OLY TEST 1:
Rest 5 minutes.
Complete as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of:
4 Handstand Push-ups
8 Hang Snatch 75/55 pounds
24/16 kg Kettlebell Swing, 16 reps
Coach Mark’s Notes:
So you shit the bed on your "Fran" eh? Didn't quite get the time you were hoping for on that "Grace" you just did? Rather than leave the gym and go home to think about why you failed, just grind out an enervated 5K row. Don't worry, most of the people around you won't be able to see through your attempt to compensate for a poor performance, they'll just think that you're super fit because your doing two WODs back to back. Let me make my opinion very blatant here, my views on this subject are stronger than normal: volume does not mean anything, intensity means everything.
In the minds of most people, volume is responsible for success. The more time spent in the gym, the stronger the person, right? The farther someone runs, the better their cardio. This couldn't be more wrong. I watched a Greg Glassman lecture once where he made one of the best points that I have ever heard regarding intensity and fitness. He asked his audience this question, "How many of you know someone who is a recreational marathoner?" Most of the people raised their hands. Then he asked this, "How many of you know someone who is a recreational 400m runner?" No hands went up. Such a simple observation that at the time, I had never put any thought into. Everybody and their dog goes out to run long distances because it's easy! No one goes out for a nice leisurely set of five 400 meter sprints, because there is no such thing. They're not fun, they're painful, and they take mental drive and motivation, but most importantly, they are intense!
Give yourself one chance per day to break records and beat past performances. One opportunity, no second chances to compensate or make up for a bad day. Secondary WODs for the purpose of making you feel better about poor performance get you nowhere. Didn't do so hot? You should be down about it, and you should feel shitty. Grab hold of those feelings and turn them into a PR tomorrow. You get one opportunity to explode and tackle your workout with ferocity, so go into the gym and force a victory. You should feel stressed and there should be pressure on you before the clock starts because if there isn't, you're not holding yourself up to the standards that you're capable of. You're selling yourself short. Be intense. I'm seeing more and more programs online that are demanding ridiculous amounts of volume in a single session that very few athletes are capable of completing with any respectable level of intensity, the writers included. Do less, and do it harder than you think you can. Refusing to do so means high levels of cortisol and unnecessary injuries and frustrating plateaus and a whole list of other avoidable detriments, and for what? Less is more, I can't stress that enough.
You should be training as much as you can in a week while still maintaining intense efforts. If you're feeling sluggish and beat up and dragging your ass through your workouts, that should be a pretty obvious sign to take some time to recover. Rest up and get ready for tomorrow. Don't feel obligated to make an appearance at the gym everyday because you think that your fitness is going to suffer by not doing so. In fact, the opposite is true. Rest will allow for more intensity. Over-training is the biggest intensity-vampire there is. A friend of mine once told me that, "Part of doing it, is not doing it." I love that saying and I try and keep it in mind when I start lying to myself about my lack of rest.
Everyone struggles with this at some point, some more so than others. I went through it and even now I still need someone to occasionally tell me I'm being stubborn and to get some rest. You want to be the fittest, and it's not unreasonable to believe that the more work you do, the sooner you'll get to where you want to be. What I'm telling you is this: how much you do doesn't mean a thing if there is no intensity. Only train if your mind and body are ready, otherwise you're wasting your time.
Less truly is more. An athlete that trains half as often but with twice the intensity of another will make more progress and reach his or her goals sooner. When it comes to making gains, bringing serious intensity and work ethic to the table is paramount. You can't just go through the motions, not if you want to be great at what you're training for. You need to have goals and strive for them. Treat every workout like game day. Intensity is the result of true motivation, whatever that may be for you. Find yours and harness it, and start bringing some intensity to the gym. There's a shortage of it out there, let's try and bring it back. Less is more, shorter is harder, and intensity is king. Anyone can show up to a gym and have textbook form and technique. Anyone can eat well, and anyone out there can follow a program. Very few can be intense.
I used to think that intensity could not be learned, that you needed to be born with that ability. I no longer believe that. The truth is intensity needs to be found, and everyone is capable of discovering it. It is the result of motivation. Find yours, be intense.
Coach Mike Burgener with Spencer Hendel by Again Faster Equipment - video [wmv] [mov]