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What is Intensity?

Intensity: The Secret Ingredient for Workout Success


Intensity – a single word that holds the key to unlocking your true potential in physical fitness. It measures the work you put into a given time frame and can make all the difference in your fitness journey. 

In fitness, the scientific equation of Power (P = W/t) is a powerful analogy for understanding the essence of intensity in workouts. Power, defined as the amount of work (W) accomplished in a given time frame (t), symbolizes the energy you invest in your physical exercises. A higher power output represents amplified intensity, which in fitness, translates to accomplishing more work in less time. This concept highlights the importance of fine-tuning intensity in training programs, as an increased power output often leads to better athletic performance and results. By finding the perfect harmony between the work performed and the time invested, you can unlock the potential of intensity, optimize your workouts, and ultimately achieve greatness in your fitness journey.

Think of it like this: 100 squats in 10 minutes is less intense than the same number of squats completed in just three minutes. A one-mile walk in 20 minutes is less intense than a one-mile sprint. When you take the first step into the fitness world, it’s crucial to ramp up the intensity of your workouts gradually. This article will explore the role of intensity in functional fitness and CrossFit, and how to implement it effectively in your training regimen.

Mastering Intensity: The Three Core Principles

When you embark on a fitness journey, be it joining a gym or starting a new workout routine, three core principles will help you harness the power of intensity:

  1. Focus on Mastery: Initially, concentrate on learning proper movement and technique. Don’t push yourself too hard or too soon. By taking the time to master the basics, you lay the foundation for future success.
  2. Build a Strong Foundation: Gradually increasing intensity allows you to develop a solid base in strength, endurance, and technique. This foundation is crucial for sustained progress and long-term success in your fitness journey.
  3. Prevent Burnout: Starting with a more manageable intensity helps you avoid burnout and overtraining, which can derail your progress and lead to injury.

Intensity in Functional Fitness and CrossFit: A Personalized Approach

Functional fitness and CrossFit are generally considered high-intensity interval training (HIIT) methods, although many workouts and programs involve lower and variable intensity. However, the true power of intensity lies in its ability to adapt to the individual athlete and the stage of their training. With UAC’s Level Method programming, the first week of a new block will be less intense than the fourth week when athletes undertake block assessments. By adjusting the intensity based on your personal needs and progress, you can unlock the full potential of your training program.

Elevating Intensity: A Roadmap for Success

For every individual embarking on a fitness journey, the path to success involves progressively increasing the intensity of their workouts. The first week of your training program should be less intense than your twelfth week. Steadily raising the intensity will safely and effectively progress toward your fitness goals.


Intensity is the secret ingredient that can propel your fitness journey to new heights. In functional fitness, CrossFit, or any other form of exercise, understanding the importance of gradually increasing intensity and tailoring it to your needs is the key to unlocking your full potential. Remember, the road to lasting success lies in finding the perfect balance between challenge and achievable intensity.