Intensity before load - Coach Adam Pirri

Intensity before load

Most of us prefer lifting heavy and moving slower (Let’s face it, it’s easier!). If you’re one of these people, the time to lift heavy is in your dedicated strength work, that is the time to get stronger so you are able to handle Rx’d weights in workouts. This way as your strength numbers increase your workout times decrease as you can now handle heavier loads. 

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Over the past few years of being a coach I have noticed a mind shift in individuals wanting to go ‘Rx’d’ over wanting to go fast. Nothing is more prevalent of this as to when the Open finishes people say “I need to get stronger” yet the strength lift which was 18.2a was not the worst performing rank. So instead of thinking I have to get stronger, the mindset should be I have to get fitter to go faster. 

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The way to get fitter and faster is by fitting more work into a smaller timeframe - this is how work capacity increases. When looking at a workout, you want to ask yourself how could I maximise my potential and go as fast as I can? A lot of the time it will be by scaling the weight and moving quicker rather than going heavy or ‘Rx’d’ and moving slower. 

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Think of a workout as power produced. Take a 10 minute AMRAP for example - You decide to go “Rx”, you complete the AMRAP and almost finish 5 rounds. There is another athlete in the class who decides to go 20% lighter than the prescribed weight, however completes 7 rounds in the 10 minutes. If you were to look at the total power produced by multiplying the repetition count by the weight lifted you will get the total power produced. The athlete who went 20% lighter and got through 7 rounds ended up producing more power and therefore more work capacity which leads to greater fitness and faster workout times. 

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Work Capacity = (reps performed * weight lifted)/time 

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The goal is to increase your work capacity, which leads to greater fitness, faster WOD times and greater results. As you get stronger, the weight you lift in workouts should slowly increase, without jeopardising intensity!