Intensity Evolution

Intensity Evolution
Written by: Coach Slater

A single effective dose of Derby City CrossFit a day is enough to obtain and sustain lifetime fitness. 

But, as we age, what that intensity looks like changes. It’s normal, it’s expected, but it doesn’t change the programming. 

When I was in my 20s, I tried to push intensity all the time. My body allowed me to recover pretty quickly, so this plan worked extremely well. I felt great, I performed well, and the mirror-results weren’t too shabby either.  

When I was in my 30s, I had to be a little smarter about strategy and pacing, and pushing intensity where I could. I couldn’t wreck myself every day, but I was still attending 5x/week. One or two days began to feel a little off, so I’d back off on my intensity those days but continue to focus on quality and moving at whatever effort I could give on those days. 

Now in my 40s, I find I have one-or-two days a week when I can push the intensity, and the rest of the week has me trying to maintain a “high enough” level of intensity, while keeping my form in the front of my mind (because injuries take longer to recover from now). And now I have to spend more time recovering by taking 5min/day to work thru a fuller range of motion, squatting, hinging, reaching, extending so my body doesn’t get stuck in shortened positions. I also try to prioritize sleep and “leave work at work” to reduce the stress on my body. 

I expect that my 50s will be similar… finding one or two days a week when I can push, and maybe whole weeks will require me to move at a 70% pace and never getting above 85% effort.

I know that all of us have to find our Intensity Buttons. We have to get uncomfortable from time-to-time. Progress and adaptation only occurs when our bodies must adapt to challenging stimuli. Doing the same, boring, half-effort routine at Planet Fitness every week isn’t that. 

Our style of training is contingent on getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, no matter whether you want long/lean muscles or big/bulky ones. Relative Intensity is crucial… intensity that is relevant to whatever your current fitness level is. 

Let’s get to it.

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