Final week of our 8 week cycle. Next week is hell-week.
Here is some info and ranting on intensity in training:
This week there are 3 days of old-school lactic threshold training. This is a rare occasion where we want you to go 110%, and feel gross. This is the training that can make people puke, begin praying to an unknown deity, curse their own mother, cry, or simply wonder if its all worth it ;) (This picture displays perfectly how you should feel)
Here is an example of PROPER lactic training with adequate rest periods.
Row :30on/ 4:30 off x 4. The intention is that for each :30 the athlete tries to get as many metres rowed in the :30. If done with adequate intensity this should be a horrible :30, and the 4:30 rest should seem short.
Lactic threshold training is beneficial for the human body in terms of athleticism, but it is also extremely taxing on the human body, and that is why (unless you are a paid athlete) it should be used in moderation. If done too often for too long, this type of training can lead to adrenal fatigue, over-training syndrome, chronic fatigue, injury, plateaus, early-aging, sexual dysfunction, etc. The list goes on, and that is why this powerful tool must be used in moderation.
Opex Fitness (James Fitzgerald) recommends that you should go "lactic" a maximum of 3 times per week. The reason for this is that although beneficial, it is a huge stress to the system, and will greatly influence your workouts for the remainder of the week. It has such an effect that most strength and conditioning experts agree that if you are focusing on lactic threshold, you won't be able to gain much, if any, in terms of strength during lactic threshold training.
So, if you are doing 5 "for time" workouts a week, and end up lying on the floor after each workout, you are doing everything "lacticly", which is a dangerous pool to swim in. Developing your aerobic base, is a much better strategy for becoming a good Crossfitter. Rich Froning, does not go lactic. He is strong enough, and has such a good aerobic base, that for Rich, the workout of Fran is aerobic, not lactic. When rich does 5 metcons in a day, it is because he is performing them all aerobically (75% output), and isn't actually working that hard. The problem is if you use his weights, and try to match his times, you are most definitely going to go lactic.
A lot of Crossfitters go wrong with their training by turning all of their training into lactic sessions based on the idea that "high intensity" is the only way to improve fitness. This couldn't be further from the truth. If you constantly go 100% you are only going lactic, and your body will pay for it in the long run (adrenal fatigue anyone?) So, even paid athletes have to use lactic threshold training sparingly if they want to make gains from such training.
If you are "stuck" in Crossfit or it took you a year to gain 10# on Snatch (unless you are a 10 year veteran), it is likely the result of going too hard, too often, for too long. Often times with such athletes, cutting back their training to 60-80% of their current volume will give the body the recovery time it needs, and strength gains will follow in a big way.
Sometimes, newer athletes don't know the difference between aerobic and lactic training, and how differently they should feel.
Aerobic- Sweaty, breathy, hot, sustainable, mostly comfortable, cyclical.
Lactic- FML, one and done, Pukey, light-headed, pass out, see stars, extremely uncomfortable, not sustainable.
If the :30 sprint does not make you hate life, your coach, and everyone else in the gym, there are a couple things that might be going on.
1- You aren't trying hard enough, for whatever reason this may be.
2- More likely, you might be new to Crossfit, or the gym in general. Beginners often are physically unable to go lactic because they lack the strength and power to go hard enough for the :30 to elicit a lactic response.
*Volume > Intensity*
Enjoy the sprints, and let it all hang out!
Crossfit 46 Coaching Staff,