“Intensity is the independent variable most commonly associated with maximizing favorable adaptation to exercise,” – Greg Glassman 2007
Think about the last time you really pushed yourself…how did it feel? On a scale of 1-10, how hard did you push yourself? How long did you sustain that? Do you think you could have pushed yourself harder? Or longer?
Raw intensity is the feeling you get during the set of 15 of “Fran”. It is when you are fired up and your heart starts racing before pulling a heavy deadlift. And it’s when you forget where or who you are halfway through a 2000 meter row.
The accepted formula we use for intensity is…force, multiplied by distance, divided by time.
There is another type of intensity that is a calm and refined intensity. This refined intensity can’t be explained with a formula. This is the feeling you get when you run a 5k…or when you trying to keep stringing together double unders. It is also what makes you sweat when you are trying to hold the best position you can when the coach asks you to demo for class. This type of intensity is your focus.
The more and more you practice having raw intensity the more you will gain focus. And the more you can practice your focus…the more you will be able to raise the ceiling for your raw intensity.
First, learn how to move right…and then be able to repeatedly move well when you are tired. But that doesn’t mean you should wait to apply intensity. With everything that doesn’t require a lot of skill or mobility, you should constantly be asking yourself… “Can I put out more raw effort?”
For the things that do require you to pay attention to the way you are moving you should be constantly asking yourself “Can I be more focused?”
The idea of intensity in a more theoretical sense can be explained by, being able to be comfortable being uncomfortable. The secret to speeding up the adaptation process, and to keep it going, is by convincing yourself to do more work regardless of how uncomfortable you feel. Expose yourself to a small dose of intensity for 5-15 minutes 3-5 times a week and your results will dramatically improve.
The cool thing about intensity is…it is all you need to continually improve in anything. Over the years we notice that people who learn to develop a great deal of intensity learn faster, adapt faster, and progress faster. Teach yourself when and how to be intense, and in what ways you can apply that intensity to help you achieve success in all areas of your life.
Focus up, go hard…