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Old 02-21-2009, 09:25 PM   #11
Garrett Smith
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I think there was another sentence that was left out.

"Discomfort is directly related to burnout and dropping the program eventually."
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Old 02-22-2009, 10:59 AM   #12
Craig Loizides
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In general I'd rank it

1. Intensity
2. Frequency
3. Volume

Keep the intensity high, but the volume low enough that you can recover.

You also need to learn to pace yourself better. Your last round took more than twice as long as the first. If you had paced better you probably would have finished sooner, gotten a better workout, felt less discomfort, and recovered quicker. This is a good example of discomfort not being related to performance.
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:18 AM   #13
Dave Van Skike
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discomfort is irrelevant.
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:35 PM   #14
George Mounce
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Originally Posted by Dave Van Skike View Post
discomfort is irrelevant.
It isn't irrelevant if it is impacting your ability to do something. There was an article awhile back about a steroid user watching his quad rip off during a squat. So....discomfort is irrelevant? Its your body saying "I need to recover". Incapacitating soreness (which could be a sign of other things) is a very, very important thing. To just say it is irrelevant is ignorant at best, and I know from your other posts that the machismo you are displaying may be in jest, at least I hope it is.
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Old 02-22-2009, 01:06 PM   #15
Dave Van Skike
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let me be more clear. there is machismo intended whatsoever.

equating discomfort with intensity is preposterous. discomfort is an unreliable indicator. it's not something to seek nor can it be totally avoided. using your head and watching your output will tell you whether or not you're doing it proper, not some bullshit metric of HARDCORE....

why hardcore? how about smartcore?
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Old 02-22-2009, 02:50 PM   #16
Jacob Rowell
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Saying performance and intensity and discomfort(speaking about CrossFit metcons only) are correlated, does not mean we have to say that any particular workout's quality is and should be measured by the discomfort it produces. However, from personal experience training others over the past couple years, there is a correlation between a person's ability to cope with discomfort during these workouts and the rate and total improvement of their performance. Again, just talking about CrossFit.


From what I have seen, the people who perform at a higher intensity, more often, generally outperform those who consistently train at lower intensities (in this case, take more rest). Those who stop when things get uncomfortable not only progress slower, but more often/sooner than those who don't.

We frequently program days of lower-intensity workouts, often unscored or untimed, as well as strength work in a moderate rep and intensity range, to manage recovery. I've also switched people to strength cycles on occasion when I saw they were approaching burnout. In my experience, people don't drop CrossFit because of continual discomfort, but instead due to lack of progress.

In short, if you want to get good at CrossFit, there's a time and place for intensity, and you have to learn to manage discomfort. CrossFit workouts for the most part are uncomfortable, and get more so as intensity increases. At some point, if you continue to cruise through your metcons, there simply won't be sufficient stress for any sort of adaptation, and your performance will suffer.
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Old 02-22-2009, 03:41 PM   #17
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I see, I guess our definitions of discomfort are different. Don't get me wrong, it isn't comfortable when doing something intense, but I'm not talking that kind of discomfort. But there is an edge. If you are puking during a workout (which is seen as "intensity" to some CFers) you have reached a level of "discomfort" that isn't doing you any good. If you are in pain you aren't doing anything good. No pain no gain is an old adage for the idiotic. If you are hurting yourself you aren't getting better, you are being stupid.

If you are so sore you can't workout, you have stepped over your limit of discomfort.

Working hard day in and day out with high intensity can be done by those who have worked up to it, don't get me wrong. But at some point you will break down. Greg Admunson tried to do 2 CF workouts a day at maximum intensity...he was crying at work...his clue bag for "intensity has ramped discomfort beyond the breaking point".

And ya, if its between training smart and having big balls on a message board, I'll take the training smart any day.
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Old 02-22-2009, 04:33 PM   #18
Daniel Olmstead
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This is very helpful, thank you.

I think this is what happened: I came off a half-volume recovery week well-rested and full of energy. My first workout back was disappointing, so I went way too far with the next one and gave myself a disastrous case of DOMS that negatively impacted my next three workouts. Thankfully I didn't injure myself more seriously. I'm just chalking this week up to a lesson learned, giving myself a couple full days off, then going back to the drawing board on Wednesday.

I think there is a risk, in CrossFit, of promoting this kind of "hardcore" overtraining. The subtle competition that comes from posting your times alongside others, either in class or online, is an effective motivator that can be perhaps too effective at times. The culture of the sport, by and large, treats traditional training safety checks with indifference (at best). I know we're getting a little too close to the moderator rules here, so I won't go into specifics.

Looking forward, then, the challenge is again one of balance: go as hard as you can today without crossing the line that will prevent you from going hard again tomorrow. It seems to me that some workouts (shorter metcons with low/bodyweight, perhaps, like Helen) are better-suited for focusing on intensity. Heavy deadlifts for time, on the other hand, not so much.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:43 AM   #19
Gant Grimes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Olmstead View Post
"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?
We may as well be discussing religion, because this relies on an entirely different premise. You're assuming that every training session must be programmed such that max intensity cannot be sustained over the entire duration. This is where minds differ.

Intensity has a different operational definition outside of the CF world. Yes, high intensity is wonderful. I go high intensity on most of my training sessions. But the majority of my training is low-rep lifting and short, heavy metcons. I program my metcons so I can go all-out with no rest. But they are short enough that I go straight through without dying, AND I can recover completely between sessions.

I'll do extended effort work @ 85% (10-20 minute sessions) once every week or two. These include tempo-type interval work.

Finally, I'll go for broke and overextend myself once or twice a month (a Fran type effort). I do this ~18 times a year, and it seems to work for me. I doubt I'd get the results or the recovery (or the enjoyment) if I was attempting to do this 6 times a week.
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:38 AM   #20
Gavin Harrison
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Olmstead View Post
I think there is a risk, in CrossFit, of promoting this kind of "hardcore" overtraining. The subtle competition that comes from posting your times alongside others, either in class or online, is an effective motivator that can be perhaps too effective at times. The culture of the sport, by and large, treats traditional training safety checks with indifference (at best). I know we're getting a little too close to the moderator rules here, so I won't go into specifics.
Based on the war college series, the main page WODs are designed to exceed over time the capacity of the world's fittest athletes. To me this means going balls out 6/8 days/week will by definition eventually crush you.

Intensity should be managed and cycled, no matter how it's defined.
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