Intensity is defined as Power: Force X Distance / Time. Put another way, intensity is doing more work faster. And, as it turns out, I truly believe, with all my heart, that intensity is the secret to optimal fitness.
Back in the day I used to frequent globo gyms with my buddies. Sure, we’d throw a lot of weight around… but we’d also spend more time chilling out between sets than we did working out! This, my friends, is not intensity.
When Mike first introduced me to CrossFit I was a little unsure of what he was talking about. Now, as I’ve shared many times, I started off very slow with body weight workouts… but, here’s the thing, these basic workouts were designed to be done with intensity.
So if there were 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups, and 10 air squats programmed the goal was, and is, to do these movements as fast as possible while maintaining good form. To be sure, if your form and technique fall apart due to the speed you’re moving you’re doing it wrong and will likely hurt yourself.
But, if you’re able to maintain good form you should really push yourself and work with intensity. One of the most beautiful benefits of intense workouts is that they’re fast. Heck, you can do a Tabata workout that only lasts 4 minutes and be smoked! That is if you do the workout with intensity (i.e. do more work faster).
The good folks over at CrossFit.com have published many excellent articles about intensity. I’d definitely encourage you to check them out… especially if you’re interested in the science behind it all.
And here’s a short video that summarizes things well. Not sure why they needed to use a provocative looking school teacher to make the point. Well, yes, sadly, I do know… but let’s move on and focus on the physics lesson!
Until next time… be holy, eat clean, and do more push-ups!