Intensity, comfort, and results
More food for thought on the intensity vs. comfort question raised in Friday’s “Mental Fitness” post:
"Intensity and results are directly proportional, but intensity and comfort are inversely proportional. Choosing for greater intensity is choosing for more fitness but also greater personal sacrifice in the form of discomfort. Expecting elite fitness from comfortable efforts is naïve, while going too fast is dooming." Those are the words of CrossFit founder Greg Glassman, telling it like it is.
What to do then? What if you want to be a superfit, ultrahealthy, fire-eating badass, but you’re currently a desk-jockey marshmallow daunted by the prospect of a jog around the block?
You take it slow, is the answer. You have to “be where you’re at,” fitness-wise. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be there forever. Take small bites, be willing to work hard and push through discomfort and the desire to quit, but respect your limits. The long onramp gets you up to speed before you hit full-bore traffic; a very short one throws right onto the autobahn where you’re likely to crash and burn. Get consistent; then gradually boost the intensity.
Glassman again: "Consistency must be established at any general intensity level before it is appreciably turned up, or the specter of burnout looms. Countless people have after three spectacular CrossFit workouts stated a preference for a fiery death over coming back for a fourth workout. They went too hard--too intense."
Learn the movements first; then crank them out at high intensity. Do them right; then do them hard and fast. Get some; then go again. Challenge yourself first; then compete with others. You will get there.
But don’t think it’s always going to be comfortable.