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Old 02-21-2009, 03:58 PM   #1
Daniel Olmstead
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Default Balancing intensity and volume

So my wife and I got into a discussion about intensity and volume at lunch after today's workout.

Here's the context: lately I've been frustrated at the number and length of rests I've been taking. My trainer saw my blog post about this, and on Thursday he essentially stood by me and forced me through one of the most intense workouts I've ever done. The resulting case of DOMS has been fairly severe, enough that I had a hard time getting out of bed this morning and sandbagged the hell out of today's workout (my goal was basically just to get through it).

So the discussion was this: given five workouts a week, is it better to go at 95-100% intensity for one, maybe two of them and then 50-60% for the rest, or is it better to aim for a more maintainable 75-80% across? This is assuming that 95-100% for each workout would land you in the hospital. I took the former position, she the latter. The foundation of my argument was basically this quote from Glassman: "Performance is directly correlated to intensity. Intensity is directly correlated to discomfort." I read that to mean that optimal adaptation occurs in that last 5-10% of effort, past the redline where your brain tells you to stop. Her argument is that you're performing more work in total when you strive for a maintainable intensity level.

What do you guys think?
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Old 02-21-2009, 04:15 PM   #2
Kevin Perry
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I say listen to your body, to keep it simple. One very hard day of work deserves a low intensity day of work or full rest imo.
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Old 02-21-2009, 04:22 PM   #3
George Mounce
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After reading Coach Sommer's book again, my thoughts have changed on it. I learned something I hadn't been thinking about, and that is how long it takes to body to recover from the stresses of working out. Of particular interest to me was how he schedules training around the replacement of cells in the body.

It is better to gain slowly and stay within your ability to recover than to train so intensely it puts you out of commission. There is no reason to go overboard every day.

It seems in this case you could have upped your intensity a bit, but you did so by going overboard. Slower is better in most cases. Remember we have our whole lives to get better. Improvement doesn't happen overnight. Up intensity a fraction and reevaluate.
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Old 02-21-2009, 04:30 PM   #4
Dave Van Skike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Olmstead View Post

"Performance is directly correlated to intensity. Intensity is directly correlated to discomfort."

What do you guys think?
that is the 4th most misguided thing I have ever heard. are you sure this is quoted correctly?
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Old 02-21-2009, 04:35 PM   #5
Donald Lee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Van Skike View Post
that is the 4th most misguided thing I have ever heard. are you sure this is quoted correctly?
It sounds like something Greg Glassman would say.
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Old 02-21-2009, 05:04 PM   #6
Daniel Olmstead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Van Skike View Post
that is the 4th most misguided thing I have ever heard. are you sure this is quoted correctly?
I love how you have an ongoing list of the most misguided things you've ever heard. I'd be curious to hear numbers 1-3.

If it's apocryphal, it's widespread and, as far as I can tell, not refuted.

I am not a Coach-worshipper (which is why I posted this question here. I feel I already know the answer I'd get elsewhere), but I have seen the best gains in my life with CrossFit, so I do think he's on to something. I'm not averse to fiddling with the program to fit my needs/goals, however.

Thanks for that perspective, George. I will do further research into Coach Sommer.
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Old 02-21-2009, 06:14 PM   #7
Donald Lee
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I feel that these comments by Boris Prilutsky may be useful for this discussion:

Quote:
Dear Dan.

God
forbid I do not questioning your expertise and want to believe that your
statement based on experience from working
with professionals. From my many years
experience of work with professionals and Olympian athletes I can make a statement:” no 1 leave
the practice until pulls rates will not reach 200-210 per minute. For young well-trained athletes
in order to reach this kind of pulls
rates you have to put so much load on skeleton/ muscular system as well on the other
organs and system that this strains/
loads in the end resulting overtraining.
You can use terms like exercise stress or others but name of this phenomenon is overtraining that athletes
must be rehabilitated from. You cannot survive in professional competitive
sport if you’ll not work hard as I described.

Best wishes.

Boris Prilutsky M.A.
CA, USA
Quote:
Dear Jerry

Human body is a survivor and during process of hard training most of us not really experiencing symptoms of hard work outs side effects. more than this. those of us who blessed with physiological potentials maybe never will experience severe fatigue, cardiovascular insufficiency est. and probably will perform well in professional sports and in general hard working routine. however, if this abuse of body will be not controlled, during decades( not overnight) degenerative diseases of joints( osteoarthritis) tendons( tendinous. please do not confuse with tendinitis. in most cases tendinous is a result of not managed/ treated tendinitis.) will damage our health. probably a lot of Supertraining members their team members or clients suffering from sports related injuries. as we speak in america many people ( for terrible statistics please search National institutes of Health) group 40- 55 having knee and other joints
replacements. this is terrible evidence. they too young for this. after I got US Global picture on mentioned above conditions I decided to develop 7 volumes self treatment and prevention of sports related injuries DVD collection. It took alot of means and efforts to produce this collection. I wouldn't do this if pictures wouldn't be reality. The biggest misunderstanding in understanding of necessity to manage and treat overtraining side effects is that in process of diseases incubations people surviving in sports until pay time claiming their health. on example of former Soviet Union Olympian
athlets we can learn that vicious cycle of overtraining side-effects can be controlled and managed to the significant extent. this is not a case of 35-40 years old American retired professional and Olympian athlets. I know that maybe some of members will be irritated at a time of reading my post but this is reality.

Best wishes.
Boris Prilutsky
CA, USA
If health and longevity is what you're after, you need to take care of your body and take the slow approach.
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Old 02-21-2009, 06:33 PM   #8
Dave Van Skike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Olmstead View Post
I love how you have an ongoing list of the most misguided things you've ever heard. I'd be curious to hear numbers 1-3.

If it's apocryphal, it's widespread and, as far as I can tell, not refuted.

I am not a Coach-worshipper (which is why I posted this question here. I feel I already know the answer I'd get elsewhere), but I have seen the best gains in my life with CrossFit, so I do think he's on to something. I'm not averse to fiddling with the program to fit my needs/goals, however.

Thanks for that perspective, George. I will do further research into Coach Sommer.

1-3 involve politics and religion...how fitting that this subject would just barely miss the podium.

Oh yeah..as if you didn't know already, your wife is right. make a note of it.
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:42 PM   #9
George Mounce
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Well it is true to a sense..

As intensity increases, performance decreases.

As intensity increases, discomfort increases.

So we see that the more intense, the less performance, the more discomfort.

Why push yourself to the point of performing worse (breakdowns in form, technique and safety) along with feeling like you've been hit by a Mack truck for a week and losing out on valuable training time?
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:06 PM   #10
Steven Low
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You need to work up to high levels of intensity.

You just can't go in and expect to do great things. You'll be crippled by soreness and/or overuse injuries quickly.

I advocate training with high intensity BUT BUT BUT you need to be wary if injuries start to develop to cut back.
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