Today's blog is going to be geared towards a subject which, once you fully understand, will give you huge progress in your fitness. I want to talk about the intent of a workout. What does it mean, what is it, how do I find it, what's the point of it, and why is it important?
What does the "intent" of the workout mean? Many people don't realize that each CrossFit workout we do has a specific intent. The intent of the workout is the intended time that the creator purposed for that specific workout to take. For example, we know Fran (21-15-9 thrusters and pull-ups) is meant to be a sprint. In comparison, we know Murph (For Time: 1 mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats, 1 mile run) is long and endurance biased. Here is the next question people ask, "How do I find the intent of the workout?" This is something that I didn't learn or understand until I took my CrossFit Level 2 course. I am still working on it because it's something that takes time to master. The easiest way it was explained to me was look at a workout, take an educated guess at how long it would take a proficient athlete to do each movement, then add that time together. Here is an example: 3 round for time: 400m run, 15 pull-ups, 15 air squats. We would look at this and estimate that a proficient athlete should take about 2 minutes to run 400m, 15-20 seconds for the pull-ups, and 15-20 seconds for the air squats. To make math easy we can round those two up to 30 seconds. Therefore 2 minutes + 30 seconds + 30 seconds would be 3 minutes per round. All that being said, the workout should take around 9 minutes. We like to give some grace, so I would say 10-12 minutes or less is the true intent of the workout.
Next, what is the point of finding the intent of the workout? It's quite a simple answer to be honest. The point of finding a workout's intent is to maximize our work effort for that specific workout. The reason we want to maximize work effort for that specific workout is so that you reach the full potential for the workout physically. If it's a sprint workout and it takes you 20 minutes to do then you will not be reaping the physical training benefits of that workout. Your goal should be to always get the absolute most out of your workouts to see results.
Lastly, we want to talk about why all of that information is important. The reason it's important is because we all want to see results quickly, we want to get better - not worse - with our workouts, and we want to keep growing. One of the biggest problems I see as a coach is athletes always wanting to do the workout "RX". That is a great goal to have, but if you do every workout RX and rarely ever hit the intent, then you most likely won't ever get there. Yes someone can say I did Fran RX but it took me 12 minutes. That being said they missed the intent. Fran is meant to be done in 2-5 minutes or less. The reason is because the creator of the workout wanted you to get an incredibly fast metabolic workout where you worked your cardio capacity and your fast twitch muscles. I guarantee you that if it takes you 12 plus minutes you will be tired but you won't be as metabolically fatigued as if you did a scaled version and hit the time intent. All of this being said, I want you to stop and evaluate how you look at your workouts daily and what your fitness goal is. If you truly want to grow and get better, I challenge you to start looking at the intent of workout, scale appropriately to meet that intent and see if your fitness level doesn't increase in the coming months.
If you have any questions please comment below!!!