I find it clear as I get older that I simply cannot train at the same intensity as I used to day in and day out. And for what its worth, I believe many CrossFit athletes over train and break their bodies down too much and too often. Training and adaptation is more about volume than always training at high intensity. And for the purpose of this discussion I refer to high intensity as 100% PRE (rate of perceived exertion). Now, intensity plays a big role in fitness and adaptation don’t get me wrong, but preforming body crushing wods day in and day out can take its toll on the body and have negative affects. I find as I age that it is more important for me to get in the volume and save the super high intensity metcons for a few days a week.
I am a big fan of non-fatiguing volume training (ex: Every minute on the minute for 10 min perform 7 HSPU’s). At the end of 10 minutes I have never reached failure, yet I have accumulated 70 HSPU’s. I have less soreness and my HSPU’s get better and better. The next time I do that workout I will go up to 8 HSPU’s per minute if I can do so without reaching failure. These training sets do not make me sore so I am building strength and endurance without total shoulder breakdown. Now again, I will definitely throw in max effort failure sets to my training every once in a while, just not every day. When I then in turn run a wod like “Diane” and only have to do 45 HSPU’s, it seems much easier and my soreness is minimal from the relatively low volume of HSPU’s based on my high volume training.
This is the same with BBG (barbell gymnastics) only the volume is the pounds lifted per rep not the total number of reps. Training at high loads and high intensity to stimulate CNS but not creating major muscle breakdown with tons and tons of moderate weight reps. Outlaw BBG for example is designed very well around this principal.
I am not suggesting you never train to failure! I am suggesting that you do not need to train at that intensity each and every day. You can get away with it in your 20′s but that doesn’t make it right, and we arent in our 20′s anymore. I save the super high intensity workouts (100% RPE) for a few days a week and this helps me with recovery and strength gains. At the end of the week I have stressed my body with high volume and high pounds. This high volume training coupled with a few high intensity wods keeps me from over training and breaking down over time.