The thought process with human beings has been and always will be, “if some is good, more is better.” I’m not entirely sure why that is, but no matter the subject, people will always decide that in order to truly get the most out of it, they have to have or do more of it. This logic is what leads to a lot of misguided practice. More is not better, better is better.
The same rings true for volume when it comes to fitness. The CrossFit charter is first proper mechanics, then consistency of those mechanics, followed lastly by intensity. Volume is nowhere to be found. But, let’s say for example, I tell a person to run a mile one day. I tell them to run it to the best of their ability and as fast as they can. They run it in 15 minutes. Should I then tell that person the next step is to run a 5k under 30 minutes? Absolutely not. They won’t be able to. This logic is like telling someone who struggles to deadlift 100 lbs that they’re ready for 500 lbs.
Volume is to be accrued, slowly, and the preferred vehicle of choice to that point is intensity. IF you want to do a movement or workout as prescribed, you must first demonstrate intensity at an easier load or amount of volume. If the workout is “Fran” and you do a scaled version in 10 minutes, we are nowhere near ready to do it as prescribed. Prove you can handle volume by first demonstrating exceptional intensity.
(This can be true in many things in life, by the way.)
And this is the purpose of scaling workouts. We are giving you an opportunity to earn your volume. If a workout is supposed to take 15 minutes and you finish in less than 10 minutes, then I know you could have handled a little more.
The great quote from Coach Glassman years ago was, “Be impressed by intensity, not volume.” A 30-minute workout done as prescribed isn’t nearly as impressive as a workout done scaled where you finish under 20 minutes and the cap was 25 minutes. Earn your volume.
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