Quality vs Quantity

A lot of people think that quantity is the best way to progress in CrossFit.  This may be true for the likes of games athletes who have spent years perfecting their techniques and building their volume thresholds.  However if your still perfecting your movements, putting quantity before quality is really putting the cart before the horse and your asking for trouble.

To begin this discussion, I refer back to the definition of CrossFit:  Constantly Varied,  Functional Exercise done at High Intensity.

The last component of this definition is what I want to focus on, High Intensity.  High intensity in a conditioning workout is determined by how hard you push yourself relative to your fitness level, ability level and discomfort threshold.  High intensity in a strength workout is determined by how much weight you lift while maintaining correct form and safe technique.  Intensity is the key to becoming fitter. 1 hour of high intensity work, is far better than 2 hours of low to medium intensity work and this is why quantity isn’t the way.  A couple of examples come to mind when discussing this point:

I once watched someone in one of our classes, superset sit-ups with Cleans, because they were not getting enough exercise from just the Cleans. If you are lifting the required weight on your Clean, there is no time for you to do anything else, because all your effort should be focused on the Clean.   Secondly, Sit-ups vs Cleans for abdominal strength is no contest, Cleans force a maximal mid line stabilisation that no matter how many sit ups you do, you will never achieve this amount of muscle activation.  If this person simply focused on what was asked of them, and put all their effort into it, they would of achieved so much more in relation to their strength than they did.

The other problem with quantity before quality in CrossFit, is that when you do multiple workouts in one day, or double sessions, or unnecessarily superset exercises like the example above, is that you never doing what your supposed to be doing at 100% of your efforts.  For example, if you do a double session, say 5pm then 6pm straight after, you will automatically, whether on purpose or sub-conciously hold back on both WOD’s because of the other e.g.: "Iam not going 100% because Iam training again at 6pm"and then "Iam not going 100% because I already trained at 5pm".  2 hours of work and not a single maximum effort was achieved, therefore required intensity for the WOD was not reached.  

The other issue that arises with quantity is that your risk of injury increases.  The reason for this is that each session of CrossFit is structured only to be done once a day.  If it was supposed to be done twice a day then the classes would be structured completely differently.  Also if there was a need or a reason for their to be more in each session, then there would be.  

If your goal is to be constantly wiped out, become weaker, and slower and increase your risk of injury, then find a globo gym and go at it, because there is no room for dangerous training and disregard for your Coaches at VSC.

However, if you want to become stronger, faster and better, then focus on your technique and the intensity of each WOD, and give it everything.  If you do this, I promise you that your results will be limitless.