Let’s dive into why CrossFit works. CrossFit hones in on technique and efficiency and then uses that technique to enable athletes to push intensity. Intensity is the key. When athletes understand how to move correctly then they can push intensity and the magic in the CrossFit methodology is intensity. Why athletes get fitter, why people lose weight, why health and wellness start to improve is all due to intensity.
The biggest enemy to intensity is volume. Programmed correctly, volume can enhance athletic performance. However, haphazardly thrown into an athlete’s workout routine what volume starts to do is erode the athlete’s ability to perform workouts with intensity. What starts to happen is that one hour class where the athlete was pushing the intensity and going at 85-95% now turns into 2-3 workouts performed at 60-70% intensity. When you move through a workout at that pace you’re not pushing an aerobic threshold, you’re not improving muscle fatigue, you’re not creating strength, and frankly- you’re not going to continue to move closer to wellness and fitness if that becomes your everyday.
When you start to contemplate adding more volume into your athletic day I think the first question you should ask yourself is why?
-Are you doing it to be like Matt Fraser?
-Are you doing it to lose weight?
-Are you doing it to get a high level skill?
If it’s the latter, then let’s talk about volume and high level skills for a minute. Drilling and breaking down high level skills to improve technique and efficiency is always time well spent. This type of volume will not wear your body down too much but will benefit you immensely in improving your intensity and help build your toolbox.
The second question I would ask is if you are going to start adding in another hour to your workout schedule daily is, are you getting another two hours to recover each day too?
If you are going to start working out for 2-3 hours a day then you also have to factor in that your body is going to need more sleep, more food, and more mobility to fully recover. Increasing your volume increases the wear and tear on your body which means that to perform well and continue moving towards wellness and fitness you need to fuel it and recover it properly. If you don’t have the time or resources to fuel a body that worked out hard for 2-3 hours a day then you’re steadily going to start moving towards sickness and injury.