Training Guide #1: Intention

Training Guide #1: Intention

Understanding Workout Intention

March 9, 2023

Author: Peter Needham

exertion chart 1

Intention Over Everything

Working out is hard. Getting to the gym any given day can be a challenge in itself with everything going on in our lives. Our time is finite and is our single most valuable resource. So its extremely important we utilize our gym time with a set purpose. Yes, half the battle is just showing up, but what do you do after you've shown up? Are you maximizing every single minute of your training session or just going through the motions? Chances are, we can never truly give 100% of our time with absolute focus, however we can challenge ourselves to give as much as possible by working with extreme intention. So what does it take to work with extreme intention?

Tips For Working With Intention:

  1. Know the Goal. This means understanding the stimulus or workout type that we're performing on the day. Take a look at the breakdown of our "Workout Types Here". This guide will help explain the focus of the different styles of workouts you see throughout your week. Understanding the stimulus or intention of a workout is extremely important to understanding your approach or how to “attack” each day.

  2. Master Training, Not Competing. In CrossFit, we can often be distracted by the “scoreboard”. So much so that we may devalue our INTENTION of the day by sacrificing movement quality, effort level, focus, or even reps, just to post a higher “score” on the leaderboard. This approach can lead to creating bad habits, lifting with poor form, missing workout stimulus and even overtraining, which can ultimately result in injuries. We must think of training sessions as practice. Yes, being competitive can absolutely help drive us to dig a little deeper at times. But, your training should feel different throughout the week and understanding how “hard” you should push yourself for a specific workout or strength piece will help you achieve more in the long run. The Exertion Chart above is a tool we can use to help hammer home this thought process. Professional athletes are not often competing during their training week or during their off season. They practice at a very high level (sub maximal) in order to train over and over again in order to get better. Your test days will come and our coaches will be sure to let you know about it. More is not always better. Better is better.

  3. Pay Attention: Our coaches are here for YOU! They are extremely knowledgable and want to share that knowledge with you. Listen to the whiteboard brief and follow your coaches cues as much as possible. Coaches will often reference the style of workout which should give us an idea as to how the workout should feel. Its it a sprint or a long grinding workout? These details matter when it comes to training with intention.

  4. Do The Warmup: The most important part of your workout is your warmup. Its intended to prepare the specific muscles groups so that they can perform to the best of their ability. Warming up properly helps reduce the risk of injury for unprepared areas of the body. Its also a chance for extra "quality" reps. When a coach says do 5 air squats or pushups, these are intentional reps for your body. They add up over time. Who will benefit more? Member A, who does the bare minimum every warmup and skips movements because they want to "save it” for the workout, or Member B who goes above and beyond in the warmup by moving with intention and prepares their body accordingly for the next task at hand. The answer is easy. The small gains every day, add up over time. Fitness and exercise is a life long journey. There are no shortcuts. There are no hacks. You just need to do the work.

  5. Ask Questions: No better way to learn more about your training than to ask questions. Questions lead to answers, answers lead to results. Our coaches are itching to answer your questions. Sometimes we even beg for people to speak up. We understand it can be intimidating to speak in front of a big group, so make sure to pull one of us aside if there is something on your mind. We want to help!