Intensity is Important… But What is it?

I think that most people have a misconception about what intensity is an exercise you know in an in training program so first thing is yeah what what does somebody normally think that intensity is and I think oh that’s a really intense workout man it was great is not necessarily always the same type of intensity we’re talking about when we are actually getting results and so intensity is very important because it’s the the most common trait among training programs that gets results but it’s important that we know what it is and what it isn’t so that we can appropriately try and attain it

What it isn’t

so misconceptions the more you sweat the more intense it was false yeah the more you sweat the more your body is saying hey we need to cool you down so that you don’t overheat that’s all sweat is it has nothing to do with intensity you could work out when it’s cold out or you could be incredibly efficient at cooling your core temperature and you don’t sweat and that’s fine but that doesn’t mean you’re not having to intense workout or the reverse of that like just because you’re sweating doesn’t mean it’s intense your heart rate your heart rate is going to jump for a variety of reasons and you know some training programs this is how they base intensity well the heart rate is not actually the best measure of intensity we’ll talk about that a bit later but yeah it’s an indicator of intensity but it’s not it’s it’s only a quarrelit’s not the actual measure of intensity being out of breath just because out of breath doesn’t mean the workout was intense what it means is you’re not getting enough oxygen to where it needs to go and and that’s not necessarily intensity you may feel intense it may be intense emotionally or mentally but that’s not how we measure intensity

so how do we measure intensity

its measured in foot-pounds per second foot-pounds per second so the amount of load you move the amount of distance the travels divided by the amount of time it takes you to get there so if you just take foot like foot-pounds that’s distance traveled plus the amount of weight that is work okay so if I take a hundred pounds and I move it to feet that’s 200 foot pounds of work okay if I don’t have if I’m not measuring time yeah that’s just how much work has to be done if I measure the time now I’m measuring power okay and that’s how we measure intensity its its measured in power and if you think of like Oh a really intense workout for example if I tell you to move 200 pounds you know across the room you know and say it’s traveling 50 feet you go okay that’s that’s not a problem I’ll just break it into five pound chunks I’ll walk back and forth a bunch of times and it’ll be done and maybe I’ll take all day to do it that is not an intense workout but we did a bunch of work if you now take that that same amount of work and I say finish this in five seconds it’s gonna be a lot more intense for that five seconds than it was at any one second during that walking back and forth with five pounds and this is how we this is how we measure fitness so certain things are really easy to measure like for example box times just take your weight times the height that you’re jumping you know break down two feet so that you have a of course a you know break it down into feet and pounds and divided by the time it takes you to do and then you’re gonna get foot-pounds per seconds like frame of reference here is like 555 foot-pounds per second as a horsepower.

Power = Intensity = Fitness

this is like the universal measure for power and that’s exactly how we measure fitness which is measured in power which is how we should be measuring our intensity if we’re trying to improve fitness and if we’re trying to prove fitness then we should be measuring power and for producing power that’s what intensity is if we want to improve our intensity because that’s where more results come from we’re gonna get fitness but it’s not measured in how much sweat was lost how many heartbeats you took in in the last hour or if you feel out of breath because there’s plenty of ways that you can improve your power output without ever sweating without ever going over a moderate heart rate okay and chances are that you’re probably gonna be out of breath but that’s not how we measure it like so for example in a one second bout of intense exercise one second you know like imagine how much weight you have to move for that once I’m gonna be really really really intense it’s a lot you might be out of breath for a couple seconds half the words if it was really heavy your heart rate probably goes up a little bit but it doesn’t it’s probably not going up maximally and you’re certainly not getting a conditioning effect on it

Different intensity, different stimulus, different outcomes

you’re getting a strength stimulus out of that and you’re gonna get a strength to adaptation out of that and so you know and you’re probably not gonna sweat that much unless it’s hot out and it just happens to be hot out and what you’re gonna get out of that is the most intense one second that you could possibly get and if if we continually train you know at this at high intensity what’s gonna happen is our body’s gonna learn how to produce more power it’s like for example like if I’m deadlifting that’s the most the most power I can produce the heaviest lift I can create it’s gonna give me a high intensity and so you know why do we do it because it’s able to produce a very high amount of power in a short period of time okay now what I can do with that maximum amount of power is knock and start to extend it out over time and that’s why you know especially like triathletes they need to lift they need to get stronger because otherwise they’re not going to be able to produce higher power outputs because they never train at high intensity even though like running out a mile seems like it’s high intensity comparison to running 20 miles it’s still not the same high intensity that you’re going to experience in a once a lift if you’re not doing that sort of power of powerlifting you aren’t going to be able to create the amount of power the intensity that is necessary to make long-term improvements in your sport if it is triathlon triathlons you know and likewise with any other sport if you haven’t trained for high power and short duration your longer efforts are gonna be weak on the converse size if I only train to that high intensity and I’m not I’m never trying to extend out that intensity measured in foot-pounds per second over two minutes over five minutes over 20 minutes over an hour then I’m also going to be lacking and fit and I’m gonna be lacking intensity at longer duration and that’s a problem that’s a hole in my training so I kind of threw it relate back to last week’s video we were talking about variants like we’re just trying to increase the amount of power we can produce at 1 second at 2 minutes at 20 minutes at 5 hours you know we’re trying to improve our intensity and that’s measurable in foot-pounds per second.

Actually measuring it…

we’ve done a couple clinics and seminars talking about how to like literally measuring it and put it on a graph but you know we can actually graph this sucker but what I want you guys to think about everything about this a little bit before you go and comment is you know what movements are really intense for if I do it for for one second or you know one to five seconds even let’s say you know what lifts or movements I should say are really intense for five seconds which ones are totally worthless if we do it for five seconds which ones are really great or maybe even a combination of them that are really great for five to ten minutes and what are some that are are totally inappropriate for twenty minutes long or are really conducive to 20 minute long workouts you know think about those sort of things like you know okay I can guarantee you coaches he ran across a challenger that thought about it and and they’re picked out for a reason like they’re not just randomly thought they thrown together you know like people tend to think that’s what CrossFit is but it’s it’s far far deeper than that you know every workout is considered for its ability to produce intensity and that’s measured in foot-pounds per second that’s you know 555 of those that’s one horsepower we strive to be that powerful for one second but days that’s all probably a lot more than I was hoping to get into this video

Final thoughts

I can see a little bit of background into what intensity is what we’re trying to achieve it’s not about sweats not about heart rate it’s not about being out of breath that’s not how are we measure intensity and that’s also not where results come from results come from real intensity measured in foot-pounds per second any questions about intensity or how you should be making your workouts more intense or what should be doing in every workout you know put them in the comments trying to answer all the questions you guys have in videos to come and Rashawd thanks for encouraging me to do another one I’m excited to do more alright see you guys next time

people working out in a group fitness class

A NEW YOU STARTS HERE

Talk with a coach to see if working out at CrossFit Jungle Gym is right for you.
Book Free Intro