Pat Sherwood presented the What is CrossFit lecture at the Maine State Police Criminal Justice Academy on June 19th, 2008. This video is the segment on intensity and its role in fitness.
Intensity, as we define it, is exactly equal to average power (force x distance / time). In other words, how much real work did you do and in what time period? The greater the average power, the greater the intensity. This makes it a measurable fact, not a debatable opinion.
Intensity and average power are the variable most commonly associate with optimizing favorable results. Whatever you want from exercise comes faster with intensity. It’s not volume or duration or heartrate or even discomfort. Do more work in less time (without overdoing it), and you’ll get fitter faster.
If you’ve been following the CrossFit site for a while, this isn’t new material. It is, however, the aspect of CrossFit that drives our success as much as any other single factor. And, in all domains, it’s always good to return to the fundamentals on a regular basis.