12 Truths About Training and Intensity

Love to Eat? Introducing

Are you passionate about food, nutrition and recipes? Unleash your inner foodie and check out our brand-new site - share your favorite recipes at Nutrition-WOD today!

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.

Printable Version
Page 1 2 Next »

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

CrossFit Prestige posted on Facebook

492 (7/28/14) Teams of 2 2 Rounds 50 Handstand Push Ups 50 Box Jumps #30"/24" 50 Squat Cleans #135/95 100 Double Unders / 300 Singles Buy Out: 800m Run

mindcoach published the post The Importance of Self-Talk For Peak Performance on Tabata Times
I’ve discussed in several posts the importance and affect self-talk can have not only on your...
CrossFit 305 posted on Facebook

If you're not watching the Games, you're crazy! Man, we love this stuff. Post your training goals for the coming year below:

CrossFit Dojo shared a link on Facebook

http://www.livestrong.org/events/1800/ Here it is folks! C'mon, lets do this! When you register,join our Team- CrossFit Dojo

julianhooks published the post Natural Weight Loss with the Help of Qi Medicine on
Did you know that one of the most common problems faced today is obesity? And sadly, the fast food...
CrossFit Dojo shared an image on Facebook

Way to go all you CFD Athletes and Friends who came out to take advantage of the opportunity to get some coaching at the pool this morning! Remember to pick up your Dynamo Swim Pass if you want to have access to the pool for lap swimming! Also- remember to sign up for Eric Shanteau's Swim for Your Life! REGISTER

CrossFit Dojo shared an image on Facebook

Saturday was a good day for endurance!

Sledge CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit Games 2014

CrossFit Smyrna posted on Facebook

Andy is doing 3 bars of death (Linda) at 4 pm Sunday, today. Who wants to join him?

CrossFit 757 shared a link on Facebook

Sunday Funday : Sunday Funday

CrossFit 757 posted an article
Patriot CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Huge congratulations to PCF OG’s LeeAnn and Dave Gedeon on the birth of their daughter, Olivia, on Saturday! Addison can’t wait to teach her how to lift. RX’d Level II...

Patriot CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Interested in improving your Olympic Weightlifting? Drop-in to the Patriot CrossFit Weightlifting Club by clicking here. PCF Oly meets every Sunday from 6pm-8pm. ____________ Warmup: EMOTM 8 Min 3 Snatch Balance 3 V-Situp Alt: 3 Strict Pullup/3 …

CrossFit Perimeter shared an image on Facebook

Photos from our Saturday at the games. One more day left.

CrossFit Rx posted an article
CrossFit Rosslyn shared a link on Facebook

Sunday, 7/27/14:

Carolina CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit Rosslyn posted an article
CrossFit Old Town shared an image on Facebook

Hudson Jude Schwartz, born on July 24th at 4:05pm. Weighing 6lb 15.5 oz and 19.25inch long. Congrats Adam and Kelly!!!

CrossFit Woodbridge posted an article
CrossFit Pittsburgh posted an article
CrossFit Arlington posted an article
Patriot CrossFit posted an article
CrossFit Soul shared an image on Facebook

Soul fam hanging at the @progenex suite, watching the muscle up biathlon! #teamSOUL #crossfitgames #cfg2014

CrossFit Blueprint shared an image on Facebook

One finds limits by pushing them. #JustDoit

CrossFit North Fulton shared an image on Facebook

Who's ready for a little "Seal Sunday"? Next Sunday, August 3rd at 8:30 (yes, ok 9 will work) at Murph's house!?

CrossFit Rosslyn shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit Indulto shared a link on Facebook

Sign up! It's heroes, no excuses.

CrossFit Peachtree shared an image on Facebook

Meet CFPT's new foster pups- Hopscotch and Half Pint! 2 Female hound/black lab pups. 8 weeks old. Parvo survivors! Picked then up today-seems they are fitting right in! They shouldn't have too hard of a time finding a new home! Anyone interested in adoption can visit www.angelsrescue.org

CrossFit Advance posted on Facebook

We have an absolutely unstoppable machine of a box right now! Athletes, coaches, supporters all alike! We train hard we have fun love each other and move forward in life together while forming a relentless community of support and positivity. We are proud to represent crossfit advance and you should be to! Things are going good so Lets keep striving to be great, together, as a team! Love you sweat Fam!

CrossFit Rife shared a link on Facebook

Logan loves Kill Cliff Free Fall! #crossfitbaby #crossfitrife @killcliff #crossfitgames2014 http://t.co/8Bj2yeS2eY

Ballston CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

The Chief! Nice PR's today!!

CrossFit WV shared a link on Facebook

CrossFit Advance shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit KOP competition "Battle of the Burbs"

CrossFit Annandale shared a link on Facebook

Quick poll: can the champ recover today and take back first place?

CrossFit Center City shared an image on Facebook

Here's to another packed Saturday morning of CFCC goodness. Great teamwork, PRs, and mashing all around today! Now to go home and watch the #crossfitgames! #crossfit #saturday

CrossFit Rock Hill shared an image on Facebook

Patriot CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Patriot CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Patriot CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Patriot CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Carolina CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Here are CCF Members Stuart and Wes enjoying the 2014 The CrossFit Games in Carson, California.

CrossFit Shadyside posted on Facebook

Great Saturday at CFS! Here are some PR's for the day! Congrats everyone, your hard work is paying off! Mike: 215# clean and jerk Aaron: 230# snatch Jfizz: 245# clean Dan: 225# clean and jerk Becky: 115# clean and jerk Ren: 190# snatch, 260# clean Matt: 200# clean and jerk

CrossFit King of Prussia shared an image on Facebook

Partner deadlifts!

CrossFit Rubicon shared a link on Facebook

Today

CrossFit Coastal shared an image on Facebook

First Day of training at the new gym! Thank you to everyone who came out to support and help!

Carolina CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

The Famously Hot Showdown Competition is on August 9th and 10th at Carolina CrossFit. If you are interested in Volunteering or Competing, check out the link below: Individual Competition on Saturday Team Competition on Sunday

Carolina CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

The CrossFit Games has made it to Sports Illustrated! Here's a look inside the champ's last year as an individual competitor.

CrossFit King of Prussia shared an image on Facebook

Outdoor Adventure WOD! 7/26/14

CrossFit King of Prussia shared an image on Facebook

Outdoor Adventure WOD! 7/26/14

CrossFit King of Prussia shared an image on Facebook

Outdoor Adventure WOD! 7/26/14

CrossFit King of Prussia shared an image on Facebook

Outdoor Adventure WOD! 7/26/14

CrossFit King of Prussia shared an image on Facebook

Outdoor Adventure WOD! 7/26/14

CrossFit King of Prussia shared an image on Facebook

Outdoor Adventure WOD! 7/26/14

CrossFit King of Prussia shared an image on Facebook

Outdoor Adventure WOD! 7/26/14

CrossFit King of Prussia shared an image on Facebook

Outdoor Adventure WOD! 7/26/14

CrossFit King of Prussia shared an image on Facebook

Outdoor Adventure WOD! 7/26/14

CrossFit King of Prussia shared an image on Facebook

Outdoor Adventure WOD! 7/26/14

CrossFit King of Prussia shared an image on Facebook

Outdoor Adventure WOD! 7/26/14

CrossFit King of Prussia shared an image on Facebook

Outdoor Adventure WOD! 7/26/14

@TabataTimes on Twitter

Watch the latest episode of GPTV