CrossFit coaches from around the world have experienced instances where they are approached by athletes who desire to add something on top of their normal CrossFit classes. They believe the extra stuff outside the gym will give them more work in.
There is a trend across CrossFit boxes where athletes are desiring to increase volume because they believe the increase will expedite their fitness process. This is particularly true for athletes competing actively in CrossFit games.
Is CrossFit All About Volume?
When CrossFit began, its popularity was mainly because of the effect the sport had on the body where within a short workout period, it had the potential of causing tremendous health benefits.
The combination of gymnastics, weightlifting, and mono-structural movements proved effective in developing a rounded fitness which worked across modal domains and broad time. Initially, CrossFit classes consisted of a warm-up session, a short workout, and finally a cooldown. This was done about 5 days a week.
Over the years, an idea came in which was adopted that an hour of CrossFit is hardly enough and more time needed to be pumped in so as to create a full fitness program.
This is when more volume was added with more weightlifting, extra metcon, more skill sessions, and before everyone knew it, CrossFit had graduated within 2 hours of randomly designed workouts. This left many questioning whether volume was really important.
The Power of Intensity
Compared to volume, intensity seems to carry more weight. Many athletes believe that the original intent of CrossFit was intensity and never volume. The mentality of more is better is not necessarily effective.
For an athlete going for CrossFit classes, a well-rounded program should be the first priority as this ensures continual progress. A single dose of effective and intense CrossFit workout a day is sufficient to sustain a lifetime of fitness.
Different Goals for Athletes
Different athletes have different needs and in CrossFit, coaches take time to understand these goals and the kind of training required to achieve them. The additional volume is usually targeted at those athletes who want to engage in competitive CrossFit. Also, athletes who have experienced weight loss but at a slower rate can go for extra volume.
To determine whether the volume is appropriate, the mechanical consistency of the athlete’s movement needs to be factored in. The athlete should be able to move consistently at a higher intensity and should also be able to improve in movement using verbal cues from the coach.
While the pursuit of the volume is still alive in many CrossFit gyms, experts suggest that to make real progress into your desired goals, you should blend an appropriate amount of skill work with a normal prescription of intense CrossFit workouts. Doing more CrossFit can prove more harmful than good in the long run. For a lifetime of fitness, always choose intensity.