stray calories that would’ve turned into new tissue if energy expenditure had been a little lower.

Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple states it pretty simply when it comes to getting bigger:

Eating less only serves to lower your metabolic rate, meaning your body will attempt to conserve every precious calorie for future use.
Eat bigger meals. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. You just have to eat more food, especially once you’ve established that you actually aren’t eating very many calories after all.

Sneak in calories. Drizzle butter on your food. Incorporate coconut oil into everything. Take an extra serving of yams. Add an extra egg to your usual omelets. Grab some nuts for a snack. Just eat.

3.) Steady-state cardiovascular work will not lead to fitness.

We have touched on this topic before in a discussion of not becoming “skinny-fat.” Jon Gilson elaborates on the importance of anaerobic training:

The body uses three distinct energy pathways, each employed based on the demands placed on the body. Two of these systems (the alactic acid system and the glycolytic system) are called into play when the rate of muscle contraction exceeds the body’s ability to produce contractions using oxygen.

Did you know? The anaerobic systems are critical for high to moderate power output activities, such as the squat, the clean and jerk, and the 400-meter sprint.
These two systems, collectively known as the anaerobic systems, are not trained during steady-state cardiovascular work. Steady-state work utilizes the aerobic energy system, which is only capable of producing muscle contractions in the presence of oxygen.

Unfortunately, the anaerobic systems are critical for high to moderate power output activities, such as the squat, the clean and jerk, and the 400-meter sprint. If they aren’t properly developed, the corresponding activities suffer.

…Primary practitioners of steady-state cardiovascular work are incomplete athletes.

4.) Mental focus is more critical to training success than physical ability.

One of the primary differences between remaining average and becoming elite (or at least finding your personal best) is mental toughness. Don’t underestimate the power of the mind and mental training!

Mind over matter: Combine an ardent belief with months of training, and you have a recipe for excellence.
We are limited by our bodies, but our true limitations exist in the mind. Flat-out lying to an athlete about weight on the bar will often get them to lift a personal best, absence any organic change in the body. I attribute this phenomenon to the power of belief. “Knowing” that you can do something will instantly bring you closer to doing it. Combine an ardent belief with months of training, and you have a recipe for excellence.

On the flip side, God-given ability is easily negated by a poor outlook. I’ve seen otherwise-talented sandbaggers spend a lot of time claiming inability, giving them a ready-made hedge against failure. These folks fail a lot, and they remain in the realm of the novice athlete for years.

5.) There is an inverse relationship between the complexity of a piece of exercise equipment and its effectiveness.

Last but not least, a nod to the simplicity of barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, massive tires, and other equipment of that ilk:

Love that iron: Find the stuff that’s cold and heavy and made of metal. It’s the only route to fitness.
The most effective implements for building lean muscle tissue and shedding fat are heavy, blunt, and simple. They have few or no moving parts, and they don’t plug into the wall. A barbell, some weights, a few dumbbells, and a pull-up bar are all you need to achieve world-class fitness. Everything else just adds variety.

By their nature, these things require effort to use. You’ve got to pick them up off the ground and hoist them around. They don’t give you a place to sit, and they don’t read your heart rate every ten seconds.

…Find the stuff that’s cold and heavy and made of metal. It’s the only route to fitness.

Jon Gilson originally posted “The Truth” on Again Faster on January 19, 2007 (and again on January 27, 2012). Read the full article here.

Page 1 2 Next »
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Printable Version

We Are Scouting Top Writers

Are you passionate about fitness and have something to say? Reach a huge online community and get the discussion going - start writing for Tabata Times today!

Share this post
@TabataTimes on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook 

Contribute to this story by commenting below:

Advertise Here

Most Popular of All Time

Morgan Hill CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Week21 day3 http://wp.me/p3Bc8L-p9

Morgan Hill CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Week21 day3 http://wp.me/p3Bc8L-p8

United Barbell shared a link on Facebook

Less than 3 weeks until the "Fight Gone Bad" United for Youth event goes down at United Barbell! Make sure you register to reserve your space!

United Barbell shared a link on Facebook

Survey Results

CrossFit 209 Sport shared a link on Facebook

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=928875053808844&id=574926115870408

CrossFit Los Gatos posted an article
CrossFitOfFremont posted an article
Kristy Parrish published the post How Do I Choose the Right Workout Program? on Tabata Times
Results outline the efficacy of a workout program. With a sound, objective foundation (i.e...
CrossFit Dark Element shared a link on Facebook

http://cfdarkelement.com/whiteboard/ Who's on top?

CrossFit Dark Element shared a link on Facebook

http://cfdarkelement.com/daily-wod/

CrossFit Oakdale shared a link on Facebook

http://cfoakdale.com/2014/10/22/weightsmovements-for-the-rx-division-of-the-franniversary/

CrossFit Potrero Hill shared a link on Facebook

WOD- Wednesday, Oct 22 This FRIDAY! Paleo Potluck and Pumpkin Carving! Bring a dish and a pumpkin. 6-9pm No class or open gym this Saturday for the Scream Team competition! Find a partner (guy/guy and gal/gal) to compete with! 3 events, all level …

CrossFit Sweatshop posted an article
CrossFit Potrero Hill posted an article
Corey's Gym posted an article
Morgan Hill CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

week21 day2 http://wp.me/p3Bc8L-p7

Morgan Hill CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

week21 day2 http://wp.me/p3Bc8L-p6

cfsausalito shared an image on Facebook

Congratulations to C/S athletes Galo Arias and Sharon Squire for completing the Warrior Dash over the weekend and to C/S athlete Alicia Asensio for running the Nike Women's Half Marathon on Sunday! We love seeing you all express your fitness in different competitive environments -- so proud of you!

CrossFit Modesto shared an image on Facebook

Happy Tuesday! We'd like to welcome Nestor to our community. You know the drill: if you see him, introduce yourself and say hello. Thanks for joining us, Nestor!

CrossFit Modesto posted on Facebook

ANNOUNCEMENTS -- PLEASE MAKE A NOTE OF THESE IN YOUR CALENDARS! - CrossFit Modesto will be closed ALL DAY October 31st (Halloween) and November 1st for the Hock Hocheim Knife Seminar. - WODTOBERFEST takes place on October 29th at 5:30 PM and will be the *ONLY* class in the pm (NO 12pm or 4:30pm classes)

American River Crossfit shared a link on Facebook

10/21/2014 http://wp.me/sGeX1-10212014

CrossFit Envy posted on Facebook

Prehab/activation: SMR - rhomboids / low back Banded hip flexor stretch 2x10 hip thrusts 2x10 scap retraction on rings -then- 5 x 250m row sprints - rest 2 mins between attempts, post best and worst time -then- AMRAP in 12 minutes: 15 push-presses (75/55) 12 back rack in place walking lunges (75/55) 9 pull-ups

CrossFit Envy posted on Facebook

Competitors Program Week 1, Day 2: 5x5 @ 75-80% weighted ring dip -alternating with- 5 attempts for max time in an L-sit -then- With a 15 minute running clock: Run 1200m* Followed by max rounds of: (1,2,3...) Hang Power Clean (175/120) (1,2,3...) Burpee over the box jump (24"/20") *do the long 800m course, then around the building twice -then- Every 30 seconds for 8 intervals: 1x20yd prowler sprint (176/108) or use a weight that allows you to sprint 20 yards in under 10 seconds. Then, rest 3 minutes and repeat once more.

CrossFit HEALDSBURG posted on Facebook

Competence speaks through confidence and it is easy to carry others along when you believe in yourself. - Mark Twight

CrossFit Bios shared a link on Facebook

South Tahoe CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Ski and Snowboard Conditioning Boot Camp is in full swing! We know who'll be ready for the snow!

CrossFit West Petaluma shared a link on Facebook

Good Ol’ Fashioned Strength Day http://blog.genesispetaluma.com/?p=2997

South Tahoe CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

CrossFit Avalanche shared an image on Facebook

Check out Derek getting low. Over 50lbs lost and an amazing gain in range of motion!

CrossFit Genesis posted an article
CrossFit Avalanche shared an image on Facebook

The paleo challenge day 1. Can you guess who's paleo bank this is?

Jefferson State CrossFit posted on Facebook

Just watched Julie Noyes complete 3 touch and go power cleans with her previous max! -Stoots

CrossFit Anywhere shared an image on Facebook

Our #MCM goes to Blair and Rob as they prep to crush the competition at Iron October 2 this Saturday! Come out to cheer them, and our other competitors on at CrossFit Iron Mile in Natomas from 9-4!

CrossFit Feather River shared an image on Facebook

This Saturday the 25th is the Yuba Sutter United Way Spooktacular 5k/10k Run! Race starts at 9am and there will be prizes awarded for best costumes! Let's get out there and represent CFFR!! https://www.yuba-sutterunitedway.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=15

South Tahoe CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Even though it's only October, we are already thinking about Decking our Halls!!! Mark your calendars!!! STCF Christmas Party is slated for Friday, December 12! You will NOT want to miss this shindig!

CrossFit Valley View posted on Facebook

This week is a special one! Why you ask?! Well because Our Box owner, Jennifer Correia, the one that brought CrossFit to Los Banos, is clebrating her Birthday this Sunday the 26th and guess what 30 burpees are due! so jump on her ass to get them done and hey, why not have her step it up a bit and make it for time????

CrossFit Valley View shared an image on Facebook

Starting off the day right

CrossFit 530 posted on Facebook

CrossFit 530 is closing. Friday will be the last day of business. All billing has stopped and will be refunded on a prorated basis. We sincerely thank everyone for their contribution to our CrossFit community over the last several years and wish you all health and happiness.

mqprunty published the post Why I Compete on
I wasn't quite sure where to go with this article...I first started with – “Why YOU Should...
South Tahoe CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

#crossfit #stcf #mental #southtahoecrossfit #neverquit #mexturesapp

John Mariotti published the post 3 reasons you get hurt at CrossFit on
There is a huge amount of bad press about CrossFit hurting people. I hear about Doctors and...
CrossFit Genesis shared a link on Facebook

October 20, 2014 Workout of the Day #holdthebar #alivetribe #workout #roseville

CrossFit Folsom Lake shared an image on Facebook

Lateral box jumps? Yikes!! Switching it up a little today :-)

Auburn CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

ACF – October 20, 2014 http://t.co/e5cyBN9E97

Hilary Wiebe published the post 10 Things I've Picked Up in My First Year of CrossFit on
This past September was my one year CrossFit anniversary. I’m really excited for what lies ahead...
CrossFit Monterey posted on Facebook

Training 141020 Strength: Back Squat 3 @ 7, 3 @ 8, 3 @ 9, plus one down set (load drop) Conditioning – 4 Rounds for time: 400m Run 4 Deadlifts, 115#/75# 4 Power Cleans, 115#/75# 4 Push Press, 115#/75# 4 Front Squats, 115#/75# Post results to comments.

CrossFit Valley View shared a link on Facebook

CrossFit Redding posted on Facebook

After meeting with the council we have decided to put the 6am Class on hold. The Mon-Wed-Fri 5a class is still alive and well. 6am'ers gather your peeps and lets get this going again!

arielyve published the post All You Need to Know on Preventing Cancers on
Everyone has cancer cells in their body and these cells never get caught in normal tests until...
CrossFit 38 Degrees North shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit translates to all aspects of life, hopefully it influenced these guys aim over the weekend. Here is four of our 38 North boys on a camo heavy bonding trip into the wild. And the WOD for tomorrow is.......... "The CrossFit Total" 15 Min to find 1RM Back Squats -3 attempts 15 Min to find 1RM Press-3 attempts 15 Min to Find 1RM Deadlift- 3 attempts add highest rep from each movement together to find total

CrossFit Feather River shared a link on Facebook

Workout of the Day for Monday October 20th, 2014

CrossFit CSA posted on Facebook

In teams of two, with only one teammate working at a time, perform the following within 28 minutes: 6 x 100 Meter Row (Each partner rows 100m AND resets it to Zero) 50 Burpee Box Jump Overs (24"/20") 10 Rds of Cindy (5 pull-ups-10pushups-15 squats) 6 x 100 Meter Sprint Run (50m down and back, then partner goes) 10 Rds of Cindy (advanced do Chest to bars) 50 Burpee Box Jump Overs MAX Double Unders Score is number of double unders you complete. It will be very difficult for most teams to even make it to the double unders. *for the run sprints, instructor will set up cones outside 50m apart, where each teammate will run down and then return and tag their partner. ** advanced player please perform chest to bar pull-ups

CrossFit 580 posted on Facebook

Save the date! Saturday November 1, wear your Halloween costumes for the team WOD!

CrossFit Ready shared a link on Facebook

Sam getting one of his 165lb thrusters. #crossfitready #readynation #crossfit #affiliatecup #thrusters http://t.co/z3ryd7nr2o

CrossFit Ready shared a link on Facebook

Was that my last Burpee? #crossfitready #readynation #crossfit #burpee #checkwithyourjudge #teamfitaid… http://t.co/T5www0zbgn

CrossFit Ready shared a link on Facebook

Event#1 awesome team! So@proud of everyone #crossfitready #crossfitcommunity #crossfitcompetition… http://t.co/fdgVE5P9PS

CrossFit Ready shared a link on Facebook

Event #1 open team! #crossfitready #crossfitcommunity #readynation arivas411 http://t.co/AmnkWStE2e

CrossFit 580 shared a link on Facebook

http://www.crossfit580.com/wod/320/monday-10-20-14

CrossFit Ready shared a link on Facebook

Alison with a solid 1st Event #crossfitready #crossfitready #readynation alimisenar crossfitkeely http://t.co/cymX9MnAxJ

CrossFit Ready shared a link on Facebook

Event #1 Masters at work! notthebarbie paulmation #crossfitready #readynation #crossfitcommunity… http://t.co/HfnSZcF3S3

@TabataTimes on Twitter

Watch the latest episode of GPTV