Time Domains + Intensity = Fitness


Time Domains + Intensity = Fitness

Crossfit is based on using functional movements executed at high intensity to create a broad and inclusive fitness.  A fitness that will provide GPP, general physical preparedness, for just about any task, challenge, or sport that will come your way.  At the Garage like most Crossfit gyms our WOD’s are designed as RX to challenge and tax even the strongest and fittest of athletes across a broad list of modalities, or exercises, and across a broad range of time domains or time frames.

Varying the time domains is absolutely crucial to creating true fitness.  No program that works in a constant time domain or neglects one time domain in favor of another can truly produce “Elite Fitness.”  Why you ask?  While all of our bodies are unique and beautiful in their own ways, we are also remarkable similar when it comes to building fitness.  In basic terms our bodies feed on two basic metabolic pathways, anaerobic (without oxygen), and aerobic, (with oxygen)   If you stay basic but look just a little further, you could break anaerobic down into 2 subcategories, Phosphagen and Glycolytic.

Now why does all of this matter… well if our goal is to create truly “elite fitness” then we absolutely have to work each of these energy systems.  The good news is it’s really just a matter of controlling the “time domains” of our workouts.  The Phosphagen system is best worked by using multiple bouts of super high intensity, super short work intervals.  Think 100m sprints.  You go as fast as you possibly can for 10-30 seconds, take a fairly long rest, and then repeat the effort multiple times.  The Glycolytic Pathway takes over after 30 seconds or so when the Phosphagen pathway has been completely taxed and extends for about 2-3 minutes or so.  Obviously you can’t go quite as hard for 2-3 minutes as you can for 10-30 seconds so the Glycolytic Pathway has a lower “Intensity” or Power Output than the Phosphagen pathway does.  Anything over 3 minutes or so and your body has to utilize oxygen in some form or fashion to continue working so you’ve now entered into the Oxidative, or aerobic system.

Point being if you are doing a WOD in 20 minutes that is designed to take 2-3 minutes, like Fran or Diane, for instance, then you are not using the designed energy system and as a result are not getting the desired result.  If you do this on a regular basis then you are almost guaranteeing that you will not reach your true fitnees potential.  The greatest thing about Crossfit is that it creates a competitive goal driven environment, and one of the first goals everyone has is to get to the point where they can do the WOD’s as RX.  This is also the biggest potential downfall of the program as well.  Doing Fran as RX in 10 minutes is no way to create elite fitness.  The best way to scale your WOD is to look at the really good/best times for that WOD and figure out what weight/rep scaling you need to do to get in that time domain and then attack the WOD with complete all out drop to the floor intensity.

You will be seeing a lot more “strength” programmed at the beginning of the WOD, so don’t use the metcon as an opportunity to just get stronger.  Use it as an opportunity to get FITTER!!  Also, you must go all out on the strength lifts if you want to increase your strength.  Sandbagging the strength portion of the WOD so that it doesn’t affect your metcon is the absolute wrong thing to do.   Over time strength increases will be the biggest determining factor of you being able to reach the goal of crushing Crossfit WOD’s as RX.   Happy WODing!!!!  The Garage Coaches