There’s been a lot of chatter about the WOD time caps. Let’s put some science behind the reasoning:
Reason #1: Intensity. CrossFit is all about intensity. Putting a time cap on a WOD forces you to amp up your intensity (rest less during the WOD) so that you get the intended benefit of the workout. Let’s take the workout Fran. A brutal combination of Thrusters and Pull-Ups, this workout is meant to be a sprint, completed in under 8 minutes. If you’re taking too long to finish the workout (which means you did not scale appropriately) then you’re not getting the required result (read: benefit) of the workout. You’re resting just as much as you are working – therefore there’s not much “intensity”.
Reason #2: Scaling. Time capped workouts force you to scale the movements or weights to an appropriate load/volume that will allow you to finish the WOD. Sure, you may be able to do the Rx weight/movement, but if you know you can’t finish the workout in the time allotted, with the Rx weight/movements then you should scale the weight/movements so that you finish the WOD in the allotted time (or less). Again, it’s all about the INTENSITY.
Reason #3: Time. Almost all the workouts we do are meant to be short, fast and intense. This is the essence of CrossFit, and why it works so well. A workout designed to be completed in under 10 minutes should be finished in under 10 minutes – Rx or scaled. It shouldn’t be drawn out for 12, 15, or even 20 minutes. Why not? Taking too much time teaches you to be SLOW. You end up resting more than you work. Again – INTENSITY!!!
The WODs are programmed for specific loads, volume and intensity. We calculate the intensity by how long it should take…and we can change any of one, two or three of those factors and get a different result for every WOD that is programmed. What it comes down to is intensity. And for us, time = intensity. The longer you are taking to perform a WOD the further away you are from getting the desired effect of that WOD (or the full effect of CrossFit).
Sure, long, tough WODs are fun…you sweat like crazy and you burn a bunch of calories. There’s a sense of accomplishment from finishing a brutal workout. I get that, and I like that sometimes. However, it’s difficult to maintain a high level of intensity over a long period…which is why we don’t do 30+ minute WODs every day. Also, the longer you take to do a WOD the greater the chance that your technique will break down which increases your chance of injury.
If you scale appropriately, increase your INTENSITY, and get the volume of work in that we ask YOU WILL see the results.