Power = Force x Distance / Time
This is the CrossFit prescription – move a large load (force), a long distance (distance), quickly (time). And if you generate more power, you will increase your intensity.
Think about it. Let’s take your bodyweight (force) and move it 5km (distance) in 30 minutes. Now let’s repeat that, but do it in 25 minutes. Your power increased. You were more intense. Pretty simplified (I know), but still cool to think about.
So why would you want more power (intensity)? Well, increased power output will yield increased results. Do something faster, and you improve. Isn’t that the goal of every workout?
This concept can even be used (theoretically) for scaling workouts (ie. choosing the right loads). Let’s look at an example. A few weeks ago, we did Diane. I did 45 deadlifts at 225# and 45 handstand pushups. When I plug my height and weight into the Catalyst Power Output calculator, along with the movements and weights, my power output was 78 foot-pounds per second.
Let’s say I did that same workout, but used 275# instead, AND, it took me 3 minutes longer? Using the calculator, my power output would only be 64 foot-pounds per second (that’s quite a drop!).
Now, this is all great, in theory. But it can be used in practice. We have goals for every workout (ie. under 10 minutes for Fran). So when we ask you to scale, it’s because we want you to generate the most power possible. BAM! Doesn’t that blow your mind?!