People need to be reminded about intensity because often they get hung up on “as prescribed” being the goal of training. Let’s use the workout “Fran” as an example. Everyone wants to do Fran “as prescribed” (RX’d). It’s 21/15/9 reps for time of thrusters and pull-ups. Fran is a meant to be a barn burner. Fast! I’ve always preached that Fran in less than 5 minutes is good. Fran in less than 4 minutes is great, and Fran under 3 minutes is awesome. Often I see people try and do Fran RX’d with times well over 8, 9, or 10 minutes. I know that doing it as RX’d is a great accomplishment, but in reality, after 8 minutes, the intensity factor is completely missing. Basically, you’ve spent just as much time resting as you have spent working. You have taken the CrossFit out of CrossFit.
I am adding time caps to most workouts we post on CrossFit One World. Rather than worrying about doing a workout with the prescribed load or reps, I challenge you to try and finish it within the time cap, especially since I am instructing all trainers to CUT OFF THE WORKOUT ONCE THE TIME CAP HAS EXPIRED. Training is more than just trying to get fit. It’s a journey about learning what you personally are physically and mentally capable of doing. When you are new, you likely have no idea how to scale Fran, so you finish in under 5 minutes. Keep meticulous records of your training! Did you go too light or too heavy? How did you feel afterward? Eventually, you will be able to look at any workout and know exactly how long it will take you to finish, or how you need to scale it in order to finish AND keep the intensity in the workout. Discovering your capabilities is a long journey, but one well worth it.