James Hobart, multiple-time individual CrossFit Games athlete & CrossFit Games Team/Affiliate Cup Champion (as well as a long-time HQ Seminar Staff Head Trainer), recently wrote a great article for the CrossFit Journal titled "A Deft Dose of Volume" which addresses the debate of volume versus intensity in training.
The entire article can be read here (click for free access), and I've included an excerpt below that I found impactful:
Remember that programming and volume are just pieces of the puzzle. The magic is in the movements and the atmosphere. I’ve been extremely fortunate to train with some of the best CrossFit athletes over the last eight years, and I can attest to the truth of this statement from Glassman: “Men will die for points.” Training partners make a world of difference, providing both camaraderie and motivation.
Before you play with volume, find someone you hate losing to. A rival becomes a powerful training tool who will push you to levels of intensity you’d avoid on your own. Some of my most painful workouts have come against one of my closest friends and greatest rivals, multi-year Games athlete Austin Malleolo. We often joke that we aren’t going to train together anymore because it hurts too much.
“Its not what you do but who you do it with that matters,” Malleolo has said.
He’s also said, “I’d rip my bottom lip off if it meant winning.”
You can’t replace that level of competition with volume, though volume can amplify it when applied with a deft touch...
... Intensity is essential and it hurts, but it is required to greatly increase fitness. Volume is no substitute.
If you add volume and start producing results that are poorer than they would have been without volume, you need to retool your approach. Perhaps back off and start again. Volume can benefit you, but not at the cost of intensity and variance.
Chris Hinshaw works with some of our sport’s best, including Games podium finishers Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, Rich Froning and Mathew Fraser. Once while working with Froning and CrossFit Mayhem Freedom, Hinshaw said there is little point to “adding on more running volume if you start to slow down … . Then you are just spending more time practicing running slow.” Keep this principle in mind and consider how it applies to all areas of your training.
“You don’t need harder workouts, you need to go harder in your workouts,” Games veteran Tommy Hackenbruck quipped last year on Instagram.
Hackenbruck’s advice echoes Glassman’s foundational wisdom, which is worth repeating: “Be impressed with intensity, not volume.”
-James Hobart (CrossFit Journal)
WOD for 06-17-17:
With a Partner, On a Running Clock...
A) From 0:00 - 10:00
Both Athletes Establish a Heavy Triple
Use the same barbell and load/un-load for your sets accordingly. Collars/clips must be used for every set.
(Rest 3 Minutes & Re-Set For Part B)
B) From 13:00 - 25:00
AMRAP 12 Minutes:
12 Box Jumps @ 24/20 in
6 Thrusters @ 96/65 lbs
6 Lateral Bar Burpees
Partners alternate FULL rounds, with only one person working at a time (i.e. Partner A does one full round of 12-6-6 and then Partner B does one full round of 12-6-6, etc).
(Rest 3 Minutes & Re-Set For Part C)
C) From 28:00 - 34:00
3 x 0:45 (Rest 1:00 Between Efforts)